Audio Report: action and drama

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.)


  1. What indie games am I feeling? Of that $300 pile of indie games I got I’m totally head over heels about The Mountain Witch. I played a short “demo” of it, with Andy K. (big indie game advocate) when he was here visiting last week. Although we didn’t do a full on session, The Mountain Witch was fantastic! At first I thought it was just a one trick pony, but now I can see how it could be really different each time depending ont he group and the characters they make. It can also work for other genres besides samurai stuff. Can’t wait to run a full session.

    Also grokking Burning Wheel. It really is as good as you hear, IMO.

    Prime Time Adventures also looks very solid although I haven’t given it a thorough read yet.

  2. I bought a fair bit of Heroclix when it first came out, but I found it to be poorly playtested in some ways. Some characters were way better for the point value than others (Firelord). For a while they were also changing major rules to deal with “broken” characters — not a sign of thorough enough playtesting.

    While I think the Clix concept is novel, I probably wouldn’t buy more unless I felt they were better playtested. I really do like the idea of relatively inexpensive plastic, pre-painted miniatures. I’m not one of the people who feels the need to pick up an extra hobby (painting figures) just to play a wargame. So, Wiz Kids definitely is where I’d head for these types of games if I had better assurance that they were playtested well.

    Favorite Indy game — well, if you can call BTRC an “Independent” company, and I think you can, then I’m generally excited about their releases. They have produced card games, board games, and RPGs. A wonder for a small company. Infinite Armies — the new design-your-own-cards PDF customizable card game engine has caught my eye. I think it won’t do so well in sales without a POD operation connected to it, but I’m excited about the idea, and I love Greg Porter’s work overall.

    Re: the most recent Ogre Cave Audio Report — the most successful supers CCG to date, prior to the Vs. System was Overpower (first Fleer-owned then Marvel-owned). It had Marvel sets, DC Sets, and Image set. It released, if memory serves, 10 total distinct sets of cards. That’s actually a fair run for a CCG. The game was fun, but the rules had holes you could drive a truck through, and so you had to memorize hundreds of exceptions, clarifications, etc., to play. For a time, it actually sold quite well nationwide, and at one point, for a short while, it was on the list of top CCGs. Prize support was limited, interest by Marvel was limited, and the game was not well playtested. The three conspired to cause the game to crash and burn. I’d have to see Upper Deck’s balance sheets to convince me that they are doing better than Overpower — Oh, I’m certain their sales are more, but I’m not convinced that they aren’t bleeding money from prize support and advertising the game so darn much. In any case, I think that if you look back in history, you’ll see that this game, at least, sold pretty well. If there is a curse it is attributable to Marvel, outsourcing their CCG lines, and then not caring what the results were as long as they got paid. A couple of the major flops had Marvel’s name on it. For the record, the list of mass market supers CCGs to date includes Power Cards (actually a math game), Overpower, Wildstorms, X-Men CCG, Recharge, Vs. System, and the Teen Titans CCG. I’ve played all of them. There’s even a tiny indy release called the “Supers” by Neo Productions (the makers of the Final Twilight CCG).

    Re: PDFs… You guys are down on them, and act like they don’t sell at all. Well, some of the better sellers sell hundreds of copies, and a few break the 1000 barrier, if memory serves. They are not wholly unpopular. However, sales are low for most PDFs because: A) some of the sellers are unknown, B) there is some prejudice against PDF versions, but not nearly as much as you make it out to be, and C) there is absolutely no marketing for some of these PDFs. If Indy publishers did as little work selling and marketing-wise for “dead tree” editions of their games as they do for PDFs then you’d probably find those hard copy versions wouldn’t sell either. As to your comments about “who wants to print out a huge PDF?”, well, point of fact, some of the leaders in PDF publishing recognize that, and many of their best selling product lines specialize in producing PDFs that are under 10 pages.

  3. I am really into the new Serenity RPG. Weiss and crew did a great job on this book. Jaime Chambers is brilliant in his capturing the flavor of the show and movie. Weiss’ original stories at each chapter heading are especially cool.

  4. I’d have to agree with Lee about WizKids. I used to be REALLY big into HeroClix to the tune of more than $500 invested into it… and now they’re all stuffed into a cardboard box up in the attic. I’ll admitt that I’m a card-carrying comic geek from way back and part of the promise of fun for the thing was to fight Marvel vs. DC characters. Sadly, like Lee said, play balance was terrible (especially for the poor sap who only had/only played with the Marvel characters).

    Now, I’d have to be sorely tempted to pick up another WizKids game (although Rocketmen looks great… must resist).

    Favorite Indie Game: I’m not as hung-up on mechanics (or novelty thereof) as some people so I really like OctaNe and Squeam from Jared Sorenson. They’re not deep but they’re just fun for some mayhem.

  5. Off Topic – Where/who do you get your ‘intro’ music from?

    Just curious as most of it has been pretty cool and would like to track some of it down…


    Binder (calling from New Zealand)

  6. It all just comes from my record collection or stuff I find online. Mostly stuff I own, though – this week, it’s a track from the new Blockhead album.

  7. That’s cool (I really liked the tunes from the 26/9 episode)…

    Then again I downloaded your (ex?) band’s music (see someone follows the links!) and I quite enjoy that as well.

    Cheers anyway, and will keep listening to the report (keeps us busy at work here on the far side of the world).


  8. I am enjoying the audio report, although I skip around and listen to bits at a time.

    I ran my own indie game, Eldritch Ass Kicking, a couple of times at TERPCon. All my players end up loving it and having a great time. Makes me a happy game designer…

    I am digging Dogs in the Vineyard and Politically Incorrect Games’ stuff. Active Exploits, as a diceless system, is really damn good.

Comments are closed.