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Goblin Grapple
(Silver Gaming Co.)
(505 Games)
Pathfinder Card Game
(Paizo Publishing)
Cthulhu Invictus Companion
Boss Monster!
(Brotherwise Games)
Murder of Crows
(Atlas Games)

Randy Angle - Gruesome Ghoulies (9/28/20)
James Wallis - Alas Vegas (2/13/13)
Gareth Hanrahan - The Laundry RPG (5/17/10)
Jamie Chambers - Signal Fire Studios (7/21/09)
Darren Watts - Hero Games (5/4/09)
Stan! (11/7/08)
Brendan LaSalle - Pandahead Productions (audio; 9/28/07)
Richard Garfield (10/12/04)

What source gets quoted most frequently during your game sessions?
Monty Python (Holy Grail or otherwise)
Star Wars/Star Trek
That Dr. Demento D&D thing ("I cast Magic Missile at the darkness!")
Comic book sources
South Park
Aliens ("Game over, man!")

View Results

Christmas Gift Guide 2010 (11/26/10)
PAX East 2010 report (4/9/10)
Christmas Gift Guide 2009 (12/4/09)
Games of the Ninja 2008 (12/5/08)
Christmas Gift Guide 2008 (11/27/08)
Screams from the Cave 2008
Ogres' Choice Awards 2008 (9/12/08)
Christmas Gift Guide 2007 (11/30/07)
Ogres' Choice Awards 2007 (8/17/07)
GAMA Trade Show 2007 report (4/27/07)
Christmas Gift Guide 2006 (11/30/06)
Ogres' Choice Awards 2006 (7/28/06)
Christmas Gift Guide 2005 (11/29/05)
Christmas Gift Guide 2004 (12/10/04)
Night of the Living Gamer
(Halloween RPGs)

Archive highlights
GAMA Trade Show 2008 report, part 2
GAMA Trade Show 2008 report, part 1
Frag Beta Capsule Review (4/14/01)
Battle Cattle Minis Preview (2/28/01)

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Unplugged Gaming News And Views
Monday, April 30, 2001
11:04 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
RoleplayingTips.com #72
Proper use of names, by they for towns or for characters, is tackled in the latest issue of RoleplayingTips.com. There are also some ideas for speeding up combats, and several other useful tidbits.

Applying a Fresh Beatdown
Shadowfist.com has a new look to accompany the CCG's latest expansion, Netherworld II: Back Through the Portals. The 145 card set has nearly 100 brand new cards, and promises to shake things up in the Secret War. Glad to see Z-Man Games keepin' the dream alive. Keep it up, guys.

Nazis and Supertanks
The WWII miniatures game Gear Krieg, by Dream Pod 9, will soon have a role-playing counterpart. In this alternate history, technology took a slight detour into armored mecha, so who knows how the war will turn out? Brings back memories of the Nile Empire and good ole' Doctor Moebius. Ah, Torg, we hardly knew ye...

Sunday, April 29, 2001
10:52 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Complete Caveman's Club Book Preview
The gods of Wingnut have smiled upon us again. Here's a taste of what you'll be getting in the upcoming Land of Og supplement, The Complete Caveman's Club Book. No, it's not just a catalog of clubs - you get Smart Caveman Kits like this one:

Uses seemingly nonsensical and slow body motions to make the world conform to his expectations. Philosophical Smart Caveman becomes obsessed with solving a problem by stroking his chin constantly while looking down at the ground, then slowly lifting his head straight up in the sky. Becoming one with the surroundings, there are supposedly some earth shattering conclusions to be drawn.

ADVANTAGE Since it took Philosophical Smart Caveman such a large amount of time to come to a conclusion, it is only right that the end result is in comparable size. Once per day for every odd level, Philosophical Smart Caveman can either: double his percent chance to succeed a Figure Things Out%, or cut in half his Forget How To%. So, at level three, he could double his Figure Things Out% for two different instances, cut his Forget How To% in half twice, or one of each.

DISADVANTAGE All this brainpower can make a caveman tired. The brain cells have floated away (or maybe it was staring at the sun too long), but all this work puts a constant strain on his health and he receives a permanent "-1" to his Health ability score.

