Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Here's your chance to own a jet fighter

For only $100! Apparently the South Koreans are expecting this loss leader to result in additional sales of other aircraft.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Well, this sucks.

Loren has dropped out of my D&D game.  He's a nice guy and a lot of fun at the game table, but I think it was quite rude of him to go and find a better paying job that conflicts with my game schedule.  Didn't he stop to think about me and my feelings before he quit his crappy job at the Meijer?
But seriously, best of luck to him and his new gig.  Hopefully we'll be able to play together again soon.  Pat, now it's your turn to find a better job.  Just not on game night.

It's Up!

My review of Excursion into the Bizarre has been posted to RPGnet.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

a note to gamers passing through Decatur, Illinois

The Millikin University campustown has a little shop called Capital Comics & Games. If I were big into clickies or anime or comics I'd probably give Capital a thumbs up. It's a clean, well-lit store chock full o' merchandise, include a DVD rental service and a nice display of heroclix singles for sale. As a role-playing game fan, the joint is lame. They have four products for sale, a couple of Wizards hardbounds (including the DMGII) and a couple of new World of Darkness books. Whoop-dee-friggin'-doo. I talked briefly to the nice guy behind the counter. He's made the rational business decision to forgoe shelfspace for RPGs in order to stock faster-moving, higher-margin products. I can respect that, but I don't have to like it. The Waldenbooks at the mall in nearby Forsythe, Illinois is a better FLGS than Capital. At least they have the new Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing game next to all the D&D and nWoD stuff.

I'm pretty excited

I just finished the first draft of a review for RPGnet. This will be my first time submitting a review anywhere. Two years ago, when I first started blogging, this was one of my goals. I figured the blogging would increase my level of comfort and confidence in my own writing such that I could bring myself to submit a review or two for publication. And as far as I'm concerned RPGnet counts just as much as a publication as would any print product. In my mind it has replaced the old school era of Dragon as the premier place to go for generalist rpg material and as the center of the world-wide rpg community. RPGnet's warm reception of my Wraeththu report convinced me that now was the time for me to finally write up a review and fire it off. I'm not quite to that point yet, though. My first draft is a little rough in spots and needs some revising. Still, I'm pretty jazzed about the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Spraypainted on a nearby stopsign:

Anybody know what the hell this symbol represents?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Interesting Iron Heroes Comment

Monte Cook's Iron Heroes: I demoed this twice and while it's very cool for d20, it's still d20, and it still has the limitations from d20 that I don't like very much. For example, when playing the Berzerker, I wanted to pick up and throw the cowering cultist at the snake god, but I had to enter his square, grapple, and throw, and throwing would've had a 10' range increment and have only done 1d3+str bonus, with a -4 to hit for nonproficiency, and that would've taken a couple of rounds. So yeah, stunting, but not stunting-friendly enough for me. By the time the weekend had ended and I weakened enough to buy it despite these difficulties, it was sold out.

This item is from RPGnetter RobNJ, in a thread about GenCon purchases. His remark kinda takes the shine off any interest I had in Iron Heroes.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quote of the Day

"It's all about Jubei fighting M. Bison for the body of Patroklos, and dammit, they can do it on top of the blood-soaked temple of the Sleestaks."

- Geoff Grabowski describing the essence of Exalted (quote courtesy of RPGnetter MalteseChangeling)

[It's the attitude described in the quote above that keeps me interested in Exalted. But the setting AND the mechanics both seem to get in the way of me realizing this essential awesomeness. Maybe it's because I don't get dicepools or maybe it's because I'm stuck on levels and classes, but I'd really prefer to achieve Exalted's goals via World of Synnibarr or SenZar or Lords of Creation or Arduin or Rifts. Heck, even D&D 3.5 with the lid off would do.]

My Ten Favorite Terms for GM

Dungeon Master - Dungeons & Dragons

Runemaster - Runequest

Hollyhock God - Nobilis

Ghost Master - Ghostbusters

the Creator - SenZar

Fate - World of Synnibarr

Ninja Master - Night of the Ninja

Excursion Master - Excursion into the Bizarre

the Keeper - Call of Cthulhu

Zombie Master - All Flesh Must Be Eaten

(Of these I have earned the right to call myself by the titles Dungeon Master, Hollyhock God, Ghost Master, and Keeper. I have yet to run the other six games. And I don't own copies of Runequest or Night of the Ninja yet.)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Electrons for Sale

Here's a quick survey of some RPG items of the electronic variety, all of which look pretty cool to me. This list is in no particular order and is broken down by vendor.

RPGNow (I buy most of my game-related electrons from these folks)

DriveThru RPG (The recent Camarilla nonsense has soured me on White Wolf and all their affiliates, but this stuff still looks cool.)

  • All the World's Monsters II (Old school monster compilation. Very early release from The Chaosium.)
  • All the World's Monsters III (Incidentally, the only reason I choose to pass on volume I of this series is because my friend Pat owns a copy. I don't want to spoil any encounters he might run with those freaks. I believe the air squid Munge the Half-Orc executed with a +1 arquebus was from the first volume.)
  • Pocket Empires (The fourth edition of Traveller was a troubled line, but here's one of the true gems that came out of T4: Empire building and economic simulations for the alltime greatest sci-fi rpg.)
  • (I used to have a hankering for Star Riders, a sci-fi comedy rpg based on the Teenagers From Outer Space system. But since Greg Stolze released in Spaaace! that niche has been more than adequately filled for me.)
  • DriveThru also deserves some kudos for getting the FGU and Judges Guild catalogs back into circulation.

e23 (I haven't bought anything from Steve Jackson's new venture yet. The sure-fire way they could get my business would be to make GURPS Aliens available in pdf.)

