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OgreCave feels left out - what should we give out awards for?
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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)
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Stan! (11/7/08)
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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
Wednesday, July 31, 2002
8:01 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Humans Continue To Occupy Landfill
The CaBil, in association with Dirt Merchant Games, is bringing Human-occupied Landfill back into the light. HoL 2nd edition will ship to distributors next week, and will be at the Wizard's Attic booth at GenCon. The hand-drawn book (yes, even the text. Yes, that book) will retail for $20, and may sell out again on novelty factor alone.

Buffy RPG To Premiere At GenCon
Eden Studios has announced that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG has gone into the final stages of printing, and will be available at GenCon. Copies of both the regular and limited edition versions will be available, and are sure to go fast. When you get to GenCon, head to booth 848 and stake your claim.

Origins 2002 Deemed A Success
The numbers are in, and according to GAMA Executive Director Mark Simmons, Origins 2002 had a total attendance of 11,299 people. This estimate has a lower margin of error than in previous years (only 4% this year) due to new registration software. Naturally, GAMA aims to reach even higher numbers next year.

8:52 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Mutant Card Game on the Way!
We have all seen our precious pen and paper games turned into computer games.  Well card players rejoice, for the tables have turned.  Access Denied is the new computer hacker card game from Interformic Games.  With a 63 card deck it is up to you to crack the code before anyone else.  At the same time you have to protect your system from others.  Interformic Games has posted a list of startup cards on their site.  Ok.  You be Yahoo and I will be some recluse who sits in his basement and can't handle social contact.  Ready...Set...Go!

Mutants and Masterminds Art and Characters Revealed
Green Ronin has posted two of the characters used to playtest their yet to be released Mutants and Masterminds.  Sam Wood (of D&D 3ed fame) did sketches of two characters, Inferna and the Pugilist from which author Steve Kenson created playable characters.  Inferna is a smoking teenage girl (I mean that literally, she smokes like a Yule log) who has been involved with some shady government chaps. The Pugilist is an immoral boxer who shows up whenever there is boxing to be done or worlds to be saved (where was he when we all had to sit through the Tom Cruise boxing scenes in Far and Away?).  Due in October 2002, Mutants and Masterminds promises to be one heck of a $32.00 rulebook.

Monday, July 29, 2002
12:57 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Retailers To Games Workshop: Stop Poking Me
Also from ICv2, an uncharacteristically long article about a statement signed by 52 retailers, officially compaining about GW policies. I've always been surprised that Games Workshop gets away with as much as it does, and, well, I don't expect anything to change - WotC's been the target of retailer ire like this before and has typically responded with a big fat yawn. Games Workshop has even less incentive to make substantive changes, given that it, you know, actually makes money and stuff. GW gamers just want nice deals on their models and either exhibit retailer loyalty or don't - and increasingly, that retailer is a GW-owned store like the brand new one I just visited in San Francisco's Metreon. It was, um, very clean.

12:51 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Few More Details On Simpsons CCG
The redoubtable ICv2 has a little more background. Garfield isn't on the design team, but several WotC R&D longtimers are. This story seems to suggest that this game will be pitched more as geek bait than as mainstream crossover material, which may be appropriate for the audience the show has today. I worry, though - because that's what I'm good at, okay? - that this will become some kind of embarrassing quote-fest where you get points for yelling things out on cue like an electrically stimulated paramecium. It's not that I never quote anymore - I've even been known to quote Python still - but, like a lot of forms of geek humor, it doesn't actually take much thought, you know? When I first realized how much of my brain was, from someone else's perspective, occupied by pop culture, I resolved to start thinking of a few of my own things to say. But I'm probably worrying for nothing; no one's going to remake the Austin Powers CCG or anything. Which I've never actually played, so I guess I shouldn't bag on it. Whatever. I have peas.

11:13 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Sword of Justice Review
Joe's been busy lately. His latest review tests the metal (*ahem*) of the d20 adventure The Sword of Justice by Monkeygod Enterprises. Just how sharp is the book? Have a look and find out.

10:20 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Grey Ghost Press is Coming to Change your Game
Gamemastering Secrets Second Edition is at the printers.  Grey Ghost Press has been promised 100 copies of their gaming opus by the time GenCon opens in August. This is going to be a great for all you first time GMs, you can learn the craft from the masters at Grey Ghost Press.  For a look at the table of contents, cover art and more goodies, check out the official Gamemastering Secrets Second Edition web site.  Will this thing explain the particulars of running a Slaad Lord bordello?  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Masters of Arms Previews from Second World Simulations
The nice folks at Second World Simulations have been nice enough to post a ZIP preview of their upcoming September release Master at Arms.  Filled with all kinds of new crunchy bits for your more violent characters, among other things Master at Arms introduces two new prestige classes ( the Dual Sai Master and the Crossbow Master) each with their own special way of smiting the more deserving monsters and bad guys.

12:59 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Interview: Mystic Eye Games
For all you d20 enthusiasts out there, we start the week out right by bringing you an interview with Mystic Eye Games. Find out more about the d20 company that could end up a coastal wizard in its own right someday.

Sunday, July 28, 2002
1:05 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Major Mongoose Update
The Mongoose Publishing website has been updated with specifics on the company's new releases: the Slaine RPG, The Sleeping Kin and The Rookie's Guide to Psi-Talent for Judge Dredd, Quintessential Monk, Encylopedia Arcane: Chronomancy, and The Slayer's Guide to Medusas. The product schedule has been extended through the rest of the year, as well.

Saturday, July 27, 2002
11:23 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Oh Crap, Something Else I Forgot To Post From Origins
At the talk Reiner Knizia gave on game design (I told a couple people I'd post my notes from his talk here, but he made a joke about how he didn't have notes to give out himself, and if he did, he'd lie about it - that made me believe that he wouldn't want them floating around the net), he showed the cover to the Sauron expansion for the Lord of the Rings board game. It says 3 to 6 players on the cover, whereas the core game and the Friends and Foes expansion say 2 to 5. Hmm... and the cover has a picture of the, um, those guys, the Dark Riders or something? Ringwraiths? Yeah, ringwraiths. So, it adds a player and it has ringwraiths in it. Do The Proverbial Math. (I admit I was only reminded of this by the FFG Rants page, which will further give it away for you.)

