Archive for January, 2003

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.

GAMA posts trade show schedule for 2003

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

Yup. They sure do. They do that all the time. Have a look.

WotC’s big hot schedule for summer

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

According to ICv2, Hasbro won’t be giving up on RPGs at least until after the summer. Highlights include the fact that Matt Forbeck is writing Forgotten Realms stuff, which I didn’t know although I am famously inattentive; the big book for Urban Arcana, probably the most interesting of the three teaser settings in D20 Modern; a nifty-sounding new D&D campaign setting called Ghostwalk – all undead all the time; and the WotC co-publish-ment of the D20 version of Dragonlance. Full details await at the link, check it out.

Kenzer is your Best Friend

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

Kenzer and Company continues to come up with better and better ways to be your best friend. The folks in Chicago have posted PDF copies of player’s handouts for Hackmaster. For all of us who have played for over twenty years, the idea of having nice, clean players handouts that you can just print out is the equivalent of winning the lottery. Four of the Hackmaster modules are included in the deal. Check out the DM’s only download page at Kenzerco.com.

Area game company issues clever press release

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

Cheapass’ new press release about their 2003 “Year In Space” release schedule has drawn a mixed critical response, ranging from “a bold step forward in press releasing” to “too clever for its own good.” But, really, how clever is good for you? The critics are silent on that one. Its average rating is 3.9 out of five stars. Highlights of the release include: color Give Me The Brain hits this month, Diceland: Infinite Space will consist of two separate sets, and the classic Fight City will get new life as Fight Planet. Fight Planet, the heartwarming update of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic in both conventional and IMAX formats, will be in theaters this Christmas a full-color game compatible with the original Fight City, has no announced release date.

Ok this is kind of Computerish, But…

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

Atari has opened a web page for their upcoming Dungeons and Dragons video game. Although there is no firm date for the release of D&D Heroes, it is slated for this year and will be available for PS2, Xbox, and Game Cube. From the description, you’ll be able to do all that neat multi-player stuff over the Internet the kids are so excited about these days. Check out the game, concept art, screen shots and more on the new web page, and stay tuned.