Category Archives: Role-Playing Games

Hero Forge: Your mini the way YOU want it

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Imagine, if you will, a world in which you may have a unique custom-designed mini made to order, tailored to your every whim. Gone would be the days of digging through boxes of discount miniatures, scanning the racks of your FLGS, or endlessly poring over pages of miniature catalogs to find that mini that is just right for your hero. Gone would be the feeling of having “passable facsimile” for a figure, hoping often in vain that some company out there crafted the image you want to represent your gaming avatar.

That world is here. Now.

I am very pleased to introduce Hero Forge Miniatures! Read the rest of this entry

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Forked-tongue-wagging in the Sorcerer’s Sewing Circle

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Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ~Genesis 3: 1-4

I discovered a game at GenCon this year that took hold of me instantly. It struck me with the nostalgia of the first time I picked up a copy of Mage: The Ascension, and was drawn in by the genre of modern mystics in role-playing games. This kind of game is right up my alley, and I can’t believe I completely missed out on the Kickstarter for it. I only found out about it on the last day of GenCon when I happened by the booth for it. Christopher Gabrielsson, the lead designer, was giving a demo, but I didn’t have time to stay for it. All I could do was snap a picture of their banner, and check it out when I got home. Serpent’s Tongue, the game in question, was seemingly designed especially for guys like me.

Serpent’s Tongue is a spellcasting card game for 1 to 8 players by UnBound Games. This card game, however, is unlike any other.

Games such as Magic: The Gathering simply have you tapping resources, playing cards, and resolving effects, The Serpent’s Tongue takes this a few steps further. First of all, selection of spells to play is not random. Each player has a physical grimoire of spells that they can select from, eliminating many of the most frustrating random elements of game play, and gearing the experience more towards strategy. Read the rest of this entry

No ‘Bones’ about it!

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One of my biggest regrets in gaming is not making better use of miniatures. Most of the time I end up cannibalizing my Descent and Dragonstrike board games for tabletop minis, but I die a bit on the inside when I tell my players that those Skeletons with the bows are actually armored warriors…because they’re totally not.

 

 

Not having enough proper minis for gaming always boiled down to “meh. I don’t really have the cash to spend on minis.” I’m fairly certain I just heard all of the scoffing from every Warhammer player reading this. Well, that’s nice that you spend HUNDREDS of dollars playing Warhammer, but I’m pretty damned sure that it’s the only game you play. With Games Workshop‘s practically criminal pricing, it’s the only game you can AFFORD to play.
Even non-GW minis are friggin’ expensive; that is, if you want high-quality minis. Sure, you can make due with some of the pre-painted plastic minis that Pathfinder usually ships in randomized boxes, but you’re never certain of what minis you’re going to get. After all, what in the hell am I going to do with 8 copies of a “half-elf Cleric?” Host a revival? Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan of Pathfinder minis…sure, they’re cheap, pre-painted plastic that some may turn their nose up at, but they work great for any gaming table. I just don’t care for the random  element for buying minis. At $12 a box, those minis still boil down to $3 a pop for crap I don’t need.

 
Most metal, high-detail miniatures run between 5 to 7 dollars per mini…or upwards of 10 to 12 (and higher) if you’re Games Workshop. This is standard for a single medium mini. This means it just cost between $25-35 to just have a party of 5 heroes on the table. Thus, for those of us who aren’t financially blessed, miniatures are a huge luxury of gaming. Read the rest of this entry

The Crystal Ball: GenCon 2013

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of the year again, as GenCon is literally next week! I’m as excited as one can get without experiencing incontinency. It’s the 46th year of the biggest gaming convention in North America. Like last year, GenCon broke pre-registration records, and we’ll probably see record-breaking attendance numbers this year as well. This year in particular is going to be extra-special, but I can’t reveal why just yet. A tease, I know, but if I told now, it’d spoil the surprise for someone special!