10:49 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Jade Magi & Bugbears
We've got a pair of new reviews for you this morning: Greg's look at Jade Magi Sewer Crawl by Monkeygod Enterprises, and Matthew's analysis of The Slayer's Guide to Bugbears by Mongoose Publishing. Have at them!

Thursday, July 25, 2002
11:31 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Fantasy Flight Releases D20 On Multiple Fronts
Though still getting former AEG guy Kevin Wilson settled, Fantasy Flight has managed to keep cranking out the hits. The Nocturnum campaign just might be available in time for GenCon, which is sure to decrease the sanity of many Call of Cthulhu D20 characters. The modern day horror campaign details more than a dozen adventures that all lead toward a final, apocalyptic ending. In the meantime, Path of the Sword has run the gauntlet of printing devices and is now available. A sourcebook for the combative types (fighters, rangers, barbarians and monks), the book will introduce the concept of the Legendary Class, "high-level prestige classes for characters that have grown to such ability that they have become legends in their own time." A variety of other rules will be presented as well, of course (an eight-page preview is available for the curious).

Daddy, Build Us A Mech
I have no choice but to applaud this sort of insanity. Next on the building schedule: a Death Star the size of the Epcot ball. Hey, now there's a theme day I'd make the trip to Disneyworld for. Now you will witness the power of this fully operational theme park!

6:12 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Cheapass Switches Promo Ploys At GenCon
For the past few years, Cheapass Games has run ads in the program books at Origins and GenCon. Usually, these featured free Button Men that could be cut out at the Cheapass booth and made into the fully operational model. This GenCon, the company's skipped that in favor of a Milwaukee area newspaper coupon, which can be redeemed at the Cheapass booth for a copy of the new Hip-Pocket style game, Swag. If you can't find the coupon, you'll get a free copy along with a purchase of $25 or more. Freeloader will also be available at the convention, though in a pre-release form. So you'll have to be content with an entire free game this year, and if you really want some new Button Men, you can order the new Diceland Button Men exclusively through the Cheapass website.

5:26 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Boston Massacre Next Month
The first supplement for Tyranny Games' The End is at the printers and scheduled to reach stores next month. Entitled The Boston Massacre, the book will provide details on the Boston region, describe the Boston-D.C. conflict, and supply game stats for the area's important personalities. A new class, the Founder Reborn, will rear its battle-scarred head as well. Also, if you missed the limited edition, black cover of The End, there may be a few lurking at the Tyranny booth at GenCon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002
11:08 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Hay! Battle Cattle Minis Re-Release
Wingnut Games has just released the Battle Cattle miniatures with new (and greatly improved) packaging. The Medium Battle Cattle is also seeing light for the first time in this release, so those of us who got our figs from the first release still need to get to stores for the new combatant. These figs add a lot to any session of bovine combat, so if you indulge in cattle carnage from time to time, you need to check these out. I cud you not.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002
5:31 AM: Demian Katz says...
Rio Grande Update
Rio Grande Games has released another newsletter. The highlights of the newsletter are descriptions of two forthcoming games: Trans America, a railroad game due in late August, and Heave Ho!, a Scottish tug of war game (!) featuring Nessie (!!) due out in late August or September. The newsletter also mentions that several additional titles are in the works, but it looks like we'll have to wait until the next issue for titles or details....

Monday, July 22, 2002
11:56 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Krusty Would Approve
Wizards of the Coast has announced plans for The Simpsons TCG. The game will first arrive this October in the form of 40-card decks featuring Bart, Homer, Lisa or Mr Burns. Naturally, 11-card boosters will also be available. Ex-cellent.

Interview With Bad Axe Games
Joe has cornered Bad Axe Games for a few questions, and we've got the Q&A available for you. Go have a look at what this new D20 company had to say.

Sunday, July 21, 2002
4:57 AM: Demian Katz says...
Treeforts Appear in Invisible City
Invisible City Productions has released a larger-than-average game of the month this week: Treefort Nations. In this strategy game, players control territorial monkeys building treeforts in the Great Wood and attacking one another with catapults. The game can be played by two to eight players, takes anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days (depending on the number of participants and starting resources) and requires only a six-sided die, some coins, and a few printouts to play.

Friday, July 19, 2002
4:50 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Green Ronin to Arm Everyone
Green Ronin has struck a deal with Charles Ryan to publish a D20 version of his ground breaking Ultramodern Firearms.  Ultramodern Firearms was originally released by Chameleon Eclectic in 1993 but fell by the wayside when Chameleon Eclectic went under. The new edition will feature all manner of new and deadly weapons.  Green Ronin expect the D20 version to be just as good as the original.   "Since Charles is on the design team for d20 Modern," adds Pramas, "the new mechanics will be impeccable." Just in time for Christmas, you can gun down someone you love.

Games Workshop Wins the Battle
In their real life game of capture the flag, Games Workshop has recovered their standard, the Battle Wagon.  As you will remember the wagon was stolen from a motel parking lot last week.  Well the van has tuned up, but with no signs of the dastardly villains who swiped it in the first place.  This story is far from over.  Games Workshop is still offering a large reward to anyone who gives up these traitorous souls.  So inform now and avoid the rush.

2:02 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Gregory Horror Show: Nevermind
Played it. Tried to figure out how it used the booster minis, as we hoped that would alleviate the slow-as-snails, isolationist game that came in the core box. Turns out that the minis are either supposed to get brought in when you happen to draw a card that depicts the monster mini you own, or when you make something called a "shady deal" that involves a short stack of monster cards in your own deck, which the rules never adequately explain how you're supposed to use anyway. Maybe I'm dumb and haven't read the rules thoroughly enough, instead going by the way the Upper Deck rep taught me to play, but maybe the rules shouldn't be this poorly organized and dense. In either case, you'd still be asked to move your pawn across a fifty-space-wide board, with a 25% chance of getting two spaces of movement on your turn. And maybe getting up to five.

I'd recommend picking up some of the miniatures boosters, for use in your Cheapass gaming, Epic Duels, or just as top-of-the-monitor toys, whatever. If you do end up picking up the core game box, though, try the following:

  • Double the movement values on the movement table.
  • Sort the monster cards for the minis you own out of the deck before play starts. Take turns selecting a mini and placing it in either the Roaming Monster spots or the Monster Traps. Then begin play as normal.
  • Better yet, play as a Feral Monster, with the attendant special abilities.
I hope that teaches you all a little lesson.

