Archive for November, 2001

Star Wars D20 To Be Revised

Thursday, November 29th, 2001

According to the official Star Wars site, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game will get an upgrade late next year with a Revised Rulebook. The revised edition will make “rules improvements drawn from customer feedback” and will have material based on Star Wars: Episode 2 (whose name we dare not speak for fear of questioning the great Lucas’ judgement). The revised rulebook will once again be headed by Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins and JD Wiker.

Tri-Stat Tekumel Delayed Until May

Thursday, November 29th, 2001

Guardians of Order has updated its release schedule for early 2002, which among other things revealed the delayed release date of Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne under the Tri-Stat system. Now coming in May, the book has swelled to an estimated 304 page and increased its pricetag to at least $44.95. I hope it’s good… and in hardcover.

Canting Crew Preview
Troll Lord Games has posted a nine page preview of their RPG sourcebook The Canting Crew by Gary Gygax. The preview “includes… criminal classifications, the cant, the medieval city, and crimes and punishments,” as well as the Vanguard, a new prestige class. I was surprised to hear it would also have a new “Optional Order” for Gygax’s Lejendary Adventure system, showing that while the book “is usable in any game system,” it favors two above all others. Coming out any day now according to TRG’s site, the hardcover sourcebook clocks in at 200 pages, and will likely be priced at $34.95.

Wheel Of Time RPG Page Launched At WotC

Wednesday, November 28th, 2001

After the all-too-busy holidays, I finally got around to checking out the new Wheel of Time RPG page on the WotC website. Some interesting stuff, especially if you’ve read the books. I’ll be interested to see if the page gets updated regularly. It’d be nice to see a new game receive the support it deserves instead of giving up on it prematurely.

Open Call For Fading Suns D20 Creature Book
Holistic Design is looking for submissions for its upcoming release, Lord Erbian’s Stellar Bestiary. As a collection of creatures for both Fading Suns and Fading Suns D20, the book will have dual stats for each creature presented. If you’ve got a handle on both game systems, head over to Holistic’s site for more details.

Dragonstar Preview At FFG
Fantasy Flight Games has posted some preview materials from their science-fantasy D20 RPG Dragonstar. Written by Matt Forbeck and Greg Benage, the game is now due to come out in late December. This game line seems far more likely to thrive than TSR’s ill-conceived Spelljammer line. But then again, it’d be hard not to.

SJ Games March Releases Announced
The word on the street — well, on the SJ Games website, actually — is these products should show up in stores next March:

Looks like next March will be a good month.

Pipes In Your Pocket
Or are you just happy… no, I can’t do it. Sorry.

Cheapass Games has added a second game to their Hip Pocket Games product line, but fans of Cheapass will recognise the game as an old friend. Yep, The Very Clever Pipe Game is back from the depths of out-of-printness, is slightly more compact, cheaper, and has a few new cards. Grab a copy.

HACK! Ready To Ship

Tuesday, November 27th, 2001

Eden Studios has joyously announced the arrival of the Knights of the Dinner Table: HACK! Card Game. After a few delays (I think HACK! was originally expected at GenCon), the game will be shipping from the printer straight to anxious distributors, and should be available in stores just in time for Christmas. Hoody-hoo!

Slayer’s Guide To Electronic Products
Mongoose Publishing has made their first electronic-only product available for download. For a mere $5, you can own the Slayer’s Guide to Winter Wolves. Plans are in the works for more electronic mayhem from Mongoose, including Slayer’s Guides for Minotaurs and “The Kracken.”

Roleplaying Tips Weekly Reaches Issue 100
Congrats to Johnn Four and all the contributors at Roleplaying Tips Weekly for reaching an impressive 100th issue! The landmark issue provides tips on fleshing out your villains, something my players are sure to enjoy.

Dime Heroes and Supplement Now Available

Tuesday, November 27th, 2001

Deep7 has announced the availability of their latest 1PG, Dime Heroes. The pulp action mini-RPG is only $3.95 to download, and as a special bonus you can get the Jungle Adventures supplement for only a dollar more. If you’ve been going through 1PG withdrawal during the last year or so, now’s your chance to overcompensate!

Penguins Race Through Maze
Yet again, Invisible City Productions has churned out a free monthly game. For November, the release is Penguin’s Night Out, a domino-based racing game for two to four players in which each player controls a penguin dodging various obstacles (like thin ice and the dreaded Polar Bear Gang) in order to make it into town and party the night away. Learn about the secret lives of penguins! Find a new use for your domino collection! Play a game without actually paying for it!

For The Crowd’s Favor

Monday, November 26th, 2001

Our latest review from Matthew takes a look at Gladiator: Sands of Death by Mongoose Publishing. If you want to take Ridley Scott’s place and call the shots in the arena, come see if the D20 supplement has what you need.

