Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What Google Plus means for roleplaying

Yesterday Google announced its new social network, Google Plus. Working in the digital marketing industry my office has been abuzz with conversation about what the site will mean for current social networks and the future of online interaction. But being an utter nerd the first thing that crossed my mind was "Can I play RPGs on it?"

Whereas there are similarities between other social media, Google Plus does have a utility that caught my eye: Hangouts. Essentially this is Google's answer to Skype except it encourages multiple friends to interact simultaneously. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Read more after the jump...

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Look, it's not the cheese that's the problem, really; it's those bloody cows. Farmers have been tearing their hair out after they've found a few animals from their personal livestock are Rock Bovine - creatures who produce milk and cheese capable of literally petrifying the consumer.

Gorgon-zola they're calling it. Recently Khosht removed all dairy products from their markets after seven people were found as statues stuffing their faces with cheese. Detective Brolly, using his keen powers of deduction, knew something was up with the cheese and put out a city-wide ban on the food.

Read more after the jump...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tinyhack is an 8-bit dungeon crawl for the imaginative

I don't feature videogames on here very often, because, even though I'm a gamer and write about videogames on other sites, I find tabletop roleplaying to be much more satisfying than any console or PC game - hence my tagline.

However, I think the game I discovered today can pass as low-tech and it's definitely a flight of fantasy. Tinyhack is an 8-bit flash game that fits into a 9x9 favicon, which is impressive in itself, but the main hook for me is that it's a dungeon crawler.

Read more after the jump

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Sword of Absolute Awesomeness

There are few who know of The Sword of Absolute Awesomeness, and there are fewer in history who have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this totally bitchin' weapon.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: where can I get me a dandy throat-slicer like that? Well, I've got some bad news for you, son - it probably ain't gonna happen.

Find out more after the jump.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Wizards of the Coast need to add this to DDI

Hands up if you think DDI is a tad disappointing. With hot features such as dumbed down versions of Dungeon and Dragon magazines, a lack of virtual tabletop and an online only character builder, any paying customer could be forgiven for being a little narked off by the whole thing. But this argument has been made a zillion times already and I'm not going to tread on old ground.

However, what I am going to do is suggest that Wizards implement a new feature to DDI: adventure subscriptions.

Find out more after the jump.

Friday, 17 June 2011

So what can you get on Free RPG Day 2011?

Aside for Free Comic Book Day, Free RPG Day should be marked on every geek's calender. 

Tomorrow, June 18th, is this year's gratis roleplaying bonanza with stores worldwide signed up to bring you the free fun.

So what does tomorrow hold for us gamer types then? Who has been kind enough to offer their hard work to the masses for nothing.

Find out who after the jump...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Chronicles of Blood Review

While solo RPG Chronicles of Arax pitted us against deadly dungeons and fearsome creatures in one-on-one battles, Chronicles of Blood brings Arax to a whole new scale: war.

As grotesque tortured undead things storm the fields of battle, the only glimmer of hope lies in The Golden Alliance, an army of men, elves, dwarves and angels who alone stand against the tyranny of The Unholy Blight.

Ever have war games been played solo but Chronicles of Blood is purposefully built with solitaire gaming in mind. But is the game a valiant triumph or a blood-gurgled whimper? Find out after the jump...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

What does your favourite edition of D&D say about you?

The 'editions wars' in Dungeons and Dragons are still firing up the internet and will probably die down until Wizards of the Coast pulls out the next shock move from their schedule.

If you're a hippy liberal like myself, you probably see the merits in most or all the variations of the game, but you will still prefer one over the rest.

So here's what your edition preference possibly says about your character and play style.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Putting the flame in Lamentations of the Flame Princess

I'm going on a two day break as of now, but before I go I just wanted to point you towards this thread on

I recently bought the Grinhouse Edition and although I've yet to play it I actually find the rules to be better than Swords and Wizardry, which I hold to the highest esteem. It looks like a few people are offended by the "death metal" imagery, which is fine, but they're also making this the basis of their argument that Flame Princess is a bad game - which it isn't.

I personally love the artwork: it's evocative. I'm a metal fan, which includes death metal, so I'm very much used to this sort of artwork, which many people aren't, so I can see why people may be disgusted by it - but to call the game 'FATAL-lite' because of this is purely fallacious.

From what I can tell from reading, Flame Princess is a tight, detailed post-OSR game that I'm really looking forward to playing.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Crazy things you didn't know about 3 RPG companies

Ask anyone familiar with tabletop roleplaying games who make Dungeons and Dragons and they will likely answer Wizards of the Coast.

