Saturday, June 30, 2012

NeoExodus reviews in work...also..

So I got a couple products from Louis Porter JR NeoExodus 'Enemies' line of products. I must say I'm pretty impressed with the writing for the fluff for the Folding Circle so far. NeoExodus A-House-Divided-Campaign-Setting

Anyway, from now until 4th of July LPJ products are on sale on for 25% off....

ATOMIC ROBO!!!! Coming to Comic Con

Mike Olson will be running Atomic Robo RPG playtest events at both Gam3rCon and San Diego ComicCon in TWO Weeks!!! Want to be part of the playtest credits? You just might if you can make one of those events.

Obviously if you're going to Comic Con, you already have tickets, if you don't and want to play Atomic Robo, the FATE based RPG, you can get tickets for Gam3rCon instead!!!

Here's the link for Spirit of the [Blank]

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Earthdawn Denizen Guides - Savage Worlds/Pathfinder

So two days ago I posted that the Game Master's Guides were releasing soon (PDF available now), well I neglected to say that the Denizen Guides were already available, both Volume 1 & 2.

I know what to expect in them I'm just curious to see how everything is implemented for Savage Worlds and Pathfinder, this is a guide that could really expand race options. They give lots of background information such as the different human communities, in addition the denizen guides provide  race specific disciplines in Earthdawn so I suspect some race specific options for savage worlds and either classes or PrCs and feats for Pathfinder.

Denizens-of-Barsaive-Volume-One SW

Denizens-of-Barsaive-Volume-One Pathfinder


Denizens-of-Barsaive-Volume-Two Pathfinder

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dresden Files RPG - Paranet Papers update

We're finally getting some previews for the upcoming Dresden Files RPG accessory "Paranet Papers".

Check it out: Novogorod

and  Vegas

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Earthdawn Savage Worlds/Pathfinder Game Master's Guide

Preorder Your Earthdawn SW or PF Game Master's Guide Now!Preorder your copy of the Earthdawn Savage Worlds Edition Game Master's Guide or Earthdawn Pathfinder RPG Edition Game Master's Guide now!
RedBrick is proud to announce its next release for the Earthdawn Savage Worlds and Pathfinder RPG Edition game lines—the Earthdawn® Game Master's Guide!
A Land of Wondrous Beauty and Unspeakable Evil...
...When the Wizards proclaimed that the Scourge had ended, Jaro, I, and three others broke open the seals on the doors and walked outside. We hoped to find a new world brimming with life. Instead, a barren landscape stretched before us. As quick as thought, the sky grew dark with creatures, their attack nearly overwhelming us. We fought our way back to the kaer, thinking ourselves safe. We soon learned that a Horror had entered the mind of Jaro...
Explore the province of Barsaive, a land that encompasses the high mountain realms of savage troll raiders, lush green jungles that conceal long-forgotten cities, vast plains filled with strange and deadly beasts, and the life-giving waters of the mighty Serpent River. An untamed land still recovering from the depredations of the Scourge, Barsaive now teems with orks and elves, t'skrang lizard-men, and human settlers, all drawn by the promise of her breathtaking wonders.
The Earthdawn® Game Master's Guide contains a detailed tour of this troubled province; stats for dozens of new monsters that stalk her lands, including several loathsome Horrors; descriptions of over 30 common and legendary threaded magical items; rules for the vile practice of Blood Magic; and the esoteric mysteries of ancient legends and nefarious secret societies to populate your campaign!
Scheduled for a mid-June print release, the Earthdawn® Game Master's Guide is now available for preorder for a limited time at special pricing—but ONLY from the RedBrick Shop! And if you are new to these editions, the Earthdawn® Player's Guide is available as well.
Join the brave souls of Barsaive in reclaiming their realm from the remaining Horrors while protecting it from the return of the oppressive Theran Empire. Discover the world of Earthdawn®, the Age of Legend.

    Well it's mid-June, this should be coming out really soon. If you're interested pre-order now before the deadline is up....

    There are options for Hard Cover, Soft Cover plus PDF Bundles.  Hopefully I can get preview copies to review soon. As you all know I wasn't super thrilled with the Pathfinder edition, but the Savage Worlds version was nearly perfect! I'm hoping with the Game Masters Guide it will tie up some of the Pathfinder loose ends. I could even hope for an alternate magic system...

News - Hell on Earth

Well, that was fast, "Hell on Earth - Reloaded" is available for pre-order for hard-cover, and available as PDF now!!!!

News - Deadlands Hell On Earth Savage Worlds edition

Pinnacle is producing all sorts of cool stuff these days.

Besides the Dealands Noir which just got a huge Kickstarter, they're getting much closer to releasing the new Savage Worlds edition Hell on Earth: Reloaded. This is a setting which I never bought into when it was in print unfortunately...I really like what I've seen of it, as I'm a big post-apocalyptic fan, and of Deadlands, so when the two combined, I just missed it I guess, I know it was right after I got out of the Navy and I didn't have a lot of spending that's why I missed out on such a great game.

