Archive for July, 2008

A passing thought about RPG systems and conversion

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

So, my sleeping shadow army, riddle me this: how might one go about designing an RPG system that wasn’t necessarily meant to be played in and of itself, but was designed instead for easy and consistent conversion to any reasonably traditional RPG system?

I don’t even know if there’s any good writing out there on the main concerns, generically speaking, in doing conversions. So throw us a link if you’ve got one.

Reaper puts the lead back in leads

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Not in all of them, granted – just the new P-65 Heavy Metal miniatures line. Apparently, real, honest-to-Orcus lead is perfectly legal in miniatures! That tidbit and a bunch of fascinating other ones are available on the linked FAQ. Kudos to Reaper for finding a way to turn economic necessity (the newly high cost of tin solder) into an excuse to take it back to the old school, a marketing move that core gamers always love.

Audio Report: Joe Goodman on Dungeon Crawl Classics for 4E

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

This was supposed to be up yesterday – a little of the ol’ epic fail on my part there, sorry – but now, in all its glory: Joe Goodman tells us just how, exactly, he is making modules for D&D 4E and publishing them before the sanctioned October GSL threshold. Also, the West End Games sale, and: hey, what would you pick for this year’s Ogre’s Choice Awards? Let us know here.

Gleemax is one dead-ass brain-in-a-jar

Monday, July 28th, 2008

We’re not going to abandon the vision, but we are going to put large chunks of it on the backburner until we prove that we can succeed at the most important pieces. Those pieces are Magic Online and D&D Insider.” It’s a shame WotC doesn’t have the resources to execute on Gleemax right now, because the vision is pretty good. Someone could possibly beat them to it – maybe the BGG developers if they’re interested in developing for a more general community, but they probably aren’t, and anyway it’s unlikely that many others could get the industry behind one unified effort the way Wizards was trying to. The Gleemax forums, BTW, will be moving back to the Wizards URL they (largely) came from.

So what do y’all think – should I use some of my copious free time to hack up a social network? Or would any of you be interested in seeing some more social-ish features show up here on the Cave?

Hârn creator passes away

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

A few days ago, the man who created the highly-detailed fantasy world of Hârn, N. Robin Crossby, passed away after a two year battle with cancer. Yesterday, Tom Dalgliesh of Columbia Games, the original publisher of Hârn, issued a statement (below) that highlights the importance of Crossby’s influence on the RPG setting. Crossby had been continuing to expand Hârn through Kelestia Publications. OgreCave wishes his family the best, and asks the world in general, “Can we stop losing great tabletop gaming names now, please?”

West End Games for sale, maybe

Monday, July 21st, 2008

As has been mentioned on ENWorld, West End Games owner Eric Gibson has apparently decided to sell the company. After assuming control of WEG five years ago, it seems that economic difficulties have caused the cancellation of Bill Coffin’s Septimus. Fans of WEG have been inquiring about for a while, which is likely adding to stress levels at the company – and has led to a rather angry proclamation on the WEG Forums and another at RPGnet. The questions linger: does the nature of the tabletop game industry lend itself to early burnout for publishers (ala the original Hogshead Publishing)? Do game fans expect too much from companies with limited means? Or is it more that creative individuals struggle with creating solid business plans, much like

Audio Report – 4e licensing and other ventures

Friday, July 18th, 2008

In our latest Audio Report episode, Lee Valentine joins us again as we discuss the more restricted nature of the D&D 4e Game System License. To us, it almost seems publishers will require a Will save to move to the new edition. Then we move on to the Mutant Chronicles CMG becoming non-random, and Days of Wonder issues. In Currently Playing, we’ve dabbled in everything from Red Dragon Inn and Carolus Magnus to Ticket to Ride: Switzerland. Have a listen, and be sure to check out our previous episodes.

OgreCave Reviews: D&D 4e Player’s Handbook

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Lee has been hacking and slashing his way through Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition, and after much consideration, has provided us with his take on the 4e Player’s Handbook. Prepare yourself – the thorough review lays it all out for you, but provides insight into what may either frustrate or delight you about the game’s latest incarnation. Have a read, or peruse our other reviews at your leisure.

Rock Band 2 full track list posted

Monday, July 14th, 2008

The annual E3 craziness is going on this week, and Harmonix has chosen today to squash the unconfirmed Rock Band 2 playlist rumors by announcing the full track list (reorganized at, thankfully, and copied below). As expected, over 80 tracks will be part of the new game, all created from the master recordings. As a bonus, tracks from the original Rock Band, downloaded or otherwise, will be usable in the new game. The sequel will arrive this September, so start warming up now – that angry monkey noise from “Down with the Sickness” may require some practice to perfect. I’m working on it already.

2008 ENnies Award nominees announced

Friday, July 11th, 2008

The annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards – aka the ENnies – has announced its nominees for 2008 (copied below). Online voting for all 19 categories, plus a fan write-in category for Best Publisher, will begin on July 21, and end on August 3, so look over the list and prepare your ballots, folks. Winners will named at a Gen Con Indy ceremony on the evening of August 15.

2008 Diana Jones shortlist announced

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Right on schedule, this year’s shortlist for the Diana Jones Award, established to recognize excellence in gaming, has been finalized. The 2008 nominees are:

As always, the DJ Award committee has made worthy, thought-provoking selections, which will be narrowed down to a winner on August 13th, the night before GenCon Indy ’08 opens.

Movie preview: Hellboy II – The Golden Army

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

I managed to get an early look at this weekend’s big sci-fi flick, Hellboy II – The Golden Army (Universal Pictures), and figured our readers should hear about it. After all, we’re down for any movie that inspires the urge to start gaming, so it’s a sure thing some of y’all feel the same. Have a look, and see what I thought of the comic-themed sequel. We’ll see about bringing you more film reviews in the future to inspire your gaming minds – or at least point out the good stuff.

Ticket to Ride – Nordic Countries coming in September

Monday, July 7th, 2008

When we heard of copies of Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries being brought here from overseas and selling for $100 of more, we knew the game would probably see an English translation. The official announcement (see below) came from Days of Wonder today, allowing Ticket fans a collective sigh of relief, as they’ll get their chance to claim train routes across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. This will be a complete game, unlike the Switzerland expansion which required one of the main sets to play. Designed for 2-3 players, Nordic Countries should be available in September for $50.

Yay, we’re all insiders! Or something

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Dragon #364 is, for the moment at least, a free download. You do have to log in if you want to read articles as plain HTML, plus the links will go for-pay eventually, or else I’d link you straight to top-billed DMG author James Wyatt’s commentary on the design of that book, or the “Class Acts” article that adds two pages of the interesting wizardy stuff that should have been in the PHB. (Did y’all really need those two pages for something else that badly, WotC?) Oh, and the searchable rules database (aka D&D Compendium) is also free, for now. I wonder if taking these back behind a paywall eventually is gonna really backfire on Wizards – we have a bit of talk on that subject in the next Audio Report, but… yeah.

Halo boardgame planned this August

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

B1 Games will be bringing us the Halo Interactive Strategy Game, a modular, three-dimensional boardgame based on the immensely popular video game property, at “1527 hours, August 1, 2008”. According to company’s site, the game will include “Sculpted, 3D collectible character pieces”, Heroic and Legendary difficulty levels, and have “Special insider Halo DVD content” (how the DVD will factor into gameplay, if at all, is unknown – I’m kinda hoping it won’t). The game will have Campaign, Slayer, and Capture the Flag modes, and to top it all off, B1 Games also promises expansion products with “new adventures, vehicles, characters and weapons”. Could be interesting – or just the last licensee to the table. I’ll put myself in the “curious” column.