Archive for January, 2003

Way of the Witch review

Friday, January 31st, 2003

Joe hits us with a review of Citizen GamesWay of the Witch sourcebook. Only the second D20 book about witches that we’ve reviewed… I think.

Big News From Columbia Games and ProFantasy

Friday, January 31st, 2003

Columbia Games has announced that extremely cool RPG software company ProFantasy is making a new interactive Harnic atlas. The first planned installment is the Kingdom of Kanday, with an expected release date sometime this spring. ProFantasy’s Campaign Cartographer is one of the greatest additions to gaming since dry erase hex mats, and Harn is perfect for such a monstrous undertaking (there’s already a Forgotten Realms atlas, but Harn dwarfs everything except the Traveller universe). Not much info is available yet, so stay alert for updates.

The Zeppelin Age Finally Comes to Life

Friday, January 31st, 2003

In anticipation of the release of their new game The Zeppelin Age, Heliograph, Inc. have begun adding content to The first update is a list of Zeppelin resources to help people get up to speed on the time period before the game’s release later this year. The Zeppelin Age will allow you create role playing adventures set in the early 20th century, when Zeppelins roamed the skies. If you haven’t already, stop by the page and check it out. While you are there, take a look at the main Heliograph page and marvel at one of the greatest games ever written, Space 1889 written by Traveller guru Frank Chadwick and originally published by GDW.

So much for Creepy Freaks: it’s non-violent

Wednesday, January 29th, 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.

Previews of two new WizKids games (not those games, the other ones)

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

Promo figures for Creepy Freaks and Indy HeroClix. Get your Dredd on. Do we have enough WizKids news for this week yet? Jeez.

“Say hello to my little friend!”: Ogre Mark IV review

Monday, January 27th, 2003

Matthew has reviewed the Ogre Mark IV mini from Steve Jackson Games. This is not quite our first review of actual lead, but still: neat. Check it out.

A few D&D collectible miniatures details

Monday, January 27th, 2003

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.

One Last Look at Denizens of Freeport

Monday, January 27th, 2003

Green Ronin has posted one last preview of Denizens of Freeport, which hits the stores this week. This nice little three page PDF lists 60 + of the major characters in Freeport. Check it out before the rush to the stores beings.

Yet more WizKids whisperings from the UK Toy Fair (with Dropship photos!)

Monday, January 27th, 2003

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.]

Arborell Goes Serial

Sunday, January 26th, 2003

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.

If you’re not reading Greg Costikyan’s weblog,

Friday, January 24th, 2003

you may be used as reactor shielding.

GURPS Online Goes Live!

Friday, January 24th, 2003

The new homepage for GURPS online is up and ruining [I love this typo so much that I'm going to leave it -- misuba]. While there is not much content just yet, you can see the FAQs for the first two planned games, Transhuman Space and GURPS Old West. You can also start networking with other players on the official forums. No launch dates are listed, but it looks like things are heating up at Steve Jackson Games and Worlds Apart.

WizKids Invites you to their Headquarters

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003

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.

Iron Crown Keeps the Free Stuff Coming

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003

The ever expanding Iron Crown page grew dramatically last week. Besides offering a whole bunch of new Rolemaster logo stuff at their Cafepress site, here are a few of the new updates:

  • A complete ICE product list (less the ever-sticky Middle Earth stuff).
  • ICE-related articles posted on The Guild Companion from December 1998 to December 1999.
  • A thirteen page PDF preview of art from Shadow World Master Atlas, 4th Ed. This book will be a glorious thing to behold. Check out the preview along with all kinds of other RoleMaster loot.
  • Random Treasure and Herb Generator Created by Randy Severance, this MS Excel utility randomly generates… um, treasures and herbs for your RoleMaster adventures.

    For a company that almost went belly up just a year ago, Iron Crown just keeps raging on.

  • Robin Laws to write for Iron Man

    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003

    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.

    Big miniatures news from GW, WotC; crazy WizKids rumors

    Monday, January 20th, 2003

    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?

    New Harn News from Columbia Games

    Monday, January 20th, 2003

    For all of you who pre-ordered Harnmaster and HarnPlayer Third Edition, they are in the mail now. The folks at Columbia Games have also posted a handy new Harnic Calendar for your every day use. You can download the free calendar as a PDF here. The new Harn 3rd edition includes updates on skills, beasts, psionics, and combat (including changes to the mounted combat rules). If you have not visited Harn in a while, check out the updated version. The question is…when do we get a Harn d20? Only time will tell.

    Races of Faerun and Unapproachable East Recap at Wizards

    Monday, January 20th, 2003

    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.

    Companion Robot Preview from Perpetrated Press

    Monday, January 20th, 2003

    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.

    New Call of Cthulhu Modern Adventure FOR FREE

    Saturday, January 18th, 2003

    Bring me the head of Sandy Peterson, or maybe just a new Call of Cthulhu adventure from the company that makes Scary worth the trouble. Chaosium has added a new modern COC adventure to their The Great Library of Celaeno: Call of Cthulhu Annex. The Brunholt Head , by Dr. Michael C. LaBrossiere is a nine page adventure set in the (can you guess) Maine woods (why don’t we get some Ozark Cthulhu or Cthulhu South Central or Cthulhu Castro). If anyone out there can come up with some good cross dressing Cthulhu, drop Chaosium a line and be the first.

    New Web Enhancement for Book of Vile Darkness

    Saturday, January 18th, 2003

    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.

    Green Ronin Goes Biblical

    Friday, January 17th, 2003

    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.

    Rolemaster Gets a Facelift

    Friday, January 17th, 2003

    Stalwart RPG Rolemaster has been given a nice face life in the form of a new logo. Iron Crown art director Kieran Yanner created a new, hip, next millennium for a forgotten age, kind of logo (oh maybe they can use that). I must say, I could not have done a better job myself (mostly because I can’t draw stick people). They also have a new Café Press store with some new logo merchandise. Check it out and love it.

    Checkers + Icehouse = Magic

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

    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….

    Welcome to our world of toys, it’s called Chapter 11

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

    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.