Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
FREE 2.5D and 3D paper minis that you have to SEE to BELIEVE.
The inspiration for that website came from encouragement of cardboard-warriors, which has lots of fan created paper minis....which of course run the gamut from decent to amazing. They also have monthly contests for the Hoard.
EDIT: Also check out this one that I found on cardboard warriors... miniature-games.com
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
January 29th - Gam3rCon Gameday IT'S COMPLETELY FREE!
Condor 19 - San Diego's long running sci-fi convention with a full gaming roster
Anime Conji is 2 weeks after ConDor.
Kingdom Con III Let's make this one AWESOME!!!! with a capital EPIC! Since Epic the RPG Blog will be celebrating its one year anniversary at Kingdom Con.
After Kingdom Con it's time for Gaslight Gathering 2 in May
Remember you can always check out the Convention Calendar for links to these great SD Conventions and to find out more information on dates.
Feel Free to use this for your own TRAVELLER games. Obviously you can't sell it since it Belongs to the TRAVELLER owners, not me.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Another quick review of a book I quite enjoy:
Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets—A Guide to the Pathfinder Society (PFRPG)
Paizo Publishing, LLC
At long last, the gates of the Grand Lodge have been thrown open, offering an inside glimpse of the Pathfinder Society! Packed with information about the most famous group of explorers on Golarion, this 64-page sourcebook is a must for any campaign that involves the Society, whether as employers or rivals.
- Inside, you’ll find:
- How to join the Pathfinder Society, and the rights and responsibilities of Society members
- The origin and secrets histories of the Pathfinder Society
- A detailed gazetteer covering the Pathfinder Society’s reception and activities in every nation of the Inner Sea Region
- Detailed maps and descriptions of the Grand Lodge of Absalom and the Society’s newest lodge in Magnimar, plus profiles of 15 high-ranking and notorious Pathfinders
- Thirteen new kinds of mystical ioun stones, three new variants for each type, and rules on how to implant these bizarre magic items into living flesh
- Rules for the mysterious compasses known as wayfinders, and how their ancient magic interacts with ioun stones
- Three new Pathfinder prestige classes, along with sample characters for each
- New feats and spells to help characters uncover ancient secrets—and protect their own!
By Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I'll most likely be running a TRAVELLER adventure called "No one can hear you scream"
Here's some other cool inspiration:
Cool Rail Zeppelin from 1929.
Neat 3D concept bikes.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
From the tortured sands of the Mana Wastes, where magic is as likely to tear you apart as it is to not work at all, to the perpetually frozen northern nation of Irrisen where the winter witches rule, magic is a part of life in the Inner Sea region. Whether it is wielded by benevolent clerics to keep their allies fighting the good fight or unleashed by wizards in the form of scorching blasts of fire, magic can be the difference between life or death. Or, as in so many cases, the cause of life or death.
- Inner Sea Magic explores the role of magic within this vast and varied region. Within this 64-page book, you will find:
- A who’s-who of powerful and famous spellcasters from throughout the Inner Sea region
- Details on four types of magical schools—arcane academies, spellcaster’s guilds, monasteries, and secret societies—along with rules for joining and studying with such organizations
- Rules for several types of specialized or variant magic, including the chaotic power of primal magic, the secrets of shadowcasting, the traditions of Thassilonian sin magic, and the wonders of Varisian tattoo magic
- Two new oracle mysteries (the primal-magic wielding spellscar mystery and the sinister Outer Rifts mystery)
- More than a dozen new archetypes for all sorts of spellcasters, including the black-blooded oracle, the Razmiran priest, the shadowcaster wizard, the tattooed sorcerer, and the winter witch
- Two new prestige classes—the cyphermage and the divine scion
- Dozens of new spells, from Aroden’s spellward to zone of foul flames!
by Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor
Quick Look: Published by Paizo Publishing for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.The book is broken into 5 sections, Magic of the Inner Sea, Variant Magic, Magic Schools, Spellcasters of the Inner Sea and Spells. As one of Paizo's standard Campaign Setting books, this one is a cool 64 pages, only 2 pages of wasted space, the index and OGL, on the first and last page respectively.
The first section starts out slow, but don't let this deter you, it primarily covers the areas and their magic, then covers the most well-known casters in the region, from Eando Kline to Baba Yaga.
The Variant magic section is pretty good, it covers the False Divine Magic of the Razmiran; The Fleshwarping magic primarily practiced by the drow; Primal Magic is the equivalent of the old Wild Magic, though primal magic is a more fitting name to me. Next comes the Riffle Scrolls featured in the Prince of Wolves book. Shadowcasting makes its appearance in Pathfinder as series of 4 feats. Tattoo magic as flaunted by its iconic representative, Seoni, the first part of this is the Inscribe magical tattoo feat and three magical tattoo magic items. The last of the covered magics is the Thassilonian Magic, the sin based magic of the Rune Lords.
Schools of Magic: A Bunch of new organizations based around the different schools of magic. Mechanically the schools don't make you different, but thematically, there are lots of Role-play interactions, and solid rewards that the schools offer.
Spellcasters of the Inner Sea: This is the meat of the product. With a nice amount of archetypes, many of which I feel should have been in Ultimate Magic instead of some of the weaker archetypes in that book.
This book also contains two prestige classes; The Cyphermage and Divine Scion, both solid Prestige Classes. Archetypes include:
Black Blooded Oracle (oracle) An archetype that revolves around the blood, which is a curse and a boon.
Chelish Diva (bard) This is my favorite of the book, as it takes the Cheliax love of opera and brings it into a fun, flavorful archeytpe, that gains medium and heavy armor proficiency at 5 and 11 in addition to two diva specific performances.
Crypt Breaker (alchemist): An Osirion based alchemist with powers specialized for tomb robbing, and combating the common tomb foes, undead and constructs. And trap finding, which replaces brew potion, making this a great PFS Alchemist.
Dawnflower Dervish (bard): Another Dawnflower Dervish archetype, this one being for bards. I personally have no problem with same named archeytpes for different classes. So if you want to play a Sarenrae worshiping bard, that twirls across the battlefield...this is she. (Note: this would make a nice Bladesinger for elves as well.
First Worlder (summoner): Another of my favorites, this archetype brings a couple of neat changes; fey based summon nature's ally, and a fey eidolon!
