Archive for April, 2014

TableTop season 3 campaign is dressed to impress

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

With Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other campaigns regularly raising impressive sums for all sorts of projects, it’s easy to become numb to all the hype. Some companies merely use the fundraising sites as a preorder system, while others bend over backwards to create every possible backer-exclusive chotchkie, tempting the completist collector that lurks in us all. The best of these campaigns are the ones falling somewhere inbetween – those that offer an impressive, worthwhile product with additions/”stretch goals” that enhance the original product, or better yet, are worthwhile on their own.

For gamers, at least one such worthwhile campaign is the TableTop Season 3 – with Wil Wheaton campaign on Indiegogo (which, when phrased that way, makes excellent host Wheaton sound kinda like a side order. “Make mine a mushroom burger, medium rare, with a side of garlic Wil Wheaton.”). Having already cleared its $500K goal to bring viewers a new 15 episode season, backers have helped TableTop achieve additional goals. These include an additional 5 episodes, custom dice, DVDs, t-shirts, posters, commemorative coins… you get the idea, and maybe you aren’t impressed – you’ve heard all this before. Where things really get interesting is the lofty region of unlocked coolness TableTop fans are striving for in these last 11 days of fundraising. At $800K, fans already secured a free downloadable game designed by Mike Selinker, James Ernest (Lone Shark and Cheapass Games, anyone?), and TableTop host Wil Wheaton. At $900K, fans will unlock a special Cards Against Humanity expansion designed just for the TableTop campaign. Finally, at $1 million, the Geek & Sundry network founded by Felicia Day (co-creator of TableTop) will create a whole new RPG show, hosted by Wil Wheaton, in the style of TableTop. At the rate pledges keep coming in for the show, these goals are ambitious, but certainly achievable. Go on – visit the TableTop pledge page and hit refresh every few minutes. You’ll see.

So, with various TableTop goodies, a free game designed by Wil Wheaton and two award-winning designers, and the potential for both an expansion to the most popular rude party game and another whole show, this seems like the direction part of your gaming funds should go.

Wheel of Time series nominated for Hugo Award

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Over this past weekend, the 2014 Hugo Award nominees were announced. Among the nominees is the well-known Wheel of Time fantasy novel series, written by the combined efforts of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Some Hugo Award fans – hardcore fantasy and science fiction aficionados – have cried foul at the nomination of the entire epic series in the Best Novel category. Sanderson, who gamers also know for the Mistborn series and resulting RPG from Crafty Games, has a gracious and considered post about the nomination on his blog. In particular, he asks fans and detractors alike to proceed with caution:

Please don’t let the Hugo Awards become a shoving match between fandoms. […]

The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest. […]

We want you to vote. We want you to be part of the process. But let me speak frankly to you: if you don’t intend to read and investigate the other nominees and participate in a wide variety of categories, you are doing the awards a disservice. I would rather have the Wheel of Time not win than have it be given an award as part of a thoughtless shoving match.

The full post addresses much more, and is worth the click-thru. In fact, with nominees that range from novels, short stories, and fan podcasts, to Doctor Who episodes, Pacific Rim and Iron Man 3, the Hugo Awards as a whole are a litmus test for geek culture, and certainly worth further investigation.

OgreCave review: Cthulhu Invictus Companion

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Cthulhu Invictus CompanionAs you prepare for whatever weekend festivities you have lined up (like perfecting your Easter Bunny themed zombie game scenario, perhaps? We don’t judge.) you may want to take a moment and peruse today’s new review. Andy has made a full assessment of the Cthulhu Invictus Companion by Chaosium, a supplement for Call of Cthulhu. This Roman Empire resource provides adventures, monsters, and, of course, cultists. But how much is new, and how much is reprint? Andy tries to clear away the veil of… is that ooze? Ew. Anyway, he clears up some confusion you might have had about facing the Great Old Ones in ancient Rome, and lets us know what this Companion brings to the arena.