Monday, April 30, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Don't forgot Comic Fans, Free Comic Book day is coming up This SATURDAY! Cinco de Mayo! Comics de Mayo!

There are lots of Stores that do Free Comic Book day

We'll probably be going to Invincible Ink off the 78 near Costco. But we'll have to see.

Linked from

630 Nordahl Rd
Suite K
San Marcos, CA, 92069
Kids Friendly

1131 E Washington
Space B
Escondido, CA, 92025

606 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA, 92054

9839 Mira Mesa Blvd.
(Just East Of I-15)
San Diego, CA, 92131
Kids Friendly

27314 Jefferson Ave
Ste 9 & 10
Temecula, CA, 92590

8280 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA, 92111
Kids Friendly

3371 Adams Avenue
San Deigo, CA, 92116

1620 Camino De La Reina Suite D
Located At The Mission Valley Trolley Station
San Diego, CA, 92108

1629 University Ave
San Diego, CA, 92103

6937 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA, 92115
Kids Friendly

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Atomic Robo @ Gam3Day

So, Gam3day...EPIC!

Mike Olson came down to run an alpha playtest for the FATE based Atomic Robo role-playing game. It was a Super Secret play-test! And it was really fun.

Pretty cool because Mike has come up with some epic concepts for this specific game. The pyramid of skills isn't present in its current incarnation, and Mike has emphasized quick character creation over advancement, to make this game play like the Atomic Robo comics. When you want to come up with some character's background, you can go back and play an earlier episode in the character's life. If the other characters aren't in that story, no problem, you just create some other characters instead and run with it. Organizations will be a major way in which your characters advance, granting different aspects to the characters by being members of the organization. (Remember this is an Alpha version and nothing is set in stone)

This game does use FUDGE dice rather then d6s like Legends of Anglerre. I prefer the FUDGE dice even though it does mean a different type of die you need to own, but you only need 4 to play, so it's not very expensive. Besides FUDGE dice are simple to use.

So Mike said he used Kerberos Club as one of his references, but he didn't use a lot from it, one of the things he kept which I really like is the Collateral Damage rules. Makes for a really interesting scene when you let a Robot crush the floor under you instead of crushing your head! Then of course you fall through. I will definitely be watching what's going on with great interest.

Stunts are in, refresh is out, in keeping with the simple system. (currently, who knows what the FUTURE MAY BRING!)

The first PUBLIC play-test will be at GenCon:

If you're eager to check out Atomic Robo's progress, we'll be conducting the first public playtests at GenCon in August. It looks like we ("we" being Andy Blanchard, Chris Czerniak, Morgan Ellis, and myself) will be offering six scheduled sessions between us:

Thursday, August 16th at 2:00 pm
Friday, August 17th at 2:00 pm (two sessions)
Saturday, August 18th at 12:00 pm
Saturday at 2:00 pm (two sessions)And possibly a Sunday game as well. Odds are also good that you'll see some ARRPGgames at Games on Demand, too.
You can find all of them in the schedule as Atomic Robo: Sneak Preview. Not an evocative name, maybe, but it gets the point across. The blurb's the same for all of them:
 Action! Science! Robots! Playtest the new RPG adaptation of the hit indie comic book series Atomic Robo, coming soon from Evil Hat. No experience with FATE or higher-dimension mathematics required.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gam3day tomorrow!

Hey, just a reminder, Gam3rCon Gam3day is tomorrow, 12-9 at the Tenth Avenue theater. We'll be there, will you? $5 at the door..9 hours of gaming, that's a good deal!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wargaming Products - Western Style Buildings

So I got to see these  from Andaya Laser Cutting in live play at Kingdom Con (During our Malifaux Games). And I have mixed feelings. On the plus side, they are pretty cool looking and I believe if painted up nicely they'd be rock'n. However, at KC they were just put on the table as is, not glued together. Now wood cut tokens for Malifaux are pretty nice, but I'm not seeing the ones I played with at KC in the product listing. Also, they're a bit pricey, $35 for the gallows is kinda steep. They best deal would be the 3 buildings without interiors at $57, however that's almost 2 full crews for Malifaux or a Core rulebook for an RPG.