Hidden Priest (cleric): A priest that hides divine magic under the guise of arcane magic to escape persecution.
Mendevian Priest (cleric): This cleric class is designed to combat demons at the Worldwound, with heavy armor and tactical feats, it's a group oriented archetype.
Nimrathi Irregular (ranger): A ranger that is focused on stealth magic at the cost of heavier armor. The archetype also grants access to a single druidic spell per day.
Oenopion Researcher (alchemist) An alchemist with a slight twist on their mutagens, plus some later acid resistance.
Primalist (wizard): This is a gimme addition to the already fun alternate of primal magic. It makes them better overall, especially when it comes to primal effects.
Razmiran Priest (sorceror): The true power behind the false god. Much needed archetype for GMs using Razmiran false priests.
Shadowcaster (wizard): Another good addition to the new variant spell casters. Bonus spells and the ability to create more powerful shadow magic make this archetype solid.
Spire Defender (magus): The new class that's lacking archetypes, this one unfortunately falls short, removing the armors from his normal abilities, however he gains the normal abilities if he burns the feat or multiclasses (bit later for medium/heavy), but gains combat expertise and dodge as bonus feats, which might make it worthwhile for certain feat heavy concepts.
Sword of Valor (paladin): An Iomedae themed archetype, with initiative bonuses, the ability to grant temp HP with a channel, and the awesome ability to cause their opponent to surrender (under suggestion) after a smite evil.
Tattoed Sorcerer (sorcerer): Seoni and her ever familiar Varisian Tattoes, as probably the most pictured Iconic, this is an obvious arcehtype. It has some cool abilities, but at the cost of bloodline powers.
Tempest Druid (druid...duh): This is a storm based druid archetype, complete with trident. No animal companion, but lots of nice alternate abilities.
Vampire Hunter (inquisitor): As monster hunters to begin with, this archetype shouldn't be a surprise (and could easily be converted into a Lycan Hunter also). Abilities include, sun strike, giving a weapon sunlight damage bonuses, which even affect oozes and fungus based creatures.
Varisian Pilgrim (cleric): A wandering cleric, as traveler is a popular domain this becomes a no-brainer for those who love the travel domain, but want to worship another god. As a Varisian, they gain the ability to perform a Harrowing at 8th level.
Winter Witch (witch): This is the conversion for the Irrisen witches, as seen in Elaine Cunningham's Winter Witch novel. More powerful with ice magic, and lacking the ability to cast fire magic, these witches are pretty formidable opponents for either players or GMs.
Spells: The final section of this book is the spells. What magic book could be released without new spells? Well not this one. My personal favorite is the Bladed Dash spell (and greater version), which allows an 30 foot move with an attack on the way (greater allows attacks on every creature passed).
What magic book could be made with magic items? Um, this one, not a single magic item to be had. Guess we'll have to wait for Ultimate Equipment.
Artwork: Gorgeous artwork as usual. The cover is by Alex Aparin, gorgeous colors, though the perspective lines are off.
Usefulness? Must have if you play in Golarion. Many useful options if you play Pathfinder Society as well.
Cost: $19.99 for print version. $13.99 for the PDF version.
Value: EPIC! at $20, it's almost worth more than Ultimate Magic in my opinion. This is the kind of book I want to see more of. As archetypes are the best thing in Paizo's Pathfinder conversion, I want more more more. I would have liked to see some magic items, but, I'm impressed enough by the rest of the book, that it would have been icing on an already delicious cake. I'd give it a 98%.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I'll also be working on my RPG Superstar entry!!! I have some interesting ideas this year....
We Shall See....
Saturday, December 17, 2011
PSS #3-07: Echoes of the Overwatched (Lvl 1-5) (Pathfinder Society - Pathfinder RPG)
By James F. Mackenzie. When a Pathfinder agent working in the famed Blakros Museum in Absalom falls victim to a terrible, ancient evil, if falls to the PCs to hunt down the released terror before it can retrieve a relic of the mad astronomer Ralzeros the Overwatched. A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for Levels 1–5.
So 2nd level:
Kolslag the Chelaxian Hungry Ghost Monk of the Sacred Mountain
Xirius the Osirion Half-Elf Wolf Shaman
Aril the Taldan Elven Rogue
We had a blast, and several close calls, with both Xirius and Aril both unconscious at different parts of the adventure. Kolslag was nearly pulped as well. But in the end, we completed the overall mission, and Kolslag completed part of his mission, not knowing quite what he was looking for...(lack of appraise skill...)
Thursday, December 15, 2011
original article: ICV2
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
What can I say there's so much out there and what should you buy for that special gamer?
There are so many options out there, it really depends on what you're looking for, read reviews, and best of all know your gamer. If they love new gaming systems, perhaps Dresden Files is what they're looking for, I got that last year with my XMas bonus.
For our first year as a blog, we were introduced to many new games, from Battlegrounds and Munchkin, to the Doctor Who RPG and Dystopian Wars. It's been a fun 2011, rough on paper but fun regardless.
For Family Board Game Fun, Kill Doctor Lucky is great, but Munchkin is good too. Super Dungeon Explore is a fun game for families of experienced gamers...as it definitely needs experienced assembly.
For your Pathfinder gamemasters, well the Bestiary 3 is being released! What says holiday like monsters??? Well lots of things I'm sure...but, not to gamers!!! If you have the budget there's also the Complete Tome of Horrors for PFRPG, pricey but....over 800 monsters!!
If you have games you'd recommend just add a comment and why...
Links will be added later this week...deadlines....
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sneaking through your yard,
Going through your stuff,
Hope you didn't like your dog; we got a little rough!
Tied him to a stump,
Lit the stump on fire,
Maybe you'll wake up in time to put out puppy's pyre!
Now we're in your house,
It's fancied up so nice!
With shiny things set all about, there's lots to break and slice!
Hear's a stocking full,
And there's a gift-wrapped toy,
For a bit we stand agog-there's so much to destroy!
In a pile, Goblin style!
What could be more fun?
Breaking toys for girls and boys,
Until we're finally done!
When you wake, hearts will break;
Because we've had our way!
This is great! Let's celebrate!