Thursday, July 18, 2002
11:12 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
WotC Rumblings:
Online Store, E-Tools, And So On

With Hasbro's quarterly earnings announcement due this coming Monday, it comes as no surprise that Wizards of the Coast's online store has closed down. Why? Because WotC has finally announced part of what's been rumored for weeks now: someone else will be handling online retail sales for them from now on (specifically, SVGames, LLC). WotC wasn't selling anything at their booth at Origins last month, reportedly due to a clause in the new contract with SVGames. Will WotC's retail stores be sold off soon as well, fulfilling the other part of the prophesy? Perhaps we'll see on Monday.

According to a post on Fluid Entertainment's boards by Fluid's Scott Matthews, the D&D3 eTools will be released at GenCon on Friday, August 9th. Scott will be giving a two-hour presentation of eTools the same day. The GM aid software will be sold on CD Rom, with an electronic manual crammed on it as well, but considering WotC's recent retail wackiness, who knows if you'll actually be able to get your hands on it at the convention. Scott expects the price to be around $30, but that's just a guess.

WotC has also made some announcements regarding their product lines. The Wheel of Time RPG won't be seeing any more supplements, nor will the recently cancelled Chainmail game see its planned September releases in their intended form. Instead, the figures from September's sets will be sprinkled in amongst the Giants and Dragons I and II, and City of the Spider Queen sets. The reason given for shoving September's figures out the door so haphazardly was difficulties in fitting them into the production schedule, plus, "This will allow us to better focus our efforts on the upcoming D&D miniatures game for Spring 2003." Another one? Hoo-boy. I'm sure this one will overthrow Warhammer, and retailers everywhere will jump on the bandwagon without hesitation. Yeah, that's the ticket...

By the way, there's an online petition to change WotC's mind about cancelling Chainmail, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002
2:22 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
ENnies Awards Voting Open
EN World has just opened up online voting for the seventeen categories of the ENnies. The awards focus on the same subject as EN World, the D20 System, and will announce the winners in a ceremony at GenCon next month.

12:26 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Spiel Des Jahres Winner Speaks
BrettBoard points us to this interview with Villa Paletti designer Bill Payne. Damn Canadians!

12:36 AM: Craig Robertson says...
More Hard Sci-Fi, GURPS-Style
Steve Jackson Games has scheduled a second edition of the GURPS Uplift sourcebook for release in October. Based on David Brin's classic Uplift series, humans challenge the galactic status quo by daring to "uplift" chimpanzees and dolphins into tool-using sentience. After Transhuman Space and Traveller, this neatly positions GURPS as the premiere rpg system for "hard" science fiction. Now if only they would do Asimov's Robot novels...

Tuesday, July 16, 2002
7:38 PM: Greg Kessler says...
D20! Here Comes D6. HALO to the Rest of You!
In the tradition of the D20 Open Game License, Eternal Tempest has released their core rules, HALO. Eternal Tempest is giving away the system for any game company or designer to use.  They have posted the core rule files and usage guidelines on their site for download.  The system has been the backbone of the Metalface game.

Book of the Righteous off to the Printer
Green Ronin's big August release is off to the printer.  In anticipation of Book of the Righteous, Green Ronin has published some goodies for us.  First an interview with Book of the Righteous designer Aaron Loeb.  Second, a two page preview from the book itself, showing off one of the many myths to be found in the book.  They are teasing us further by letting us know to look out for an entire sample church.  For those not in the know, Book of the Righteous is planned as a huge, hardback containing twenty fully developed churches for you to drop into any D20 campaign.  I wonder if they will take a swipe at Cthulhu again.

Games Workshop Releases New Evil Car
Well not a car, but they have redesigned their Space Marine Predator Tank.  Designed for WarHammer 40K games, the tank can be configured in either Annihilator or Destructor.  Can we get this thing made in rush hour in St. Louis mode?

12:31 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Origins Photo Gallery Posted
Mike took the digital camera along to Origins a week or so back, and now we're showing you what he saw. Have a look-see at OgreCave's Origins 2002 Photo Gallery. And if you feel tempted to push any little girls into the spike-lined trap, you're a sick, sick individual. Welcome to the club. :-)

November At Goodman Games
With The Complete Guide to Velociraptors shipping now (the cover art makes me think of Torg's Living Land), Goodman Games has announced two more d20 products targeting a November release. The Aerial Adventure Guide series by Mike Mearls will continue with Vol. 3: Monsters, Magic, and Sky Ships. Flying vehicles from a variety of races will naturally be found in this supplement, along with mystic items and strange beasts. I find the "golems of the air" mentioned in the product description of particular interest, myself. New dragons and devils are also expected. The Complete Guide to Doppelgangers is the other November product, covering the shapeshifting species backwards and forwards. Author Keith Baker will provide combat tips, a species background, and even rules for Doppelganger characters, plus variations on the basic monster. Each of these nifty 32-page books will sell for $11 apiece and be just in time for your Thanksgiving weekend gaming.

Monday, July 15, 2002
10:51 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mystic Eye Buys Thunderhead Games
Considering their cooperation on supplying FFG with Dragonstar support, it shouldn't be too surprising that Mystic Eye Games has purchased Thunderhead Games. Thunderhead will now become a line of products for MEG, which has placed Hal Greenberg, former CEO of TG, as Vice President of Marketing and Art Director of Mystic Eye. The press release has all the details, but I'd like to point out the significant detail that MEG will be at GenCon with 6 new products and some previews of upcoming releases. I'll be there.

5:29 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Get an Autographed Copy of the New Epic Level Handbook
Wizards of the Coast has released their new Epic Level Handbook and you can win an autographed copy.  Author Andy Collins is holding a contest on his personal web site for signed copies of the new WotC release. If you can match each Bloodlines character to the player who created him, you can win a copy of the Epic Level Handbook, signed by designers Andy Collins, Bruce R. Cordell, and Thomas M. Reid.  So surf on over to Andy's web site and get something for free.

New Spooky Books from White Wolf
White Wolf is out with three new books for their spooky games.

  • Dark Ages: Vampire Unlimited Edition (A hardcover core rulebook for Dark Ages: Vampire)

  • Encyclopedia Vampirica released only in prestige, limited-edition format. There will be no regular edition.