Collapsible Gallows / StageWestern Skirmish AccessoriesWestern Building Bundle - No Interior VariantsDynamite Token

So on the plus, they're stronger than paper cut-outs and have solid bases. They 'can' be used just assembled, however you can see all the tabs if you do it that way. In addition, they buildings can be bought with or without interiors.

I feel they could easily be made without visible tabs and that would make them a more visually stunning product. Terraclips has the same issue with the plastic clips they use, it just detracts from the models.

I don't think I'll be getting the buildings, and $1 per token is really steep for a little piece of wood. Yes I know the cost of the laser cutting and development is up there, I might pay $4 for 6 since that's how many you'd need.

Anyway, make your own choices, I'm cheap! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NEWS! - Monte Cook leaves WotC

as linked from Monte Cook's Livejournal:

Happy Monte 
Change of Plans

Last week I decided that I would leave my contract position with Wizards of the Coast. I am no longer working on Dungeons & Dragons, although I may provide occasional consultation in the future. My decision is one based on differences of opinion with the company. However, I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed every moment of working with them over the past year. I have faith that they'll create a fun game. I'm rooting for them.

Due to my non-disclosure agreement, as well as a desire to keep things on a professional level, I have no intention of going into further detail at this time. (Mostly, I just hate drama, and would rather talk about more interesting things.)

As for what I'll be turning to next, I hope you'll stay tuned. I plan on having an interesting announcement in that regard in the near future.

Wow, this is pretty amazing news. Obviously Monte can't say anything about the game due to his NDA with WotC. I was already thinking that they had bitten off far more than they could possibly achieve. Monte is a stellar designer and might have made it work, now I wonder if the other designers can pull it off...I guess we'll have to see. I wonder what happens to D&D next?

Monte also states he has a big announcement coming, Owen Stephens made a cryptic comment on th eLJ I'm speculating that Monte will be joining the Paizo team, or possibly the Goblinworks team to work on PFO.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review - Earthdawn Player's Guide (Savage Worlds edition)

Earthdawn Player's Guide (Savage Worlds edition)
Author: Hank Woon

Last Month, I reviewed the Pathfinder Edition of the Earthdawn Player's Guide, and I wasn't as jazzed about it as I had hoped, as some of the design decisions took away some of the feeling of Earthdawn, specifically the spell casting aspects. I'm happy to say that the Savage Worlds edition does not lack in that aspect.

Disclaimer: Once again, this PDF was provided to Epic RPG Blog for review purposes.

Before science, before history, there was an Age of Legend... For years humanity huddled in underground kaers, as the astral beings known as the Horrors ravaged the land in an orgy of terror and destruction. Now the long, dark age of the Scourge has passed, and the brave adventurers emerge to reclaim their world.
Elf, ork, t'skrang, human, and other wondrous races explore a world that teems with strange creatures and unseen dangers; a world of lost cities, or ancient, long-forgotten treasures and idescribable wonders; a world where the very earth and sky vibrate with powerful arcane energies.
The Earthdawn® Player's Guide contains what every Savage Worlds player needs to create one of these brave heroes and help rekindle the glory of days past, including new races, gear, spells, Edges, and rules for being an Adept. Join the adventure and begin roleplaying in Earthdawn, the Age of Legend!
Earthdawn® Player's Guide™
Savage Worlds Edition Core Rulebook
Published by RedBrick LLC
Format: 280 pages, 6.14" x 9.21", B+W Interior

Earthdawn® is a registered trademark of FASA Corporation. Barsaive™, The Adept’s Way™, and Earthdawn® Player’s Guide™ are trademarks of FASA Corporation. Earthdawn® First Edition Material copyright © 1993–2012 FASA Corporation. Published by RedBrick LLC under license from FASA Corporation—Made in the USA. Copyright © 2012 FASA Corporation, RedBrick LLC. All rights reserved. This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.

