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Now that Episode II is out, what Star Wars era would you most want to have a character in?
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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)

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
Friday, May 31, 2002
10:01 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Occult Previews Continue From Atlas
In the fourth preview Atlas Games has posted from Occult Lore, we get two different sets of rules for one thing. What is it? Why, it's Pangunculus, which as you all know is the name of the first great continent on Earth that would later split into the continents we know today, and - - what's that? Uh, right, that's Pangea I'm thinking of. Hmm... guess I don't know what Pangunculus is.

9:42 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
PIG Bringing Us The Colonies
Politically Incorrect Games will be releasing of The Colonies, a sci-fi RPG of a future Earth enslaved by aliens, and the fight by human colonies on Mars and elsewhere to liberate the planet. New technologies, freaky mutations, combat against aliens, and space travel: what else could you want in your sci-fi epic? PIG will release The Colonies in PDF format this summer.

Fantasy Flight D20 Shipping News
Fantasy Flight is currently shipping both Traps & Treachery II and the Dragonstar Guide to the Galaxy, so you can expect these to be in your gamemasters' hands soon. As to the first book, the latest in FFG's Legends & Lairs series, here's hoping your Spot skill, Find/Remove Traps skill, or whatever you use to keep from becoming dead is up to par. As for Dragonstar, I'm not sure what to make of this release. All they've really given us as a preview is the starmap of the Dragon Empire, which is nice and all, but doesn't tell us much. Mike likes to say that maybe Dragonstar will become interesting now that the setting book is finally available. Sure seems like we had to wait a while for it, though.

1:47 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Cheapass Taunts You - Well, Actually, OgreCave Taunts You
You knew that two new standalone Diceland sets are due by the end of the year, one of which will feature a "giant" OGRE die (not sure how they're pulling that one off). You knew that Kill Doctor Lucky, the very first game in Cheapass' line of no-nice-board-and-no-pieces board games, is going to have a nice board and pieces in the fall. You may even have noticed that the Hip Pocket line will be featuring a Tom Jolly game design when it goes wide in September. What you didn't know, though, is the Hip Pocket line is going to feature work from lots of outside designers, which is something of a change of policy at Cheapass. One or two other names on upcoming Hip Pocket games will be familiar to heavy readers of this site. Unfortunately I can't tell you what they are. One of them won an Origins Award last year, though.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002
5:28 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mean Streets Hits The Streets Soon
Deep7 announced the end of playtesting for Mean Streets, the company's new film noir RPG of "cynical private eyes, unscrupulous gangsters, and dangerous femme fatales." Deep7's XPG system provides the core mechanics for the upcoming game. "We are confident that Mean Streets will be one heck of an RPG, one that will fill a genre niche long abandoned by the industry," said Mark Bruno, XPG Line Producer and Associate Editor. The game will be released in PDF format from the Deep7 website, and total nearly 60 pages. A full-color cover by Peter Hince and internal B/W illustrations by Jason McCuiston (veteran of Archon's Noir RPG) will complete the package. The game is expected to release June 10.

4:44 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Occult Lore Preview
In anticipation of their Occult Lore book for D20, Atlas Games has posted multiple previews of what we'll get inside. Most recently, information on the Dragonflower, a sort of catnip for dragons, has been posted on the company's site. Atlas has also made the book's index available as a teaser of what's to come, as well as an information sheet for Gleaner characters. What's a Gleaner? Why, it's "a new magical PC class that collect remnants of the dead and nurture them until they are able to draw powerful magics from their spirits." But you knew that, right? Occult Lore should be in stores next month.

Mongoose In July
Mongoose Publishing has posted details of their first two July D20 releases: The Quintessential Dwarf (written by Sam Witt) and The Slayer's Guide to Rules Lawyers (by James Desborough). Head on over and have a look-see.

