Archive for September, 2001

Roleplaying Tips Weekly # 90

Tuesday, September 18th, 2001

Johnn Four brings us an extra long issue of Roleplaying Tips this week to show that terror will not prevail. This week’s issue focuses on cities.

Darklances Sighted on Dragonlance Nexus
Over at the Dragonlance Nexus, the first tidbits from the site’s upcoming campaign setting, War of the Dark Lance, have been posted. In particular, check out the Third Edition concept stats for Dragonlances and their corrupted counterparts, the Darklances.

Invisible City Initiates Schlock Attack

Tuesday, September 18th, 2001

Invisible City is at it again with a new free game: Schlock Attack, a two-player checkers variant inspired by the online Schlock Mercenary comic strip by Howard Taylor. In the variant, each player chooses a different character from the comic strip, with the choice of character determining special abilities and victory conditions. The game is completely compatible with the earlier Sluggy Freelance checkers game, Kiki & Bun-Bun.

Vortex About to Ship, Premiere Party Benefits Red Cross

Saturday, September 15th, 2001

You know, Vortex, that semi-collectible hex-tile game by the DiskWars guys? The one that we didn’t review but that I post about a lot and still haven’t gotten to bloody well play? It’s back from the printers and due to ship out at month’s end, according to the Fantasy Flight web site. Last night’s premiere party at Source Comics and Games in Falcon Heights, Minnesota(!) donated all its proceeds to the Red Cross, in the wake of the tragedy on Tuesday. (Don’t forget that PayPal Red Cross donation page. Please give if you haven’t.)

Malhavoc Press Keepin’ Busy

Saturday, September 15th, 2001

Malhavoc Press has posted a new cover image for The Book of Eldritch Might. Looks pretty nice, too. Meanwhile, company founder Monte Cook says he’s “in comic geek heaven” due to the two Mage Knight games he’s designing, one on DC Comics and one on Marvel. It’ll be interesting to see how the pair of CMGs based on comic book characters are received. Most gamers I know gave up comics for one reason or another, but still have some residual interest in the classic characters. The potential is there for the two games to be huge hits. Guess we’ll find out next year.

Star Legion CD-ROM Announced

Saturday, September 15th, 2001

Deep7 has just announced the release of their second enhanced 1PG, the Star Legion CD-ROM. As with the previous Shriek CD-ROM, the disc will contain an improved version of the text of the original downloadable game combined with new scenarios, a full musical soundtrack and a comic book. At $6.95, it should prove to be a good value for the money.

Preview Article For Lord of the Rings

Thursday, September 13th, 2001

Decipher has posted an article on The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game, due to come out in February 2002. The rulebook will be 288 full-color pages, and make use of the CODA system, the rules designed for Decipher’s upcoming Star Trek RPG. Check out the full preview article here.

Cheapass Tech
Two new games just became available at Cheapass Games: , which was available at GenCon, and . We’ve mentioned the time-traveling race that is Patent #1 before, but not this worm game. Apparently, Plasmaworm is Cheapass’ first arcade game. Yep, for a computer. Described as “the old favorite snake game with incredible graphics and a couple new twists,” the game is for one or two players, has 20 increasingly tough levels, and lets you make your own levels as well. Mac users are out of luck, but those with a PC can get the demo.

Expect Snow. A Lot Of It.
Avalanche Press has added three more D20 sourcebooks to their release schedule: Twilight of Atlantis, Vlad the Impaler: Blood Prince of Wallachia and Doom of Odin. The title of that last one confused me, seeing as how Avalanche is currently releasing Ragnarok: Tales of the Norse Gods (I mean, isn’t Ragnarok typically the end of those gods? I’ll have to look into this). Beyond those, AP is working on Face of the Divine, a book of religions from the real world for D&D 3. All of that is in addition to the latest Avalanche book to feature a piece of “hot chick” artwork on the cover, Jade & Steel: Role-Playing in Mythic Imperial China, which should be out this month. It seems the D20 System’s trip to the Orient has begun, so you’d better stand back as the floodgates open. I’m glad to see someone taking on China in D20, as Japan tends to get the majority of attention.

