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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Game News

Fantasy Flight Games Announces Deathwatch RPG

by Ken Newquist / February 27, 2010

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the Deathwatch Role-Playing Game, the much-anticipated third core rule book for Warhammer 40k. Players take on the role of Deathwatch Marines fighting a desperate war to restore Imperial oversight of the Jericho Reach. Space Marines are one of the most iconic aspects of the 40K universe, and I know a lot of people have been eager to get their hands on this sort of source book.

The Griffin's Crier Re-launched

by Ken Newquist / February 26, 2010

The redesigned version of the Griffin's Crier, my gaming group's web site, is now up and running -- you can check it out at The GriffCrier has been around for more than a decade; our Blackrazor Guild gaming group first launched the site in 1998 as an archive for our World of Greyhawk campaign. Over time, our gaming group's evolved and added new web apps -- we now have a dedicated forum for in and out of game conversations, the archival D&D content has been moved to a Greyhawk wiki, and we've spawned several additional blogs and wikis in support of the other RPGs we play

Over time, the role of the Griffin's Crier diminished, and it was time to bring it back. Four of us are blogging now, and even more are using Twitter. We've got two campaign blogs and two corresponding wikis, all of which are producing RSS. In recent years, the home page of the Crier had been static as content was updated elsewhere; I wanted to change that by pulling in headlines from across the Blackrazor blogosphere.

Exploring D&D Battlefields with Microsoft Surface

by Ken Newquist / February 23, 2010

Ever since Chewbacca defeated R2-D2 in holochess, geeks have wanted a virtual table top for their games. Things have taken a major step in that direction with SurfaceScapes, a proof-of-concept app for Microsoft surface created by students at Carnegie Mellon University. It's based on the D&D 4th Edition rules, and those who've seen it are suitably impressed:

For those who haven't seen it before, Microsoft Surface is a sort of digital coffee table; it's got a large, flat touch sensitive screen (kind of like an upsized and hard-to-move iPhone. SurfaceScapes puts an interactive map on the Surface, which you can interact with by moving around specially designed miniatures. All of the rules you need to run the game (e.g. movement, powers, etc.) are built into the game, and you can interact with your character through a handheld device (e.g. an iPod touch or smart phone).

Gamer Traveler: Games & Travel Blog Carnival Roundup

by Ken Newquist / February 17, 2010

Games & Travel Blog CarnivalThe Gamer Traveler has posted a round up of the "Games & Travel" blog carnival from January 2010. This was a cool topic, and one I wish I'd taken the time to participate in (perhaps I will, retroactively).

While I think many campaigns tend to hand-wave away travel (perhaps after one too many random wilderness encounters during their Advanced Dungeons & Dragons days) it can make for some great adventures. Heck, one of our most memorable Star Wars campaign arcs involved our heroes bouncing out of hyperspace into a proto-star nebula. They barely escaped the nebula with their lives, the ship's outer hull having been melted into what we're now calling "star forged armor".

Star Wars Roundup: Saga Edition Cancelled, Sniper Feat, Travel in Star Wars

by Ken Newquist / February 3, 2010

Without a doubt, the big news Star Wars this month is the announcement that Wizards of the Coast is not renewing its Star Wars license and is ending the Star Wars: Saga Edition RPG and Star Wars Miniatures product lines. It's a sad day for Star Wars gamers but I suspect that the game will continue to have a small but fierce following in coming years, just like West End's d6 Star Wars does.

In happier news, Galaxy of Intrigue was released in late January, and we have one more source book -- The Unknown Regions -- before the end of the line

Gamers Helping Haiti

by Ken Newquist / January 29, 2010

OneBookShelf, the company that runs the virtual RPG storefronts DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, is offering a $20 mega bundle as a fundraiser to help the survivors of the Haiti earthquake. Donate $20 to Doctors without Borders through the web site, and you'll receive $1,500+ worth of PDFs. View complete list of products in the bundle, broken down by company. The bundle sale ends January 31, 2010.

Download a Free Issue of Kobold Quarterly Through Jan. 31

by Ken Newquist / January 24, 2010

If you've ever wanted to try out Kobold Quarterly, but didn't want to put down the change for a single issue PDF or subscription, here's your chance. Open Design is making issue #10 available as a free download ... but only until the end of January. Here's the official word: