OgreCave

Unplugged Gaming News and Views

August 26th, 2014

August 26th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave video: Japji Khalsa at KublaCon 2014

In our final KublaCon 2014 video, we manage to grab a few minutes with Japji Khalsa, Executive Producer and founder of KublaCon. In this video, we learn about the CCG-derived origins of the convention, how game designers use the show for their own nefarious ends, and some of the latest improvements to the overall KublaCon experience. You’ll get a small tour of Hyatt amenities, a few words from this year’s exhibitors about the convention, and glimpses of other KublaCon activities, between segments. In all, if you haven’t figured out KublaCon is “The Khan of Cons” yet, you simply haven’t been paying attention!

Have a look at all six KublaCon videos, and be sure to subscribe on YouTube to get all our upcoming video coverage. We’ll have some new things soon. No, really.

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August 18th, 2014

August 18th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave review: Little Wizards

Little WizardsA fun, gentle game to ease young players into the roleplaying hobby can be useful from time to time. While luring in new, young gamers is not a unique goal, each attempt to create a kid-friendly introduction to RPGs serves to inform those that follow, helping to build better game systems. Merwin has read through the new introductory roleplaying game Little Wizards from Crafty Games, a revised and reworked (English) edition of a French game. The game puts young roleplayers in a world of young spell casters that ride brooms through the air, but also a world without violence. Does it seem feasible? What did Merwin think of it? Read today’s new review to find out.

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July 31st, 2014

July 31st, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave video: Camp Grizzly, Star Wars X-Wing, and Megadungeon

The KublaCon 2014 coverage is continuing on OgreCave’s new YouTube channel with three more interviews. This time we sit down with Jason Topolski of Ameritrash Games to hear about Camp Grizzly, the ’70s horror movie board game. Then we speak with referee Brian Denmark about the Star Wars: X-Wing tournament he’s running to see what’s involved in running a competitive convention event. We eventually find Vern Roberts, a member of KublaCon’s staff, preparing to oversee the carnage of the Megadungeon crawl, a massive player-versus-player Pathfinder tournament which uses over $10,000 of Dwarven Forge MasterMaze miniature scenery. You’ll catch glimpses of other KublaCon activities between these interviews.

Have a look, and be sure to subscribe on YouTube to get all our upcoming video coverage, including some new things we’re working on.

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July 17th, 2014

July 17th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave review: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Card GameSometimes the whole roleplaying group just can’t meet up, but you still need some roleplaying time. Many games have tried to capture the essence of RPGs in another format, with varying degrees of success. Due to a lack of other roleplaying activity, Demian has been playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game from Paizo Publishing, Mike Selinker’s game design that translates the Pathfinder RPG into card game form. The Pathfinder card game has become popular enough to prompt plans for an Organized Play program starting next month. But what did Demian think of it? Read today’s new review to find out.

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July 17th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave video: Gamer apparel at KublaCon 2014

The KublaCon 2014 coverage is continuing on OgreCave’s new YouTube channel with a short look at gamer apparel. In this installment, we talk with Phil Lacefield Jr. of JBM Press about the t-shirts he sells at dozens of conventions. Then we speak with Derek Cochran of Knitnut By JL to learn about the hot trends in knitted caps and accessories. To round things out, we get another perspective on t-shirts and gamer tastes from David Inman of Nerd Kung-Fu. Bits and pieces of other KublaCon activities are interspersed between these interviews.

Have a look, and be sure to subscribe on YouTube to get all our upcoming video coverage.

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July 11th, 2014

July 11th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave video: PERK, DiceShield, GameRustlers, and more

We’re continuing to fill OgreCave’s new YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to) with great footage from KublaCon 2014. In the latest installment, we talk with Buddy Wagner of Dire Ninja Media about P.E.R.K. – the Pretty Easy Roleplaying Kit. Then we take a look at the DiceShield from Andy Rothfusz and Questo Gizmo LLC. Finally, Mac Senour tells us about GameRustlers and how it keeps the gaming flowing at conventions. You’ll catch glimpses of other KublaCon activities between each interview as well.

Have a look, and be sure to subscribe on YouTube to get all our upcoming video coverage.

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July 3rd, 2014

July 3rd, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave video: Zombiesmith at KublaCon 2014

As the long weekend looms on the horizon, OgreCave is continuing to celebrate the launch of our new YouTube channel with another great interview from KublaCon 2014. This time we talk with Josh Qualtieri of Zombiesmith, and learn all about a variety of projects: War of Ashes: Shieldbash; a still-unnamed War of Ashes novel; his partnership with Flytrap Factory, and multiple Flytrap/Zombiesmith joint ventures; the War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus RPG coming late 2014 from Evil Hat Productions; and the figures for Camp Grizzly, a cool new board game from Ameritrash Games.

