Archive for November, 2002

Chains and Misery, without Jacob Morley

Saturday, November 30th, 2002

Chains and Misery has just been released by Skald Books. No, it has nothing to do with Dickens. Instead, it’s a 2.6 Mb PDF for Skald’s Maidenheim Campaign Setting, or any d20 System game, really. Chains and Misery dives into how slavery works “as a legitimized social institution rather than as the fate of those captured on the fringes of civilization.” So, in a medieval world that still accepts slavery, Skald’s product attempts to explain (and provide d20 rules for) the following:

  • Locating, buying, selling, and maintaining slaves
  • The relationship between slaves and their masters
  • Putting slaves to work as leased servants, plantation laborers, miners, or quarry workers.
  • Potential profits received from slave labor or establishing a slaving guild
  • The Slaver core class and Slave Lord Prestige Class
  • Other class options: Slave-Warrior, Gladiator, Slave-Guard, and Slave-Assassin
  • New weapons, equipment, poisons, restraints (ooh, kinky), spells, and magical items used in the slave trade

Now, you may be wondering if this sort of product is a good idea. My stance is I want to have a game world that’s as realistic as possible while still being fun, so rules on slavery, a real event, could be useful. Does Chains and Misery do a good job? Can’t answer that, I haven’t seen it. What I do know is the 97 page PDF is only $7.50, and can be purchased through RPGNow.

Another glimpse of WarMech

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

Our friends over at ENworld are showing off a 2-page preview from WarMech – Armageddon 2089. The game’s on Mongoose‘s schedule for a March ’03 release, but between this and the background preview, you should be getting a fair idea of what to expect.

Quintessential Samurai art preview

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

To whet our appetites for next month’s Quintessential Samurai, the guys at Mongoose Publishing have posted an art preview. A few tatoos, an attractive female samurai, and a whole lot of katanas fill the six page PDF. Have a look.

Pinnacle gives away village. Inhabitants not included

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

Pinnacle has another Thanksgiving freebie for us: a Mexican Villa Map created by Joseph Wolf. You’ll need the Campaign Cartographer Viewer for it, but it could prove useful for your Deadlands, Deadlands: Hell on Earth, or… um… well, anything that needs a Mexican village.

Shadow & Flame for LotR Battle Game

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

In other Games Workshop news, we’ve been given a first look at some of the miniatures from the first Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game supplement Shadow & Flame, due in stores June 2003. The picture shows Balin and his dwarf guard, painted in the always-excellent GW style.

GW announces date for first West Coast Games Day

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

This innocuous-looking page is the first public appearance of a firm date for, and open admission of, Games Day Los Angeles. It’s been rumored for a long, long time, but here’s the proof that Games Workshop will be covering both coasts as well as the Midwest with major events in 2003. Between this and Gen Con in 2004, Southern California is heating up. (I wonder how the job market is down there…)

New pix of MechWarrior expansion, due in February

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

The MW Fire For Effect expansion is getting ready to hit you where it hurts (yes, I mean your wallet. What did you think I meant?) in February. The boosters-only expansion introduces new rules and figures for Artillery, Mercenaries, and Transport Vehicles. All I want to know is, does anyone fire for something other than effect in the MW universe? Is “firing for disaffect” a common thing in the novels? Or maybe this expansion introduces some general whose troops are kind of inept and he gets really snide with ‘em and stuff? Are there new trash-talking rules for your own units? Innuendo bonuses? Irony penalties? OgreCave will keep you posted.

OgreCave Interview: James Wallis/Hogshead Publishing

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

Now that the news has come out about Hogshead Publishing calling it quits, we can let you see the interview with Hogshead’s Director and all-around nice guy, James Wallis. He explains some of the reasons for the announcement, muses on the state of the industry, and deftly avoids telling us why both he and Nobilis are an unusual size.