A Goblin Holiday!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Amongst those games we're going to play are:
WarLands (Got the new PDF of the rulebook to try out)
Quao (we've played it twice, once more to get a good review of the hilarity)
Battleground (we've had it for a while, but haven't had a chance to play yet.)
This is a fun game, though like Zombies, it can drag out a little bit, but if everyone is on their toes, it can be played quickly. One great thing about Martians is the ability to play in either Non-cooperative or Cooperative modes. Playing in Coop mode is great for family game night. Get together to take down the mother ship and save your town from this Big Eyed Small Mouthed MARTIANS!!!
What you get...
30 Map Tiles, 40 Event Deck Cards, 30 Martian Deck Cards, 100 martian minis (3 different poses!), 6 player minis, 2 dice, lots of life and bullet tokens. This game is for 2-6 players.
What is the scenario?
Well you're smack dab in the middle of a Martian invasion, you need to locate the stuff needed to eradicate a Martian Mothership, namely fuel, fertilizer and of course dynamite. You need to find the Mothership, which is probably in one of those crop circles out on a farm!! The only problem is the streets are crawling with Martians!!! Fight your way to the ship. The game plays very similar to Zombies which I got to play at Pair-a-Dice's Halloween bash.
You start by drawing a random map tile and placing it in a legal location on the board, this is where you need to be careful to not run out of spaces in the coop board, since you might not be able to place all the farms where the motherships can be, 4 farm tiles, 4 crop circle tokens, only one of which is a mother ship...so if you can't place that last tile, you can lose that way. After tile placement, you roll a die to see how many squares you can move, you fight each martian you come across while moving by rolling 4+ when you're attacking one of those aliens, if you roll too low, you'll need to use your precious bullets to add to your score, otherwise you'll lose a life. Event cards can easily help turn the tide, with extra turns, bonuses or my favorite, the fellow in robes, saying "This is not the human you are looking for." which can negate a Martian Card. If you move across a map tile with an Alien icon in the center you must draw a martian card; some of which can be downright brutal, such as the We Come in Peace card, which causes ALL players to lose one life token.
All in all it's a fun game, that takes around an hour to play.
Artwork: Using the same art style that Zombies uses, the game has nice full color artwork, which definitely let's you feel you're in the game.
Humor: You're fighting Martians, and some of the cards draw on the pop-culture references we're all familiar with, making this a fun game to enjoy while you play it.
Cost $29.99 Value: I think that considering you get 106 plastic minis, 40 tiles, and 70 cards; that this is a decently priced game and worth the value.
Replay: We haven't gotten to play this a lot, so I'm not sure what the total replay value will be, I know that with two play modes it will easily be more playable than a normal non-coop game.
Family Rating 13+ Some of the cards have some pretty graphic pix on them, including a shotgun hole though a Martian's head....
Overall Rating: Epic!!!!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Having trouble getting the videos uploaded, please stand by...
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step
posted by Ryan Dancey on Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Hello and welcome! This is the first in a series of essays we'll be writing about the development of Pathfinder Online. We currently plan to post new blogs every two weeks on Wednesday, so keep an eye on this page for commentary on the project as it unfolds. You can also find us interacting with the community in the Pathfinder Online section of the Paizo messageboards.
My name is Ryan Dancey and I'm the CEO of Goblinworks, the company we have created to develop and publish the Pathfinder Online MMO. The staff and management of Goblinworks is separate from Paizo Publishing, although Lisa Stevens is both the CEO of Paizo and the COO of Goblinworks. We think that's the best arrangement to ensure a smooth integration of Paizo's role as owner and licensor of the Pathfinder world, and Goblinworks' role as developer and publisher of the MMO. Lisa and I are joined by CTO Mark Kalmes, who has a long history of being an engineering lead in the MMO field. He worked on City of Heroes at Cryptic Studios, and was the Software Director for the World of Darkness MMO project at CCP.
An Audacious Plan
When I first approached Lisa about a Pathfinder MMO, I presented a plan roughly on par with the kind of development that had been the norm in the industry for the past 5 years: a $50+ million budget, a 3 to 5 year timeline, and a development staff of 50 to 75 people.
One of Paizo's strengths is that they work very efficiently, and spend money when and where it counts the most. So Lisa took one look at that plan and challenged me to think outside the box. "Rather than telling me how to do it the way everyone else is doing it," she said, "tell me how to do it for the smallest budget possible while still achieving our goals." Those goals are to produce a game with the same high-quality standards for design, art, storytelling, and community involvement that Paizo has instilled into their Pathfinder products.
Since I live for challenges like that, I spent weeks re-engineering the plan, making it leaner and more efficient, and thus making it take less and less time, and cost less and less money. In the end, we arrived at what I consider to be a revolutionary approach, which I'm going to share with you today.
The Middleware Advantage
Until recently, every MMO was built from the ground up—every significant system was created by that MMO's developers. The clients, the servers, and all the "glue" that makes an MMO work had to be created, integrated and maintained by the development team. This is expensive. It requires a lot of time. And it's risky—you're making a bet that your team can solve a lot of problems of security, privacy, scale, and exploit protection in the face of a growing community that has become expert at attacking these kinds of systems.
But there has been a recent sea-change in the market. Now it is possible to license middleware—the software that does many of these key functions—from companies that have battle-tested it in released games. The burden has been lifted from the shoulders of the game design teams, allowing them to focus on what they do best: create innovative and engaging game designs populated by interesting and visually stunning landscapes, characters, buildings and creatures. Thanks to middleware, it's now possible to create a working internal prototype of an MMO in a matter of months.
We are negotiating with several middleware vendors, and once we've finalized things, we'll be talking more about the capabilities of specific software and how it will be used in Pathfinder Online. But all of the options we're considering will give us state-of-the-art technology without the high upfront cost for design and development, or the ongoing cost of maintenance and upgrades.
Sandbox vs. Theme Park
We've already told you that we're making a sandbox MMO with theme park elements. That's another key to our strategy. One of the challenges standard theme park MMOs face is that they have to do two things before they can be released: They have to build a complete multiplayer virtual world, and then they have to populate it with a massive amount of playable content—the theme park.