Have a look, and be sure to subscribe to get all our upcoming video coverage.

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July 3rd, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave video: Crafty Games at KublaCon 2014

We’re getting back into videos, and to make things go smoothly, we’re launching the OgreCaveDOTcom YouTube channel! We already have a few things there, starting with some coverage from KublaCon 2014. First up, an interview with Patrick Kapera of Crafty Games. He talks of the Mistborn RPG supplements Terris: Wrought of Copper and Alloy of Law, of the Little Wizards RPG, of Z-Corps, and more!

Be sure to like, subscribe, tell friends, and generally spread the OgreCave goodness.

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June 16th, 2014

June 16th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
2014 Origins Award winners announced

Origins logoThe 40th annual Origins Awards were given out Saturday night. The details of said nominees and winners are a bit hard to find, so we thought we’d compile them for you here. Or all the ones we could find, at least.

2014 Origins Awards nominees and winners:

Best Roleplaying Game
13th Age – Pelgrane Press
FATE Core System – Evil Hat Productions, LLC
Mummy: the Curse – White Wolf Game Studio
Numenera – Monte Cook Games
Shadowrun: Core Rulebook – Catalyst Game Labs

WINNER: Numenera (Monte Cook Games)
FAN FAVORITE: Shadowrun: Core Rulebook (Catalyst Game Labs)

Best Roleplaying Supplement
DC Adventures Universe – Green Ronin Publishing
Heart of the Wild – Cubicle 7 Entertainment
Transhuman – Posthuman Studios
Night’s Watch – Green Ronin Publishing
Eternal Lies – Pelgrane Press

WINNER: Night’s Watch (Green Ronin Publishing)
FAN FAVORITE: DC Adventures Universe (Green Ronin Publishing)

Best Board Game
Trains – Alderac Entertainment Group
Time n Space – Stronghold Games
Space Cadet: Dice Duel – Stronghold Games
Krosmaster Arena – Japanime Games
City of Iron – Red Raven Games

WINNER: Trains (Alderac Entertainment Group)
FAN FAVORITE: Trains (Alderac Entertainment Group)

Best Collectible Card Game
Pokemon Black & White: Legendary Treasures – The Pokemon Company, Intl.
Pokemon Red Genesect Collection – The Pokemon Company, Intl.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Battle Pack 2 – Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! Super Starter V for Victory – Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legendary Collection 4: Joey’s World – Konami Digital Entertainment

WINNER: Pokemon Black & White: Legendary Treasures (The Pokemon Company, Intl.)
FAN FAVORITE: Pokemon Black & White: Legendary Treasures (The Pokemon Company, Intl.)

Best Traditional Card Game
Love Letter – Alderac Entertainment Group
DC Comics Deck-Building Game – Cryptozoic Entertainment
Boss Monster – Brotherwise Games
Clubs – North Star Games
Marvel Legendary: Dark City – Upper Deck

WINNER: Love Letter (Alderac Entertainment Group)
FAN FAVORITE: DC Comics Deck-Building Game (Cryptozoic Entertainment)

Best Children’s, Family, Party Game
Walk the Plank – Mayday Games
Three Little Pigs – Iello
My Happy Farm – 5th St. Games
ROFL – Cryptozoic Entertainment
Choose One! – Looney Labs

WINNER: Three Little Pigs (Iello)
FAN FAVORITE: Walk the Plank (Mayday Games)

Best Game Accessory
Krosmaster: Fire & Ice – Japanime Games
Shadowrun GM Screen – Catalyst Game Labs
Fate Dice – Evil Hat Productions, LLC
Space Gaming Mat – HC+D Supplies
Pathfinder Battles: Skull and Shackles – WizKids Games

WINNER: Space Gaming Mat (HC+D Supplies)
FAN FAVORITE: Pathfinder Battles: Skull and Shackles (WizKids Games)

Best Miniature Figure Rules
Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters – WizKids Games
Battletech Alpha Strike – Catalyst Game Labs
Judge Dredd – Warlord Games

WINNER: Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters (WizKids Games)
FAN FAVORITE: Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters (WizKids Games)

Best Historical Miniature Figure/Line
Fife & Drum: Revolutionary War – Fife & Drum
Highlander Force – North Star Military Figures
Fate of a Nation: Arab Israeli Wars – Battlefront Miniatures
Red Army: 28mm Russian Infantry – Wargames Factory
Devil Dogs and Dragons – Empress Miniatures

