Archive for October, 2005

Audio Report: special guest Clinton R. Nixon

Monday, October 31st, 2005

RPG author and Forge co-admin Clinton R. Nixon joins us for an in-depth and rollicking hour of discussion that I just described as though it were the Dick Cavett Program. Follow up here with your questions and comments on anything from indie RPGs to exactly what the hell is up with WizKids delaying its first CCG right after announcing its third. Oh, and listen to the show and add the feed.

Etherscope previewed at Goodman website

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

As you already know, the cyberpunk Victoriana RPG Etherscope is coming this December from Goodman Games. Now that the book is at the printer, a new PDF preview of the Scope chapter gives us an idea of what we’ll see when Etherscope hits shelves. If the preview and the art samples on the company’s site are any indication, this should be a hot seller.

Keith Parkinson dies at 47

Friday, October 28th, 2005

One of the great fantasy artists, Keith Parkinson passed away due to complications from leukemia on October 26th. In the years he worked at TSR, Keith Parkinson set the tone for the Dungeons & Dragons line along with Larry Elmore, and in subsequent years continued to produce award-winning covers for fantasy and science fiction novels. Many online gamers would recognise his work from the EverQuest covers. In 2002, Parkinson co-founded and served as art director for Sigil Games Online. It cannot be emphasized enough how much influence Keith Parkinson’s work had on fantasy roleplaying, and he will be sorely missed.

A service for friends and family will be held on November 1st near his home in southern California. His widow Donna has asked that any donations in Keith’s memory be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Pirates of the Barbary Coast streets – er, sails

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

WizKids has released the latest set for its Pirates of… CSG, Pirates of the Barbary Coast. Hitting stores today, this new set is stand-alone, just like the rest, and adds a new faction (Barbary Corsairs, appropriately enough) as well as a new ship type (galley ships, speedy buggers with both sails and oars). I’d make a joke about stroking WizKids’ ego or something (‘cuz of the oars, see… ha ha…), but my heart’s just not in it. Despite enjoying Pirates, I’m still waiting to see if a second CSG will actually take hold in today’s market, or if the CSG ship has already sailed.

Audio Report: action and drama

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

If you subscribe to the Audio Report feed, you got your show this morning. If you don’t, why the hell not, and you can get it now. Wide ranging discussion this week. To discuss: are any buyers of WizKids’ old stuff looking to buy any of their new stuff? And, because I want to know and just thought of it now: what indie RPGs are you feeling? (Me, I’ve been reading the Forge like crazy… and then wishing there were a weblog or something that reported on highlights of the Forge… and then, um, not reporting here on the highlights of my reading the Forge. Oops.)

AEG announces layoffs

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Apparently there is a limit to how many high-production-value collectible games a smallish company can launch and keep running at one time. AEG’s front page is a note from John Zinser – we’ll try and update the link when it moves, but the text is included below – saying that the company will be generally healthy afterwards, and no product impacts are spoken of here, so maybe this is just a good, if sad, business move in an industry where good moves are more rare than they should be. And buy some City of Heroes when it comes out, it’s good. Okay.

WizKids takes another crack at CMGs for the kids

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Zypods are basically Russian nested dolls with Clix-oid rules and game features instead of little babushka faces. The press release says it’s launching in a test market now… but the product page indicates that the test market is essentially half the major cities in the center of the country. (Plus Boston.) This looks decently thought out – the price point is certainly right – but it remains to be seen what it will take to make a hit with the kids’ market these days. At least this is not completely wild-assed, or a CCG. For more details, here’s the playmat PDF.

Audio Report: cons, RPGs, healthy antics

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

Listen, listen, listen! This week we’d like to know something from the role-players in the audience, insofar as you’re willing to say: how much would you guess that you’ve spent on RPGs this year? If you want to break it out into con expenditures vs. book expenditures vs. other that would be optimal. Ballpark figures and wild-assed guesses also accepted. Thanks! And, you know, anything else you’d like to throw across our radar.

New RuneQuest confirmed to be Open system

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

As we’ve previously reported, the fellows at Mongoose Publishing are hard at work on a new version of RuneQuest for release in 2006. Now the Mongoose website has the beginnings of a RuneQuest section, which mentions the company’s general plans and confirms that Mongoose has decided to make the game an Open system, letting publishers or fans run with the game. Glorantha, Greg Stafford’s richly developed game world and perennial fan favorite, will not be made Open, but will be seeing new products from Mongoose. The necessary details on just how “open” a relationship RuneQuest will have should be available by the end of 2005, so keep your social calendar clear if you swing that way.

Snow Comes Early at Invisible City

Friday, October 14th, 2005

It’s game of the month time at Invisible City, and the latest offering is a four-player abstract strategy Icehouse game called Snowblind. This one won’t be for everyone, since it requires exactly four people and an Icehouse set, but if fit the niche market, it’s worth a shot!

Worldwide D&D Game Day on November 5th

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Wizards of the Coast has announced its plans for Worldwide D&D Game Day 2005 (press release below), to be held November 5th at participating game stores. The recent WotC adventure release Fane of Lolth will provide the challenges of the day, and attendees will come away with souvenirs like D&D Miniatures or “a very special D&D Campaigns Card.” I’d theorize the souvenir miniature connected to this year’s event is likely to be a drow of some sort (obvious choice), or a Spider of Lolth, but I could be completely off base. Go attend, and find out for yourself. “November 5th, on a very special D&D Campaigns Card, Elminster gets some unfortunate news…”

Racer Knights of Falconus video shows cars, small dice, strange woodchips

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

WhiteWolf is opening the kimono on next month’s CSG entry Racer Knights of Falconus with a 10MB downloadable video about setting up the game. It clearly shows the cars and some of the other widgets that structure the game, including something odd to demarcate their play area that reminds me of the big hunks of bark they used to line kids’ playgrounds with, back before there were quite so many lawsuits. Aspects of the cars look kind of cool, other aspects look kind of overengineered (did the stat strips need to be made? I think something cheaper might actually have worked better), and still other aspects look overengineered but also cool. Me, I think the video thing is a great idea, whose time may even have come (I wish we had figures on broadband penetration amongst hobby gamers). I could quibble – the sound mix isn’t 100%, and there are a ton of ways they could have made it smaller – but on the whole it’s worth a look.

Essen 05 travelogues begin slightly bothering me

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Not that I’m complaining – I know how tough it is to pull yourself away from a show to report on it – but it just seems like it’s always done in the same, sort of stilted way. Firstly, why tell us in obsessive detail how you got to the hotel? I can see this being of interest to people who play rail games all the time, but that’s about it. Second, why not many little posts about the many games you played and/or saw? The publishers would certainly appreciate the Googlejuice that stems from having the title of their game in the name of the page. (This fellow seems to be making a try, actually. It’s tough, though, isn’t it?) But no, it’s always Travel Day, Day 1, Day 2. Day 1 is laid out for you in a certain-to-be-replaced index at Gamewire, and there’s plenty more here.

Oh: Deutsche SpielePriese goes to Alea’s Louis XIV. Rio Grande already has it on your shelf. Or, you know, your store’s shelf.

Today’s completely random web game find

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Wanna play Carcassonne online against other players or (fairly stupid) bots? Here ya go.

News flash: gaming trade show plagued by non-professionals and swag hoarders

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

But not the one you think, ho ho ho ho. I guess it’s true what they say: mo’ money, mo’ problems.