Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wiz-War from Fanasy Flight Games

It's come to my attention that there has been movement on the Wiz-War front.  In 1983, Tom Jolly had one of his game designs published and it was followed in 1985 by an expansion set, another coming along in 1993.  The game pits two to four players, as wizards, against one another in a quasi-arena contest to defeat one another.  This coming year, 2012, Fantasy Flight Games will release a new version with all new artwork, miniatures for the principles, and a few teeks to the rules.  Follow some of the links on the years above to check out the evolution of the game!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fortune and Glory The Cliffhanger Game

Our regular gaming group has been taking a break from the RPGing over the holidays and mostly playing board games.  Next week, we give Fortune and Glory The Cliffhanger Game from Flying Frgo Productions a try.  We might even have a full eight players for the week, so we'll see how it goes.  Since I am trying to get a handle on this game, I've read the BoardGameGeek.com entry for it and dug up a bunch of videos that I thought I would share.  Enjoy!







There are a lot more with many details on how to play but I'll leave those to those of you who wish to search a bit for more.  Have fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea" Kickstarter

There's a very cool retro RPG with a Kickstarter program called "Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea" and they are very close to achieving their goal f you'd still like to get in on the ground floor.  Check it out here!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Doctor Who Timeline

Fans of Doctor Who will love looking over this fantastic timeline of Doctor Who history from CableTV.com.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winter War January 27th - 29th, 2012

Just a quick note to make sure everyone knows that "The Midwest's Longest Consecutively Running Independent Gaming Convention!" is coming up in a month, again, and if you can make it, you'll have a blast.  Check out more on Winter War here!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Eco-Friendly Home Built from Scratch

There's a fascinating home that has been built by Simon Dale in Wales, UK, that is both practical and beautiful.  Read more here!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Gaming to All!

'Twas a year filled with gaming, and let us be clear,

We could game all we want, and still need more year,

The boardgames were opened and laid out to play,

The card decks were shuffled for card gaming day,

The RPGs ready of types old and new,

The nights we spent playing them being too few,

And there were some games we used dice on their own,

They were fun, we enjoyed them, I'm picking no bones,

But I have to say that if given a choice,

Between sleeping and eating, while losing my voice,

I'd be gaming from Midnight to Midnight non-stop,

With sugar and caffeine ingested from pop,

Plus carbos and salt from the snacks to round out,

A diet that no dietitian would tout,

As suffucient nutrition for a growing boy,

Though growing, I am, if I may be coy,

But back to my point about gaming and stuff,

There's really not quite enough time, sure enough,

To get in the number of games that I buy,

And play them with all of the players, and try-

out all of the games that they also have bought,

It's enough to make any game lover distraught,

To see shelves upon shelves of unopened boxes,

As each maker of games and his ilk quite outfoxes,

My scheduling acumen and ability to,

Fit each in a place on my list of to-do,

But as the calender year comes to close,

And though some will say it's a bit on the nose,

I can say it's been worth it at any old price,

So, Happy Gaming to all, and to all Roll the Dice!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Star Wars Freeze Mob (Plus XMas Special and a Bit More!)

This was really well done by all involved.


And while we're on the subject . . .


Also, along the SW theme, an artist recently imagined what downtown Chicago would look like with invading Imperial Walkers . . .


And to end with a bit more humor, here's a joke I saw floating around on Facebook (Thanks, Kent!) . . .

Q: How warm is the inside of a Tauntaun?
A: Luke warm.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jack the Giant Killer

There's a fresh, new version of Jack the Giant Killer coming in 2012 and the trailer has recently been released.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Hobbit Trailer

The first trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit is available which you can watch here!

While we're on about The Hobbit movie, here's a video put together by YouTube's Maestro1990x showing the cast . . .

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jeff Dee Kickstarter Art Project

Jeff Dee recently ran a successful Kickstarter Project reviving his Egyptian Art from Deities & Demigods, which doubled the donation expectation, and now he's underway with re-creating his art from Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits, a classic TSR adventure module.  There's a couple of weeks left to jump in and be a part of this excelent project.  You can follow Jeff's projects in progress here!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Seussian Call of Cthulhu

What happens when Theodor Geisel meets H. P. Lovecraft?  DrFaustusAU over at deviantart.com has some thoughts on the matter and they are not to be missed.  Check it out here!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekly Gaming, Breaking from RPGs

My regular weekly gaming group has taking a break from RPGing for the holidays and this last week we played Domaine, a 2003 strategy boardgame for two to four players, and Red Dragon Inn, a 2007 card game but utilizing both the 2008 and 2011 expansions.  The links are to Board Game Geek's entries on the games and here are some pictures from the evening.  Enjoy!