For such an important yearly pilgrimage to the nerd holy land, one must be armed with the knowledge of just what to spend your accumulated wealth on. Let’s look into the crystal ball and divine what goodies will be available at GenCon! Read the rest of this entry

Shadowrun 5: Raising the Glass Ceiling

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It’s no big secret anymore, chummers; Shadowrun Fifth Edition is on it’s way, and like it or hate it, there are going to be some changes. Now, before you toss your dice, burn your 4th Edition books and flip the game table, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

 
First of all, Fifth Edition is keeping all of the basic systems of Fourth Edition. This isn’t like coming off of Third Edition where you basically had to learn the game from the ground up. Dice Pools are still calculated in the same way, and all of the tropes you’ve come to expect are present and accounted for.

 

Read the rest of this entry

Wizards of the Coast has Resurrected Dungeons & Dragons!

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I haven’t played Dungeons & Dragons in YEARS. I know, for one who claims to be a lore-master of gaming, this is a pretty damning admission. I’ve moved on to greener pastures. When Wizards of the Coast announced 4th edition, I wasn’t exactly thrilled…when I actually got a copy of 4th edition, I converted to Pathfinder and never looked back. Sure, “DnD Next” is on it’s way, and while they’ve made strides to improve the game for grumpy old wizards like myself, it’s still a long way from being satisfying…but that’s neither here nor there.

 

 

Yesterday, Wizards has announced the opening of their new website, “DnD Classics.” This website is devoted to codgers like me who yearn for “the good old days,” and keep shouting at “those new adventurers to get the hell off our lawn.” Essentially, Wizards is releasing the entire back catalog of Dungeons & Dragons products, all the way back to first edition! Read the rest of this entry

Apocalypse Not Now

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It was foretold long ago in centuries past by the ancient Mayans. The end of a B’ak’tun; a time period in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. Some New Agers think that it was going to mark the birth of a new positive spiritual or physical transformation for mankind, and others think that it marked the end of it all.

What does this entail? Well, four good friends of mine have always put it best… Read the rest of this entry

Dungeon Porn

I’ve spent the last couple of hours browsing through Dungeon Porn.

Yes, you read that correctly. Now, depending on what you were thinking when you read the title of this article, your curiosity was piqued by what displays of unapologetic nerdery in Dungeons & Dragons I was perusing…

 

 

…or you immediately thought I was linking you to some sort of BDSM website, and have forgotten what kind of blog this is. If you are the latter, shame on you. You are a disgusting pervert. Leave.

If you are still with me, or are just lying to yourself (you know who you are!), let me tell you of a wonderful piece of fantasy gaming that’s making dungeon crawling an experience of epic proportions!

Read the rest of this entry

Shadowrun to follow in Paizo’s GameMastery footsteps? I hope so!

Have you ever had that moment as a Game Master when you are running some epic combat, and you realize that you have NO idea whatsoever what the spell “Arglefargle’s Malignant Zazzlefrazz of Malcontent” does? Well, I don’t either, but that’s because it’s an absolutely ridiculous example…but you get my point. We’ve all had those moments where a game comes to a halt because someone has to look up what a certain spell or ability does, or you need to know those vital stats of a weapon, or perhaps you don’t have EVERYTHING written down for those monsters the heroes are fighting.

 
Yes, perhaps you can take the time to write everything down, or keep a thousand and one tabs in your game books to their appropriate pages, but that puts a bunch of (in my opinion) unneeded wear and tear on your books. This problem is much worse if you’re one of those “living in the twenty-first century” kids whose entire book collections are a bunch of PDFs on an iPad. What’s a gamer to do to make things easier?
Well, the solution starts with a little company that could, did, and trashed the competition… Paizo Publishing. Read the rest of this entry

Savage Worlds: Never A Dull Moment

I’ve played many an RPG in my time. I like to think of myself as a “Renaissance nerd,” having a wide variety of refined tastes and broad knowledge of gaming. Whether this is the truth, or a self-serving brazen exaggeration is up for debate.
When I’m in the mood, I’ll often revisit favorite RPGs. As mentioned before; I love a wide variety of RPGs. However, there are a select few that never fail to inspire me to start up another campaign, or take the books off of my shelf just to read them for fun.

If I had to name a favorite RPG of all-time, it would be Ars Magica (Atlas Games), for obvious and very biased reasons. Also quite apparent to readers is my fondness for Shadowrun (Catalyst Game Labs). Also in my top five RPGs is a little gem called Deadlands (Pinnacle Entertainment Group) by Shane Lacy Hensley (great guy, by the way!). Read the rest of this entry