Greetings and welcome to another Friday news roundup here at Game Knight Reviews. Another busy week stuffed full of crazy goodness. Thankfully there’s gaming to really put everything else in perspective, right?
Last weekend I participated in the City Wide Gaming Event in Colorado Springs, CO, and had a blast playing a variety of board and card games, as well as a couple of quick sessions of The Dresden Files from Evil Hat and Warhammer 40,000. I suspect it was Deathwatch we were playing, but as I’m new to that corner of the universe I don’t really know. I had a great time over at Petrie’s Family Games and over the course of the weekend spent more than 10 hours having fun. This was the 3rd year for CWGE and I’m already looking forward to next year!
Other than that it was another entertaining week here at GKR – from Robert’s article about women’s roles in RPGs and the Gassy Gnoll discussing the art of the nap (also known as the “Short Rest” in 4e), to the review of LPJ Design’s NeoExodus Chanting Queen supplement for PFRPG and the continuing review of DCC RPG…
Who knows what next week will bring as we close out May 2012? I surely don’t! Must be time for the news then!
Food for Thought
- I’m hopeful that Patrick Benson @ Gnome Stew has found a new job since posting “Damnit Real Life, I’m Trying to GM Here!” but I haven’t seen him virtually celebrating as yet. (As a result, I’m still ending some good thoughts his way!) That said, his article about balancing life’s unexpected challenges and gaming raises some great suggestions when things come up. Keep looking for the silver lining – it’s there… somewhere!
- Meanwhile, David Melmo @ The Secret DM is hopefully enjoying some time in Hawaii with his wife! However, he’s struggling to find time to do some writing amid all the turmoil of the last few months. I struggle with this regularly myself and my only bright spot is this blog and the fact that somehow I do manage to write a few articles a week despite insanity at work, insanity with my daughters in soccer, and insanity with my wife’s schedule. As David quotes in the post – “There is never a ‘good time’ to write. You have to make the time; it will not manifest on its own.” I wish David and his wife all the best (new baby coming!) and can only say that it’s always a battle and it’s ok to lose the fight now and then but keep fighting the war! (Plus – sleep is optional; caffeine is mandatory.)
- Need some map inspiration? Erik Tenkar @ Tenkar’s Tavern has linked to some excellent maps Chris Perkins recently posted at WotC… Shiny!
- Do you dream of designing and writing games for a living? Some folks like The ArmChair General design games and write novels on the side until it allows him to do otherwise. Most of us I think do the same thing – work a full-time job and find time to fit in the blogging, writing, and gaming we all love to do. But if you work at it, I think it’s possible to change gaming from pure hobby to how you make a living…
- Sometimes a picture *is* worth a thousand words. This week Michael Wenman @ Observations of the Fox points us to a new infographic from Daniel Solis on Feedback Loops in Game Design. Brilliance. I must now ponder indefinitely…
- Sex. It’s a tough choice sometimes whether to include it in a campaign or not. Elin Dalstål @ Gaming as Women offers some great ideas on why you’d want to and what it can add to your stories this week…
- Looking for inspiration for a modern-day vampire campaign? Check out these pictures of the abandoned LA subway system from Geoff Manaugh @ io9… Creepy and dark. Perfect place for a vamp nest!
Games and Gaming
- There are so many games and game systems out now that it’s impossible to play them all. So I’m thankful for bloggers like Jay “Pointyman2000″ Anyong @ Life and Times of a Philippine Gamer for writing up “actual play” reports on the games they try out! This week Jay writes about his experience with the starter scenario for Eclipse Phase! Sounds like it was rough in spots, but an interesting experience.
- Do you need a cursed palace for your next campaign? Omlet @ Underworld Kingdom has just the thing… The Cursed Palace of Mar Gat’nep! I think while taking the tour I may have become lost in the Chambers of Thousand Questions for a bit, but maybe it just seemed that way with the school group there on a field trip at the time…
- Perhaps you’re pondering ways to make your epic level monsters more epic in 4E? Apparently Frothsof @ Frothsof 4E has a new project called 4E Forever that will do just that… And he offers a giant crab as proof! Now if I only had a giant steamer and some melted garlic butter…
- Also pondering Epic powers this week is Arcane Shield with a PDF featuring “Secrets of Necromancy – Epic Tier Powers.” If the image from Dezilon is any indication… I think we should be scared.