Phoenix To Rise From Ashes of ICE
As we reported last week, the remaining assets of Iron Crown Enterprises were acquired by John R. Seal in an auction run by a Federal bankruptcy court. It was also announced that said assets will be given over to Aurigas Aldebaron LLC (never heard of ‘em, so don’t ask). At that point, the new company Phoenix LLC, which includes ICE alumni Bruce Neidlinger, Heike Kubasch, and Stephen Hardy, will “enter into a Master License” and “will be charged with the full promotion and use of the assets” of ICE. So Phoenix will immediately begin where ICE left off, fulfilling the backlog of orders and continuing the Rolemaster and Spacemaster lines. Once they have an office set up, that is.

Isn’t it nice how big game companies don’t disappear, they just mutate? TSR becomes the RPG team for WotC, Last Unicorn becomes the Decipher RPG team, then ICE is reincarnated as Phoenix. And all was right with the world once more. Maybe.

Oh, Hey, I Just Noticed Something

Monday, November 26th, 2001

Steve Jackson Games is hard at work on Munchkin 2: Unnatural Axe, a new set of 112 cards for the popular hack-and-slash card game Munchkin. New art from John K (no, not that one), a new race to play (orcs, baby!) and a price that seems to be missing the compulsory $10 contribution to the Save Steve Jackson’s Ass Fund. (Not that there’s anything wrong with saving Steve Jackson’s ass. It beats Tony Orlando’s house.) No release date’s been announced yet.

Chaosium Posts Free Cthulhu Scenarios

Wednesday, November 21st, 2001

The all-too-quiet folks next door to my office have posted several PDF scenarios for Call of Cthulhu. There’s quite a few to check out.

Spanning the Atlas
The Last Dance, the latest D20 adventure to come out of Atlas Games’ Penumbra line, has shipped. Accompanying it to market is At Your Service, a supplement for Over the Edge.

D20 License To Exclude Miniatures

Wednesday, November 21st, 2001

According to Ryan Dancey’s post on the OGL mailing list, companies taking advantage of the D20 license will soon have to stay away from doing D20 miniature figures:

When the STL was drafted, there was no firm commitment to proceed with a D&D-based miniatures game. Internally, the business managers all agreed that if a bunch of companies wanted to release miniatures using the d20 logo, no harm would come to WotC, since WotC’s focus would probably be on basic characters and monsters in support of D&D.

However, since Chainmail has evolved to the point where it bears the d20 logo, WotC thinks it needs to exclude the use of that logo on products that would compete with Chainmail miniatures. There is some concern that the business of Chainmail (which is really selling lead, not paper) could be “hijacked” by a publisher that created a parallel line of miniatures and support material. To avoid the potential downstream problem, WotC just wants to nip the issue in the bud now.

So, you can ride the wave of the D20 System for your RPG products, but don’t be messin’ with their skirmish combat figures.

Iron Crown Assets Sold
After a lengthy stay in bankruptcy court, the inventory and intellectual property of Iron Crown Enterprises was sold off to the highest bidder. Reportedly, one John R. Seal of London coughed up $78,000. That’s a steal when you consider that the estimated worth of the goods was estimated at $1.95 million.

It’s HellRail… Without All The Hell!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2001

Glastyn Games has announced that FrachtExpress, the rethemed, family-oriented German version of HellRail, is now available in American stores. Most people will probably want to stick with the English-language, damned-soul-filled edition from Mayfair Games, but it’s always nice to know that you have freedom of choice….

Mongoose Goes Wild

Monday, November 19th, 2001

Some pre-release details and the cover art have been posted for Mongoose Publishing‘s next Encyclopedia Arcane, Chaos Magic. I’ve been dubious about wild magic since 2nd Edition wasted the opportunity and made it silly. I’ll be interested to see how Mongoose handles the topic.

D20 Fu

Monday, November 19th, 2001

Today, Joe brings us a review of Buring Shaolin, the Feng Shui/D20 crossover adventure by Atlas Games. Prepare to get your wuxia-style leaps on, and dive in.

Roleplaying Tips Weekly #99
Tips on Metagaming form the majority of this week’s Roleplaying Tips. What’s Metagaming, you ask? Well, for the most part, it’s the process of making game decisions based on non-game information. For example: “Greg doesn’t like John that much, so I’ll have their characters be in separate groups.” Everyone’s done it, you just might not realize it.

Zocchi Distribution To Close Doors

Friday, November 16th, 2001

Icv2 and other sources have reported that Zocchi Distribution is shutting down. The general slowdown in the economy, plus the effects of the September 11th tragedy, were sighted as major factors to the distributor’s unfortunate demise. I’ve been hearing that today was the company’s last day, but considering their plans to liquidate as much stock as possible, that seems unlikely. Certainly not long for this world, though.

