Monday, July 13, 2009

[Hiatus] Every Day is Ferbieday

It is with great regret that I must announce an extended hiatus of Adventure Game News.

I began this news blog two months ago with two goals.

First, I wanted to get back into the game news gig; I love the adventure games industry, every genre of it, from roleplaying games and board game to miniatures game and trading card games. I love games in all forms for the sake of games themselves, as I believe games to be the second-best form of social interaction possible. Hunting down information, putting together news articles and reviews, reading and playing games for reviews... I could easily spend all my waking moments working on game news; back in my Krause Publications days, sometimes, I did spend every waking moment working on it! I enjoy every aspect of the game news biz... except one.

There's no longer any percentage in it, i.e., there is no money in it. At least, not in the current economy, and not under current market circumstances. Were I independently wealthy, or had a job that could pay the bills and leave me time to publish game news on the side, this would not be an issue. So when I began Adventure Game News, it was with the the idea that eventually, it would reach a point where it would actually pay for itself, or at least, supplement my income enough that I could honestly say that the time spent on supporting the site was at least equal to the time lost working on products for Adventure Games Publishing.

Unfortunately, I do not now see that happening during the current recession. In fact, I would argue that we are not in a recession, we are in fact in a depression. History has shown that games are generally recession proof, at least, since the last great recession in the early 80's. Games weathered every recession since with flying colors; since the recession of the early '80s, it was the ups and downs of the game market itself that has caused dislocations in the game market. From the TCG boom and bust to the d20 boom and glut, it was always the cycle of popular games and game fads that caused the booms and the busts. But this time... this time it is different.

Between advances in home publishing, print on demand, PDF sales, and the growing interconnectedness of gamers through blogs and social sites, the adventure game industry had already taken no few hits to its viability as an industry... essentially, the hobby had again caught up with the industry, so that hobbyists at home could produce games that, if not truly professional, at least were good enough... and especially when the price was right, i.e., usually free! This, combined with the current worldwide general economic depression, may be the death of the adventure game industry as we know it. Maybe... or maybe not. All I know is that right now, if I want to be able to continue publishing in the games market at all, I need to concentrate my efforts on either Adventure Game News or Adventure Games Publishing.

And as I still have obligations under Adventure Games Publishing, and as it is the only one of the two that has proven that it can at least make some money, it wins, for now.

So Adventure Game News is going on hiatus. It is likely to be an extended hiatus, through to the end of the current economic dislocation. Once the economy recovers, if it recovers, and if the adventure games industry recovers with it, we shall return.

I thank those of you who have sent materials for review; I will publish reviews for products sent to date here, on my personal game blog, and in Adventure Games Journal. However, please do not send further products for review unless you want them to be reviewed on my personal game blog and in the Journal, as once I finish the reviews for products currently on the review pile, I will cease all posts on Adventure Game News.

I want to thank all the readers of this news blog for their patronage in the past. Please check in here every couple months, especially once the economy has recovered, to see if we have started up again...

James Mishler
President, Adventure Games Publishing

Monday, July 6, 2009

[Product Release] 100 More Calamitous Curses

From Adventure Games Publishing:

Castles & Crusades
100 More Calamitous Curses

100 More Calamitous Curses follows the original 100 Calamitous Curses product with 100 new unusual and interesting curses the Castles & Crusades Castle Keeper can use in his campaign. These can be bestowed upon player characters through mischance and misfortune or used by player character clerics and wizards on hapless non-player enemies. While designed for use with Castles & Crusades, the curses are easily adapted to any fantasy role-playing game system.

Few of these curses are of the immediately deadly sort, save perhaps to 1st level characters; they are all designed to fall within the parameters set by the bestow curse spell, the reverse of the remove curse spell which is useable as a 3rd level clerical spell or 4th level wizard spell.

Examples of curses include:

#16: Curse of the Noxious Noma: The accursed one’s face begins to rot away, with all flesh from the ears forward sloughing off horribly over a number of days equal to the accursed one’s Charisma. Every other day of the rotting process he gains a penalty of -1 to any Charisma attribute or ability check or saving throw, to a maximum penalty of 1/2 his Charisma rounded up. As the lips and cheeks are very important in proper speech, the accursed one also develops a severe speech impediment. If the accursed one seeks to convey anything complex, or must cast a spell that requires a verbal component, he must make a level-based Intelligence check with a CL equal to the Charisma penalty, or he fails to convey his meaning/the spell fails. Though it is a painful process, unlike real sufferers of noma, the accursed one does not thereafter die; he lives on with his face rotted away.

#30: Curse of Piratical Preoccupation: The accursed one believes himself to be a pirate of the high seas. He speaks only using pirate speak (and now knows it and its intricacies, even if utterly unfamiliar with it before), refuses to do anything else until he is dressed as a pirate and has his equipment stored in a sea chest, seeks out a parrot to wear upon his shoulder and a jug of rum to carry at his belt, and once thusly prepared, makes with all haste to the nearest pirate haven, there to find a ship on which to serve as a pirate. Once upon a pirate ship, he will seem to be the best pirate known to history or legend, able to do feats that others only ever dream (leap from mast to mast, fight sharks bare-handed, etc.). His first goal thereafter is to work the men into frenzy to follow him as their captain, mutiny against the true captain, and then lead the pirate ship into glory, hunting the largest and best-defended prize ship known to sail the seas. Once the pirate ship is engaged in battle with the defenders of the prize, the accursed one forgets everything that happened to him from the moment he became accursed, and in addition, forgets how to swim.

#52: Curse of the Danse Macabre: All creatures the accursed one slays rise 24 hours later as skeletons and zombies; these undead never attack, even to defend themselves, for if destroyed, they simply rise again 1d10 minutes later. They reconstitute even if burned, though if disintegrated, they are destroyed permanently. They dance and pirouette, cavort and sashay, slowly but surely making their way toward the accursed one, and when they arrive at the accursed one’s location, they dance continual circle around him, calling out his name with their dead voices. If he flees, they follow, forming a long conga line of death and undeath.

#98: Curse of Rider’s Ruin: Whenever the accursed one rides a horse, donkey, camel, elephant, or similar mount, or uses such to draw a wagon, cart, or other vehicle in which he rides, upon the accursed one dismounting from the steed or disembarking the vehicle, the creature(s) must make a Physical saving throw or die on the spot.

Rules for removing curses and details for including cursed scrolls in treasure troves are also included.

Castles & Crusades: 100 More Calamitous Curses
By James Mishler
AGP00652, 15-page PDF, $3.00 MSRP

Click here to buy
100 More Calamitous Curses
on DriveThruRPG

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of this work.

Friday, July 3, 2009

[Ferbieday] Happy Ferbieday!

Another week passes. Now that everyone is getting home and recovering from Origins, maybe we'll see more developments in the industry, especially on Gen Con releases.

This next week will be very light on posts, as our wedding is on Friday July 10th, and I have family and friends arriving even before then.

But never fear! Once the wedding is past, Adventure Game News shall return with a vengeance, with numerous daily news posts, reviews, retailer reports, interviews, and more!

(Oh, and I hope to post this last week's Week in Games sometime this weekend... sorry about the delay on that...)