Friday, December 16, 2011

10 Questions to Help Weed Out "Sciency" Non-Science

On the blog Science, I Am Just That Into You, there's a recent article outlining some excellent ways to root out falseness in claims that seem too good to be true.  Read more here!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Burdisson's Dwarven Ale

Nobody tosses a Dwarf, and Dwarves don't toss their cookies.  Looking for the refreshing taste of real Dwarven Ale, it's available from Burdisson here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The New Space Race

In an article posted last night to cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com titled "Billionaire plans world's biggest plane for orbital launches" plans were revealed to follow up on the Rutan-Allen partnership, SpaceShipOne, with an even more ambitious space project.  Read more here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elf Ears for Realz

There's a new way to become more Elf-like if you don't mind a little surgery.  Read a news article and check out their video here!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Miniature 3D Printer

There's a fun TED talk, accessible on their YouTube channel, discussing a very small 3D printer.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Geek and Gamer Girls Song" Video

This one has been out for over a year and I never saw it before.  Enjoy the "Geek and Gamer Girls Song" video on YouTube from Break.com and Team Unicorn.


And the extended version -

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Geekmas Tree

Thunderfoot of EN World has put up pics of his "Geekmas" tree.  Check them out here!

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Real Estate?

According to an article on the BBC website in the Science & Environment section, scientists have discovered a rather promising location to move for those folks who are tired of Earth.  It's a mere 600 Light Years away and might be a fixer-upper but it's the closest thing yet to new real estate we have found.  Read more here!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Academic Earth" - A Learning Resource

I'd like to take a post today to highlight an excellent learning resource for everyone, freely available on the Internet, called AcademicEarth.org.  It includes courses from instructors of many top universities on a variety of subjects.  They also have a number of courses that can garner course credit if someone is looking to continue their education.  Check it out!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Artist Darrell K. Sweet has Passed

Irene Gallo has report on Tor.com that Artist Darrell K. Sweet has passed away.  His inspirational artistry will long be remembered by many.  Read more here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Game of Thrones - "Making of" Update!

There are a couple of new videos on HBO's YouTube channel for the Game of Thrones series production.  Enjoy!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

"The 5 Most and Least Shameful Dungeons & Dragons Characters"

ToplessRobot.com has posted a new article called The 5 Most and Least Shameful Dungeons & Dragons Characters.  While I don't know if I agree with the entries, it is definitely interesting to see how they feel some of the characters fared over others.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vintage Dungeon Mags

For those who might be interested, and in the area, I spotted some vintage Dungeon Magazine copies at the Bloomingdale, IL, Half Price Books.  They have issues #3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, each for $10.  They are cleverly hidden at the bottom of the left hand stack in their vintage magazine section right near the central seating area.  They also had copies of Dragon Magazine Annual #1 as well as the 1998 amd 1999 Dragon Annual editions.  I consdered getting them all myself but just couldn't pull the trigger.  Good luck and let me know if you grab them!

Friday, December 2, 2011

MTV Geek Holiday Gift Guide (for Potential Gamers)

MTV Geek has put together a holday gift guide with suggestions for folks you know who might be potential gamers.  It' mostly introductory type games and they have some excellent ideas.  Check it out here!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kings & Things

Last week for our Thanksgiving week game, our group decided that without a quorum for RPGing we'd give a boardgame a go and chose Kings & Things.  I've got a copy of the 1986 version and it's in very good shape, though I have had to replace the dice.  Board Game Geek says -

This is a classic Tom Wham game of warring kingdoms in a fantasy world and the legions of things that inhabit them. The board is made from hex tiles, which allows for a different board layout every time. Utilizing an interesting flipped counter element, players attempt to out bluff one another regarding the types of things they have in their armies.


It truly is a busy game with lots of replayability.  Like Catan games, it uses hexes for the game board that will be different each time you play.  With over 350 counters, there is a lot of variability from game to game.  Although there is some randomness to play, it's all fairly tightly balanced so that no one is ever out of any given game that you play even if it appears that one player might have an early lead.  Great fun!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Knights of Mayhem

Here's a show that might be of some interest to gamers.  It's called Knights of Mayhem and airs on the National Geographic Channel.  It's a reality show that highlights the efforts of equestrian combatants to bring heavy-armor, full-contact jousting up to the level of a mainstream sport.  Aside from the previous links, here's another taing you to a NYTimes.com article on the subject.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Legend RPG from Rule of Cool

Just a quick shout out to the good folks at Rule of Cool for the release of their Legend RPG.  All of the proceeds from sales of Legend go to Child's Play, which "seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Curiosity Spacecraft Away!