However, there are some weird things games companies have done that few people know about; and in some cases secrets best left unearthed.

So for you reading pleasure, here are some things you didn't know about three roleplaying companies.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Roll those beans with BEAN! 2e softcover

BEAN! 2nd edition has a lot going for it, but as the days get hotter I've never been able to reach for it and use it as a rudimentary fan in its PDF fan...up to now. 

The latest version of the D2 system is now available in print for a stupidly low price from RPGNow. Yes, now you can caress, stroke and kiss your very own copy of BEAN! in weird erotic fashion.

For more information on the game, check out my BEAN review if you feel like you need a little more encouragement to spend a little on a lot of goodness.

Why we gravitate towards low-level characters

By now the early beta edition of the anticipated Dungeon Crawl Classics has blazed the roleplaying blogosphere like a wildfire. I've had a brief nosey at the rules but I will need to read them in detail before setting out a full-fledged review. 

One aspect that immediately jumped out at me about Goodman's latest effort is the inclusion of 0-level play. Initially, each character begins in XP debt and must endeavour to work her way up to first level via a good old fashioned dungeon bash that, as the author stresses, from which she will be unlikely to return.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

New creature: The Xingtian

This is a joint post with the awesome Gianni, creator of the historical Chinese BRP setting The Celestial Empire and owner of the Celestial Empire blog

The Xingtian is a malevolent creature in the annals of Chinese mythology, who once challenged the Yellow Emperor to a duel, only to be beheaded. Though this would have killed any other person, the Xingtian fled without a head, with a mouth appearing on his stomach. Pretty horrific stuff, I'm sure you'll agree, so when Gianni suggested we each wrote a version of the creature, me for Tunnels and Trolls and he for Basic Roleplaying, I thought it was a great idea.

5 celebrity Dungeons and Dragons players

Apologies to feed subscribers - I pressed the wrong button and the post published prematurely. Have some candy for your inconvenience. 

It may be hard to believe, but roleplaying isn't solely the domain of us ordinary nerds. Every once in a while one of our adored celebs pipes up about how they once played Dungeons and Dragons or even that they're still rolling crits to this day. There are quite a few lists of celebrity D&D fanatics floating around the interwebs, but most are filled with false information. So I did some research (i.e. called up all my celebrity friends) to determine who really is into fighting goblins around a table.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

4 RPGs to look out for this year

1. Fabled Lands RPG

The Fabled Lands gamebooks have recently been re-released, much to my pleasure, and hot on their tails comes the tabletop version. The Fabled Lands RPG was originally released in 1995 but Cubicle 7 will be re-launching it this month. If you've ever played the gamebooks you will know how detailed the world of Harkuna is, even in gamebook form. There will also be 12 source books released after, detailing the territories covered in the original books (12 were originally in the pipeline, but only 6 were published). The game uses the same simple mechanics as in the books, but expanded for party play, so I expect this to be a relatively rules-lite affair. There's no news yet on a digital version, so until then it'll be places like an Office Depot  retailer will be getting my money for the countless pencils and paper I have to invest in. 

2. Dragon Age RPG: Set 2

Nobody can doubt the popularity of the Dragon Age video games, but few could have predicted how much of a hit the tabletop game would be. Set 2 covers rules for characters level 6-10 and includes rules on playing as a Grey Warden, 40 new spells, exploration stunts and more. I've never played the game, but I've heard many rave reviews, some even saying that this is what 4e should have been.

3. The One Ring

Tolkien's beloved stories and world have had a couple of tabletop renditions already with MERP and The Lord of the Rings RPG by Decipher. Now Cubicle 7 have thrown their hat in the ring (geddit?) and will in August release The One Ring. The first book of an ongoing epic series, called Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild, will focus on the Wilderlands, which includes Mirkwood, the Lonely Mountain and East of the Misty Mountains. It will be set 5 years after the events in The Hobbit and will offer players a rich and immersive setting. Each subsequent release will open up a new geography in Middle-earth and span generations of characters, making this game truly massive in scope.

4. Dungeon Crawl Classics

November will see the release of Dungeon Crawl Classics by Goodman Games, an old-school spin on 3rd edition D&D mechanics. According to the author, it plays like a 1970s D&D session with race-classes such as Elf and Dwarf, but its attributes are slightly different to 3e with the inclusion of 'luck'. Whatever this concoction of new and old school is, you can colour me intrigued and I'll definitely be investing when it's released later this year.