Now how much would you pay? The Complete Caveman's Club Book hits next month.

Friday, April 27, 2001
1:39 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
The Rod Torkelson Armada, Featuring Johnny Wonderchuck
First Ren and Stimpy, now obscure Kids in the Hall references... someday, I will get 1992 out of my system. Anyway, FFG has announced a new game called, yes, Armada, a "customizable disk game" (evidently not collectible) set in the Twilight Imperium universe. This new stuff page has it coming out in May, which is cool. But there's no news of a release date for the intriguing-sounding Tom Jolly project, Vortex. (Maybe Mr. Jolly will spill the beans for us, after we get those Drakon and Programmer's Nightmare reviews up.)

10:18 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Sack Armies Takes Precedence
Precedence Studios has announced their new worldwide agreement to develop and publish Tyranny Games' Sack Armies. The upcoming collectible wargame will have 120 hex shaped army tokens, and will be sold in 42 token starter sacks for $13.99 or 18 token booster sets for $4.95. From what I've seen of Sack Armies so far in the playtest, this game should be a real winner. Look for it to arrive in June.

3:59 AM: Demian Katz says...
Are Lost Worlds Truly Lost?
Greysea LLC, the most recent publisher of the innovative Ace of Aces and Lost Worlds combat picture book games, recently sent out an e-mail announcing that the web sites devoted to the company and its two main products are no longer in service. No explanation of why this has happened was included, but such an event does not seem to bode well for fans of the games. All is not lost, however -- Flying Buffalo is still occasionally producing Lost Worlds books (most recently basing them upon the Knights of the Dinner Table). The fate of the Ace of Aces air combat books seems more uncertain, however; hopefully Greysea's recent "Anniversary Edition" won't be their last gasp.

Thursday, April 26, 2001
11:55 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
This Week in D20
There's so much happening with D&D 3 and the D20 System, I'll try to round up most of the news in one big summary. Consider this my attempt at a Chain Lightning spell. :-)

  • Atlas Games has posted a preview of Touched by the Gods, a hardcover sourcebook of all things divine. The preview hints at many of the new deities, domains, feats, prestige classes, spells, beasts, and items the book will contain.
  • Pinnacle has announced their Weird Wars D20 RPG will be out this July, much faster than I expected. Supernatural terror in WWII. Excellent.
  • Jim Butler's new home, Bastion Press, is working on their first product, Minions: Favored Foes. The full-color, 220 page hardcover should arrive in December 2001.
  • Eden Studios is showing off the new cover art for the first three D20 products in their Odyssey line, Akrasia: Thief of Time, Wonders Out of Time, and Secrets of the Ancients. The first two should reach stores in late May/early June.
  • Kingdoms of Kalamar, the official D&D setting from Kenzer & Company, is in my hot little hands right now, and should be reaching yours this week.

Wednesday, April 25, 2001
4:54 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
I Told You I'd Shoot, But You Didn't Believe Me!
Whyyyy didn't you believe me?! Just because that sad little "More to come!" has been sitting over in the Reviews box for a while... um... okay, then. But now it's time to put on your happy helmet and heed Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's review of Ars Magica: The Mysteries. Just how you like iiiit!

Tuesday, April 24, 2001
11:39 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Fuzzy Fruit Takes Over
Nightshift Games has posted an entertaining eight page pdf preview of the Supermegatopia RPG. The anime game may be mature in nature, but that won't stop it from acting goofy as well. For example, the sheer amount of kiwi fruit in Supermegatopia outweighs the citizens thereof, and is used in everything from fuel to perfume.

A Taste of Angels. Honey-glazed. With Fries and a Coke
Another company with freebies is Visionary Games, which has a quickplay version of their Archangel RPG. The 35-page pdf file, called Miracles, takes players to 392 BC, when "the Almighty empowered great men and women and allowed angels to walk with men for the first time in history." Sounds like there's gonna be a rumble in Babylon tonight.

9:33 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Feng Shui In Your Face
The next supplement for Atlas Games' Feng Shui RPG has shipped to distributors and should be on your local game store's doorstep shortly. In Your Face Again has 128 pages packed with ten scenarios to challenge any participant in the Secret War.