2:25 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Red Wizard Needs New Ideas, Badly!
Via IGN, via GamingReport: The artist formerly known as Hasbro Interactive announces Dungeons and Dragons Heroes for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube in the fall. From the description here, it sounds like Gauntlet with special moves and leveling. But I guess it won't be so bad to have a little game where you can beat on real displacer beasts, bugbears and such. Will D&D chrome help this title ride the almost-certain popularity of Neverwinter Nights?

10:10 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Nobilis Review Posted
Matthew has returned safely from the depths of the Nobilis RPG by Hogshead Publishing. Was he changed by the experience? Find out for yourself.

Aliens For Revised Star Wars RPG
Lots of 'em. In a nice, handy list, with enough details to use and abuse 'em. Yep. I love free web enhancements, don't you?

HeroClix Errata
There was bound to be some, and now the official Marvel HeroClix site has some boo-boo corrections posted in the form of an errata list. Go make sure you've been losing fairly.

Sunday, May 26, 2002
9:40 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Judge Dredd RPG Update
The new 2000AD RPG site has been updated with a variety of tidbits. According to the site, the Judge Dredd RPG "has been sighted in some UK games stores and will soon be spreading to Europe. Fans in the US will have to wait just a little bit longer." Estimates are to watch for the game in the States mid-June. The Rookie's Guide to the Justice Department has just come back to Mongoose Publishing from the printers, so you can expect it to follow closely on the main rulebook's heels. The Slaine RPG is in final playtesting now, and should be on target for its August release. The Judge Dredd character sheet is available for perusal. Finally, if you hope to get your hands on a Limited Edition Judge Dredd hardback, "completely encased it in polished stainless steel" and bearing "the classic Judge badge logo on the front," you'd better get to the site and order it fast -- Mongoose is only making 200 of 'em. Only $115 for your bulletproof copy.

Friday, May 24, 2002
10:05 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Tome of the Dragon Review Posted
Demian give us a no-holds-barred look at Tome of the Dragon by Citizen Games. I'll just say it wasn't quite his favorite new D20 adventure, and leave the rest to him.

12:27 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
It's A Blue, Blue Planet
The Blue Planet v2 Player's Guide and v2 Moderator's Guide are back in print at a lower price point, thus spake FFG. You know you want to play a killer whale with cybernetic enhancements. Go tear apart the far-future derelict Sea World! "That's for Shamu, you bastards!"

12:23 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Heroic Quests Announced For Mage Knight Dungeons
WizKids has announced Heroic Quest - Magestone and Heroic Quest - The Citadel, two ready-to-run scenarios for MK Dungeons. Each will come with a(n) Heroic Team and an ultra-powerful Mage Spawn, plus maps and scenario rules. None will apparently come with yummy plastic bits you can use in your RPG campaign, but maybe those Mage Spawn will be large and interesting.

9:24 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
ENnies Live Awards Ceremony To Be Held At Gen Con
Proving once again that Peter Adkison has his thumb on the zeitgeist, Gen Con will be hosting the ENnies, the formerly Internet-only awards for D20 products. The link also has the breakdown of the award categories, but no nominees yet.

Thursday, May 23, 2002
10:15 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
The End Shipping To Distributors, In Stores Soon
Sources tell us that Tyranny Games' The End RPG is back from the printer and shipping to distributors, so you can expect in in stores shortly. The "post-apocalypse" role-playing game has been revised and expanded for the Lost Souls Edition, with a Faux leather cover and gold embossing to boot. Tyranny Games has supplements lining up behind the big release, including a D.C. supplement Cry Havoc, and a magic supplement titled The Dark Arts. Both supplements are scheduled to release before the end of this year. We'll definitely be checking this one out.

7:13 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Spell Decks: This Time, They'll Be Useful
Paradigm Concepts has announced they'll be going to press with their Spell Decks for D&D3e in two weeks. I've seen these at GTS, and I have to say that this version of the spell card concept does everything right that the old TSR cards did wrong. The initial print run will be based on initial orders, so ask for yours now.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
11:34 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
DC HeroClix Pictures Posted
WizKids has posted preliminary details of the upcoming DC HeroClix sets. The Hypertime Starter Set has images of the Joker and Superman figures, the Hypertime Booster Set has images of Harley Quinn and Batman, and the Premier Edition box has a pic of Plastic Man. All three sets should be arriving this September, which gives you a long time to drool.