Buffy The Roleplayer

Thursday, November 15th, 2001

Eden Studios has been hinting lately that they may be doing a licenced Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG sometime next year. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in the weeks to come.

Issaries Revises Product Schedule
Siting the unavoidable delay caused by their layout artist’s emergency Cesarean section (she’s fine), Issaries said the release of Barbarian Adventures for Hero Wars has been pushed back a month to November. Further releases are thereby pushed back a month as well, with cash flow determining the final release date. Next in line is Orlanth is Dead! followed by Hero’s Book, though Issaries still hopes to release Hero Wars: Second Edition early next year. I’m getting a small taste of 2nd Ed. already, since the guys I work with are already using many of the new rules in our campaign. Looks good so far.

Friends And Foes Shipping, Diskwars Fixing, Dragonstar Dragging

Thursday, November 15th, 2001

FFG finally got the Lord of the Rings board game expansion Friends and Foes back from the printer, and is kicking it back out the door as fast as they can. It looks like the rebranded FFG version of last year’s award-winning (heh) board game will be going great guns in time for, uh, that movie. In other news, there’ll be a new Diskwars expansion if you want it bad enough: actually, anyone interested in the business of gaming should have a quick look at this page explaining how and when the Blood & Prophecy fixed non-random set will be printed. “Malarkey, or effective way?” Lastly, Fantasy Flight’s secret news page reveals that the Dragonstar Starfarer’s Handbook, the kickoff book of this highly anticipated D20 setting, now won’t hit stores until mid-December due to artwork not getting where it should, when it should. And that is all I have to say about that.

Vortex Rare Flats Exchange
Okay, maybe not quite all. If you have been buying Vortex, as you probably should be, and have been getting more of certain rare flats than you would like, you can mail them in, unpunched of course, to exchange them for others. Just include this PDF form, and make sure your flats are “in mint condition” (words which still cause me to twitch involuntarily).

Hucksters Cut Into Deadlands D20

Thursday, November 15th, 2001

Pinnacle announced that The Way of the Huckster has released for Deadlands D20. The book brings new feats, prestige classes, skills, and other tasty morsels to the game, thanks to author Fred Jandt.

Ain’t Got Money For Leads? No Problem…
Dragon Scale Counters has made its presence known to the world, and has begun selling plastic counters with images of various D20 monsters printed on them. They already have a decent selection, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Purple Alert. Purple Alert. Not As Serious As A Red Alert…
Deep 7 has ventured into the depths of British sci-fi comedies, and emerged with the licence to produce a Red Dwarf RPG. The hardcover rulebook “will premiere … with supplements added to cover the complete eight series, culminating with a deluxe edition to support the Red Dwarf feature film.” The game won’t be out until December 2002, but when it arrives, I expect to see gamers everywhere doing their best Cat imitations: “This is mine, and that is mine, and all this is mine.” I’m surprised it took so long for someone to get around to this, since I know a few fanatical BBC enthusiasts who will be clamoring to join my gaming group next winter. Be you later.

The End Is Near

Thursday, November 15th, 2001

Tyranny Games has announced the March 2002 release date of The End, Deluxe Edition. The post-apocalyptic RPG is based on the Book of Revelations, and the original version received critical acclaim. Preview art, fiction and other preview material will be posted on Tyranny’s webstie in the months to come. In the meantime, have a look at the tentative product release schedule, and plan your monetary expendatures accordingly:

  • Salvation’s Tears adventure – March 2002
  • The Boston Massacre adventure – March 2002
  • Cry Havoc, Washington D.C. After The End sourcebook – August 2002
  • The Dark Arts, Magic in the New World sourcebook – October 2002
  • The Digger’s Guide, Scavenging the Scraps sourcebook – December 2002

Roleplaying Tips Weekly #98
The latest issue of Roleplaying Tips Weekly is filled with tips from readers. Specifically, the new tips include musings on world building, high level campaigns, and more.

Gallowglass Games Becomes Glastyn Games
Due to weird legal stuff, Galloglass Games has now become Glastyn Games, with a new domain, new email, and all that stuff. You have been warned.

Rogues Get Full Treatment

Tuesday, November 13th, 2001

This coming February, Mongoose Publishing will continue their Collector’s Series D20 supplements with The Quintessential Rogue. Written by Mike Mearls, the 128-page book will be “crammed with new options, new rules, and exciting new twists to existing game mechanics.” So, I’m thinking this could be Third Edition’s Complete Book of Thieves, aren’t you? Except, wouldn’t that be WotC’s Song and Silence? Guess we’ll see which one’s more useful.

