Archive for March, 2001

Wizards’ Star Wars Schedule

Thursday, March 22nd, 2001

The 2001 product schedule for the Star Wars RPG line has been announced. In August, The Dark Side ($29.95) will be described, including dark side feats, powers, and weaponry. The Rebellion Era Sourcebook ($29.95), coming in September, will detail the original three movies, as the Rebellion struggles against the mighty Empire. Alien Anthology ($26.95; formerly titled Creatures of the Galaxy) will bring a wide variety of creatures and races to campaigns in October. Starships of the Galaxy ($21.95) will show players how to build starships, and includes new rules for ship-to-ship combat. Starships of the Galaxy will arrive in December.

However, the next release for the Star Wars game will be Secrets of Tatooine ($21.95). According to a post on SWRPGNetwork, the format will follow that of Secrets of Naboo. Two-thirds will be source material, one-third an adventure. The cities of Mos Espa, Mos Eisley, and Mos Entha will be detailed and mapped, as will Jabba’s Throneroom and the Boonta Eve racetrack. For more details, check here. Secrets of Tatooine will ship in May.

Deciphering the Rings

Wednesday, March 21st, 2001

In another gaming coup, Decipher has grabbed the rights to produce the Lord of the Rings RPG. This is on top of their licenses for trading card games and electronic card games based on the movie trilogy. Current plans have the new RPG reaching stores by the end of the year. Looks like the newly hired Decipher RPG team (formerly known as the staff of Last Unicorn Games) has their work cut out for them. But what sweet assignments…

Fellowship of the Miniatures

Wednesday, March 21st, 2001

Games Workshop has posted their initial product plans for the Lord of the Rings Tabletop Battle Game. There are plans for everything from Saruman and the Ringwraiths to scenery such as Balin’s Tomb. The main game and first smaller sets will be released shortly before Christmas. Check out the full range of products here.

Master Tools Scheduled for Fall
Wizards has announced that their D&D Master Tools software will be available this August. Master Tools will make the process of creating a tabletop RPG adventure much simpler. There’s more info in the official press release.

Madness Ships
Green Ronin has shipped the final installment of the Freeport Trilogy, Madness in Freeport. The dramatic conclusion of the series is a 48-page adventure for character levels 4-6.

Wizards Dons Chainmail

Tuesday, March 20th, 2001

It looks like Wizards of the Coast is dusting off a legendary name in gaming for another go ’round this October. The upcoming skirmish-level miniatures game we’ve been hearing about since last year’s Origins convention will assume the mantle of the Chainmail name. From the press release, it looks like WotC is hoping to grab gamers interested in a Warhammer-style wargame without investing as much time:

Chainmail is … designed with versatile and easy-to-learn rules allowing players to play a game in 30 minutes or less … Players will be able to create armies of two to 20 figures representing one of six factions fighting for survival in the region of The Sundered Empire.

The original Chainmail miniatures game served to inspire the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. Who knows what this version will inspire?

Zorro Rides Again
Gold Rush Games has just announced their multi-year licensing deal with Zorro Productions, Inc. to produce the Zorro RPG. The first game to come out of this arrangement will be The Legacy of Zorro Introductory Adventure Game in June, which will use the “Instant Fuzion” game system. The full RPG, The World of Zorro Adventure Game and Resource Book, will follow in the fall, and will include a detailed guide to Spanish California of the 1820s. As long as Catherine Zeta-Jones makes an appearance, I’ll be running a few sessions.

Cheap Wars
Following the release of their Budget Battlefield miniatures rules, MicroTactix Games has made the first two Army Packs available for download. For a mere $6 each, you can get the two fantasy armies, the Orcs and the Dwarves, as PDF files and print as many as you need.

Live-Action Werewolf Refitted and Ready To Rage

Monday, March 19th, 2001

The most savage denizens of the World of Darkness are finally getting their own live-action makeover. White Wolf is now taking pre-orders for Laws of the Wild Revised Limited Edition. The deluxe version of the standard Mind’s Eye Theatre paperback will feature a leather cover, a cloth bookmark, and eight extra pages of game material. Werewolf Revised is written by Bruce Baugh, Heather Grove, Ellen Kiley, and Alan Kravit.

