Archive for the ‘Roleplaying Games’ Category

New details on Pathfinder Adventure Card Game redesign

Monday, September 10th, 2018

PFACG logoIn his latest Design Diary blog post, Paizo’s Lead Adventure Card Game Designer Mike Selinker describes some of the adjustments gamers can expect in the revised edition of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Fans of the game should keep in mind the main game won’t be changing too dramatically – as Selinker stated, “we’re not making this a ‘second edition.’ Our goal isn’t to invalidate anything you have currently”. According to Selinker’s updates, the game is being redesigned to address several factors, including the goals of speeding up gameplay, adding control for varying difficulty, making the co-op game feel more cooperative, and perhaps most importantly, adding more story. Story is always king, so we applaud the notion of increasing influence of the source materials for PACG sets – namely, the Pathfinder RPG Adventure Paths. The new Core Set will be based on the Pathfinder Module The Dragon’s Demand, and the first Adventure Path being translated to the card game will be Curse of the Crimson Throne. If all goes as planned, the revised PACG Core Set should hit stores just before PaizoCon 2019 (so, May 2019).

Meanwhile, if you still haven’t taken the plunge and tried the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, you can find our review of the original PACG here. Happy to help.

Gale Force 9 gets Dune license

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Dune logoGale Force Nine has reached an agreement with the Herbert Estate to publish tabletop games based on the Dune property. This will include a roleplaying game in late 2019, as well as board and miniatures games timed to release just before Legendary Pictures’ Dune movie in 2020. GF9 says it “plans to align with other game companies on numerous categories and formats in the future.” Read: “we are all in on this one.”

Considering how things ended with Last Unicorn Games’ Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium RPG in 2000, this is hopeful news. As the release date for Dune: Chronicles got close, LUG was struggling with debt. The company was bought out by Wizards of the Coast, who released a limited edition of Dune: Chronicles only available at Gen Con and Gen Con UK, never intended to keep it going – after all, that would be a threat to their impending Star Wars d20 RPG. WotC failed to get the Dune license for any other products (some say the Herbert Estate wasn’t really interested in talking with WotC about making a deal; others say the price was too high for WotC), and since then, no publisher of the same caliber has given Dune a go. The only Dune games in the last 18 years have been unofficial, free downloads.

If you want a glimpse of the long out-of-print Last Unicorn Games Dune RPG, head over to OgreCave’s Instagram feed. We’re happy to whet your appetite for the adventures on Arrakis this new license agreement could bring us. We have every confidence GF9 can create a new game that looks at least as great – probably even better. Here’s to hoping.

Click through for the full press release, below.
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2018 Origins Award winners

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

You’ve already read through the 2018 Origins Award nominees, right? And played all of them, as you were instructed? Okay, good – let’s proceed.

As always, congratulations to all the nominees. Here’s the winners:

2018 Origins Award winners

GloomhavenBest Board Game, Fan Favorite, and Game of the Year:
Gloomhaven (Cephalofair)

Best Card Game:
Ex Libris (Renegade Game Studio)

Fan Favorite Card Game:
Hero Realms (White Wizard Games)

Best Miniatures Game & Fan Favorite:
Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition (Games Workshop)

Best Collectible Game & Fan Favorite:
Star Wars Destiny: Awakenings Booster (Fantasy Flight Games)

Best Family Game & Fan Favorite:
Azul (Plan B Games)

Best Game Accessory & Fan Favorite:
Terraforming Mars Organizer (The Broken Token)

Best Role-Playing Game Supplement & Fan Favorite:
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (for Dungeons & Dragons) (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Role-Playing Game:
Adventures in Middle Earth (Cubicle 7)

Fan Favorite Role-Playing Game:
Starfinder (Paizo)

 

Surprised by anything? Outraged, even? Or completely happy and satisfied, maybe? Let us know in the comments.

2018 Origins Award nominees announced

Friday, June 1st, 2018

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design has announced their 2018 Origins Award nominees. There will also be Fan Favorite categories, voted on by attendees of the Origins Game Fair (as usual). Let’s peruse the list, shall we? Then, hurry and play all of them so you can make your predictions.

