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.
Archive for November, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.