  • San Francisco by Night is the newest PDF adventure for Kindred of the East and Vampire: The Masquerade (As if San Francisco isn't creepy enough).  It is also the first crossover city sourcebook for these games.
  • I'm scared just thinking about it.

    Sunday, July 14, 2002
    1:09 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    Can Dave Arneson Whoop the Tar out of Elizabeth Danforth?
    Well the new Origins Metagame from Flying Buffalo seeks to settle that dispute (the real question is can Dave Arneson whoop Gary Gygax, but alas there is no Gygax card in the deck).  Origins Metagame is a card game featuring some of the famous games and people connected with Origins.  Cards feature such people as Mike Stackpole, Ken St. Andre (Tunnels and Trolls) and the legendary Grimtooth.  Call of Cthulhu and HackMaster are among the games featured.  Two things make this card game unique.  First, it is not collectable.  The same number of each card have been printed, so there is no searching for rare cards.  Second, you can increase a card's power by getting it autographed.  That's right.  Take these cards to your local convention (or cyberstalk designers to their homes) and get the cards signed. You can buy the cards at There will only be one printing of the first set, so get them now. By the way...I think Liz can take Dave any day.

    First Ever Pokemon World Championship
    On August 3rd Seattle, Washington will host the first Pokemon World Championship at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center Hall.  Players from around the word, who have earned the right and been invited, will be playing for bragging rights (if there are any to be had in Pokemon).  You can check out full details on the WotC web site.  Now remember, all of this hinges on WotC not getting nervous and discontinuing the Pokemon CCG before August.  I am sure they had plans for a Chainmail tournament at one time also.

    Hordes of Chaos Interactive Map Unveiled
    Games Workshop has just launched a new web page containing an interactive map of Realms of Chaos! Explore this little-known and blighted area of the Old World. This is a nice little Flash page with clickable locales.  As always, Games Workshop leads the way in giving us free stuff in a cool format.

    12:51 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    One Diceland Promo, Size Huge
    "Hey - that promo die - it's huge!" "They said to make it huge!"

    Saturday, July 13, 2002
    3:01 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    That's What I'm Talking About
    Phil mailed to let me know that he's done more than name-check Epic Duels. Hot damn!

    12:14 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    I Can't Believe We Still Haven't Posted About Star Wars Epic Duels
    It's really fun. The covert gamer's-game nature of this Hasbro-branded, direct-to-Toys-R-Us product has been slowly percolating up into the consciousness of hobby gamers for a couple months now - you might have seen Phil Reed name-check it when he wrote up his 3D Frag standards. Or you might have heard it whispered about in the crowd surrounding WotC's d20 Star Wars demo table at Origins, or chattered about on Imagine Mage Knight only ten times more so - a child's introduction to skirmish combat games. Your "army" is a major character and two weak minor ones (or one strong minor one). Instead of the combat dial, you have a very simple character sheet (for tracking damage) and one deck of cards for your whole team. The board is a square grid; the figures are pre-painted; the movement is rolled on a Hasbro stickered-d6, and the rest of the game is in those decks of cards. Well, not totally - you get two actions a turn, with which you can play or draw.

    Some of the special cards are stupid-powerful, so much of the strategy lies in knowing the decks and choosing your board position accordingly. And in watching people's hand sizes. So yes, you have real things to do in this game. You just don't have so many of them that life will get overwhelming for the eight-year-olds. We at the Cave have been making this one of our principal fast-and-fun selections lately (although its reign may soon be challenged by Gregory Horror Show), and we will not be at all surprised when... well, the less said about that, the better.In the meantime, here are some handy suggestions to make your Star Wars Epic Duels games even more nuts:

    • Instead of drawing from one core deck for your character, place your characters wherever you'd like on the board, then draw a card from a deck whenever your major character steps on that named space on the board. Minor characters can't trigger card draws in this way.
    • Bust out a copy of RoboRally and use a board like Pit Maze or Cannery Row instead of the supplied boards. Instead of rolling the movement die, deal nine RR movement cards to each player before each time around the table. Each player splits the cards between their major and minor characters however they wish. On your turn, first the board moves, then you reveal your cards, one character at a time. Use the Epic Duels decks for combat. All board effects that would kill a robot automatically, instead do five points of damage to your character (except for pits - they're still death). Oh, and no pushing.
    • Pick up a copy of Cosmic Coasters (hey, it won an Origins award and it's cheap). Use three major characters and three minors from one side of the Force as your pool of ships. Draw two cards from each deck you have a figure from, as your opening hand. Instead of conducting battles with rock-paper-scissors, use the cards; when you use one, draw its replacement from the same deck the one you used came from. You're actually playing Cosmic Coasters, not Epic Duels, so ignore the goals of Epic Duels. However, you should also ignore the Cosmic Coasters special abilities. Specials that put a character elsewhere on "the board" apply to the same board they're on. Also, um, well, you'll work it out if you're motivated.
    We hope this gives you some evil ideas. Hail the Emperor!

    Friday, July 12, 2002
    6:06 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Bring In The Siege Weapons!
    Arcane Games is releasing a full-color version of Tower Siege, a non-collectable, customizable card game. According to the description, 2-4 players (up to 8 in teams) will each take the role of a powerful mage and "battle against one another with the aid of Minions, Items, Scrolls and Relics." Each player must defend their Tower and keep their Mage alive until only one is left standing. Those interested in giving Tower Siege a try should head over to Arcane's website quickly to take advantage of two special deals for free dice, a marker pack and the 15 card expansion pack.

    5:40 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    EN World "Ennies" Nominations Announced
    The panel of five experts has selected the nominees for each category of GenCon and EN World's "Ennies" d20 System Awards. While votes aren't being taken until next week, the nominees can be seen, and discussed in preparation for voting, on the awards page.

    Weird West Mosies Into RPGA
    The Dead West, an RPGA Living Campaign using the Deadlands d20 rules, has just been announced by Pinnacle. The Living Campaign (or perhaps Dead Campaign would be a more apt name) will kick off at Gencon 2002 next month. More details will be posted at the official campaign page as time goes on.

    5:25 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    Celtos Core Rule Book from I-Core Ready to Ship
    The new fantasy miniatures game from i-Kore is back from the printer and ready to ship.  Celtos is a table top fantasy miniatures game published by i-Kore who has not had nay of their vans stolen recently.  If you check out the i-Kore site you can see some great new shots of the art.

