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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

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The GenCon 2012 Lineup

Well, folks, it’s that time again. GenCon 2012 is just a month away, and it’s high time a shopping list is made for your trip to the best four days in gaming! There’s some good stuff available this year, and I feel it to be my duty to help by listing off some highlights of games making their debut at Gencon this year. So, without further adieu, here’s the list I’ve dug up of what to look for on the vendor hall floor! Read the rest of this entry

Forbidden Alchemy is sure to concoct a draught of devilish delight!

You put de lime in de coconut and drank 'em bot' up...

“The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
–H.P. Lovecraft

Folks, there’s no hiding my love for all things Lovecraft in gaming. I’m a true sucker for a game of Arkham Horror, and now many of us have had the opportunity to go mad for Mansions of Madness. This great storytelling board game has become an instant favorite with me, and for a short time, some of us out there wondered if this fabulous game was ever going to see an expansion. Until I truly dug into the meat of the game, it looked pretty self-contained. The parts and puzzles that came with the game didn’t allow for much leeway in mixing things up. There would always be rune puzzles and wiring puzzles to solve, and the weapons and gear were pretty straight-forward, allowing little variation, or seeing anything new. There are but FOUR spells in the game (much to my chagrin), and they seem to cover every aspect of gameplay. Worse still, there were FIVE stories in the core set, and even though there are several choices to make in these stories that could be radically different, each premise was still the same. Mansions looked doomed to be a one-hit wonder.

Shame on me for having so little faith in the creative team over at Fantasy Flight Games… Read the rest of this entry

Keeping the spirit of Halloween alive

A rare +5 Nerd Pumpkin of Awesome

Greetings, fellow gamers!

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year. It’s one of those things that is the perfect amalgamation of good vibes. Aside from the obvious religious reasons for liking the holiday (and before you email me, YES, I know Christ wasn’t born on Dec. 25th), Christmas has always been that one time of the year where goodwill is a universal currency. People go out of their way to be nice to each other, and forget for even that short time that they would treat each other like crap at the drop of a hat on a different day. I like Christmas because people treat each other like humans (for once). Sure, some people get hung up and offended if you tell them “Merry Christmas” rather than be thankful for the well-wishes, but hey…some people thrive on misery.

Anyhoo, my SECOND favorite holiday is Halloween! Sure, I have a religious reason for that too, being what we Lutherans call “Reformation Day,” but it’s also been a load of fun growing up. Unless you’re Richard Dawkins or some other soul-less fun-hating douche-nozzle, humans have a natural fascination with all things paranormal. While Halloween, like Christmas, started as a pagan seasonal festival, it slowly over the years became a “secularized” holiday that remained an American tradition for decades. Read the rest of this entry

Eldritch Lament

Oh, Arkham Nights, how I long to attend thee…

Arkham Nights is one of the many themed “mini-conventions” that Fantasy Flight Games hosts at their expo center in Roseville, MN. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be attending THIS year, either. Of all of the themes, such as “Days of Ice & Fire” (Game of Thrones), “Realms of Terrinoth” (Runebound, Descent, etc), and one for Lord of the Rings which I can’t remember, I’ve wanted to attend Arkham Nights.

Arkham Nights, contrary to the above picture, is being held this year on October 14th – 16th. It’s packed with plenty of Mythos goodness, and best of all, swag for the various Lovecraft themed games that have done so well for Fantasy Flight Games.

Here’s a bit of info from the site itself: Read the rest of this entry