The Games Unplugged website is just displaying an image of the GenCon issue, along with a cryptic message saying “Come Back AUGUST 15th and Experience a new way of Looking at Gaming!” Hmmm… I’m hoping for virtual reality, but we shall see.
Archive for July, 2001
Overheard on AIM:
did i bump into the ogrecave editorial meeting? and who the heck is WizKids?
m_____: wizkids = mage knight
m_____: it’s like, whoever has the most money in the industry gets gen con as a booby prize
u___: “most money in the gaming industry” is already a booby prize
Most convention-goers know that Wizards of the Coast is getting out of the convention business — at least, they’re stepping out of their role as sponsors of Origins and GenCon. GAMA already has “custody” of Origins, but after this year’s GenCon (which starts Thursday), who will take over? According to a post at Gaming Report, the most likely candidate is WizKids. Could this rumor be true? I’ll ask around at GenCon, and let you know if I hear anything.
Traps & Treachery Just Around the Corner
Fantasy Flight Games announced that their next D20 book, Traps & Treachery, should be out next week, which means it willl be at GenCon.
Fresh from their Origins Award wins a few weeks ago, Cheapass Games is headed into GenCon at full steam. U.S. Patent Number One,a time machine game, will be released in August, and a new six-button expansion called Button Men: Samurai will reach stores in early September. Can’t wait that long for your button fix? Then grab a copy of the GenCon program book, which will contain a rare Samurai (Tsusuko) plus a character from Girl Genius: The Works (Jorgi). You should have already grabbed buttons of all three Brawl: Catfight girls from the Origins book.
On the legal front, Cheapass has been asked by MGM to stop selling Before I Kill You, Mister Bond because it “capitalizes too much on [MGM's] trademarked character.” Say it ain’t so! Pick up your copy while you still can, as Cheapass will stop selling the game after August 31.
And of course the Cheapass crew will engage in their usual chaotic behavior. According to the website, Cheapass “will be doing all kinds of neat stuff like Live Action Devil Bunny and Live Action Witch Trial. If you’re lucky we’ll be running some Live Action Unexploded Cow too.” Sounds messy. If you’re attending that game, wear a poncho.
According to a new press release from WizKids, “The enduring, popular science-fiction setting has found great success as a miniatures war game, a pc computer game, site-based interactive entertainment and as a ground-breaking animated series. Now WizKids will take the Battletech Universe in an exciting, new direction.” What direction is it? Be at GenCon, specifically the Hyatt hotel Executive rooms C and D, on Friday, August 3rd at 11 am, to find out.
Tyranny Games and Precedence Studios are pleased to announce the release of Sack
Armies: Expeditionary Force, now available from all major distributors. Sack Armies had an extremely successful debut at Origins, and is sure to do well at GenCon. To celebrate the game’s release, two new downloads are available for free at each company’s website: a Battlemat Trainer, a simple-yet-useful tool to learn the game with, and the full Sack Armies Rules. Take it from us Cave Dwellers, this is a cool game. Our review should be ready to go up soon.
Green Ronin has a pair of releases that will be showing up at GenCon (though you could always order them through Wizard’s Attic). Both Hell in Freeport and the D20 System Character Record Folio will storm GenCon like angry samurai. For those who won’t be attending the convention, Green Ronin has posted a web enhancement for Legions of Hell that features four new prestige classes. If those classes aren’t enough, the new issue of Focus on Freeport converts the Devil Slayer, Diabolist, Inquisitor, and Hellblade into 3rd Edition from the AD&D Guide to Hell.Lastly, for the September release of Jade Dragons and Hungry Ghosts, “the last of the art is rolling in and everything is looking great.” One of the guys in my gaming group will be happy to hear his favorite CCG artist, Heather Hudson, has joined in on the supplement.
No, it has nothing to do with the Weird West. The official Dark Sun website, Athas.org, has posted a 70 page free PDF called Terrors of the Dead Lands. The supplement describes the undead of Athas, old and new, in preparation for the upcoming supplement Secrets of the Dead Lands. We’ll let you know when the next supplement is posted. In the meantime, I’ll reassert my opinion that undead + psionics = really scary.
The new D20 supplement from Mystic Eye Games is previewed on their site. The cover art, plus the back cover text, are available for you viewing pleasure here. The 128 page sourcebook will retail for $14.95, and arrives next month.
Frag the Munchkins!
