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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 Day: My Game Inbox Runneth Over

by Ken Newquist / June 9, 2007
Game Cover: Shadowrun

After a week away from home at the Portal 2007 higher ed conference at Gettysburg College, I've returned home to an inbox overflowing with games. My Xbox 360 will be seeing heavy action this weekend as I put Shadowrun and Forza 2 through its paces, while my non-videogame moments will likely be consumed by reading The Mastermind's Manual and Lockdown sourcebooks for Mutants & Masterminds.

Finally, Friday night gaming arrived just in time with a return to the misty lands of Ravenloft and our ongoing attempt to find the long lost Amulet of Ravenkind.

Role-Playing Games and Kids

by Ken Newquist / June 7, 2007

Interested in teaching kids how to play role-playing games? Then check out the article "Role-Playing Games and Kids" by Katrina Middelburg-Creswell on She's a high school teacher and RPG club organizer in the Netherlands, and her two-part article offers tips on how to organize a kid gaming group and then what sorts of games and techniques to use when teaching them how to play. Hat tip to Treasure Tables for finding this gem.

Planetorn: A Big, Hairy, Audacious Campaign

by Ken Newquist / June 7, 2007

A while back at My Play,  Gerald Cameron proposed the idea of the "BHAC" (Big, Hairy, Audacious Campaign), the sort of campaign that's earth-trembling huge its shear audacity and (I'm assuming) its variance from the norm. 

He throws out one example: normal D&D campaigns usually have a home town or city ... what happens if that city is build on the corpse of a tarrasque? It spawned a corresponding conversation over at Treasure Tables, with examples like a world overrun by vampires, a world in which everyone has superpowers, and one where giants rule over millions of humanoid slaves.

Game Day: Perfect Storm of Geek Work, Star Wars RPG

by Ken Newquist / June 3, 2007
Book Cover: Star Wars Saga Edition

The headline says it all. I'm reviewing the new Star Wars: Saga Edition as a freelance gig. My review copy arrived Wednesday; my playtest of the game was scheduled for Friday and the game review is due Monday. At the same time, my Knights of the Dinner Table column was due Friday, my next freelance web review is due Tuesday and oh, wait, there's that Shadowrun game review I need to start thinking about for next week.

Meanwhile, at work -- meaning my day job -- I'm scrambling to get our Moodle installation up and running with a full faculty and course list as well as a spiffy new theme before I leave for a conference.

So I'm feeling a little stressed. And Friday's Game Day column is a little late.

The First Step

by Ken Newquist / May 31, 2007

Luke took his first tentative step yesterday and naturally (Luke being Luke) he did it on the concrete porch outback. 'Cause you know, that way he can maximize the chance of really hurting himself. He immediately sat back down again, and crawled to his destination, but he definitely took a step.

Of course, everyone says not to compare your kids to each other, but walking -- like talking -- is one of those milestones you can't help but compare. Jordan started walking three days before her first birthday, and it seems like Luke's following a similar trajectory, given that his first birthday is June 14.

CNN: Making Less Than Dad Did

by Ken Newquist / May 29, 2007

Articles like this one piss me off. Men have been hammered for years about not taking an active role in their families, about putting job above family, and all the standard guilt trips that could take you to the Moon and back if only you could clock the frequent flyer miles.

The thing is, guilt trips aren't needed -- in my experience, Gen X dads generally want to spend time with their families, and make job decisions that reflect that. Unsurprisingly, those choices effect their yearly income. So when this story -- which is about the decline in median male income from $40,000 in 1974 to $35,000 in 2004, I just to scream.

Game Day: Complexity and Time, Mutant Heroes, Dwarven Quakes

by Ken Newquist / May 26, 2007
Book Cover: Star Wars Saga Edition

Friday was utterly consumed by an all-day staff retreat at work, denying me my normal lunchtime opportunity to write my Game Day column.

But here we go again, one day late, but a little wiser nonetheless as I take some time to look at the new Star Wars: Saga Edition RPG, consider lessons learned during our latest Mutants & Masterminds character creation session and review our latest Khelez-Mar adventure.

Top of the Pile: KODT, Dork Tower, Conan, Ex Machina

by Ken Newquist / May 25, 2007

Gaming comics top the pile this week as my copies of Knights of the Dinner Table #125 and Dork Tower #36 arrive, augmented by the sword and sorcery (though mostly sword) of Dark Horse Comics' Conan #39.

Rounding out the picks in this pile is the latest issue of Ex Machina, which sees a mysterious future time traveler arrive in New York and tease Mayor Hundred with the secret of his machine-talking powers.