In most MMO development plans, that theme park content is where the budget is spent. Creating the assets for the graphics and sounds—and whatever custom programming is needed to make those assets do what the designers want—and then designing the levels to present the challenges that the designers have imagined soaks up lots of time. And that theme park content has to be extensively tested to ensure that it works as designed, adding further development time. And time, in the MMO business, is money, in the form of salaries and overhead. (The ultimate expression of the theme park process is coming very soon in the form of Star Wars: The Old Republic, from EA/Bioware. I have been told by people I trust within the industry that this project's budget has exceeded $300 million. It is the Avatar of this generation of MMOs.)
The result of this time/cost function is that theme park MMOs must attract a huge number of players on release so that they can recoup those huge overhead costs as fast as possible. This creates a feedback loop that dooms many MMO developers: they need a big launch so that they can start covering their costs, so they have to create enough content to satisfy a huge initial spike of players, but making that content costs even more money. It's very easy to get into a trap where the cost to make the content you need to pay for your design is more than you can generate in revenue from that design. This is why many MMOs never see the light of day.
This was the first critical point where our plan diverged from the norm. Sandbox MMOs have a different time/cost function. Their primary need is a robust virtual world that can challenge and engage the audience. Making a sandbox game means focusing on the creation of the multiplayer virtual world. By positioning Pathfinder Online as a sandbox with theme park elements, we can focus primarily on the content needed for players to interact with each other and avoid having to develop a huge amount of theme park content prior to launch.
Focusing on the sandbox doesn't just save time and money, though—we think it's an ideal way to explore the Pathfinder world. In a sense, Paizo's own Pathfinder lines actually combine sandbox elements (by way of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line) with theme park elements (via the Pathfinder Adventure Path and Pathfinder Module lines). Though the sandbox will be our initial focus, the Pathfinder brand is known for great stories and adventures, and over time, we'll add lots of opportunities for theme-park style adventure into the fabric of the world to give depth and richness to the Pathfinder Online experience.
Big Things Come in Small Packages
The second critical issue with theme park MMOs is that it's very difficult to entertain a crowd of theme park enthusiasts who have completed all the theme park content... and theme park enthusiasts can blast through content in no time. If new content isn't ready when players have finished the old content, they'll flee to another MMO (many will go back to World of Warcraft). The result is the "spike & crash" pattern we've seen with every major fantasy theme park MMO released in the past five years. Companies are then in the position where they no longer have enough customers to cover the cost of the enormous infrastructure they've built up for the launch. This is why many MMOs don't have long-term success.
Lisa's challenge to figure out how to make the game on a lean budget led me to the realization that the last thing we want is a huge spike of players followed by a rapid decline. What we want instead is a slow, steady growth of players—the same kind of growth that EVE Online has experienced almost every year since its launch. Since Goblinworks won't have to pay off a huge theme park mortgage, our focus will instead be on making our virtual world as engaging as possible and sustaining that virtual world as the population grows over years of time.
But a sandbox needs a critical mass of players to interact with each other, or they may as well be playing a solo game. One part of the design that helps determine the amount of interaction is the density of the world—how big is it and how many characters are in that space?
We believe that we've solved that equation in a surprising way, which led us to what we think is a revolutionary plan.
At launch, and for the first seven months following, we will cap new paying players at 4,500 per month. Four thousand five hundred new paying players monthly. We expect to keep only about 25% of those players on a long-term basis, so after we factor in attrition of each month's signups, we end up with 16,500 paying players at the end of that seven-month period.
Making a game that starts with 4,500 players and grows to 16,500 players is much, much easier and vastly less expensive than making a game designed to accommodate a million players on day one. We'll be able to focus on a relatively small part of the world at first, expanding it only as we need to.
After the first seven months, we'll raise the limit on new paying players to 12,000 per month. That will remain our goal for the next couple years of Pathfinder Online's life cycle. Factoring in attrition, by the end of the game's third year of operation, we expect to have about 120,000 paying players. For many MMOs, that number would be considered a failure, but because of our lean development strategy, achieving that number of paying customers will mean success for Pathfinder Online.
How to Get In Early
A question some of you are likely asking is "how do I get to be one of the first 4,500 people in at launch?" We're going to have several ways to get into the queue to play Pathfinder Online, and many of them will be based on being an active and contributing member of the global Pathfinder community. Over the next several months, we'll be telling you how you can help us make the game successful and earn yourself a place near the front of the line. (And if you haven't already done so, please sign up for our newsletter using the form on the front page!)
We're also going to be actively reaching out to organized guilds and inviting them in as groups to pre-seed our sandbox with organizations that will help create the political, economic, military and territorial structure that Pathfinder Online will need to be successful. And of course, there will be ways for folks who want to get in without a lot of hassle to do so as well.
(We know people are apprehensive about the "first mover advantage," where the earliest adopters are able to hold all the power, and we want to assure everyone that we're going to avoid that problem. The world of Pathfinder Online is not going to be dominated by the characters and groups who are the first to explore the world. Players who enter the game later will have similar opportunities to carve their kingdoms out of the wilderness.)
Pathfinder Online: Coming Soon!
And when we say "coming soon," we mean "real soon."
We're leveraging middleware to reduce cost, development time and risk. We're making a sandbox-focused game with a launch target of 4,500 players on a slow but steady growth plan. We have access to Paizo's huge library of Pathfinder content—which gives us all the lore, factions, history, monsters, plots, and NPCs that we'll need. Because of these factors, I was able to rise to Lisa's challenge to create an efficient business plan that meets all of our goals. And one of the best parts of it is that it means our development plan is much shorter than traditional theme park MMOs require. Once we've begun full production, we'll be sharing milestones with the community so you'll be able to track our progress from start to release. We think you'll be delighted at the speed of the development process.
Spread the news: there's a whole new way to make MMOs affordably and in a reasonable timeframe.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
As a general Synopsis, it's the same tragic story of seven samurai who band to gether to save a village from bandits, however in this case, it's the future, and the bandits are giant mecha...
It's a visually stunning masterpiece, which Akira Kurasawa actually had a hand in creating.
If you haven't seen it, check it out.
Monday, December 5, 2011
|Book of Beasts-Monsters of the River Nations|
Produced by Jon Brazer Enterprises, available from Paizo as a PDF for $5.00
From a quick perusal, it looks very promising. Nice artwork, bold trade dress, and 20 unique monsters and 7 additional pages of material.
