Archive for March, 2006

New-style roleplaying in 30 seconds

Friday, March 31st, 2006

That’s 30 seconds from when you start explaining the rules, in full, to when you start playing. And probably not much longer than that until everyone playing is suffused with awesome. It’s also unlikely ever to be packaged in a hardcover, softcover, POD book, or (spits on ground) PDF. Its creator thinks it’s called Death Stakes, but he’s wrong: it’s called How Does Someone Die. I want to play it immediately. Check it out.

Mutant Chronicles movie developments

Monday, March 27th, 2006

As Fantasy Flight Games mentioned on its Rants page, October’s release of the Mutant Chronicles CMG will be complimented by a Hollywood movie. (Or vice versa. Whichever.) It seems John Malkovich has been attached to the film, which lends it some legitimacy, but I dunno… I have more confidence in the miniatures game, I think.

Star Chamber’s new version shiny, possibly jangly as well

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Some good news and bad news about Star Chamber, an old favorite ’round this way. Bad news is, the new version of their client costs money if you want to play against any human beings. (The demo has a single-player tutorial plus a little bit of AI play beyond that – I haven’t checked it out yet but it’s more than enough to get a feel for things.) Good news is, there’s now a version for Mac OS X, so all you whiners iconoclasts can check out the first truly great virtual CCG.

Audio Report: Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing

Friday, March 24th, 2006

As rumored and whispered, the famed designer and publisher joins us for a full-length, in-depth chat. Many thoughts will be provoked and you can note them here, but don’t let us stop you from continuing to noodle on Chris H.’s big Role-Playing question from last time. And of course, if you haven’t yet, get up ons.

Dennis Mize passes at 49

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

Famed miniatures sculptor Dennis Mize, one of the first employed by a fledgling Ral Partha way back when, has died of a heart attack slightly more than a week ago. If you own fantasy miniatures, you probably own more than a few that were samples of Mize’s outstanding work (in fact, more of his figures were recently nominated for 2006 Origins Awards, of which he had won many before). While every fan won’t be able to attend his March 25 service in Cincinnati, Dark Sword Miniatures has set up a great memorium page for the industry legend. Stop by, learn a bit more about the man who gave your RPG sessions such gorgeous accessories, and give thanks for the life of Mr Dennis Mize.

Call for True Dungeon volunteers

Monday, March 20th, 2006

The folks at True Dungeon are gearing up for Gen Con 2006 already. While event specific information is promised in a couple weeks, the crew is looking for volunteers, who will get various levels of swag and other compensation (even a hotel room). Read the press release below if you’re inclined to lend a hand.

Halo graphic novel announced

Monday, March 20th, 2006

In a press release on Saturday, Marvel Comics announced plans to release the Halo Graphic Novel, an anthology of original stories based on the wildly successful Halo and Halo 2 X-Box games. Produced independently by Bungie, creators of Halo, the book will be a 128-page full-color jacketed hardcover, which Marvel will print and distribute for release in July. According to the release, “additional Halo comic projects are in the works”. With a rumored movie still in the works as well, do gamers dare hope for an RPG or other game properties? Or for Halo 3, for that matter?

I’d like to Swap for my time back

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

In case you missed last night’s episode of Wife Swap (and I sincerely hope you did – the show is terrible), you missed out on seeing a wife and mother who needs to dial back the escapism considerably. It was like a train wreck I couldn’t look away from.

GTS 2007 at new date and location

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Perhaps bowing to pressure from attendees and a competing trade show, GAMA has announced it will be relocating to Bally’s Las Vegas for the GAMA Trade Show 2007, and changing from mid-March to April 23-26, 2007. The went on to favorably compare Bally’s to the Orleans, former home of GTS and attendee favorite. I have to agree with Dan over at Gaming Report: the fact that this sort of announcement was just casually left lying around to find (and stuffed in the show bags, apparently) is a cause for concern.

More scattered announcements from GTS

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

FFG will be doing a StarCraft board game in the fall, which is great news to these ears, and a CMG based, oddly enough, on Mutant Chronicles. It seems difficult to believe that FFG could make a wrong move, although if any other company announced the latter I would probably scream “wrong move.” But who knows.

Green Ronin will in fact be developing, and GW publishing, a Warhammer 40K RPG based on WFRP rules. Interesting thing about this one is the format: three hardcovers, one each for beginning, intermediate, and advanced play. Hopefully they can pull that off; I can’t name a single mainstream RPG that I could really recommend as a starting point for new players.

Rumored WizKids Clix announcement tonight at GTS

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

So another source tells us that the mysterious extra product WizKids will announce tonight after their BSG shpiel is Toon Clix. This would give them the trifecta of stuff that people buy action figures of in comic book shops, scaled down to clicky size. Which is not a bad strategy for business, actually. Allegedly they have licensed hundreds of characters, to be sold two figures per pack (because that worked so well last time) and the goal of the game is to find your toons’ “happy place.” All the best toons don’t have anything even resembling a happy place, so I guess I’m not the target market (although old school toons like Hong Kong Phooey are in the mix, suggesting a nostalgia angle). I don’t know, I guess there’s no reason to get upset about WizKids using Clix non-games for collectors as cash cows to support more experimental games. If this is even true.

UPDATE: There was also an announcement of Great Cthulhu being the big promo figure for HorrorClix.

Audio Report: from DDC to GTS

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Just a little conceptual glue for ya. Plenty of roleplaying capsule reviews in this one, and Chris has a question for you which we hope will lead to a lot of interesting talk: “What does roleplaying mean to you?” That’s deliberately open-ended… give us what you’ve got below.

The Dreamblade dinner, or: when retailers attack!

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Chris’ own title for his report on WotC’s Dreamblade reveal at GTS is subtitled “How not to make a presentation at a trade show.” So there’s your roaring start.

On a happier note, he’s hearing unconfirmed reports that a new hardcover edition 2.0 of Flames of War will be announced at the show, featuring a plan for free rules updates for those who own the old rulebooks. Not sure how that will look, but presumably we’ll be hearing more soon.

Audio Report: DunDraCon 2006

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Allan’s recordings from DDC are up, featuring talks with Steve Kenson, Hero Games’ Darren Watts, and a raucous Steve Chenault and Joseph Goodman. Two more shows are wrapped and in the pipeline, so line up now.

Secrets of Kenya overview posted

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

As Tatters of the King pulls in glowing reviews, Chaosium continues to build – uh, corrupt, ancient steam, I guess. The next Call of Cthulhu release, Secrets of San Francisco, has been at the printer for a week now, and today a chapter-by-chapter overview of Secrets of Kenya went up on the Chaosium website. It seems the time is right for the Great Old Ones once again.