Bad Axe Games has just posted their release schedule for the rest of 2003, which is filled to the brim with d20 goodness. In June, the Heroes of High Favor d20 series will complete its goal of providing a sourcebook for each of the most popular race/class combinations. Heroes of High Favor: Halflings will present new feats, skills, prestige classes and more for halfling rogues, and Heroes of High Favor: Gnomes will do the same for gnomish illusionists. In July, Bad Axe will make use of its new partnership with Phil Reed to start bringing his PDF products into the printed marketplace. The first of these projects will be The Book of Unusual Treasures, which the schedule says will include “material collected from four of Philip’s PDFs: 101 Spellbooks, 101 Spell Components, and 101 Mundane Treasures, books I and II.” In September, Grim Tales will arrive, a pulp adventure campaign toolkit derived from the d20 Modern SRD. Finally, November will herald the Heroes of High Favor: Anthology, compiling and expanding information from the rest of the series in a hardback reference volume.
Archive for March, 2003
It looks like our initial source was inaccurate – those two weird AEG RPGs for kids are card games after all. According to this, the original HumAliens property “is being designed for and released to the core gaming market first.” Does that mean it’ll be followed by a dumbed down version? Or just by a TV show?
Holy crap, Homestar! One of Reiner Knizia’s most subtle and acclaimed board game designs is available for the PC or Mac, playable in single player mode against an AI or against other humans online. This implementation looks gorgeous and well worth the shareware fee.
This somewhat mistitled press release says that Upper Deck, the conventional trading card company that somehow scored Yu-Gi-Oh, will be slipping “SportsNut” E-cards into one in three of its baseball card packs for the new season. Fans can then enter the card’s ID in a website and add that card’s player to his fantasy-baseball team for the season. Aren’t there already fantasy baseball games online where you can play with essentially any player you want?
Actually, they won’t get him till June. Allan’s casual observation at GTS was that everyone seems to want to get into (non-trading) card games, and if that’s true, Green Ronin is evidently no exception. Expenses are higher than in the D20 market, but it looks like that market’s pretty dry right now. Will this market stay strong? I can tell you right now, I predict that in a year’s time there will be way too many dungeon- and swords-and-sorcery-themed standalone card games, and none of them will be making money anymore. There may be way too many already in fact. Some are still decent though (I’m about half done with my Dungeoneer review; hopefully it’ll be ready next week).
There doesn’t appear to be any big news in the post-GTS hangover, so have a look at this. Allan will have a mop-up report soon on the less-huge announcements from the show.
After their Origins nom for Sucking Vacuum, the guys at Alien Menace are really moving from strength to strength, although I confess I am not totally sure what that expression means. Modern Naval Battles will be a full-color, boxed version of the classic military card game by Dan Verssen (who designed the 7th Sea CCG, among other major titles). Look for this in the fall.
They look fine and everything – of course, they can always cherry-pick nice paint jobs when they’re doing a trade show like this. The frustrating thing is we don’t get a good look at those hexes. They obviously have some kind of little window in them, and it looks like maybe a lever? Anyway. I guess WizKids would have called the patent lawyers already if there were an infraction. But I like hex movement, I think it’s the best balance between speed and flexibility for this kind of game.
At their GTS presentation for D&D 3.5, WotC announced Scourge of Worlds, a computer-animated DVD set in Greyhawk. Viewers will use DVD menus to choose the path of the story at 20 different points, leading to one of four endings. It streets on June 10th. “We took some pictures as the movie played as you’ll see below.” Right, well, if that’s the case, I hope the final version looks less like a PowerPoint document.
Invisible City‘s latest game of the month has arrived. It’s Black Cat, a real-time, high-speed card game in the tradition of such classics as Spit and the alarmingly-named Egyptian Rat Screw. The game supports two to four players and should generate plenty of noise and chaos if you feel the need to wake up your gaming group.
At the Tuesday dinner presentation, we got details on some of WizKids‘ plans for the coming year. A humorous promo movie on Creepy Freaks, a number of HeroClix, MechWarrior and MageKnight expansion announcements, and it was on to what everyone really wanted to dive into: a tournament of Shadowrun Duels. Everyone in the room received a prototype package, containing an action figure with interchangable equipment, a large click base with three dials, small dice of certain colors and sides, and a storage tray that affixed to the underside of the base. For the tournament, each table of 10-14 people was split down the middle to form teams. Having been fortunate enough to get Kyushi, a cute Asian sniper chick, I opted to join in.
To my dismay, there were six players against five, and I was on the smaller team. However, my teammates made better decisions on their equipment, which gave us an advantage. The figures have little pegs at various locations (hands, waist, etc) that can hold weapons, medpacks, mystic talismans, and such, up to 12 points worth. Each little plastic piece of equipment has a point cost printed on it, along with a color and size of die the item affords the character. Lose the item in combat, and you’ve got fewer dice to do your actions with each round, which might mean you don’t have enough dice to block with, shoot, attack close-up, or whatever. There’s more to it, of course, including criticals, varying range capabilities for each character, and armor. But from our couple hours of competition (which we won, btw), the game seems to run very smoothly. The basic game has only a slight learning curve, easily manageable by the target audience (ages 8 and up), and loads of potential. I’ll be interested to see larger combat scenarios and campaign rules, which were mentioned earlier that evening. I expect the gorgeous figures and seamless combat of Shadowrun Duels will draw in hordes of new WizKids devotees.
Creepy Freaks is nice and all, but the presumably MK Dungeons-related plastic dungeon tiles which this post barely talks about but has drooly pictures of, ought to make some folks at Dwarven Forge sweat.
And then I realized that it was all a dream! That’s right: apparently GR and many, many retailers were reacting to a typo in the D&D Miniatures promo materials. So now they have some photos and the minis are indeed Mage Knight/classic scale. Some poor WotC copy editor will be sleeping on the streets, I fear…
Check out the pics of the Shadowrun Duels package, specifically of the back. Do you think maybe they wanted to append a big red “Dammit!” but legal wouldn’t let them get away with it?
Um… what? This is actually pretty funny. Yes, they were really hacked, evidently by idiot Russian teens. All the online news sources are certainly giving Green Ronin lots of love right now, and rightfully so. I hope Chris and Nicole are having a chuckle instead of stressing overmuch.