Many low CR monsters, from the stumble fish to the Night Caller and Mature Piranha. Though my favorite of the new monsters is the Giant Fly Trap, I’ve always had a soft spot for nature fighting back. The Dire Fly Trap is even more vicious. Those are my favorites, there are a few of the monsters I’m not as convinced with. The Addanc has a strange name, which is an odd crocodile/beaver aberration. I’m not a fan of the Hatethrall Demon since it’s a disembodied head is strange for a demon, and the Hydrus has a new Combat maneuver, which doesn’t have an explanation, in addition it’s a bit of an undercon at ½ CR. The other monsters are all well-crafted creatures.
In addition to being a monster book, it is a resource book for the River Nations campaign setting (not to be confused with the River Kingdoms of Golarion.)
To this end, the first appendix is Konrad the Bandit King and his Cursed Brethren, the second is Grammy Beshic, an ancient gnome with a dark secret. The Grammy Beshic entry includes three adventure hooks.
New gambling games and a new drug, Kobold Krack, though it’s primarily something particularly vicious GM might use with some kobold barbarians.
The best part of any Monster book is the templates. The Book of Beasts introduces 5 new templates; drunk, enraged, fey-touched, hungry and river-born. Though I would probably not use the drunk template, since it only emulates the sickness of being drunk, not the rage side.
8 new diseases grace the final appendix of the book, not only bringing such common maladies such as Influenza, Bird Flu, and the Common cold into Pathfinder; but also Faire Fever (fantasy version of Con Crud); Dryad Pox (my fave), Mountain Air Plague, Owlbear Filth, and River Sickness. The only problem is they’re only stat blocks, with no fluff.
A strong book, with something useful for almost any campaign, it’s not perfect, but I do recommend it.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I won't pull punches in important battles, but random encounters will never kill one of my parties (sans stupid play). I will also not keep adding HPs to big bad end guys just so they can speak their monologue. Pathfinder characters tend to kill even BBEGs pretty quickly. Now, I do make sure my BBEGs have lots of HPs or High ACs, max HP per level is one way I control HPs of a boss, no random dice rolls. I use the following HPs in my games of Pathfinder:
Weak or Henchmen enemies have 1 or 2 HP/HD (plus Con bonuses) 10-15%of Max)
Standard have 3-4 HP/HD (35-50% of Max)
Mini-Bosses have 5-9 HP/HD (75% of max)
Bosses have max HP plus usually toughness, as they're meant to be a threat, and to stay around. Adding additional HP or AC with one shot items (potions, scrolls, etc)
With playing with younger players, character death can be especially traumatic, but, it can also be VERY memorable, everyone remembers their first character death, just make sure your players are ready for it.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
With the F2P model, they look to nickel and dime you, having locked down areas, classes, races and certain content which can only be unlocked with spending a "little" cash. Now, for the casual gamer who just plays occasionally, this lets you spend $20 when you want to, rather than spending $12-15/month. I have gotten the boys turbine points for DDO as presents. Some of the games give you monthly points while you're a paying player, which is good to open up stuff when you need to turn it off for a bit...say to try out a new game...
More and more games are going for the F2P model, most recent ones that I'm aware of are Age of Conan (Mature game) and City of Heroes-Freedom. Lord of the Rings Online has been free for awhile, DDO was one of the first big name games to transfer, as was Champions Online. EverQuest 2 has been F2P for a while as well.
I really like the games that you can earn points in game, such as Lord of the Rings.
If Star Wars The Old Republic was a F2P game I would totally be buying it, but with things as they are looks like I'll just play my F2P titles for awhile...In fact, I just downloaded Age of Conan today.
I'm looking at doing full video reviews, so I've been setting up for that, unfortunately I don't have an incredible camera, but we'll have to make due.
Happy December, it's almost 2012, I'll have to do some post-apocalyptic reviews soon.... =D
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I'm working on doing video reviews now, So I will be making a YouTube account specifically for uploading those videos, as the blogspot video uploads tend to have very low quality when viewing them. So I will also be uploading those reviews again.
As we're close to 4000 hits now, we're getting more viewers, what do YOU want to see? Send me an email... epicRPGBlog@gmail.com. Let me know.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I reached Taris, the site where some of Knights of the Old Republic takes place, rakghouls are everywhere, and there are lots of missions, so while this is a massive theme park, it's gorgeous and pretty fun. Do I want it? Yes....Will I pay to play it for an extended length of time? That remains to be seen...
I need more than a massive railroad with 8 trains, that can take 16 tracks...once you do a class once, I don't see repeatability. I want more mini-games, like Sabaac, and Swoop races. I want more sand box to play in. I want more races to play, the game is currently very human-o-centric, and while there are some alien races, they all look relatively human, even though there are lots of the other alien races present as NPCs. I guess that they want to keep the clothing modeling simple for now...
Let's hope BioWare makes lots of room for expansions, otherwise this could be a real short trip....
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I can talk about it now, Old Republic has always been one of my favorite eras for Star Wars gaming. So this game definitely has appeal for me. I had to recreate my Smuggler, since my other one got caught in an old instance during the last beta. So I haven't gotten very far. Just stepping foot onto Coruscant, and I must say, BioWare did a good job, making it look like the Coruscant from KotOR!!
Game play is fairly simple, but not too simple. Jedi Knights leaping into battle, Sith Inquisitors blasting opponents with Force Lightning and Smugglers blasting opponents from cover. The game feels like Star Wars, it feels like Knights of the Old Republic (One of my favorite PC Games). It also has a single player feel to it. While I haven't gotten a ship yet, due to the level of the missions, I feel the shipboard life will be VERY similar to KotOR.
This looks to be a great game once it's released, though without being able to play the end game, I'm not sure how it will fare in the long run.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Paizo Publishing, LLC has licensed the MMORPG electronic gaming rights to its smash-hit Pathfinder Roleplaying Game intellectual property to Goblinworks, a Redmond, Washington game developer and publisher that will create Pathfinder Online, a next-generation fantasy sandbox massively multiplayer online game. Founded by Paizo co-owner Lisa Stevens (Pathfinder RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade, Magic: The Gathering), game industry veteran Ryan S. Dancey (Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition, EVE Online), and experienced MMO developer Mark Kalmes (Microsoft, Cryptic Studios, CCP), Goblinworks is an independent company that will work with Paizo Publishing to bring the award-winning world and adventures of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game to the online gaming market. The process has only just begun, and there is plenty of opportunity for gamers to get in on the ground floor of this exciting new project. Paizo and Goblinworks are committed to solicitin g player feedback about the Pathfinder Online project, and more information can be found at goblinworks.com.
