Archive for July, 2002

Krusty Would Approve

Monday, July 22nd, 2002

Wizards of the Coast has announced plans for The Simpsons TCG. The game will first arrive this October in the form of 40-card decks featuring Bart, Homer, Lisa or Mr Burns. Naturally, 11-card boosters will also be available. Ex-cellent.

Interview With Bad Axe Games
Joe has cornered Bad Axe Games for a few questions, and we’ve got the Q&A available for you. Go have a look at what this new D20 company had to say.

Treeforts Appear in Invisible City

Sunday, July 21st, 2002

Invisible City Productions has released a larger-than-average game of the month this week: Treefort Nations. In this strategy game, players control territorial monkeys building treeforts in the Great Wood and attacking one another with catapults. The game can be played by two to eight players, takes anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days (depending on the number of participants and starting resources) and requires only a six-sided die, some coins, and a few printouts to play.

Green Ronin to Arm Everyone

Friday, July 19th, 2002

Green Ronin has struck a deal with Charles Ryan to publish a D20 version of his ground breaking Ultramodern Firearms.  Ultramodern Firearms was originally released by Chameleon Eclectic in 1993 but fell by the wayside when Chameleon Eclectic went under. The new edition will feature all manner of new and deadly weapons.  Green Ronin expect the D20 version to be just as good as the original.   “Since Charles is on the design team for d20 Modern,” adds Pramas, “the new mechanics will be impeccable.” Just in time for Christmas, you can gun down someone you love.

Games Workshop Wins the Battle
In their real life game of capture the flag, Games Workshop has recovered their standard, the Battle Wagon.  As you will remember the wagon was stolen from a motel parking lot last week.  Well the van has tuned up, but with no signs of the dastardly villains who swiped it in the first place.  This story is far from over.  Games Workshop is still offering a large reward to anyone who gives up these traitorous souls.  So inform now and avoid the rush.

Gregory Horror Show: Nevermind

Friday, July 19th, 2002

Played it. Tried to figure out how it used the booster minis, as we hoped that would alleviate the slow-as-snails, isolationist game that came in the core box. Turns out that the minis are either supposed to get brought in when you happen to draw a card that depicts the monster mini you own, or when you make something called a “shady deal” that involves a short stack of monster cards in your own deck, which the rules never adequately explain how you’re supposed to use anyway. Maybe I’m dumb and haven’t read the rules thoroughly enough, instead going by the way the Upper Deck rep taught me to play, but maybe the rules shouldn’t be this poorly organized and dense. In either case, you’d still be asked to move your pawn across a fifty-space-wide board, with a 25% chance of getting two spaces of movement on your turn. And maybe getting up to five.

I’d recommend picking up some of the miniatures boosters, for use in your Cheapass gaming, Epic Duels, or just as top-of-the-monitor toys, whatever. If you do end up picking up the core game box, though, try the following:

  • Double the movement values on the movement table.
  • Sort the monster cards for the minis you own out of the deck before play starts. Take turns selecting a mini and placing it in either the Roaming Monster spots or the Monster Traps. Then begin play as normal.
  • Better yet, play as a Feral Monster, with the attendant special abilities.

I hope that teaches you all a little lesson.

WotC Rumblings: Online Store, E-Tools, And So On

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

With Hasbro’s quarterly earnings announcement due this coming Monday, it comes as no surprise that Wizards of the Coast‘s online store has closed down. Why? Because WotC has finally announced part of what’s been rumored for weeks now: someone else will be handling online retail sales for them from now on (specifically, SVGames, LLC). WotC wasn’t selling anything at their booth at Origins last month, reportedly due to a clause in the new contract with SVGames. Will WotC’s retail stores be sold off soon as well, fulfilling the other part of the prophesy? Perhaps we’ll see on Monday.

