Archive for December, 2001

Witchfire Freebie

Thursday, December 20th, 2001

Privateer Press has posted a freebie for the third installment of their Witchfire Trilogy, The Legion of Lost Souls. The downloadable PDF has a map prop to give the players. Unless, like me, you prefer them to stumble around, lost and defenseless.

Amazons! Everywhere You Look — Amazons!!
MicroTactix has a new entry in their Budget Battlefield Army Pack line: the Amazon Army. The cardstock figures are inexpensive ($6 for the set), and are a great alternative to expensive miniatures. Those who play d20 could even use the figures with a certain Lay-er’s Guide to Amazons — er, sorry, that should be Slayer’s Guide. The centerfold threw me.

Living Dragonstar Campaign Coming To RPGA

Wednesday, December 19th, 2001

According to a Monday post on the FFG Rants page, playtesting for the Living Dragonstar RPGA campaign has begun. This sci-fi meets D&D d20 RPG puts lasers and spaceships in the hands of orcs and elves, and lots of gamers out there are eagerly awaiting its release. This is the first I’ve heard of an official RPGA campaign, though. Living Dragonstar should premiere next February with two modules at Con of the North in Minneapolis. Additional premieres will follow at Origins 2002 at GenCon 2002.

Fast Forward Brings Back Campaign In February

Tuesday, December 18th, 2001

A story at ICv2 alerts us that it’s okay to let you know what we already knew: Fast Forward Entertainment has taken charge of the d20 publicationCampaign Magazine. Jim Ward has joined the company full-time now, and John Danovich of ACD Distribution has also joined the FFE team as Vice President of Sales. The next issue of Campaign should arrive in February.

Shop ‘Til You Drop
Our holiday gift guide is complete, and ready to assist you in your shopping panic. Choose from our $10 or less list or our $25 or less list. The latter has a few bonus suggestions for those willing to part with slightly more cash. Give the gift of games ogres like. 🙂

Extra Song & Silence

Monday, December 17th, 2001

Wizards has posted one’ve them there web enhancement thingies fer Song & Silence, which you can get yer hands on right here. There’s a quick adventure inside for four characters of 6th or 7th level.

Monkey God Preview Illustration Galleries
Monkey God Enterprises has posted galleries for three of their upcoming d20 adventures: Shadows Under Thessalaine, The Ruins of Rackfall, and The Magic Dump. Please tell me they’re not keeping that title.

Ral Partha Rights Sold

Monday, December 17th, 2001

According to a recent press release, WizKids has sold off some of the Ral Partha rights to Iron Wind Metals, which plans to continue some of the product lines. Bravo, I say… as long as the figures live up to the Ral Partha standard. Guess Iron Wind will carry on with the traditional Battletech miniatures line while WizKids works steadily toward the release of the collectible version, ala Mage Knight, discussed in this interview.

A Little Poll Dancing For Ya
Yuk. Forget I said that.

And in case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve got a new poll up. Go vote!

OgreCave’s Christmas Gift Guide – Part 2

Sunday, December 16th, 2001

At long last, our Christmas Gift Guide – part 2, gift suggestions at the price point of $25 or under, for those of you with slightly higher gifting budgets than the average unplugged gaming journalist. There’s a few surprises on this list, so stay on your toes, and enjoy!

De Profundis First Look

Saturday, December 15th, 2001

Center stage on the mic… and we puttin it on wax… it’s the New Style. This latest in Hogshead’s line of boundary-pushing RPGs is perhaps the most rules-light of the whole line. It isn’t necessarily the lightest reading, though, as it outlines the “psychodrama” approach to role-playing in text that started out pretty ponderous, and then underwent Polish-to-English translation. So, the style takes a little getting used to. It’s important to the game, though – because it’s rules-light, it really needs to lead by example. In fact, there are three “books” in the game; you can boil the first down to the two words “correspondence psychodrama.” The second outlines the technique of “field psychodrama” that’s really only of use as a supplement to the first, and the third, solo psychodrama, is only there to give the book a nice narrative of its own. As far as Lovecraft goes, you could play De Profundis about anything, but the creepier and more secret, the better, hence Lovecraft. I am already thinking about starting a De Profundis game with some friends, and as James Wallis said in his OgreCave interview, it is indeed some fine writing. And hey, it’s cheap…

Wargames West Closing Down

Friday, December 14th, 2001

One of the pillars of the gaming industry, Wargames West, will be closing its doors for good at the end of this month. CEO Wayne Godfrey sent out this message today to clients and industry friends:

After twenty years of business in our industry, I have decided to close Wargames West Distribution at the end of 2001. It has been a wonderful twenty years. I am looking forward to enjoying other aspects of my life. Our employees have supported both Wargames and myself loyally. I ask that you support them now as they seek other opportunities for their lives.

Knowing that many of you have placed your faith and confidence in us, I am determined that we close our business as clean and untarnished as possible.For our vendor friends, all debts will be reconciled and paid with return merchandise as we can mutually agree. For our customer friends, we have arranged with ACD Distribution to seamlessly transfer their accounts with a minimum of hassles. ACD will have access to our credit records, as law permits, to assure a smooth transition for any customers who choose this route. Should our customers desire other arrangements we would be happy to refer them to any of a number of fine distribution operations such as ABC, Alliance, Centurion, Gameboard or Georgia Music.

We have ceased ordering products as of Tuesday, December 11th. We will cease receiving merchandise in our warehouse after December 21st. Our regular sales operations and 800 lines will cease operating after Dec 28th. We intend to offer additional discounts for bill payment and closing orders and our sales staff will be contacting you to assist you in this transition.

