Archive for February, 2001

Battle Cattle Miniatures Exclusive!

Wednesday, February 28th, 2001

We worked out a deal with Wingnut Games to get the exclusive first look at the new Battle Cattle miniatures. The minis were left unpainted to show off the fine detail of these bovine warriors. We’ve also added the weapons packs to the side shot. Click on the shots below for a closer look. You can’t find these anywhere else, so get ‘em while they’re hot!

Front view Side view w/ weapons

Blank White Awesomeness

Tuesday, February 27th, 2001

Now this is totally my style: I Want My 1000 Blank White Cards.

Who else out there used to set up all of their board games on the floor of the family room at once and just kind of let their Monopoly pieces wander all over? You know you want to.

Do You Love Zombies?

Monday, February 26th, 2001

Eden Studios is looking for their biggest fan. If you can convince them that no one loves All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Conspiracy X, and Eden’s other games more than you, you’ll get everything they make for the next two years. How can you convince them of your fanatical devotion? Check out the contest details for ideas.

Dark Portal Open
Dark Portal Games, a new RPG company, has released their first D20 product as a free download. The pdf adventure, Dead Fire, is for 4-6 characters of levels 1-2, and involves one hell of a forest fire.

A Quick Drink
Wizards has a new Instant Tavern Generator that’s worth checking out. Set the accomodation quality, the number of rumors to be heard, and even print out a random menu to show your players. Belly up to the bar, lads!

Ronin Refocused
The latest issue of Focus on Freeport is up at Green Ronin’s site. This month’s cool feature: a free D20 adventure called Holiday in the Sun, for characters of levels 2-4.

Agatha Blades Launches
Another young D20 company, Agatha Blades just launched today, and already has a downloadable adventure available. Shades of Yesterday, an adventure for four 1st level characters, is available for free in multiple formats on the site.

Veil Lifted
White Wolf posted a preview of their newest supplement for Vampire: The Dark Ages. The supplement, Veil of Night, reveals the medieval Islamic world for World of Darkness fans.

Rising Sun #7 Released

Monday, February 26th, 2001

The seventh issue of The Rising Sun, a quarterly e-zine devoted to the Lone Wolf gamebooks, has just been released. This issue contains an article by author John Grant on the re-release of some of his Legends of Lone Wolf novels, a review of The Caverns of Kalte, a couple of poems and some other interesting material. Past issues are also worth checking out, as they contain everything from new solitaire adventures to alternate rules for playing through the classics.

GOO to Publish Tekumel

Friday, February 23rd, 2001

Professor M.A.R. Barker’s richly detailed Tekumel setting will be publishing in role-playing form once again, this time by Guardians of Order. Using GOO’s Tri-Stat system, Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne will make its debut at GenCon 2001 in August. As one of the oldest and most detailed game worlds, Tekumel is sure to be welcomed back into the hobby by old fans and new.

Get Ready to Rum-Bull

Friday, February 23rd, 2001

Aldo from Wingnut Games tells us that the Battle Cattle 25mm miniatures should be reaching stores within a couple of weeks. Let the bovine combat commence! Keep watching on OgreCave for more info.

Mage Knight Beta Release
The popular and addictive Mage Knight game will be revised for a Beta release in April. The new release will have more durable packaging, and each figure’s protective plastic shell will be color coordinated to signify the figure’s rarity. The game play will remain unchanged.

Broken Shadows Approach
Diskwars has a new expansion set hitting stores next week called Broken Shadows. Players who are willing to preorder all eight packs from Fantasy Flight Games will get a limited edition Helspanth X’ru disk (worth 25 Army Points). Oooh, aahhh.

Porn Star Freed From Freak Factory
When a chance for a title like that comes along, you’ve gotta take it.

On Valentine’s Day, Freak Factory Game Studios transferred ownership of their
controversial card game, Porn Star, to Death Tech. After all the problems Freak Factory had promoting the game last year, it remains to be seen if the company change will help the game’s success.

Introducing OgreCave Reviews

Friday, February 23rd, 2001

Houston, we have review. Read our take on Cosmic Coasters, the new board game from the creators of Fluxx, Chrononauts and Icehouse.

New Gamebook Series Published Online

Thursday, February 22nd, 2001

A brand new series of solitaire role-playing gamebooks, The Chronicles of Arborell, is now being published online free of charge. The series is designed in a manner reminiscent of the classic Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf books, and while it must be played through a web browser, it retains the old gamebook feel by requiring the reader to roll dice and keep track of statistics on a printed character sheet. The first book in the series, a 260-section fantasy adventure called Windhammer, is available now; the next volume, Earth and Stone, is due in June.

