Remodeling my game room gave me a chance to re-organizing my role-playing game collection and dig out books I haven't touched in years. As I shelved them, I couldn't help but start to mentally order my favorite and/or most influential games. This list is the result.
The Martians have landed. Their goals remain uncertain; indeed, they seem to change continuously: one moment they're attempting to capture Washington, D.C., the next they're trying to abduct humans, only to turn their attention to the great cow menace. Of one thing, there is no doubt: once the Martians figure out what they're doing, we're doomed.
This is the premise of Martian Fluxx, a card game by Loony Labs that's expands upon the rules of its popular Fluxx card game.
Snopes.com debunks the claim that a "dark ring around the moon" presages a cancer-causing acid rain storm. The myth starts off claiming that this is an event that happens once every 750 years but mutates to say that the volcanic eruptions in Iceland are to blame.
The first role-playing game I ever played was Dungeons & Dragons. The second was Star Frontiers. Saying I "played" Star Frontiers is something of a stretch; I game mastered one or two sessions in 8th grade and that was pretty much it. Except … it was much more than that. Star Frontiers grabbed the world-building part of my brain, and wouldn't let go. I created the Starrior star system, and populated it with the benevolent megacorp known as Astro Mining & Freighting (or simply AMF). I detailed the vast starfleets of the United Planetary Federation and the smaller – yet still formidable – Starrior Milita.
I filled a three-ring binder background information, fleet configurations, and star maps that depicted the growing Starrior Republic which – looking back – was a sort of proto free market republic dedicated to fighting the threats that the UPF was too cowardly to engage (namely the vile Sathar invaders).
Fantasy Flight Games has announced the Into the Storm supplement for Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader. From their web site:
Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to announce the upcoming release of Into the Storm, a supplement for Rogue Trader! You and your fellow Explorers have mustered the courage to claim the vast riches of the galaxy, but as the obstacles before you grow more formidable and your enemies more cunning, you’ll need a powerful arsenal to defend what’s yours. Arm yourself with the knowledge, equipment, and firepower to rise to dominance!
Arriving this summer, Into the Storm offers a host of new character options, allowing for increased personalization with the new expanded Origin Path and Alternate Career Ranks. Plus, play as a character from beyond the Imperium with two all-new xenos Careers. Keep watching, and over the coming weeks we'll reveal details of these exciting new options.
One of the defining moments of my own personal geekdom was discovering Robotech the summer before my freshman year of high school. The series had everything: grand, multi-generational space opera storylines, immense space battles, great characters and, of course, starfighters that turned into battle-mechs.
For years I've had a Jetfire transformer sitting in guardian mode on my desk (Jetfire being a clear knockoff of the veritech) but I've often wanted to upgrade to a full VF model. Now I can -- Robotech.com's offering three new Veritech fighter models on pre-order:
The first DC Comics book, DC ADVENTURES drops in August 2010. Three subsequent books detailing heroes and villains will be released later this year and in 2011. Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition will use the same ruleset, and be released in Fall 2011.
At the same time Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion is now available in print (it had been out in PDF earlier this year).
In the latest edition of SF Site has reviews of the following books:
- Prince of Storms by Kay Kenyon
- Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann
- Katja from the Punk Band by Simon Logan
- Evolve: Vampires Stories of the New Undead edited by Nancy Kilpatrick
- Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear
- Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey
- Warbreaker, Part 3 by Brandon Sanderson
- Lifeblood by P.N. Elrod
- One Was Stubborn by L. Ron Hubbard
- The World House by Guy Adams
- Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction edited by Mark Bould and China Miéville
- How To Defeat Your Own Clone by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson
Mass Effect 2 is Bioware's follow-up to their awesome-but-flawed space opera role-playing game. The sequel is a beautifully crafted game that knows exactly what scifi notes to hit to get player's blood pumping and keep them engaged, even as the main story is less than stellar.
The game – and that I almost wrote "movie" tells you a lot about it – picks up where its predecessor left off. Exactly where that is depends on the choices you made in the previous game. My main character was woman named Xandra Shepherd, a tough-as-nails, victory-at-any-cost commander who hated the anti-human Citadel Council, the ruling body of much of the galaxy. When their base of operations – a massive alien construct known as the Citadel – was attacked by life-destroying entities known as Reavers, Xandra didn't lift a finger to save the Council. She did, however, defeat the Reaver incursion. As a result, my game began with a new human council in charge of the Citadel … and the galaxy in denial about the threat of the Reavers.
Fantasy Flight Games has announced Space Hulk: The Card Game. It's a co-operative (and apparently, non-collectible) card game for 1-6 players. Each player controls a combat team, and must work together to explore a ruined starship (or other locations) and defeat the Genestealer alien horrors within.