Now the reloaded edition is coming...

Hell on Earth: Reloaded Downloads

Here's the cover art of the new edition...pretty wicked wrap-around cover...want it as a wallpaper? Check out

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fantasy Chess Board

So we're finally getting ready to play Fantasy Chess, I decided to create my own Chess Board for it, It looks a bit different than the regular Fantasy Chess board. As you can have 6 pieces fighting for a single 'square' I actually created a board which shows those six spaces. So without further adieu....

Permission is granted to print this board for non-commercial purposes. It is sized for 20x30, so I printed to 24x36, cut it down and then had it laminated at Lakeshore Learning for $.87...good deal! If you wanted to spend a bit more, you could probably get it printed on a canvas at Staples also. 

Checkout for more information about Fantasy Chess.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Retro Review - Castle Falkenstein

If you've been reading the blog, you will already know I quite like Castle Falkenstein already. We had a chance to use the system for the Malifaux hack at Strategicon. I was able to pick up a used copy at Pair-a-Dice games, it was an almost new copy, which belies the fact that these books fall apart.

Castle Falkenstein - R. Talsorian Games

When computer game designer Tom Olam found himself sorcerously shanghaied by a rogue Wizard and a Faerie Lord, little did he suspect that he would soon become the pivotal force in the struggle to control an alternate Victorian Universe. But before the deadly game could end, he would first have to battle gigantic Landfortresses, outwit Dragons, romance a beautiful Adventuress, and defeat the Evil legions of a Dark Court determined to destroy him at all costs.
Then maybe, just maybe, he could find a way home again ...

It’s a novel. It’s a game. It’s both. It’s Castle Falkenstein™, an amazing journey into another universe just a few steps away from our own: a place where Dragons and Steampower rule the skies, Faerie Lords duel atop the battlements, and where the forces of Wizardry and Magick meet the gaslight streets of the Victorian Age. But with Castle Falkenstein™, the story never ends, as you too take up saber and spell to adventure in a distant world on the other side of the mysterious Faerie Veil: a world of Swashbuckling Fantasy, High Romance, and Magickal Technology. The world of—Castle Falkenstein

First, this is one of the first games to use the term steampunk in a Role-playing game. Space 1889 was published in 1988, Castle Falkenstein was published in 1994. (If soemone can let me know if the original Space 1889 talked about Steampunk as a genre..).

The first 128 pages of this 224 page game are background, in full-color shiny pages. (A lot of games were beginning to use a full color gloss format mixed with black&white pages at this time.) You play in an alternate Earth, on the continent of New Europa. This is a land of the impossible, a land where science fiction authors and their characters walk the same streets. A place where Faerie Lords of the Seelie and Unseelie courts mingle with Dragons descended from Pterodactyls, where magick and steampower combine. A fascinating world brought to life with narration and excellent artwork. 

Mechanically, the game only uses 2 standard decks of cards, one for everything except Sorcery; the other for sorcery, drawing power etc. Everything is skill-based. The game is much more story-telling than hard-core mechanical combat; though it can handle combat decently. Sorcery can be powerful, but it does take some time to draw enough energy (with cards) to be able to cast a spell.

Each skill is tied to a suit, the suits each being tied to a type of value: Hearts (Emotional/Romantic), Diamonds (Mental/Intellectual), Clubs (Physical), and Spades (Social/status). Your skills can range from Poor to Extraordinary, which grants a base value to which a card pull is added. For example, having an average Athletics (clubs), grants 6 as the base, if you were attempting to jump a moderate gorge (exceptional) Requiring a 10. Unless the player wants to fall in that chasm, they might want to add a fortune card from their fortune hand (4 cards which may not be discarded, only used.). All players and the Game master have a fortune hand to play from. A card which matches the linked value adds its full value, which cards which do not match, only add one. Combat is contested, each side pulling cards and adding fortune cards. Criticals are calculated with double value of the pull, fumbles are possibly, which typically results in bad things, think of cutting the fuse to a bomb, you fumble, it goes boom.

Sorcery is similar, you must pull cards from the Sorcery deck, which may not be augmented with fortune cards, a joker pull will automatically cause a spell to release as the power is too much.

All in all it's a unique system which I wish I had found many years earlier, luckily, everything IS available in PDF format, and R. Talsorian 's site says they're still releasing books, but I'm not certain the site is all that active. Clicking around the most current date I've seen is 2005. However, the PDFs are definitely available on DrivethruRPG.

Castle Falkenstein Core $16

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reviews - Advanced Race Guide (PFRPG)

In work

Advanced Race Guide
Produced by Paizo Publishing, LLC

Get the most out of your heritage with the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide! Embrace your inner monster by playing one of 30 iconic races from mythology and gaming history, or build an entirely new race of your own. If classic races are more your style, go beyond the stereotypes for elves, dwarves, and the other core races with new options and equipment to help you stand out from the crowd.

The Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide is a bold new companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds on more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

The 256-page Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide includes: 
- New rules and options to help you customize all seven of the classic core races, including new racial traits, racial subtypes, and racial archetypes. 
- 30 exotic races, from mischievous goblins and reptilian kobolds to crow-headed tengus and deadly drow, each with complete rules for use as player characters, plus archetypes, alternate racial traits, and other options for maximum customization. 
- A complete and balanced system for creating an unlimited number of new races, mixing and matching powers and abilities to form characters and cultures specific to your campaign. 
- Tons of new race-specific equipment, feats, spells, and magic items for each of the races detailed! 

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-390-3

What can I say, this is a great book.

There are going to be more in depth reviews out there, but I'm a bit busy with real life at the moment, so I'll make this one quick.

At a Glance:
This is a 256 page full color, full-size, hard cover book. Lots of full color illustrations as is typical for Paizo's Pathfinder books. If there's one this Paizo is great at, it's creating pretty books, second only to the Legend of the Five Rings, 4th edition.

Review: The book is divided into 4 sections. Core Races, Featured Races, Uncommon Races, and the Race Builder section, which I will be using to determine the RP value of the Earthdawn PFRPG races. The 7 core races get long write-ups, 10 pages each. Compiling all the information from various sources and expanding it as far as Base Race, Alternate Racial Rules, and Favored Class options. In addition are rules for Racial Archetypes, equipment, feats, spells, magic items, etc. Alternate Races, typically covered in other games by different stat bonuses are covered by alternate abilities instead in the ARG. While I'm not a huge fan of single race equipment, I have no issue with race based archetypes, and each race gets 3 or 4 archetypes. 

The Next section  covers featured races, these are the races which are close to the power level of the core races. The 16 covered races are; Aasimar, Catfolk (probably Ian's favorite), Dhampir, Drow, Fetchlings, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Ifrits, Kobolds, Orcs, Oreads, Ratfolk, Sylphs, Tengu, Tieflings, and Undines. Each Featured race gets core race traits, alternate race traits, favored class options, and 2 racial archetypes, which is pretty good for non-core races. Of course the only way you can play these races in Pathfinder Society is to earn the Race Boon at a major convention. Each featured races also gets Equipment, Feats, Magic Items and Spells, but in less quantity than the core races. Now the let-down here is that the wonderful tables that the tieflings got in the Council of Thieves write-up is left out and that the Aasimar did not receive one of those tables as well.

The uncommon races section covers less friendly or obscure races, from the Haggish Changelings (not doppelganger ancestry, but hag ancestry) to the ancestors of ancient Azlant the Gillmen to the Shadow born Wayang of the Far East. The uncommon races are Changelings, Duergar, Gillmen, Grippli, Kitsune (a favorite), Merfolk, Nagaji, Strix, Sulis, Svivneblin, Vanara, Vishkanya, and Wayang. Each Featured race gets core race traits, alternate race traits, favored class options, and 1 racial archetypes. Each featured races also gets Equipment, Feats, Magic Items and Spells, but in less quantity than the core races.

The final section is the Race Builder. Using RP, racial points, this is a step-by-step guide to race creation. Using humans as the baseline race, at 9RP, you can find out how powerful or weak an alternate race might be. With these new rules, some companies should look at their races and possibly give them an RP value. It is an invaluable tool for Gamemasters to use to create races for their own worlds, or to accommodate a player that wants something different. The section is full of examples of common and unique races from Centaurs, Driders and Gargoyles; to Ogres, Kasatha and Wyrwoods. Use this as a guide to covert races from favorite settings into Golarion or your own setting. Create a half-contruct Pinnochio race. At the end of the section, there's a break-down of the RP for each  Core and Featured race and a few Uncommon races.

Finally the book finishes with an appendix for age (appendix 1) and height/weight (appendix 2) of each of the  core, featured and uncommon races. Appendix 3 is the class and level lists for all the spells presented in the book.

Artwork: Each race has at least one illustration and each chapter has a 2 page splash illustration. All quality artwork, as to be expected from Paizo.

Parental Rating: It's a main rulebook, so it's really tame, no cursing, some dynamic action poses but nothing horrible. Rated RPG-10.  

Value: At $39.99 it's invaluable, if you can't afford it you can always get it in PDF format for $9.99.
No I won't post it for you, support the game if you want it to stick around. Don't ask.

Overall Rating: 
19 of 20.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

San Diego Comic Con/Gam3rCon

4 weeks til Comic Con and Gam3rCon...

I will be attending both. The boys and I will be covering both as well as Sarah!

Should be a fun time, If you haven't got your Comic Con Tickets, well you might as well get Gam3rCon tickets, come see a production of Gam3rs the play or the Spider Baby.

