Archive for May, 2010

Let’s talk some more about the Dresden Files RPG

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

What’s amazing is how much difference some room makes. I’ve grown accustomed to reading games on digest-sized pages or not much bigger; a full-sized book gives rules text and (crucially) examples the opportunity to be next to each other. It’s a small thing, but it really makes a text easier to get into your head. (It’s a bit unfair, this thing of reviewing the layout and the reading experience. Some days I’m just in a thick mood and I’m not going to be able to comprehend anything. I have the impression that the text in DFRPG v1: Your Story is just the right balance of getting-to-the-point and spicing-things-up to get through my thick old skull, but maybe I just got lucky. To make matters worse I read most of it on my new iPod, so this is hardly objective data: maybe I was just mesmerized by the shiny.)

OgreCave review: Dungeon Lords

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Lee has explored the depths of the dungeon-management game Dungeon Lords by Z-Man Games, and he’s lived to tell the tale. This game has been seen at game shops and conventions lately, a sprawling affair with multiple boards and numerous fun components. Whether his tale is a gruesome account of grim times, or of enjoyable times had by all… well, you’ll have to read his review to find out.

Days of Wonder to Release Fourth Expansion for Small World

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Days of Wonder just announced Tales & Legends, the fourth expansion for their award-winning area control boardgame Small World. Tales & Legends will feature a deck of 54 large-format Event cards. In every round except the first, an event card will change the way that the game plays. This expansion was created by Laurent Verrier, Special Prize Winner of the 2009 Small World Design Contest. Small World was named Game of the Year by Games magazine in 2009 and had the highest first year sales of any Days of Wonder product since Ticket to Ride. Like the base game, Tales & Legends will be available in six languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and Japanese. Tales & Legends is expected to hit hobby game stores in late June or early July with a suggested retail price of $15.00.

OgreCave interview: Random Encounter with Gareth Hanrahan

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Let’s start this week around the Cave with an interview – specifically, an interview with Gareth Hanrahan about The Laundry RPG, due to hit stores this July. No, you won’t find stain removal tips in the details Gareth reveals. Instead, we present a far more useful briefing on what rookie agents can expect in this Delta Green-like system based on Charles Stross’ Laundry Files novels. Covert ops meets bureaucratic red tape all wrapped in a candy shell of Cthulhu Mythos – sound interesting? Then read on.

J. Eric Holmes, D&D “blue box” author, dies

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Once again, sad news has surfaced regarding an early champion of the roleplaying hobby – Cyclopeatron reports that J. Eric Holmes, author of the first D&D “blue box” set, has passed away at 80 years old. A former associate professor of neurology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Holmes was also a fantasy and science fiction author who was well known to fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs. In the early days of RPGs, Holmes had several articles in The Dragon (or Dragon Magazine to you and me), and wrote the book Fantasy Role Playing Games – Dungeons, Dragons and Adventures in Fantasy Gaming (see his Wikipedia page for the list).

The staff of OgreCave wishes the best to the Holmes family.

May a fifth be with you – tequila or something else, doesn’t matter

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Catching up with some news:

Green Ronin announces DC Adventures RPG on the Mutants and Masterminds engine. Great for GR, but I’m trying to imagine DC-owned characters I’d want to play with, and the only one coming to mind is the Spirit, which I don’t think really counts. Not feeling drawn to Watchmen, even, unless it had an awesome pirate minigame. Tiny Titans would be fun though.

Looney Labs announces Back to the Future: the Card Game. I’ve played Chrononauts variants that focus on a small set of fictional events, and they’re great – the game can really be a platform for interesting things, in the same way that Fluxx can. Of course, we don’t know yet whether this will be that, exactly.

Some of the LEGO Games line is on Amazon now. I’ve got Lava Dragon and Minotaurus.

That’s right, bring Papa some Roman action. (Link is less dirty than I just made it sound.) As Purple Pawn noted, Arcane Legions has a foot in two worlds but isn’t really finding its footing in either. Pro tip for Wells Expeditions: that booster bundle is pretty pricey. If I could get its contents piecemeal, though, I’d probably have given you that $80 by now. And no, I don’t have a way to give it to you piecemeal.

In other news I’m reading the Dresden Files RPG and it’s hot. If it’s gonna be in Borders (and it is), then it’s mainstream, and this is most of the last ten years of indie innovations in traditionally-structured gaming, brought to the mainstream. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s “indie in mainstream clothing:” as of this book, this stuff is mainstream, simple as that. If I understand correctly, you can now buy the PDF separately from the print preorder, so if an urban-fantasy game is up your street, hit that up.