Archive for March, 2008

Decipher plans viral CCG launch, shared profits for fans

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Decipher, the company responsible for hit CCGs like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, is trying a new approach with its next project. According to this announcement (there’s more than just the countdown clock, be patient), Decipher will launch a new CCG called Fight Klub at the end of April. This appears to be releasing in 121 card packs, or “kilos”, for $29.95 each. What license will be attached to the game, if any, is unclear. New players will join by invitation only, and each “mentor” player that invites more gamers will get a 10% kickback of all those players spend on the game, for life. Players will vote on cards for upcoming sets, possible reprints, and licenses they’d like to see pursued. Decipher will reap the maximum profits on the game, as Fight Klub won’t be solicited through regular distribution channels, instead only becoming available through Decipher directly. Of course, considering the timing of this (what date is it tomorrow? Hmm…), this might be foolery, but it doesn’t seem that way.

Upper Deck bringing WoW Minis promo to GTS

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

ICv2 has the story of the first of what is sure to become many GTS ’08 previews. In this case, Upper Deck will be giving out a World of Warcraft CMG promo figure at a retailer presentation on April 21st, the first full day of the show. It seems doubtful that a single WoW figure will lead to any of the craziness of promo releases past, but just wait until Onyxia, the “broodmother of the black dragons of Azeroth”, becomes a convention promo figure – that’s when we’ll see if Upper Deck handles the process any better than WizKids did. I’m not saying UD has announced a similar con exclusive sales plan yet or anything, I’m just seeing the potential for history to repeat itself.

Paizo using Pathfinder RPG to stick with 3.5

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Paizo Publishing, former publisher of Dragon and Dungeon and the company behind the Pathfinder d20 product line, announced today its plan to produce the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, due to release August 2009. Perhaps more significant was the company’s decision to stick with the D&D 3.5 ruleset as its foundation. Paizo intends for the game to be “designed with backward compatibility as one of its primary goals, so players will continue to enjoy their lifelong fantasy gaming hobby without invalidating their entire game library.” This move could be designed to help Paizo absorb any D&D fans who end up dissatisfied with 4th Edition once it arrives, and additional thunder-stealing is on the horizon – Paizo already has a free 65-page preview PDF available, and plans to release a full-color softcover Pathfinder RPG Beta release book this August for $24.99.

Multiple announcements accompanied the press release (below), including a statement from Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens. Stevens elaborated on the decision to stick with 3.5: “After careful evaluation of our options, we believe that the 3.5 core will continue to be the best system to tell the stories we’ve got planned for Pathfinder. [...] We’re sure that lots of roleplayers are going to be thrilled with Wizards of the Coast’s upcoming 4th Edition, and we’re also looking forward to the 4th Edition products that our partner Necromancer Games will be creating. Paizo may also publish 4th Edition products in the future, but if we do, they won’t cross over with our Pathfinder products.”

Paizo publisher Erik Mona cut right to the heart of the matter in his statement: “Basing the Pathfinder RPG on 3.5 also allows Paizo more control over our destiny than simply following along with the latest edition and the newest licensing changes.” Beyond merely taking control of its ruleset, Paizo may be establishing an in-print system that other publishers can adapt for their needs. Interesting developments in the D&D upgrade shake-out, to be sure.

[UPDATE: A follow-up press release, added here, states the free Pathfinder Alpha PDF has already been downloaded 10,000 times]

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Audio Report – Them’s heretical words!

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Round two of today’s catch-up episodes, this early February show muses on the future of the Dark Heresy RPG (which became clearer soon after show time), upcoming con season, the WoW CMG, and more. Mike also gives us a primer on Vincent Baker’s latest game, In a Wicked Age, and we’ve all been keeping busy playing things. Again, thanks to everyone who emailed asking when we’d be back – the answer is, now.

Audio Report – Back in the saddle again

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The OgreCave Audio Report is getting back up to speed with this, the first of two shows being fired off today. We’ve been talking, you just haven’t been able to hear it. Here’s the proof: our first Audio Report of the new year, recorded back when OGLs and inroads to Starbucks were all the rage. Thanks to everyone who emailed their concern over the extended, unintentional hiatus – my dead paperweight of an old machine caused considerable delays, but we’ll be all caught up fairly soon. Meanwhile, have a listen, tell us what’s on your mind, and welcome back.

Free Ingenious for PCs, today only

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Spread the word: until the end of today, a site called Game Giveaway of the Day is – you guessed it – giving away downloads of Reiner Knizia’s Ingenious for PC. This is a widely acclaimed game in its original, non-electronic form, so boardgame fans should strongly consider grabbing a copy while they can.

White Wolf wants you to trade up

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

White Wolf is making a more agressive play to bring converts from D&D to Exalted in a new promotion. The Graduate Your Game promotion will provide 2,500 copies of the Exalted: 2nd Edition rulebook in exchange for a D&D 3.5 Player’s Handbook. Consumers can either contact White Wolf directly with an order form and a book, or bring a different form to a local retailer. Here’s where it gets amusing: participating retailers must “take all D&D 3.5 Player’s Handbooks that are exchanged, tear out the pages, and return the full cover with the consumer forms”. Destroy those books! As if that weren’t enough, gamers can download a diploma “for graduation from the Third Edition Fantasy Game”. Those who want to take advantage of the trade-in offer should make arrangements soon, as retailer promo kits get mailed next week, and White Wolf anticipates a good chance that all book preorders will be spoken for well ahead of the April 28th deadline.

Gary Gygax dead at 69

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Steve Chenault of Troll Lord Games has just given word on the Troll Lord forums that original D&D publisher and co-creator Gary Gygax has died in his home, last night or this morning. Details are still sketchy and the forum site is not loading so well at the moment, but here you are. We’ll get you more when we can.

Update: CNet has more. It confirms heart problems as the cause of death; Gygax mentioned an inoperable heart condition in a 2006 interview. He is survived by his wife, six children, and seven grandchildren, as well as by all of us whose lives have been shaped in some way by his creation. He will be missed.

BTRC peddles disease with updated wargame

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Looking for a cheerful, lighthearted game to take your mind off things? Or would you rather play a disease and wipe out a continent? Yeah, me too, so BTRC‘s Black Death [EDIT: a new version, apparently, not an entirely new title] seems right up my alley. For 2-6 plaguers – er, players – the goal is to kill off the population of 14th century Europe faster than the other competing diseases. Billed as “a different sort of conquest than your average wargame”, this PDF-only game looks as well made as any print wargame, with the advantages of zero shipping time and a $8 pricetag. Take a look, and pick one up if you’re willing to admit just how twisted you really are.