Come play games and enjoy everything Gam3rCon has to offer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Malifaux Update

The boys and I finally got the time to take all our Malifaux figs and trim/clean them. I showed them how to cut and file flash, how to drill a pinhole (since one of my figures broke really quickly, as the metal is a bit fragile.), and how to safely trim the figures from their sprues. This is the first time the boys have ever done this.  Tomorrow we will prime the figs. Then we can play and start to paint them. 

On a related note. Remember how I was able to play Castle Falkenstein Malifaux at Strategicon? I was able to pick up Castle Falkenstein at Pair A Dice. It's always nice for me to get a hard-copy rather than just a PDF. I'd love to have the PDF as well, but the book works for me for now. I'm really amazed at the system, originally published in 1994, it predated Deadlands by 2 years. Castle Falkenstein is a purely card based system that is extremely story driven. Set in an alterna-Victorian steampunk era, it might possibly have been the first 'steampunk' system that called itself steampunk. Space 1889 was definitely steampunk-esque, but I don't recall it being called steampunk in any of its literature.

Look for a full review soon as I'm still meandering through the book.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Free RPG Day was great

I screwed up and didn't make sure my Friday post about the Free RPG Day reminder went up. I had it all written, I hit publish, but it didn't publish...oops.

I ended up running a new Traveller Scenario I came up with called "Lockdown on Lazarus V". I will post the entire scenario once I get everything typed out, it was all in my head for Free RPG Day

Only had one new person playing but it was still a pretty good scenario, better than my "No One Can Hear You Scream" scenario.

Here's the Map of the Space Station Lazarus V I came up with. (partial battle map.)  Note: it is designed to be printed on 24x36, which costs $3 at Staples for Black & White. Feel free to download it for personal use. It is still my design and not for resale.

In the morning we played the NeoExodus adventure, as run by Corby of Fanatical Gamers Society. It wasn't a bad adventure, though you will need to go online and get the correct character sheet for Hans, the human Cleric. It was an interesting tweak to have the Cleric of Kaga be a divine casting sorcerer, but it made it nearly impossible to complete the adventure in a single adventure. No channel energy, no cure light wounds, and just a wand of cure light wounds with 4 charges. He was dropped during the second to last fight, by a falcion wielding skeleton that hit for 23 damage. It was pretty brutal. We finally ran from the temple, 1 charge on the wand, 1 Hp for the Cleric, 2 Hp on the rogue, and 9 hp on Nose Cutter the tank.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Deadlands Noir- Kickstarter Backer

So me and the boys y'know we're backin' the play by Pinnacle on this one, now it ain't no big thing, just 20 bones, and we'll be get'n some nice scratch.

Check out these rewards...
Unlocked Rewards for Dime Novelists and Up

Here's a quick summary of what we're adding in addition to the reward levels you see on the right:
Hard Boiled in the Big Easy Audio Drama
Deadlands Noir Digital Soundtrack
Figure Flats PDF
4 x Map Flats PDF (Printable, figure-scale maps focusing on Metaire Cemetery, Old Absinthe House, Streets of the Big Easy, and the Bayou locations)
Detective's Notebook Deluxe Character Sheet PDF
Old Absinthe Blues" adventure PDF

Wednesday Night at Pair A Dice

It's good to have the boys on Summer vacation, we were able to head over to Pair A Dice after I got off work and play some. We tried out Fantasy Flight's Lord of the Rings LCG. (Living Card Game). A Living Card Game is one which has booster pack style expansions, but they're not collectible, they're set cards. Well we played the store's base copy, it plays pretty cool, it's a cooperative game so making sure your friends survive is definitely a priority. It's a well thought out game that's not always winnable. One of the cool things is that you can actually play it solo, it's designed that way, not like playing Monopoly by yourself solo, but like playing solitaire, Solitaire for the LotR Geek.

I'm not sure I'll ever buy it at the $60 price tag. It does have the standard Fantasy Flight mark of quality. With thick cardboard pieces, a 'threat' counter that you would pay $10 for easily if bought separately and you get 2 of them. The problem with LCGs is like most of games, you 'want' to have all the cards...MUST HAVE ALL TEH CARDS..../drool.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

PFRPG - Advanced Races Guide

Shipped today so I got my PDF. I must say I like a lot of it, but one thing confuses me...racial gear...bit of an oddball thing, I mean why would a training whip be a human only item except with GM permission???

Of course a lot of the book is just rehashed info, but I'm really glad they expanded the human entry for the alternate race traits...there were just the three, and they were pretty lame. Now there are a lot more options.

More on this when I get my hard-copy so I can really read it better, this is a book I've been waiting for.

So I ACTUALLY received an anonymous request for me to upload the PDF...I don't think so. Paizo is able to continue making a cool game because of the people who buy the game. They've put all the PDFs on sale at a very reasonable price of $9.99 for any of the hard-bound books. As a subscriber to ANY Paizo product line you get 15% off of the purchase and a free PDF of the subscription. Without people buying the books and PDFs the game goes away. If you enjoy playing RPGs, spend a little money. If you're someone who does download PDFs off various point-to-point providers, and you find something you absolutely love, buy the actual book from the creators, not from Amazon, but from the actual creator, or a brick and mortar store. People spend a lot of time creating these wonderful games we play, support our hobby, support our stores, go spend some money.

