Archive for August, 2003

Living Room plans Street Fighter, other CAPCOM RPGs

Friday, August 29th, 2003

As you can see from the full press release below, Living Room Games has snagged the license to put out tabletop RPGs based on some of the classic CAPCOM video games. This means that sometime next year, we’ll start seeing RPGs for Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Final Fight, and Rival Schools. If Living Room Games’ energetic support of Earthdawn is any indication, CAPCOM’s properties are in good hands, and are sure to fare better than the White Wolf Street Fighter attempt of the early ’90s.

The shadows are coming

Friday, August 29th, 2003

The jumpgate is open and the Babylon 5 products are starting to flow out. Mongoose says the first season book, The Coming of Shadows, should be reaching stores in a week or so. While this first season book seems to be focused on Season Two, you’ll meet and greet the movers and shakers that will shape the Babylon 5 story, as each episode gets its own synopsis, along with the new rules to cover them in game terms. A galactic map of the Narn/Centauri war, several more ship write-ups, and prestige classes like Imperial Telepath and Techno-Mage round out the 144-page supplement. See the press release below for more details, if you like.

Malhavoc pulls up a chair

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

Hot off his win as Best Publisher at the ENnies, Monte Cook and Malhavoc Press have created quite a buzz with the alternate Player’s Handbook Arcana Unearthed. With a lion-humanoid PC race, a different selection of classes and magic, and a reorganization of D&D’s basic assumptions as a whole, it was obvious from the start that gamers would sit up and take notice. Support products have flocked to the AU banner from multiple companies, so why should Malhavoc itself be any different? Just released today, The Diamond Throne provides the default campaign setting for Arcana Unearthed players, including eight new prestige classes and plenty of new magic items. The 96-page PDF version of Throne is available now at the slightly discounted price of $9. The print version won’t be cut and set until November.

Still time to enter OgreCave’s P3 contest

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

Just a couple days left to enter our P3 contest, where you can win every d20 supplement Phil Reed currently has to offer. That’s right, every single one. Wait… no, just the 30+ PDF products he’s offering at his site, we’re not offering up his entire personal library. You can’t hold us to that!

Aw, crap. Phil’s gonna kill me.

Everyone likes mathematical simulation-based art when it has zombies

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

This would make an awfully nice screensaver for an All Flesh fan. (You know, I think the real experiment here is to see how fast this link has spread around the Internet. I’m off to eat some yummy brains now. Bye!)

Indy HeroClix preview sale at DragonCon

Wednesday, August 27th, 2003

You’ve only got one day left to wait for Indy HeroClix. Well, one day left if you’re going to DragonCon in Atlanta, that is. A limited stash of the new CMG addiction will be available from WizKids at the con, so if you plan to be there, get your starter and three boosters early. A few MechWarrior Dropships, as well as a few Liao Incursion boosters will be lurking nearby. As for the rest of us, we’ll have to be content with the Indy HeroClix rule book, the Powers and Abilities card, and other tidbits until the official street date of October 1.

New reviews: Snow Witch, Signs, & Buffy

Monday, August 25th, 2003

I’m tempted to declare it Matthew Monday due to all the reviews he’s sent in that are up today. First, he tells us about the d20 adaptation of Caverns of the Snow Witch by Myriador Ltd. Then he regales us with the ups and downs of Signs & Portents #1, the first issue of Mongoose Publishing‘s new in-house magazine. Finally, a review of his that’s been languishing in my computer for a while gives us a look at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG by Eden Studios.

Suave in-store campaigns for Avalon Hill

Sunday, August 24th, 2003

This looks seriously freakin’ hot. Avalon Hill’s official incorporation into WotC is bearing fruit: “Wizards of the Coast is producing its first board game expansions as part of this program. The expansions, which are taken home by the winners of the event, will serve to alter play for experienced players, who have often figured out the strategies and counter-strategies that work best with the game as it came out of the box. And they’ll help WotC evaluate the concept of board game expansions as add-on products, which it’s interested in as a way to expand sales of the Avalon Hill properties.” That’s right, kids: Risk 2210 expansion boards, available first (possibly only) to winners at store events. Axis and Allies and Acquire (!!!) will also be getting the “Avalon Hill Frontline” treatment. Evil? Brilliant? Both?