Monday, April 23, 2001
11:35 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Cavemen on the March
Cavemen are coming out for the spring thaw over at Wingnut Games. The Complete Caveman's Club Book is being printed at this very moment, as is the second printing of Land of Og. You'll need Land of Og to make proper use of the CCCB, but since each gives you 64 pages of prehistoric goodness for just under $10 apiece, you'd do well to check them out. Ogre recommends. You buy. Ug.

Game Swapping
RPG Host has a new game trading site up and running, RPG Swap. Buy, sell, or trade those excellent products now.

Lunar Empire For Sale
Embrace the Illuminated ways of the Lunar Empire (of Hero Wars and RuneQuest fame). Or, if you can't make such a drastic lifestyle change right now, consider grabbing a copy of the offical map poster. Just reading the details makes me drool.

The map measures 59.4 cm x 70 cm (23.5 in x 27.5 in), printed in crisp, full colour on heavy, glossy 170gsm paper, produced from the high-resolution original. It really is a gorgeous and impressive piece of work, as suited for use in play as display on a wall or at a convention.
Go take a look, and order a copy, if you'd like.

Sunday, April 22, 2001
10:57 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mystic Eye's Love Fest
Doug Herring at Mystic Eye Games let us know about the latest pair of nasty creatures available on their site. This set of monsters were created in answer to the following: "What types of foul beasts could be born of the nightmares of an unrequited or spurned love?" Aside from Rimmer's lust monster, you'd have the Heart Breaker and the Black Lover, two horrific (and apparently lonely) beasts. This brings the grand total of free creatures at MEG to six, all as a prelude to the upcoming creature book, Nightmares & Dreams: A Creature Collection, and Mystic Eye's new setting, The Hunt: Rise of Evil.

Saturday, April 21, 2001
5:58 AM: Demian Katz says...
Australian Gamebook Invades the Internet
Andrew Chapman, the author of several classic Fighting Fantasy adventures (including Space Assassin and Seas of Blood), has just electronically published Invaders, a previously-unreleased gamebook originally written to be part of a short-lived Australian series. The book is being distributed free of charge as a 2.42 meg PDF file, and it's best viewed with the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader, though good, old-fashioned Acrobat Reader also works. No matter how you read it, however, this book is yet another sign that the Internet is an exciting place for gamebook fans to be.

Thursday, April 19, 2001
11:52 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
A few more tidbits for ya as a birthday gift (my birthday, not yours). Enjoy. :-)

Vampire Man Heading Into Space
In an interview over at Games Unplugged, Vampire creator Mark Rein*Hagen speaks briefly about the new game he's working on with his new company, Atomoton. Called Zero-Gravity (Z-G), the new game is described as "an action-figure trading-card game that can and will morph into an RPG, an animated show, a video-game first-person shooter, a comic book, an Advanced Game Boy game, a novel series, and a secret society." Whew! Sounds like it will require many trips to the game shop to play Z-G, but color me intrigued.

Observers of the Titles
With the latest class handbook for D&D 3, Defenders of the Faith, arriving in stores tomorrow. After Defenders, the next handbook will be Tome and Blood (for Wizards and Sorcerers) in June, followed by Song and Silence (Bards and Thieves) in December. So what will the others be? Well, we don't know when in 2002 they'll be available yet, but Masters of the Wild (for Druids, Rangers and Barbarians) and Tooth and Claw (for playing humaniods, perhaps?) should be next.

Prize Alert. Prize Alert.
You Red Dwarf fans out there will appreciate that a Prize Alert is slightly less dangerous than a Purple Alert, but more serious than a Blue Alert. Err... sorry.

Head over to the competitions page at Fiction-Fantasy.net. Why? Well, I'll let them tell you:

The Fiction & Fantasy Network are running a series of competitions, starting with two cool prizes. The first is a complete Warhammer: Vampire Counts army donated by CyberDungeon.com. The second is two signed copies of Junk from Dark Omen Games.

