Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More Green Ronin Goodness

The Fates have been unkind to Green Ronin. First, they had issues with the printer for their Free RPG Day stuff. So they made their freebies available on their website (which was better for you and me anyway, because there just wasn’t enough dead-tree freebie material to satisfy demand, from what I’ve heard). Only, the demand was so large, lots of people couldn’t get in to download the goodies. A real mess.

But Green Ronin, as I’ve said before, is a class act. They’ve turned Free RPG Day into Free RPG Week. Here’s the schedule for goodies listed on their web page:

Tuesday: The Mutants & Masterminds Beginner's Guide will be free once again for 24 hours. The following Mutants & Masterminds PDFs will also go on sale for the rest of the week: Mutants & Masterminds Second Edition for $15, Agents of Freedom for $10, and the Masterminds Manual for $13.50.

Wednesday: At long last the Pirate's Guide to Freeport will debut. The full price of the PDF is $19 but for this week we're offering it for only $17. The following Freeport PDFs will also go on sale for the rest of the week: Freeport Trilogy 5-Year Anniversary Edition for $12, Creatures of Freeport for $10, and Crisis in Freeport for $8.50.

Thursday: Bleeding Edge Adventure #5: Temple of the Death Goddess will be free once again for 24 hours. The following Bleeding Edge PDFs will also go on sale for the rest of the week: Mansion of Shadows, Beyond the Towers, Dirge of the Damned, and A Dreadful Dawn.

Friday: True20 Adventure Roleplaying will be free once again for 24 hours. The following PDFs will also go on sale for the rest of the week: True20 Bestiary for $12, True20 Companion for $10, and True20 Worlds of Adventure for $9.

I can certainly recommend True20. Hell, I’ve been recommending True20 when you had to pay for it. Getting it for free is really a no-brainer, folks.

At the risk of sounding like a shill (and seriously, I don’t work for ‘em and they don’t pay me for this), thanks again to the GR folks for stepping up to the plate and once again demonstrating that they are the sort of company I want to do business with.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Oops! Almost Forgot...

This Saturday, June 23rd, is Free RPG Day! Participating stores will have free rules, adventures, and other goodies. Check with your local gaming store to see if they're participating, then go out and learn a new game, or get excited again about an old one. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nazis. I hate these guys...

Just in case you haven’t heard, the SciFi channel’s next big project, now that they’re winding down Battlestar Galactica, is Flash Gordon. Of course, they feel a strong need to reinvent it, reinterpret it for modern audiences. They certainly seem to have struck gold with that technique on Galactica.

I’m thinking this is one of those lightning-doesn’t-strike-twice things. Seriously, what do you think of when you imagine Flash Gordon? This is planetary romance, descended from the Barsoom novels of E.R. Burroughs. It’s two-fisted action, with a ray gun in one hand and a sword in the other. It’s exotic locals, wild costumes, beautiful women, aliens based on animal motifs, and the struggle of larger-than-life heroes against fiendish tyranny. For a hint of what I’m talking about, look here.

The folks over at SciFi have released some still photos from their shoots of the new Flash Gordon series. So far, I’m less than thrilled with what I’m seeing. Most of the sets appear claustrophobic, or dark with a few props under spotlights. Black leather abounds. Everyone appears to be human (though additional effects both in scenery and costuming may be planned for digital insertion). Many of the costumes look more mundane and commonplace than what we saw on Babylon 5. And I don’t see a single sword anywhere.

Clearly, the SciFi folks are shooting from the three-point zone, but I’m thinking their footwork is all wrong. They want to make Flash more edgy, and more relevant. Edgy might work, but what Flash is about is wild, escapist adventure. Relevance, while not antithetical to Flash, is something you have to be subtle about. When Ming’s goons bear a disturbing resemblance to the police who yanked Elian Gonzalez out of his relative’s home in Miami, something is out of kilter. Planetary romance this is not.

Now, I haven’t seen an episode yet, and it’s possible this thing will be really good, or wildly popular with folks who are dealing with Galactica withdrawal. But right now, I’m not seeing anything I might want to schedule my evenings around.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ziggurat Con a Success!

Even such matters as a small war won't stop geeks from gettin' their game on.

Pictures and roundup here.

Congrats to everyone involved, especially those who sent stuff. Very cool.

Making a Game?

Some of you may be coming over from an RPG.net discussion I started about reward systems. Yes, I am making a traditional tabletop RPG. It’s a fantasy heartbreaker with stats and elves and most of the usual elements you might find in most commercial games. The genesis really came from me trying to modify existing games for play with the Trollwife, and being inspired by the Basic Fantasy RPG and the no-longer-recent string of Fear the Boot episodes on making your own game. It’s kinda grown into something bigger than was originally intended, and I’ll probably publish it in some form or another. Why? Because I think it does a few things differently enough, and in ways I haven’t seen before, that it warrants sharing with the public. Believe me, if it was just another “better than D&D” Frankenstein’s monster, I wouldn’t bother you about it. I’ve made a few of those in my time, and they’re fun, but hardly worth getting excited about. So yeah, I’m excited about this new one, and taking it far more seriously than I have other gaming projects in the past. But I really don’t have much more to say about it just yet.

Yep, that’s right. After a long spell of silence, I just posted a blog entry to tell you that I’m not going to tell you anything. ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wayne's Worlds

And another dry spell comes to an end.

Wayne Reynolds is, in many people’s eyes, the Man when it comes to fantasy gaming art right now. He’s recently updated his web page and reorganized it a bit to take better advantage of his latest projects. While many will decry his embrace of the “dungeon punk” style, his attention to atmosphere and personal details really is second to none right now. And his trademark “wall o’ action” style really embraces the feel of many mainstream RPGs today.

Be sure to check out the updates to his Eberron work, Gallery 2. I know I’m tweaking some of his fans by saying so, but ClawsotTiger_02 (closet tiger?) certainly cements his place as one of the best furry artists in the business. His ability to seamlessly integrate the dramatic with the realistic with the absurd (as he does so well with Paizo’s goblins), really sets him apart from most of the rest of his field.