Custom Trivia from Invisible City

Friday, August 22nd, 2003

It’s game of the month time once again at Invisible City, and this time it’s something a little different: 1,000 Blank White Questions, a trivia game in which the players make up all of the questions. You can ask anything you like, but you run the risk of losing points if none of your opponents are able to come up with a correct response. Of course, there’s more to the game than just answering questions — there’s also a nifty printable board which helps to determine who asks the questions and when the game is over. As always, it’s good fun at an unbeatable price.

Massive Mongoose

Friday, August 22nd, 2003

The next D&D tome headed out the door at Mongoose Publishing is the Slayer’s Guide to Giants. With the same expanded size as the Guides to Undead and Dragons (128 pages), the new book gives giants the full treatment. Gamemasters can expect to find Half-Giant and Giant King templates, giant feats, the Giant spell domain, lairs, tactics, and for those who are feeling generous, ways for characters to fight back. Too bad this book wasn’t available a few years back, when I used such large giant miniatures that my players insisted “miniatures” was no longer the correct term, and they should be referred to as “action figures.”

Witchfire Compendium planned by Privateer

Thursday, August 21st, 2003

Those who got wrapped up in the story of the Iron Kingdoms and the Witchfire Trilogy will love hearing this: Privateer Press plans to compile all three adventure volumes into one hardcover book, updated for D&D v3.5. The compilation will come complete with two “interludes” that connect the books, the first of them having been previously available as a PDF. And let’s not forget the new Matt Wilson cover art and a more detailed city map of Corvis. We’ll let you know as more details on this book come out.

Creepy Freaks creep ever closer

Thursday, August 21st, 2003

Another Creepy Freaks preview figure is on display at the WizKids site. This time we get a look at Patches, a demented zombie teddy bear straight out of Akira. Of the figures we’ve seen so far, I prefer Jar Head. Can’t go wrong with a brain in a jar.

As a matter of fact, you haven’t heard it all before

Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

Jane’s RPGnet report on girls at Gen Con does not read like the eleven million “women in gaming” articles you’ve already read in your short, damned life. Jane gets the perspectives of four specific people and focuses on that, not the same old generalizations. Women already feel like outsiders too often in gaming culture, but Jane’s magic combo of double outsider-hood, along with her keen interest in both gaming and people, really makes this article fire on all cylinders. Read it.

More Ultimate Prestige on the way

Sunday, August 17th, 2003

As Mongoose Publishing has informed its mailing list, the next volume in the Supplementary Rulebook line is on the way (but aren’t all third party D&D supplements “supplementary rulebooks”? Never mind…). Ultimate Prestige Classes II will pull together another 256 pages of classes from more than 45 sources, all expanded and updated for D&D v3.5, and provide added rules for prestige class creation as well (click “Read more” for the full press release). Considering how many products Mongoose cranks out each year, compilation volumes like this seem an excellent idea, if only to keep from bringing your entire game library to each session. But this once again brings up the question, how many d20 products will it take before the new prestige classes end up as “Pink-Robed Enchanter with Teurette’s Syndrome Who Only Uses His Left Hand” or equally useless specializations? Not that it matters, really; some players would still be into that.

Carcassonne 2-player spinoff, Puerto Rico card game before end of year

Friday, August 15th, 2003

While I was at ICv2, I found this stuff about Rio Grande’s recent successes and big plans for the rest of the year… mostly for September. The lede is about the 2-player Balrog game or whatever. We’ll see about that, but I’m excited that Carcassonne and Puerto Rico may be on their way to being franchises on par with Settlers of Catan.

