Archive for January, 2002

Necromancer Animating New Products Soon

Thursday, January 31st, 2002

Next month, Necromancer Games will bring us the 96-page Tomb of Aybsthor. The adventure centers on the desecrated tomb of the goddess of paladins, testing the mettle of characters level 2 to 8 or higher. Any tomb romp is worth looking into in my book.

As a teaser for Rappan Athuk 3, Necromancer has posted the cover art. Will this section of the infamous dungeon be a bit deadlier? Oh, judging by the image of Orcus and a pair of multi-armed demon ladies on the cover, I’d say so. Rappan Athuk 3 describes “the 13 deepest levels of this evil dungeon – including the lair of the Demon Prince Orcus himself!” Expect this epic dungeoncrawl/deathtrap to arrive in April.

Necromancer will also be bringing us Gary Gygax’s Necropolis, a monstrous 224-page hardback sourcebook. Everything from new cleric domains, dozens of spells, gods, monsters, templates, classes are included in this campaign resource. A black & white version of the product ad shows us what the cover will look like. For characters of levels 12 to 18, this mega-adventure will arrive in June.

Hellboy RPG Announced

Wednesday, January 30th, 2002

I dedicate this one to my wife Cheryl, a devoted fan of all things Hellboy.

This August, Steve Jackson Games will bring you The Hellboy Roleplaying Game and Sourcebook. Mike Mignola’s comic character, and all his cohorts, will bring their occult research agency, the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, to the GURPS system. Written by Phil Masters and Jonathan Woodward, the book will feature a brand new Hellboy story by Christopher Golden. The official announcement page is here, so go take a look and start prancing gleefully. I know my wife will.

Arrowflight Nearly Upon Us

Wednesday, January 30th, 2002

Arrowflight, the first full-sized, non-electronic role-playing game from Deep7, ships this week. It’s been in development for many years, and Deep7′s other projects have been interesting, so hopefully it won’t turn out to be yet another dull generic fantasy RPG. In any case, it’s something to tide us all over until the Red Dwarf game arrives!

Rock’em Sock’em Mages

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002

The guys at Mongoose have posted details on the next book in their Encyclopedia Arcane d20 series, Battle Magic. In case you don’t quite understand what they mean by “Battle Magic,” here’s a quote from the press release:

You are a battle mage, and you are never going to understand those who use magic for anything but blowing their enemies straight back to hell. …No subtlety, no clever manipulations, just big, big explosions and buckets of blood.

Two types of mages are mentioned in the press release: the Battle Mage, who throws around majorly destructive spells, and the Eldritch Warrior, “a magical close combat specialist.” The book will also come with an ample supply of spells, equipment, feats and a few guilds, but you’ll have to wait until April to get your hands on it.

Modernizing d20

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002

If the d20 version of Star Wars didn’t convince you the d20 System can handle more modern settings, Wizards will be trying to convince you again soon. EN World has an interview with Anthony Valterra on the current WotC plans for d20 Modern. Among other tidbits, Valterra revealed that d20 Modern is scheduled for an early 2003 release, and that WotC will provide some sample settings and at least one fully detailed setting. Support for d20 Modern will likely appear in Dungeon/Polyhedron.

Camarilla Wins Temporary Restraining Order Against White Wolf

Tuesday, January 29th, 2002

Shea Porr of the Camarilla player organization announced on a mailing list yesterday that “[a] Utah court has approved, in full, a temporary restraining order against White Wolf. In summary, this order prohibits White Wolf from using the name The Camarilla; restrains them from claiming to be The Camarilla or to be in control of The Camarilla; provides a declaratory judgment that The Camarilla owns the assets which it has trademarked, along with the artwork, rules supplements and other publications its members have developed over the years, and several other items related to infringing our Trademark.” The full order is available in PDF format. Porr’s email also mentioned a motion on White Wolf’s part to move the case’s legal venue from Utah to Georgia. The plot thickens. (I should just start saying that at the end of every post.)

Faerie Cheesecake, Anyone?

Monday, January 28th, 2002

I’ve just had a look at the d20 supplement Dramatis Personae from new company Archangel Studios, and despite the buxom faerie chick on the front cover, I have to say I’m impressed with this product’s style. Subtitled Campaign Ready NPCs, the book has 24 NPCs ready to use, each illustrated by the comic book artists responsible for The Red Star. The artwork and layout of the book is excellent; everything’s easy to read and find, the text flows well, complimented by graphics rather than interrupted by them. The book is rounded out with eight pages of magic items, spells, and a pair of feats.