    New Badge for HackMaster
    Straight from their Game of the Year award at Origins, Kenzer and Company has announced that from now on new editions of HackMaster will be gussied up with their Game of the Year medal.  Kenzer and Company president David Kenzer said. “We are honored to have received this recognition from our peers and from our fans for all our work on HackMaster,...Why it took everyone four firkin’ editions to figure that out is beyond me, but better late than never, I guess.”

    1:37 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    MechWarrior: Dark Age Delayed
    WizKids has just announced that MechWarrior: Dark Age will be slightly delayed in reaching stores. According to Martin Stever, WizKids Executive Vice President, "the shift in the release date was necessary because our orders have far outstripped our original estimates." Now there's a good problem to have. WizKids will send a little extra time cranking out a bunch more figures to meet the demand, and has scheduled MechWarrior: Dark Age to be available by August 21. As a side note, the DC HeroClix: Hypertime game is still set for release on September 18.

    12:52 AM: Craig Robertson says...
    The Game System that Would Not Die
    After numerous rocky starts (and near-finishes), GW's Epic Warhammer 40,000 is in playtest for a new edition. Tentatively titled Epic Armageddon, the initial playtest files are available here. Jervis Johnson of the GW's Fanatic division promises greater detail and more realistic combat. "Your precious Terminators aren't so tough in 6mm, are they?"

    Thursday, July 11, 2002
    11:56 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Blight Magic Review Posted
    In our latest review, Joe gives us a look inside the tainted world of Blight Magic from Mystic Eye Games. The concept reminds me of the Defiler mages from TSR's Dark Sun setting, though MEG has taken it much further. Have a look.

    Fantasy Flight To Publish Dragon Ball Z Board Games
    It had to happen eventually: the ultra-popular Dragon Ball Z animated series will enter boardgame form, courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games. FFG currently has plans for "several small fast-paced board games" under the title of Dragon Ball Z Battle! Boardgame. Personally, I can't stand the show, but I'll hold out hope that the games might still be enjoyable.

    Get Yer Crimson Bat Beanie Babies! Get Yer Bats Here!
    You can never have enough Glorantha stuff, and now Issaries has announced an arrangement that will keep us all well supplied for a while. Greydog Designs is now marketing Gloranthan rune stones, pendants, and yes, beanie babies (or rice babies, in this case). Little Dragonnewts, Walktapi, and even the Crimson Bat itself are available in cuddly, plush form. For this, and ONLY for this, I might break my rule against ever buying a beanie critter for purposes other than burning it in effigy.

    Oh Good. I Haven't Questioned Reality Yet Today...
    Politically Incorrect Games is being somewhat mysterious about its upcoming psychological horror RPG, Novus Paradigma, which is currenly in development. I'll let you gather what you can from the description:

    Reality is made up of 3 truths: cosmic (the gamemaster decides this), personal (the characters experience this), and shared (the characters decide what is shared with the others in their group).
    Characters form their own self-empowerment meditation group and assist each other in reaching enlightenment. But, everything has a price. With knowledge and power comes a new reality; one which only offers glimpses and shadows. Perceptions become changed and faith soon takes over. What one person observes as an angel, another could visualize as a demon, or even an extra-terrestrial.
    Obviously, this will require more investigation once PI Games has posted more info on its website. 'Cuz I'm confused.

    5:28 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    New Lost Colony Novel from Pinnacle
    I must admit that I don't quite know anything about these books, but I am sure that someone does.  Banshee Screams is available from Pinnacle. Banshee Screams was written by Clay and Susan Griffith, writers of several TICK comics from New England Comics.  SPOOOOOOOON!!!

    GAMA Europe Game Trade Show Postponed
    GAMA says NO to French translations of Cowtown Creator and other important US gaming secrets.  Well not exactly.  GAMA has announced that it is postponing the European Game Trade Show (GTS) GAMA's Board of Directors and Executive Director Mark Simmons have agreed to delay the show by one year.  In a press release GAMA indicated that after such a successful Origins 2002 they wanted to step back and analyze costs before undertaking such a huge project.
    Mr. Simmons stated: "GAMA is dedicated to this show. We have a hotel contract already, which is simply being shifted to the 2004 dates. We ask everyone to have patience with us. We know we can do a much better job of launching GTS Europe, plus better serve our members and the industry, by delaying one year."

    So anyone who was waiting for GURPS Russia in Russian (yes I know it is out of print but I like the imagery) will have to wait a bit longer.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2002
    9:22 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    It Makes A Nice, Inconspicuous Get-Away Vehicle
    Games Workshop has been the victim of Grand Theft Auto. The U.S. branch is letting everyone know that "the Games Workshop America Battle Wagon was stolen by persons unknown sometime during the late evening or early morning of Tuesday, July 9th and Wednesday July 10th, 2002 from the parking lot of the Holiday Inn East Hartford, 363 Roberts St., East Hartford CT, 06108." Anyone who has information about the missing, um, Battle Wagon can call 1-800-394-4263 or email Is it just me, or does this sound like a great intro to a bank-robbery-gone-bad movie? "The cops are right on our tail, Jim!" "Throw the dark elves at 'em. You might take out their tires!"

    8:54 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    Happy Birthday to Cthulhu
    The H.P. Lovecraft's Birthday Party Gaming Convention has been announced.  In honor of the dark lord himself, there is a Cthulhu gaming convention being held in Vancouver.  This convention will feature all manner of Cthulhu gaming and a call is out for GMs to blindly slaughter all comers.  Sign up now.

    GURPS Prime Directive Available Now!
    Star Fleet Games has released the new GURPS Star Trek Game, Prime Directive.  Based on the original series and additional published background, the game allows you to play a variety of the races that were badly portrayed in funny rubber masks.  Be a Vulcan, or something even more James T. Kirk.  If only the book came with a soundtrack by Shatner himself.

