19 Jun

5 Questions for Choice of Games

Steam LogoIn case you didn’t know, Choice of Games is a company that’s been putting Interactive Fiction back on the map. Their apps are available through nearly every provider, and they represent a new era in the classic Choose Your Own Adventure style but with the added depth that working off of an electronic device can provide. Now, in very big news, two of their IF novels, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy and Heroes Rise: The Hero Project, are now available on Steam! They are also Steam’s very first text adventure games, an impressive milestone indeed.

Choice of Games logoIn the grand tradition of networking, I was introduced to friend-of-a-friend, Jason Stevan Hill of Choice of Games. You see, fellow author Andrew G. Schneider (author of Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed) introduced me to Alana Joli Abbott (author of Choice of Games’s Showdown at Willow Creek and Choice of Kung Fu as well as Into the Reach and Departure) who introduced me to Jason. Jason, in turn, graciously provided me with plenty of information and advice about Interactive Fiction. He spared a few minutes for me to answer some questions about Choice of Games adding Steam to their distribution channels. Continue reading

16 Oct

The Eternal Rest in Dungeon World

Dungeon World

Last week I mentioned that my system neutral fantasy game supplement The Eternal Rest is currently on sale over at DriveThruRPG.com on the Drunken Goblin page. I also indicated that I’d been thinking about Dungeon World and adding some moves to further supplement The Eternal Rest. I wrote the PDF around the idea that its hooks could be put to use in any rule set and would leave the mechanics up to the game master.

With Dungeon World on my mind lately, I decided to take my own challenge and bolt on a few straightforward mechanics to The Eternal Rest. Even if you aren’t familiar with Dungeon World (and why not?), each of those moves can still be looted for added hooks to spin off from my PDF. Continue reading

3 Apr

Torn Armor Kickstarter Final Assault

Torn ArmorThe Torn Armor tabletop miniatures wargame Kickstarter is in its final 24 hours. It’s already been successfully funded, so now you’re just buying into a sweet collection of miniatures, a solid wargame, and the history of the Torn World. If you haven’t already, check out my interviews (part 1 and part 2) with the creator of the Torn World, Alyssa Faden. Then head over to the Torn Armor Kickstarter page and take a look at what’s on offer.
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22 Feb

Close Encounters: An Interview with Alyssa Faden of Torn World, Part 2

Torn Armor
Artwork by Jeff Laubenstein. Yes, that Jeff Laubenstein.

Earlier this week I delved into the Torn World setting and also delved into the mind of its creator, Alyssa Faden. In addition to Torn World’s current Pathfinder Roleplaying Game setting and Center Stage Miniatures line, a flagship project is a tabletop miniatures skirmish game, Torn Armor.

The Torn Armor Kickstarter launches on March 3rd and you want to be ready. If images like the Sisk Skirmisher Golem aren’t enough to make you realize that games need more ballista-toting constructs, then Alyssa Faden and her team’s plans for Torn Armor should still grab your attention… but you should still make every effort to find out what’s wrong with you. Continue reading

20 Feb

Close Encounters: An Interview with Alyssa Faden of Torn World, Part 1

Torn World Sisk Light War Golem
This. Alyssa and the Torn World want us to have more of THIS!

Alyssa Faden appeared on my radar when I saw some of her exceptional cartography work posted in a discussion group of old school gamers. Although she has freelanced for a number of gaming companies –Kobold Quarterly and Gygax Magazine, for instance– some of her work is born of her own setting, Torn World, a campaign world that has spanned decades and continents, both real and imaginary.

That setting slumbered like something massive lurking beneath the choppy waters of the internet. Over the years some people knew of its existence, and they eventually inspired Alyssa to assemble a team of writers, artists, and editors to wake this beast and unleash it upon an unsuspecting world. It’s like Godzilla, or Cthulu, assuming either of those timeless forces of nature/madness could also hurl a pilum… Continue reading

15 Feb

Review: James M. Ward’s Tower of the Scarlet Wizard

Eldritch Enterprises LogoTower of the Scarlet Wizard is an adventure put out by Eldritch Enterprises’ to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by James M. Ward, the writer of Dark Outpost (previously reviewed here), this adventure offers the unique twist of allowing a PC to inherit the dungeon after it is explored.