Monday, June 11, 2012

MW2039 Attributes & FATE

So I'm trying to come up with an idea for coming up with Attributes for the FATE system for use with this game.Oh and a slight working name change to identify that it's not just on Earth, Moderne Worlds of 2039. Just the slightest of changes, but worlds of difference.

So I'm thinking of using a 4dF (drop lowest) for stats. This will give a range of -3 to +3. These will then be used to determine base range of skills. I don't really want to use the standard Strength, Dexterity Constitution etc.  This is FATE, where more descriptive language is better. So here's what I'm thinking so far. I don't really want to have an Intelligence or Education stat, intelligence is something the player needs to role-play. Education in FATE is more represented with an aspect. Some skills use a single, some use average and others use difference.

Brawn: This is a measure of pure raw power. Besides being a modifier for weapons (and minimums) it is also useful with skills where power is important. Being to brawny can cause negatives where being lithe is relevant. Tumbling is a skill that uses (Ag-Br) as it's modifier,
Agility: Agility is used for many combat oriented skills. Thrown weapons, athletics to avoid blows etc.
Wits: While intelligence is up to the characters, wits is a measurable stat, it helps where speed of thought is important.
Perception:  Perception, this is for skills where noticing what is going on around you is important, from conversations to safecracking.

Obviously, with base bonuses: this system will not have so many skill points, I'm thinking 10 points, but it might appeal more to players who are used to systems with attributes, and also lend easily to conversions.
I've begun my historical research as well, I'm learning a lot about the 20s especially, slang, The Red Scare, stuff that is often overshadowed by prohibition, speak easies, and flappers.

More to come as I continue to work on the system. I'm thinking of having a Reputation score that starts at +0, and can be brought up (or down) during the game.

And honestly, let me know what you think about this game so far...if it's really popular, I'll put up Kickstarter to help develop the game and come up with bonuses for it (Figure flats, original artwork, playtesting, short stories, novels? etc.). One of the things I think would make this game impressive it stunning artwork. I think the artwork could really make it come alive. Obviously the core of the system, and a starter set would always be free, as that is the origin of this RPG to begin with, I started this project specifically as a freebie.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

MW2039 - The Nikola Tesla story (draft)

The premise of Moderne World of 2039 is a single divergence in the timeline created the new reality. This divergence centers around Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla, the creator of most of the technology which allowed mankind to expand into the solar system. Instead of being taken advantage of, he prospers, and eventually becomes the first cyborg.

Nikola Tesla had already begun going a bit mad when a young inventor by the name of Silas Bjorg came to him for some assistance in powering an automaton which can house a mammalian brain. After a year of development Tesla adapted one of his ZeeGee systems into an autoform, first rat brains were used, then a dog. Tesla demanded that he be the first, he wouldn't allow others to have the operation performed on them, of course, it would also mean immortality if successful.

The Operation was a success, except for one small issue, there was some damage to the vocal canter of his brain. This one thing drove Tesla to become insular, without the ability to communicate easily, and not needing to sleep, he began inventing at a furious pace. For a while he tried to explain his inventions in writing, but his frustrations got the best of him; he began to ignore those around him, inventing day and night. In exchange for a fully stocked lab, Tesla allowed his inventions to be taken so he could continuously invent. Teams of scientists took the inventions and tried to figure out what they did and how they worked; It sometimes yielded brilliant successes, yet many inventions have never been deciphered. Most however are reverse engineered, but not understood.

Next up will be a timeline of inventions. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fantasy Chess Pre-Review

So while we getting ready to leave Strategicon, we noticed the Fantasy Chess demo, it looked interesting if a bit 1970s in overall execution. The game it put out by Shadowhex in booklet form, con pricing was $12 for the rulebook. Now the rulebook is very retro in appearance, 11x17 printing folded and stapled. It has some very interesting rules which we'll be trying out over summer, we'll have to see how everything plays out, first we'll need to get a board assembled, shouldn't be difficult using CAD, pop over to Staples get it printed, then head over to Lakeshore Learning to get it laminated. 

Remember never judge a book by it's cover, well done artwork can hide the worst game ever, while poor artwork can hide one of the best gems ever. It has the appearance of a game that was printed on the cheap so it doesn't have to cost $60 for a rulebook...and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Though looking at the diagrams in the book can be a bit daunting...they're not 300dpi graphic images from a computer. I look forward to trying this game out and seeing how it works, especially the campaign rules and some of the variants.