Pathfinder Online will cast players as heroes in a unique online fantasy world filled with sword & sorcery adventures and kingdoms inhabited and controlled by thousands of competing players. Players can explore, develop, adventure, and dominate by playing fighters, rogues, clerics, or any of Pathfinder's many character classes, or they can go beyond the standard options to create nearly any type of character imaginable. Find lairs, ruins, and caverns filled with monstrous creatures and incredible treasure. Build glittering cities of castles and bustling markets. Take to the battlefield with vast armies to seize and hold territory. Players change the world and create new stories as they compete for resources, land, and military might. The possibilities are endless.
"I've been hoping for a chance to work with Lisa and the Paizo team on a Pathfinder project for years, and now that we're joining forces to produce Pathfinder Online, I couldn't be happier or more excited," said Goblinworks CEO Ryan S. Dancey. "My goal is to bring the high-quality experience Paizo has delivered for Pathfinder to the MMO platform, and to give players another fantastic way to experience the world of Golarion."
About Pathfinder OnlineAn exciting new era in gaming begins with Pathfinder Online, a cutting-edge Massively Multiplayer Online fantasy roleplaying game currently in development from Goblinworks in partnership with Paizo Publishing!
Pathfinder Online takes place in the world of the award-winning Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, an industry-leading tabletop roleplaying game based on more than a decade of system development. The Pathfinder world includes elements inspired by classic and modern fantasy, from lost cities shrouded in misty jungles to decaying pyramids in deserts of burning sands to a fantastic island metropolis where folk from countless kingdoms live side by side with all manner of exotic creatures. If a player wants to tell a fantasy story, the world of Pathfinder has a place for it. (For more information on the world of Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, please visit paizo.com/pathfinder.)
Pathfinder Online is a hybrid sandbox/theme park-style MMO roleplaying game where characters explore, develop, and dominate the River Kingdoms, a treacherous no-man's-land of squabbling kingdoms on the edge of wilderness. Players explore, adventure, develop, and dominate their domains by playing fighters, rogues, wizards, or any of Pathfinder's many character types, or they can use the game's archetype system go beyond the standard options to create nearly any sort of character imaginable.
Pathfinder Online's robust trading system puts players in control of the world's economy with player-created items, consumables, fortifications, and settlements. Character-controlled settlements can grow into full-fledged kingdoms that compete for resources as they seek to become the dominant force in the land, raising vast armies to hold their territory against the depredations of monstrous creatures, NPC factions, and other player characters.
Social organizations scale from small parties of a few adventurers to player nations inhabited by thousands. As settlements develop, the surrounding wilderness develops more complex and challenging features, including randomly generated encounters and resources as well as exciting scripted adventures.
The design process for Pathfinder Online has only just begun, and there is plenty of opportunity for gamers to get in on the ground floor of this exciting new project. Paizo and Goblinworks are committed to soliciting player feedback about the Pathfinder Online project, and will track the game's development here at goblinworks.com.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
We dropped by At Ease games, and I took photos for the upcoming Store Spotlight. I also set-up an interview with Ron during this Friday's Super Dungeon Explore demo night.
If you're interested in seeing Super Dungeon Explore in action, come to At Ease Games this Friday evening, Ross will be running demos.
Monday, November 21, 2011
So look forward the the interview being uploaded before next week.
Catching up with a backlog tonight. So here's something interesting:
If you haven't ever heard of Battlelords of the 23rd Century, check out SSDC.com for some spectacular Sci-Fi. With some of the greatest weapons guides of any game, this one is fun. It's a d100 skill-based classless, level-less system.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Our favorite ways to relax are games, We'll be playing plenty of games over the Holiday. We played FURT tonight. We're planning on playing the Pathfinder Beginner Box tomorrow. (Sean picked it with some of his Birthday money!!...Schweet.)
We'll prolly play some Zombie Dice, Munchkin, Kill Doctor Lucky. All the really fun games we have.
Another thing I'm excited about it is testing the new Full WarLands rules. Make some of our own vehicles and tweak some of the other ones using the Mac's Bodyshop vehicle creation rules.
Friday, November 18, 2011
So primarily this is a site that uses war gaming to teach history through simulations. Scenarios are included, but there are dozens and dozens of free paper minis. Also in the paper mini section are pose helper documents, so you can design your own minis using premade poses. (note: since these are all free and made by fans of the site; the quality varies, but for free, I wouldn't complain)
The reason I went to Das Spiel Unker was to check out the "Gun Deck" he created. This is a typical card deck used for Savage Worlds like a normal deck of cards, but on the faces, he has pictures and stats of 50 different rifles and pistols! A must have for any Deadlands Savage Worlds game.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
They have the following games for free to play on the Site:
Race for the Galaxy
Uncle Chestnut Table Gype?? (no idea what that is, I haven't played it yet)
It's really cool, there's an international audience, and plenty of players, of all experience levels. I just started playing Dominion, and man I love it!!!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Oh well with Super Dungeon Explore and FraG going, there should be plenty for everyone to do...
[Note to self: Don't try to do two new games at one time with Gaming club, even though Sean and Ian were familiar with Frag and SDE, it just didn't work... Note #2, don't let 7 people try to learn SDE at one time, it's not set-up for that...]
Sunday, November 13, 2011
|The View from the door, you walk in and you're greeted by miniature and RPG games.|
|Six 4'x8' tables provide space for up 24 wargamers playing their favorite wargame.|
|Spartan games at the entrance to the store...nice|
|Magic cards for sale!!|
|Display Cases, Showing a plethora of Golden Demon awards!|
Friday, November 11, 2011
The Grand Opening is this Saturday November 12th.
Check it out, I'll be swinging by on the way to my brother's wedding reception.