Let us know how that goes.

Board Games

Card Games

  • 5-Minute Dungeon by Spin Master (designed by Connor Reid)
  • Aeon’s End by Indie Board & Cards (designed by Kevin Riley)
  • Custom Heroes by Alderac Entertainment Group (designed by John D. Clair)
  • Ex Libris by Renegade Games Studios (designed by Adam P. McIver)
  • The Fox in the Forest by Renegade Games Studios (designed by Joshua Buergel)
  • Hero Realms by White Wizards Games (designed by Darwin Kastle)
  • Honshu by Renegade Games Studios (designed by Kalle Malmioja)
  • Jump Drive by Rio Grande Games (designed by Thomas Lehmann)
  • The Lost Expedition by Osprey Publishing (designed by Peer Sylvester)
  • One Deck Dungeon by Asmadi Games (designed by Chris Cieslik)

Collectible Games

  • Cardfight Vanguard Demonic Advent Booster by Bushiroad
  • Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie II by WizKids
  • DC Comics Dice Masters: Batman Foil Packs by WizKids
  • Dragon Ball Super Card Game – Galactic Battles Booster by Bandai
  • Final Fantasy TCG: Opus I Collection Booster by Square Enix
  • Marvel HeroClix: The Mighty Thor by WizKids
  • MTG Ixalan Booster by Wizards of the Coast (designed by Mark Rosewater and Ken Nagle)
  • Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon Booster by The Pokémon Company International
  • Star Wars Destiny: Awakenings Booster by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 2017 Mega Tin by Konami

Family Games

  • Azul by Plan B Games (designed by Michael Kiesling)
  • Bunny Kingdom by IELLO (designed by Richard Garfield)
  • Codenames: Disney by USAopoly (designed by Vlaada Chvátil)
  • Codenames: Duet by Czech Games Edition (designed by Vlaada Chvátil)
  • Downforce by Restoration Games (designed by Wolfgang Kramer)
  • Dropmix by Hasbro Gaming (designed by Harmonix)
  • Hotshots by Fireside Games (designed by Justin De Witt)
  • Mountains of Madness by IELLO (designed by Rob Daviau)
  • Sagrada by Floodgate Games (designed Daryl Andrews and Adrian Adamescu)
  • Viral by Arcane Wonders (designed by Gil d’Orey and Antonio Sousa Lara)

Miniatures

  • Blood & Plunder by Firelock Games (designed by Michael Tuñez)
  • Runewars Miniatures Game by Fantasy Flight Games (designed by Andrew Fischer)
  • The Walking Dead Miniatures Game by Mantic Games (designed by Mark Latham)
  • Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition by Games Workshop

Roleplaying Game

  • Adventures in Middle Earth Player’s Handbook by Cubicle 7 Entertainment (designed by James Brown, Paul Alexander Butler, Walt Ciechanowski, Steve Emmott, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Jon Hodgson, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Dominic McDowall, Francesco Nepitello, James Spahn, and Ken Spencer)
  • Blades in the Dark by Evil Hat Productions (designed by John Harper)
  • Blue Rose (2nd Edition) by Green Ronin Publishing (designed by Steve Kenson, Jack Norris, Richard Bellingham, Jeb Boyt, Crystal Frasier, Steven Jones (III), Shoshana Kessock, Anna Kreider, Kira Magrann, Alejandro Melchor, Andrew Peregrine, F. Wesley Schneider, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, John Snead)
  • Cthulhu Confidential by Pelgrane Press (designed by Robin D. Laws, Ruth Tillman, Chris Spivey)
  • The Dark Eye Core Rules by Ulisses Spiel (designed by Alex Spohr, Markus Plötz and Jens Ulrich)
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen (3rd Edition) by Fantasy Flight Games (designed by James Wallis)
  • My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria by River Horse Ltd. (designed by Alessio Cavatore, Jack Caesar, Dylan Owen)
  • Monsterhearts 2 by Buried Without Ceremony (designed by Avery Adler)
  • Puppetland by Arc Dream Publishing (designed by Arnold Cassell, Arinn Dembo, Matt Forbeck, Gareth Hanrahan, Fred Hicks, Kenneth Hite, Jason Morningstar, Ross Payton, John Tynes, James Wallis)
  • Starfinder by Paizo (designed by Robert G. McCreary and Owen K.C.)
  • Star Trek Adventures by Modiphius Entertainment
  • Tales from the Loop by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Nils Hintze)
  • Traveller Starter Set by Mongoose Publishing (designed by Martin Dougherty and Matthew Sprange)
  • Vurt by Ravendesk Games (designed by Alexander Lepera, Lee Pruit, Pete Stauber)

