Archive for August, 2004

GAMA plays musical chairs

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Perhaps in an attempt to quiet its recent critics, GAMA has taken a few steps toward rearranging its staff and Board of Director positions. Late last week, Mark MacKinnon of Guardians of Order was named Treasurer, taking over the position vacated after Ryan Dancey’s resignation. Now GAMA has appointed Mike Stackpole to fill the Director-at-Large seat left open by MacKinnon’s switch. Stackpole has exactly the sort of reputation GAMA could use right now, from championing the industry against attacks from other organizations and generally being a fellow with strong ethics. Stackpole continues to serve as chair of the GAMA Industry Watch Committee, so he’s no stranger to GAMA. Still, even with the changes being implimented, feelings are still running high about events of the last few weeks.

OgreCave review: Now Playing

Monday, August 30th, 2004

To start the week, Matthew gives us a review of Now Playing, the roleplaying game for channel surfers from Carnivore Games. Did the game keep him glued to the – uh, book? Or did it drive him to put it down and go watch reruns? Read on to find out.

Maybe Catanians just can’t tell crap real estate when they see it

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

That would explain why they keep moving next to fields that only produce sheep on a 2. It would also help explain why Capcom is bringing Settlers of Catan to the N-Gage in 2005. Although the embattled portable game deck is famously also a phone, the N-Gage version, simply titled Catan, will only support multiplayer via Bluetooth, like most of the N-Gage’s titles. I guess Mr. Costikyan is still having trouble making himself heard over in Finland.

Z-Man announces card game from PotSM’s design studio

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

Although there’s nothing about it yet on their pages, Z-Man Games has announced (according to Gamefest, anyway) a LoneShark card game design called Dungeonville for sometime before year’s end. For those with better things to do than remember, LoneShark is Mike Selinker and James Ernest, creators of that out-of-stock piratey sensation Pirates of the Spanish Main. A little surfing turned up a page with details on the game itself – it almost sounds like Before I Kill You, Mr. Name Deleted, with some economics thrown in. Next year, apparently, there is a Rio Grande title called Gloria Mundi that sounds pretty different, and there is Cow Poker, which sounds filthy. I mean, really.

Dragonlance is the Key

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Sovereign Press has announced that Dragonlance: Key of Destiny has sold out of its entire 5,000 copy print run in just over a month. During these times of slower sales, this is encouraging news, especially for D20 and D&D products. Sovereign Press plans to reprint the adventure module, its first for the Dragonlance setting, in the fall.

WizKids releases MechWarrior: Falcon’s Prey

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

The latest expansion for MechWarrior has been unleashed in retail stores everywhere, bringing Clan Jade Falcon into the mix. The expansion, Falcon’s Prey, also has yet another chance for players to win a DropShip. Check out the press release below for more info.

It’s official: White Wolf owns Pendragon

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Added details have been released regarding White Wolf and its plans to publish materials for the Pendragon Arthurian roleplaying game. Apparently this is not just a mere license, as we thought earlier: Green Knight Publishing has sold ownership of the game to White Wolf’s imprint, ArtHaus Publishing. Even the remaining copies of old Pendragon RPG products have been acquired by ArtHaus. Should be interesting to see what ArtHaus and White Wolf do with Arthurian legend. World of Chivalry, anyone?

Gen Con Indy ’04 Wrap-up: Social Games joins forces with R. Talsorian Games

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Social Games has joined forces with R. Talsorian Games to produce five new supplements for the Cyberpunk 2020 roleplaying game beginning with Firestorm: Tempest.

Gen Con Indy ’04 Wrap-up: OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown – Postgame analysis

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

I warned you not to take me on, Steve. Your t-shirt gathering prowess is no match to my own. You went down like the Hyatt elevator overloaded with sweaty gamers (which isn’t that funny if you’ve been there, believe me).

I’ll take my victory lap now, and recount the story of your ignominious defeat.

OgreCave review: Nobody But Us Chickens

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Matthew sent in his review of Nobody But Us Chickens, the Origins Award nominated card game from Dancing Eggplant Games. Have a look and see what he thought of it.

Gen Con Indy ’04 Wrap-up: Sails ahoy!

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

No really, there was a giant mast, 20 feet high, at the front corner of the WizKids booth. As Mike just reported, WizKids will bring an expansion to Pirates of the Spanish Main out in March. However, I’ve got slightly more info to report than the public press release has revealed. Like the tentative name, for instance.

