Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A few months ago we told you about a cool game called Mazes & Minotaurs. Well with a loyal fan base and an upgrade to their presentation, a good game just got better. Go check them out. Mazes & Minotaurs is just another reason to "Just say no" to $40.00 games that don't offer half the substance that this labor of love offers.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Noted fantasy artist Jim Holloway finally has a website showcasing some of his marvelous work.
For me Mr. Holloway's art personifies gaming. His works conveyed adventure, action, and humor. His illustrations are filled with life and movement, when you look at a Holloway illustration you often get the feeling you just walked into the middle of something, whether it's a gunfight, a car chase, or a horde of zombies trying to break down a door. Jim Holloway was the first artist that showed me the funny side of lizard men- His illustrations taught me to lighten up, that D&D could be goofy and fun from time to time. During my personal Golden age" of gaming in the 80's I was a TSR fanatic D&D, AD&D, Gangbusters, Star frontiers, Mini games, Dragon magazine, Etc. I bought em all and Jim Holloway's art was in all of it. I was never into the stark,dark and brooding styles of later artists. I gamed to get away from dark and brooding. Although, Holloway could do terror. the opening page of the Chill book proves that - remember,the hand coming out of the grave and the old guy with the pistol- classic.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Deep7 is a small independent gaming company started by Todd and Samantha Downing a few years ago. They came out with a real simple yet innovative game engine called the “1 page system”, basically all the rules you use for the game are on one page. With that and a couple of other interesting titles they were off and running. Some small success followed and things were looking good. Unfortunately, Samantha was diagnosed with cancer. After a brave fight, she died in April of 2005. To add to the tragedy of losing her, Todd’s home burned down on Valentine’s Day of 2006. As you can imagine these events, coupled with Todd now having to raise two kids on his own, have left little time for game design. As a fan of Deep7 I wanted to do something to help. With the assistance of James Stubbs from Heyoka studios and artist Jeff Hebert the creator of Heromachine, we created a game, using the 1page system, called “Broadsword.”
Broadsword is a game of Swords & Sorcery. No Elves, no Dwarves, no kindly Wizards in pointy hats, just brawny guys in loincloths and gals in chainmail bikinis fighting demons, sub-human ape-men, and evil sorcerers.
We have donated the game to Deep7 to hopefully spark some new interest in the system and maybe help Todd out a bit. We are asking those of you in the gaming community to join us in helping out one of our own by purchasing a copy of the game. You can find Broadsword available for instant download here at Precis Intermedia’s website and at RPGNow.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Back in April I posted about a project to bring the TSR Conan game back from the dead.
The ZeFRS project is making steady strides towards becoming a reality. Over half of the core book has been uploaded to a website, there is a PDF copy being prepared, we have a dedicated forum to toss about ideas and discuss all aspects of the Sword and Sorcery genre, and we are preparing a Fanzine titled “Scrolls of the Red Brotherhood”. All in all a very solid effort from a group formed around a three year old discussion thread on RPGNet.
There was a similar effort begun for the FASERIP gaming system a couple of months back- there was a lot of buzz and over $1000.00 was raised to pay Phil Reed to write it. That project has since languished. It seems that Phil got a full time job, and the project we paid him for was promptly put on the back burner, the last update was in April. I’m sure it’ll eventually arrive, but I’m getting ho-hum about it. I’d much rather divert my enthusiasm to ZeFRS.
Friday, May 11, 2007
After months of waiting, I finally have a hard copy of Hollow Earth Expeditions. Words simply cannot describe how mesmerizing this book is, you actually need to hold a copy in your hands.
It is so freaking beautiful, you'll want to just sit down and start reading right there in the store. If one look at the cover of this book doesn't make you whisper "Wow", then I feel sorry for you my friend, cause your gaming soul has died. I have had the PDF of this game, and I am a big proponent of the usefulness of PDF's, but no PDF in the world will prepare you for how cool this game looks in your hands. I gotta go now, I have some reading to do.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Well it’s time I did another one of these. Just so I can gauge myself and what’s going on.
All in all personally and hobby-wise, I’m being kept rather busy.
A combination of illnesses, surgeries, and bad timing has brought my tabletop gaming to an end for the present. I remain optimistic, now that the surgery is over and all. My biggest problem is finding one or two more people who I want to game with. And that’s the key, finding people is easy-
finding people you want to bring into your home and around the wife and kids is the tough part.
Legends of Steel
In February I sent drafts out to some trusted friends for feedback and advice. I got tons of both. Overall everyone liked what they saw, but there were a few areas that needed to be addressed. I’m addressing them and plan to send out a Beta to the folks in the LoS review team very soon.
Well I can finally let the cat out of the bag. What was slowing up Broadswords release was a restructuring of the licenses over at Deep7. It really had nothing to do with the game, which was already completed, but it had everything to do with releasing it. Now that has all been cleared up and it’s scheduled to come out by end of May. No really.