Here's what the creator has to say on it from his website:

I made Fantasy Chess to be an interesting variant on chess. It is traditional chess with a layer of wargaming (or Role-Playing Game) mechanics layered on top. It uses traditional pieces (Pawn, Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King) with their traditional moves. What makes it different is the ability of pieces to share the squares and instead of taking a piece, you fight for the square using dice and statistics.

You say traditional chess is tough enough as it is without adding more things to complicate it? Perhaps. But chess is actually very simple:
Six different pieces with six different moves.

A playing surface of 8 squares by 8 squares.

Move your pieces in such a way as to be able to get one to enter the enemy kings square, thus winning the game while avoiding his pieces from getting at your king. Remove those enemy pieces that get in your way.
Children have been taught to play traditional chess and its easy for them.
If you remove the daunting thought that traditional chess is hard because there are so many ways the pieces can interact, that if I make the wrong it'll be over so I have to worry over this move for 10 minutes, that its an intellectual bully game, you are on your way to having fun with Traditional Chess.
Well, that is what Fantasy Chess is doing. Its having fun with Traditional Chess by adding some flavor to it. In the core game, all it does is add the ability to co-occupy the square of your own troops. It does replace the taking of pieces with a dice procedure that notes hit points and each piece's ability to hit, but once you learn the combat system (a common concept for most miniature games and role-playing games), it isn't really that complicated.
Children have been taught to play Fantasy Chess and its easy for them.

Having playtested Fantasy Chess over the years with hundreds of players, I know I have a playable, exciting chess variant. If you give it a try, I think you will agree
IMG_3142 copy
             - John Paul, Creator of Fantasy Chess

Monday, June 4, 2012

MW2039 Tab

I have added a tab for the Moderne World 2039 development. I really like where this game is going.

Here's some new information I'm getting ironed out.

The Seven Colonies As man expanded into the solar system spurred by Tesla's inventions, with Matter Transmission (MaX) Gates, and unlimited power provided by the Zee-Gee Generators, mankind first made it to the Moon, then to Mars, using the advances gained on the Moon, terraforming Mars was quick and and soon, a dozen colonial towns were popping up; Pyramids have become the symbol of the Mars colonies, as the amount of stone available for construction makes building them simple with vibralifts and laserdrills. Venus is the system HQ of Alcap1 Industries, Las Venus grew up around the towering casinos and speeks owned by some of the most powerful humans living today. Jupiter and Saturn host the 3 newest colonies on Io, Europa and Titan, a favorite destination for tourists as the gas giants make for stunning planet rises. The last colony started out as the penal colony known as New Alcatraz, floating in the middle of the Asteroid belt, hardened convicts broke big iron into little iron. Now known as The Rock, the mineral resources have drawn all sorts of traders and miners to the area. The Rock is a rough way to live for rough people.

War of the Worlds When H.G. Wells made his historic transmission, many thought it was some sort of hoax, days later when the aliens lie dying from Earth's germs, no one doubted it any longer. It was the catalyst to end warfare among the Earthlings, it put the nail in the coffin of racism, and sexism, suddenly a new age was dawning. When we reached Mars, we realized, they hadn't come from Mars, but from farther away.

Beings from the Darkest Reaches H.P. Lovecraft wasn't just writing, he was seeing through time and space, it drove him mad, but he had to get the information out to the people. Unfortunately as we stepped farther into the solar system.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Free RPG Day coming Up

Are you going?? If you're not, you're missing out on some great freebies...Pair A Dice sent me a reminder they're having Free RPG Day once more this year!! 

June  16th - Free RPG DayOnce again Pair A Dice Games will be hosting Free RPG Day. On Free RPG Day, you will be able to grab brand new material for a variety of RPGs --- no overstock, retail-priced or dead product here. The goal of Free RPG Day is to inspire gamers to play a new RPG, which will in turn, create sales through local game stores.
Pair A Dice Royalty Rewards Customers can pick out 2 items each. A bonus item can be selected when you purchase $10 or more in the store on free RPG Day. All this happens from 10AM till 6PM on Saturday June 16th. Come early, cause this cool stuff is 1st come 1st serve and won't last long.

Check out the list of amazing product!