    Tuesday, July 09, 2002
    2:18 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Everyone Loves Giant Monsters
    While at Origins, visit the Giant Ball of -- by which I mean, while at Origins I looked at Mystic Eye's Giant Monster Rampage as well as Firefly's Monster Island. Both are slim 8.5x11" books with giant monster combat games in them, whose rules are more or less sourced out of an RPG tradition. GMR has something like nine character classes, while the Firefly guy told me that Monster Island's monster-creation system was "basically Champions." That's a good way to turn me off, but whatever. GMR is written to be used with toys you already own, whereas MI comes with counters (and can be used with toys). These products are similar enough that I am hard pressed to come up with more differences than that, but GMR seemed like it threw more numbers around, generally speaking. This may be because GMR puts the monsters right into an urban setting whereas Monster Island (as you might guess from the title) starts with the back story. I didn't get to play either one. Somebody come up with a meta-system by which we can make the two games fight each other!

    Monday, July 08, 2002
    11:54 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Silly Rumor At Origins, And Hall Of Famers
    Somehow a rumor got started that Ted Turner (yes, that Ted Turner) had purchased D&D from WotC. This is not true. The rumor apparently originated in a LARP that got a bit out of control. As one industry insider commented, "Why would he want D&D anyway? WotC already prints in color."

    I've also got one more Origins Award update to make, then I'll leave it alone. Somehow, we didn't catch the Hall of Fame inductees until today. Two people and one product were admitted into the ranks of legend: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (famed Dragonlance co-authors) and Settlers of Catan. So there.

    9:00 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Queen Of Lies, What's That Smell?
    Makes for an interesting sentence, doesn't it? Joe has made this little combo possible with his two new d20 reviews, of What's That Smell from Wicked Press, and Queen of Lies from Fiery Dragon Productions. I could have fun twisting those titles around a bit more... nah, better not. That smell of Queen lies, wot?

    6:39 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    Starcluster RPG Ready to Ship
    Flying Mice Games has announced that their game Starcluster is ready to ship. Flying Mice has been developing Starcluster for three years and as the game hits the streets, the core rules, three supplements and a full adventure are available.  This is the way games ought to be released: fully realized. Who wants to pay $40.00 for a rule book and then wait six months for the first supplement (anyone hear Wheel of Time?).

    Cookie Fu is on its way to Press
    Blue Kabuto is proud to announce that their game Cookie Fu is on its way to the printers. In the fine tradition of Walt Disney/George Lucas marketing, you can go to their CafePress store and buy all manner of Cookie Fu merchandise. So if you are in the market for a new wall clock...check it out. If you want the game come check it out at GenCon 2002.

    Metal Bound Judge Dredd RPG Released-Danzig Rejoices!
    If you go check out the 2000AD page you can get a look at the coolest thing I have seen in some time. There are pictures of the new $145.00 Limited Edition Judge Dredd Hardback. Bound in Metal only 200 are being pressed. Order them while you can. As I said before...Danzig Rejoices!

    9:18 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Origins 2002: When In Doubt, Buy Things
    I was feeling kind of low Saturday morning, and then I realized: I have made no purchases! This is obviously the problem! Three games and a one-inch hex mat later, I had no more troubles and my life was perfect.

    • Got to play MechWarrior for a couple rounds at WizKids. Mechs indeed have five numbers on the dials, not four: they have two different kinds of attacks, each with its own distinct range. Even though the heat dials only have six slots on them, they're pretty subtle. They work by giving penalties to the slots in the dial that they line up with. They also have little special-effect color patches, giving your Mech plenty of interesting ways to stop bloody well working. Apart from that, there aren't lots of differences from Mage Knight, really. There are three dice instead of two, and that doesn't change it up much. I'm sure the special abilities are all quite different, but we didn't play with them. One MK player pointed and said "holy crap" when he saw the one that lets you take control of a captured unit.
    • Got to play TransAmerica in its import version. It's mainly about laying your track such that it isn't maximally useful to anyone else. You have a hand of five cards, one from each region on the map, which you have to connect, using your track and everyone else's. The secret goals imply bluffing, but you don't really have time to bluff, as our play group found out. There's some doubts as to how replayable it'll really be, and there are some kludgey things about scoring and ending the game, but on the whole this should be a really good time. It says it supports two to six, we played with four; I'll be interested to try it with two. This may be set to compete with Carcassonne in that respect.
    • Got to play Fightball, upcoming from Cheapass. It's like Brawl but with more depth. I was definitely doing more thinking, because each decision means more. You lay out a playing field modeled after a basketball court, with a red zone nearest each player, a surrounding blue zone, and a green three-point zone on each side. Player cards have lots of numbers on them, but it only takes a glance to know how that card's going to perform in the zone you need it in. You play a player, then a ball of the appropriate color, then a shot card, and if all those bonuses add up to 10, you make the shot and get the points. Trouble is, your opponent can play their players as blockers, reducing your total. It was fast, it confused me, it was fun, the team with the girlie art isn't necessarily that great, and Julie put a sheep on my head. Bravo!
    I tied for sixth place in the Icehouse tournament - I won a game, tied a game, and didn't get put in the icehouse. Now you can sleep at night.

    Saturday, July 06, 2002
    7:50 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Origins 2002: Hey, I Found Some More News Under This Cowboy Hat
    To wit:

    • Green Ronin has Hammer and Helm and the two Pocket Grimoires at the show. Hammer and Helm, a tasty-looking dwarf sourcebook, is the first book with the OGL Interlink logo. Chris explained this to me as a selling point - gamers will like knowing that this book is slightly less likely to be duplicated by three other game companies. There are really only two companies in on the pact right now, though. The PGs, Pocket Grimoire Arcane and Pocket Grimoire Divine if I remember correctly, are indeed 100% OGL content. The introduction states that most companies who heard about the project were enthusiastic. The GR crew has my formal permission to keep on rocking.
    • I sat down and played Gregory Horror Show at the Upper Deck booth. It's fun, although it seems like an isolationist race until you get a couple games under your belt. That's in 2-player, that is. With three and four, it should really come alive - and yes, the $15 starter contains everything that two to four need to play quite comfortably. The boosters have more minis for wandering monsters, and you could always just use tokens for those. The minis, however, are very funny and of astounding quality. We will try to have a more complete review of this thing, but it looks like a great quickie.
    • Um, um, what else... WizKids is running copious amounts of MechWarrior and appear to have the full line of minis on display under one of those damned no-photos signs. I will try to get a game of MW in tomorrow. I also want to catch a look at Cheapass' Fightball, which is still in preview. And Privateer pushed War Machine back to the end of October, which they might have announced already.