Ah, what a combo that would make. (**he dreams of Quake players running amok along the yellow brick road, fragged munchkins exploding with a sweet-smelling, wet “pop”…**)
Oh, sorry. Umm, anyway, Steve Jackson Games has shipped both Frag and Munchkin, and both games should be appearing in stores shortly. While we haven’t seen much of Munchkin yet, you can read Mike’s review of the Frag beta version, and see if it lends any insight.
Gold Rush Games, having formed a relationship with the Guy Williams family while writing the Zorro RPG, is helping raise money for Mr Williams’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star of the Disney Zorro TV series and the original Lost in Space series has been selected to posthumously receive the star. However, it costs $15,000 to complete the process, and Disney ain’t coughing it up, leaving the Williams family holding the bag. GRG is making a big push to get gamers to contribute (expect to see donation boxes at GenCon next week), and I for one plan to drop a few bucks in for Guy. For more details, head over to fundraiser page.
Just in time to compliment the new Oriental Adventures, a creature book from Green Ronin is planned that will provide all the beasts an Asian campaign could need. Called Jade Dragons and Hungry Ghosts, the book is a grand collaborative effort, boasting artists like Quinton Hoover and Tony DiTerlizzi, and the writing talents of Wolfgang Baur, Chris Pramas, Erik Mona, Steven E. Schend, and an introduction and featured monster by David “Zeb” Cook. Listen to what lurks inside:
Forest demons, heavenly dragons, shapeshifting foxes, and hungry ghosts thirsty for revenge — all stalk forth from the legends of Asia! Surprise players with bell spirits, bat-ninjas, demonic oni, the Chinese Phoenix, and the legendary Monkey King! These all-new monsters thrive in every environment from bamboo forests to samurai castles, from raging oceans to mist-enshrouded mountains, and from the depths of Hell to the harmony of Heaven.
The 64 page book will arrive this September, and retail for $14.95.
Rune Encounters Appearing in Magazines This Summer
Atlas Games recently announced that two Rune “cushion” encounters will be published in magazines this summer. Game Trade Monthly (the Alliance distributor catalog) will have an introductory encounter, Goblin Goodies Galore, and Games Unplugged will present A Test of Viking Virtue. Both should be available in time for GenCon, and are written by Rune line editor Michelle Nephew.
This week’s issue presents ten tips from a first-time gamemaster, many of which really took me back. There’s also an excellent guide to naming magical weapons, and some thoughts on fleshing out the gods of your world’s pantheon.
Invisible City Productions has just released their latest downloadable monthly game, and it comes at a good time to relieve the tension of all the frustrated drivers who had to survive the long road trip home from some vacation or other. The game, called Yield, takes place in the future and can be played by two to three players. The object is to crash into other people’s cars without dying in the process, and the whole thing is played with the help of a checkerboard and a bunch of tiles (which are provided on the site). If you want a quick, simple dose of Car Wars-style death and destruction, be sure to check this one out. It is free, after all.
The eighth Lone Wolf gamebook, Jungle of Horrors, has just been released by Project Aon. This is something of a milestone release for the organization, as it is the first to feature Gary Chalk‘s original illustrations in addition to Joe Dever’s text. The announcement of the new release (posted on the kai-wisdom mailing list) suggests that “more exciting things [are] coming soon.” I certainly wouldn’t be too surprised if this means that the books currently offered as “public previews” will soon be upgraded to fully illustrated releases. Once that happens, it will be even more exciting to relive the series online. OgreCave will, of course, keep you posted.
Where can you play a superhero with a completely useless power… and enjoy it? Why, StuperPowers, of course. The new deluxe game from Wingnut will include “100 fully playable powers, the all-new character advancement rules, a full-length, four-adventure campaign, Live-Action rules, and the kid-tested, mother-approved INSTAVENTURES! Random Scenario Generation system.” Sweet. I’ll dust off Pollen Boy (literally) and be ready for the October release. I’m sure I’ve got $16.95 around here somewhere…
Wingnut Games wants everyone to know that the second printing of Land of Og is back in stock. So if you couldn’t find it before, try again — it’s worth the effort.
Freeport Enters Arcanis: the World of Shattered Empires
As we mentioned a while back, Paradigm Concepts and Green Ronin have come to an agreement that will allow GR’s City of Freeport to be featured in Paradigm’s setting, Arcanis: the World of Shattered Empires campaign setting. It was more recently decided that Freeport, which earned GR an Origins Award for Death in Freeport, would be more seamlessly adapted into Arcanis by having William Simoni write the section regarding the archipelago where Freeport is located. Simoni was the author of Madness in Freeport, and as such, is highly qualified for this task. In a press release, Chris Pramas, founder of Green Ronin and creator of Freeport, said “I think this sort of alliance is really what the Open Gaming License is all about. If some of our fans discover Arcanis and some of Paradigm’s fans discover Freeport, everyone wins in the end.” Arcanis: the World of Shattered Empires will be decribed in the Codex Arcanis, 192 pages of D20 pleasure scheduled for an August release.
