Archive for September, 2002

Goodman Games Contracts Rare Form of Lycanthropy

Monday, September 30th, 2002

Next January, Goodman Games will expand upon its Complete Guide line with the Complete Guide to Wererats. The d20 sourcebook will be usable in any setting, and will give details on the “secretive Council of the Flesh” (which sounds rude, but I’m sure it isn’t), along with new feats, classes, and skills designed just for wererats and other shapechangers. Like the other books in the series, Wererats will retail for $11. Of course, the Complete Guide line will welcome books on T-Rex in October and Dopplegangers in November, so you’ll be plenty busy until the vicious lycanthropes arrive.

Queen’s Tier gets the Nod from Wizards of the Coast

Monday, September 30th, 2002

The fan run campaign setting, The Queen’s Tier, has been given permission by Wizards of the Coast to reference certain copyrighted material on their site. WotC is allowing the site’s administrators to use material from a wide range of their products. Soon you will see references to books such as Oriental Adventures, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Magic of Faerun, Masters of the Wild, Song and Silence, Sword and Fist, Tome and Blood, and Defenders of the Faith! Accompanying this monumental step, the folks at Queen’s Tier have redesigned their page and given it an all new look. Do it yourself lives on.

Mutants & Masterminds Skips d20 Logo

Monday, September 30th, 2002

This just in: Green Ronin Publishing has announced that Mutants & Masterminds, the upcoming superhero RPG, will be released under the Open Game License only. Yes folks, this means the d20 logo will not be on the cover (though the book will still use the d20 System). “The game was so close to being complete on its own,” said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas, “that we decided to go for it and let Mutants & Masterminds’ quality speak for itself.” This decision allows GR to include all the necessary rules for a stand-alone RPG, with character creation, powers, and other goodies. This will be the first time a non-fantasy d20 RPG has foregone the d20 License and logo recognition.

So what else should we watch for in this hardcover, 192-page, full-color beauty? Author Steve Kenson will do his best to wow us with the game’s point-based character creation, with Feats and Super Feats, with more than 100 powers, an intro adventure, and a “streamlined system that requires only one die, a d20, to play.” The hero templates sound pretty sweet, too: Battlesuit, Elemental, Gadgeteer, Martial Artist, Metamorph, Mimic, Mystic, Original (huh?), Powerhouse, Psychic, Speedster, and Totem. There’s sure be something for everyone. Mutants & Masterminds arrives in October (read: pretty damn soon) with a price tag of $32.95.

New Reviews: Tower Siege & GURPS Prime Directive

Sunday, September 29th, 2002

For our latest salvo of new reviews, we’ve got a card game and a trip down Trek memory lane. First, Craig gives us his impression of Tower Siege from Arcane Games. Then Matthew spills the details of GURPS Prime Directive, which follows the Star Fleet Battles version of Federation history. Let the reading begin!

Total Carnage! I Love It!

Sunday, September 29th, 2002

I’m sorry, but this is just cool. Why didn’t I hear about it earlier?
['Cuz you didn't see the huge ad in Dragon this month. - Allan]

More Games Enter the D20 Orbit

Sunday, September 29th, 2002

The latest D20 conversion announcement comes from Guardians of Order. This week it was announced that their signature anime game Big Eyes Small Mouth is going D20. Following in the footsteps of games like Rolemaster (someone explain that one to me), BESM D20 is expected in Spring of 2003. Additionally, they will be producing a D20 version of the BESM guide to robots and things, Big Robots, Cool Starships. If you have not played the original BESM, the second edition rule book was released earlier this year, and is a real hoot.

Here comes Optasia!

Sunday, September 29th, 2002

A group of gamers have announced a new RPG system that they think will be the answer to your prayers. Optasia is a new system designed by a group of New Jersey gamers and set in a world called Taboo. The game isn’t quite ready, but their web page is online, and there’s a bunch of information for you and anyone else interested in a new game. The game will reportedly contain a new, more realistic combat system, a divided experience point system, and new ideas on armor. The Taboo World is a civilization trying to claw its way out from under its past sins. The Optasia web page has extensive information on the game and the world. If you are tired of the same old stuff, give this a shot.

New Pictures from Black Tree Designs

Sunday, September 29th, 2002

Right on schedule, the folks at Black Tree Design have posted pictures of some of their newest miniatures. For their Dark Ages line, Vikings abound. Make sure to take a look at the new Naked Viking Beserkers with Axes. For their WWII line, there are all kinds of new German Vehicles. Black Tree has a nice set of tank crewmen for your next battle. They also have a great “buy one dragon, get one free” deal going on.