    1:31 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Origins Awards Review
    So, for those who want a bit more info than what Mike had time to provide (he is typing from an internet café, after all), head over to the official recap of nominees, and then consult the following list of winners. Our congrats to all the nominees, and an extra pat on the back for all -- well, nearly all the winners.

    • Best Game Accessory: D20 System Character Record Folio (Green Ronin)
    • Best Amateur Game Periodical: Alarums & Excursions (Lee Gold)
    • Best Professional Game Periodical: Dork Tower (Dork Storm Press)
    • Best Play-By-Mail Game: Middle Earth FA 1000 (Game Systems, Inc.)
    • Best Roleplaying Adventure: Unseen Masters (Chaosium)
    • Best Roleplaying Game: Adventure! (White Wolf)
    • Best Roleplaying Supplement: Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Wizards of the Coast)
    • Best Game-Related Novel: Clan War 7th Scroll - The Lion (Wizards of the Coast)
    • Best Game-Related Short Work: Prometheus Unwound (Eden Studios)
    • Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game: Zombies!!! (Journeyman Press)
    • Best Graphic Presentation of a Card Game: Lord of the Rings TCG (Decipher)
    • Best Graphic Presentation of a Book: Call of Cthulhu 20th Anniversary Edition (Chaosium)
    • Best Illustration: Dork Shadows cover (Dork Storm Press)
    • Best Historical Miniatures Rules: Fear God & Dread Nought (Clash of Arms Games)
    • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniature Rules: Chainmail (Wizards of the Coast)
    • Best Historical Figure Miniature Series: World of the Greeks (Wargames Foundry)
    • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Figure Miniature: Mage Knight Great Fire Dragon (WizKids)
    • Best Vehicle Miniature: Mage Knight Atlantis Guild War Machine: The Fist of Tezla (WizKids)
    • Best Abstract Board Game: Cosmic Coasters (Looney Labs)
    • Best Historical Board Game: Axis & Allies: Pacific (Hasbro/Avalon Hill)
    • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game: Risk 2210 AD (Hasbro/Avalon Hill)
    • Best Card Game Expansion or Supplement: Apples to Apples Expansion Set 3 (Out of the Box)
    • Best Trading Card Game: Lord of the Rings TCG (Decipher)
    • Best Traditional Card Game: Munchkin (Steve Jackson Games)
    • Game of the Year: Hackmaster (Kenzer & Co.)

    Friday, July 05, 2002
    8:21 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Oh Yeah, They Announced The Spiel Des Jahres Too
    Not really Origins news, but the two games that gamers I hang out with considered frontrunners didn't take it. They (Puerto Rico and Transamerica ) were on the short list of three, but the award went to Villa Paletti, a block-stacking dexterity game with an interesting new mechanic. Everyone told me dexterity games never win, but there you go. Sometime when I'm not paying for a connection by the minute, I will add links to this post, I promise. I bet on Puerto Rico for the Deutschen SpielePreis.

    8:18 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Origins 2002: I Thought I Was Smart
    Specifically, I thought I could skip the actual awards ceremony and just pick up the poster - the poster that lists all the winners and that, last year, was set out on free-stuff tables throughout the con halfway through the presentation. What I forgot, of course, is that WotC isn't running the con anymore, and GAMA doesn't have unlimited supplies of cash. So there is no poster, and instead there is this anonymous post on GamingReport from someone who was faster than me. Yay for Risk 2210, yay for Cosmic Coasters, condolences to Tenjo, and I find it tough to get excited about anything else here. Especially not the new Game of the Year category, which was just too broad to be anything but an online vote-harvesting contest (Hackmaster won it, by the way).

    3:25 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Origins 2002: Books Are Intimidating
    More random bits:

    • Chronopia is coming back into print. When I first started looking into miniatures games, some friends recommended Chronopia as a good, fast and fun set of rules - but it was out of print. But lo, I have seen a printer's proof of the "five old books" compiled into a suitably thick and intimidating tome in the manner of the Warhammer rulebooks. But here's the interesting bit: there will be Chronopia rules released for a wide variety of the models in WotC's Chainmail line, if not all of them. A great way to salvage a dying game line, if it turns out to be legal...
    • Eden Studios has Liber Bestarium here at the show. It's a great cover, it looks nice and nicely executed, but I didn't see any earth-shattering concepts inside that would make someone scream "I need this in addition to all the other Monster Manual renditions I own." Or I guess they wouldn't scream that in any case, as it's a little wordy.

    11:12 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Origins 2002: Hating On Nickels
    Everything marked $something.95 is actually 5 cents more expensive when you buy at a vendor booth. It's amusing how widespread that is. Are your price guns broken, guys?

    The fancy stuff I hooked up to post from my Palm from the show floor has suddenly broken, so I'm back in exile in the Internet cafe. All the news I've been able to scrape up has been RPG news, so here it all is:

    • Troll Lord has Gary Gygax's The Canting Crew here at the show. Nice cover, but the innards look a little... fluffy? I dunno, I could be wrong. They're also showing a new double-thick D20 module called The Heart of Glass that includes an 11x17" fold-out city map. Oooooh.
    • Citizen has their Western D20 book Sidewinder out. It looks remarkably good. They gave me crap about our reviews of their Hero's Journey line, but they're good sports. Sidewinder looks like a good mix of crunchy bits and flavor, and while the particular wild-west flavor they've chosen is rather vanilla, I think that's a smart choice.
    • Atlas has the new edition of Unknown Armies a little early, as I think we forgot to report. It's gorgeous, it's structurally interesting, and they wouldn't give me a free one because no one at the booth knows who the hell we are. A lengthy preview PDF is up at the company's site.
    • Misguided Games has released Children of the Sun. Yes, it exists as something other than an ad campaign. It's a thick, two-color book, well laid out, with an original system they say is reminiscent of Earthdawn and Deadlands, to back up their steampunky fantasy setting. 90 pages of material that had to be cut from the book will be available for free online.
    That's all I've got for right now. I'm still looking for the cool little card and board games that blindside me out of nowhere at these things. I'm starting to worry.

    The Wizards booth is so much cheaper-looking and more poorly attended, not only than the WizKids booth, but than the Fantasy Flight booth. Man. I want to know what third-world government is funding FFG.