Discover Magazine's blog, in the "Bad Astronomy" section (don't let the name fool you) posted an article on the launch of the Mars bound Curiosity spacecraft.  They included links to a number of pertinent videos, including the following one from NASATelevision on the launch.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wargaming Against Hunger

There's an effort going on just north of the US/Canadian border in Langley, B.C., that I thought should draw some more attention.  Here's an article on the Langley Advance news website that gamers should check out!

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Isle of the Dead" Videos from tetsubo57

YouTuber tetsubo57 recently posted a couple of videos discussing the setting and adventure(s) taking place on his legendary Isle of the Dead.  Enjoy!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mars Rover Delay

MSNBC.com reports that the Mars Rover was delayed by a day.  There's some cool information in the article on its capabilities and more.  Check it out!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jet-Pack

Reported over on Mashable, there's a 100K solution for those who want to finally have a sort of jet pack, from Jetlev, it includes a back harness, a ten meter tube, and an engine that sits at water level and pumps the water up to propell the pack and pilot through the air.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gygax Memorial Fund

The Gygax Memorial Fund recently reached a milestone and "purchased a dedication brick in honor to the memory of Gary Gygax, the Father of RolePlaying Games in Lake Geneva, Wi at the Riviera. Lake Geneva's Riviera is an historical building on Geneva Lake."  They continue to raise money for a statue dedicated to Gary Gygax, so please jump on board if you can to help this cause.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Geek Seekers

Monte Cook and Jen Page have teamed up to form the Geek Seekers, an up and coming project that investigates the paranormal.  Enjoy!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Cthulhu Wrap(ping Paper)

With less than 24 hours to go, the Cthulhu Wrap(ping Paper) kickstarter project has exceeded its goal but there's still time to get involved if you would like.  Check it out here!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Muppet Zombies

The estimable Michael "Talien" Tresca clued me into a series of Muppet zombie portraits that I thought I would share with everyone.  The series includes Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef, and Dr. Teeth.  (Seems like a good time ot mention the five-star-reviewed Lurch! The Zombie Chess Game, too.)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Serfs!

If you're a fan of Irish Rock, you should check out The Serfs.  They're based in Minnesota and are comprised of musicians who also happen to be gamers.  They've got some tracks on that Reverb Nation site and also have a Facebook page that I hope you will "Like" as a show of support to our gamer friends.  Band member Thomas B. Nelson also paints miniatures and you should check out his Facebook page for that work at Midwest Miniature Guy.  Here's a pic of the band and one of his painting work (there's tons more pics tied to the Facebook page, so be sure to go there for inspiration and maybe commission him to do a little painting for you).  Enjoy!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Appendix N

The estimible Joe G. Kushner has a blog I'd like to plug that he calls Appendix N.  It's a homage to the section of the 1E AD&D where Gary Gygax gave a list of inspirational reading material.  Joe does the same, highlighting the many books he reads whence he has drawn, and from which others can draw, some measure of inspiration too.  Enjoy!

The Original AD&D Appendix N (page 224 of the 1E DMG) read:


Anderson, Poul. THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
Bellairs, John. THE FACE IN THE FROST
Brackett, Leigh.
Brown, Frederic.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Carter, Lin. "World's End" Series
de Camp, L. Sprague. LEST DARKNESS FALL; THE FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.
de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
Derleth, August.
Dunsany, Lord.
Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; et al.
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et al.
Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series
Lanier, Sterling. HIERO'S JOURNEY
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" Series; et al.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Merritt, A. CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al.
Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" Series (esp. the first three books)
Norton, Andre.
Offutt, Andrew J. editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III.
Pratt, Fletcher. BLUE STAR; et al.
Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; et al.
St. Clair, Margaret. THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"
Vance, Jack. THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al.
Weinbaum, Stanley.
Wellman, Manley Wade.
Williamson, Jack.
Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et al.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Skyrim

The reviews for The Eldar Scrolls: Skyrim are beginning to roll in and it has me intrigued to check the game out.  I played Arena, back in the day, and took a turn with Daggerfall, but have skipped the intervening versions of the game.  However, some of the graphics are so very compelling that I might have to take a new look at what they have done with this latest incarnation.  Here's a few videos from  YouTube showing some of the trailer, highlights and demos -




Sunday, November 13, 2011

Steampunk Monitor-Wireless Keyboard-Mouse

Someone that goes by the screenname "woodguy32" has made a very cool monitor-keyboard-mouse in steampunk fashion.  Check it out here!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gasp-Con 12 Coverage

You can follow what is happening at GaspCon 12 through Samwise7RPG including this nifty prep video he made before going.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gaming Environment Ecosystem from EdGE

The Educational Gaming Environments Group has some interesting theories on design and how players build their own environment and play habits collectively.  Check out more it here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Asteroid 2055 YU55 Update!

