Archive for January, 2003
Apparently ,we haven’t had enough WizKids news after all: GamingReport brings in a few details on the under-10-pitched Creepy Freaks. Just two figures in a booster for $3.49, which is actually a decent price when you compare it to… Gregory Horror Show (the figures were good, okay?). Will kids take to a game that has no associated TV show, that doesn’t make collecting a part of its actual storyline, and that boils the conflict down to non-violent “freak-outs”? My bet is no, and although the preview figures we linked to previously look pretty good, they don’t look super-original. The game design itself might redeem this one, but we’ve seen what happens when you aim for kids and hit gamers. Ehh. I dunno.
Promo figures for Creepy Freaks and Indy HeroClix. Get your Dredd on. Do we have enough WizKids news for this week yet? Jeez.
ICv2 brings the pain – WotC’s new miniatures guy, also named Chris, answers precisely four questions about the upcoming pre-painted, randomly sorted D&D minis game. The most intriguing bit here is there will be some Chainmail figures in the first set, so that investment won’t be rendered worthless for the four or five of you who made it. Also, it’s alleged that the new game will support large battles as well as skirmishes. I don’t know that that indicates anything good for out-of-the-box gameplay, but I could be wrong.
Still nothing about the two new games, except that another person thinks they’re cool and they may reveal more details at the US Toy Fair (which is next month, right?). But there is something here about a game for the under-10 set called Creepy Freaks, which I hadn’t yet heard. Also, the same folks have several shots of the sort-of-available-soon MechWarrior Dropship, in amongst other Fire For Effect stuff. [Update: GamingReport has some plausible support for a rumor that one of the new WizKids games is actually Car Wars. I don't buy it myself, but it would certainly be the right way to do Car Wars.]
Wayne Densley, author of the popular online gamebook series, The Chronicles of Arborell, reports that while his current interactive writing project, the epic Earth and Stone, proceeds slowly, he has managed to create another work to tide fans over in the meantime. This time it’s “Blood and Iron,” a piece of serialized fiction that will show up one episode per fortnight starting this week. It’s not interactive, but it should fill in some backstory that will add depth to the gamebooks. The current episode can be found here.
Ok, not all of you at once. It’s more like a contest kind of thing. WizKids has decided to conduct the Four Shards of the Amulet contest along with their new Mage Knight: Uprising expansion. Here’s the deal:
The goal of the contest is to be the first player or team of players to bring together four of the incredibly rare shards to form the complete Amulet. The pieces will be randomly inserted into Mage Knight: Uprising booster packs and distributed worldwide. The first team to submit a complete Amulet to the WizKids office in Bellevue, Wash., will win the grand prize.
Sound like the Four Horsemen contest to anyone else? Winners get to come to Washington and schmooze with the WizKids biggies and help design new Mage Knight figures. Check out the WizKids page for the full Skinny.
We’ve just learned that popular game author Robin Laws has been signed on as the writer for issues 65-69 of the Iron Man ongoing comic book. According to this interview with Marvel editor Tom Brevoort, current Iron Man writer Mike Grell is leaving after issue 64, leaving an unfinished storyline called “Manhunt” to resolve. Robin Laws will “pinch hit” for a few issues while Marvel continues looking for a permanent writer to take over.
Games Workshop announced they’ll be doing a Lord of the Rings pre-painted, hex-based collectible game this Christmas. “Combat-Hex” is intriguing, and suggests that maybe GW will be weaseling their way around the WizKids combat dial patent and doing something similar. Wizards has also all but announced a new plastic, pre-painted D&D miniatures game, although whether the game will be collectible is unclear. No official news release on that one yet from what I can see.
Also, rumors continue to fly about the two major new games that WizKids will soon announce. A source says that one of the games will, in fact, likely be a Star Trek license. The other is being spoken of by those in the industry as an impressive new play to bring new people into the industry. How it can do that and still be a miniatures game, I don’t know. When I think of hobby game companies trying to open the hobby up, I tend to think of that holy grail, sports games. Now, many sports games have tried and died, but Blood Bowl has already shown us that interesting things are possible when you merge sports and minis. I think combat dials and, say, basketball could be even more powerful. That one is just speculation on my part, though. Any other theories?
Wizards of the Coast has posted a chapter by chapter recap of two of their forthcoming Forgotten Realms books. Races of Faerun details, well the races that inhabit Faerun (I guess that is logical). Unapproachable East is another in the Forgotten Realms travelogue. Check out the chapter recaps and get a sneak peek of two hot upcoming books.
The guys at Perpetrated Press have posted a preview from their new book Factory, arriving in March. Factory is a compendium of magical computers, robots and all sorts of other things. Factory will allow players to create and play cybernetic characters to use in all manner of games. The one page JPG preview is for a Companion Robot, one of seven different classes available to players. There you go, check it out along with the other previews of Factory previously posted.
Monte Cook and the benevolent rulers at Wizards of the Coast have posted a free web enhancement of his Dungeons and Dragons Book of Smut (oops, Allan is gonna edit that). For this eleven page PDF Mr. Cook as come up with some new baddies for your evil campaign. The deposed archdevil Geryon, the demon prince Pazuzu, and the demon princess Rhyxali are the three demons that did not make the book but get their fifteen minutes here and now online.
D20 mainstay Green Ronin has announced a gutsy move in the world of d20 supplements. Green Ronin announced their plans to release Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era in April. This new world will be part history, part religious zealotry (or at least I hope it will). “I conceived this product as an alternative to the current crop of fantasy worlds,” says Green Ronin President Chris Pramas. “Really, how many more vaguely Tolkien-esque fantasy settings do we need?” Not to knock the Tolkien thing (unless it is connected to Peter Jackson) but this sounds like a great idea. Keep your eyes peeled. We’ll see how it compares to Tyranny‘s The End.
After a slightly longer than usual hiatus, Invisible City Productions is back with a new free game of the month, a Checkers variant called Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The game uses a standard Checkers set plus some Icehouse pieces to create a contest in which pieces gain special abilities as the game goes on, resulting in increasingly complicated and interesting gameplay. You’d think they’d run out of new things to do with Checkers, but they just keep coming up with new kinds of niftiness….
FAO Schwarz succumbs to bankruptcy. Maybe not real relevant to your life as a gamer unless you’re looking to pick up some cheap LARP space in Vegas. With a big horse. It certainly does not seem to pay to be in the medium-high-end space of, well, any business right about now.