In a story on Gaming Report.com, it has been reported that Wizards of the Coast has recently concluded a revision of their patent for the Magic. The purpose of the revision is to clarify WotC’s ownership over the innovations that made Magic such a success. The net result of this revision could be EVERYONE GETTING SUED!! If WotC (or rather, Hasbro) decides that most card games violate their patent, they could attempt to prevent other companies from marketing collectable card games. How this fits in with the WotC Open Game License philosophy, only some real good defense lawers will tell. To read the entire article on Gaming Report.com click here.
Archive for June, 2002
Malignant Games has announced the availability of a PDF demo version of their new game, Dread. By emailing their website you can get information on receiving the demo. Dread is a new modern horror game that, if nothing else has a good tag line.
The new life will probably end in great anguish, amidst screams and gunfire.
Call of Cthulhu publisher, Chaosium is in the market for some twisted ideas. Chaosium has put out an open call for submissions to an upcoming Call of Cthulhu D20 project. For a submission packet, sample format and guidelines, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions is August 24th. Relatives and employees of Bruce Campbell are not eligible.
Well, not really – his Line of Sight column on this week’s big WotC hoo-hah is as level-headed as it is insightful. In my opinion Chainmail was mismarketed from the get-go, and it looks like a lot of people agree. But here’s the thing: Monte’s comments open up another thing GW gets right that Wizards may get wrong. Specifically, Games Workshop almost never kills a game. Old, out-of-print titles like Epic 40,000 and Blood Bowl? Not only can you still mail-order the models, but new bits of rules – yes, actual game support – are released online and in periodicals all the freakin’ time. These people know how to support a game and support it cheaply, and as a result a lot of GW gamers are fanatically loyal to the company and the hobby. (However, when GW notices that a game isn’t selling minis, they kill it deader than Elvis before you can blink – see Talisman.)
Now, as an exercise, go down to your local game retailer and have a look at the Chainmail game product. Not the models, but the game – Blood and Ice, or Fire and Ghostwind or whatever those campaign things are. (Eww… I smell ghostwind.) Is there anything in those books that couldn’t be printed three times as cheaply? Is there anything about the Chainmail models that couldn’t be duplicated in the regular line of D&D models that’s staying in production? Is there any reason to formally kill this game, rather than just selling it as a few books to go with your Dungeons and Dragons miniatures?
Whatever. Just more proof that Wizards doesn’t understand the minis-gaming market and would do better to stay out. As far as GW goes, it’s their big Games Day weekend out in their American HQ-city Baltimore, and we may have a full report on it in the next couple of weeks. I have a good time razzing GW on this site, but I’ve actually gained a lot more respect for what they do, in the past several months working here at the store.
Which leads me to my final point: today is the final day of my savage journey into the heart of the retail dream. I’m giving up my discount and moving on. I’ve learned a great deal but, well, if you see me at Origins, congratulate me.
Judges Guild Moves To Necromancer
Necromancer Games is reporting that starting in January 2003, they will be putting Judges Guild products back into circulation. Bob Bledsaw, owner of Judges Guild, has announced the termination of the Guild’s relationship with QuikLink Interactive as of the end of 2002. QLI had been planning to do the same service for classic Judges Guild products, but has been too busy with Traveller D20. Hunter Gordon of QLI has said he’s “happy to pass the torch to Necromancer Games. We love Judges Guild and think Necromancer will do a great job.”
In a press release, Necromancer Games has announced their intention to update and revise the City State series and the entire Wilderlands campaign setting. Products not reprinted by Necromancer Games will be made available as PDF downloads on a Necromancer-hosted website. Of particular interest is the company’s plan for a City-State of the Invincible Overlord Boxed Set next spring, packed with added tidbits and out-of-print materials. All of which begs the question, where in Faerun is the City-state of the Invincible Overlord located?