Spaceship Zero Art Stolen

Monday, November 12th, 2001

Looks like foul thievery has delayed the release of Green Ronin‘s Spaceship Zero RPG. Go read the sordid tale of the sketchbook theft if you’re curious.

The Mists Seep Slowly
While we’re on the subject of product delays, The Kargatane has announced some minor delays of Ravenloft products. Secrets of the Dread Realms is now due to release on December 17, as is Denizens of Darkness.

Metabarons GM Screen Ships

Friday, November 9th, 2001

West End Games has shipped the Gamemaster Screen for their Metabarons game. Not only does the screen provide GMs with something to hide behind that has useful charts on it, but it includes an 80-page companion book. Now, I’ll be honest: I haven’t played this game, nor have I read it. But I bought it. Why? Because the book is gorgeous, dammit. And that’s why I’ll buy the screen, too. I’m sure I’ll get around to playing it one of these days, but until then, I’ve got the eye candy.

Demons From Mongoose

Thursday, November 8th, 2001

More specifically, that’d be Mongoosia, the little known plane of Hell. :-)

Today’s installment of our week-long look at Mongoose Publishing products brings us Matthew’s Demonology review, so make sure your pentagrams are inscribed properly. We’ve got one more Mongoose tidbit for you tomorrow, so check back early, check back often.

Free Carcassonne Tiles and Other Rio Grande News

Thursday, November 8th, 2001

Once again, Rio Grande Games has provided a newsletter on their web page. Most of the games described in it have already been mentioned in past newsletters, though Industrial Waste and Top Secret Spies didn’t ring any bells for me (nor were they described in any way — though they’ll be out in December). More tangible, and possibly more exciting, is the release of a free expansion set for Carcassonne, called The River. The set will consist of twelve free tiles to add to the game, and if past freebies like the silver Ricochet Robot are any indication, you should be able to grab it from Funagain Games for just the price of postage.

Lord of the Rings CCG Released

Wednesday, November 7th, 2001

Decipher announced yesterday that the Lord of the Rings CGG is available. Go on, go get it. I’ll wait.

Adios A-Mi-Go Says Hello Again
Pinnacle‘s long out of print Dime Novel for Deadlands, the cult classic Adios, A-Mi-Go is available once again in PDF form. The Deadlands/Call of Cthulhu adventure includes conversion rules for the two systems, giving Marshals the opportunity to make the Weird West a far more frightening place.

On the horizon, Pinnacle has individual Deadlands minis, The Way of the Huckster for Deadlands D20, the printed version of Epitaph 3, and two Weird Wars supplements, Dead from Above and Hell in the Hedgerows. All should be available in the next couple of months.

Mongoose Week Continues. Snakes Beware

Wednesday, November 7th, 2001

As promised, we’ve got two more Mongoose Publishing product reviews for you today. This time, we’re all over the Slayer’s Guide to Centaurs with a pair of reviews. Whether you agree with Matthew’s review or with Joe’s review, be sure to come back tomorrow for more Mongoose goodness.

Mongoose has also revamped their website, and added info on several of their upcoming products. Downloadable Record Sheets for Gladiator and Seas of Blood are available, along with printable deck plans for some ships. The Slayer’s Guide to Amazons will arrive in December, followed by Ships of the Goblinoids. January 2002 will bring us The Quintessential Fighter, a 128 page book that “may also look somewhat familiar to those of you who have been playing this game for some years.” More details are on the updated website.

Online Game In The Cards For Magic

Tuesday, November 6th, 2001

Just when you thought you’d gotten over your EverCrack – er, EverQuest addiction, along comes yet another attempt to bring Magic: The Gathering to your computer. That’s right, Wizards of the Coast has announced plans for Magic: The Gathering Online. Planned to begin dominating the world in Spring 2002, M:TG Online will “simultaneously begin hosting official Magic Online leagues and tournaments.” The faithful recreation of the world’s most popular CCG will have variable difficulty levels, the ability to trade digital cards, “fully integrated, enforceable rules” (which makes me wonder if you’ll be able to turn them off or ignore a rule you disagree with in casual play), and will support head-to-head play, team play, multiplayer games and drafting. Beta tests will begin soon, so watch for the ensuing gamer hysteria. “Will Shivan Dragons be in the card selection? ‘Cuz if not, I’m not playing.”

These Are Your Brains On Zombies
Eden Studios has announced that The Book of All Flesh Anthology is shipping to distributors this week, and should reach your local gaming store next week. This first venture by Eden into fiction publishing has a good assortment of talent contributing to the grim terror of it all:

The Book of All Flesh Anthology presents twenty-five original tales of zombie horror, including works from such renowned chroniclers of fantastic terror as C. Dean Anderson, Robert Vardeman, Ed Greenwood, Scott Edelman, Robin Laws, and Matt Forbeck.

Yep, I’ll be picking this one up for sure.