Harrowing Halls is a Dungeon Tiles set for Dungeons & Dragons that takes the long-running line to new heights. That's because they're not just dungeon tiles ... they're three dimensional dungeon tiles that can be used to build a staircase, raised platforms, tables, and pedastals, all of which player characters can jump on, leap off of and generally use to their advantage.
It makes a big difference on many fronts, starting with prep time. I got a review copy of Harrowing Halls a few months ago, but since I run a weekly Star Wars game I haven't had much call for a rustic hall/dungeon. That changed when I decided to run an epic showdown with a Jedi master in a temple on a stormwracked backwater world.
My Star Wars: Saga Edition game has hit the summer doldrums, as our Friday sessions fall victim to August vacations, Musikfest, and back-to-school crush. We're about three-quarters of the way through our Mandalorian Interlude story arc (in which we're all playing Mandos in the opening days of the Mandalorian War), and while it's been fun, we're looking forward to getting back to our regular characters. Thanksfully, the rest of the net is keeping the Saga Edition fires burning during our downtime.
The storm dragons are magnificent creatures hunt the hurricanes of the storm world of Tarl. The Outer Rim planet's binary stars provide a constant source of energy for its moisture rich atmosphere, giving rise to an unending series of cyclones. The dragons constantly ride these storms, hunting the great airbag herbivores that dwell in storms' eyes and battling each other for arial supremacy.
Predator starts off as a standard 1980s-style military adventure film, not unlike Swartzenager's own Commando. It's got the bad-ass elite soliders (led by Arnold's own Dutch), a bombastic soundtrack, and a pitched firefight with guerillas.
But in between the bouts of testosterone, there's tension. Our troops realize something isn't quite right -- but is it in the mission (fouled by their CIA contact) or something else?
Of course, we know it's something else ... something extraterrestrial, given that an alien spacecraft was dropped to earth by an alien starship just before the opening credits. But as to the nature of their alien adversary, that's a mystery that's revealed ever so slowly.
It's a sad time for Star Wars: Saga Edition -- Wizards of the Coast has killed its official web site for the role-playing and the miniatures games and is redirecting visitors to their home page. Fortunately, Rebel Alliance fans have managed to secure hidden caches of PDFs while Wizards has announced plans to restore some of the lost material to their forums.
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; this is Part 2, which covers games #10 through #1. You can also read Part 1, which covers games #20 through #11.
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 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).
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).
I love Savage Worlds. Half of the guys in my group love Savage Worlds. But part of what keeps the other half from jumping on board, at least for a fantasy campaign, is the lack of a Vancian magic system (aka the "fire and forget" memorization system from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series and popularized in Dungeons & Dragons). I know that many Savage Worlds fans see this as a feature rather than a bug, but it's a concern with the Blackrazors, who have 12+ years of D&D 2E/3E under their belts.
So what would a Vancian magic system look like in Savage Worlds? There are two key elements to a Vancian system: discovery and flexibility. Discovery comes from being able to find spells in scrolls and spellbooks, and add them to your own growing library. Flexibility comes from being able to pick the right spell for the right job, and not being locked down to a pre-determined power suite.
Recreating a Vancian system in Savage Worlds requires you to retain these discovery and flexibility while still working with its default power point system. Here's my take on it.