9:26 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
New Art at Green Ronin
Green Ronin has posted the cover art for Hell in Freeport. The 64-page adventure will be for character levels 8-11, and is written by WotC veterans Jim Bishop, Jess Lebow, and Paul Bazakas. Hell in Freeport should be available in July.

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
11:31 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Sovereign Stone Goes D20
In a surprising announcement, Don Perrin of Sovereign Press revealed plans to redo the Sovereign Stone RPG using the D20 System. Sovereign Stone has already seen the efforts of a number of former TSR "golden era" designers, as well as the efforts of Dragonlance authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and artist Larry Elmore. A press release addressed why the choice to convert was made.

The decision to abandon the current Sovereign Stone Role-Playing Game line lies simply in the numbers. We feel that the strength of our product line is in the world, and that world can be explored by so many more players under the d20 license. We will rewrite and reissue all of the current Sovereign Stone products with d20 information so that our fans can experience the rich world of Sovereign Stone with a great new system.
As a fan of the Sov Stone setting, I'll be interested to see how gamers respond to the converted game. The new incarnation of Sovereign Stone is planned to release at GenCon 2001.

Creature Collection Corrections
If you've noticed a glitch or two in your copy of the Creature Collection, don't worry, Swords & Sorcery has got you covered. They've just posted a new errata list that adjusts the Challenge Rating of many creatures and lists the climate/terrain for each beast as well. Since the Creature Collection made it out the door before the Monster Manual and didn't have an example to follow, it's only natural to see some minor tweaking now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001
9:22 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Iron Kingdoms Invade
Privateer Press has been very active of late. Not only have they launched IronKingdoms.com in support of their D20 setting, but Privateer Press is also featured on RPGaction. Best of all, along with the Matt Staroscik interview and company profile, the complete D20 stats for steamjacks are presented. Can you say mecha combat for D&D 3? Me too.

Wounds Unlimited Reaches Its Limit
The stylish internet gaming zine Wounds Unlimited has called it quits. Sighting "problems in the Real World, both in the financial and personal side," the site's content has all been taken down, except for their coverage of GenCon 2000, which will stay up a while longer. Us Cave-dwellers bid the team at WU farewell, and wish them luck in their future projects.

Monday, April 16, 2001
11:58 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Girl Genius in Stores. Stupid Boy Not Sighted
The latest release from Cheapass Games has swarmed store shelves nationwide. Girl Genius: The Works is a card game based on a new comic book series by the enigmatic Phil Foglio. The game mechanics are similar to those used in an earlier joint effort from James Ernest and Phil Foglio, Xxxenophile, but without the adult artwork. The full-color 108 card packs sell for $14.95.

Two other Cheapass games, Unexploded Cow and Devil Bunny Hates the Earth, will both be released in the first week of May.

11:49 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Children of Misguided Games
Misguided Games has posted a new page on the races from their upcoming RPG, Children of the Sun. Due to arrive in Spring 2002, Children of the Sun is a dieselpunk fantasy setting that has already generated some interest at last month's GAMA convention. Each month through the end of this year, Misguided Games will post info on another of the game's races. The first race posted is the Avendera, "an enigmatic race of leonine beings that dwell in dark, underground regions." Caves? Excellent. We ogres approve.

Saturday, April 14, 2001
9:44 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Frag Beta Capsule Review
In the PC gaming world, you have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on hardware and software to deathmatch effectively, and you have to sign NDAs up the wazoo to review a beta. In our world, a beta version of Frag cost us $12, and we don't have to sign a damn thing to tell you what we think.

For those who missed the hype, Frag is designed to be a boardgame take on Quake, Doom, and their first-person-shooter ilk. The board is a grid spattered with weapons and gadget pick-up spots, walls, doors, and the occasional pool of acid. Each player's pawn runs around shooting and getting shot, and "respawning" whenever it dies. There's no penalty for dying a lot, apart from losing your stuff. The point here is not realistic combat; it's realistic simulation of an unrealistic gaming genre.