- Have your dungeons been inspected by the local union dungeon inspector? Checked to make sure it’s up to snuff with local and kingdom-wide building codes? Until this week, I’d never run across the idea of a “load-bearing boss” but it’s a great way to sum up a concept that occurs repeatedly in movies, TV, and computer games. You kill the big baddie and suddenly the cave/dungeon/building starts collapsing around you… Ravyn @ Exchange of Realities has some interesting ideas about twisting the concept a variety of ways…
- There are days I ponder hermitage… Rolang @ Rolang’s Creeping Doom came up with a way to create any number of random hermits for your game. One of them may even have an invisible friend!
- What ever happened to Star Wars SAGA from WotC? Well, it’s coming back – resurrected if you will – through the efforts of Raitalin @ D&D SAGA: The Lost Edition! He’s not updating it to 4e, but considering it “SAGA.5″.
- Apparently Pinnacle Entertainment Group is using Kickstarter to help fund its latest project – Deadlands: Noir. But Derek B @ Tales from the Savage Troll says they’re not alone in funding Savage Worlds projects there!
- In case you weren’t already helping out with Sean Andrew Murray’s Gateway: The Book of Wizards project, here’s a piece of art to potentially sway you to help out in the remaining 5 days! (If you help get the project to $20k, he’s making a poster-sized map of the city!)
- Looking for some laser-cut wooden customizable minis for your tabletop RPG or board game? Check out Guan Wang’s “Drakodex Laser-Cut Game Miniatures” project! For $20 you get $18 reusable minis you can draw on or put stickers on that should be more solid than some of the cardstock varieties with a plastic base.
- Occult Moon and The Crazy GM have been busy, releasing new issues of Toys for the Sandbox regularly – and #20 includes a small town with a magical, historical jail. Apparently the jail isn’t the only thing in town with a history however… The dwarven warden has a bit of a story himself! Check it out at RPGNow along with the rest of Occult Moon’s products!
- As the public playtest starts for WotC’s D&D Next efforts, Ethan Gilsdorf @ Wired’s GeekDad had a great interview with Mike Mearls talking about the playtest and where the game is headed next… (Chris Hackler @ Gaming Tonic also posted an article about his group’s 5th edition playtest experience so far now that the NDA has been lifted…)
- Rite Publishing and Jonathan McAnulty, the force behind the Curse of the Golden Spear Trilogy) are back with more news from Kaidan! Way of the Samurai offers details on some of the cursed island’s samurai clans. But more than that – archetypes, traits, prestige classes, and more. Check it out at RPGNow!
- Purple Duck Games and David Nicholas Ross take us back into the Purple Mountain with Purple Mountain II: Ruins of the Dwarven Delve – a PFRPG module designed for 2nd level characters exploring a ruined dwarven settlement with a dark past… Pick your copy up today!
- Looking for a product from LPJ Design? This is a great weekend to pick it up! LPJ is having a Memorial Day sale, knocking some products down to $1, others down 25% or 50%. Check out the LPJ Design store at RPGNow for details!
- Do you play Munchkin? Do you like Penny Arcade? Well guess what? Steve Jackson Games is going to release Munchkin Penny Arcade! Check out World of Munchkin for additional details.
- Also released this week is Scions of Evil from Raging Swan Press… Scions pulls together tons of villains and minions from earlier Raging Swan products like Antipaladins, Bandits of the Rampant Horror, Kai’s Scoundrels, Villains, and more. But it doesn’t stop there – it also adds 20 pages of new material – totaling 135 stat blocks in all. Need a bad guy? You should have more than a few here!
- Bad DM @ The Good, The Bad & The Gamer posted a review this week of WotC’s Halls of Undermountain – a huge dungeon crawl now updated for 4E. At 96 pages, it sounds like you get a lot of crunch in a short book, but it’s not all wine and roses. $29.95 is definitely steep for a single level of this monster dungeon!
- Pookie @ Reviews from R’lyeh took the time to review the Hellfrost Player’s Guide from Triple Ace Games for the Savage Worlds system this week… Sounds like it does a great job describing the world of Rassilon so the heroes may explore it!
- The 1st Ed AD&D Fiend Folio has been getting some love this week… Jason @ Wielding a Bohemian Ear Spoon has been looking at it… As has Paul @ Blog of Holding… I loved the book when I was playing in the mid-80s. Twisted critters to throw at characters!
- Thilo @ G*M*S Magazine reviewed Memorable Townsfolk from Purple Duck Games this week. It includes more than your average walk-on player with some unique qualities and stats for each, plus art! Sounds like a fun supplement!
- Looking for some popular German RPGs? Stargazer @ Stargazer’s World has just the thing… an article featuring a few of the more popular German RPGs to date!
- Do you need an island? Check out this cool island generator from some students at Stanford!
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 and the Weekly Assembly from Gamer Assembly. 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!