Eagle Games Continues Horribly Miscegenating Nature’s Design

Saturday, September 28th, 2002

By which I mean that they‘ve licensed another popular strategy PC game to turn into one of their signature big-box, lotsa-plastic throwdowns. We first saw their gorgeous board-game conversion of Sid Meier’s Civilization at Origins (it appears to have been delayed somewhat, it now being the end of September). Now they’ve announced Age of Mythology, a game based on the RTS title Microsoft’s releasing to follow up the Age of Empires line. The board game is set to release next spring (although schedules already look a little funny – at the time of this posting, the relevant press release is itself late). Here’s hoping Eagle meets with more success with this license than Journeyman did. I hope to rustle up some fans of the first Civ computer game to try the board game when it arrives.

Gnome Tribes Playtest Report

Saturday, September 28th, 2002

So a few weeks ago these two games from Tilsit show up at the store. Most of the Tilsit games I’ve seen are longish strategy games, up to 5 hours in average play time, and many of them hue pretty closely to the conquest mold: you have a big map of territories, you have units that travel across them and kick each other’s asses, et cetera. I’ve been calling this kind of game “Risk-like” just so people know what I’m talking about, although few of them are like Risk. One of the two games I had my eye on was Space Pigs, which actually looks not very Risk-like at all. It looks more like Starfarers or Cosmic Encounter. It does involve hunting for the secret recipe for beer, however, so it might be worth a look. The other was Gnome Tribes – more directly Risk-like, which is what I’m into right now, and cheaper, so it came home with me.
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A.I. Armoured Intelligence Ready for Playtest

Saturday, September 28th, 2002

A.I. Armoured Intelligence is a soon to be released small-scale wargame, designed to simulate conflict between a small number of AI-controlled tanks at short range. This small press game announced this week that its playtest rules are ready for download, FREE. You can also check out tank specs and more on their download page. So get in on the ground floor and take the game out for a spin today.

For the Power Gamer Who Has Everything

Friday, September 27th, 2002

Palladium Books has announced their 2002 X-Mas Surprise Package. Let Kevin Siembieda be your personal shopper as he selects and autographs the perfect gift for that Rifts afficionado on your Christmas list. Palladium guarantees at least $45 worth of product for the $25 list price. While you are ordering, you should visit the Cutting Room Floor and download a few character sheets, or even a PDFof the original RECON.

Warriors from George Lucas’ Past

Friday, September 27th, 2002

One of the most interesting things to be added to the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars page lately is stats for the mystical Morgukai Warriors. Originally a character in the Expanded Universe comic books, the Morgukai Warriors are a nearly forgotten secret society from the distant past (theirs not ours). Placing them at the time of the Geonosian crisis, this new look at these warriors includes nice background as well as ready-to-use stats and feats.

Forge World and their 40K

Thursday, September 26th, 2002

Forge World and their 40K Masterpiece
Forge World has posted pictures of their new Thunderhawk Gunship for WarHammer 40K. New pictures of the interior of an unpainted ship and a side by side picture of the old and new versions of the ship are featured on the page. The old ones were metal and the new ones are resin, you can see the real quality of the new ships. Forge World has also posted pictures of their new Pylon 40K Necron weapon system. These pictures prove that Forge World makes some of the most astounding models for gaming anywhere.

As if Mage: The Ascension

Thursday, September 26th, 2002

As if Mage: The Ascension wasn’t Creepy Enough
White Wolf has opened up a page in their online store for players to preorder their November Mage: The Ascension release, Manifesto: Transmissions from the Rogue Council. This upcoming book details cryptic messages sent magically to Tradition mages in councils from the Rogue Council, a secret group advocating war. Sounds like a great book.

The Power of Hell Compels

Thursday, September 26th, 2002

The Power of Hell Compels You…To Visit Fast Forward Entertainment
Fast Forward Entertainment has posted an index of creatures, challenge ratings, magic, and more for their Encyclopedia of Demons & Devils II, all in the handy PDF format. Fast Forward has also posted a web enhancement for the book. This 10 page PDF includes all kinds of new evil, any one of whom can be used to kill off offending members of the party and send those folks packing.

Bastion Press Thinks You’re a

Wednesday, September 25th, 2002

Bastion Press Thinks You’re a Loser
Well that is not exactly the truth. Bastion Press announced that the open call for submissions for their upcoming Pale Designs: A Poisoner’s Handbook has ended and the winning authors have been notified. So if you sent something and you have not heard yet, you’re probably not the next Monte Cook or Ken St.Andre (at least not yet). But that should not stop you from picking up this hip book when it is released in January.

