Archive for August, 2006

Live from Gen Con 06: home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Twice today I’ve played very, very enjoyable subsets (meaning demo games calibrated to different levels of complexity) of John Harper’s combatty RPG Agon. This is the last kind of RPG I thought I would be having a blast playing at the show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly an indie game that challenges assumptions, but it’s also a crunchy game focused on Greek heroes fighting monsters. The book is gorgeous – look for the big helmet! – and no bigger than it needs to be. Even better is the character sheet, which literally puts absolutely every option a player will ever need to consider right there in front of you, in an incredibly elegant and learnable structure. No tedious poring over the rule catalogs! Death to roleplaying as shopping, just cut to the chase! Piles of awesome. And even if your character dies there’s still character advancement.

Live from Gen Con 06: let the wild rumpus stop

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Random starting notes:

  • True Dungeon seems to be less of a big deal in the con culture this time out. Maybe due to the poor position of the Tavern. Or maybe just because I am hopped up on goofballs. I will probably start hearing more about it when Chris has his run.
  • People are coming away from the IPR/Forge/Wicked Dead booth with big, big handfuls of books. At one point the line was exactly half as long as the line to buy stuff at the WotC booth – I counted. (The only really impressive lines were at Privateer for Superiority, FanPro for I assume CBT Total Warfare, and – this one shocked me – the Order of the Stick guy for his new board game.)
  • People seem to be buying and playing Dreamblade at an impressive clip. Some booths are even selling singles already.
  • I still haven’t gotten to play Mechaton. DAMMIT
  • Also haven’t seen the Viktory II guy. I don’t remember if we linked to this fellow’s exhaustive documentation, floated on the net a few weeks ago, about what-all went into the garage production of his combat game. [Edit: we have now.] Will have to look for him more carefully tomorrow.
  • Already a much stronger presence of video game companies. Pirates of the Burning Seas, yay.
  • “Preorder the Deluxe Edition of Kill Doctor Lucky from Titanic Games and get a limited edition Dr. Lucky miniature!” !!!???

More soon, naturally.

Live from Gen Con 06: Diana Jones likes Irish charity

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

The Diana Jones Award has gone to Irish gamer charity auctions. I am posting from my phone, which sucks. More later.
[EDIT: Official press release below]

Next year’s Gen Con to try to be E3, kind of

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

So, to recap: the Electronic Entertainment Exposition, another one of those trade shows that can’t seem to remember they’re trade shows and not cons, recently got smacked down by all of its largest exhibitors. As a result, it is ceasing to exist in recognizable form. Along comes Gen Con, which will expand its Indy operations in ’07 and move the ’07 So Cal show to Los Angeles from Anaheim. So, look for next year’s Indy show to have a lot more digital action, and for next year’s So Cal to resemble the inside of a pinball machine. Provided that video game manufacturers give Gen Con their business, that is. Have a great time at the con tomorrow, everyone! Try not to panic! (Press release after the jump.)

A new age of RuneQuest

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Plenty of gamers are excited that the new RuneQuest arrives in stores (and at Gen Con) this week, and Mongoose Publishing is making sure players hit the ground running. Aside from the main rulebook being a mere $24.95, multiple support products are in the wings (three supplements in August alone), and the latest issue of the company’s free PDF magazine Signs & Portents contains a free RQ scenario. The Second Age of Glorantha (the “Imperial Age”) looks to be well underway.

Mongoose’s plans aside, Glorantha fans will be interested to see how many of the projects Greg Stafford mentions in his recent interview actually see the light of day. With Issaries described as “a holding company of sorts” and basically out of publishing, will Moon Design take HeroQuest in the right direction? We’ve been promised things before (QuestWorlds, anyone? And there was that miniatures boardgame on the Red Moon…).

Audio Report: the big con big pre-show

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

In which we call out a mess of Gen Con releases to which we look forward, and include a review from the 2d6 Feet crew of our Ogre’s Choice honoree True 20. And as always, a whole mess of other crap. Talk about it below.

World of Warcraft TCG will be along shortly

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Originally announced as a Spring ’06 release, Upper Deck’s World of Warcraft TCG will be shown off at Gen Con Indy next week (according to the official site, titled WoW TCG Online as if to entice existing MMORPG players). Will this be the next Yu-Gi-Oh!-sized sensation? Not if the depressed CCG market has anything to say about it. Still, the WoW TCG skews to a slightly older demographic, and the once-promised online tie-in cards, if still planned, might help sales as well. We’ll see how things shake out as the game’s October release approaches.

A long-awaited new example of the genericization of Magic

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Mana Burn, a roleplaying game for your old Magic collection. (It’s also a wonderful example of the most economical, attractive, and audience-maximizing way to print a roleplaying game.)

Guardians of Order's last words

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

has posted its own announcement of closure, the timing partly due to George R.R. Martin’s posting a summary of the situation last Friday on his website. GoO President Mark MacKinnon mentions continued efforts to rectify the remaining problems caused by the company “going dark” weeks ago, which many (correctly) saw as the beginning of the end for GoO. The full press release is copied below.