Roleplaying Supplement

  • Adventures in Middle Earth – Rhovanian Region Guide by Cubicle 7 Entertainment (designed by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Francesco Nepitello, Jacob Rodgers)
  • Adventures in Middle Earth – Loremaster’s Guide by Cubicle 7 Entertainment (designed by Walt Ciechanowski, Steve Emmott, Gareth Hanrahan, Jon Hodgson, T.S. Luikart, Dominic McDowall, Franceso Nepitello, Ken Spencer)
  • Blue Rose – Narrator’s Kit by Green Ronin Publishing (designed by Josh Gutenberg, Jesse Hibbs, Steve Kenson)
  • Call of Cthulhu: The Grand Grimore of the Cthulhu Mythos by Chaosium (designed by Mike Mason and Matthew Sanderson)
  • Call of Cthulhu: The Two Headed Serpent by Chaosium (designed by Scott Dorward, Paul Fricker, Mike Mason, Matthew Sanderson)
  • Castles and Crusades Codex Germania by Troll Lord Games (designed by Brian Young)
  • Castles and Crusades Codex Slavorum by Troll Lord Games (designed by Brian Young)
  • Cypher System Expanded Worlds by Monte Cook Games (designed by Bruce R. Cordell)
  • Cypher System Predation by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain)
  • Doctor Who RPG: Gamemaster’s Companion by Cubicle 7 Entertainment (designed by Morgan Davie, Gareth Hanrahan, Mark Lawford, Andrew Peregrine, Nathaniel Torson)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Xanathar’s Guide to Everything by Wizards of the Coast (designed by Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls – Lead Designers)
  • Mutants & Masterminds Atlas of Earth-Prime by Green Ronin Publishing (designed by Scott Bennie, Jason Brick, Darren Bulmar
  • Shadow of the Demon Lord: Demon Lord’s Companion by Schwalb Entertainment (designed by Robert J. Schwalb)

Game Accessories

  • Chaosium Call of Cthulhu Coloring Book by Chaosium
  • Sword & Sorcery Custom Dice Pack by Ares
  • The Broken Token Terraforming Mars Organizer by The Broken Token
  • Sails of Glory Series 4 Ship Packs by Ares Games
  • Smirking Dragon Tablecloths by Smirking Dragon
  • D&D: Icons of the Realms and Pathfinder Battles Pre-Painted Miniatures by WizKids
  • Xia Station Organizer by Meeple Realty

Gen Con game convention wins 2017 Diana Jones Award

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

At Gen Con 50, the winner of this year’s Diana Jones Award for excellence in gaming has been announced as… Gen Con itself! First organized in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin by Gary Gygax himself, Gen Con has grown to become an annual gaming mecca and affirmation of the gaming hobby, currently raging onward in Indianapolis. Other nominees this year were The Beast, a single-player card & journaling game; End of the Line, a hybrid LARP combining Camarilla-style Vampire and Nordic LARP; the fantasy board game Gloomhaven, which was a huge hit on Kickstarter; The Romance Trilogy, a group of relationship-themed RPGs by Emily Care Boss (the first of which, Breaking the Ice, made it onto OgreCave’s 2005 Christmas Gift Guide); and Terraforming Mars, a resource management board game. As always, OgreCave congratulates all the nominees, and Gen Con, “The Best Four Days in Gaming,” for its win this year.