[Retailer Report] Castle Perilous June 2009

From Castle Perilous:

Castle Perilous
Scott Thorne, PhD
207 West Main St.
Carbondale IL 62901-2919

Board Games: Axis & Allies from Wizards of the Coast; people are buying the various sets in anticipation of their going out of print when the new edition launches.

Card Games: Gloom from Atlas Games; the release of Unfortunate Expeditions has stiffed interest in the game

Collectible Miniature Games: Star Wars Miniatures from Wizards of the Coast; again, as last month, having a dedicated group twice a week to play sure helps move product.

Miniature Games: Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop; the Lucky 13 campaign is creating interest among players.

Roleplaying Games: Shadowrun from Catalyst Game Labs; the announcement of the revised edition has gotten people looking at the currently-available products.

Trading Card Games: Magic: The Gathering from Wizards of the Coast; what can I say? Day in and day out, it sell steadily.

Wargames: Strategy & Tactics magazine; we picked up a good sized collection of these and have been moving them out slowly.

Other Game-Related Products: Chessex dice in boxes sell a little better than dice in bags.

Comic Books: Batman and Robin #1 from DC Comics; there is some interest in this but not as much as I had figured.

Did you participate in Free RPG Day, and if so, how did it go in your store? Yes, but it went slower than last year. Despite more in-store promotion and signing, we only had about six people specifically come in for the event. Everyone else, we pointed it out to them as they came in.

What cool events are coming up in your store in the next month? We have a Legend of the Five Rings Celestial tournament on July 5th. We are running the Magic 2010 pre-release on July 11th and 12th and a 40K ’Ard Boyz tournament on the 12th. There are also two Apocalypse Lucky 13 tournaments, one on the 18th for those that can make it on Saturday and another on the 22nd for our regular Wednesday crowd.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

[Product Release] Monstrous Menaces #3

From Adventure Games Publishing:

Castles & Crusades
Monstrous Menaces #3
Akhlat, Oogloog, and Woodwose

Adventure Games Publishing presents the third in a series of new monsters for the Castles & Crusades Castle Keeper to populate his dungeons and wilderness. Each installment of the Monstrous Menaces series presents three new monsters for a mere dollar, eminently affordable in today’s economy.

The third installment, Monstrous Menaces #3: Akhlat, Oogloog, and Woodwose, presents the Castle Keeper with a 4 HD Aberration, a 5 HD Ooze, and a 7 to 9 HD Monstrous Humanoid. Each entry includes complete listings for the monster’s description, organization, ecology, treasure, range, and special abilities.

An akhlat is a chimerical creature, possessing the head of a man, the feathered body and wings of a vulture, the legs and feet of a monkey, the arms and claws of a tiger, and the tail of an ass. The human head is overly large for the body, and bald; its eyes are black and beady like those of a vulture, its nose is large and long and blackened with warts, and its mouth is filled with tiger-like teeth and the forked tongue of a serpent. Its flesh is as hard as bronze, its teeth and claws like steel, and its breath is noxious like swamp-gas.

Oogloog are giant alien amoeba-like beings with a cruel, inhuman intellect. On a humanoid scale, their Intelligence would be placed in the High to Genius categories; however, their form of sentience is significantly different from that of other organisms.

Oogloog naturally take the form of a giant amoeba-like structure, essentially a bag of slimy acid filled with small globules of foreign materials (i.e. food). They have great control over their shape, however, and can take on the form of a bipedal humanoid, complete with head, two arms, hands, fingers, two legs, feet, and toes. Some possess a most cruel sense of humor, and enjoy preserving various body parts of victims, such as eyes and teeth, and using those to affect possession of such body parts (though having “eyes” and “teeth” in this way provides them no extra abilities to see or bite).

Also known as almas, bigfoot, sasquatch, wild men, yeren, or yeti, woodwoses are seven to nine foot tall humanoids covered with thick brown, brownish-red, black, or white fur. The hair covers it everywhere except on the palms of its hands and feet, which are thick and calloused. They look mostly human, with an apish cast to face and build, and with very apish teeth but very human eyes. Woodwoses never wear clothing or jewelry.

Some exhibit elvish blood or human blood, others orcish, ogre, or even hill giant blood, or even a mix of two or three other blood lines; woodwoses are able to breed with all five races, though one in eight of such crossbreeds are sterile, and one in eight of those with other blood go insane upon reaching puberty.

Monstrous Menaces #3: Akhlat, Oogloog, and Woodwose
By James Mishler
AGP06003, 9-page PDF, $1.00 MSRP

Click here to buy
Monstrous Menaces #3
now on DriveThruRPG

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of this work.

[Product Release] Knights of the Dinner Table #152

From Kenzer & Company:

Knights of the Dinner Table is a multiple award-winning magazine featuring the gaming industry’s most popular comic strip, as well as being a full-fledged gaming magazine featuring d20, HackMaster and other articles for gamers, from a gamer’s perspective. Not only do thousands of gamers read KoDT and share it with their friends, they re-read it cover to cover and then re-read it again. Don't miss this hilarious and hysterical slice of (fantasy) life, and wonderful celebration of the gaming culture!

KoDT #152: Warp Factor 5

The Strips
The Crit Hits the Fan: a Hard Eight Enterprises strip featuring: Weird Pete, Squirrely, Tuley, and Pete Skipowsky.
New Blood: a Knights strip featuring: B.A., Bob, Dave, Sara, and Brian.
Bringing in Waco: a Hard Eight Enterprises strip featuring: JoJo and Waco.
Aren't You Going to Say It?: a Knights strip featuring: B.A., Bob, Dave, Sara, and Brian.
The Night Caller: a Hard Eight Enterprises strip featuring: Waco, JoJo, and Gary Jackson.
The Wager: a Knights strip featuring: Patty, Earl, Nitro, B.A., Squirrely, and Weird Pete.
One-Two Punches

Feature Articles
A Walk Thru HackMaster Basic {HackMaster Basic} by Kenzer and Company
The Art of WaRPGs {systemless} by Jeff Phillips

GameMaster's Workshop
Deadly Trappings: Tuck's Tormenting Tunnel {fantasy; systemless} by Heather Woodhurst
Casting Call: Challie Nain {HackMaster Basic} by Barbara Blackburn
All Things Magic: The Ramming Helm of the Ram {HackMaster 4th edition} by Brian M. Sammons
Bait and Tackle: Generic Adventure Hooks and Encounters for the GM to run with {fantasy; systemless}
Rustlers of the Night: Agaricus Fairy {HackMaster 4th edition} by James Butler
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Larson Bayz, Reaker, and Nalagari {HackMaster Basic} by Barbara Blackburn
Rustlers of the Night: War Dog, Gargoyle, Hill Giant {HackMaster Basic} by Kenzer and Company

Regular Columns
Tales from the Table: Actual tales from our readers
Web Scryer: Get Back to Basics surfed by Kenneth Newquist
Geek Fu Action Grip: Baby's First Frag observed by Mur Lafferty
Gaming the Movies: X-Men by Jim Davenport

Lost Game Safari: Ghostbusters International scouted by Chris Gunn
Lookin' at Comics: Cars, Chicks, and Thrills scrutinized by Tony DiGerolamo
The Quotable Gamer: A Castle for All Seasons explained by William Morgal
The “Indy” Game Scene: Slasher Flick explored by Ashok Desai
Disks of Wondrous Power: Would You Believe...? played by Rick Moscatello
Board Squawk: Caylus Magna Carta boarded by Nick Medinger
Off the Shelf: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore read by Paul Westermeyer
Brian's Picks: Curriculum of Conspiracy, Epic RPG Manual, Murder of Crows