White Wolf Unleashes Its Newest Horrors
From the relative obscurity of supplements to the main stage of the World of Darkness, Mummy: the Resurrection has hit the stands. This latest addition to White Wolf’s core line of role-playing genres immerses us in the ubiquitous mythology of ancient Egypt and the Middle East. As the story goes, Osiris, brother to the vampiric Set, has given his priests the power to create a new form of mummy. Called the Undying, these mummies follow the path of something called the Ma’at. Sound as intriguing to you as it does to me? Only one way to find out. In previous World of Darkness canon, mummies were incredibly rare beings of unfathomable power. They were also completely indestructible, so it will be interesting to see exactly how Resurrection functions. The Mummy core rulebook also features one of the most beautiful covers in recent White Wolf history. Mummy: the Resurrection is written by Conrad Hubbard, Steve Kenson, Jess Heinig, Rob Hatch, James Comer, and Richard Ruane, and developed by Kraig Blackwelder and Andrew Bates.

At long last, the live-action version of Mage: the Ascension has arrived. Perhaps the most demanded and highly anticipated Mind’s Eye Theatre product ever, Laws of Ascension Limited Edition comes to us after languishing in developer’s limbo. Followers of the way of the White Wolf will remember the difficulty expressed by Mage and MET developers in bringing the abstract world of Ascension to the live-action stage. Head mage developer Jess Heinig received countless rules proposals from fans and even published an unofficial guideline for live-action mages in issue four of the Mind’s Eye Theatre Journal. Now it’s official. How can the power to reshape reality be condensed into a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors? Good question… Laws of Ascension is written by Martin Hackleman, Mikki Rautalahti and Peter Woodworth.

Speaking of things Mage, the first of the Revised Tradition Books have arrived. The Akashic Brotherhood leads the way. The warriors of the Mind get a new take on philosophy, practices, and, of course, martial arts. Tradition Book: Akashic Brotherhood Revised is written by Malcolm Sheppard.

And what would a White Wolf news report be without mentioning something Vampire? Clanbook: Tzimisce Revised has reared its twisted head and is ready for consumption. The Carpathian Fiends no longer have the luxury of time in the Final Nights, and their decadent evil is about to catch up to them. The Tzimisce are steeped in traditional vampire mythology more than any other Vampire clan. The Revised treatment should make them even more devilishly appealing than before. Clanbook: Tzimisce is written by Lucien Soulban and James Stewart.

Unicorns Sighted at Decipher

Sunday, March 18th, 2001

It’s confirmed: Decipher has hired the former staff of Last Unicorn Games (we mentioned this a couple weeks back). Christian Moore, former president of LUG, will be in charge of Decipher’s new RPG and miniatures division. The team’s first task will be building the new Star Trek RPG, a task they have a bit of experience with.

We Are Slightly Confused, But Mostly Pleased

Friday, March 16th, 2001

Fantasy Flight Games continues to pull ninja fake-outs on the tired minds here in the Cave: the new news is that Drakon is happening after all, shipping now in fact, though it no longer bears designer Tom Jolly‘s name quite so prominently. Vortex is a separate project (of which claims it will have some preview info on soon). We underestimated Mssrs. Jolly and Petersen. Stamina… speed… their fu is strong. But will they withstand the double crane attack?

Guardians and Pioneer, Together Again

Friday, March 16th, 2001

Anime RPG fans, take note: is on the prowl again. While working on the Tenchi Muyo! and El-Hazard RPG resource books, GOO and Pioneer Entertainment got to know each other quite well, and have decided to build on the relationship even more. Under a new multi-year license, GOO will produce similar “fan guide” RPGs for several of Pioneer’s titles. Each “Ultimate Fan Guide” book will be 128 pages (two-thirds of which will be full-color), sell for $19.95 US, and contain episode guides, images from the series, and Tri-Stat compatible game stats for each character. The first new book, Serial Experiment Lain Ultimate Fan Guide, will debut in October 2001.