Necromancer provides alternative to white or dark meat

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

Necromancer Games have a pair of d20 downloads to help keep your game going through the holiday weekend. The first is a free Thanksgiving module, Feast of the Gobbler by Casey W. Christofferson, which spans 29 pages and 5.4 mb. The adventure’s for 4-6 characters of 3rd – 5th level, and is particularly disturbing due to the revised Orcus symbol contained therein. Also, a 2.3 mb download of the maps from Rappan Athuk 3 has been added to Necromancer’s product support page. That should hold ya for a while.

Hogshead Publishing calls it quits

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

For today’s big news, Hogshead Publishing has just announced that as of November 30th, the company will be leaving the adventure-gaming industry. As the press release stated, the company hasn’t gone broke or anything. Instead, the shutdown is because “we are bored, creatively frustrated, and increasingly despondent about the future of the specialist games industry. After our successes in 2002, particularly the mould-breaking and critically acclaimed games Nobilis and De Profundis, we think we’ve gone as far as we can and this seems a suitable high-point on which to call it a day.”

So what’s to become of the Hogshead games, now bereft of a company? Nobilis will now reside at Guardians of Order, while the English-language licence for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has gone back to Games Workshop. SLA Industries is back under the control of Nightfall Games, and Warpstone magazine will continue under its own imprint. All future products previously announced by Hogshead are cancelled, except for the Nobilis line which GOO is taking over, and the full-length Warhammer FRP adventure Fear the Worst by Michael Mearls, which Hogshead will make available as a free PDF download from its website “as a farewell-and-thank-you present to all our players and fans.” A small amount of backstock has been retained by Hogshead for mail order, which will continue for a while, but the rest has already been sold off to distributors.

Check back with OgreCave later today for our exclusive interview with James Wallis, Director of Hogshead Publishing, on the shutdown decision, the state of the industry today, and whatever else we manage to wring out of him.

Gold Rush at Origins. Get your mining gear

Monday, November 25th, 2002

Gold Rush Games is looking to tempt you into running its games at Origins 2003. If you run 16 hours of registered GRG gaming at Origins, including Sengoku, Usagi Yojimbo, San Angelo: City of Heroes, Action! System or anything else, you’ll get a bonus thank you. Not only will you get your convention registration fee refunded to you, but you’ll get 10% off any purchase from GRG at the convention. If every company isn’t doing something like this to reward their loyal fans’ support, they damn well should.

Wingnut forums launched

Monday, November 25th, 2002

Wingnut Games has launched new forums to discuss their games, see previews of upcoming products, and generally run amuck. Get over there and start harassing Aldo. He likes it.

Origins 2003 online registration begins

Monday, November 25th, 2002

GAMA has announced that online registration and events submissions are now open for Origins 2003, which takes place June 26-29 next year. The deadline to have events listed in the Pre-Reg Book is January 1, so get moving. If you miss that, the deadline for the Onsite Program is April 19. The new online system is reportedly “better than before… stronger… faster…”

Things Just Get Eldritchier

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

Not only has Book of Eldritch Might III: The Nexus just been released to an excellent response, but Monte Cook’s Malhavoc Press has also completed a free patch upgrade for the original Book of Eldritch Might. What does the patch include? Well, according to the Malhavoc website, you can expect:

  • Re-edited text in a printer-friendly layout
  • A redesigned cover to compliment others in the Malhavoc product line
  • Brian LeBlanc’s illustrations from the print version, along with most of the original PDF’s artwork by The Unseelie Court
  • Added Eldritch Might material from Monte’s website: the spell lists and random rune generator already featured in the print edition

Those who own the original BoEM PDF can grab the free patch at RPGNow and, as of yesterday, anyone buying the electronic BoEM will get the updated version which won’t require a patch.

Dystopia is better than Datopia

Thursday, November 21st, 2002

Politically Incorrect Games wants to remind us all to give thanks this Thanksgiving, by pointing out how lucky we are not to live in the setting of Dystopia: America 2155AD. Our world is a cake walk compared to the corporate-controlled, brutal world the 39-page PDF game presents. To make us all feel extra thankful, PI Games has reduced the price for downloading Dystopia to only $5 until Thanksgiving (that’s November 28th for those unfamiliar with the turkey-fest). Grab a copy while they’re cheap over at RPGNow or the RPGnet Mall.