News from Around the Net: 21-OCT-2011 (Sponsored by Escape Velocity Gaming)

Somehow
with the Libyans finally catching Moammar Gadhafi I’m contemplating monsters this week. Sometimes it’s not the biggest, baddest creatures who are the scary ones. It can just as easily be the humans with power mad schemes and insane ambition who are the scariest. That said, if Gadhafi had a pet dragon and flew around looting, pillaging, and burning with dragon fire, he might have been a little more impressive.

So what do you find scary? Halloween is fast approaching and I have been looking for monstrous RPG supplements to review. I reviewed the cannibalistic Hungering Legion in The Breaking of Forstor Nagar from Ben McFarland and Rite Publishing, checked out the amazing creature art in RPG Creatures – Bestiary 1 from Nicholas Cloister and talked about the disappointing lack of zombies in recent releases in my Gassy Gnoll column. We even had the Walking Dead Season 2 premiere on AMC this past weekend!

Next week I’m looking at the Bandits of the Rampant Horror by David Posener and Raging Swan Press, which has some great creepy villains, but I ask you – the readers – for suggestions on what else I should be looking at before Halloween 2011 arrives. What would you like me to review? I’m looking for scary, folks!

Sponsored Advertisement –This week’s sponsor, Escape Velocity Gaming, has an incredible new monster product coming out at the end of October. If you’ve ever wanted to customize monsters on-the-fly… If you’ve ever needed guidlines to tweak your monsters from beginner, to normal, to “nightmare” mode… If you’ve ever wished to modify the role a monster plays and make them each unique all using the same stat block…then it’s time to come on in to WCP’s Monstrous Garage. In the Monstrous Garage you can slap on some new armor, hack off a limb, and change out the “parts” of a monster to make it your own. By visiting Escape Velocity Gaming’s website now you can get a free preview entitled “Tentacled Terrors”. The terrors in that book represent a simplified version of the garage. If you like it…then be sure to pick up WCP’s Monstrous Garage!

Now on to the week’s news!

Food for Thought

Games and Gaming

Publisher News

  • Rite Publishing has been busy this week… Jonathan Roberts, cartographer to the stars, has released another maps supplement – Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum. Matt Banach and Justin Sluder have let loose an assassin of aspirations in Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Nix Ra Bael, Dreamkiller (PFRPG). And Jonathan McAnulty offers another glimpse into the weird world of Kaidan with an unseasonable snowstorm to trap your PCs in Frozen Wind (PFRPG)… Nothing like being trapped in a frozen monastery and trying to survive a storm!
  • Louis Porter Jr. Design has kicked off a new gaming line – Absolute Magic. Check out some cool new spells for your Pathfinder Clerics like “Breath of Wasps,” “Ghost Blood,” and “Undead Slumber” in Absolute Magic: Clerics. As I saw in the announcement – “Who couldn’t use another 100 spells for their cleric?” If that’s not enough, LPJ Design also released two new image portfolios that look great – 1.30 and 1.31.
  • It seems like Nevermet Press just released Stories in the Ether, Issue #1 and Issue #2 is almost here. I’m going to have to read through the first issue fast if I’m going to be ready for the new one! The cover featuring Paul Hagwood’s awesome art was revealed this week
  • Precis Intermedia is releasing some reprints soon of Bloodshadows and Shatterzone, plus the first of four Bloodshadows novels and a new Open Supplement License opening up the MasterWorld for affiliates to spin their own adventures and supplements!
  • Raging Swan Press announced their latest PFRPG GM’s Resource – Caves & Caverns by Creighton Broadhurst and David Posener. What adventurer doesn’t like exploring dank, dark caves? Who knows what treasures and terrors await! As the GM, you get nearly 30 ready-made encounters, 60 stat blocks, details on features and hazards found in deep caves, and more… Plenty to torture your PCs in the darkness! [insert evil laughter here]
  • And Crafty Games released their teaser for the upcoming Mistborn Adventure Game. The Mistborn Adventure Game Primer is available at RPGNow/DriveThruRPG and offers a taste of what’s to come with the full release in early November 2011. So far the primer getting great reviews! (And yes, it’s on my list to check out.)
  • Do you feel like setting some Polish adventure ideas free? Check out the new IndieGoGo campaign from Robert Oglodzinski to get all of the adventure ideas on AncientScroll.pl translated to English for all to benefit from. I’ve already tossed a bit of $$ in that and would encourage you to do the same – who knows what ideas lie hidden?
  • Looking for another project to give some love on Kickstarter? Check out the Shadowlands: Epic Fantasy Sci-Fi Mashup Setting project from Blackstar Studios. This project just sounds cool from the get-go, with a more realistically modeled world down to the Nth degree. It’s compatible with d20 and has been in the works for 15 years from a variety of folks. Looks like it has amazing art and concepts, so I’ve already thrown my money in this hat as well (it was a good week). Definitely check it out – there’s a lot to like here!
  • Small publishers have it rough getting noticed sometimes i n the crowded marketplace of ideas. And the Gamerati guys (hi Ed!) are doing their best to help out by enabling ads to be served in places that gamers are going to see them. But what ads are the most effective these days? Monica Valentinelli at Geek’s Dream Girl posted an interesting parable for you. I don’t think it offers any hard and fast answers, but it asks some great questions. For those published authors out there, what advice would you offer folks looking to get some experience in the industry? Where would you start today?

Reviews

Tools

  • A few weeks ago I posted a link to the first part of David Flor’s “Mapmaking for the Non-Artist” series of articles at A Walk in the Dark. Well now there’s a part 2!. This time it’s about focusing the map on a particular objective, and he focuses on a single 10′ x 10′ room. He does a great job of breaking it down into small enough steps that it’s pretty easy to follow along and I suspect that many of the steps will work in GIMP, so I look forward to having a chance to try them myself.
  • I’ve known people who swear in Klingon, German, and Pig Latin, but never in Goblinoid… Now that there’s a glossary at the World of Azolin wiki, I may have to give it a shot. Goblins are already annoying – why not make the players work to understand what the heck they’re talking about too. I mean, why would they talk privately in Common?
  • Do you need a coat of arms for your game? TyphoonAndrew over at The Iron-Bound Tome has found some generators to do just that.
  • Encyclopedias used to be wonderful tomes. We had a collection at home when I was growing up and I used them for all sorts of school projects and plenty of research while gaming. Now the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has gone online and there is a staggering amount of information up there if you like SF. And if you’re browsing for ideas, I’d encourage you to check out the “Themes” link – it has a laundry list of concepts to choose from that may inspire you. I’d love to see a similar encyclopedia for fantasy fiction!

That’s it for this week on the news front.

I hope everybody has a great weekend!

As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via the contact page and I’ll add it to the list for next week!

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