Saturday 23 February 2013

Is game streaming service Onlive dead in the water after its acquisition?

Onlive was a pioneer in the cloud gaming scene, but six months on after it was bought out by Lauder Partners why does the once exciting system feel like its about to keel over?

Margaret Weis Productions to release Firefly RPG

It doesn't look like we'll be getting a new season of Firefly anytime soon (or ever), but there's good news for gamers - Margaret Weis Productions has obtained the license to produce a Firefly tabletop RPG. Time to throw on your duster jacket and brush up on your 'Verse slang.

Read every issue of Dragon for free on the Internet Archive

So here's something funky for the weekend - you can now download and read every issue of Dragon magazine, courtesy of the Internet Archive.

That's a whole lot of back issues, but it's especially timely now that Wizards of the Coast have offered up older editions of D&D to download. There's so much inspiration between those pages that you could spend days just trawling through for ideas.

Check the archive out for yourself here. Just remember to eat - you could easily get lost down a rabbit hole.

Thursday 21 February 2013

PS4 confirmed for Christmas release, still no sign of a console

Yesterday Sony held their PlayStation 4 announcement press conference and live stream to a horde of gamers waiting to see what goodies the new console has in store. While we saw some awesome stuff, there was no sign of the actual console. Is Sony waiting for E3 for the big reveal? Probably. But they ended the conference announcing that the new console will drop at the end of this year.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Why The Spider is one of the best comics on the shelf

Image source: Dynamite Entertainment
We've noted before how there's been a recent resurgence in the popularity of pulp comics, from Garth Ennis' The Shadow, Kevin Smith's The Green Hornet and more recently the excellent Masks by Dynamite. One that was introduced in 2012 is The Spider and as it's about to put out its ninth issue it's fair to say that this is one comic you don't want to miss. Find out why after the jump.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Whedon: S.H.I.E.L.D will be a show about helping people

I can hardly contain myself for the new Joss Whedon show, S.H.I.E.L.D, set in the Marvel movie universe. Sure, we don't know whether it's going to be picked up for sure by ABC, but there's good money riding on it doing just that. After all, The Avengers was one of the highest grossing films of all time - who wouldn't want a slice of that delicious comic book cake?

In a recent interview, Whedon indicated that the series won't be just another TV series.

Monday 18 February 2013

Was H.P Lovecraft actually a good writer?

I admit it. I'm one of those people who is inclined to buy anything remotely Lovecraft-esque, watch any Lovecraft-inspired film and generally wax lyrical about his stories all day long. He's inspired a generation of horror writers, including Stephen King, and his influence continues in popular culture to this day. However, I know that many people don't quite 'get' Lovecraft. His prose can be turgid and adjectives suffocating. There are certainly problems with his style and themes, and characters tend to be as thin as the paper they're printed on. So why do we love the guy so much?

Sunday 17 February 2013

Busty Barbarian Bimbos does not empower women, it's just thinly veiled misogyny

Tenkar has just posted about a new RPG Kickstarter that has me severely facepalming. The game in question has already achieved over half of its funding goal with 28 days to go. It's also called Busty Barbarian Bimbos. Groan.

The synopsis is that players take on the roles of pin-ups from the covers of RPG books - you know, scantily clad and well endowed. However, instead of being the regular damsels in distress, these 'bimbos' are the adventurers, living in a society where "the values of aesthetic beauty, fashion, and social standing." Here are a few things that we can expect from BBB.

J.J Abrams should direct every geek franchise

The announcement that director J.J Abrams is set to direct Star Wars, that other sci-fi franchise behemoth came as a shock to many people. Some rage-fuelled nerds took to forums and twitter to vent their seething anger at the apparent homogenisation of nerd culture. After all, with Star Trek and Star Wars under his belt, who's going to stop him from collecting every cult franchise, like some money-grubbing speccy Pokemon trainer?

Friday 15 February 2013

Step through The Secret Door

Myst has always been one of my favourite games. For those who remember, Myst was an adventure game where you, the stranger, land in a bizarre world where people teleport to new locations via books. Looking at The Secret Door, a new doohicky created by Safestyle utilising the Google Indoor Maps API, I get a rather Myst-y vibe.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

USR news from the RPG community

It's always amazing to see what people are doing with USR, so here's a quick round-up of USR goodies around the internet.

Charlie at The Semi-Retired Gamer has created a printable character sheet for your game. Nice one, Charlie!

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls funds at a massive $125,440

Yesterday the Kickstarter for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls reached its end, managing to score a whopping $125,440 - almost $100,000 over the stated goal.

In the last few days stretch goals were being set up and severely smashed as the unstoppable freight train this project has proven to be finally came to an end. On top of their original pledge incentive, many funder will also be receiving a bucket-load of extras, including a compendium of Sorcerer's Apprentice GM and solo adventures, temporary tattoos, a pdf GM screen, a facsimile copy of the rare 1st edition, a T&T pencil and much more. Seriously, Rick's team has been really generous.

Monday 4 February 2013

Refresh your memory in time for Jack the Giant Killer with this sweet Jack and the Beanstalk animated tale

Jack and the Beanstalk is one of the most beloved of all English folk tales and it's constantly undergoing re-invention, the most recent being the upcoming film Jack the Giant Killer.

Bed company Time4Sleep have gone right back to the roots of the tale with a fantastic animated story - perfect for showing your kids or even learning about the story for the first time.

You can watch/read it here.

Saturday 2 February 2013

Spears of the Dawn brings African fantasy to a tabletop near you

It's easy to get lost in the sheer amount of fantasy RPGs out there at the moment, especially with the OSR movement still going relatively strong, but Sine Nomine Publishing have brought a refreshing twist on the genre with the African-inspired Spears of the Dawn.

The game is built using Stars Without Number as its core system and is described by the publisher as a "full-fledged sandbox game" complete with tools and resources for turning your old school fantasy game into an exotic African campaign, with new classes, rules for managing the quarrels of rival nations, one-roll NPCs and fast culture creation tables.

Spears of the Dawn is the result of a Kickstarter campaign and certainly looks deserving of your attention. It's about time we hand more cultures to play in within our old school campaigns, so this sounds like a major win.

You can buy the core rulebook here, and the release stated that the first adventure module, The House of Bone and Amber, will be out in March.

Can you recommend a tabletop skirmish game?

I've always been a dabbler in wargaming, whether it was when I played Warhammer 40,000 at The Lord of the Rings Fantasy Battles when I was younger, or more recently a stint playing 15mm Napoleonics.

However, these days I find that a) I'm too busy to paint the buggers, and b) the hobby is pretty expensive if you want to play on larger scales, which I prefer.

So I've found myself drawn towards skirmish games like A Song of Blades and Heroes and to some extent Chronicles of Blood. I really adore ASoBaH for its simple mechanics. I've also had a flick through Chain Reaction and found that to be pretty cool as well, and while I never played it properly, I was always fascinated by Mordheim.

The main draw for me is whether a game can be played effectively solitaire. My friends and I generally play roleplaying games and board games, but not really miniatures games, but I like to crack out a couple of warbands when I have a spare 20 minutes and have a quick game of ASoBaH. However, I would, in the future, like to dabble more in group play.

I think the perfect game for me at the moment would be an English Civil War ruleset. I love this period of history and while it's a popular area for mass battles, I think skirmishes could work just as well. At the moment I use A Song of Drums and Shakos as a general template for an ECW game, but if one of my valiant readers could recommend a simple ruleset for me that would be awesome.

However, if you're itching to recommend any other skirmish game, please go ahead and let me know.