What you get: a 280 black and white PDF in 6.14" x 9.21" format.

Main review: One of the things I look for in a Savage Worlds book is mining ideas for my SAVAGE RIFTS conversion. This book definitely delivers in that arena. The disciplines from Earthdawn are presented as a series of Discipline edges, so there's plenty of ideas in there to mine. There are over 150 (I think I counted 188) adept edges, which are powered by karma points. It's a pretty good system it looks like, with adepts gaining two free adept edges per tier. Using karma points to power the adept edges keeps them from completely over-powered while making sure it feels like Earthdawn.

Overall the entire Earthdawn Savage Worlds edition does capture the feel of Earthdawn while maintaining the "Fast, Fun and Furious" aspect of Savage Worlds. The magic system refers to spell matrixes, though it's slightly different, as the matrix contain threads (power points). The system works fairly well as a standard Savage Worlds system. However, in my typical house-rule fashion, I would change it a little bit (instead of having 3 spells to start I would allow Smarts number of spells, but only allow 2 to be in the matrix, giving it a more Earthdawn flavor and making it have better utility. Additional matrices would be allowed as advances.

Chapter 1 & 2 are the same fluff you get in the Player's Guide for Earthdawn and Pathfinder. The story Inheritance, followed by Chapter 2's history, WHICH if you're not familiar with the World of Earthdawn, can be quite interesting. While there are Elves, Dwarves, Trolls and Orcs, they're not the exact same as other fantasy games, in fact, in Barsaive, dwarves are the most numerous race with approximately 32% being dwarf.

Chapter 3 covers character creation. This flows very similar to standard Savage Worlds character creation. Race, traits and derived stats are all very similar, though you start to see some variation in Edges, as you get TWO free adept edges, in addition to a Discipline edge; making Earthdawn characters a bit more powerful at character creation than perhaps a Seasoned character (which works with the fluff of Earthdawn, as adepts are much more advanced than non-adepts.) Next comes a list of forbidden and modified edges and hindrances. Gear comes next in character creation, using Earthdawn silver standard prices. Finally creation rounds out with background. Characters can choose from 8 races, dwarf, elf, human, obsidimen, orc, troll, windling or t'skrang. Most of those are obvious; though windlings, obsidimen and t'skrang are a bit different. Windlings being 18" tall fae that can only fly for short periods of time. Obsidimen are rock-like beings which are from various 'liferocks' around Barsaive. T'skrang are flamboyant pterodactyl headed lizard'man style race. The normal earthdawn Disciplines (read as a class for those who are unfamiliar with Earthdawn), are represented by edge choices with the 'free' discipline edge determining what discipline you start as. (as far as I can tell you can still train a second discipine in EDSW, just like in Earthdawn, of course it works a bit different in Earthdawn, as you could RAW, have every available discipline.)

Chapter 4 is more fluff from Earthdawn. This covers what it means to be an Adept. It gives lots and lots of information for each of the different disciplines. Basically, being an adept means that magic is strong enough in you that it flows through you and powers your abilities with magic. Each discipline guides your world view, an archer typically sees the world in arcs with various obstacles to overcome while a Warrior sees life as a conflict to be overcome. AThief sees everything in the world as riches to be won. Understanding what it means to be your discipline guides you on your path in life. Your discipline is more of a definition than your race.

Chapter 5 this is the edges chapter. Hank Woon went nuts in this chapter, converting most of the talents in Earthdawn into Edges! I mean there's almost 6 and a half pages of TABLES. Not descriptions, TABLES. There are 26 pages of descriptions of the edges. There are plenty of rock'n edges that can easily be lifted for conversions to other games. This book is gold if for nothing more than the massive number of edges.

Chapter 6 This is the Magic chapter, it's a fluff chapter, but it's really light, pretty much glazing over some information about thread magic, patterns and blood magic. It gives the basic ideas behind the mechanics of Magic. For actual spells you need to go to the next chapter.