Gaming News Update – Anna Meade (Uprising: The Dystopian Universe RPG)

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

In this Gaming News Update interview, we throw new OgreCave contributor Lars Roberts to the wolves and have her interview Anna Meade, co-author of Uprising: The Dystopian Universe RPG from Evil Hat Productions. Due to hit Kickstarter for a 2018 publication date, Anna tells us about creating the roleplaying setting based on the card games Coup, Coup: Reformation, and The Resistance. She also hints at some confrontational – nay, backstabbing, even – mechanics to the FATE system that Uprising will bring to the table. As bonus features, Anna mentions her novelization of The Dystopian Universe for Indie Boards & Cards, her upcoming appearance as a featured presenter at Gen Con 50 next week, and what fun she’s had expanding tabletop gaming’s inclusivity and representation. Be sure to listen to Anna before attending her seminars next week, and browse our previous podcast episodes for many other game discussions.

KublaCon 2017 photo gallery – complete!

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Cthulhu demands you view the galleryOkay, the flood of KublaCon photos has reached its peak, and all are now neatly contained in OgreCave’s KublaCon 2017 photo gallery (over at our Facebook page). Final attendee count was reportedly 3,321 – a good sized show! See if you can spot yourself in our gallery, or rather, see if you got spotted by our photo crew.

We’re working on a few things behind the scenes, but as soon as we have goodies to share, we’ll serve them up. In the meantime, enjoy the pics, and tell us what you loved about this year’s KublaCon.

KublaCon 2017 photo gallery

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

KublaCon 2017 logoThose of you who follow OgreCave’s Facebook page have already heard, but in case you missed it, the first half of OgreCave’s KublaCon 2017 photo gallery is up and running. Have a look, comment, like, and see if you got spotted at last weekend’s KublaCon Game Convention. We’ll have the other half added to the gallery in a couple of days, so check back early next week. Share and enjoy.

We’ll have more site news soon, so check back for that as well. Much to do.

MAID RPG, Tokyo Brain Pop, and why GTE couldn’t just fix their network

Monday, September 26th, 2016

First, a public apology. A few years ago, Andy Kitkowski, publisher of Tenra Bansho Zero and co-publisher of MAID RPG, sent us a review copy of MAID and was very flattering in a note he attached to it. We’ve felt for a while that we let him down by not getting a review up. Not to put Allan on the spot, but Allan looked MAID over and couldn’t figure out how to approach it. [My players were just plain confused by it, honestly, and wouldn’t try it. – A] I have a feeling that a lot of you reading this are right there with him. We asked all our other reviewers if they wanted to take it on, and they all recoiled.

Now, I know the deal with MAID, because I happen to know this particular deal with anime culture and Japanese pop culture in general. Said deal is that a lot of stuff from Japan looks to us like it’s being presented sincerely, and is thus creepy and crazy, when it’s understood in Japan as being satirical. The original MAID game falls into that category, as does most of the maid-themed anime that inspired it. You can certainly still argue that attempted satire of sexist tropes just spreads sexism, particularly when the culture as a whole – ours in this case – doesn’t get the joke. I myself feel more or less this way, in fact, but the comparatively low-titillation presentation style of MAID does a lot to redeem it for me.

The failure of cultural translation was utterly predictable with MAID – enough so that its publication, the first of an original Japanese RPG into English to make it to print, was neither a great business move nor a good strategy for opening American minds to Japanese RPGs. That said, if you’re one of the many American nerds who understand anime tropes deeply, a game with MAID‘s themes can be hilarious, and MAID delivers. The execution is dead on. The players play the many stereotypical French-style maids of an aloof male master – you could run it as My Life With Master, only funny (comedy and horror are close cousins). The game runs beautifully and is a pretty amazing source of random tables (tragedy tables! Mental complexes! The mind-shreddingly massive Costume Table 2!).

But there’s no saving MAID in the Western market. You could possibly reskin the system and sell the conversion, but that’s not the same. And you could run and sell it at anime cons, but not outside anime culture. (I am not suggesting that any of this is news to Andy.)

A while ago, an RPG we’ve honored in the past did a sort of splashy relaunch; I mean, it debuted in an Asian-culture-themed round of Allen Varney’s indefatigable Bundle of Holding, right around Christmas, which is not bad. It’s called Tokyo Brain Pop, and it’s about Japanese schoolgirls amongst whom one or more has horrifying psychic powers. Its mechanics focus on social dynamics amongst teens and fighting evil demons in equal measure. It’s pretty great.