Frag's rules are just complicated enough to give you that old-timey boardgaming feel, without being so complex that you can't tear through your turn like a skiing scout in Tribes. A turn-based board game can only take the simulation of a deathmatch so far, but generally, we found the mechanics to be fair and plausible in our two games. Shooting a rocket launcher felt about like shooting a rocket launcher in Marathon, for example. There's a very healthy amount of luck in the actual mechanics of taking a shot at someone - most of the game's real strategy probably lies in the card play. And that's pretty random too. That's not to say that there's no tactical play on the board, though. Hell, we only played a couple of games, what do we know.

If we have a complaint, it's that being the guy who keeps getting shot and never gets ahead is a little less fun when you slow deathmatching down to the pace of a boardgame. In Quake, you can at least crash around really fast, enjoy the graphics and scenery, and have a laugh even if you suck. We had a laugh when we sucked too, but something about having cards in your hand and having to wait your turn makes you feel a little more ripped off when you lose at the last second. But PC deathmatching is more of a sport than a game in many ways, and I suppose that's the difference.

Steve Jackson Games has now sold out of the beta edition of Frag, and the website has a box shot with some interesting new graphics. Check it.

Friday, April 13, 2001
11:42 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
I just realized it's Friday the 13th. Let's get on with the news before something goes wrong. :-)

GAMA's View of Chainmail
A brief article on the Chainmail miniatures game preview at GAMA is on the WotC site. There isn't much info, but reports are that everyone was enthusiastic. Our friend Chris Pramas, Creative Director for the Chainmail game, is shown in the pics, running demos for convention goers. We're looking forward to October to see it ourselves.

Listen Up, Cyberpunks...
R. Talsorian's 2001 product schedule lists a milestone looming in August: Cyberpunk V.3. The new edition will jump ahead twenty more years, placing us firmly in the Post Information Age. I may have to dust off my Solo, Edwardo, and jack in.

Avalanche of D20
Avalanche Press has two more D20 adventures following on the heels of their acclaimed Last Days of Constantinople. Ragnarok: Tales Of The Norse Gods will put players in the roles of lesser gods & goddesses from the Norse pantheon. Their quest: to stall the "Doom of the Gods" (otherwise known as Ragnarok). The Greenland Saga will be a historical adventure that involves "the disappearance of the Norse colony of Greenland." Both adventures seem to be scheduled for June releases.

10:30 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mage Knight Lancers List
WizKids has posted the complete list of figures from the new Mage Knight Lancers set. There's over 100 new figures listed, and a few have images to view as well. Check out the scorpion rider, and pray your DM doesn't use it as a drider.

Thursday, April 12, 2001
10:43 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Nazi werewolves...I hate these guys
Pinnacle has the new cover art for Weird Wars, and they're showing it to the world. Seems enthusiasm for the game is growing, so new artwork has been commissioned. Looks great from where I'm sitting.

Scarred Lands Needs Stories
Sword and Sorcery Studios has issued an open call for short story submissions to fill the Scarred Lands Anthology. Is your pen mighty enough for Sword and Sorcery? Give it a shot and find out.

10:32 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Atlas Harps on Mummies
Coming early this July is the D20 adventure Instrument of Destiny by John Nephew, from Atlas Games. It starts with a festival, goes into the desert, and things get ugly from there. Could the release be set in hopes of riding the tide of The Mummy Returns, perhaps? The adventure will be for character levels 6-8, and will have rules for "hieroglyphic magic."

5:26 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Pagan Does Cthulhu for d20
That sounds kind of salacious, doesn't it? Pagan Publishing, the fine folks behind the acclaimed Delta Green supplements for Call of Cthulhu, confirmed earlier this week in a press release (way, way below the fold) that their staff will be writing the WotC-published D20 System version of the Call of Cthulhu basic rulebook. This means that, though none of the award-winning Delta Green world or other supplementary material will be in the core book, great writers like John Tynes will be writing the basic text that re-introduces horror role-playing to the masses. This is a good thing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001
9:54 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Scorpion's Nest Works With Impressions Advertising
Scorpion's Nest Tactical Gaming has just announced that Impressions Advertising & Marketing will be working with them to increase exposure of their games, including Terminus 5. With a 422 page master rulebook, the Terminus 5 miniatures and role-playing game covers fog of war, plenty of weapons and vehicles, a detailed timeline, and a unique world history.