Chapter 7 Spells.  This is where the Savage Worlds edition did a better job than the Pathfinder edition at 'feeling' like Earthdawn. Power Points were given a quick name change to Threads. Mechanically this has no real different effect than a name change, but thematically it makes sense. As I said before, I think I would make Matrices act as the focus for which of your many spells you have available NOW. This is an issue that Savage Worlds has, and it's one of the few things I don't like about Savage Worlds, same as I don't really like Sorcerers in Pathfinder because they lack the utility of choice. In Savage Earthdawn, you suffer even more by being limited to THREE spells. Thus making spell casters a poor choice to me, and spells like Crunch Climb a trap that locks you into a limited use spell.

Chapter 8 Gear. Well it's a gear chapter, so of course there's gear in it, including the many cool items from Earthdawn that make it unique like the Tri-spear and Troll sword. Now I don't think it's perfect, for some reason dwarf swords actually give dwarves a bonus to parry, and only trolls can wield a troll sword one-handed, not obsidimen. I'm happy to see several things make it into this edition. Hawk Hatchets were always one of my favorite weapons in Earthdawn, so I'm quite pleased to see they made the cut. I'm also very glad to see that 'Mystic Armor' ratings made it. One of the other things that makes this version FEEL right. A minor issue in this edition is the lack of stacking armor. But with the smaller armor values it makes sense that stacking would cause issues. I would still allow armor to stack, taking the better value from the combined set. For example, wearing Fernweave over Chainmail would give +2 Physical/+4 Mystic armor. Another very Earthdawn set of items are blood charms, minor magic items that have many varied uses; Hank did another great job converting these items to keep the feel of them.

Chapter 9 covers religion, it covers the 12 passions, including the 3 passions who went mad during the Scourge. Now the difference between Passions and gods, is the fact that all the passions were once mortals. So they're more looked to as examples to strive towards. Questors are hinted at, but no edges are given for player Questors. Typically all the passions are given attention, but Questors actually strive toward the ideals of a single Passion and are typically rewarded with additional powers that they tap into with their magic.

Chapter 10 is about Barsaive, This is where the game takes place. Barsaive is Europe during the Age of Legends. It's a quick overview which is fine, as most players will be leaving their kaers (magically sealed underground cities) or citadels (magically sealed surface cities) and exploring the area around them at first, so you don't need too much information about the World, except that it's scary and for some reason the Horrors are not all gone. For some reason the magic levels which were supposed to drop back to nothing stabilized at a level high enough to sustain many horrible creatures, but also great challenges to make a legend for yourself with.

Available in PDF format from Drivethru RPG for $17.99 currently.

Family Rating: Rated T (violence and scary monsters)

Artwork: The book contains lots of the original artwork from the FASA edition, which keeps it feeling like Earthdawn.

Overall Rating:  This is a solid product with very few minor issues in this reviewer's opinion.

of 20   EPIC!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gam3rCon Gamesday coming up

If you check the Convention Schedule, you'll see the Gam3rCon Gameday is coming up...THIS SUNDAY

Chris Czerniak has arranged lots of gaming for this one day event that only costs $5.  Here's what's on the docket: (I'll probably be playing Dominion until 2:00 when the event I want to play in happens....)

Pathfinder (12:00)
The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game puts you in the role of a brave adventurer fighting to survive in a world beset by magic and evil! Take on the role of a canny fighter hacking through enemies with an enchanted sword, a powerful sorceress blessed with magic by the hint of demon blood in her veins, a wise cleric of gods benevolent or malign, a witty rogue ready to defuse even the deadliest of traps, or any of countless other heroes. The only limit is your imagination!

Call of Chtulhu (5:00)
If you have ever been enthralled by a ghost story or spellbound at a horror movie, you are in for a treat. Part the veil that separates frail humanity from the terror that lurks beyond space and time. Investigate forgotten ruins, haunted woods, and nameless menaces.

Savage Worlds: Slipstream (12:00)
Beyond the black holes lies the Slipstream, a pocket universe of shattered worlds, desperate aliens, and savage monsters. Ruling over the shattered isles is the diabolical Queen Anathraxa, who some say is close to finding a way to escape this interstellar prison.