    Thursday, July 04, 2002
    3:40 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    Origins 2002 Is Go
    I am here at the show, at the moment in the Looney Labs demo and seminar room, and filing this via my VisorPhone and portable keyboard. I am the mack. More news shortly.

    Wednesday, July 03, 2002
    10:37 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Suddenly, everyone's got monsters. Here, I'll show you what I mean...

    Liber Bestarius Done Early
    Eden Studios' d20 monster book, Liber Bestarius: The Book of Beasts, has arrived from the printers a week ahead of schedule and begun shipping. This means the 160-page hardcover will be available at Origins tomorrow, giving us all a closer look at creatures like the Reaver. Want your game's characters to have one hell of a challenge from a demonic former paladin? Leave it to Reaver.

    Monster Island Comes Ashore
    Also shipping early is Monster Island: The Game of Giant Monster Combat from Firefly Games. The 32-page game of "creating and fighting giant monsters," (not tiny monsters, mind you; that's been done to death) which are kept contained on a tropical island by the UN, can either use color cardstock monster figures or those toy monsters, dinosaurs and beasts you've got out in the garage. I saw this game being played at KublaCon, and if the laughter and cries for revenge were any indication, this one's a winner. If you'll be at Origins, look for Monster Island at the Tundra booth.

    Giant Monster Rampage Shipping
    See what I mean?

    Mystic Eye Games will have early copies Giant Monster Rampage at Origins this week. How does the 56-page book differ from Firefly's Monster Island? Dunno. But according the MEG's press release, "Giant Monster Rampage uses the Toy Battle System," a revised and expanded version of the GMR version that's been freely available online for years. All the more reason to hold onto those plastic monsters. Or raid those of your kids, as I plan to.

    Tuesday, July 02, 2002
    8:58 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    SJ Games Launching Online d20 Magazine
    While the WotC contest extension Greg mentioned surprises no one, this caught me slightly off guard: tomorrow, Steve Jackson Games is launching an online d20 magazine. Along the same lines as Pyramid, the weekly online publication, aptly titled d20 Weekly, will be edited by former Dragon Magazine editor Dale Donovan with assistance from Pyramid editor Steven Marsh and crew. d20 Weekly will feature "news and reviews, advance material from lots of different publishers, 'how-to' articles, and lots of characters, gadgets, magic items, and situations." The magazine will post new reviews and articles every Wednesday.

    The online magazine will reside at, and curious types can check out the first four issues for free. Issue one will also have a Cave Dweller lurking within, as our own Joe Kushner provides a pair of reviews. After the first four issues, everyone can subscribe for $20/year. Have a look when the magazine goes live tomorrow.

    4:35 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    Wizards of the Coast Contest Deadline Pushed Back
    WotC announced today that due to the 10,000+ submission in their "design a fantasy world" contest,  they would be pushing back the timetable for selecting submissions for the second round.  Instead of the second week of July, designers moving on to the second round will notified the first week of August.  Of those 10,000 entrants one is going to collect $120,000.00.  Maybe they want to invest in an RPG web page.

    11:57 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    DeProfundis Review Posted
    Nearly lost in the death of my old computer, we now have Matthew's review of DeProfundis by the RPG visionaries at Hogshead Publishing. Want to know more about the game without risking your own sanity? Matthew's got you covered, and he only went slightly mad in the process.

    6:48 AM: Greg Kessler says...
    Who the Hell is Hellboy?
    In their Illuminator Newsletter, Steve Jackson Games has announced that the Hellboy RPG has been sent to the printers.  SJGames seems very excited about the new game, calling it the most beautiful book they have ever done.  For those who do not know what the hell all of the fuss is about, Hellboy is based on the Mike Mignola comic book from Dark Horse Comics. For you fanboys, the rulebook will include a brand new Hellboy comic.  To get a look at the original comic check out the Official Hellboy Homepage.

    12:33 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
    Assassin's Handbook Preview At Green Ronin
    Those of you who don't like to play nice will want to check out Green Ronin's art preview of The Assassin's Handbook. The second in title in GR's Master Class line claims to present an assassin that's much closer to the original, first edition version. Penned by Wolfgang Baur (Assassin Mountain ) and David "Zeb" Cook (who has written too many D&D titles to mention), this book's sure to be sought after. On top of the expected feats, spells, prestige classes and gear, The Assassin's Handbook will boast an "extensive selection of new poisons and two complete assassin brotherhoods." Watch your back after the book releases this August.

    Monday, July 01, 2002
    3:55 PM: Greg Kessler says...
    Monster Island Arrives from the Printer
    Monster Island: The Game of Giant Monster Combat from Firefly Games has arrived from the printer and is ready to ship.  If you have not heard about the game, it's a cross between Jurassic Park and the Golden Girls (or Godzilla. Whichever).  Here is the Plot: giant monsters imprisoned on a tropical island by the UN Science Alert Corps battle for supremacy. Sounds cool.  The game includes cut out paper monsters but was really designed so you can use your own toy monsters.  So order the game, go to your parents attic, dig out your toys, and have at it!

    2:40 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
    West End Games Chucks Its System Out There opposed to chucking it out. Which, as a system, it doesn't deserve. No it doesn't. Anyway, WEG/D6Legend has announced that its D6 system is available under a cheap, not free, license. When Allan heard this he of course got excited about Torg, but it looks like their "non-licensed worlds" are currently not subject to this specific deal, although final word is forthcoming. The price of a copy of a page-layout program, plus a royalty - if I were starting up an RPG company, I'd certainly consider that a fair price for a system as robust and fun as D6. And I'm sure WEG would like to get more licensing money coming in, rather than watching it all flow out to DC and Metabarons. The moral: don't assume that a WEG move is desperate, just because it's WEG that's making it.

    7:49 AM: Greg Kessler says...
    IHero Returns to the Fiction Business
    Another game company has returned to the fiction milieu.  IHero Entertainment has announced that beginning today they will be adding a new monthly installment of stories set in the I,Hero universe.  July's tale is called The Other, as Just as Fair.  These stories will be in addition to the their weekly Anytown Gazette. If you  have some time, surf on over and check it out.

    7:47 AM: Greg Kessler says...
    Steve Jackson to Skip Origins
    Steve Jackson announced today that due to "creeping crud" (illness) at the Steve Jackson Games Austin office he will not be attending Origins.  This means that many of activities planned for the convention will not come off.  Get well messages can me sent to


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