Another iron in the fire
One of the points that was brought up during the reviewing of the LoS draft was that the engine I built for LoS has a good chance of holding up in other genres that have the same cinematic flair as Sword & Sorcery, namely Pulp Adventure. Unfortunately it seems that lately everyone and their brother is releasing “Pulp-something”. So I started trying to brainstorm something different and yet stay in the type of gaming I enjoy so much. I finally think I came up with something.
A noted game designer named Ryan Dancey wrote some advice for aspiring game designers. Here is one of his quotes.
“Have a simple, one sentence answer to the question “why should I play this game”. (or its close variant, “what is different about this game”). If you can’t answer that question in one sentence, you’re doomed.”
Okay, so here is mine:
Mission: Adventure! is a Roleplaying game set in a "pulp-style" universe, that re-creates the action / adventure television, comic book, and toy themes of the 60's and 70's.
The key point to wrap your mind around is the time period- 60’ and 70’s.
It’s still Pulp in spirit, but it’s a whole new world setting-wise.
So basically, Broadsword The Sword and Sorcery game using the 1PG system from Deep7 will soon be out. And any spare minutes during my nights and weekends are still being spent on "Legends of Steel" and now “Mission: Adventure!” as well.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Are you ready for a roleplaying challenge? I mean some serious role-playing? In “Idyll”, Heyoka Studios newest addition to the 1PG system from Deep7, Players enter the world of Romantic Fantasy. Idyll pays homage to the writings of authors Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, and others.
This is a very well defined genre of fiction with a very loyal fan base. But to be honest at first glance I wasn’t too sure how it would play out with a table of gamers. However, the more I considered it, the more possibilities I saw. Romantic Fantasy has all the requirements of your standard meat and potatoes fantasy adventure- the struggle of good versus evil, rousing combat, evil villains, deadly traps and perils, the supernatural- with the addition of a story line more substantive than: “We go to Ork mountain to loot the Warlocks tower.” In Romantic Fantasy the characters are driven by more than material desires, they are driven by passions both good and bad. Revenge and betrayal can play just as central a theme as true love.
There are two requirements that must be fulfilled for idyll to work for you.
The first and foremost requirement of playing in this genre is that you have to buy into the idea of heroic romance. And there is nothing weak or emasculating about romance. Heroes throughout history have done the impossible in the name of love. Men have crossed seas, led armies and toppled empires for the love of a woman.
The second requirement is that when playing a game of romantic fantasy, you must be mature about it. While a little goofing off is a healthy part of any gaming experience, when dealing with Romantic Fantasy the giggling and off-color comments should be kept under control. The payoff is the opportunity for a real intense roleplaying experience.
The game makes good use of the 1PG rules system. There are rules for magic, advice on setting the mood, sex, and love. Plenty of hack n slash equipment; swords, daggers, pistols and muskets, as well as poisons, garrotes and nooses. Skills include: seduction, oratory, shooting, and spell-casting. Included with the 1PG sheet and refereeing material are six individual adventures, each one ideal for an evenings play.
Now remember, this is a 1PG game. Which means that everything in it is dealt with very briefly- roll some stats, get some skills, grab a sword and a brace of pistols, name the character and start playing! And by the way, this is a great way to introduce gaming to a spouse or significant other who may enjoy Romantic Fantasy but never made the leap to roleplaying, not only that but with a little tweaking and imagination Faerie tale adventures for young children could easily be created using Idyll. Adventures like Sleeping beauty or even modern faerie tales like Shrek would be perfect for this fast playing system.
My only minor quibble with Idyll is the absence of any skills or background for the Rogue/ Bandit type character. Skills like climbing, thievery, acrobatics, etc. would have been very true to the genre. But as I said earlier this is a 1PG game and there is only so much you can fit on a page.
look for Idyll at RPG Now.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
For a couple of weeks I've been hanging out with a few guys over at Midnight's Lair.
Tim K. over at the exceptional and frequently updated Heropress Blog turned me on to their most excellent gaming podcast and I found my way to their forums from there. The podcast is fun and informative- covering gaming reviews, old time radio, interviews, social issues in regards to gaming, hokey jokes, and pleas for more listeners and feedback.
The forums have areas for discussing gaming, comics, TV and movies, PBEM gaming and of course an open forum. from what I gather it's an all male group, most of the active posters are from Canada and the Midwestern U.S. and several of them game together regularly.
The atmosphere at Midnight's Lair is very friendly and welcoming (hell, the first thing they do when they notice a new member is welcome them, which is cool, must be a Canadian thing). Other than good natured ribbing I've seen no indication of flaming or trolling. there are some good discussions taking place from time to time, and no energy is wasted blasting other forums, individuals or game systems. All in all they are a very positive group. If you tire of some of the posturing, posing, and grade school drama found at the other larger gaming forums, stop by Midnights Lair- Come in peace, leave your baggage and attitude at the door- and let's talk gaming and stuff.