Diskwars Commander’s Toolkit
Fantasy Flight Games has posted the latest version of the Diskwars Commander’s Toolkit for free download. The useful program contains all the stats on every disk in the game, even promotional disks. Gamers can pay a $15 registration fee to be able to view the original disk images with the program. Download your copy, organize the troops, and go pick a fight with a neighboring army.

Out of Harn’s Way
The classic world of Hârn has been translated to the D20 system, thanks to Columbia Games. Head over to their site for the 71 page pdf file, and settle in for some serious reading.

Slave 0.1

Thursday, March 15th, 2001

SWRPGNetwork has posted the stats for the Firespray-class Patrol Craft. Doesn’t ring a bell? It’s the basic ship type that Boba Fett made heavy modifications to as he built Slave I. The stats are available for both versions of the Star Wars RPG, West End’s D6 and Wizards’ D20.

Chatting With Your Mummy
On March 21 at 7pm Eastern, White Wolf will be hosting a chat with Mummy developer Andrew Bates. Be sure to join in and ask him all about this Year of the Scarab stuff that’s been going on. I mean, were-crocodiles?! Honestly! We’ll keep you posted when the chat details are announced.

Live Nude Poll Action

Thursday, March 15th, 2001

Hey, look at us, we have a poll! So does everyone, but keep in mind that “everyone” has a paid staff. So there. Like what you see? Have comments? Suggestions? Mail Sven, of course.

Shadowlands 0.0.3

Thursday, March 15th, 2001

Jagged Edge Games has posted a downloadable version of the Shadowlands core rules. The D20 game is still in prerelease stage, but should be finished for a April release. JEG also announced the decision to follow up the game’s release with its first supplement, Religion & Sorcery, in May.

Rappan Athuk Riddle a Stumper
You may have tried to solve Necromancer Games’ Rappan Athuk “R2-47” riddle that lets you download something special. If you haven’t figured it out yet, break out your copy of D3 – The Vault of the Drow. If you still can’t figure it out, don’t despair — Necromancer will be posting additional clues to help you out.

Dragon Lords Soaring to Stores

Tuesday, March 13th, 2001

Chaosium has just announced that Dragon Lords of Melniboné is on its way to stores. Elric finally has arrived in D&D. Now if my anti-paladin — excuse me, Blackshield (must be D20 compatible, you know) — could just get his hands on Stormbringer…

Wick at Wondercon
John Wick, the designer of L5R, 7th Sea, and Orkworld, will be at Wondercon 2001 on April 22. Stop in and say hello if you’re in the neighborhood.

Tyranny Grabs Scapegoat Games

Tuesday, March 13th, 2001

Tyranny Games announced its acquisition of the assets of Scapegoat Games. This gives Tyranny ownership of the post-biblical apocalypse RPG, The End. The game’s designer, Joseph Donka, is joining Tyranny’s staff as well. A deluxe revised version of The End is scheduled for late 2001, with supplements following next year.

Fiery Dragon Freebie

Monday, March 12th, 2001

For those of you who shelled out some cash for the Nemoren’s Vault adventure from Fiery Dragon Productions, you can now get some added value from your purchase. By going to FDP’s website and entering the Runes of Passage code from the module, you can download The Quest for Amelia, a supplementary adventure.

Gaming Guardians #100
Gaming Guardians is only two days away from its 100th strip. If you’re a fan of EDG and Graveyard Greg’s exploits (or if you’d like to be), head on over and laugh it up, fuzzball.

Tom Jolly and FFG Throw Us A Curve

Sunday, March 11th, 2001

Okay, so we were wrong. Or, more likely, things have changed a lot, even in the short time since DunDraCon. But Gaming Outpost has the press release: the new game from the team that designed DiskWars will be known as Vortex. It’ll be a collectable game with hex tiles for land and units, and special powers that snap into the tiles somehow. (I suppose Mage Knight has upped the ante on the coolness of collectable widgets.) Neither FFG‘s nor Tom Jolly‘s sites have any further product info yet, although you can still read about the artist formerly known as Drakon on Jolly’s news page.