AT EASE GAMES
GRAND OPENING! NOV. 12th
We are your one-stop shop for miniatures, table-top games, role-playing games, Magic the Gathering, unique board games, dice, paints and hobby supplies. We have free in-store gaming; come play on our beautiful miniatures tables. Display your painted armies for free for easy access. Come join us at our Grand Opening!! With a minimum $10 purchase, you will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of nine $50 dollar gift certificates – drawings held hourly from 1pm to 9pm. Help us celebrate the hobby and promote the gaming community. We hope to see you here!
10am-12pm: Miniature Painting Demo. Aaron Lovejoy, winner of 8 Golden Demons, will give a demonstration on how to use pigments, anti-drying agents, weathering techniques, and tips for painters. Participants will receive a $5.00 credit towards their first class.
10am-12 noon: Board Game Demos. Learn to play board games such as Carcassone, Mansions of Madness, and others. Participants will receive a $5.00 credit towards a board game purchase.
1pm-3pm: Warhammer Fantasy Mini Tourney. 400 points -- No lords, no special characters, standard army rules. $300.00 in total store credit prizes awarded for 1st and 2nd place, best painted army, and best sportsman. Sign up now – 24 spots available.
1pm-3pm: Board Game Demos. Learn to play board games such as Settlers of Catan, Wrath of Ashardalon, and others. Participants will receive a $5.00 credit towards a board game purchase.
3pm-5pm: Magic Deck Building and Single Elimination Booster Draft. Sign up now – 24 spots available. Bring your friends –- more players = more prizes!
3pm-5pm: Miniature Demos. Learn to play Infinity, Warmachine, Hordes, Dark Age. Participants will receive a $5.00 credit towards a miniature game purchase.
5pm-7pm: Warhammer 40K Mini Tourney. 400 points – Standard force organization. $300.00 in total store credit prizes awarded for 1st and 2nd place, best painted army, and best sportsman. Sign up now – 24 spots available.
5pm-7pm: Card Game Demos. Learn to play card games such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and others. Participants will receive a $5.00 credit towards a card game purchase.
7pm-10pm: Survive the Killer Dungeon. 2 Pathfinder, 2 4E Dungeon and Dragons games. Participants will receive a $5.00 credit towards a role-playing game purchase. Sign up now – 24 spots available.
At Ease Games
12373 Poway Road
Poway, CA 92064
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Savage Worlds Deluxe review
The price point on this is a bit steeper than the explorer's edition, at $29.95 for the print version and $20 for PDF. (I think if Pinnacle followed Paizo's lead on PDFs at $9.95 they'd sell more units.)
It's basically the same game, they just tweaked some of the rules, check it out if you're interested in what's different. I will get it in the future, just not in the budget at this time.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
What is Dawn of Worlds? It is a free game which is based around cooperative world-building. I first ran across this last year listening to a pod cast (can't remember which one at the moment), but Gnome Stew covers it as well, here.
Over the next few months Epic RPG Blog will be creating a world using these rules. The great thing about creating a world with other people is that it becomes very easy to work off of other people's ideas, perhaps teh creation of a super volcano leads to someone creating a molten race of metal workers. This in turn leads to the creation of a sub-race, dwarves, perhaps, or maybe kobolds? Each race has a pinnacle of achievement they can be known for. After thousands of years, perhaps the race became corrupt, splintered into two races, one good one evil. Who will create the dragons? Civilizations come and go, rise and fall, expand and contract. Nations are formed, the land changes, Who are the great architects? Who created the finest weapons? All of these questions can be answered through creativity.
We will be incorporating some additional tweaks to the basic rules. The game is free, check it out, create your own worlds...have fun and be creative.
Let's see what happens when ideas collide.
Monday, November 7, 2011
First Glance: I did a huge first glance with our Unboxing post.
What you get: You get a lot in this box set. 22 kobolds, 6 wyrms, 8 heroes (+1 large "angry bear" form for the druid.) 2 kobold ogres, which are huge!, and a Dragon, which is a sculptural piece. You also receive 5 spawn points, 2 mimic chests called boo-booty, and 5 chests; around 100 cards and lots of counters. You also get 15 custom dice. You have 5 double sided game boards, which provide lots of different options. The last thing is the Adventure Tracker board, which tracks, loot, power meter, and provides a place for the cards.
Main Review: Let's face it, this game is heavily weighted in favor of the heroes, they are heroes after all. The Consul (the game master), have the honor of running the monsters. The premise is this is a video game being played as a board game. Not the first to do it, as FRAG by Steve Jackson Games has been out for a long time, still it is unique, combining a unique gameplay experience with chibi style miniatures [Chibi is a japanese manga style where the head is over-sized with emphasis on the facial features, with characters having toddler proportions.] This is a great game to attract more females into the board game world, and is especially attractive for geek parents young girls.
|Hexcast Sorceress, in all her Chibi Glory!|
The dice are a unique d6 and an important part of the game, each having a number of stars (*), blanks and a either a potion, heart or combo potion/heart.
Blue Dice have 2 blanks, *, *, **. heart.
Red Dice have 1 blank, *, *, **, ***, potion
Green Dice, the best of the three, have NO blanks, *, **, **, ***, **** and the combo Potion/Heart.
Stats are represented by the dice you roll which applies equally to Monsters and Heroes.
Attack/Armor/Will and Dex.
Attack is used for melee rolls
Armor is obviously always important, as most monster attacks will target armor.
Will is used for Magic and initiative rolls!!
Dex is used for ranged attacks.
Both heroes and monsters have movement (represented by a video game movement pad)
Action Points (represented by a video game button)
Hearts represent life, while each character has unique potions.
Claw Tribe Barbarian
Deeproot Druid (and his Angry Bear form) Half-Elf
Glimmerdusk Ranger Elf
Hearthsworn Fighter Dwarf
Riftling Rogue Demonkin
Each hero has their own unique powers, which makes it interesting, some combos are much more powerful than others. The Ember Mage and Claw Tribe Barbarian are probably the most powerful of the bunch, but they really need to be backed up by a healer.
Gameplay starts with initiative, each side rolling their best Will. The winning side chooses which side activates first. Players can activate a hero, or the Consul can activate 4 skulls worth of monsters. Play proceeds back and forth until all the heroes and monsters have activated. Finally the Consul spawns more monsters. The heroes attempt to destroy the spawn points, once you reach the 16 bit mark, two things happen, the mini-boss spawns and the consul draws a loot card to affect all of his monsters. This can actually be one of the turning points for the consul if he gets certain cards.