Cries from the Attic: Editorial of a madman
Table Talk: Our Readers Talk Back
Behind the Curtain
Game Vine
Weird Pete's Bulletin Board
Back Room at the Games Pit
Parting Shots

Other Toons
Math and Maimings by the Brothers Grimm
Unnamed cartoons by Chris Avellone, Jolly R. Blackburn, and Indy Bill

80 pages, $4.99, B&W

Click here to go to the
Kenzer & Company
store on DriveThruRPG

[Product Release] The Secret of Ronan Skerry

From Brave Halfling Publishing:

Castles & Crusades
The Secret of Ronan Skerry

by Michael Davis

An adventure for 4-6 players of levels 1-3

The town of Port Vogey is in distress. For several weeks, no ships have come into port, and no one knows why. Now the new moon has passed and the lighthouse keepers, the monks of the Sea Goddess, have missed their monthly trip into Vogey for supplies. The town council are not sure whether this is due to mishap or foul play, but you have heard they are looking for some eager adventurers to investigate.

This 32-page digest-sized module includes four new monsters, four maps (two are 3-d and one is a wilderness/area map), three original pieces of art and a monster reference sheet.

This module is available in Print, including a PDF of the module, for $6.99 (plus $1 shipping to the United States, $2 shipping to Canada, and $3 shipping to World-Wide)

The PDF-only version of this module is available for $5.00 on the Brave Halfling Publishing site.

[Product Release] Buried Tales Anthology

From 12 to Midnight:

Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas
Welcome to Pinebox, a sleepy little East Texas town with more than its share of trouble. Whether it's the snake cultists running the local bar or vengeful spirits haunting the high school boys locker room, there always seems to be some sort of trouble brewing just below the surface. Join us for a dozen tales of horror from these haunting voices in fiction.
Editor: Matt M. McElroy

Lovable Creatures, by Jason Blair - Alby and Angie have seen some weird things during the graveyard shift at Speedy Pete's gas 'n beer. Things just got weirder.

The One That Got Away, by Preston P. DuBose - A fishing trip on Lake Greystone takes a turn for the strange when best friends Clay and Pete find a body in the water. Things get even more interesting when the body turns out to still be alive!

Mother, by Trey Gorden - Art has never had what you'd call a successful life. In fact, you could call it downright cursed. But all of that could finally change after he sees a news story that offers a tantalizing hint about his mother's death. All he has to do is live long enough to see it through.

The Evil Within, by Derek Gunn - What could cause bodies to appear dessicated practically overnight? A rookie Sheriff's deputy refuses to turn a blind eye to Pinebox's unusual qualities when he teams up with the county's unofficial coroner to solve a series of murders.

Stigmatized Property, by Jess Hartley - Real Estate Agent Suzanne Witcomb has slowly watched her business fall apart after the death of her husband. Her exotic, handsome, and--most importantly--wealthy new client may just be her ticket for getting out of Pinebox.

Guitar Zero, by Shane Lacy Hensley - ETU student and hot-shot programmer Cal Griffis can't resist the challenge of learning the contents of dead friend's private hard drive. What kind of research project could have led to his death? Unfortunately for Cal, this is one challenge he wishes he had never accepted.

Blood-Born, by Charles Rice - A hospital visit turns violent for a recovering Leukemia patient. If Jack can't control the presence growing inside him, it threatens to consume him just as it has done his predecessors.

Pie, by Monica Valentinelli - One villain is pitted against another in this cat-and-mouse tale of murder, mistaken identity... and pie!

Off Radio, by David Wellington - Deputy Clark is faced with tough decisions when an ETU student's decapitation brings up a painful secret.

The Witch of Linda Lane, by Ed Wetterman - How far will a pair of kids go to right wrongs and put a stop to an evil crone living in their neighborhood? Is it far enough?

Last Exit to Pinebox, by J.D. Wiker - Road-weary travelers stop at an all-night diner on Christmas Eve in Pinebox, hoping for coffee and directions. Unfortunately, leaving isn't as easy.

The Hanging Tree, by Filamena Young - Pinebox seems like a great place for a young lawyer, one just like Louis Rainer, to make his mark as a public defender. However, it's hard to defend your clients when they offer full confessions when coming face to face with Judge Howard Lindsey. What makes them so terrified? Should Rainer feel the same?

Click here to buy
Buried Tales
at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

[Product Release] Wilderlands: Tharbrian Horse-Lords

From Adventure Games Publishing:

Wilderlands of High Adventure
Player's Guide #1: Tharbrian Horse-Lords

Adventure Games Publishing presents the first in a series of cultural sourcebooks for the Wilderlands of High Adventure. Each installment of the Wilderlands of High Adventure Player’s Guides includes a fully-detailed culture for players and judges to fully flesh out their Castles & Crusades adventures in the Wilderlands.

The first installment, Wilderlands of High Adventure Player’s Guide #1: Tharbrian Horse-Lords details the culture and society of the northern horsemen of the Wilderlands. Tharbrians are renown throughout Viridistan, the Roglaras, and beyond as atavistic and savage horse nomads. They roam the north-western plains of the Wilderlands with impunity, recognizing no lord or master. They have brought down empires and extirpated whole civilizations. Herein you shall discover the secrets and truths about Tharbrian history and society, and details on their abilities and culture.

This 22-page book includes complete details on:

Ethnic/Racial Affinities
Laws and Traditions
Social Structure
Gender and Family Relations
Racial Traits and Abilities

Wilderlands of High Adventure Player’s Guide #1: Tharbrian Horse-Lords
Official Gaming Aid Designed and Approved For Use with Castles & Crusades
By James Mishler
AGP05501, 22-page PDF, $5 MSRP

Click here to buy
Tharbrian Horse-Lords
on DriveThruRPG

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of this work.

Monday, June 29, 2009

[Product Release] Spycraft: Transmechs

From Crafty Games:

Spycraft 2.0
Origin of the Species: Transmechs

Origin of the Species is your destination for non-human races in Spycraft 2.0. Each installment in this series of toolkit products contains everything you need to incorporate a collection of fantasy or futuristic, mutant, or mythological races into your Spycraft games. These character options are timeless and setting-free, allowing you to drop them into any location, society, or backdrop. All that's required is GC approval that they fit within the cosmology of the world!
  • Play a giant transforming robot, hidden in the world of mortals!
  • Dozens of species feats allow you to play as different transmech models and improve your transformations - without having to suffer level penalties or XP restrictions.
  • A Legendary Master Class unlocks the greatest powers of your species!
  • A complete cast of NPC Transmechs and a black-book government organization help you quickly and easily populate your setting.
  • Tips for building an effective transmech character and three ready-to-play scenes for introducing these technological wonders to your campaign!
Transmechs is the third product in Crafty Games' Origin of the Species line of products for Spycraft 2.0. This .zip file includes both a full-color screen version with art, and a printer-friendly version.