And if it sounds familiar, it should: it’s Panty Explosion, which OgreCave has honored in our Christmas gift guides in the past. It was renamed in response to long-building public resistance to the name, including its publisher getting blocked at one point from tabling at GeekGirlCon. Now, to my ear, the title Panty Explosion was always pretty transparently an ironic shot across the bow of anime tropes as they play in the US. But there was no saving it in the Western market either. Too many people, for reasons either respectable or reflexive, are just gonna do this.

Let’s talk about “branding,” and what it really means.
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Guest column: Dungeons & Dragons as Story

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Today, a friend of the Cave, Aaron Teixeira, offers up his thoughts on the ongoing Dungeons & Dragons discussion: can the original roleplaying game be used as an inspired, artful storytelling device? Or is it merely a game of “killing things and taking their stuff”? Aaron’s been playing and running RPGs of all sorts for decades, and has decided to weigh in on the debate, in Dungeons & Dragons as Story. See what Aaron had to say, and add your thoughts to the conversation in the comments below.
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OgreCave video: KublaCon 2015, Goodman Games, Cheapass Games

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Because we got some great footage at KublaCon 2015, we’re doing our best to ambush you with some of it (Flashback Friday, anyone?). We’ve included a general look at parts of the convention, but also managed to talk with Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games, as well as James Ernest of Cheapass Games. Some of what we discussed has hit game stores by now, but Joe and James both reveal some plans for the future. In particular, Joe describes new features of Dungeon Crawl Classics and his plans for Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar setting, while James tells us about the Kill Doctor Lucky Kickstarter campaign (which just started and runs until November 13th – check it out).

We’ll have more vids posted soon, so if you have the chance, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and stay tuned!

OgreCave video: Luke Laurie, CelestiCon

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Around the Cave these past few months, Real Life (TM) has been busy, so gaming has suffered. But even hibernating ogres need to stretch, wake up, and hunt for good gaming now and then. To facilitate a good hunt for everyone, we have a new(ish) video from CelestiCon (going on this weekend in Fremont, CA. Okay, yeah, this is from the 2014 show – we’re way behind on posting this). Get a glimpse of this great convention for game enthusiasts of all varieties, listen to Luke Laurie from the League of Gamemakers talk of the League’s mission and CelestiSpiel, a haven for game developers to test game prototypes, and come out to the show this weekend if you can.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, or listen to our large library of audio podcasts. There’s more hibernating goodies dislodging every time the Cave Dwellers manage to wrestle them into submission.

OgreCave Audio Report 2.0 – March 2015

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

OCAR 2.0 logoWe’ve got a lot to say in the latest OgreCave Audio Report episode. First, we talk of DunDraCon 2015, wherein Allan describes some of the things he saw at the show. Then we hit Kickstarter hard, describing a variety of projects, both completed and upcoming, while voicing thoughts on what the crowdsourcing site should really be used for. Finally, one particular volunteer at PAX East is making the entire organization look bad, so they’d really better get a handle on the situation ASAP – and not by simply ignoring it.

Click here for show details and to listen to the new episode. Watch here soon for DunDraCon 2015 pictures, and everything else we’re up to as well.

OgreCave Audio Report 2.0 – January 2015

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

OCAR 2.0 logoIn our first show of the new year, we’re already covering a lot of ground. In just the first half of the podcast, we go from Allan’s first impressions of Dungeons & Dragons: Fifth Edition to Mike’s obsession with space games, and back around to enjoying Magic: The Gathering after many years of abstinence. Then we drag out a pair of surprise gaming artifacts, speak of upcoming conventions, and more.

Click here for show details and to listen to the new episode. As always, share and enjoy. We’ll have a report on the happenings at DunDraCon 2015 in our next episode.

OgreCave video: DunDraCon promo

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

For the Cave dwellers, the start of convention season is heralded by DunDraCon. Now that the annual gaming event and its impending awesomeness are nearly here, this seems like the time to premiere our DunDraCon promo video. Take it away, Sparky! (Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to see all of OgreCave’s video goodness.)