R.A. Salvatore’s new Novel Out

Wednesday, September 25th, 2002

R.A. Salvatore’s new Novel Out in October
In October Wizards of the Coast is releasing the first novel of a coming trilogy from R.A. Salvatore. The Thousand Orcs is book one of The Hunter’s Blades trilogy, a new series featuring Drizzt Do’Urden and set in the Forgotten Realms campaign world. First seen in the Dark Elf trilogy, The Thousand Orcs is the first book to focus exclusively on the exploits of Drizzt Do’Urden. To coincide with the book’s release, Salvatore will be doing a signing tour. Keep an eye on his home page for dates and places.

Battle Grid Deluxe Arrives from

Wednesday, September 25th, 2002

Battle Grid Deluxe Arrives from ZenoGames
ZenoGames has done us all a great favor and released a Battle Grid Deluxe Edition. Included in the new edition are miniatures of a bunch of armies:

  • WWI US Army Doughboys
  • WWI German Infantry “Huns”
  • WWI British Infantry
  • Chinese Boxers 1900
  • British Army – Boxer Rebellion 1900
  • Egyptian Army – 1882
  • British Army – 1882
  • French Knights
  • Union Infantry
  • Confederate Infantry
  • British Infantry – 1776
    and more.
    It also includes the Battle Grid Board Game. With this one simple system you can wage any type of historical war your blood lust desires. Ready..Set…WAR!

  • New Harn Stuff Abounds Columbia

    Wednesday, September 25th, 2002

    New Harn Stuff Abounds
    Columbia Games, makers of the unbelievably expansive world of Harn, has posted some goodies for all you Harn-o-philes.

  • Two new PDF and print releases, Selvos Castle, and Dragons and Tournaments.
  • New optional Language Rules for HârnMaster by: James Currie
    Check out the new Columbia Games store. PDF copies are all half price.

  • White Wolf Returns from Germany

    Tuesday, September 24th, 2002

    White Wolf Returns from Germany with a New Game
    White Wolf has announced the impending publication of Engel a game of angelic combat. Originally published in Germany by one of White Wolf’s licensees, Engel can be played with a revolutionary new Tarot card system or D20 rules (both are included in the core rule book). At White Wolf’s new Engel web site you can get a look at PDF’s of character sheets, maps, and excerpts, as well as explanations of the angelic orders, all on the download page. Sounds like a nice game. For something similar that’s been around for awhile, see the Archangel website from Visionary Games.

    Steer-ing Toward Battle Cattle: Third Edition

    Tuesday, September 24th, 2002

    Okay, no more puns in this post. I promise.

    Because the world demanded it, Wingnut Games just announced plans for Battle Cattle: Third Edition. The new, revised rules will include “more cow breeds, weapons, modifications and accessories” equalling 48 pages of bovine combat fun. The book will arrive this December at a price of $17.95, and will also include a full color pasture battlefield and full color “cow chips” (no, that’s Aldo’s pun, not mine, so it doesn’t count) to assist the poor souls that ‘t already have the latest Battle Cattle minis. What could possibly make this book better? The fact that Colin Adams, OgreCave’s own excellent artist, is doing the full-color cover. I’ve seen a rough draft of it while peeking over his shoulder, and quite frankly, this book is going to look awesome.

    Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys Now Shipping for GURPS WWII

    Tuesday, September 24th, 2002

    Return to Honor brings the French to GURPS WWII. Now you too can surrender, then wait for the United States to bail you out. In fact, it’s a little bit like playing a cleric. A rude, arrogant cleric who is into smelly kinds of cheeses. Also shipping from SJ Games: GURPS Modern Firepower and Hellboy Heroes Miniatures.

    0one Games Unveils The Minotaur

    Monday, September 23rd, 2002

    0one Games Unveils The Minotaur
    0one Games has unveiled its newest D&D3e adventure, The Minotaur. In their new preview you can get a look at a list of the adventure’s features (classes, monsters), a quick look at some art and a glimpse of some new maps. Not a lot give away the plot, but a quick look at another impressive PDF from 0one Games.

    Free Preview of Unearth: The

    Monday, September 23rd, 2002

    Free Preview of Unearth: The Dark Future
    Etherworld has posted an eight page preview of their upcoming debut release, Unearth: The Dark Future. Unearth is a new D20 campaign setting in the post-apocalyptic milieu. The preview contains a new prestige class (are their any unprestigeous classes?) called Preatorian. These nice folks are traveling knowledge-seekers looking for answers about the time before the “Great Shattering”. Sounds nice and fuzzy. The game’s creator has previously published a book recounting the work of Uber-Dork Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic-TV fame. The game sounds neat though. The company says that they plan on releasing more cores and supplements in 2003.