So there’s my impressions after flipping through the book. I’ll get back to you after I actually read it. :-)

Roleplaying Tips Weekly #108
The latest issue of Roleplaying Tips Weekly suggests enriching your campaign world by fleshing out the ruling class. Some reader submitted tips on creating attractive/effective props are in there too.

Green Ronin Takes Necromancers To School

Monday, January 28th, 2002

Green Ronin has just announced their May d20 release: Secret College of Necromancy. Put together by David “Zeb” Cook and Wolfgang Baur, the 96-page supplement will cover everything dead — er, necromancy. Everything from creatures and spells to history of the art will be explored in the book’s fell pages. Secret College will also introduce two brand new core classes and “never-before-seen powers for player character wizards and sorcerers willing to walk the path of shadows.” I know my players will be lining up to explore the forbidden side of magic. I just hope the local village cemetary has good security.

Piecepack Games Page Reorganized

Monday, January 28th, 2002

Piecepack.org has just reorganized its game page into a tidy table that allows user voting. Whether or not you have already tried out the universal board game kit and its many applications, it’s worth taking a look. Even if you don’t want to buy the nifty wooden set, you can still get the printable one for free.

Vortex Review

Friday, January 25th, 2002

I finally decided to go ahead and post my review of Vortex, even though we haven’t gotten to test multiplayer quite yet. I think you’ll find the article enlightening anyway. And yeah, that sale is still happening. Go to town…

Neverwinter Nights Finds Publisher

Friday, January 25th, 2002

According to Slashdot, the long-awaited online gaming toolbox Neverwinter Nights will be published by Infogrames sometime in the first half of this year. The press release says nothing about precise dates, however. Other games have tried NWN’s model of game-mastered online roleplaying without drawing much interest, but none of them were fully compatible with D&D3. We in the Cave are psyched and relieved that Interplay and BioWare’s legal issues have been resolved.

Quintessential Fighter Review

Friday, January 25th, 2002

Our latest review delves into the pages of The Quintessential Fighter by Mongoose Publishing, wherein d20 warriors can become even more effective at chopping things up. Matthew analyzes how well the rules slice and dice, but can they still cut a tomato? Find out inside.

White Wolf And Camarilla At Each Other’s Throats?

Thursday, January 24th, 2002

White Wolf and the official live-action Vampire club The Camarilla aren’t getting along too well of late. The problems between the two seem to be caused by an inability to agree on the terms of a contract. The Camarilla, a world-wide organization of gamers playing the Mind’s Eye Theater LARP, had some concerns about losing control of the club, due in part to vague wording and a dispute over ownership of the member list. These concerns were voiced to the club membership by Camarilla President Shae Porr. White Wolf President Mike Tinney has responded by saying that “At several key points, we have agreed to sign a new contract, only to have the volunteers who sit on the board of directors back out at the moment of commitment.”

White Wolf has launched a new page for the fan club, which it claims to be assuming control of. Members have been asked to send their reports to White Wolf instead of the existing club network. The company has also extended all existing memberships until January 1st, 2004, which could have the side-effect of starving the current Camarilla leadership’s cash flow. In response, the Camarilla has filed suit against White Wolf.

I don’t claim to know who’s right, I’m just reporting it. My name’s Paul, and this is between y’all.

Cheapass To Retire Safari Jack
Cheapass Games are going to be pulling Safari Jack from their line-up soon. The nifty little tile game of big game hunting is worth having, so grab yours before it’s gone.

Attack To Control The Wayback Machine, Then Set It For 1995…

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002

Illuminati: New World Order was the first CCG I ever played, and more or less re-initiated me into gaming. All these years later, its standard rulebook has just been revised, according to the Daily Illuminator, which is in a position to know. Relive the memories! Or admire its genius for the first time! Or do something, just stop looking at me like that! I’m not old, dammit!

GOO Announces Probable Schedule, Probably

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002

Guardians of Order have been having schedule issues lately, to hear ICv2 tell it. But they now claim to be shipping their trademark Pioneer-licenced sourcebooks for Serial Experiments Lain in February, Parallel Dual in April, and Fushigi Yugi and Trigun in May. Also on the press release is BESM: Dungeon Crawl, which I don’t really want to think about right now. No offense.

Mage Knight Conquest, And Other WizKids Activities

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002

WizKids continues to build momentum with Mage Knight Conquest. Conquest provides mass combat rules for Mage Knight, allowing players to use armies of 500 – 3,500 per side and still finish in about two hours. The Conquest rules are available on WizKids’ game rules page, and will serve to prep MK players for the printed Conquest set coming in April. At that point, the full rules will include a tournament structure outline, scenarios, and campaign rules, and will come with three new siege weapon figures: a Black Powder Rebel Cannon, an Elemental League Ballista, and an Orc Raider Catapult. The package will carry a retail price of $19.95, and will provide an excellent foil to the various Mage Knight Castle sets coming in March. Man, the tower and gatehouse look nice. I may have to invest in some new RPG props soon. Mad props, yo.