I want to thank all our employees, both in Memphis and in Albuquerque for their loyal service and devotion to customers. I would also like to thank our many, many customers, past and present, for their faith in us even when times were rocky. And lastly our manufacturers, without whose help none of our business would have been possible.

How blessed we all are to work in such a fine and wonderful industry with so many creative, talented and warm people.

Thank you all for all the many wonderful years!

There was nothing quite like thumbing through the old Wargames West catalogs and choosing items to order. All of us here at OgreCave wish the employees of Wargames West all the best in their future endeavors.

Mutterings About Mongoose

Thursday, December 13th, 2001

Matthew Sprange of Mongoose Publishing dropped us a line to let us know what’s been going on over there. Here’s what he told us:

Full details and the cover art for Ships of the Elves, the next expansion to Seas of Blood, is now up on our web site. This time, I think, Anne Stokes has really outdone herself with the front cover.

For those of you who have been asking, full ISBN codes can now be found for all our products on the site, as well as pre-ordering information on all our releases up to March 2002.

The Quintessential Fighter and Encyclopaedia Arcane: Chaos Magic are currently at the printers and will be available early in January – The new Quintessential range is currently being advertised on the rear inside cover of Dragon [Magazine] and promises to be an exciting series featuring some of the top writers of the industry – more news on this as it develops.

The development of the new Judge Dredd role-playing game continues and we will soon be offering playtest packs to interested gaming groups – stay tuned for details.

Matthew also mentioned plans for The Slayer’s Guide to Rules Lawyers, in response to the poll OgreCave ran a few weeks back. Is this good-natured teasing, or the first mention of a new installment in the Slayer’s Guide line? Time will tell.

Superheroes Coming From Green Ronin

Thursday, December 13th, 2001

Going where no d20 RPG has gone just yet, Green Ronin is taking the plunge into superhero roleplaying next Fall with Mutants & Masterminds. Author Steve Kenson, contributor to the Shadowrun, Marvel Super-Heroes, DC Universe, Champions and Aberrant game lines, will bring us an RPG that “features fast, simple mechanics that streamline the d20 System rules for superhero play and a modular power-creation system that lets players design any sort of super-power they want.” A line of support products is also planned, starting with New Century City, “a meaty sourcebook that provides the perfect metropolis for superhero gaming.” I’ve never been one for superhero RPGs personally, but I’ll give it a shot.

OgreCave’s Christmas Gift Guide – Part 1

Wednesday, December 12th, 2001

Just in time for the big shopping rush, we present our Christmas Gift Guide – part 1. Have you got your big ticket game wishes picked out already, but you’re having trouble coming up with cheaper ideas? Or maybe you’re on a budget, but want to give something to everyone in your gaming group? We’re here for ya. All the ideas on this first list are $10 or less, so go nuts. Our next list will be along shortly with gift ideas in the $25 and under range.

The Wages of Electronic Plastic Sin

Tuesday, December 11th, 2001

No, I’m not talking about that book, although I’ll link it, ’cause it’s cool. I mean the sort-of-football-shaped bar code reader and math-doer that Wizards bundled with every NFL Showdown 2002 starter set. The PlayGrid device, manufactured by WotC’s sibling company Tiger, has a great deal of trouble reading the bar codes on many of the game’s premium player cards, seeing as how those cards have holofoil coatings. So, head to your friendly local game retailer and ask them for the free pack of monochrome premium player cards you’re entitled to as an NFL Showdown 2002 owner! That’s right, black and white cards. How fun! I actually own a starter set of this, but we have yet to playtest it. We’ll let you know…

WizKids Opens Store, Reassures Public They Haven’t Gone Nuts

Sunday, December 9th, 2001

ICv2 reports that WizKids has opened a retail store in Redmond, WA (yes, home of the Microsoft campus), in a highly youth-visible location. The stated purpose of the store is advance playtesting of new games and expansions, not an eventual global empire. “[ExecVP Martin] Stever told us that WizKids has no intention of opening more than one store. ‘We’re not Games Workshop or Wizards of the Coast,’ he said.” Don’t scare us like that, Martin.

Bastion Press To Support RPGA’s Living City

Friday, December 7th, 2001

Ryan Dancey of OrganizedPlay issued a press release today that answers questions of adventure support of the Living City setting:

OrganizedPlay, Inc., a developer of software supporting game player networks, and licensee of the RPGA Living city of Raven’s Bluff campaign, announced today that it has entered into a long-term development agreement with Bastion Press, Inc., in support of the Living City campaign. Through this agreement, Bastion Press will create scenarios for use with the Living City campaign. Each month, Bastion will deliver five scenarios: one for low-level characters, three for a wide range of character levels, and a fifth for high-level characters.

So WotC alum Jim Butler, who founded Bastion Press, will be extending his D20 involvement to Raven’s Bluff. I got nothin’ against that.

The End Goes D20

Friday, December 7th, 2001

Tyranny Games has announced that The End: Lost Souls Edition will use the D20 system. According to the press release, “The End promises to challenge the d20 system conventions with realistic injury effects, achievement-base experience, and a single starting class: the Meek. The class levels for the Meek reflect experience gained through surviving and overcoming the horrors and madness posed by the world after the biblical apocalypse.” A non-D20 version of the game will also be released, with a different cover to reduce confusion. This is the way the D20 market should go: release a D20 version of your game, but also provide the non-D20 rules, either separately or as part of a hybrid book. D20 and the OGL should help the RPG industry, not overrun it.