Issue of #52 of Mongoose's in-house magazine Signs & Portents is out. On the war gaming side they've got a bumper crop of Babylon 5 stories with four new A Call to Arms articles, including three space combat scenarios.
Radio Active returns from its holiday hiatus with a wrap up National Novel Writing Month and news about my new reviews up at SCIFI.com. I also talk about my family's adoption (finally) of a TiVo, ramble on about boys and their trucks, spend some time playing Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and get caught up on a half-dozen different gaming and political podcasts.
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When last we left our weekly Game Day, our Ravenloft campaign was slugging along, pitting a heroic band of adventurers against the monstrous horrors of the fading land of Count Straud. It’s based on Expedition to Castle Ravenloft an old school, 1st-edition style monster-crawl in which role-playing is minimized, and encounters with level draining undead are maximized.
We knew this getting into it, and in spite of the fact that most of us were getting burned out on the 3E combat mechanics, we plunged ahead anyway for nostalgia’s sake. At the same time, we were running a superheroes campaign using the Mutants & Masterminds rules, and loving the largely free-form, role-playing intensive style of play.
The Geek Gazette returns from holiday break with its January/February 2008 issue. It includes a 2007 geek news recap, an essay on the merits (or lack there of) of digital comic books, rumors and speculation on Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, and a look ahead movies, game and book releases for the new year, and capsule reviews of The Simpsons, Halloween and Futurama: Bender’s Big Score.
Hero Hooks is a new PDF compilation by the Atomic Think Tank community over at MutantsandMasterminds.com. The PDF is full of plot hooks for superhero games, divided into chapters for people, places, and things. There's also the "Mega-Matrix" random plot generator. You can get it from the "Mutants & Masterminds Adventures" section of the M&M web site.
Trail of Cthulhu, a new horror role-playing game that promises to take the drugery out of investigating mind-blowing Mythos monstrocities, is scheduled to be released February 1, 2008 by Indie Press Revolution. The company is is accepting pre-orders for the game now.
T'was a very geeky Christmas once again this year, and the Geek Tree's rocket tree skirt is filled with all manner of games and toys for thirtysomething boys.
First up, this year's Hess truck goes off-roading with a huge engine-revving 4x4 with two motorcycles. Very cool, and an instant hit with the kids. My annual Star Trek ornament was the bridge of the Enterprise from Wrath of Khan, with the Reliant depicted on screen. It has dialog from the movie, which just makes me want to pop the DVD in and watch it.
The Advanced Players Guide, by Green Ronin, with new spells, new classes and the big surprise -- a mass combat system compatible with D&D. Another big Green Ronin book is the Ultramodern Weapons Guide, which is a d20 Modern-compatible hardcover detailing hundreds of weapons with descriptions, pictures, specs and game stats. I know, perfect for Christmas, but I've heard nothing but good things about the book from my fellow gamers.
The Geek Tree has spawned. With my 18-month-old son Luke obsessed with putting almost everything he finds in his mouth, we decided that hanging up my various mini (and easily swallowed) ornaments wasn't a good idea. At the same time, my parents discovered my old Christmas tree from high school, a 18" tree that I used to setup in my room.
A string of white lights later, and the Spawn of the Geek Tree was born.
Like the Geek Tree, the mini-Geek Tree is decorated with a variety of science fiction and comic book ornaments (no fantasy ones though -- I didn't have any small enough for this tree; even the hobbits are out of scale). It's decorated with Hallmark's miniature Star Trek ornaments (the Enterprise-E, Defiant and Voyager) as well as their Star Wars collection (Imperial AT-AT, TIE Fighter and X-Wing).
It's the 23rd of December, which is a date my four-year-old is having a hard time grasping. She's mentally willing for Christmas to be here tomorrow and the whole "Christmas Eve" thing just isn't making sense to her. But she can tolerate Christmas Eve ... it's the Day before the Eve that's really getting to her.