More schadenfreude: WotC Stores steadily closing

Friday, August 15th, 2003

Revealed in the details of Hasbro’s just-released quarterly report are gruesome numbers regarding the retail arm of Wizards of the Coast. From the article: “With no purchaser for the chain, and an apparent inability to make most of the stores profitable, [Hasbro] appears to be willing to continue to close stores as leases run out and cut its losses incrementally over time.”

Next wave of SR figs pushed back two months

Friday, August 15th, 2003

Want more Shadowrun figures and want ‘em now? Nyaah nyaah. Now they aren’t coming until December. All the schedule changes can’t be endearing WizKids to their fans, but at least the company is starting to show signs of knowing its limits.

OgreCave contest: P3 – Phil’s Plethora of PDFs

Thursday, August 14th, 2003

You like winning free stuff, right? Then have a look at our new contest, Phil’s Plethora of PDFs, which comes to us compliments of popular game designer Phil Reed. You know all those nifty downloadable products he’s got on his site? You could win all of ‘em. Yep, every single one. Have a look.

Gen Con ’04 date in flux

Wednesday, August 13th, 2003

The Gen Con website has a poll up that should interest anyone who’s even remotely considering attending next year. It seems that a major NASCAR race, the Brickyard 400, has changed its dates to the originally proposed dates for Gen Con ’04. While the convention space itself wouldn’t be affected, traffic and getting hotel rooms could become major headaches. The poll asks how moving the convention to the latter half of August 2004 would affect your coming to the show. If you want to weigh in on the matter, go have a look.

SJG stops hitting itself in the head with tiny pewter hammers

Monday, August 11th, 2003

There’s no permanent URL for it that we can find, so we’ve pasted it below: Steve Jackson Games is closing its miniatures department, effective at the end of the month. As always, Steve’s honesty and directness in corporate communications is unrivalled and appreciated – “[t]he reason for the shutdown is simple: the division has been, ever since it was set up, the least profitable of our endeavors.” Read on for the complete release.

I keep wanting to say Optimus

Monday, August 11th, 2003

So the folks at Bizzaro Games are working on Odyssey Prime, which they describe as a game “of Alternative Universes and Modern Covert Operations” – kind of a militaristic take on the whole Stargate thing. Even if that doesn’t float your kontiki, D20 Modernists might want to check out the PDF preview of the Outrider and Wetwork classes they just posted. The PDF kinda had the do-funnies in my browser, but downloading it outright may get you better results. And it’s 100% Open Game Content, for the health of your colon.

I’m ready for the exploding computer graphics: BattleBall Playtest Report

Friday, August 8th, 2003

I’ve got my hands on it and it is indeed the new Epic Duels. (Except that that other thing is more literally the new Epic Duels, because it’s just like the old Epic Duels. Yeah.) If Blood Bowl is too ponderous for you but seems to hold some appeal, you need BattleBall – what it lacks in humorous theme it more than makes up in speed and simplicity.

Cyber-Gorilla my dreams

Thursday, August 7th, 2003

Atlas Games reports that the new Feng Shui sourcebook, Gorilla Warfare, is now available. The book comes with a Phil Collins soundtrack, and Rosie O’Donnell lends her voice to… okay, no, too much Disney movies with the little one showing through there. The cyborg simians, also known as the Jammers, are the subject of the final faction sourcebook for the action movie RPG. However, Blood of the Valiant (by Chris Pramas of Green Ronin, if I remember correctly) will be expanded and reprinted in the months ahead.

OgreCave reviews: X-Bugs & Nanofictionary

Tuesday, August 5th, 2003

Now that the GenCon hullabaloo has settled down a bit, we’ve got two new reviews for you. First, Matthew tells us a bit about this year’s GenCon UK and a lot about X-Bugs: Microscopic Mayhem by Steve Jackson Games. Then Cedric gives us his take on storytelling games, particularly Nanofictionary from Looney Labs.

Firefly glows brighter

Tuesday, August 5th, 2003

Firefly Games, the fine company that brought us Monster Island, is expanding a bit to prepare for greater things to come. To that end, the company announced its new Marketing Director, Christina Stiles. Yes, you’ve probably heard her name around before. Click the link below for more details.