First Look at Bluffside
Thunderhead Games has a preview of the excellent cover art for their impending release of Bluffside: City on the Edge. Apparently, this city is nestled on the edge of a massive crater formed by an asteroid’s impact. So, my question is: how many dice would you roll for that kind of damage?
Sean Robert-Shaw, an active member of the Lone Wolf community and the author of several interesting online gamebooks, has just announced that Barnes & Noble is now offering his new role-playing game, Rangers of Taradoin, for sale. The book will offer gamebook-style solitaire play as well as traditional multiplayer adventuring, so it should appeal to almost any fantasy gamer. If this release is a success, more will follow, so if you’re a gamebook fan, you’d be wise to support the effort by picking up a copy. If you don’t like Barnes & Noble, just wait a little while — the book should soon be available practically everywhere.
Earlier today, Troll Lord Games announced its newest D20 adventure, Felsentheim: Dogs of War, is available to the gaming public. The adventure is part three of the Death on the Treklant trilogy. This time, the characters are “fleeing the goblin war parties on their trail, hoping to reach the safety of the borderland town of Felsentheim. For if they do not, no alarm will sound to harken the coming of the Dogs of War!” The adventure is for 4-8 characters of levels 3-5. Us Cave Dwellers will check it out, and let you know what we think.
Continuing the quest to bring their Generic Universal Role-Playing System to as many players as possible, Steve Jackson Games announced their agreement with Fantasy Flight Games to produce GURPS Blue Planet. As the sourcebook is just getting underway, no release date was given, but you can bet the world of Poseidon will be getting the full treatment.
You’ve seen Hot or Not, right? The site where you judge everyone by their looks? Well, now there’s Cool Mini or Not, which asks you to do the same for painted miniatures. You can even send in a picture of your own artistic endeavors to be rated by the masses. So, what’s next? Nifty Dicebag or Not? Charming Character or Not? I’ll hold out for Gruesome Death Story or Not. Some of my players would get high ratings.
Has real life been taking too much of your time lately? Me too. Consequently, I’ve fallen a bit behind in my issues of Roleplaying Tips. Let’s play some catch-up:
With the excitement of Origins all wrapped up, and GenCon just around the corner, a lot has been happening in D20. Let’s get to it.
- Pinnacle released Deadlands D20 at Origins, and are so on top of things, they’ve already posted some errata.
- Mystic Eye has been busy posting freebies for Pit of Loch-Durnan and a high level mini-adventure called A Lost Art which was in the premier issue of Gaming Frontiers Magazine.
- Not to be left out, Wizards has posted web enhancements for both Tome & Blood, including a revised spell sheet, and one for Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, which details 20+ new encounter areas.
- Sovereign Stone, created by Larry Elmore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and coming soon to a D20 system near you, has posted an 11 page preview of next month’s campaign book release.
- Green Ronin’s upcoming Hell in Freeport is, according to them, “even more of an epic than we expected.” The book has been expanded by 24 pages, including an eight page full-color map insert, all for the slight price increase from $14.95 to $18.95. Hell should be unleashed at the end of this month.
- Living Imagination announced plans to produce the D20 sourcebook Broadsides!, which will detail naval adventuring. An assortment of new skills, prestige classes, feats, and monsters will accompany ship design rules and sample advenutres.
So I found this flyer at Origins for something called Morton’s List. The web site loads slower than ass, so I’ll quote you some of the flyer first: “There is no board to play on, unless you consider the Earth beneath your feet to be one. Morton’s List is not a role-playing, card, or computer game, so put all that bulls___ off to the side. [...] Play begins when a crew comes together and agrees to let Morton’s List give them a randomly determined Quest to do together for an hour. Anything and everything you could ever think of to do for fun (and MORE) is covered by one of these Quests. Some Quests are chaotic, some social, others physical, spiritual, good, or evil… [...] you and your crew could find yourselves wearing costumes while sneaking into a community pool after hours, playing a board game at a strip club, or creating a highly volatile chemical mixture.” The only scary thing here is an apparent connection with the Insane Clown Posse, but this should at least be fun to read. The game should be releasing today.