Archive for March, 2003

Yowling Reported in Invisible City

Friday, March 21st, 2003

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.

Chaosium cultists loose at GTS

Thursday, March 20th, 2003

Chaosium was moderately high profile, despite all the recent rumors flying around (which feeds into their Latin motto, “All rumors are true”), having a decent sized booth in the third exhibit hall and a big ad on the show bag. Arkham, the latest Cthulhu supplement, is shipping now, complete with a fold-out town map in the back and small fold-out newspaper in the front. Disciples of Cthulhu II will continue the stream of popular Lovecraftian fiction this month, followed later (no date specified) by The White People and Other Tales. Further down the line, H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport will describe the famed coastal town for CoC, imitating the neighboring Arkham with a tourist brochure and fold-out map. A second edition of The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana will bring 150 pages more than the previous edition, including an expanded Necronomicon appendix and a Cthulhu Mythos timeline. Last among the planned products, the long awaited Secrets of Japan will detail the Great Old Ones’ effects on the Land of the Rising Sun. And yes, it will explain the enigma that is adult tentacle anime, though it won’t make it any less odd.

Sources also say that Chaosium has begun inquiring with RPG publishers about the possibility of producing licensed supplements for Call of Cthulhu, Call of Cthulhu d20, Stormbringer, and Dragonlords of Melnibone. No word yet on who, if anyone, might pursue such a license.

Shadowrun Duels tournament thoughts

Thursday, March 20th, 2003

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.

AEG doing Stargate, Warlord RPGs, and two for the kids

Thursday, March 20th, 2003

Stargate is a slam dunk for gaming (hey, we found a gate to Gamma World!), and a game set in the Warlord universe makes sense for the last successful CCG besides Magic that isn’t a license. The puzzling things announced in this report, though, are the two games evidently pitched at the younguns. HumAliens is an original property aimed at 10- to 14-year-olds, and then they got this license for “Japan’s number one anime show for teen boys,” a street-racing-themed show called Initial D. Will the Yu-Gi-Oh crowd really want to roleplay? And is AEG getting away from their core strengths with these two titles? Anyway, they’ll all be out in July (Origins?).

Hot, live snap-together dungeon action

Thursday, March 20th, 2003

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.

Decipher ups RPG support, continues twitching and winking about Matrix

Wednesday, March 19th, 2003

GR’s notes about the Decipher seminar at GTS indicate that they told a bunch of retailers that they were really, really sorry about their apparent love-em-and-leave-em policy for their RPG releases of late. “Decipher will be releasing a minimum of 2 releases a month for the next few years for their RPG lines.” As far as the Matrix rumors, “[t]here was a hint given of an important announcement coming tomorrow or Thursday of a new product or license.” Morpheus and his sons have 48 hours to get out of rumorland, or military action will begin at a time of our choosing. (Imagine Ken Hite dressed as Schwartzkopf when you read that. OK, maybe I shouldn’t have shared my private fantasy there.)

GOO doing GoT RPG

Wednesday, March 19th, 2003

Or, more properly, A Song of Ice and Fire. Available in “fall” (read: “Gen Con, we hope”), this RPG based on George R.R. Martin’s line of novels will be dual-system-dual-rulebook like Silver Age Sentinels. I wonder why Fantasy Flight didn’t get this one; maybe their RPG plate is full, or Martin didn’t like the way they named the whole card game after the first book, or there were sunspots.

This is hilarious: D&D minis are mini after all

Wednesday, March 19th, 2003

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…

Hey, ya stupid kid, that round thing ain’t just for whacking people

Wednesday, March 19th, 2003

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?

Green Ronin site haX0Red

Wednesday, March 19th, 2003

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.

Complete Origins nominee list

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

There’s still no change to the official site, but here’s a list. We are now open for kibitzing.

The kids love the dragons: new post-3.5 D&D books

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

Two books hitting in November, one’s a big dragon book, lots of art, yay, not a hardcover for some reason. The other appears to duplicate the entire mission and role of Mongoose’s Quintessential Fighter. Unless “warrior” means something else, I’ve lost track. Perhaps not the exciting D&D announcement you’re looking for, but there’s still a couple days left in the show.

Simpsons CCG and D&D big-atures hit this fall

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

No, they didn’t kill the Simpsons game. That’s about all the new info on that, but there was a big burst of new intel on the upcoming prepainted, randomized D&D Miniatures game. The big shocker is that these figs will not be standard 25mm scale like MK and, well, all the leads you own, but will be 40 to 65mm in scale. Some of the products claim to “expand any collection of D&D miniatures,” though, so who knows, maybe the catalog stuff is just unclear. If true, though, we’re looking at lots of pissed-off gamers.

3 of 5 Origins Game of the Year nominees have combat dials

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

The site doesn’t appear to have voting up the way they said it did at brunch this morning, but Allan (who is alive) remembers the Game of the Year nominees as Mutants and Masterminds, Buffy RPG, MK Dungeons, Marvel HeroClix, and MechWarrior. We’ll try to have a complete nominee listing or link as soon as we can.

Phil Reed expands 101 Spellbooks, then goes looking for a wrist brace

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

See, ’cause spellbooks are handwritten, and he’d expand a lot of them and then, uh, forget it. New edition of this PDF product includes over 100 books and 75 spells for your enjoyment. Stay out of the carpal tunnel, kids. It’s dark in there.