WINNER: Fate of a Nation: Arab Israeli Wars (Battlefront Miniatures)
FAN FAVORITE: ? – still looking for this info

Best Historical Board Game
SOS Titanic – Ludonaute
Navajo Wars – GMT, designed by: Joel Toppen
Freedom: The Underground Railroad – Academy Games
1775: Rebellion – Academy Games
Francis Drake – Eagle Games

WINNER: 1775: Rebellion (Academy Games)
FAN FAVORITE: 1775: Rebellion (Academy Games)

Best Historical Miniature Rules Supplements
SAGA: Varjazi & Basileus – Gripping Beast
Flames of War: Fate of a Nation – Battlefront Miniatures
Force on Force: Classified – Osprey Publishing

WINNER: ? – still looking for this info
FAN FAVORITE: ? – still looking for this info

Best Historical Miniature Rules
Fields of Fire 2nd Edition – Proving Ground Games
Fire and Sword – Wargamer
Chain of Command – Too Fat Lardies

WINNER: Fields of Fire 2nd Edition (Proving Ground Games)
FAN FAVORITE: Fire and Sword (Wargamer)

Best Miniature Figure Line
Malifaux: The Guild’s Judgement – Wyrd Miniatures
HeroClix: Wolverine and the X-men – WizKids Games
MERCs Mini’s (Shock Trooper, Spy, Eagle, Beacher) – MegaCon Games

WINNER: Malifaux: The Guild’s Judgement (Wyrd Miniatures)
FAN FAVORITE: HeroClix: Wolverine and the X-men (WizKids Games)

Best Game Related Publication
Khan of Mars – Evil Hat Books
Fire for Effect – Catalyst Game Labs
ICv2 – Editor: Milton Griepp
Dork Tower – Editor: John Kovalic
TableTop – Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day/Geek & Sundry

WINNER: TableTop (Geek & Sundry)
FAN FAVORITE: TableTop (Geek & Sundry)

As usual, it’s a great list of game products, and OgreCave extends hearty congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

As you can see, a few details are missing (and if you’ve got them, please, let us know in the comments). Why? Mainly because this is cobbled together from a variety of sources, but not from GAMA’s Origins Award page. As of this post, the GAMA site had neither the nominees nor winners listed. Now, GAMA has been quoted before as not wanting to become the Oscars of tabletop gaming (funny, since it’s an academy that puts forth the nominees), but not advertising your awards on your own site? That’s just shooting yourself in the foot.

I say, if fans and publishers want to build up your brand for you, give them the tools to do so – or at the very least, don’t sabotage the process. But maybe that’s just me.

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June 12th, 2014

June 12th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
2014 Diana Jones Award shortlist announced

This year’s nominees for the Diana Jones Award have just been announced, and as always, the selections are thoughtful and varied. Two publishers and three games made the list. The nominees are:

  • Evil Hat Productions, the folks behind FATE, Dresden Files, Don’t Rest Your Head, and more.
  • Hillfolk by Robin Laws (Pelgrane Press), which had a tremendous Kickstarter drive.
  • Paizo Publishing, the Pathfinder folks, long confirmed to be outselling D&D.
  • ROFL! a party word game with illustrations by John Kovalic (Cryptozoic Entertainment).
  • Terra Mystica, a strategy board game of terraforming (Feuerland Spiele/Z-Man Games).

Check out the full press release below for details of why each deserves the nomination, and let us know what you think. Who would you give the lucite pyramid to?
Read more…

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June 10th, 2014

June 10th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Gaming News Update – KublaCon 2014 (Thomas Denmark/Studio Denmark)

OgreCave newscasterSo, we made our annual pilgrimage and got out to KublaCon 2014The Khan of Cons – and had a great time, as always. We came back with plenty to share, so let’s start with a Gaming News Update interview with Thomas Denmark of Studio Denmark. Tom gave us the details on his upcoming RPG, Warriors of the Red Planet, for which he also did the fantastic artwork. Tom is responsible for such memorable game designs as Dungeoneer and Murder of Crows, so there’s no doubt we’re looking forward to seeing this desolate-yet-stylish old school game. Friends, gamers – lend us your ears.

