Game Design

River Horse Launches Highlander Board Game Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 12:30pm
You’ve seen the various previews, now it’s time to grab your sword and swing for the fences. River Horse has launched their Kickstarter campaign for The Highlander board game. Take on the role of an immortal from the series, train hard, and face your foes in an ultimate battle where there can be only one. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

AEG Announces Edge of Darkness Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 12:00pm
Along with all the Kickstarter that are launching this week, there’s also several that we’re excited to tell you about that are coming up. In this case, it’s AEG. They’re going all out for this one. They’re saying that it’s their most ambitious board game project ever. It’s got a bit of everything. If you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 11:00am
The weekend is almost upon us! I’m already getting my gaming on today. I’ll be playing some of the Munchkin CCG, as well as perhaps some of the Fallout board game. That’s before I go over to a friend’s place tomorrow to deliver some late Christmas presents (ok, really late)… they’re games. So hopefully we’ll […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Osprey Publishing Posts Preview For A New Expansion for Dracula’s America: Shadows of the West

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 10:00am
The world in Osprey’s Dracula’s America is one where all the dark creatures that lurk in the shadows from various fairy tales are not only real, but they’re in charge of things! As such, werewolves, mystics, shamans, and other such are not only hanging around, but they can be the core of your army. The […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sainome Colosseum R Coming to Kickstarter this March

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 9:00am
While English is certainly the language I know the most about, there’s plenty of others out there. I know a lot of you are like me. Well, that means we can potentially be missing out on a lot of really awesome gaming experiences! Thankfully, there’s companies out there looking out for us monolinguists. One such […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd Previews Royal Rifle Corps For The Other Side

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 8:30am
We all know how much I love Fridays, and today’s shaping up to be a pretty damn good one. Of course, adding to the excitement is Wyrd’s latest preview. This time around, it’s a look at the Royal Rifle Corps for The Other Side. From the post: The most elite infantry unit in the King’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss

New RPG Product Reviews - 12 January 2018 - 8:22am
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
Rating: 4
You gotta love Venger Satanis and his Kortthalis Publishing.

He is out there doing his own thing. Doing to make the stuff he wanted to play with back in the day and if we want to come along, well great. While he takes himself far less seriously than other publishers, he takes his games and books very seriously. And it shows in his production values.
Out now is Venger's latest in his "Like a Fucking Boss" series.

Venger is a man after my own heart, and PHB-LAFB takes many nods and cues from Basic-era D and D, or at least his reading of it which is just as good.

PHB-LAFB is not a rule book or an adventure, but a collection of various tips, tricks and odds and ends to help your game along. There are some very obvious nods to classic/Basic/OSR style play and there are nods to more modern/D and D5 style mechanics and design. The bottom line here (and a big one for me when reading this) is I can use it with just about any game I play.

In truest old-school fashion there are plenty of tables. "Stranger Things" gives us a table of various odds and ends, emphasis on the odd. "Honor and Fame" and "Dishonor and Infamy" are also very useful tables for rewards that reminds me of some the rules I have seen in AGE and Blue Rose; again a natural idea given Venger's own twist.

There is a lot of great character building ideas too. Tables, checklists, backgrounds. It's all here.

For $5.00 and 33 full-color pages, it is quite worth it.

I am not quite sure if it is up to the level of awesomeness that is How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss but it is also more focused on players and characters and is half the price too.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gangs of Rome Now Available From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 8:00am
As the Roman Empire aged, it didn’t do so gracefully. Corruption ate away at the noble core, Rome, itself. As powerful individuals vied for even more power, they would get together gangs to take to the streets. Those gangs would do whatever they could in order to see their benefactor make it to the vaunted […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

January Dark Age Releases Available From CMON

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 7:35am
The folks over at CMON are starting 2018 with a bang! Dark Age is looking forward to a really big year, and they’ve got the first-month releases to prove it. There’s a total of 10 new releases over in the CMON webshop. If you’re a fan of Dragyri or Skarrd, you’ll want to go look […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Forge World T’au KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour Giveaway Happening Now

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 7:00am
Forge World is taking January as an opportunity to give away some free stuff. They’re on their third giveaway. This time around, it’s the high-tech-looking T’au KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour. Just head over to their shop and spend £50 this week and you’ll be added to the drawing. From the website: Add the biggest guns […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Open loops and progression trees in freemium game - Don t kill the golden egg chicken! - by Pascal Luban Blogs - 12 January 2018 - 6:12am
Freemium games are using open loops and progression trees to foster long term retention and monetization. This design strategy is very effective but its excessive use could backfire.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Open loops and progression trees in freemium game - Don’t kill the golden egg chicken! - by Pascal Luban Blogs - 12 January 2018 - 6:12am
Freemium games are using open loops and progression trees to foster long term retention and monetization. This design strategy is very excessive but its excessive use could backfire.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Stop Making Hoarders in Video Games - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 12 January 2018 - 6:11am
Today's post looks at the hoarding syndrome in video games. How certain designs create it, and the best ways to combat it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

"The power of the Audience – how can Developers, Publishers & Audiences listen to each other more effectively whilst making video games?" - by Zuby Ahmed Blogs - 12 January 2018 - 6:10am
The blog post explores the recent controversy surrounding EA’s Starwars Battlefront 2 and examines case studies of previous game releases, in an attempt to understand and galvanise effective and transparent delivery methods moving forwards
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Working on 3D Art - by Gerard Alvarez Blogs - 12 January 2018 - 6:10am
Art is one of the most important aspects in Noahmund. Everything that includes our videogame is conceived from the vision of beauty and inspiration.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Plaid Hat Games Posts Stuffed Fables Overview

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 January 2018 - 6:00am
It’s been a bit since we got our last Stuffed Fables look from Plaid Hat. I know a lot of you have been excitedly waiting for more news. Well, in this instance, they’re giving you quite a bit. They’ve posted up a video overview of the game that you can check out. They’re also letting […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: Goblins are hopeless coin collectors

Gnome Stew - 12 January 2018 - 3:04am

It’s winter break. The temperature outside is a minus 12 degrees below zero. Don’t blame me if my gaming thoughts are tad disjointed. I’ve got cabin fever.

