Archive for December, 2005

Audio Report: Brian Isikoff of QuestWorlds

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Plenty of chat about the upcoming worldless HeroQuest, plus holiday bits and lots of recently-played action. We weigh in on Race Day, Wings of War and plenty more. Discuss! Subscribe! Fly!

Just forget I said the W word

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Or the M word, or, uh, I guess the O word. Here’s the point for discussion: how can the next version of the D&D rules take advantage of the fact that there are other players with you in the room, instead of just falling back on it as granted? How can tabletop RPG rules actually make the fact of tabletop-ness part of the game itself?

Designing for the party

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

(This is the first of what may be a series of highly speculative posts about the future of D&D.)

If you don’t read Mike Mearls’ LiveJournal, you have lately been missing some fascinating debate on the future of D&D. Basically, the elephant in D&D’s living room – World of WarCraft – is being directly addressed by Mearls, Ryan Dancey, and other folks whose attention means, well, rather more than ours does.

We’ve been saying for a while on the podcast that we’re starting to get the fear about a D&D 4th-edition announcement, maybe as soon as next year. So I’d like to toss out an assertion (possibly a false one) and a question.

OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2005, part 4

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

It’s panic time, and you still don’t have your shopping done? Fear not, weary gamer, for the OgreCave staff has held its final installment of the Christmas Gift Guide 2005 until your moment of need. In this last list, An Aetheric Guide For Christmas, you will be pleased to find nothing but downloadable game products, easy to buy at the last minute and give as gifts or stocking stuffers. Good luck out there, gift shoppers, and happy holidays from!

Spycraft 2.0 plans revealed

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Over on the AEG forums, Spycraft doyen Pat Kapera announces the general plan for Spycraft at its new home, Crafty Games. I can’t quite figure out if that company name is awesome or terrible… but it’s Christmas time, so I’ll pick awesome. Looking over that schedule, it reads like it’s unrealistic, but when you think about it it’s actually pretty doable – several PDFs, two print products, and a whole lot of handwavey stuff with no real announced date. Also they get bonus points for linking to their website before it exists. (And now I guess we do too.)

Actual Play, or: Primetime Adventures Playtest Report

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Since the podcast is going to come late in the week, and I am tired of waiting to tell all about this in a podcast, here you go: I have played Primetime Adventures and damned if it ain’t just a Fun Machine. Details after the jump, although I don’t really expect this to get that long.

Etherscope shipping, free character sheet download

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

For those who thought the previews of Etherscope from Goodman Games just looked too amazing to resist, you’ve certainly already purchased the PDF version. Now there’s a free character sheet to grab from the Goodman website, allowing cyberpunk Victoriana adventures to get underway with a more “official” feel to them. The print version of Etherscope is on its way to stores now, so even if you don’t feel like getting the electronic version, you won’t have long to wait.

A glimpse behind the scenes at OgreCave

Monday, December 19th, 2005

“Jeez, did we really not post for like seven days?”
“Man. Those lists take a lot out of you.”
“We’ll be done soon. That, and not a lot is happening out there.”
“Not that we didn’t already talk about in a podcast, anyway.”
“Yeah, um, we should maybe… do another one of those?”
“It’ll happen this week, keep your shirt on.”
“Whatever. Anything else new?”
“Not a thing. I was at Endgame yesterday staring at that famous new indie-RPGs shelf and realized that I’ve already bought pretty much everything I want.”
“Go you.”
“Yeah. But I did find the PDF of the preliminary version of the next indie game I am excited about. It’s called The Shab-al-Hiri Roach; it’s probably as near to a cheerfully morbid, Gorey-esque romp as a Lovecraft-inspired game can get.”
“Yeah. The full-on, slick-looking commercial version comes out in the spring, I guess.”
“Sweet. Anyway, I guess I’m back to shaking people down for their list entries.”
“Word. Get a few hits in for me.”

OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2005, part 3

Friday, December 16th, 2005

Through rain, and snow, and impending moves to another state, and even malware infections, the OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2005 carries on! For those of you still scrambling to give and receive cheerfully, our recommended gifts for the d20 System fan are described in the latest installment, Twelve Games Around the d20. We’ll have our final list for the last, last minute panic-shoppers (or the PDF fans) in the days ahead. (Seriously, sorry about the delay, but the troubles should be sorted out now.)

Especially good if you are a smoker or play outdoors in fog

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Via boingboing, Digg and just every damn body: Deflexion, a board game with mirrored pieces and little laser pointers embedded in the corners. Bounce the laser around the board to try to zap your opponent’s pieces on their backsides (hush). Some pieces are interestingly Icehouse-like. It’s even kind of affordable!

Audio Report: ’tis the season to listen to us talk

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

This week on the Audio Report, it’s some news about WotC firings that you know by now, plus some discussion (and previews!) of the Gift Guides. Please enjoy, and feel free to discuss the scandalous hint of a long-threatened and now finally upcoming Ogre’s Choice Award.

OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide, part 2

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Now that we’ve had our first taste of holiday egg nog, OgreCave’s Christmas Gift Guide 2005 continues with Twelve Games Under The Tree, our picks for gaming gifts that are a tad more expensive. Boardgames, RPGs, and even a card game fill this wish list, and whether naughty or nice, you’re sure to find something you’d like to give (or receive). Stay tuned later this week for more of our gift picks.

Wizards Makes Staff Changes With Incredible Amount of Corporate Doublespeak

Friday, December 2nd, 2005

WotC has fired several key staff members, including both the VP and senior VP of marketing, Hecatomb design lead Mike Elliott, and D&D brand manager Charles Ryan. I don’t know that the failure of Hecatomb is Elliott’s fault, really… but I guess his losing his job over it is predictable in a large company. These other firings are iffier in my view: D&D has seemed kind of aimless for the last while, but if it’s had a dip in sales lately, I think that can be understood in the context of nothing being able to live up to massive press coverage of the 30th anniversary. The marketing firings are also difficult to figure, given the great ad campaigns lately… unless they also apply to product marketing – that is, the decisions about what to produce and how. Then these firings make all kinds of sense in light of Hecatomb. Anyway the most complete information released so far is at GR – we’ll follow up if there is any official WotC release.

OgreCave videos: Tidbits from GenCon SoCal ’05

Friday, December 2nd, 2005

We didn’t make nearly enough time for interviewing folks at Gen Con SoCal a couple weeks back, but Steve and I did manage to tape a couple of interesting videos. Trying a 3-5 question approach to minimize the bandwidth hit, we talked with Mark MacKinnon of Guardians of Order about the Limited Edition of A Game of Thrones RPG; asked the Dead Gentlemen about upcoming projects; and learned about what makes The Burning Wheel RPG so great from Luke Crane. As a bonus, Peter Adkison of Gen Con LLC stopped by and momentarily derailed our talk with Luke, but it was so worth it. Have a look at all of these, and our older videos, on our Video page, of course.