Spanish Main expansion planned for March, third printing of core set planned for never

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

This bit of news is not terribly surprising or rich in details, nor has it been officially confirmed by anything resembling a press release. Normally I’d hold off on posting it on that basis, but “Pirates of the Spanish Main will get an expansion” is about as shocking as “winter will be cold.” What’s more interesting is this quote: “WizKids is estimating that the second printing will provide an eight to twelve month’s supply, and after the second printing is gone the company does not plan to go back to press.” I guess the latter point is not surprising either – WK probably just has an unlimited edition in mind or somesuch – but we’ll just see about the former.

Gen Con Indy ’04 Wrap-up: Finish Him! OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Yeah, it’s over. Gen Con Indy has come to a close for us. The t-shirts have been counted and a winner has been declared. I must admit, I thought I had this one. By the time we had to leave the convention and meet the car to the airport, I had eight t-shirts in the bag.

It wasn’t enough. On the last day, Allan surged ahead and had collected four more shirts bringing his total to ten. The deadlock has been broken. Fatality. Perfect Score.

Ah well, at least it was pretty close. Well done, Allan.

Live at Gen Con ’04: OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown – Three

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

There is one day left in the ultimate OgreCave t-shirt throwdown! By the middle of the day tomorrow, one of us will be going home with the championship belt while the other will be taking the walk of shame!

Live from Gen Con ’04: White Wolf gets Pendragon

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Details are sketchy at this point, but after checking with White Wolf‘s Stewart Wieck, we’ve confirmed that White Wolf has acquired the rights from Green Knight Publishing to publish new materials for Pendragon. Novels and online games will continue to be produced by Green Knight, but White Wolf has the reigns for roleplaying products. A full press release hasn’t been issued yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated when information becomes available.

Live at Gen Con ’04: Gloom-y days ahead

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Lurking in the Atlas Games booth, I ran into Keith Baker, creator of WotC’s Eberron, and Lee Moyer, major contributing artist for same. After talking for a few minutes, Keith mentioned his upcoming card game Gloom, for which John Nephew helpfully brought out the prototype. Set for release in October, Gloom will have players competing to be the most miserable. Each player will heap unfortunate events upon his family of poor souls while stacking good fortune atop his opponents. To enable players to see which “bad” cards cancel “good” cards and vice versa, the cards will be transparent and lay on top of the “character” cards each player has. Looking down through the card stack will show which traits are covered by something else, thereby being cancelled, and which traits are still in effect. When a family dies off completely, the game ends, and points of misery are scored.

Live at Gen Con ’04: ENnie winners announced

Friday, August 20th, 2004

The winners of this year’s ENnie Awards were awarded at a quicker-than-usual ceremony, and much fun was to be had. Here’s the list of winners:

Best Aid or Accessory
Gold: Roleplaying Tips GM Encyclopedia (
Silver: Counter Collection Gold (Fiery Dragon Productions)

Best Art (Interior)
Gold: Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion (Green Ronin Publishing)
Silver: Bestiary of Krynn (Sovereign Press)

Best Cartography
Gold: Thieves’ Quarter (Green Ronin Publishing/The Game Mechanics)
Silver: Redhurst: Academy of Magic (Fast Forward Entertainment/Human Head Studios)

Best Graphic Design & Layout
Gold: Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion (Green Ronin Publishing)
Silver: Redhurst: Academy of Magic (Fast Forward Entertainment/Human Head Studios)

Best Art (Cover)
Gold: Grimm (Fantasy Flight Games)
Silver: Arcana Unearthed (Malhavoc Press)

Best Official Website
Gold: Hero Games
Silver: Green Ronin Publishing

Best Publisher (Overall)
Gold: Green Ronin Publishing
Silver: White Wolf

Best d20 Game
Gold: Arcana Unearthed (Malhavoc Press)
Silver: Grimm (Fantasy Flight Games)

Best Adventure
Gold: Lost City of Barakus (Troll Lord Games/Necromancer Games)
Silver: Black Sails Over Freeport (Green Ronin Publishing)

Best Campaign Setting
Gold: Dawnforge (Fantasy Flight Games)
Silver: Redhurst: Academy of Magic (Fast Forward Entertainment/Human Head Studios)

Best Setting Supplement
Gold: Crooks! (Green Ronin Publishing)
Silver: Thieves’ Quarter (Green Ronin Publishing/The Game Mechanics)

Best Rules Supplement
Gold: Crime and Punishment (Atlas Games)
Silver: Torn Asunder (Bastion Press)

Best Monster Supplement
Gold: Crooks! (Green Ronin Publishing)
Silver: Bestiary of Krynn (Sovereign Press)

Best Revision/Update/Compilation
Gold: Complete Book of Eldritch Might (Malhavoc Press)
Silver: Book of Fiends (Green Ronin Publishing)