According to a post on Fluid Entertainment’s boards by Fluid’s Scott Matthews, the D&D3 eTools will be released at GenCon on Friday, August 9th. Scott will be giving a two-hour presentation of eTools the same day. The GM aid software will be sold on CD Rom, with an electronic manual crammed on it as well, but considering WotC’s recent retail wackiness, who knows if you’ll actually be able to get your hands on it at the convention. Scott expects the price to be around $30, but that’s just a guess.

WotC has also made some announcements regarding their product lines. The Wheel of Time RPG won’t be seeing any more supplements, nor will the recently cancelled Chainmail game see its planned September releases in their intended form. Instead, the figures from September’s sets will be sprinkled in amongst the Giants and Dragons I and II, and City of the Spider Queen sets. The reason given for shoving September’s figures out the door so haphazardly was difficulties in fitting them into the production schedule, plus, “This will allow us to better focus our efforts on the upcoming D&D miniatures game for Spring 2003.” Another one? Hoo-boy. I’m sure this one will overthrow Warhammer, and retailers everywhere will jump on the bandwagon without hesitation. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

By the way, there’s an online petition to change WotC’s mind about cancelling Chainmail, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

ENnies Awards Voting Open

Wednesday, July 17th, 2002

EN World has just opened up online voting for the seventeen categories of the ENnies. The awards focus on the same subject as EN World, the D20 System, and will announce the winners in a ceremony at GenCon next month.

Spiel Des Jahres Winner Speaks

Wednesday, July 17th, 2002

BrettBoard points us to this interview with Villa Paletti designer Bill Payne. Damn Canadians!

More Hard Sci-Fi, GURPS-Style

Wednesday, July 17th, 2002

Steve Jackson Games has scheduled a second edition of the GURPS Uplift sourcebook for release in October. Based on David Brin’s classic Uplift series, humans challenge the galactic status quo by daring to “uplift” chimpanzees and dolphins into tool-using sentience. After Transhuman Space and Traveller, this neatly positions GURPS as the premiere rpg system for “hard” science fiction. Now if only they would do Asimov’s Robot novels…

D20! Here Comes D6. HALO to the Rest of You!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2002

In the tradition of the D20 Open Game License, Eternal Tempest has released their core rules, HALO. Eternal Tempest is giving away the system for any game company or designer to use.  They have posted the core rule files and usage guidelines on their site for download.  The system has been the backbone of the Metalface game.

Book of the Righteous off to the Printer
Green Ronin‘s big August release is off to the printer.  In anticipation of Book of the Righteous, Green Ronin has published some goodies for us.  First an interview with Book of the Righteous designer Aaron Loeb.  Second, a two page preview from the book itself, showing off one of the many myths to be found in the book.  They are teasing us further by letting us know to look out for an entire sample church.  For those not in the know, Book of the Righteous is planned as a huge, hardback containing twenty fully developed churches for you to drop into any D20 campaign.  I wonder if they will take a swipe at Cthulhu again.

Games Workshop Releases New Evil Car
Well not a car, but they have redesigned their Space Marine Predator Tank.  Designed for WarHammer 40K games, the tank can be configured in either Annihilator or Destructor.  Can we get this thing made in rush hour in St. Louis mode?

Origins Photo Gallery Posted

Tuesday, July 16th, 2002

Mike took the digital camera along to Origins a week or so back, and now we’re showing you what he saw. Have a look-see at OgreCave’s Origins 2002 Photo Gallery. And if you feel tempted to push any little girls into the spike-lined trap, you’re a sick, sick individual. Welcome to the club. 🙂

November At Goodman Games
With The Complete Guide to Velociraptors shipping now (the cover art makes me think of Torg‘s Living Land), Goodman Games has announced two more d20 products targeting a November release. The Aerial Adventure Guide series by Mike Mearls will continue with Vol. 3: Monsters, Magic, and Sky Ships. Flying vehicles from a variety of races will naturally be found in this supplement, along with mystic items and strange beasts. I find the “golems of the air” mentioned in the product description of particular interest, myself. New dragons and devils are also expected. The Complete Guide to Doppelgangers is the other November product, covering the shapeshifting species backwards and forwards. Author Keith Baker will provide combat tips, a species background, and even rules for Doppelganger characters, plus variations on the basic monster. Each of these nifty 32-page books will sell for $11 apiece and be just in time for your Thanksgiving weekend gaming.