SFR Buys Dragon Dice

Tuesday, February 20th, 2001

The new game company SFR Inc. has finalized its purchase of the Dragon Dice game property from Wizards of the Coast. The game will surge back to life with three limited edition Dragonkin Champion dice early this year, followed by the Treefolk game expansion this summer. Other products will come thereafter, including the Champions and Unearthly expansions. I’ll have to check with my former Gamers.com co-worker Brian, but I’m reasonably sure we talked with SFR at Dragon*Con last year, and Brian got some dice out of the encounter.

Dominion Update
Dominion Rules 2.0, the free RPG from Dominion Games, isn’t ready just yet. However, a production update has been posted to keep fans informed until the game’s release this spring.

More Cavemen Cometh

Tuesday, February 20th, 2001

Due to popular demand, Wingnut Games will be printing a second edition of Land of Og. Before it goes to press, though, it has to be just right. “So, if you have anything from typos to omitted rules, look at our online FAQ then send them over,” said Aldo Ghiozzi, Wingnut owner. Once Og 2E is out, keep your eyes peeled for The Complete Caveman’s Club Book, which will expand the world of Og even more.

White Wolf Grabs Ravenloft

Tuesday, February 20th, 2001

Arthaus, Inc., a smaller affiliate of White Wolf Publishing, announced today that it has acquired the rights to publish D20 products for the Ravenloft campaign setting, previously published by Wizards of the Coast. Goals have been set for four products per year, starting with a core rulebook that will hold “plenty of new surprises and a wholly revamped setting for hard core Ravenloft fans.” Now if only someone would do the same for Planescape and Birthright, we’d be set.

“I Choose You, Pokéthulhu!”

Tuesday, February 20th, 2001

Inquest Gamer Magazine’s Fan Awards 2000 are drawing to a close. This is one of the few awards that allows readers to write in alternate choices in each category, so don’t hold back. If you want to add your vote to the mix, head over there and vote before Wednesday, February 28th. I’m sorely tempted to vote for Pokéthulhu, myself.

Celebrity Encounters at DunDraCon

Monday, February 19th, 2001

We met Tom Jolly, creator of Wiz-War and Diskwars, who was at DDC running Diskwars tournaments for the second year in a row. The title of this item would probably amuse him as much as the fact that Fantasy Flight is officially appending his name to the title of his upcoming tile-based board game. You know, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Tom Jolly’s Drakon. Tom said the idea that his name will ship units strikes him as pretty funny. (By the way, if you play Wiz-War but don’t own it, he said to buy your own damn copy. We think he might have been joking. Maybe.)

Anyway, Tom Jolly’s Drakon is a version of a game, variously titled Traps or Vaults, that Jolly’s been developing for ages. From what I saw, players lay down new rooms of a dungeon on a regular grid, and each room contains special rules and restrictions on pawn movement. Similarly to Wiz-War, the goal is to get treasure, but there’s also presumably an element of getting out alive. The game is in final assembly stages and should be released relatively soon. I didn’t have a chance to give Drakon a test drive, though. What can I say, after the con I went to a party in Fremont that involved wine mousse cake and torture by Trivial Pursuit while I watched two guys play PS2 Beatmania to euro-disco songs about an Indian guy whose family was eaten by a tiger. Long night.

DunDraCon XXV in Full Swing

Friday, February 16th, 2001

The biggest game convention in California, and the oldest one as well, DunDraCon calls to us once again. As the first game convention I ever attended (back around DDC XI or so), this one holds special memories for me, and I never miss it. Here’s a few of the highlights I plan to check out:

  • Jennifer Clarke Wilkes and “other WotC staff” will give the traditional state of the union address early Saturday morning.

  • Greg Stafford and the staff of Issaries, Inc. will “Illuminate” fans.
  • Bruce Harlick of Hero Games and Steve Peterson of Cybergames.com will discuss how things are going in their neck of the woods.
  • Other luminaries in attendance (from a quick scan of the program): Nicole Lindroos, Chris Pramas, Mark Arsenault, Ken Hite, Rick Loomis, Tom Jolly, John Wick… the list just keeps going.

We’ll be grabbing as much news as we can, beating it into submission, and smuggling it out in a burlap sack. Stay tuned.

John Tynes Owns Your Soul

Friday, February 16th, 2001

The good people at Games Unplugged have just posted an interview with John Tynes, co-creator of Unknown Armies and Delta Green, as well as the brilliant Puppetland and all sorts of other goodies. The interview seems awfully out-of-date, though… what’s Tynes been up to since? Oh, keeping himself busy.

I am deeply, deeply afraid.