Eldritch Enterprises once again serves up an old-school, open-ended adventure that fits easily into any campaign and adapts to nearly any rules set you might use. It calls for “three or more players of moderate experience” on the cover and threatens a 60% fatality rating, although, at a glance, I think it is certainly more forgiving than several other Eldritch Enterprises offerings. Like all their products, it is a very easy matter to further increase or decrease the difficulty of the adventure and Tower of the Scarlet Wizard offers a number of encounters that are not based on combat alone. (Be warned, there might be some spoilers ahead.) Continue reading

8 Feb

Kickstart the Weekend: Success Stories

Kickstarter LogoI have stayed away from Kickstarter for a little while recently. The avoidance isn’t any kind of “protest against their business model” or a stand against the notion that everyone and their brother has a Kickstarter. No, it’s that I would get too excited about things that I shouldn’t be buying. This surge of ideas and funding in the gaming community (and beyond) make it difficult to hold onto my money. But, as I’ve said before, if I can’t financially support a good idea, I can at least spread that idea around for others to see.

Most recently, Fred Hicks and Evil Hat Productions took my money (and the money of quite a few others). Although, for what I got for my money, I feel like I robbed him in some fashion. You can expect to hear more about my thoughts on the Fate Core System in the future. In the meantime, we have the final novel in Alana Abbott’s fantasy trilogy, some remarkable 28mm miniatures for the Torn World from Center Stage Miniatures, and my thoughts on the developments with Tabletop Forge and Roll20. Continue reading

6 Feb

Review: Tim Kask’s Curse of the Weaver Queen

Eldritch Enterprises LogoCurse of the Weaver Queen is Eldritch Enterprises’ latest adventure meant to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by Tim Kask, the writer of the Snakeriders of the Aradondo (reviewed here in January), Curse of the Weaver Queen holds to his philosophy of constructing an adventure around the fact that every group has a different style of play. The GM who runs it is expected to tweak it to the tastes of his gaming group.

A dungeon crawl that embraces Eldritch Enterprises’ typical old-school feel, Curse of the Weaver Queen can be integrated into virtually any campaign with one or two simple hooks. The cover identifies it as “a remarkably deadly adventure for 5 – 7 players of moderate level” and I would agree with that assessment. I do believe it can easily be modified, based on the system you adapt it to fit, to adjust for more or fewer players, but the GM should keep the danger level in mind (especially when reducing the number of players). Continue reading

1 Nov

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle

UPDATED 11/16/12: Thank you to everyone who purchased this product bundle, to all of the contributing publishers, and DriveThruRPG.com. This  bundle earned $15,827.00 for the Red Cross! Well done all!

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle

The gaming community can always be counted on to react quickly to current events. Just look at the outpouring of… let’s call it, “emotion” at the revelation of the Darth Vader/Mickey Mouse merger. And that’s just responding to how we feel about imaginary catastrophes. When it comes to the “real world,” we immediately involve ourselves in a response and it is usually a great deal more positive. The folks at Roleplayers Chronicle, along with a number of publishers, have put together the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle and I’m happy to be a contributor to their efforts.

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9 Oct

Dark Outpost – Review

Dark OutpostSystem-neutral material for roleplaying games has recently caught my interest. Eldritch Entertainment’s science fiction adventure, Dark Outpost, is a system generic product that I noticed on the heels of Frank Mentzer’s Lich Dungeon. Once again, Eldritch Entertainment engages some names that might ring familiar to gamers of yore. Written by James M. Ward and Christopher Clark, it certainly carries with it the same “old school” approach seen in Lich Dungeon.

A brief warning, there might be some spoilers ahead. If you’re usually on the crowded side of the GM’s screen, just forward this link to your GM. But, if you’re here looking for hints to survival, your character deserves the cold, airless fate he or she suffers. Continue reading