1:23 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mongoose Monsoon In June
The Mongoose Publishing machine is chugging along at full speed, so D20 players beware. The company's website has details on the four new releases planned for next month:

We'll have to see how Gygax's take on dragons compares to (or compliments) AEG's Dragons. Though I enjoyed parts of that book, I was left wanting quite a bit more. Perhaps the father of D&D will deliver what I've been waiting for.

Buffy RPG Countdown Continues
As some sort of big, scary episode of the TV series airs this week, Eden Studios has given us another teaser for the upcoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. This time we get a look at Tara's character sheet. Add that to the sheet already available for Willow, and can a full-fledged brawl be too far behind? [Umm... a tussle between the sheets maybe... - Mike who is ashamed to say he watches the show]

Tuesday, May 21, 2002
10:23 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
2000 AD RPG Site Up
Mongoose Publishing is finally giving us a look at the Judge Dredd RPG on the game's new official website. Cruise around the site to see a few technical specs, the planned release schedule for both Judge Dredd and the Slaine RPG, and an 8-page PDF preview of the Judge Dredd rulebook. The preview doesn't go too deep into the game's crunchy bits, but it sets the mood and leaves you wanting more.

Monday, May 20, 2002
10:48 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
More Monsternomicon & Warmachine On Display
The Warmachine website has added a few more images of figures and concept art from the upcoming miniatures game. While no release date has been announced yet, Privateer Press has said it's "quite likely" the rulebook will be included in both CD-ROM and book forms. For an idea of the production quality and artwork involved, the company suggests checking out the Monsternomicon preview, which also has some new artwork on display. Privateer also announced the arrival of Joe Martin as the new Editor in Chief, with promises of more staff announcements in the future.

Sunday, May 19, 2002
10:16 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Neverwinter Nights Module Builder Beta Available
Want to see how good NWN will be at letting you create whatever you want? Go suck down the 241MB beta version of the Toolset. Here's an introductory user guide. I'm not gonna be sucking down a 241MB anything anytime soon, so can someone report back on whether this is available for non-Windows platforms yet?

Thursday, May 16, 2002
7:10 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Oh, Hey, You Can Vote On The Origins Awards Now
At least I don't think we've reported on this already. Go to town. We hope to have a short feature up with our Origins picks, slams, and generally entertaining bull-puckey in the next couple of weeks.

2:48 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
2002 Spiel des Jahres Nominees Announced
The prestigious annual German game award has announced its preliminary nominees. From these games, a short list of three will be picked next month, then a final. The Children's Game award, born last year, is now getting its own full jury process as well. DVONN is the second game in the GIPF series to be nominated (as Demian reported), and Puerto Rico has been hugely popular here in the store (TransAmerica a little less so).

2:35 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Attack Of The Clon-- I Mean Clown--- I Mean Dragons
FFG has finally, formally announced the release date for the Dragonstar Guide to the Galaxy as May 28. This companion book to the Starfarer's Handbookwill actually contain the background of the Dragon Empire, thereby making it clear to people at long last why they should buy the Starfarer's Handbook. (Which they should. I think.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2002
3:03 AM: Demian Katz says...
Invisible City Builds Big Ancient Structure with Dominoes
The May game of the month from Invisible City is here. Ziggurat is a pleasant reminder (for two or four players) that dominoes are good for more than just knocking over in sequence -- they're also good for piling up strategically in an effort to score the most points. If you have a collection of spotted tiles that you just haven't been able to use for anything interesting, now is your chance to enjoy them!