So, just how close did the aricraft carrier-sized asteroid come to Earth?  How fast was it traveling?  What sort of damage might it have caused if there had been an impact?  These questions are answered, as are even more, in the article from The Washington Post here!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Captain Kirk had the Moves!

There's an article from the other day on io9.com entitled The 10 Most Explosively Masculine Captain Kirk Battle Techniques.  It's got names for each of the moves and has linked to videos of each of them.  Study them carefully and maybe one day you, too, will command a starship!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Huge Asteroid Between Earth and Moon

According to the Associated Press, an aircraft carrier-sized asteroid will hurtle between the Earth and the Moon around 6:30 p.m. EST.  So, if you don't have any dinner plans, make sure you eat where you might have a view of this spectacular event!

Monday, November 7, 2011

National Gaming Day @ your Library! November 12th

This coming Saturday, November 12, 2011, many libraries acros the nation will be celebrating National Gaming Day.  The website has a map interface so you can find the closest participating library in your area.  Check it out!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Peter Jackson's Hobbit Production Video #4

It's just up on Facebook at the time I am writing this but Peter Jackson's Hobbit Production Video #4 will probably be on YouTube pretty soon too.  He talks a lot about the 3D camera work and equipment and shows a lot of the behind ths scenes work going on in the studio before they head to New Zealand for location shooting.  In the meantime, you can watch on Facebook here.


Update: Here's the YouTube version . . .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Starship Trooper Overview from tetsubo57

YouTuber tetsubo57 gives a nice overview of Mongoose Publishing's Starship Troopers RPG.  As a Heinlein fan, I was . . .  Wait, no spoilers!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gaming Atmosphere through Lighting

Samwise7RPG of YouTube fame has created a new video on lighting effects that is well worth watching. He also discusses the use of it for creating videos. Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Model Castle Building

Here's a nifty little website with some baqsic information on the differences in castles over time.  The owner also sells plans for how to build models of some of them.  It's called Build Model Castles.  Take a look!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Infamous Tableau

I was recently feeling a little nostalgic as I was wondering about what happened to the old nine-vignette castle/dungeon display that once graced the hallowed halls of the old Dungeon Hobby Shop in Lake Geneva, WI, back in the Seventies.  An article a couple of years ago on the WotC website showed a picture of the display and expressed not knowing what ever became it.  I started a thread on the Gary Con boards to see if anyone had any inkling of its whereabouts, or some more detailed pictures of it, so we will see if anything comes of that.  Here's the pic they showed on WotC -


(That's Mary Hendryx, of the Mary and Kevin Hendryx family,
former employees of TSR back in the day.)

My initial thought was, wouldn't this be great to have as a registration area display for Gary Con?  I think it really evokes the feeling of nostalgia and much of what Gary Con embodies, aside from being just damned cool.  The set up is nine vignettes or tableaus wherein an adventuring party is working their way from one room to the next, losing some party members along the way, and eventually fighting a demon (I recalled it as a dragon) in the final chamber.  It really got a kid like me imagining all sorts of gaming situations to see such a display.

Anyway, late Saturday afternoon I was walking over to the grocery store to get a bag of apples and some other supplies when some yoots (That's Pecci-eze for "youths") rode their bikes past on the cross street dragging a moving box, one of those roughly four foot high, three by three cardboard cartons.  As they did so, a couple of large pieces of styrofoam dropped out.  One of the three noticed and yelled to the others, but they shrugged it off and continued on their way.  I moved the pieces off to the side of the street so some unfortunate driver wouldn't run them over and also went on my way to the store.  Of course, I kept thinking to myself that I might be able to use them for some project, being a tabletop gamer, but carrying them to the store and back wasn't a practical plan.  While returning on my route I found they were still there and collected them.  One was just a flat piece but the other was obviously made to anchor some objects within the box, measuring about 34" by 28", with two two-inch lips on opposite sides and nine holes, the center three with an eight-inch diameter while the remainder having a six-inch diameter.



Perhaps some of you can see where this is going?  My thoughts are to create a somewhat scaled-down display inspired by that old TSR store diorama with windows into each location.  It might be more ambitious than I have time to handle in the short term but this could certainly be a longer-range project worth my efforts.  We will see.