Cumberland Games & Diversions (S. John Ross's publishing venture.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mysterious Benefactor Unleashes Hastur

While I was gone on vacation someone contacted Dennis Detwiller and gave him all the money he wanted to release Insylum, a Hastur Mythos rpg. Detwiller: "This fantastic individual (who I wish I could name!) has made it possible for a whole slew of half finished work to reach the world. They've single-handedly revived my faith in the game industry!"

Expect the full version of Insylum to be available for free download in the next couple weeks. In the meantime a pre-release of the game mechanics section can be found here. You can follow the development of Insylum and other Detwiller efforts at his blog. Detwiller, posting on RPGnet: "Next in the pipe will probably be Delta Green: Black Cod Island or Part 1 of Delta Green: Future/Perfect."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Quote of the Day

"There are things in the Universe billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless, and if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know. We've tried and we've learned that we can either stay out from underfoot or be stepped on. They are a mystery and I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the Universe, that we have not explained everything. Whatever they are, Miss Sakai, they walk near Sigma 957 and they must walk there alone."

- Ambassador G'Kar, Babylon 5

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Just watched Versus

Now I can say I've seen a zombie movie from start to finish besides Plan 9 From Outer Space. So that's nice.


Holy crap! This movie rocks so hard it makes my balls hurt! Go watch it. Right now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

a campaign concept inspired by a dream

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your first day here at Time Patrol Academy. No doubt you have questions. Yes, Jenkins?"

"Sir, I understand why I'm holding a primer on temporal physics and why this six volume overview of history is sitting on my desk. These other two books, though, what gives? The Book of Revelations with Commentary? And the Necronomicon?"

"You need to understand, Jenkins, that St. John of Patmos and Abdul Al-Hazrad were among the first two scholars to observe temporal paradox in the field. As you'll soon discover in Temp Phys 101, too much paradox in any one time period triggers the apocalypse."

"Excuse me, sir?"

"You see, the apocalypse is a five dimensional discontinuity in the structure of the universe. Too much paradox can trigger the endtimes at any point along the spacetime continuum, erasing everything that happens after that point. St. John and Al-Hazrad did their best to describe the initial symptoms of the apocalypse, though they lacked the scientific training to understand much of what they saw. Still, things like the dead rising and blood dripping from the sky really do happen during the initial stages of most observed apocalypses. In fact zombie attacks are the primary hazard you'll have to endure while attempting to undo temporal paradoxes in the field."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stolze game ransomed

in Spaaace!, Greg Stolze's new sci-fi comedy rpg has met its ransom goal. Go here and click on the in Spaaace! logo to get your copy. I haven't had a chance to finish reading my copy yet, as my download via dial-up just got done, but the Hitchhiker's and Red Dwarf vibe is present from the get-go. For similar sci-fi comedy gaming check out S. John Ross's Sparks: Watch the Skies! and Points in Space, as well as the wargame Red Chicken Rising (found here, you'll need to scroll down a bit). Sometime I'd like to run a scenario set in the Red Chicken universe but using the Starmada Compendium rules.

In further Ransom Model news, it looks like Dennis Detwiller (P&P entry here) is considering using a ransom system to release some stuff. I think ransoming a Delta Green product could generate a pretty hefty chunk of cash. Here's the RPGnet thread discussing the matter.

You know, I really should get around to playing Meatbox Massacre, Stolze's first ransom game.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

More Zombage

Continuing the theme of my obsession with the restless dead, here's a nifty link:

Stop the Zombies

This applet starts with the old Zombie Infection Simulator that's been around for years, but adds a bit of interactivity. You get to call in airstrikes by clicking on the screen. Can you stop the undead menace? What sort of casualties will you accept to do so? Fascinating stuff.

In non-zombie news I'm continuing to plod through World of Synnibarr. I've just about convinced myself to try running this thing. The system is rough in places but I disagree with the general tendency to label Synnibarr as one of the worst games ever made.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Back from the Dead

Or back from St. Paul, whichever you prefer. The hotel I was at had free web access in the form of a single PC in the lobby. Between the serious business men conducting serious business and the teenagers LOLing and OMGing, I got only one opportunity to access the web. I was online just long enough (before my daughter insisted we visit SesameStreet.com) to discover that the zombies had gotten Buck Rodriguez, my heroic firefighter PC in Urban Dead. Poor bastard, he had been doing fairly well fighting his one-man war against the undead menace but he made the stupid mistake of taking shelter in a building he only thought was zombie-free. Now he joins the mindless ranks of such luminaries as my other PC, Putrid Joe. Putrid Joe was also killed while I was away, but he just got back up and continued rampaging. That's the silver lining of being a zombie, I guess. One disturbing turn of events was that one of Putrid Joe's attackers was a fellow zombie. Hey guys, I thought we were all on the same team against the fragrant and tasty forces of the living! Little Eddie, my cowardly little civilian, has just found his backbone and is trying to help eliminate the zombie menace from Stickling Mall, a pseudo-refuge in the city.

I made it over to The Source on Wednesday and almost went apeshit buying new stuff. I ended up leaving with a copy of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, one of its supps, and AFMBE's lesser known competition Zombi: The Earth Won't Hold the Dead. Funny thing. I've got zombies on the brain lately, but the only zombie movie I've seen in its entirety is Plan 9 From Outer Space. My one non-zombie oriented purchase was The Nopress Anthology, an indie compilation that I have coveted since its release last GenCon. At one point I had in hand a copy of every All Flesh supp in stock, as well as the new Fudge hardback, but I decided to try and be reasonable. I think I reached my most fevered moment when I found myself seriously considering buying the entire Nightlife product line, just 'cause I could. I always thought a game in which the PCs were all vampires in the modern world could really be cool, if someone could write such a thing and not fuck it up. ;)