A Superheroes Game I’d Actually Play

Thursday, September 13th, 2001

The section of Pagan Publishing’s site devoted to their upcoming WWII superhero RPG, Godlike, has been expanded dramatically. In addition to a variety of cool “propaganda” of the era, there’s some details about the game’s dice pool rules. Go take a look at the past as it might have been.

Card Game Quickies

Wednesday, September 12th, 2001

First, for those of you who never touch the scroll bar, we’ve got a PayPal donation box set up down there. Go stare at it. Second, speaking of PayPal, they’ve set up a really easy way to give money to the Red Cross. But, if it’s a choice between those two, ours is obviously more important.

I just picked up Car Wars: the Card Game, the reprint of the old favorite. I can’t tell if the card graphics have changed at all since the original, but I’d be willing to bet they have. This one’s full color – the old one wasn’t, right? But it all looks pleasantly ’80s-retro. The two included Battle Cattle cards have the exact same look, which is damned hilarious. Also, I should note that I’ve now played the new “third perdition” of HellRail, and it kicks so much ass it could be a schoolteacher during an earthquake drill. (You know, with all those little kids ducking and covering…) I’d say HellRail has a perfect balance of luck and control, diplomacy and strategy. And it’s funny. Buy it already!

Currently on deck here at the Cave is a short review of Weep, a collection of scenarios for Unknown Armies. Also, I’ve been sitting on a half-finished review of the Teenagers from Outer Space supplement The Landing for too long. So, be looking for those. And it dawned on us recently that we’ve never actually reviewed anything D20. Anyone wanna recommend a good candidate?

Carve Some Runes on That D20

Tuesday, September 11th, 2001

In light of the tragic events that took place on the east coast today, I’ll do my best to overcome the shock of it all and distract you with game news. Okay, now turn away from the TV news. Look at the monkey! Look at the silly monkey!

Our friends at Atlas Games inform us that Chris Aylott, author of the Rune RPG expansion encounter Crouching Wizard, Smashing Hammer, has drawn up some conversion notes for transferring the adventure to the D20 System. The converted adventure is for characters of 1-3, and still features all the viking goodness you’ve come to expect from Rune.

And It Won An Oscar, So It Must Be Fun
The latest announcement from Mongoose Publishing brings news of the company’s November release, Gladiator – Sands of Death. A complete D20 sourcebook for arena combat and the culture around it, the 80 page book brings lethal rules into play. In particular, watch for the Death Move feat, chariot rules, and a complete D20 game where players groom their slaves for glory or death. Methinks Ridley Scott would approve.

Plunge Into The Abyss
Green Ronin will continue to channel otherworldly energies with Armies of the Abyss, the second volume in their Book of Fiends series. More than 50 nasty demons will parade through the supplement’s pages, complimenting the demons Green Ronin has already loosed upon the gaming world. Retailing at $14.95, and with cover art by Brom, Armies is targeted for a January release.

Xro Dinn Coming From Ionian Games
Ionian Games Studio announced their sci-fi RPG, The Xro Dinn Chronicles, will reach stores in November. This will mark the first time Xro Dinn has been available through retail stores, previously only available by direct order or at conventions. The game “takes place 50,000 years after a great war that all but annihilated the sentient beings in the galaxy. It revolves around one of the surviving races which watches over and chronicles the events of the new races coming to power.”

OgreCave’s GenCon and Pennsic Features

Monday, September 10th, 2001

Okay, you’ve waited long enough, so we’ve finally compiled the news posts from GenCon into one big review. We’ve also added our photo galleries, with more than fifty images to peruse. Sound good? Then go relive the granddaddy of game conventions in our GenCon 2001 feature.

And as an added surprise, our intrepid SCA correspondent Owen Fletchyr (Colin Adams) has put together a quick review of this year’s Pennsic gathering. Pennsic is to the SCA what GenCon is to gaming, so get off your butt and look at the Pennsic 2001 feature.

Vigilante Not a Game
A few readers have emailed us with the warning that SJ Games’ Vigilante is not a game. Call it social commentary, call it art, but don’t call it a game. Apparently, among the many warnings on the cover is one most of us missed: “It says it is a game. It is NOT a game. It lies.” Still potentially entertaining, but not playable. (Thanks go to Jayson, the first to let us know.)