4:57 AM: Demian Katz says...
The Latest from Rio Grande
Rio Grande Games, the company responsible for bringing lots of clever German games to the American market, has just posted their fifteenth newsletter. Quite a few interesting forthcoming releases are described, including Barbarossa, a classic Pictionary-like game which uses clay instead of pencil and paper, and The Traders of Genoa, a game of trading and negotiation set in the 16th century. Also, Tolkien fans will be happy to hear that Lord of the Rings: The Search will be on its way some time this summer!

Tuesday, April 10, 2001
10:19 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Organized Chaosium
The summer release schedule has been posted at Chaosium. Some of the highlights are 20th Anniversary Call of Cthulhu and 5th Edition Stormbringer (formerly known as the Elric! RPG). A reprint of the Complete Dreamlands and the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, and a new Miskatonic University Graduation Kit, are among the other products mentioned. I'm looking forward to the San Francisco Guidebook for CoC. I remain convinced that Coit Tower houses an ancient evil.

12:33 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Stack 'em Like Cordwood
According to the official GenCon page, all of the convention hotels are now fully booked. Don't let that stop you from going, though; just expect to rent a car and drive in to the con from your distant hotel each day.

Monday, April 09, 2001
11:53 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Free Stuff From the Death Mages
If you have your copy of Necromancer Games' Demons and Devils, look up the product password and head to the company's site for another free download. This time, 21 pages of additional material are available to supplement the already excellent D&D adventures in the book. As if that weren't enough, two maps are also available. If you've got the password, go grab 'em.

By the way, the solution to the Rappan Athuk riddle has been posted somewhere on the Necromancer site. If you can find it, you can download a special encounter, which pays tribute to the Vault of the Drow encounter that inspired it.

Zorro Takes Over Game Trade
The May issue of Game Trade Magazine will be rife with Zorro RPG promotions. Quick-start rules and a mini-adventure for Gold Rush Games' upcoming The Legacy of Zorro Introductory Adventure Game (*whew*) will compliment a featured "Zorro Sword" by United Cutlery Brands. The full game should reach stores in June. Be careful when handling your copy of the magazine -- too much Zorro can stain.

Void Where Downloaded
The new issue of Battles With Miniatures, i-Kore's official Void publication, is available for download. Miniatures gamers will enjoy a look at Void, and pick up some painting tips, perhaps.

11:31 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
GO Goes Pay-to-Play
Would you pay a dollar a month to read reviews and get into flame wars? Aaron Powell of Gaming Outpost hopes you will. While the articles and forums at GO will be accessible only to subscribers, the news page will remain free, and will go to a Slashdot-style model with discussions of its own. Will this set up a caste system, where the rabble gets noisy, unmoderated discussion for free, and paying customers get the discussion with intelligence? Or will the paid forums simply turn into a ghost town? GO's forums are among the most heavily-trafficked and opinionated gaming forums online, and this change will mean something, either way. As for the articles, Pyramid was an online subscription-based magazine before it was cool. Can GO compete? Will all fans of non-mainstream interests (that's us) be paying for all of their web content soon?

4:21 AM: Demian Katz says...
Deep7 Looking for a Few Good Bands
Deep7, publisher of the 1PG line of cheap and quick role-playing games, is currently looking for unsigned bands who might be interested in contributing to a soundtrack for use with the second edition of its "teen horror" game, Shriek. This is a great opportunity for musically-inclined gamers (or their friends) to get some exposure, and it's a non-exclusive arrangement, so there's no harm in submitting a song or two. For further details, visit Deep7's homepage.

Thursday, April 05, 2001
11:28 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Survival of the Wettest
The next supplement for Blue Planet v2, Natural Selection, is at the printer and should be in stores and at Fantasy Flight Games by late April. The newest oceanpunk supplement will detail the ecology of the waterworld Poseidon, allowing for more exploration of the wet wilderness.

Preview the Scars
Sword & Sorcery has posted a preview of Ghelspad, the Scarred Lands setting we’ve been hearing so much about. Take a peek, and learn about the cities of Hollowfaust, Mithril, and Fangsfall. You can also download a map of Ghelspad, and try to figure out where the cities are. Fun with cartography!