  • Blue Panther
    Sample (1 per box), Dice Tower
  • Catalyst Game Labs
    Gold (10 ber box), A Time of War: BattleTech RPG/Shadowrun Quickstart flipbook
  • Catalyst Game Labs
    Gold (10 ber box), Cosmic Patrol RPG Quickstart
  • Chessex
    Silver, 4 Commerative Dice For Store Owner
  • Columbia Games
    Platinum (15 per box), Harn setting material with world map
  • Dice Candies
    Sample (1 per box), Set of 6 chocolate polyhedral dice
    (Final shape of chocolate NOT guaranteed with delivery)
  • Eden Studios
    Silver (5 per box), Conspiracy X Quickstart & Adventure
  • Fantasy Flight Games
    Gold (10 per box), Warhammer 40K Roleplay Only War Adventure, "Eleventh Hour"
  • Gaming Paper
    Sample (1 per box), "Slavers of the Sunken Garden", Pathfinder Adventure
  • Goodman Games
    Silver (6 per box), Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Quickstart & Adventure
  • Jon Brazer Enterprises
    Bronze (3 per box), Pathfinder, "Shadowsfall: Temple of Orcus"
  • Louis Porter Jr. Design
    Bronze (3 per box), NeoExodus Pathfinder Adventure
  • OffWorld Designs
    Sample (1 per box), "Ask me about Free RPG Day" T-Shirt (XL) for employees.
  • Paizo
    Platinum (15 per box), Pathfinder Adventure, Dawn of the Scarlet Sun
  • Pamean Games
    Sample (1 per box), Brass & Steel Quickstart
  • Q-Workshop
    Gold (10 per box), Unique Dice
  • Troll Lord Games
    Sample (1 per box), Castles & Crusades Adventure
  • Wizards of the Coast
    Platinum (15 per box), D&D 4E Adventure, "Dead in the Eye" 
If you're in North County, head to Pair-a-dice games:
Pair A Dice Games Inc
2020 Hacienda Dr Suite A
Vista, CA 92081

In addition if you're down south, you can head to At Ease Games in Poway to get the goodies instead!

At Ease Games
12373 Poway Rd. Suite A&B
Poway, CA 92064

If you're in Temecula, looks like you can head to 

Hobbytown USA
27452 Jefferson Ave #7
Temecula, CA 92590

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review - Hostile Takeover (Interface Zero)

Sorry, taking longer than normal to write this one, the full review is now complete.

Been a while since I posted a review, so Dave over at GunMetalGames comped a review copy of Hostile Takeover to me, which I always love since I'm a fan of Interface Zero, and GMG puts out some nice product. 

Hostile Takeover (Interface Zero (Savage Worlds)

First Glance 
First and foremost it appears that GMG has been reading the reviews on the previous products. There's still plenty of great art, but only one full-sized piece of artwork. In addition the layout has been simplified, making for a little less content, but a lot easier to peruse.

Main Review
I was a little skeptical at first, playing on the business side of MegaCorps, then I thought, wait, if I the GM am playing the business side, that will give me lots more options of what to throw against players, and if they decide to start a business of their own what would happen? Let's see what's in here shall we?

The book is divided into two main sections, and orientation section for new employees, including a biz-speak section, so you can really feel like you're an 80s power broker! ("Don't you worry about blank, let me worry about blank...")

In this Welcome New Employee section, a hacker named Tetsubo has left new hires commentary in the file.
The most interesting thing we see in this part is the fact that "The Company" in question is a Christian company as it's part of the NAC. Showing that religious companies are fairly common in the NAC. Biz-Speak is a pretty fun section as the "Dazzle them with Bulls**t" sidebar indicates. The section drops into how skills can be used differently in an office environment. An example being Gambling for betting pools. Tweaks on Edges and Hindrances, such as Big Mouth (minor), being (major) in a corporate environment because letting company secrets out can land your a** in the lock-up, or taking a leap off the top of the building in an assisted suicide. Also added is the Knowledge (Business) skill.

Some useful new hindrances and edges are presented. Black-Listed, Compassionate, Dependance (major/minor), Freelancer/Consultant, Jinx,  NDA (yeah Non-disclosure agreement...), Out of your League, and lastly  Owned, this one is great for other stuff, like people who want way more than the standard chrome, you mave have gotten a lot of debt, and now you're 'owned' by the MegaConglom like an indentured servant of old.(This will work great for Juicers and Full Borgs in my Rifts conversion.) Most of these are edges hindrances which make sense outside the office with a little tweaking. Some interesting new edges, so you've got cash from being Rich or Noble...but where's that dynastic power? Trust Fund Baby and Improved Trust Fund Baby, bring you that fame that a well-known name brings. Rainmaker is the good-luck of corporate life, good things happen for the business when this guy's involved. Three Combat edges make this supplement pretty sweet for non-Corp games. Fire Team drill (bonuses for combat teams well versed in working with each other...AKA, watch out Legends, those 20 SWAT officers are still dangerous.) Non-Lethal Take-down and its improved version can be handy for pretty much any SW game, especially for pacifists, or games where killing someone might have some legal ramifications.

Most of the Leadership feats are very oriented to this setting, Management Material, Dedicated Focus, Promote from Within, Inspirational Speech, Protege,  and Master Planner.

Two new weird edges have some coolness to them. Hound let's the weird individual sense Zeeks (psychics), this one is perfect for certain Stalkers of Psions in Savage Rifts. Monstrous lets the player take a 'monstrous' ability, I think out of the monster section (I'll have to clarify with GMG). FIVE new professional edges are in this section as well. I always love professional edges, it's one thing to have an archetype idea, it's another to have some mechanics to go along with that meme. Infiltrator, Social Engineer, Security Specialist, Street Rat and the Business Wizard.

