What a week! But on the plus side, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! I know this may not mean much to a lot of people, but it’s my second favorite holiday behind Thanksgiving. I not only get to cook (the Crock Pot is an amazing magical device) one of my favorite meals of the year (corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes, and soda bread)… but I get to eat it too! I turn into one big, ugly Leprechaun this time of year. It ain’t pretty.
As far as Game Knight Reviews went this week, we learned a bit about Adam Roy, RPG freelancer, I took a look back at all the reasons I’m thankful for gaming, there was a brief survey about what the “best part of roleplaying” is (more on this in a sec), plus a review of BP3: The Prophecy Revealed (PFRPG) from Blackbyrne Publishing and two guest posts! One from Andrew Armstrong encouraging us all to get out an enjoy the world more and the other from Robert Oglodzinski about roleplaying some horror adventures set in high school. One full week!
The poll results were intriguing… Out of 19 total votes…
- Nobody liked the die-rolling
- 5% like the combat
- 21% fell in the “other” category
- 32% like the Camaraderie
- But overwhelmingly, 42% like the Role-playing
The “other” category brought up terms like: “exercising creativity,” “the story,” “challenge of a good dungeon crawl,” and my favorite… “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.” I kept waiting for someone to come up with that answer and Matthew got it!
A big thank you goes out to everyone who did the survey! It was a fun way to fill a day and you may see another poll or two in the near future.
So without further ado… Let’s get to the news, shall we?
Food for Thought
- I’m hoping that by now you’ve heard that Adamant Entertainment is working on a RPG based on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. It’s being designed by Gareth-Michael Sharka and called The Buckaroo Banzai Adventure Game, due out this summer if all goes well. If you have no idea who Buckaroo Banzai is, you need to run out and watch the movie now. And then watch this great Q&A video hosted by Kevin Smith at the New York Film Festival where he asks Peter Weller and John Lithgow questions about the whole production back in 1984. Now I’m even more excited about the RPG and rushed to Amazon to order copies of the two Buckaroo Banzai novels by Earl Mac Rauch so I can get ready!!
- Next, even though this doesn’t directly have anything to do with RPGs, I had to share a story about a robot fighting competition that has a Kickstarter project. The “Help us build a Mech Warfare Robot Arena!” project aims to build a more sturdy arena to keep these robots (that look quite a bit like BattleTech ‘mechs if you ask me) safely confined during their battles. It’s just fun to watch these ‘bots go at it in the video, so be sure to check it out and help if you can!
- Interested in some sources for visual inspiration? Check out Tracy Hurley’s article at the D&D blog that covers such sites as National Geographic, ImagineFX, deviantART, and more!
- Mike Bourke @ Campaign Mastery continued his series on name generation this week… talking about name structure. And once again I’m going to have to take the article and dive in almost like I’m going back to school. It’s chock full of concepts I want to contemplate a bit!
- Jargon exists in any field – even gaming. And thankfully John Johnson @ Musings from the Dungeon pulled together a great list of definitions this week. I’ve always wondered what “OSR” is an abbreviation for…
- As a stymied writer, I find myself hitting the wall far too often. The Chatty DM has some suggestions on getting away from that critical part of your subconscious causing problems… Using the classic “What if?” construct!
- I love this story about Russian and South Korean scientists teaming up to create a clone of a woolly mammoth. Didn’t they read Jurassic Park?
Games and Gaming
- Characters die. There’s no avoiding it. Death comes for us all eventually. But DeadOrcs (R.M. Walker) @ MyRPGGame has some thoughts on how HP might be used in D&D Next… Personally, I’m a fan of his “0=unconscious/-CON score equals death” solution with the twist of lasting ability damage. It would certainly offer a heck of an incentive for party members to carry those extra healing potions to help their comrades. If your fighter comes close to dying too many times, something tells me he or she may be scarred for life otherwise…
- Of all the articles I read this week, Chris Hackler @ Gaming Tonic had one of the best with “A Newbies Guide to the First Time Behind the Screen.” GMs new or old should check this out. Chris offers a great collection of links to resources, but some spot-on tips and techniques as well. Great refresher for yours truly!
- Along the same lines, Tim Shorts @ Gothridge Manor threw together a cool binder for a newbie GM getting ready to run Swords & Wizardry. What a great gift to encourage players to take the leap to the other side of the table!
- I’m a horrible poker player. I’ll put that out there right away. So when I read the article from Troy E. Taylor @ Gnome Stew about GM “tells” during games I cringed. I have no poker face and now I have to worry about giving things away during adventures? Ack!
- Erik Tenkar @ Tenkar’s Tavern has a thought about how D&D Next may be adjusting character power and monster levels. He even has a suggestion on how it might work. I like the idea of having adventures work over larger swaths of levels (1-6 instead of 1-3), but wonder what the cost will be…
- Though D&D 1st edition was my first foray into gaming, I spent far too many hours playing Palladium Fantasy Role-playing in college. So I’m intrigued by the Gaming Ronin’s idea of using Palladium-style armor ratings and damage reductions in other systems like Castles and Crusades or even D&D. I never understood how a character’s armor could survive for years and years being beat on regularly. Eventually there will be dings, dents, and holes worn through!