Best Non-d20 Game
Gold: Cthulhu Dark Ages (Chaosium)
Silver: HARP (Iron Crown Enterprises)

Best Non-d20 Supplement
Gold: Fantasy Hero (Hero Games)
Silver: 50 Fathoms (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)

Best Non-d20 Setting or Setting Sourcebook
Gold: The Turakian Age (Hero Games)
Silver: To Go (Unknown Armies)(Atlas Games)

Best Non-d20 Adventure
Gold: Champions Battlegrounds (Hero Games)
Silver: Shades of Black (Champions) (Hero Games)

Best Licensed Product
Gold: Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion (Green Ronin Publishing)
Silver: Babylon 5 RPG (Mongoose Publishing)

Best Electronic Product (not free)
Gold: Sidewinder: Recoiled (Dog House Rules)
Silver: Roleplaying Tips GM encyclopedia (

Best Free Product or Web Enhancement
Gold: Initiative cards (The Game Mechanics)
Silver: Ezine Archives (

Best Fan Site
Silver: SWRPGnetwork

OgreCave extends its congratulations to all the winners. Same time next year, then?

Live at Gen Con ’04: OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown – Part Deux

Friday, August 20th, 2004

Okay, it’s been a rough day but I’m starting to make up some ground on that punk with six t-shirts. Today’s count: four for me, six for for the guy who is soon to be humiliated on his own website.

Live at Gen Con ’04: The Red Star

Friday, August 20th, 2004

To call the world of The Red Star merely an alternative universe or alternative future is to do it a disservice. The comic book created by Christian Gossett seems to be so much more than that.

Live at Gen Con ’04: Finding monsters expeditiously

Thursday, August 19th, 2004

Suzi at Expeditious Retreat Press brought the noise and the funk — or at least a thorough list of D&D beasts. Monster Geographica: Underground, a collection of 200 3.0 and 3.5 monsters, released here at Gen Con with a new approach to its menagerie listing. As the title suggests, all the creatures in its pages dwell in subterranian areas. The monsters are then listed by their Challenge Rating, not alphabetically, placing the right size of threatening adversary at the gamemaster’s fingertips. More Monster Geographica titles are planned, for other terrain types such as Mountains, Forest, and Plains. D20 gamers can bring the easy reference book home for a mere $20.

Live at Gen Con ’04: OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown

Thursday, August 19th, 2004

So, it all started at last year’s Gen Con Indy when both Steve and I, through random acts of fate and generous game companies, both ended up with six free t-shirts apiece. At Gen Con SoCal a few months later, we both actively tried to outdo each other in t-shirt accumulation, but despite our best efforts, we tied again at four shirts apiece. At the GAMA Trade Show, we tied once more at three free shirts each. This Gen Con, right here, right now, the tie will be broken and a winner will be decided. Oh yeah, it’s on, buddy. You’re going down.

My Life With Master takes Diana Jones (award, that is)

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

The prestigious Diana Jones Award For Excellence In Gaming for 2004 goes to the experimental narrativist RPG My Life With Master. In other news, someone forgot to renew a domain. [UPDATE: The new website for the Diana Jones Award is The host company fouled up the domain renewal, and a squatter has taken roost at the old URL.]

Live at Gen Con ’04: Prowling for promo minis

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

The WotC booth is nearly set up now, with mostly chairs and product displays to piece together, and a guy fiddling with a mixing board to get the booth’s music just right. Over next to a large robot-like statue (10′+ tall), a few sealed boxes caught my eye. Apparently containing D&D Miniatures Game promo figures, half said “Rhek” and the other half said “Half-Illithid Lizardfolk.” A source said these were from the upcoming Aberrations expansion set. They must be mine.

Live at Gen Con ’04: Scoping things out

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

Not much going on yet, but the storm that will be Gen Con Indy ’04 is about to break. I’ve wandered through the exhibit hall to get a sense of where companies will be. Miniatures company Rakham has a fairly large booth near the front of the hall with a huge Confrontation banner suspended above it. Upper Deck has gone for a more realistic sized booth this year, without the huge monstrosity of metal gangplanks that discouraged booth traffic. Wizards of the Coast has about the same area as last year, and was still unpacking when I passed through, but I took note of a nice G.I. Joe TCG banner. Over at the Hyatt about an hour ago, True Dungeon was ready to go, but True Heroes was still frantically being set up. Overall, the show will be ready to go very soon, and this is the last, frantic push to get everything up in time.

Right, so, Allan’s at Gen Con

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

And I forgot to tell him to get me a copy of Paranoia XP OR DIE. Expect a post or two by the end of the day on some products, some booths, and some crap.