Marvel RPG (5:00)
Greetings True Believers! Today you and your friends can play as Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Miss Marvel, and/or Spiderman as they respond to a break out at the supermax prison facility for super powered criminals on Rykers Island in New York City. Make Mine Marvel! and Try Marvel Heroic Roleplaying today.

Fiasco: Hero City (12:00)
Welcome to Hero City, home to some of the world's most popular superheroes. Heroes like Captain Crusader! Masked Revenger! Dynamo-Man! And the rest of the Defenders of Justice!

Exalted (12:00)
Exalted is a game of epic fantasy set during the Second Age of Man, a time before our own. It is an age of magic and adventure, when heroes of legend are reborn into a time of woe.

Vampire the Masquerade (5:00)
A group of young vampires are sent on a mission only to find that status quo has changed on their return and that they now have the power to control the city.

Board and Card Games:
Boards and card games are going to be fast and loose. The games below will have Gamemasters who will be ready to run/or teach the game. Of course everyone who is interested is encouraged to bring games. More information will be provided at the check-in.

Lords of Waterdeep
Cosmic Encounters

I left off one item, so if you want to see what it is I left off, head to the website

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Game room

One of the great things about moving into our new place, is having a garage again. So what kind of gamer would I be if I didn't have a game room? A boring one that's what kind.

So I'm setting up a nice area, lots of shelves, a 6' folding table, with optional 4'x8' surface for wargaming. Once I get rid of my Warhammer 40k figures, I will be concentrating on Malifaux, and eventually Infinity. I really am a fan of smaller scale skirmish games for wargaming. My favorite Games Workshop games are Mordheim, Necromunda and Bloodbowl. I still have a spot in my heart for WarZone.

If anyone is interested in my 40k stuff, shoot an email to me, I've got a LOT of figures, 12 tanks, 40+ terminators, 3 dreadnoughts, speeders, bikes, a dozen scouts if memory serves, and over 100 marines. Most are in various stages of assembly. Oh I also have 20-30 skull shoulder pads, because I was going to do Silver  Skulls.

Edit: The room is coming along, I was able to get more boxes unpacked and stuff stored, I keep realizing HOW MUCH stuff I actually will be having a new seller soon as I unload much of my old gaming material that I'll 'never' use again. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Resources - Calculator

So, I'm tired and worn out from my first week of work in addition to cleaning out the old place, and trying to bang my head against the wall for something to write, then I check my email, and Matt Rivaldi has sent a link to his website with a "break even calculator".

Pretty cool tool if you're thinking of producing a board game without a backer...or possibly you ran a Kickstarter and have some funds already, but you want to know what you can afford.

Check it out the Excel file at

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Iron Kingdoms RPG Summer 2012

So, Privateer Press will be releasing the new Iron Kingdoms RPG this summer. One of the things that 4th edition did is decouple many of the 3rd party publishers from producing  stuff for Dungeons & Dragons. This is one of those products. Iron Kingdoms started as a series of adventures (Witchfire Trilogy 2001-2004), then grew to a full Campaign setting (Lock n Load 2003, Character Guide 2004, World Guide 2005). After the First Witchfire modules were released, the War Machine rules and first miniatures were released in 2003.

Now, 11 years after the first module was released, Privateer Press is releasing a Role-playing game based upon the war game, from listening to the preview, it will be a 2d6 based system, which uses many of the mechanics of War Machine. Now myself not being a War Machine player, this makes it less interesting, however, I do love the world itself, and the campaign world is what interests me. I seriously hope I can get my hands on a preview copy, so I could let you all know what it's like.

Check out the preview video at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Con Report: Kingdom Con Saturday

Saturday is THE main day for Kingdom Con. There was a massive Warhammer 40k tournament, The Warmachine qualifier for GenCon, and the Game of Thrones GenCon Qualifier.

Infinity demo table,  4 on 4 game, I really like the hacking in the game, it's pretty kick-ass.