Monday, May 13, 2002
10:53 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Orientation At Necromantic U.
Green Ronin has posted a preview of Secret College of Necromancy, the company's latest D20 supplement and the second in its Arcana series. Game industry veterans David "Zeb" Cook (he did the original Oriental Adventures, remember?) and Wolfgang Baur (former Dragon Magazine editor), Secret College covers all the best dead topics with the following:

  • New core classes: the necromancer and the death knight.
  • 72 new necromancy spells, amd two new types of spells: mortal curses and dark pacts.
  • New feats and magic items, including 8 infamous tomes.
  • Several new monsters, like the death angel.
  • The Secret College, "a complete, city-based necromantic organization" complete with stats for key members.
The full book will be available at the end of the month, in case the festering four pages of undead preview doesn't hold you.

4:22 AM: Demian Katz says...
Smart People Like Rio Grande Games
The latest newsletter from Rio Grande Games has some interesting announcements. For one thing, Dvonn, part of the Gipf series of interlocking abstract strategy games, has won a Mensa Select Award, making it the second Gipf entry to receive this distinction. Also interesting in a less braggy sort of way are some forthcoming releases, which include Transamerica and some other forthcoming German titles plus a new version of Ricochet Robot which stands alone but can also be used in combination with the first edition.

Thursday, May 09, 2002
10:23 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Missing Monsters Returned To Life By Necromancer
After some minor negotiations with WotC, Necromancer Games will publish the D20 supplement Tome of Horrors, a "Compendium of New Monsters and Creatures Converted from First Edition to Third Edition." The hardcover tome, headed by Creature Collection veteran Scott Greene, will be 300+ pages and will contain the following head count:

  • 292 monsters converted from First Edition
  • 106 brand new monsters
  • 27 monsters collected from various Necromancer Games products
Converted creatures will originate from sources like the original Monster Manual, Monster Manual 2 and the Fiend Folio, plus some from "a number of classic modules." Each beast will have a layout similar to Creature Collection, and each will be Open Game Content. Necromancer has also worked with WotC to insure there won't be overlap between the Tome of Horrors and upcoming Wotc monster supplements (like Third Edition's Monster Manual 2. Watch for memories of grusome deaths to be stirred up again this Fall when the book is expected to release.

8:24 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Demon God's Fane Review Posted
Joe's given us a look at the high-level Malhavoc Press adventure Demon God's Fane. Find out if the adventure's right for your 14th level campaign. Wait... you've got a 14th level campaign? Geez. Mine's at a nice, respectable (and still killable) 7th level. Best of luck with your demigods.

6:33 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
This Is Hell... This Is Hell On Earth... This Is Hell On Earth On D20
Pinnacle has decided to publish Hell on Earth D20 to bring more gamers into the Wasted West. Fred Jandt, former head of West End Games, has written the new version, which includes "Legend Chips, powers for Templars, Doomsayers, Junkers, rules for fully-automatic weapons" and more. For an early taste of the new rules, PEG has a PDF of the Doomsayer class as an example of the adventures to come.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002
9:48 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Godlike Review Posted
Today, Nathan provides not only an informative review of Godlike, but the story of a gamer (himself) and how he came to know and love a new game system. Have a look at the superhero game that even non-supers gamers are falling for.

10:54 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Zombies!!! Actually Back, Actually
The last time they smacked us up with a press release, the folks at Twilight Creations were not totally forthright about the fact that they really were going to have Zombies!!! back in print, under the same name that is, with expansions and such. All they had clear info on was this When Darkness Comes business that sounds nearly identical except for calling itself an RPG. Well, now the Zombies!!! core set is in stock and shipping. Yay plastic!

Sunday, May 05, 2002
3:54 AM: Demian Katz says...
Project Aon Releases Cauldron of Fear
It's been ages since Project Aon last released a free Lone Wolf book, but it looks like their latest endeavor (The Cauldron of Fear, available here) has been well worth the wait. Not only is it fully-illustrated like its predecessor, The Jungle of Doom, but it's also available as a downloadable, printable .PDF file. No longer are you forced to play on your screen! Let the mass expenditure of ink and toner begin!