Meanwhile, Mage Knight Dungeons is getting an excellent response from gamers I’ve spoken with. To be honest, I may have to get in on this one. The HeroQuest-ish concept is right up my alley. For those who enjoy some dungeoneering with their minis, a complete figure list has been posted. Start making your checklist.

This May, we can expect to see the following releases from Wiz Kids:Marvel HeroClix: Infinity Challenge starters and boosters, the superhero CMG with rules by Monte Cook; the Radiant Light Dragon for MK; and the Official Collector’s Guide to Mage Knight Vol.2.

Everyone Wants Buffy

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002

We’ve just heard that the Buffy The Vampire Slayer CCG has sold out in the U.S. Never fear, though: Score Entertainment is having more printed up that should be available in February. You can stake your claim then.

Battle Cattle Stampede Onto GameTable Online

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002

GameTable Online has made an arrangement with Wingnut Games to bring the bovine glory of Battle Cattle to online gaming. The D&D parody version, Quest for the Holy Pail, is also included in the license, bringing even more cow combat to those poor souls who can’t tear themselves away from their monitors to pick up dice. A new “team” feature has been added to GameTable, allowing players to cultivate a whole herd of moo-ing miscreants.

Gaxmoor Preview At Troll Lord

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2002

A preview of The Lost City of Gaxmoor is available from Troll Lord Games. Gaxmoor will be 136 pages of d20 danger, “a city scape maelstrom of Orcs, Hobgoblins, Gnolls, Ogres and you guessed it, a pack of viscious demons adventure.” Written by Ernie and Luke Gygax, the book will take characters from 1st level all the way to 8th.

Magic Mapped Out By Atlas

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2002

Atlas Games has sorted out those other magic systems for your d20 games. You know: Alchemy, Astrology, Geomancy, and the rest. In all, ten new magic systems will be described in Occult Lore, giving spell-users more options than they could ever need. The book will also contain an assortment of new creatures, spells, magic items, PC and NPC classes, prestige classes, and domains We can expect to see the 240-page supplement around May.

Vortex Sale At FFG

Monday, January 21st, 2002

Vortex is a game worth trying, but its price point combined with its diversity of factions makes it difficult to get what you want for the money. I’ve spent a hundred bucks on it and a couple of factions still aren’t playable. Well, until February 4, FFG is selling all Vortex starters and boosters at a 75% discount. You know, we were going to test it multiplayer first, but I think I’m going to go ahead and post my Vortex review later this week. Along with Z-G, it’s one of the neglected bits of fun from late last year.

Jade And Steel Review

Monday, January 21st, 2002

Thanks to Matthew’s efforts, we get a glimpse into the mythic China d20 supplement Jade and Steel by Avalanche Press. Does it have the Ch’i to stand up to his review? Or is Matthew’s kung-fu stronger? Have I just mixed terms from multiple cultures? Probably. :-)

Misguided Update

Monday, January 21st, 2002

Misguided Games is continuing to crank out the freebies in anticipation of their dieselpunk fantasy RPG, Children of the Sun. Heading up a new creatures page is the Wraith Monkeys. As I always say, everything’s better with a monkey. On their new downloads page, a desktop image of the upcoming game’s cover art is available in multiple resolutions. Hmm… my desktop could use some sprucing up…

Roleplaying Tips Weekly #107, Plus A Bit
Okay, I’ve been slacking here, so let me get you caught up. Issue #105 of Roleplaying Tips Weekly brings you six tips on romance in RPGs. No, I said “six”; keep your mind on gaming, okay? Issue #106 is a recipe for planning a great game session in two hours or less. Finally, this week’s issue #107 provides ideas on how to make the best handouts and props to give your players.

Transhuman Space Delayed, Sort Of

Monday, January 21st, 2002

Steve Jackson announced recently that, due to apparent snafus with the printing company, their upcoming standalone GURPS Space setting Transhuman Space cannot be completed on time in color. So, in the interest of making it to market on time, the core rules will release as a B&W softcover book for $29.95. Later this year, after some support products are out, the company will release a full-color hardcover version of the rulebook which will pay proper homage to the artwork of Christopher Shy.

I Am Not A Number! I Am A Card Collection!

Monday, January 21st, 2002

ICv2 reports that European trading card company Cards Inc. will produce a CCG based on the classic TV series The Prisoner in 2002. I can see it now: the object will be to figure out the rules, and we will all play against the game designer, who will send strange men to our houses and…