Click here to buy
at DriveThruRPG

[Awards] 35th Annual Origins Awards

From the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design:

The 35th Annual Origins Awards were held this weekend at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. All games, game-related products, and accessories released in calendar 2008 were eligible to compete in the 35th Origins Awards. This year's winners were:

Published by Z-Man Games, Inc.
Designed by Matt Leacock

Say Anything
Published by North Star Games
Designed by Dominic Craphuchettes and Satish Pillalamarri

Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear
Published by Academy Games
Designed by Uwe Eickert

Published by Rio Grande Games
Designed by Donald X Vaccarino

Magic the Gathering: Shards of Alara 1
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Designed by Bill Rose and Devin Low

Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons Volume 2
Published by Devil’s Due
Edited by James Lowder & Mike O’Sullivan

Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales
Published by Atomic Overmind Press
Written by Ken Hite

Classic Battletech: Tactical Operations
Published by Catalyst Game Labs
Designed by Randall N. Bills and Herbert A Beas II

Star Wars Miniatures: The Clone Wars
Published by Wizards of the Coast

There was a tie in this catagory...

Fields of Glory Miniature Rules
Published by Osprey Publishing/Slitherine Software
Designed by Richard Bodley-Scott


Song of Drums and Shakos
Published by Ganesha Games
Designed by Andrea Sfiligoi

Rise of Rome (Fields of Glory Supplement)
Published by Osprey Publishing

SS-Panzerdivision ‘Das Reich’ Panzerkompanie (GEAB06) [15mm Line]
Published by Battlefront Games

Mouseguard Role-Playing Game
Published by Archaia Studios Press
Designed by Luke Crane and David Petersen

Serenity Adventures
Published by Margaret Weis Productions
Designed by Alana Abbot, Billy Aguiar, James Davenport, Ted Reed, and James M. Ward

D-Total die
Published by Gamescience
Designed by Dr. A. F. Simkin, Frank Dutrain, and Louis Zocchi

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

[Sale] AGP Wondrous Wedding Sale Update

From Adventure Games Publishing:

The Wondrous Wedding Sale continues at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, with today's new sale item being Monsters & Treasure of the Wilderlands 1.
To date all sale items continue at their low sale price:

Skills, Feats, and Languages of the Wilderlands [Normally $5, now only $2]
Barbarians of the Wilderlands 1 [Normally $4, now only $1.60]
Imperial Town of Tell Qa [Normally $9, now only $4]
Monsters & Treasure of the Wilderlands 1 [Normally $10.95, now only $5]
Adventure Games Journal #1 [Normally $12, now only $5]

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of all of these products.

Friday, June 26, 2009

[Ferbieday] Happy Ferbieday!

'Nuff said!

[Industry News] Catalyst Brings Back BattleTech "Unseen"

From Catalyst Game Labs:

Catalyst Game Labs
Brings Back BattleTech "Unseen"

In 1996 numerous images originally licensed from several Japanese anime sources were retired from use within the BattleTech universe. Those illustrations formed the bedrock of the BattleTech 2nd Edition and BattleTech 3rd Edition Box Sets and were generally considered “fan favorites” across the board. These images—such as the Warhammer, Marauder, BattleMaster, Phoenix Hawk and so on—became known as the “unseen.”

After much blood, sweat and tears, Catalyst Game Labs is exceptionally pleased to announce the return of these “unseen” images.

“I’ve had the honor of helming BattleTech for a long, long time,” said Randall Bills, Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs. “I’m exceptionally proud that the work of the last several years for the new line of core rulebooks and the current storyline has precipitated a resurgence in BattleTech play and recognition as a fun, great game, with one of the greatest legacies of any gameline. However, to participate in returning all our favorite images to the game we love… my geek’s been on for long weeks about this explosively cool development. Just wait until you see some of the art under development to “bring them back” in a style worthy of our current books.”

The first books containing these images will start appearing this summer, with future releases—as appropriate—able to use illustrations of these classics. One of the biggest of these coming releases, of course, is BattleTech: 25 Years of Art and Fiction; we’ve got a preview of a complete, all-new-story from this book that also showcases a plethora of art across years, including some images not seen in a BattleTech book in long, long years.

Click here to download the PDF preview of BattleTech: 25 Years of Art and Fiction

Thursday, June 25, 2009

[Contest] Goodman Games FLGS Contest

From Goodman Games:

Win Up To $1,000 in RPG Product
for You and Your Favorite Game Store

This is Joseph Goodman from Goodman Games. When I recently posted my opinion on 4E, it generated some commentary in the RPG media, including thoughts on the role of friendly local game stores. In these tough economic times, we can all use a little helping hand, so I'd like to acknowledge those stores that deserve your patronage. Let's find out who those stores are -- and recognize them! I will donate up to $1,000 in Goodman Games product to the game store that you vote as America's Favorite Game Store. I am also openly inviting other publishers to participate as well. This product will be available as freebies and gift-with-purchase only to customers who purchase at that game store, and will include convention specials previously not available in stores. You can decide which store is America's Favorite Game Store, and make sure you get the chance to grab a freebie! Here's how it works:

Effective immediately, post on this thread to nominate your favorite game store. Follow the format listed below. We will collect nominations for one week. Effective midnight June 30, nominations end.

From July 1 to July 15, all nominated stores will be listed in a poll. Voting will last for two weeks.

Effective midnight July 15, the polls will close. Within one week of that, we will announce America's Favorite Game Store!

I will donate $5 of Goodman Games product for every vote cast for the winning store. If 200 or more gamers vote, the full $1,000 in product will be donated.

Update as of Thursday, June 25, 2009: Simon Rogers of Profantasy Software and Pelgrane Press has agreed to participate as well! For the winning store, Simon will contribute ProFantasy's software (worth $650) and $500 worth of Pelgrane Press material, to include one of the very few limited edition leather bound Trail of Cthulhu, signed by the contributors, worth $100.

The fine print:
  • Highest vote total for a store wins.
  • One man, one vote. Please do not attempt any sort of ballot box stuffing. We will screen the results.
  • To be eligible, the store must be located in the USA and carry Goodman Games product. Aside from that, any store that stocks enough game product to be considered somebody's favorite game store is eligible.
  • The winning store's contact information will be publicly posted so that other publishers may contribute as well.
  • The winning store will also be profiled in a future issue of Level Up.
  • The free product will consist of recent releases; broad-interest titles like the Character Codex, DM Campaign Record, and Level Up; Free RPG Day releases from 2009 and 2008; and other titles at the discretion of Goodman Games. All free product will be current merchandise.
  • The free product will be distributed at the discretion of the winning store, and may involve a selection process of some kind. It is our intention that the product be awarded as a mix of pure freebies as well as items that are free with a purchase of $10 or more at the participating store. There may be other restrictions as well, as enacted by the winning store.
  • Questions can be posted here.

[Sale] AGP Wondrous Wedding Sale Continues

From Adventure Games Publishing:

The Wondrous Wedding Sale continues today, with Barbarians of the Wilderlands #1 on sale at merely $1.60 — that's 60% off the cover price of $4.00!

And Adventure Games Journal #1 remains at merely $5 ($7 off the MSRP of $12) for the time being — but that can change at any time!

Adventure Games Publishing PDFs will never be this cheap again, so get them while you can!