Ryan Dancey Leaves WotC, Starts Organized Play

Friday, September 7th, 2001

We only found out about this when we listened to Gaming Report’s audio interview, but apparently Dancey’s company was announced at GenCon. Unclear why there hasn’t been more news about this, although it’s possible that we’re just blind and missed it. He’s apparently continuing to do lots of work for D20, including seeing Master Tools out the door, as a consultant. The new company, called Organized Play, will handle other companies’ league stuff and such. This is apparently partly motivated by WotC’s inability to keep RPGA running without outsourcing it (that’s my interpretation). Dancey has now left, it being September, and will be the “voice of the OGL,” at least for a while.

I’d also like to say that I wish OgreCave had something like Gaming Report’s system of excerpting articles on the front page, just so we could have moments of brilliance like the one currently in GR’s upper-left-hand corner (right above the audio links). It’s the one headlined “Am I Wasting My Time?” Just check out the way it’s truncated. I’m sure that sentence continues, although it’s possible that it’s a character-based truncation and they cut off the period. But I’m sure it’s not. Really.

Details of Decipher’s Lord of the Rings Adventure Game

Friday, September 7th, 2001

A press release sent out by Decipher’s Christian Moore sheds some light on the upcoming Lord of the Rings Adventure Game. As with most “Adventure Game” titles, this will be a trimmed-down version of the full RPG, currently scheduled for release in February. Here’s what we know the Adventure Game will contain so far:

Through The Mines Of Moria is a 32-page, black-and-white adventure booklet with lots of great shots from the movie throughout. … It presents all the game data necessary for the players to run through the events [of the Mines] seen in the film and read in the books, with a few surprises thrown in to keep people on their toes!

For players new to Middle-earth who may have just seen the movie but not read the books, we’ve included a 24-page tourist’s guide called Welcome To Middle-earth. This gazetteer takes players through the areas mentioned in the film and goes into more detail about the different races of Middle-earth.

In addition to these two booklets and the nine character sheets, The Lord of the Rings Adventure Game comes with four full-color tactical maps for use in the game. We’ve also included a full-color map of Middle-earth for players and fans to enjoy. Dozens of counters are included, allowing players to represent their characters on the tactical maps along with the hordes of orcs and several other nasty creatures the characters will face.

The Lord of the Rings Adventure Game is for 4-10 players, ages 12 to 16. It should take about three to four hours to play.

There you have it. If you’re quick, you can enter the first LotR contest before it ends today, and win yourself a copy.

Stuperpowers Contest
The official Stuperpowers site is looking for submissions to add to their collection of weird superpowers. So, you’ve got this great idea for a hero that can turn metal into butter? Great, send it in. There’s also a contest in which you can win a copy of the original Stuperpowers game, now out of print. Just come up with your best NPC description of Nancy’s mother. Hey, you know as much as I do now.

Shinobi: Shadows of Nihon Review

Wednesday, September 5th, 2001

Gold Rush Games’ still-pretty-new ninjafication supplement for Sengoku gets the treatment from Darren MacLennan in our new review. (“The treatment” makes it sound pretty rough. He liked it, actually. Or, Shinobi’s just man enough to take it.)

I’m sorry, but this is

Tuesday, September 4th, 2001

I’m sorry, but this is excessive.

(I’m not saying I don’t like excessive)

Warhammer 40K CCG Going to Printers

Tuesday, September 4th, 2001

Sabertooth Games wants Warhammer 40,000 fans to know the wait is nearly over. “We’ve handed the Warhammer 40,000 CCG off to the printer, and now we wait. We expect to have everything ready to ship to the marketplace in late October. Which means you should start seeing it towards the end of the month, or the beginning of November.” In the meantime, gamers can amuse themselves with Sabertooth’s new forum.

New Stuff at Role Playing Tips
The ever-useful hits keep on coming from Roleplaying Tips. The latest issue: Tips on Designing NPCs. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, try last week’s issue, Using Assassins in Your Games.