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June 8th, 2014

June 8th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Interactive fiction conference streaming June 9th

Choose Your Own AdventureSo, remember Choose Your Own Adventure books, the Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf gamebooks, and other solo-adventure enabling products? Those are interactive fiction. We like to bring them up from time to time because they were formative influences on our gaming tastes long ago, and they still provide a great source of inspiration and enjoyment. If you long to revisit the days of exploring an authors world in a more immersive way, of following literary versions of the IF/THEN/ELSE command to their destinations, you should check out VuPop 2 – An Academic Conference Where YOU are the Hero: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online. Organized by our longtime resident gamebook expert Demian Katz (who also runs gamebooks.org), the event promises several informative talks on the genre. Best of all, if you can’t make it out to Villanova University in Villanova, PA this Monday (tomorrow), the conference will be streamed online. So skip work, wake up early and get interactively fictional to start your week off right.

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April 29th, 2014

April 29th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
TableTop season 3 campaign is dressed to impress

With Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other campaigns regularly raising impressive sums for all sorts of projects, it’s easy to become numb to all the hype. Some companies merely use the fundraising sites as a preorder system, while others bend over backwards to create every possible backer-exclusive chotchkie, tempting the completist collector that lurks in us all. The best of these campaigns are the ones falling somewhere inbetween – those that offer an impressive, worthwhile product with additions/”stretch goals” that enhance the original product, or better yet, are worthwhile on their own.

For gamers, at least one such worthwhile campaign is the TableTop Season 3 – with Wil Wheaton campaign on Indiegogo (which, when phrased that way, makes excellent host Wheaton sound kinda like a side order. “Make mine a mushroom burger, medium rare, with a side of garlic Wil Wheaton.”). Having already cleared its $500K goal to bring viewers a new 15 episode season, backers have helped TableTop achieve additional goals. These include an additional 5 episodes, custom dice, DVDs, t-shirts, posters, commemorative coins… you get the idea, and maybe you aren’t impressed – you’ve heard all this before. Where things really get interesting is the lofty region of unlocked coolness TableTop fans are striving for in these last 11 days of fundraising. At $800K, fans already secured a free downloadable game designed by Mike Selinker, James Ernest (Lone Shark and Cheapass Games, anyone?), and TableTop host Wil Wheaton. At $900K, fans will unlock a special Cards Against Humanity expansion designed just for the TableTop campaign. Finally, at $1 million, the Geek & Sundry network founded by Felicia Day (co-creator of TableTop) will create a whole new RPG show, hosted by Wil Wheaton, in the style of TableTop. At the rate pledges keep coming in for the show, these goals are ambitious, but certainly achievable. Go on – visit the TableTop pledge page and hit refresh every few minutes. You’ll see.

So, with various TableTop goodies, a free game designed by Wil Wheaton and two award-winning designers, and the potential for both an expansion to the most popular rude party game and another whole show, this seems like the direction part of your gaming funds should go.

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April 23rd, 2014

April 23rd, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Wheel of Time series nominated for Hugo Award

Over this past weekend, the 2014 Hugo Award nominees were announced. Among the nominees is the well-known Wheel of Time fantasy novel series, written by the combined efforts of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Some Hugo Award fans – hardcore fantasy and science fiction aficionados – have cried foul at the nomination of the entire epic series in the Best Novel category. Sanderson, who gamers also know for the Mistborn series and resulting RPG from Crafty Games, has a gracious and considered post about the nomination on his blog. In particular, he asks fans and detractors alike to proceed with caution:

Please don’t let the Hugo Awards become a shoving match between fandoms. [...]

The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest. [...]

We want you to vote. We want you to be part of the process. But let me speak frankly to you: if you don’t intend to read and investigate the other nominees and participate in a wide variety of categories, you are doing the awards a disservice. I would rather have the Wheel of Time not win than have it be given an award as part of a thoughtless shoving match.

The full post addresses much more, and is worth the click-thru. In fact, with nominees that range from novels, short stories, and fan podcasts, to Doctor Who episodes, Pacific Rim and Iron Man 3, the Hugo Awards as a whole are a litmus test for geek culture, and certainly worth further investigation.

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April 19th, 2014

April 19th, 2014: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave review: Cthulhu Invictus Companion

Cthulhu Invictus CompanionAs you prepare for whatever weekend festivities you have lined up (like perfecting your Easter Bunny themed zombie game scenario, perhaps? We don’t judge.) you may want to take a moment and peruse today’s new review. Andy has made a full assessment of the Cthulhu Invictus Companion by Chaosium, a supplement for Call of Cthulhu. This Roman Empire resource provides adventures, monsters, and, of course, cultists. But how much is new, and how much is reprint? Andy tries to clear away the veil of… is that ooze? Ew. Anyway, he clears up some confusion you might have had about facing the Great Old Ones in ancient Rome, and lets us know what this Companion brings to the arena.

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