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of both products mentioned.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

[Sale] AGP Wondrous Wedding Sale

From Adventure Games Publishing:

To celebrate my impending wedding to the light of my life, the lovely and wonderful Jodi, I will put one AGP PDF on sale every day until the day of the wedding (Friday, July 10)

The first item on sale today (through noonish tomorrow) is Adventure Games Journal #1.
The first issue of Adventure Games Journal includes a 12-page introduction to the Wilderlands of High Adventure; a 5-page article detailing the family of the Invincible Overlord; a 5-page article covering the Knights of the City State and the infamous organization known as FEAR; a 4-page adventure "Maze of the Mad Mage," new monsters; complete details for Rash'l, a tyrannical Lost God of the Wilderlands; rumors about the Wilderlands; and Esgalbar, a complete elven tree fortress! Designed and approved for use with Castles & Crusades, the Wilderlands of High Adventure is derived from and compatible with the classic Wilderlands of High Fantasy, developed under license from Judges Guild.

Click here to buy
Adventure Games Journal #1
on DriveThruRPG

[Available Again] Millennium's End

From DriveThruRPG:

Millenium's End
Chameleon Eclectic


It's two in the morning. The office is forty stories up, high above the sirens, the gunshots, the cries of pain and anguish that are the city at night. Michael is bathed in the glow of his laptop, typing furiously as he navigates the labyrinthine directories of the corporate mainframe. In the pale light of the doorway, Laenna's silhouette stirs.

"Someone's on the elevator," comes her whisper over the radio headset.

"No way," Raleigh answers from across the room. "I've got the building control routine up. Elevators are dead."

"Come see for yourself," Laenna replies. Sure enough, through the green glow of starlight goggles the tiny numbers blink brightly as the elevator ascends.

"We've got a problem," Michael interjects. "The files aren't here. Sawada lied to us." He turns in the glow of the monitor. "Door lockouts are coming up all over the floor."

Set up. No one knows we're here. And if that's Techtonics Corporation security, no one will find our bodies, either. Through the darkness comes the quiet chime of the elevator, and an almost inaudible click as Raleigh flips the safety off his P90...

Millennium's End is a critically-acclaimed roleplaying system set in a dark vision of turn-of-the-millennium society. Based on the hottest technothriller movies and fiction of the 90s, Millennium's End has a gritty, realistic feel and a fast-paced, progressive game system. Characters carry out investigations, espionage, and para-military operations in a post-modern world where might makes right and all the cable news nightmares of today are a reality.

These second-edition rules are compatible with all first edition supplements.

Click here to buy
Millennium's End
on DriveThruRPG

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

[Product Release] Idol of the Orcs

From Goblinoid Games:

Labyrinth Lord Module #1
Idol of the Orcs

By James C. Boney

For characters of levels 1-3

A band of unusually organized orcs has taken to raiding farms and waylaying travelers near the local town. The characters must seek out the orc lair and rid the area of this menace, but things are not entirely as they seem. A sinister voice whispers instructions from the darkness; what demonic force lies at the heart of the labyrinthine orc lair?

This adventure is suitable for characters of 1st-3rd level and is intended for use with the Labyrinth Lord fantasy role-playing game, but is easily used with all older editions of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG.

Idol of the Orcs
A Labyrinth Lord Adventure Module
14-pages, 8.5" x 11"
GGLLM1, $14.95 Print, $5.95 PDF
Click here to buy Idol of the Orcs in print at Lulu

Click here to buy
Idol of the Orcs
at DriveThruRPG

[Product Release] Palladium Books in PDF

From Palladium Books:

The classic "Palladium Book of" series is now available in PDF on DriveThruRPG.

What is the Palladium Weapon Series?

It is a series of small sourcebooks that presents historically accurate data and information about ancient weapons from around the world.

For use with any game system. You read that right. The statistical information is designed and set up in such a way that it can be applied to virtually any game system that uses dice.

Much of the information in the series has been compiled in Palladium's Compendium of Weapon, Armor and Castles, but gamers continue to ask for the "small weapon books".

One reason, I think, is that the books are small, but packed with a ton of information. Thus, a player or G.M. needs to only grab whichever book in the series he needs for reference, and he's ready to go.

Another reason is that there is simply something convenient and appealing about this size and format.

Ideal for fantasy and historical games, as well as, modern games that use ancient melee weapons (knives, swords, axes, maces, ball and chain, picks, spears, pole arms, etc.).

Each is normally $8.95, available in PDF format for only $4.47.

The Palladium Book of Weapons & Armor
  • Over 600 different weapons. Each Illustrated
  • Over 35 different types of armor from different periods of time. Each Illustrated
  • Historically accurate
  • For use with any game system. Some adaptation may be required.
  • Brief descriptions on the types and styles of ancient body armor from around the world
  • Compiled by Matthew Balent
  • Color cover by Scott Johnson
The Palladium Book of Weapons & Castles
  • The bow and arrow, and crossbow weapons from around the world
  • Castle and design features.
  • 15 different, real world castles. Each illustrated for a castle under siege.
  • Historically accurate.
  • For use with any game system. Some adaptation required.
  • Compiled by Matthew Balent.
  • Color cover by Scott Johnson
The Palladium Book of European Castles
A 48 page book detailing castles of Europe. For use with any game system.

The Palladium Book of Exotic Weapons
A compilation of weapons ranging from one and two handed weapons to ranged weapons.

The Palladium Book of Weapons & Assassins
  • Assassin societies such as the Ninja and Thuga.
  • How deadly were they? What secrets did they hold?
  • Their weapons and tools.
  • Special equipment, armor and techniques.
  • Historically accurate.
  • For use with any game system. Some adaptation required.
  • By Erick Wujcik.
  • Color cover by Scott Johnson.
The Palladium Book of Weapons, Armor, & Castles of the Orient
A beautiful, little 48 page, comic book sized reference book packedwith real world weapons, armor and data. Designed to be easy to use and easy to carry anywhere.

Presents dozens of famous and obscure weapons of Japan, China and the Orient, plus samurai and other armor and several castles complete with floor plan diagrams. All illustrated.
  • The weapons & armor of Japan, China and the rest of the Orient.
  • Spears, swords, bow and arrow, and other weapons unique to the Orient.
  • A look at the Samurai, his weapons and armor.
  • 15 different, real world castles. Each illustrated and with a basic floor plan.
  • Historically accurate.
  • For use with any game system. Some adaptation required.
  • Compiled by Matthew Balent.
  • Interior Art by Mike Kucharski and others.
  • Color cover by Scott Johnson.

[Upcoming Product] Witch of Salem

From Mayfair Games:

Witch of Salem
Brave Arkham Detectives Battle the Elder Evil

Step back to early 20th Century New England. Here, the horrible “Great Old Ones” -- mysterious inhabitants of a dark, unfathomable void -- seek entry into our world. One of their imprisoned overlords gathers them, just as his worldly servants open portals throughout Arkham for the coming onslaught.

Only Salem’s master witch, Robert Craven, holds the key to safeguarding mankind. He plans to gather a team of intrepid scholars to find the hidden portals and close them with powerful magic seals. The noble witch’s elite team must battle the threat of madness, duel the dark servants, tackle mystical challenges, and face their ultimate nemesis: an unidentified Great Old One with an unknown and incalculable strength.

In Witch of Salem you step into the terrifying world of renowned storyteller Wolfgang Hohlbein, a mythos inspired by the tales of H. P. Lovecraft. You play one of the witch’s scholarly allies. Working cooperatively with your cohorts, uncover the secrets of the Necronomicon, combat creeping insanity, defeat the coming Evil, and bar the Great Old Ones from exiting the inter-dimensional abyss.