Details are still sketchy at this point, but ENworld is reporting that Wizards of the Coast has sold off their periodicals department, sending both Dragon Magazine and Dungeon on their merry way. Rumors abound as to who has bought the department, but once something is confirmed, we’ll let you know. It’ll be interesting to see if Dragon still gets to post character class info and preview stuff once the departure from WotC is complete. Maybe they’ll just make the inside front cover into a copy of the D20 OGL from now on.
End of a (really short) Era at Wizards of the Coast
Today WotC announced that they will no longer be supporting the Chainmail brand. For those of you unfamiliar with Chainmail, it is (was) a really promising WarHammer-ish game that is only a year or so old. WotC has gone on to assure everyone that they are not getting out of the miniature business and that even the Chainmail core rule book will be available for purchase as an electronic download. They will, however, still be releasing the Kilsek Faction box, the City of the Spider Queen box set, and Dragons I, Dragons II, Monsters II & III and Heroes II, III box sets. Hopefully this is not the end of this saga.
Fantasy Flight Games has both posted an eight page PDF preview of their new D20 book Path of the Sword and announced the release of their new Traps & Treachery book. Traps & Treachery is going to be an indispensable codex of ways to kill off those pesky PCs with all manner of evil machinations (looks like a 21st century Grimtooth’s Traps). Path of the Sword looks to to be a great collection of character expansions, among them new prestige classes, that will obviously be killed off by evil GMs wielding Traps & Treachery.
Wizards of the Coast is continuing the countdown to the D20 Modern release in November by launching the D20 Modern section of their website. So far, there’s not much there: the Charismatic Hero class, an introduction to the game, and a look at D20 Modern art. More is sure to follow, though.
GamePlay Demo CD #3 Shipping
The latest GamePlay CD is on its way to stores now, so look for your copy next week. 26 different companies have freebies and info on the disc, so ask for one when you see them arrive.
There are occasionally those who leave the Cave to seek greener pastures (don’t know why… plenty of moss in here…). Case in point: Michael Suileabhain-Wilson, who wrote a review for us a while back. Turns out he’s written GURPS Deadlands: Varmints as well, which is currently in playtest by those smart enough to be Pyramid subscribers. We may have to crawl out into the light and find a copy of Michael’s book once it’s ready. Them varmints is particularly tasty.
I go out of town for a couple of days, and Mike starts laughing maniacally. Hoo-boy.
Let’s do a little catch-up, shall we?
From listening in to the Mongoose Publishing mailing list, I’ve confirmed suspicions that the September release, The Handbook of Prestige Classes, Volume 1, will contain Mongoose prestige classes right alongside of “the best classes from other publishers as well.” I was wondering when someone was going to do this.
T20 Stands To Be Huge, Despite Lack Of Arnold
Traveller D20 (or T20 for short) has begun reentry (read: it started taking preorders). Originally planned as a 320-pager, gamers can now expect to see T20 reach 448 fun-filled pages (16 in full color) for a mere $44.95 (or even cheaper if you hurry up and preorder). All the aliens, weapons, psionics, vehicles, and star systems you remember will be introduced to the D20 generation. Yes, there will be Prestige Classes, too. A series of PDF and print supplements will follow T20′s arrival, and those who preorder now will receive a free copy of Traveller’s Aide #2: Grand Endeavor. T20 should reach store shelves in late July, so suit up now.
Abusing Mimes For Fun And Profit
Phil Reed of Steve Jackson Games has posted a disturbing, but oddly satisfying card game on his personal site for free download. Feel like beating the crap out of some mimes? Hey, who doesn’t? Hence, we have Mime Smashing.
As Of Last Friday…
You should have mailed your one-page D&D3e setting submission to WotC by last Friday. You remember the big prize, right? $120,000 and a chance to be the creator of the next official D&D setting. If you didn’t send your submission in time… well, you screwed up. Sorry.
In a move certainly designed to start a nasty continuity fight among players, IHERO has published an online timeline for their signature game, I, HERO. Beginning in 1940 and running through July of 2002 their timeline includes tidbits like this:
February, 1974: The Turquoise Spider marries Twin Cities’ Officer Curtis DuBois, and retires, bringing the short–lived resurgence of costumed crime fighters to an end.