Nice Rezolution set-up by Aberrant

Aberrant has greatly expanded the line of Minis for WarLands, and the quality seems to be coming up as well. 

Scrapmech, the Stranger and Max the Dog, (with his awesome Interceptor), as well as a Sand Surfer

Rezolution minis

More Rezolution minis

Blood on the Style

Mini painting Competition

Mini painting Competition

Mini painting Competition

Mini painting Competition

Aaron Lovejoy's shelf, not in competition..Aaron teaches painting classes at At Ease Games.

Mini painting Competition

Winner of the Fanatical Gamer's Society San Diego Food Bank Charity Raffle
(He chose the painted WarMachine Army...dang that's the one we wanted...)

Second place, wins a $200 box of Flames of War

Third Place, PressGanger with Noise Marine box set donated by a high school buddy of mine (John, that's you)

The boys started the day by trying out Malifaux, which they enjoyed SO much that they wanted to stay for the Achiever tournament at 9pm, and then play in the Malifaux 35 Soulstone tournament on Sunday.

They jumped over to the Infinity demo after they finished with the Malifaux demo. They still want to get into Infinity, but after Malifaux.

Chris Czerniak finally got enough people together to run an Airship Pirates game. It was the First time I had played that system, and I was very pleased with the richness of the world. They boys also seemed to really enjoy the game, though the younger kids at the table tended to cause a lot of issues...but many of them were hilarious!

(This post will be edited tomorrow...bed calls because work in the morning)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Con Report: Kingdom Con Sunday (Dust)

When we got to Kingdom Con on Sunday morning the DUST had just settled on the battlefield. So, we got to try out the Dust Warfare Miniatures game preview (Fantasy Flight Games) which is due to release soon.

Dust Warfare rulebook which will run $39.95

“They were no match for our Ludwigs.”
    –Sigrid Von Thaler

In the year 1947, World War II still rages. Allied and Axis forces wage massive battles with weapons derived from alien technology in the alternate 1940s reality of Dust Warfare.

Players of this exciting tabletop miniatures game control heroes, squads, and fearsome combat walkers as the world’s great powers battle for control of VK, the rare ore needed to fuel the newest and most powerful developments in weapons technology. Designed by renowned miniatures guru Andy Chambers, the Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook introduces some of the most dynamic and engaging miniatures game design available and integrates stunning miniatures from the fast and furious Dust Tactics board game.
One of the things I have to say about the DUST Miniatures, is, they're gorgeous, the detail is great, including hollow barrels on the large walker models, making them look like miniaturized versions of actual war machines which never existed.

The game seems to play really fast, it uses a system specific die which has two bulls eyes on it. Activation occurs with all forces on one side activating, though at the beginning of the turn, each force can use a single activation of one unit. I also like that a unit which is being attacked during an activation, can react with a single action also. Reactions are one of the core mechanics I'm really liking in these skirmish types of games, as it gives the game a nice flow. Suppression works well in the game also, each time a unit comes under fire, it gains a suppression marker, which affect how it can act in the future. One marker is removed at the end of each turn, so if you can get multiple shots on a unit, you can lock it down pretty well.

Fun game, not my favorite of the con, but it was definitely fun, the boys enjoyed it as well.

Epic Ian and Epic Sean prepare for warfare, DUST Style, great way to start the day!

A light walker, pretty awesome because you can easily swap weapon systems
WITHOUT having to  have two separate models.

This thing is freaking awesome!

So is this Heavy Assault Walker.

Greg's pre-painted force from Tactics.

I rolled 4 bulls eyes with 4 dice for defense, denying all damage.

Light Walker, on fire, runs through two enemies trying to light them on fire before it drops.
(Those Rocket fists HURT)

The resilient keyword on the German forces keeps them in the game longer as you get an extra die to roll on defense rolls.

The Germans have GORILLAS!!! How Epic is that?

Infantry units, Germans have Laser grenadiers, those lasers are wicked too, they're  continuous, so hits explode with re-rolls.
Note: If I got a rule wrong, it's because I only played it once, and I'm doing this from memory.