Witch of Salem contains:
1 game board
4 game figures
1 witch figure
1 Necron Stone
1 battle die
26 creature cards
6 Great Old One cards
12 event cards
6 overview/turn cards
32 minor location cards
4 player boards
34 item markers
4 sanity markers
6 artifact markers
8 portal tiles
1 cloth bag
Game rules
Brief history

Witch of Salem
Designer: Michael Rieneck
Art: Franz Vohwinkel
MFG3309, $49.00
Ages 12+
For 2-4 Players
Playing Time 60 minutes
UPC 0-29877-03309-6-04900
ISBN 1-56905-224-7
Case Pack 5
Made in Germany
Dimensions 2.875 x 11.625 x 11.625

Witch of Salem is a casual, social game for 2-4 players ages 12 and older.
You can play in about 60 minutes.

Produced in English under license from KOSMOS Verlag (Stuttgart).

[Product Release] Points of Light II

From Goodman Games:

Points of Light II:
The Sunrise Sea

By Rob Conley

Points of Light II: The Sunrise Sea continues the Points of Light series with four new settings, each extensively detailed and mapped. Each new setting is ideal for novices launching their first campaign, or veteran GMs looking to challenge their players with the exploration of a new world.

The Golden Shores: A land in the midst of being colonized, where adventurers can encounter unknown cultures, old enemies, and battle a darkness that has haunted the land for millennia.
Amacui: A frontier land with only a single trading post representing the civilized world, but there are many ruins to explore and new civilizations to discover.

The Misty Isle: The greatest threat to exploration is not the natives or ‘things man is not meant to know,’ but enemies from the old world. Here in the Misty Isles, enemies from different realms and factions fight amid the jungles and islands.

Mazatl, the Realm of the Bat God: Rising from the vast Jungles of Zaracar is a massive shield volcano. Here the blood god, Azartac, lives in the city of Mazatl in the volcano’s caldera.
Four new worlds await exploration by the brave and the resourceful. Do your characters have the skill and fortitude to adventure in these undiscovered lands?

Player Maps: Ready to put Points of Light II in your own campaign? Click here to download the player maps PDF to start your PCs off with a partial world view!

Rules Set: Systems-neutral, designed to be used with any RPG

Points of Light
Writer: Rob Conley
Cover Art: Craig Maher
Graphic Design: Jim Pinto
GMG4381, 64 pages, $15.99 Print, $9.99 PDF

Click here to buy
Points of Light II
at DriveThruRPG

Monday, June 22, 2009

[Week in Games] Cool Stuff Out June 21-27

Hereafter follows a list of games that game distributors and game retailers have received in the prior week and should have on store shelves already or in the coming week.

You can order these games through your Friendly Local Game Store; simply tell them the name of the product, the publisher/manufacturer, and the product code number, all provided in the listing, and they should be able to do the rest.

Prices listed are known Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices; some do not have an MSRP. Always remember that your local prices may vary, depending on local circumstances.

Some of these games have Street Dates, which mean that the retailer cannot sell the product before that date, even if he has received it from the distributor. These are noted when I am aware of the Street Date, but there might be a Street Date of which I am unaware.

Links go to posts on this blog, which provide further information and links to the publisher websites.

Board Games
Alhambra: Big Box (Rio Grande Games A26, $79.95)

Armies of the Napoleonic Wars (Osprey Publishing GEN701, $40)
DragonLance: The Forest King (PB Novel) (Wizards of the Coast 240237400, $7.99)
Forgotten Realms: City of the Dead (PB Novel) (Wizards of the Coast 240267400, $7.99)
Forgotten Realms: Legends of Drizzt XIII: Sea of Swords (PB Novel) (Wizards of the Coast 240217400, $7.99)
No Greater Ally (Osprey Publishing GEN650, $24.95)
Operation Dragoon 1944 (Osprey Publishing CAM210, $19.95)
Roosevelt's Rough Riders (Osprey Publishing WAR138, $18.95)
Spitfire Aces of Burma and the Pacific (Osprey Publishing ACE087, $22.95)

Comic Books
Death at Koten: The Legend of the Five Rings Graphic Novel (Alderac Entertainment Group 14900, $24.95)

Family Games
Spoons: The Simpsons Card Game (USAopoly SP006025, $19.99)

Geek Stuff
Call of Cthulhu: Bag of Cthulhu (24 small, 6 large statues) (Fantasy Flight Games CT25, $14.95)

Fire & Movement #149 (Decision Games FM-149, $7.99)
Strategy & Tactics #257 (Decision Games ST-257, $25.99)

Miniature Accessories
Formula P3: Black Primer (Privateer Press 93111, $9.99, STREET DATE June 26)
Formula P3: White Primer (Privateer Press 93112, $9.99, STREET DATE June 26)
Warhammer 40K: Terrain - Temple of Skulls (Games Workshop 64-21, $29.75)
Warlord: Crusader Casualty Marker (Reaper Miniatures 14540, $3.99)
Warlord: Overlord Casualty Marker (Reaper Miniatures 14541, $3.99)

Chronoscope: Cobra, Modern Ninja (Reaper Miniatures 50082, $3.99)
Chronoscope: Father Thomas, Vicar (Reaper Miniatures 50081, $3.99)
Chronoscope: Raptor, Superhero (Reaper Miniatures 50089, $7.99)
Chronoscope: The Invisible Man (Reaper Miniatures 50079, $3.99)
Dark Heaven: Harstov, Irongrave Knight Lord (Reaper Miniatures 3414, $7.99)
Dark Heaven: Lanura Windsong, Female Elf Wizard (Reaper Miniatures 3415, $3.99)
DHL Classics: Female Undead (Reaper Miniatures 3416, $9.99)
Lord of the Rings: Galadhrim Knights (Games Workshop 39855, $33)
Lord of the Rings: Galadhrim Warriors (Games Workshop 39856, $33)
Wargods of Aegyptus: Asar Hero Elephantine with Campfire (Crocodile Games WGE163, $8.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: Basti Champion with Pole Arm & Shield (Crocodile Games WGE165, $8.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: Basti Hero with Auxiliary Weapon Sprue (Crocodile Games WGE166, $8.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: Khemru Crypt Lord with Giant Scarab (Crocodile Games WGE164, $8.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: Priest of Ptah with Apis Bull Statue (Crocodile Games WGE161, $8.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: Stone Colossus (Crocodile Games WGE702, $59.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: To-tanem Artifex with Weapons Power (Crocodile Games WGE139, $8.95)
Wargods of Aegyptus: To-tanem Captain with Doorway (Crocodile Games WGE162, $8.95)
Warhammer: Empire Battalion (Games Workshop 86-08-N, $105)
Warlord: Vysa, Darkspawn Elf Captain (Reaper Miniatures 14538, $4.49)
WarMachine: Protectorate of Menoth: Exemplar Bastions (Privateer Press 32058, $44.99, STREET DATE June 26)

Miniatures Rules
Battlefield Evolution: Pacific War (Mongoose Publishing 4444, $24.95)
Battlefield Evolution: Warbirds of WWII (Mongoose Publishing 4445, $29.95)