There's a 2 page section on Expense accounts, which works well to make the company pay for stuff you need, however you push too far, and you might get the sack when they audit you!

Speaking of expense accounts, the Malmart catalog includes: Armored Executive clothing, look good and kill em in the boardroom! I luckily wasn't drinking my tea when I came upon the L'il Mogul sleepware, it's an ARMORED ONESIE FOR BABIES!!!! HAH! Brilliant and Hilarious! Hah, the next section is the Useless Sh*t section, execs are always buying crap they don't need....this should cover that.

A good offense is just as important as a good defense in 2088, so you might find a monofilament sword-cane to your liking for maybe a briefcase gun (aggressive sales pitch with the artwork on this page as well). Need a little more punch but don't want to suffer any cyber trauma? Go for portable versions, making any type of cyber ware into a hand held/worn version, Cyber Eye Goggles for example. Watch out for Riot Gel Mines in offices which prefer to prosecute over execute, non-lethal mines, that'll leave a mark. Going out for a night on the town, grab some Pheromones, equally as effective in the board room. In the business world, missing deadlines isn't an option; the legal drug, Redline, is sometimes used by Managers to pull some serious OT, at the expense of the workers.

When you sign your life away to work for a corp, what you didn't read the fine print? You might be required to install certain programs on your tap that censor what you see and hear, from news to nudity to the boss and the secretary, if it's programmed that you can't see it, That Tap-Soft program won't let you see it. With behavioral Software and Selectivity Software installed, you've given your soul to the Company.

Let's face it, executive privilege makes lots of enemies, so you need to have security beyond the bodyguards. You can go for the Basic Security package or increase it,  using advanced tech which even keeps out Zeeks. Travel in safety and style in the Warhawk VTOL or the Stealthy, Ford 'Phantom' Hover Limo.

As we slip into the second part of the manual, it gives a quick synopsis of what makes a good Corporate game, this is very important, because sitting in an office 10 hours a can is very, very not fun. Let me repeat that. Sitting in an office 10 hours a can is very, very not fun so why would we want to role-play that when we're trying to get away from work?  Here's the titles of the 'advice' bits: Focus on the Exceptional, GEt out of the Office, Keep them on their toes, Let them be in charge. Really this is just reiterating what makes good gaming to begin with; however due to the subject material, it is very fitting. Next up is mood, because you can imagine working for ToyLand R&D would be better than working at McBurger Headquarters right? So setting the mood is tantamount to a successful Corp game. Corporate Espionage, perhaps your group is working for a MegaConGlom, but you're there spying for another. Corporate Ops style game puts you characters in charge of the Corp.

Now what I see is, players running a Corporate Ops game, having the team be the head honchos and sending some scrubs out for a little Corporate Sabotage, now the scene shifts to the players running the Sabotage team, meanwhile with the main big hitters out int he field, the head honchos suddenly find out their own office is being raided....So the players can be running two separate, yet related, games in the same night. It also lets the characters REALLY call the shots on where the game is heading.

Next up, Corporate Trappings, the literal body and soul of the corp office, however, it includes game mechanics as well. A Vengeful Corp tends to seek vengeance on those that wronged the company. However they're not looked on too highly and others react poorly when dealing with members of this company. With 20 different trappings, including the "-ism" trapping there's lots of room to make each company feel different. The descriptions cover pages 23-31.

Next up is the C-7. Descriptions of the 7 most powerful corporations in the IZ world. Central Belarusian Steel, Chimera, Helios, LaCroix Organizational Agencies, New Frontier Enterprises, Subarashii Ltd. and Golden Promise, Inc. These are just the biggest, not all of them, plenty of room for growth. In fact, the C7 is more of a Big Boys club, as many other powerful corps aren't on the list.

Next up some Variant rules, Using Chase rules to simulate A Race to bring a product to Market versus a rival company (or even department). Or how about using the Mass Battle rules to simulate a Hostile Takeover..pretty clever way to use existing rules to cover a new situation with minimal fuss.

And of course, last but not least, NPCs, the following NPCs are presented in this book, Low-level and Elite Security, and their Wildcard Head of Secutiry. Office executives and lowly worker drones. Security drones however are a bit different than Worker drones, with two separate security drones, the Centurion Light Drone and the Huanfeng III, being used by corps to patrol their halls, pack some armor for your next raid, you don't know what the opposition is prepared for, so be on your toes.

Family Rating: Again, this supplement is for Interface Zero, it deals with murder, death, and drugs, Rated 13+ as far as I can tell.

Artwork: Again, full color interior are, only 1 full page print, which means more content, I can't complain about that.

Overall Rating: 19. I've seen mybe 3 typoes in this book, the rules are pretty solid and the fiction is good as well. GMG stepped up and listened to what others were reviewing for clarity of reading, let's hope it keeps up for the next supplements, especially the upcoming MalMart product!!

Hostile Takeover is available in PDF format from DrivethruRPG at the low cost of $7.99