Mystic Eye Buys Thunderhead Games

Monday, July 15th, 2002

Considering their cooperation on supplying FFG with Dragonstar support, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Mystic Eye Games has purchased Thunderhead Games. Thunderhead will now become a line of products for MEG, which has placed Hal Greenberg, former CEO of TG, as Vice President of Marketing and Art Director of Mystic Eye. The has all the details, but I’d like to point out the significant detail that MEG will be at GenCon with 6 new products and some previews of upcoming releases. I’ll be there.

Get an Autographed Copy of the New Epic Level Handbook

Monday, July 15th, 2002

Wizards of the Coast has released their new Epic Level Handbook and you can win an autographed copy.  Author Andy Collins is holding a contest on his personal web site for signed copies of the new WotC release. If you can match each Bloodlines character to the player who created him, you can win a copy of the Epic Level Handbook, signed by designers Andy Collins, Bruce R. Cordell, and Thomas M. Reid.  So surf on over to Andy’s web site and get something for free.

New Spooky Books from White Wolf
White Wolf is out with three new books for their spooky games.

  • Dark Ages: Vampire Unlimited Edition (A hardcover core rulebook for Dark Ages: Vampire)
  • Encyclopedia Vampirica released only in prestige, limited-edition format. There will be no regular edition.
  • San Francisco by Night is the newest PDF adventure for Kindred of the East and Vampire: The Masquerade (As if San Francisco isn’t creepy enough).  It is also the first crossover city sourcebook for these games.
  • I’m scared just thinking about it.

    Can Dave Arneson Whoop the Tar out of Elizabeth Danforth?

    Sunday, July 14th, 2002

    Well the new Origins Metagame from Flying Buffalo seeks to settle that dispute (the real question is can Dave Arneson whoop Gary Gygax, but alas there is no Gygax card in the deck).  Origins Metagame is a card game featuring some of the famous games and people connected with Origins.  Cards feature such people as Mike Stackpole, Ken St. Andre (Tunnels and Trolls) and the legendary Grimtooth.  Call of Cthulhu and HackMaster are among the games featured.  Two things make this card game unique.  First, it is not collectable.  The same number of each card have been printed, so there is no searching for rare cards.  Second, you can increase a card’s power by getting it autographed.  That’s right.  Take these cards to your local convention (or cyberstalk designers to their homes) and get the cards signed. You can buy the cards at Flyingbuffalo.com. There will only be one printing of the first set, so get them now. By the way…I think Liz can take Dave any day.

    First Ever Pokemon World Championship
    On August 3rd Seattle, Washington will host the first Pokemon World Championship at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center Hall.  Players from around the word, who have earned the right and been invited, will be playing for bragging rights (if there are any to be had in Pokemon).  You can check out full details on the WotC web site.  Now remember, all of this hinges on WotC not getting nervous and discontinuing the Pokemon CCG before August.  I am sure they had plans for a Chainmail tournament at one time also.

    Hordes of Chaos Interactive Map Unveiled
    Games Workshop has just launched a new web page containing an interactive map of Realms of Chaos! Explore this little-known and blighted area of the Old World. This is a nice little Flash page with clickable locales.  As always, Games Workshop leads the way in giving us free stuff in a cool format.

    One Diceland Promo, Size Huge

    Sunday, July 14th, 2002

    “Hey – that promo die – it’s huge!”

    That’s What I’m Talking About

    Saturday, July 13th, 2002

    Phil mailed to let me know that he’s done more than name-check Epic Duels. Hot damn!