Party Games
Things (Hasbro Games 41430, $No MSRP)
Who Would Win? (Gorilla Games 901, $19.95)

Roleplaying Games
Call of Cthulhu: Midnight Harvest (Adventure Module) (OtherWorld Creations 4003, $12)
Call of Cthulhu: Terrors From Beyond (Adventure Compilation) (Chaosium 23113, $25.95)
Champions: Book of the Machine (Adventure Sourcebook) (Hero Games DOJHERO233, $34.99)
Chimaera: Hellhounds Companion Book (Mongoose Publishing 6121, $24.95)
Conan RPG: Catacombs of Hyboria (Mongoose Publishing 7817, $24.95)
Corporation RPG: Machines of War (Mongoose Publishing 6131, $29.95)
Hero System: Lucha Libre Hero (Sourcebook) (Hero Games DOJHERO401, $29.99)
Mutants & Masterminds: Warriors & Warlocks (Green Ronin Publishing 2523, $29.95)
Pathfinder Chronicles: Dungeon Denizens Revisited (Sourcebook) (Paizo Publishing 9210, $19.99, STREET DATE June 26)
RuneQuest: Guilds, Factions and Cults (Mongoose Publishing 8160, $24.95)
RuneQuest: Ralios (Mongoose Publishing 8159, $14.95)
Traveller: Hammers Slammers (Mongoose Publishing 3817, $39.95)

RPG Accessories
GameMastery Map Pack: Wizard's Tower (Paizo Publishing 4020, $12.99, STREET DATE June 26)

Trading Card Games
Chaotic CCG: M'Arrillian Invasion - Forged Unity Booster Display (4Kids Entertainment 1253, $95.76)
Herobits: Series One Display (Herobits Corp. 51, $150)
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Raging Battle Special Edition Display (10 sets) (Konami 88082, $99.99, STREET DATE June 23)

Age of Muskets Volume 1: Tomb for an Empire (Bellica 3rd Generation AOM01, $100)

[Product Release] Monstrous Menaces #2

From Adventure Games Publishing:

Monstrous Menaces #2:
Blade Dancer, Goblin, and Tharghûl

By James Mishler
Adventure Games Publishing presents the second in a series of new monsters for the Castles & Crusades Castle Keeper to populate his dungeons and wilderness. Each installment of the Monstrous Menaces series presents three new monsters for a mere dollar, eminently affordable in today’s economy.

The second installment, Monstrous Menaces #2: Blade Dancer, Goblin, and Tharghûl, presents the Castle Keeper with a 5 HD Construct, a 1 HD Humanoid, and an 8 HD Unique Undead. Each entry includes complete listings for the monster’s description, organization, ecology, treasure, range, and special abilities.

Blade Dancer
Blade dancers are animated humanoid collections of scores of razor-sharp blades, from small 4” knives to great two-handed swords. They whirl about swiftly like dervishes upon the points of their long-sword legs, with four long arms made of broad swords; their “heads” are constructed of many small blades, with pommel stones for “eyes” and a wide mouth made of many knives. For all that they are made of un-living metal the blade dancer often has a menacing, cruel look upon its “face.”

Goblins are small, gnarled humanoids; in shadows they much resemble thin dwarves, though compared to dwarves they are stooped, their arms and legs are slightly too long for their body, and their head is slightly too large, with overly-large wide pointed ears. In the light the difference is obvious, as goblins have greenish-grey warty skin, and too much black scraggly hair in all the wrong places (and usually little or none on their heads). Goblins have a sickly-sweet smell, like that of a corpse ripened in the sun, and their breath is a stench like rotting onions; most goblin warrens smell not unlike a charnel house in midsummer.

Goblin eyes are round and bulging, and mostly black with large iris and cornea; the white of the orb is invariably shot thick with red blood vessels. Like the eyes of a cat, goblin eyes reflect light in the darkness, a deep, blood-red glitter. They have a long carrot-shaped nose that sits atop a wide, frog-like lipless mouth. Goblin teeth are haphazard at best, with many gaps and broken bits; over time as old teeth are lost new ones grow in, though they grow in uneven and often painfully, such that goblin’s gums are ever bleeding and raw. Goblins either have either no chin or far too much of one, with hair as usual only growing in spots rather than in a full-fledged beard.

Note: Monstrous Menaces 2 provides a much-expanded entry for the common goblin race, including full details on goblin vision, language, organization, ecology, culture, religion, gender and family relations, coming of age, cleanliness, weapons, armor, treasure, range, combat, and special abilities.

Tharghûls are the kings of the ghouls and ghasts, the lords of the graveyard and charnel house, despots of sewers and desecrated temples. Where vampires rule, tharghûls tread lightly; where tharghûls dominate, vampires fear to tread.

A tharghûl in its natural form appears to be a walking corpse; some are thin and emaciated, while others are fat and bloated. Skin is usually like that of a corpse, green and pock-marked, often inhabited by worms, and in places sloughing off. The face is a nightmare, with lips long rotted away, long hound-like teeth and fangs, a sunken nose, and bloated, bulging eyes. Hair is usually white, long, and matted with blood or absent. Hands are clawed, with long sharp nails. A tharghûl usually wears clothing as was appropriate to its station, or to its new more powerful position; the clothing often jars grossly with the rotted, stinking body, as it is new and fashionable, though soaked through with blood and covered with gore.

Monstrous Menaces #2: Blade Dancer, Goblin, and Tharghûl
By James Mishler
AGP06002, 12-page PDF, $1.00 MSRP

Click here to buy
Monstrous Menaces #2
from DriveThruRPG

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of this product.

[Upcoming Product] Rise of Empires

From Mayfair Games:

Rise of Empires
Designer: Martin Wallace
Art: Czarne

Don't just make history -- guide it! Take the reins of a developing civilization, choosing the resources and development paths that will lead to the fastest expansion, as you claim and defend territory on a map forging an empire that eventually encompasses whole continents.

Rise of Empires play is divided into three eras. Choices made early in the era are repeated late, so your decisions must have both short-term and long-term benefits to be successful. This process requires tough decision-making and promotes an atmosphere with nail-biting suspense. Victory points are rewarded for building cities, having an empire, for progress in science, and for trading goods.

Rise of Empires breathes new life into the civilization games genre! Balance gold and food, war and agriculture, territory and technology to forge an empire that is destined to rise above all other nations!

Each copy of Rise of Empires contains:
1 large game board
1 tiles display
40 resource discs
150 player cubes in 5 colors
45 action discs in 5 colors
8 empire tiles
40 territory tiles
48 progress tiles
36 city tiles
104 gold markers
5 alliance pieces
5 player aid cards
1 rules booklet with illustrated example of play.

Rise of Empires
August 2009 Release
Ages 12+
For 2-5 Players
Playing Time 180+ minutes
PHA6029, $55.00
UPC 0-29877-06029-0-04500
ISBN 1-56905-216-6
Made in Germany
Produced in cooperation with Phalanx Games b.v.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

[Ferbieday] Belated Ferbieday!

Yeah, this last week didn't go so well, either, as you can see...

What with my impending wedding and trying to get stuff published for Adventure Games Publishing, coverage will be light and uneven on Adventure Game News until after the wedding. So around mid-July we'll return to much more in-depth and regular reportage, including the promised reviews and interviews.