- “Dungeon” seems to be one of the keywords that’s coming up a lot today… But this article from Matt @ The Megadungeon has some tips on adding a bit of 3D to your regular flat dungeon maps… I like the concept of adding some elevation keys to show up/down on an otherwise two-dimensional surface… He also has some great tips on using dungeons in your campaigns in a different article…
- You can hardly be a hero without a horse, right? So why not give your horse some character too! Check out “Marking those horses up” at The Random Dm for a quick set of random tables to give your horse a bit of color. Facial markings, leg markings, and more! (No horses were harmed in the writing of the article, I’m sure.)
- Have you ever just wanted to design a game because you had a cool idea? Well, what if it competes with something else in the market like D&D or White Wolf? Well, why let that stop you? It’s not stopping Jonathan @ Gamish Designer!
- Do your PCs have a home base or base of operations? Why not? Shaper & Maker suggests this week that by encouraging a group to stick around in one place makes them more likely to try and save it! Some good examples included…
- Are your 4E characters addicted to magic items? Michael @ Neuroglyph Games thinks so. And after reading his article I think I’m leaning that way myself… Will D&D Next fix it? If not, the article has some suggestions…
- Looking for an opportunity to strut your dungeon design talents? Check out this year’s One Page Dungeon Contest! The submission deadline is April 30 and winners will be announced June 1, so you’d better get those minions chiseling through mountains quickly! GKR contributor Robert Oglodzinski is even a judge!
- Perhaps you’ll need some physical dungeon tiles to help you design that dungeon? The Tower of the Archmage found a Kickstarter project you might want to check out – Rusty Axe Games’ Dungeon Tiles. These are pretty wide open and like Dungeonmorphs you can put them together in myriad ways to form nearly an infinite number of combinations. (My math may be off – but then again I’m probably using imaginary numbers!) Definitely check out the free sample and help out the Rusty Axe guys if you have some coins to throw in the hat. They have a ways to go to meet their goal. (And they seem to have a cool map editor called Dungeon Demon I may need to check out soon as well!)
- Are you interested in some of the graphic design behind top RPG products? L @ Geek’s Dream Girl did a great interview piece with designer Tiara Lynn Agresta that includes some solid tips and techniques for doing great page design, layout, cover design and much more. Definitely check it out!
- If dungeons aren’t your thing, then why not enter Inkwell Ideas’ “hex crawl location” contest? Check out some of the entries so far!
- Or maybe you want to hear an interview of Eddy Webb, game designer and author for White Wolf? There’s a new podcast interview over at Flagons and Dragons this week that talks about supernatural horror!
- Congrats to Raging Swan Press who celebrates their two-year anniversary this week! Creighton Broadhurst posted a great “year in review” article at the Raging Swan liveblog this week and it’s great to see them doing well!
- Raging Swan also released a new book this week from Thomas King and Chad Perrin – So What’s the Hoard Like, Anyway? What happens when your PCs kill a dragon and start sorting through the wyrm’s treasure pile? Did you roll it up ahead of time? No? Oops! Hoard details plenty of magic items and piles of coins… for just such an emergency! (For more details check out the product page at Raging Swan’s site.)
- Does Thilo Graf @ G*M*S Magazine ever sleep? He’s busy reviewing everything under the sun again. This week he took a look at So What’s For Sale, Anyway? III from Raging Swan Press. Dwarven shops and towns, eh? Interesting!
- Scott Malthouse @ The Trollish Delver sat down to check out the Temple of the Fool God solo adventure for Tunnels and Trolls by Stuart Lloyd. Suffice it to say he was impressed! (And congratulations to the 3 year anniversary of the Trollish Delver!! What a milestone!)
- Have you ever heard of Dronlon’s Tower? Neither had I until I saw the review by Andrew @ Geek Native of their latest album of music for tabletop RPGs at DriveThruRPG called Journeys in Darkness. Great to hear about some new music for the game table! (See the article in “Tools” later for some other choices as well.)
- Ronin78 @ Gaming Ronin did a brief review of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game this week and found it a bit off from what he’s looking for in a supers game…
- Paco Garcia Jaen @ G*M*S Magazine put together a review of Mutants and Masterminds 3rd edition. Sounds like overall he digs the book, but wishes there was more of a setting and used a bit more fluff.
- McMouse @ LookingForGroup.Net Blog found a new name generator this week at WotC’s D&D site. Like him, I can’t believe I missed this one because it comes up with some GREAT names! Check it out here!
- Music during gaming sessions is one of those love or hate things… But Geoffrey @ Stuffed Crocodile has some great suggestions for gaming music if you are in the market for some new tunes…
That’s it for this week on the news front. If you want a bit more, check out the Weekly Roundup at Roving Band of Misfits, the Weekly Assembly from Gamer Assembly, and Chris Hackler’s “What’s Up With D&D?” at ENWorld. There’s definitely plenty of news go go around!
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 or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next week!
There are more links available at my Bundlr collection today, but the grid isn’t working, so here’s the link…
- In Case There Was Any Doubt: 5 Reasons We Need A Buckaroo Banzai Sequel (slightlyburnedpants.com)
- Buckaroo Banzai’s Marvelous End Titles Tell You Everything You Need to Know About This Strange Film (biblioklept.org)
- [Atomic Robo] Action. Science. Dice. from Spirit of the Blank (spiritoftheblank.blogspot.com)
- Friday Knight News – Gaming Edition: 9-MAR-2012 (gameknightreviews.com)
- Freelancer Interview: Adam Roy (gameknightreviews.com)