Saturday, May 04, 2002
10:05 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Darn Fun Leaps Into Spotlight
Newcomer Darn Fun Games has just announced the release of three new games that seem right up my alley. The three games the company has started off with are Roadkill!, "a free board game with a sick automotive hunting twist," A Cold Day In Hell, "a race to find the Devil's winter coat," and Reach Out and Slap Someone, a game of competing telemarketing firms (frightening, but true). All three games are available through the Darn Fun Games website, through, or through the new Mall. Watch for more from Darn Fun, as they intend to hit us with at least one new game on the first of every month.

Second Set of Gloranthan Classics Minis Released
Dark Ages Miniatures and Issaries, Inc. have announced a second set of the Gloranthan Classics Miniatures. According to the press release, "these miniatures are part of the 25th anniversary re-casting of the first licensed Gloranthan figures originally produced by Archive Miniatures between 1976 and 1980." The second set of miniatures contains the following:

  • GLO-011 Water Wyrm Dragon $ 20.00
  • GLO-012 Delecti the Necromancer $ 2.50
  • GLO-013 Centaur with club $ 5.00
  • GLO-014 Centaur with bow $ 5.00
  • GLO-015 Centaur with axe $ 5.00
  • GLO-016 Jar-Eel the Razoress $ 2.50
  • GLO-017 Serpent Guardian $ 2.50
  • GLO-018 Walktapus $ 6.00
  • GLO-019 Grazelander Shaman $ 2.50
  • GLO-020 Ironhoof the Centaur $ 5.00
All ten figures can be ordered for $46 + $10 shipping, which saves you about $10 overall. The third set of re-released miniatures is currently scheduled to be available in August.

More Gloranthan News
Issaries also has news of Glorantha's new game system, HeroQuest. No, not the old boardgame with the plastic monsters; we're talking major heroic events here. As the FAQ says, instead of doing a second edition of HeroWars, the new, streamlined rules were developed into HeroQuest (which doesn't have a set release date yet). To get a firsthand look at the new game, consult the company's convention game schedule and get yourself to Origins or GenCon. Or wait for it to arrive in stores, I guess. Or knock on Issaries' door every day, like I plan to.

Friday, May 03, 2002
5:34 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Marvel HeroClix First Look
Okay. We'll make this quick. First: it's played on a square map, like Dungeons. Apart from that, it resembles MK in the basics: players trade actions, an action is either ranged attack, melee, or pass. There are other, subtler differences, though. One player tells me that ganging up on a larger unit isn't as helpful in HeroClix - the Hulk, for example, can just swat a whole buch of guys away, which is very heroic, I guess. Also, the flying guys have flying bases with little elevation thingies you can click up and down, and they're really, really hard to move. At least you can take the flying figure off. Also, another inveterate MKer here at the store says the Scarlet Witch is the best value in the set. But if you lose games or money based on that info, don't come crying to me.

Thursday, May 02, 2002
4:44 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Fiery Dragon Leaves White Wolf, Renews Vow Of Eternal Love For Counters
Fiery Dragon Productions has left the umbrella of White Wolf's Sword & Sorcery Studios imprint, as our sources told us... right before the press release went up on GamingReport anyway. What, if anything, this will mean for Fiery Dragon's relationship with Monte Cook (whose Malhavoc Press maintains a relationship with Sword & Sorcery) is up in the air, but there are no adventures by Cook or anyone else on the list of upcoming products that accompanies the release. There's just counters, counters, and more counters, including a set intended for d20 Cthulhu that looks pretty fun.

On A Personal Note
I'd just like to say that I have been playing far more Strange Adventures in Infinite Space than is healthy today. If you don't want your time sucked up like ground ecstasy at a swingers' convention, please stay away from this title. Thank God I can't get it for the GBA.

3:10 AM: Demian Katz says...
Fighting Fantasy Covers Revealed
After another period of bandwidth-overload-induced downtime, has returned, and now they've posted the cover designs for the first four FF reprints. I for one am excited.


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