I also must apologize for the lack of on-site coverage of Free RPG Day. Unfortunately my plans to attend at Chimera Hobbies in Appleton fell through... if anyone does have a report, especially with pictures and game report, please drop me a line!

Friday, June 19, 2009

[Product Release] Monstrous Menaces #1

From Adventure Games Publishing:

Adventure Games Publishing presents the first in a series of new monsters for the Castles & Crusades Castle Keeper to populate his dungeons and wilderness. Each installment of the Monstrous Menaces series presents three new monsters for a mere dollar, eminently affordable in today’s economy.

The first installment, Monstrous Menaces #1: Gharlidh, Grulnosc, and Rocktopus, presents the Castle Keeper with a 4 HD Monstrous Humanoid, a 6 HD Aberration, and a 1 to 16 HD Magical Beast. Each entry includes complete listings for the monster’s description, organization, ecology, treasure, range, and special abilities.

Gharlidhs are a horrific subterranean humanoid race purportedly bred by an evil underground overlord. They feature characteristics of humans, goblins, and orcs, but only vaguely, for most of their five to seven-foot tall body is covered by bony growth from the top of their thick skull to tips of their clawed toes. Their head is misshapen, as they have neither eyes nor nose, and so the skull slopes unnaturally; their ears however are huge, hairy, and pointed. Their mouth is huge, and filled with many sharp fangs.

Grulnoscs look much like a giant snail with an extremely thick, stone-like shell, save that it stands six to eight feet tall at the top of its shell. Upon closer examination, however, the slimy flesh of the creature is revealed to be utterly different in nature from that of normal snails, or any other known living creature, and the shell is of solid rock, latticed with metals and perhaps even gems; the seven eye stalks with very human-like eyes that it projects from its “head” also indicate to those steeped in animal lore that this is not a natural creature, or even a giant-sized version of such.

At some dark point in the history of the world, oceanic octopi were magically mutated such that they took to life on dry land, albeit preferably in wet subterranean locations, though these creatures can survive quite well aboveground in tropical locations such as rain forests, jungles, swamps, and marshes; anywhere, really, provided there is a large and deep pool of water for spawning. Full-grown rocktopi are nine to 16 feet long (one foot per hit die), with eight long tentacles of many suckers, a large bulbous body, two large eyes, and a razor-sharp beak.

Monstrous Menaces #1: Gharlidh, Grulnosc, and Rocktopus
By James Mishler
AGP06001, 8-page PDF, $1.00 MSRP

Click here to buy
Monstrous Menaces #1
on DriveThruRPG

Full Disclosure: I am the publisher and sole proprietor of Adventure Games Publishing, and the author of this product.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

[Available Again] Judges Guild PDFs from Goodman Games

From Goodman Games:

The PDF versions of the three Judges Guild d20 OGL adventure modules published by Goodman Games are once again available, after being purged of all references to the d20 System Logo. Check them out!

Judges Guild JG1
Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor

An Adventure for Character Levels 10-12

Do your heroes dare to enter Fortress Badabaskor? Deadly brigands, vicious cultists, and the dusty treasures of the Dragon Kings await those with muscle, wit, and luck. Defeat these challenges to uncover the dark secret of Badabaskor - a secret that will challenge even the most experienced of adventurers...

Authors: Bob Bledsaw and Rob Conley
Co-author: Steve Stottrup
Cover art: Stefan Poag
Interior art: William McAusland
Cartographer: Rob Conley
Layout and cover design: Chris Solis
Project editor: Gregory W. Geilman
Proofreader: Kara Geilman
GMG4600, 64 pages, $8.99 PDF

Judges Guild JG2
Citadel of Fire

An Adventure for Character Levels 12-14

Just outside the rough-hewn timber hamlet of Aztlan lies the ancient and mysterious Citadel of Fire: an embodiment of evil and destruction since its stones were first laid. Inside the town of Aztlan, itself a nest of intrigue and danger, there lies an evil temple dedicated to an ancient god to which the masters of the Citadel pay homage. Together the denizens of the Temple and Citadel have made plans to overthrow their rival powers and subjugate the innocents of the land. Meanwhile, just outside of town, sits a not-so-quiet graveyard with a sinister and deadly secret. Are you brave enough to explore the secrets of Aztlan and put an end to the evil that is The Citadel of Fire?

Concept: Bob Bledsaw and Kara Geilman
Original Design: Marc Summerlott
3.5 Authors and Design: Steve Edwards and Steve Stottrup
Layout: Robert Conley
Managing Editor: Greg Geilman
Maps: Robert Conley
Interior Art: William McAusland
Cover Art: Stefan Poag
GMG4601, 128 pages, $12.99 PDF

Judges Guild JG3
Dark Tower

An Adventure for Character Levels 8-10

An ancient evil has overtaken a once holy shrine. Thus, a sleepy mountain hamlet becomes a focal point for mysterious disappearances and even stranger legends of what lurks beneath the village. Vile enemies and strange allies, knowing neither sleep nor age, seek to involve the unwary in a titanic battle of good vs. evil. Do you dare discover the secrets behind the myths, or attempt to exterminate the ancient evil that lies within? Riches, power, glory and death! All are in: Dark Tower.

This special Silver Edition of the classic Judges Guild adventure module is converted to the 3.5 rules set, and includes all new art as well as new material to expand the beloved original!

Writers: Paul Jaquays, Greg Geilman, Steve Stottrup
Cartographer: Rob Conley
Art: William McAusland
Cover Design: Chris Solis
Managing Editor: Kara Geilman
GMG4602, 96 pages, $12.99

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

[Upcoming Product] Martians!!! and MidEvil Deluxe

From Twilight Creations:

Martians!!! and MidEvil Deluxe
Martians!!! and MidEvil Deluxe are on their way. They should be arriving to the warehouse June 24th and shipped to distribution at that time. Included in the shipment are the BagOSkeletons - 100 walking skeletons from MidEvil. They are lighter than the original ones to allow for black-washing or painting. Look for all of these in your FLGS at the end of June/beginning of July.

Your quiet afternoon playing video games is interrupted by a whirring noise and a loud bang! You rush to the window and look. Out on the neighboring field you see it - A large flying saucer and dozens of angry looking MARTIANS!!! Well, at least your day won’t be boring!

Martians!!! Drops you into the middle of the first wave of a large-scale alien invasion. Armed with only your vast knowledge of sci-fi movies, you decide that it is up to you to save mankind from certain intergalactic slavery.

First things first, let’s get the gaming group together!

Designers: Todd Breitenstein, Kerry Breitenstein
TLC2300, $29.99 MSRP
UPC: 823973023001

MidEvil Deluxe
If you thought the Zombies!!! were bad well, let’s just say, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

MidEvil is the first game to be based on, and an extension of, the award winning Zombies!!! system from Twilight Creations. Players have escaped the modern-day zombie horde only to find themselves transported back in time and faced with a whole new set of problems!

MidEvil Deluxe combines all the skull cracking fun of the complete MidEvil Game in one convenient package. The set includes everything from the MidEvil base set, MidEvil 2, and MidEvil 3. It features updated packaging, improved art and updated figures (including more than 100 heavily armed and angry skeleton warriors!!!) The whole game is done with the same realistic but very tongue-in-cheek style you have come to expect from Twilight Creations.

TLC2103, $39.99 MSRP
UPC: 823973021038