Old Dungeons Getting Upgrade
In Dungeon Magazine #86, the response to a reader’s letter yielded some encouraging information:

In lieu of a Dungeon Magazine CD-ROM Archive, we are planning to make previously published adventures available for download on our website. ... More significantly, these old 1st- and 2nd- Edition adventures have been updated for the 3rd Edition rules!
Scribble a letter to Dungeon now and let them know which adventures should be upgraded for download.

Wednesday, April 04, 2001
11:53 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Activity at Pinnacle
Pinnacle has moved into high gear by posting several new tidbits. Among them is a recounting of the first playtest session for the D20 game, Weird Wars. How did the first playtest session go? Well, after a WWII combat against some basic Germans, the PEG playtest team determined that "the D20 system, as expected, just really doesn't work for realistic horror." In the next update, changes will be applied, and weird horrors will show their faces.

Centauri Knights Preview
A downloadable preview of the next supplement for Big Eyes, Small Mouth 2nd Edition is on Guardians of Order's site. Called Centauri Knights, the supplement will build on the adventure "Red Planets, Blue Helmets" from the BESM sourcebook Big Robots, Cool Starships. After reading of Fog Witches and xenomecha, you can call us cave dwellers Most Interested, Waiting Intently.

Looking at Mystic Eye's Beasts
The runners up in Mystic Eye Games' Nightmares and Dreams creature book contest are being posted on their free stuff page. Check out the Weedling, the Blade Snake, and others, and drool in anticipation of the book's release.

11:46 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mind Your Character Sheets
Wizards of the Coast has posted some downloadable character sheets for the psionic classes found in the Psionics Handbook. Carefully document your mental prowess, lest you hear the DM utter the phrase that strikes fear in disorganized players: "If you didn't write it down, you don't have it." 'Twould be a shame to lose your character's mind in such a fashion.

Diskwars: Season One Champs Announced
The rankings are in at the official Diskwars site, and the winner of the first league season is Leon Andrews III. What did he get for his prize? A ton of new recruits, in the form of complete factory sets of two Diskwars expansions, some rare disks, and some original Diskwars art. Cool. But can he use his army to play Tiddley Winks?

Tuesday, April 03, 2001
10:48 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Dying Earth For Sale
Gamers can finally get their hands on an RPG based on the works of author Jack Vance now that Pelgrane Press has given us Dying Earth. Written by Robin Laws, John Snead and Peter Freeman, the game takes players to a ruined world of desperation and magic. From everything we've heard, and the little bit of Jack Vance's novels I've read, this one will blow Dark Sun away. I never could get behind halfling cannibals.

April's Rings Wargame Report
The latest report from Games Workshop on the upcoming Lord of the Rings wargame has been posted. Of note in the update is a general rundown of the starter set:

The game will be available as a boxed starter set containing the rules manual, 48 models, and scenic ruins. All the models in the starter set are plastic and separate components such as shields have been designed as plug-fits for easy assembly. The remainder of the model range is metal and is planned to include 5 boxed sets and 28 different blister pack assortments. In addition there will be a special paint set and the plastic models from the starter set will be available separately.
The game is being designed by Rick Priestley, who created both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. However, GW is promising "a very different sort of game." We shall see.

A Painted Holistic Fantasy
This summer, Holistic Design will bring us four fantasy miniatures sets, called Fantasy Encounters. The figures will be prepainted. You heard me. Each set will contain five fully painted, 28mm miniatures. To double your pleasure, each figure will be accompanied by three D20 System stat cards: high level, mid level and low level. Grab a set for yourself, and use them in good health.

4:25 AM: Demian Katz says...
Panurgic Publishing Resurrects Out-Of-Print Gamebooks
The solitaire gamebook scene has been dead for far too long; apart from some interesting online efforts and a handful of simplistic Choose Your Own Adventure books, almost nothing notable has seen print since the late nineties. Fortunately, Panurgic Publishing, the brainchild of Fighting Fantasy author Paul Mason, has begun publishing a line of "Panurgic Adventures" to breathe new life into the genre.

