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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

Role-Playing Games

Star Wars: Scum and Villainy

by Ken Newquist / September 26, 2010

Scum and Villainy is an essential source book for those running a Star Wars: Saga Edition game on the fringes of galactic society, whether that’s trolling for would-be passengers in a Mos Eisley cantina, smuggling spice out of Kessel, or engaging in piracy against the Galactic Empire.

The book does for crime what the earlier Starships of the Galaxy did for starships and space combat, providing scoundrels, bounty hunters and outright criminals with a host of new game rules and options for running a campaign that interacts with the galaxy’s dark underbelly.

The Lunchtime Game Master's Toolkit

by Ken Newquist / September 21, 2010

 RPG Blog CarnivalWhen some co-workers and I decided to try our hand at a lunch-time role-playing campaign, I knew that game prep was going to be critical to making it work. But not the sort of game prep I normally did; this was all about the physical game prep.

We're playing The Day After Ragnarok using the Savage Worlds rules, and thanks to Ken Hite's numerous adventure generation tables, the scenarios practically write themselves. No, the part the essential part of making this campaign work was making sure I knew where my towel was.

Dice. Initiative cards. A battle map. Miniatures. I have all of this stuff in my game room ... but we're not playing there. We're in an under-ventilated, odd-smelling basement conference room whose only virtues are privacy, a table, and a dry erase board.

Harrowing Halls: Taking Dungeon Tiles to the 3rd Dimension

by Ken Newquist / August 31, 2010

 Harrowing HallsHarrowing 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.

Star Wars RPG Round Up: Pop Culture, Campaign Planning, Starships, WotC archive

by Ken Newquist / August 29, 2010

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.

Star Wars: The Storm Dragons of Tarl

by Ken Newquist / July 28, 2010

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: 1980s military adventurism meets alien horror

by Ken Newquist / July 27, 2010

 PredatorPredator 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.

Star Wars RPG Round Up: End of the Line, Author Blogs, Unknown Regions review

by Ken Newquist / June 7, 2010

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.

The Top 20 RPGs on My Bookshelf, Part 2

by Ken Newquist / June 1, 2010

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.