There are three levels of play
8 bit: two heroes, 1 mini boss. (1 hour play time)
16 bit: 3 heroes, 1 mini boss, 1 dungeon boss. (1-1 1/2 hour play time)
Super!: 5 heroes, 2 mini bosses, 1 dungeon boss. (2-2 1/2 hour plus play time)
Truthfully, I think I prefer the 16 bit playtime, you get in, get the mini boss spawned, get a dungeon boss out and are done within 2 hours. The game can drag a bit, but I think as we get used to it, it will fly faster.
Family Rating: This can be a great family game, as it's a primarily cooperative game. It's a game that requires the heroes to work in conjunction with each other.
Cost: A Whopping $89.99. Now, you're paying for miniatures, 40 actual miniatures, not including the spawn points, automatically puts some value to that price.
Value: You get a very unique game, with a lot of minis, for an industry standard $90. It's worth it just for the minis.
Rating: Epic! This is a unique game with lots of options, it's good for kids and adults, boys and girls. While some people might not like the chibi style, it makes it endearing and one of a kind. Soda Pop Miniatures bridges the gap between manga and dungeon crawl games in a video game style format.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Last year, at our middle school, we decided to create a gaming club. Our dad, Epic prime, suggested we start one, because we were already playing some games with the nerdiest teacher at the school, Mr. Schmid.
We started brainstorming more in depth this year. We first went to one of the principals, and she eventually approved. Now we have club meetings every Tuesday.
On the first meeting of the year, we were really surprised at the turn out of people, and we knew the club was going to go uphill from there. The first games we played were zombie dice and munchkin. Some other people were playing the Dungeons and dragons board game. We mostly play those, but had zombie dice donated by The Fanatical Gamers Society. [Epic Prime edit: This was donated the week before when FGS’s James came to the store and donated a Zombie Dice to the club.]
Last week’s meeting, FGS (Shaun, Gail and Paul). They brought Sword and Skulls, Warmachine (which Epic Sean played), and a Greek game called Pente, which was donated to the Gaming Club. Warmachine is a game of huge steam powered machines of great power, armed with hammers and axes, and warcasters with spells that could devastate cities.
For the next meetings we’re probably not going to have any special guests. Two other games we are going to be playing: Super Dungeon Explore, and Frag. Super Dungeon Explore is an awesome fantasy 8-bit boardgame, with valiant Chibi heroes and not as cute snickering kobolds. Frag is another video game turned board game and is all about killing… and winning.
Friday, November 4, 2011
To me character creation is one of the best parts of gaming. Whether it's in City of Heroes Online, or if it's for a D&D or Pathfinder game, I always try to create something special each and every time.
For example, my Chelish dwarf for Pathfinder Society. This character actually has -slag in his name because he was exiled from his homeland for crimes against his own people, he landed in Cheliax worshiping the Law side of Asmodeus' pantheon. The Kicker to make him interesting, he has Asmodeus' laws tattoed on him, all over him, I actually spent 20gp of his 150gp on tattoes, as part of his character.
I picked up running the Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign because I didn't want my character to just fall into oblivion. Not only was she one of Lamm's Lambs, she had fallen for another who had been slain because of her mistake, and she keeps a war razor as her keepsake from that fallen love....it's very tragic, but powerful, her sense of justice channeled into an Inquisitor of Iomedae.
For our Family group for Pathfinder Society, we're going to run a Sczarni crime family. My character is the ringleader of course, an Oracle. His profession (Crimeboss). So between games he'll be raking in cash from nefarious sources, if he needs to use Knowledge (local) many times he'll be able to substitute his Profession.
I almost never optimize in my games, most times I'll have a 16 after mods in my primary stat, and several 14s. Except in rare instances will I dump stat down to 8, but only if it's in my characters backstory, the only character I've really made a dump stat for is my Chelish Monk, because he's cruel and vindictive, and it shows in his charisma.
My favorite character is all of them, because I put thought into each and every character. I try to breathe some life into them because, it's much easier to play them when you care about them. Now, if a character dies, I won't freak out, but I'll feel a sense of loss, but...it is only a game after all.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I started playing Warhammer 40k in 1992 or 93, back when there were Vehicle Data Cards, and the wargear cards, when you could customize like crazy. I had a Howling Banshee exarch on a jetbike with a holofield...beautifully modeled. I also got into Warhammer as I moved down to Fresno in 1994. We also got into EPIC while I was there. That still is one of my favorite games I never play these days. We played Necromunda, and Mordheim when they came out. Back in those days I had time to devote to painting minis, since I didn't have kids. After I got out of the Navy, I got into Warzone. I absolutely loved Warzone, with my Cybertronic army, we even played a big campaign down at Game Empire back in 1998. The system was great, while the miniatures were decent.
Now as far as the newer games, Warmachine and Hordes by Privateer Press has a big presence, especially after people started becoming disenfranchised by Games Workshop's price increases, and the increase in edition publication. Though their miniatures are starting to creep up in price as well. Mantic is providing both Fantasy and Sci-Fi miniature games Kings of War and Warpath. The boxes of minis are nicely priced 20 miniatures for around $30, this makes for lots of minis for a nice price.
However now that the boys are of an age where playing Battletech might be fun, let them get into the design aspect of the game, which was also one of the really fun things about Car Wars as well. With the Battletech 25th Anniversary seeing the Intro Box being released with 26 minis for $59.99 by Catalyst Games, it might well be worth a visit to the past. I bet the boys would love to make new mechs, and as always, it would be a great math exercise.
For those who like to wargame on the cheap, there's always Savage World's Showdown rules, which can be used to play with stand-up paper minis. (this is where I'm headed.) I have always preferred to play more than paint. Also WarLands, by Aberrant, is fairly cheap as a post-apocalyptic skirmish game, set in 15mm.
EDIT!: I almost forgot one of my favorite wargames that I recently played...Dystopian Wars. I totally can't wait to be able to afford a couple armies for that game, it's really fun, nothing like a few frigates getting a lucky shot on a capitol ship, then having it's magazine explode. It's a brilliant system. I also wouldn't mind trying out Spartan Games other systems as well.