The first book released is Heart of Ice by Dave Morris, a book previously published in the Virtual Reality Adventures series. This re-release is in an attractive trade paperback format, and it can be ordered from Amazon.com for $17.50 plus shipping. Those wishing to avoid Amazon's shipping fees can contact Mr. Mason directly and arrange for payment via the PayPal service.

If all goes well, the next releases will be Down Among the Dead Men and Twist of Fate, both from the Virtual Reality Adventures line. After that, a never-before-published book entitled Red Dragon Pass should appear. It may be a while until these releases become available, but OgreCave will keep you up to date!

Monday, April 02, 2001
11:59 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Calling All Dorks
Artist and all around great guy John Kovalic has put out a call to fans of his hilarious gaming comic, Dork Tower. John's looking for your opinion of which Dork Tower strips should be in this summer's Best of Dork Tower #1, and he's offering a bribe -- er, prize for your participation. Limiting yourself to the first eight issues of the comic, choose the following and email them to Mr. Kovalic:

  • 6 favorite one-page Dork tower strips
  • 2 favorite two-, three- or four-page Dork Tower strips or stories
  • 1 favorite Dork Tower story that's five pages or longer
Then, on April 15, one entry will be selected at random to receive a complete run of Dork Tower issues 1-13 and a personalized drawing of Carson, Igor and Gilly. A special prize will also be awarded to the entry that comes closest to John's opinion. 'Scuse me, I gotta go fish out my back issues.

11:43 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Pinnacle Saddles Up For D20
Back from GAMA and settling into their new website nicely, Pinnacle has begun an ongoing column to chronicle the creation of Deadlands D20. As Deadlands fans may recall, the D20 project was scrapped when Pinnacle was purchased by Cybergames last September, but when PEG regained its independence in January, the project was back on again. John Goff, veteran Deadlands designer, is partway through the design process already.

On top of Deadlands, PEG has another D20 simmering on the campfire. Weird Wars will be a game of alternate history horror, starting with Weird War Two: Blood on the Rhine. In this version of WWII, the Nazis won't stay down when they die. Hoo-boy...

In Other Undead News...
Chaturanga Concepts announced plans to release the first expansion to the Maul of America board game by Jolly Roger Games. The expansion, Raid on the Mall, will arrive in June 2001, and includes new equipment,four new game scenarios, and optional rules for character development. Can you say Maul of America campaign? I knew you could.

11:14 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Ralph Nader, Communist Liberal Fanatic?
(Just doing that to get interesting search engine traffic. No offense.) Steve Jackson Games has pre-announced another non-collectible expansion set for Illuminati: New World Order, the collectible version of Illuminati. Purists may scoff, but lots of folks played INWO, and its streamlined rule set helped make a ridiculous explosion of cards and concepts not just practical, but inevitable. The coming expansion, long titled Bavarian Fire Drill, is back in active production, according to SJG's web site.

10:04 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
The Wiz Biz
Since a day without WotC news is like... well, just go read this more complete outline of their 2001 plans. Harry Potter and major league sports, oh my. No mention of the Potter RPG, which further confirms the news that the RPG has been called off.

10:01 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Alliance Buys Berkeley, Parts of Barchetta
Most gamers don't understand the game distribution business, and frankly, we here at the Cave aren't way ahead of you. But we do understand that Alliance Game Distributors' acquisition, announced Friday, of Berkeley-Topline Distributors and "selected assets" of Barchetta Distribution will change the industry in massive ways. Berkeley and Barchetta were some of the last big independent distributors, in California at least, and Alliance, already the biggest distributor in hobby gaming, shows no signs of slowing down. Will game distribution get choked down to a two-party system, or fewer, and create the same problems the comics industry has? Will small publishers survive? Will all of this just not matter at all?

4:38 AM: Demian Katz says...
A Card Game To Cure What Ails You
Deep7, the company responsible for the 1PG line of quick and easy role-playing games, has just released a new card game. In Snake Oil, each player is a quack attempting to sell allegedly miraculous potions and oils in an effort to become rich at the expense of the gullible masses. Of course, there's also a fair amount of sabotage and backstabbing involved. The game is available in a downloadable format and costs $4.95.


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