Friday, February 16th, 2001

I am deeply, deeply afraid.

Dogma-riffic!

Wednesday, February 14th, 2001

Tired of the way all computer games and video games are the same? So is Ernest Adams, a game developer who’s worked for Bullfrog among other high-profile PC game companies. He’s taken the Dogme 95 rules that made a splash last year in the film world, and applied them to the computer game industry. The result is a great read, brought to our attention by Plastic, my second favorite weblog. The discussion is here.

Tasty Morsel

Wednesday, February 14th, 2001

Here’s the best result on Living Room Games’ Random Grimness Table, intended to keep role-playing sessions from getting too lighthearted:

86-90: Sun disappears for a moment, with no apparent cause, as an old man comes out. He points at the party screaming, “It is the prophesy! They will doom us all!!!” Lynch mob follows.

Priceless Relics

Wednesday, February 14th, 2001

Relics & Rituals,the new D&D3/D20 book from Sword & Sorcery Studios, lists a ton of magic items and spells. However, Sword & Sorcery intentionally doesn’t give prices for any of them (too world-specific). Since having the price of an item helps the DM decide how much treasure to award, “Irishman” has stepped up to organize some volunteer pricing. Here’s his recruiting notice:

If anyone wishes to help create the magic item price list for the Swords and Sorcery book, Relics and Rituals, and has the time to compute a page or two of the magic items values based on the rules in the Dungeon Masters Guide, please contact dharman07@yahoo.com.

The results will be posted on the Sword & Sorcery website.

Large Miniatures Enter Mage Knight

Tuesday, February 13th, 2001

Is that like jumbo shrimp? Nevermind.

The Mage Knight miniatures game will bring dragons into play this coming June. The Great Fire Dragon will be 6″ tall, have a 9″ wingspan, and four combat dials built into its 6″ base. The dragon’s point value will be scaleable, lending more playability to the figure. Expect to shell out $24.95 to own this baby.

Decipher Buys Star Trek Fan Club

Tuesday, February 13th, 2001

After Wizards of the Coast announced their purchase of the Star Wars Fan Club, it should come as no surprise that Decipher is now buying the company that runs the Star Trek Fan Club, FANtastic Media. Founders of both the Star Wars and Star Trek fan clubs, FANtastic Media will add to Decipher’s growing dominance of the Star Trek mythos (they currently own the rights to CCGs and RPGs based on the property). Warren Holland, CEO of Decipher, said “We will be announcing other exciting fan club licenses positioning FANtastic Media for substantial growth over the next several years.” Warp speed, Sulu?

A Peek at Games Unplugged 2001

Friday, February 9th, 2001

In an agressive move, Games Unplugged is going monthly starting this month. Here’s a look ahead at what this year’s issues will contain. My previous place of employment, Gamers.com, was supposed to be part of this month’s Best gaming sites on the net, but given the massive layoffs, who knows? I’ll have to check on it.

  • February ’01: Best gaming sites on the net

  • March ’01: Will include a free deck of Warlords from AEG
  • April ’01: 50 Most influential people in gaming
  • May ’01: RPG and miniatures game design
  • June ’01: Upcoming releases for Origins and GenCon
  • July ’01: Richard Garfield’s secret upcoming game
  • August ’01: D20 mania and a look at the OGL
  • September ’01: Foreign games in the U.S.
  • October ’01: Horror games special issue
  • November ’01: Holiday shopping guide
  • December ’01: Lord of the Rings Issue

Dragon Lords Adventure in April

Friday, February 9th, 2001

Chaosium announced plans for the first supporting product for Dragon Lords of Melnibone, their D20 setting. Slaves of Fate places the adventurers on a Vilmirian slave ship as captives. After that, things get difficult. Slaves of Fate is scheduled for an April release.

I’m thinking “Action Man: The

Friday, February 9th, 2001

I’m thinking “Action Man: The Collectible Dice Game.”

Yeah, it’s an old joke, but more “synergy” products are definitely in WotC’s future at this point… I’d say discuss amongst yourselves, but we have no message board. (And I must scream.)

Hasbro Tightens Belt… Again

Friday, February 9th, 2001

Your favorite toy giant and mine, Hasbro, has announced additional layoffs of 100 more employees. This is in addition to the 750 employees they already laid off in December of last year. According to CEO Alan G. Hassenfeld, “We don’t want our bottom line dependent on the success of a blockbuster license.” The slowing sales of Furby, Pokemon and Star Wars was sited as the cause for the layoffs. Hasbro’s future emphasis will be on more “reliable” brands such as Tonka, Easy-Bake Oven and Play-Doh.

No word yet on what this might mean for Wizards of the Coast.