What’s in your pocket?

I keep waiting for an adventuring player character to ask the  question of the next goblin (i.e. game master) they encounter: Why does each goblin carry 2d10 silver pieces?

I mean, it’s not like there are vending machines in the dungeon. (Two silver pieces will get you an ice cold Sword Coast Cola or an Morgur’s Mound chocolate bar.)

They aren’t minting coins for themselves. So it’s unlikely they exchange coins as currency. Nope. they’re just chugging along with a half dozen coins jingling in their pocket … and waiting, for what, exactly, we’ll never know.

I mean, the goblin will probably say it’s because “They’re shiny!” or, even better, “They’re precious!”

Probably their answer will come in the form of spear thrust, followed by “None of your business, you puny human home invader!”

Maybe they are just hopeless numismatics.

Voice to reason

Until recently, I have not been able to “get into” the exploits of Vox Machina at Critical Role — or any of the other fine live stream play groups that have been recommended to me. And, hey, I’ve tried. I’m certainly not blind to the potential — some of which is being realized — of having people play rpgs in front of an audience. It’s what I’ve always wanted, being able to point at something and go: “This is what we do!” But sitting on a couch to watch has been an exercise in futility. I’ve wanted to be engaged/entertained/instructed by it all. But my interest just wanes. There’s too much to focus in on.

That was all true, until Critical Role started offering episodes as audio podcasts. Removing all the distraction from a stream — people sitting around cluttered tables — was exactly what I needed to enjoy an rpg play podcast. Certainly, it plays to the participants’ strengths. Being actors, and voice actors to boot, means that the aspect of performance they are most accomplished at is pushed forward. It’s very much like an audio drama. Now, I listen with the podcast piped through the car speakers during my hour-long commute. When Vox Machina takes a trip to the Underdark to rescue a paladin of Bahamut and befriend a mind flayer, it resonates and holds my attention in a way the video does not.

Mostly, this confirms that the strength of rpgs is in the shared storytelling and unbridled imagination of its players. Take away most of the the visual elements and the game still engages, still fires the imagination. 

If you find this intriguing, I would recommend you give an episode a listen and judge for yourself.

Bring it on

I’m only 18 years late to the party on this one, but hey, I’ve been biz-seeeee being an adult — well most of that time, anyway. It wasn’t until recently that I saw the film’s training montage of Ian Roberts portraying crazed choreographer Sparky Polastri in the 2000 cheerleading move “Bring it On!” starring Kirsten Dunst.

The funniest part, of course, is when Sparky starts demanding the cheerleaders showing better “spirit fingers.” Lifeless fingers aren’t spirit fingers; no, twirling, flashing digits are “spirit fingers.” Yep, it’s the equivalent of dancers showing active “jazz hands.”

Well, that’s a funny scene. Now, ordinarily, pantomine at the gaming table is really an optional thing. But really, if players with spellcasting characters were to begin demonstrating gestures — “wizard fingers” — or point pencils as wands as a way to get into their characters, I’d be all for it. Show me those wizard fingers! All the way to national championships — or the next dimensional space.

Shed a little light on it

I’ve been running the D&D module Sunless Citadel, using the fifth edition conversion from Tales from the Yawning Portal. This is a module I’ve run before, albeit for the third edition of the rules.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised how strong the adaptation is — to the point that the module may be stronger in its fifth edition version.

The story remains unchanged, of course, and that is its strength. Though part of what makes it compelling is the rather fatalistic ending, which is intact in order to also retain a strong boss fight in the finale. They resisted the urge to tinker with that — which would have been easy enough.

Thankfully, whether it was for nostalgia or respect for the module Bruce Cordell designed, they kept these elements,  though it runs somewhat counter to what I perceive to be the sensibilities of the current D&D audience.  



Categories: Game Theory & Design

Stone Blade Entertainment Announces Shards of Infinity Card Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 11 January 2018 - 3:00pm
Stone Blade Entertainment makes one of my favorite games. Ascension is the only deck-builder game I really collect, but it looks like I might be looking into a new one. Stone Blade’s announced a new deck-building game they’ve been developing for a couple years. They’re ready to let us all in on the fun. Check […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Warning Order Issue 47 Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 11 January 2018 - 2:00pm
I did say it was a good time to get your hands on a gaming magazine, and I wasn’t kidding. Warning Order, created by the Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society has issue 47 available now. For those of you that are historical minis gaming enthusiasts, it’s one you shouldn’t miss out (not least of which […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kolossal Games Running Western Legends Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 11 January 2018 - 1:00pm
The west, after the Civil War here in the US, is pretty much the foundation and bedrock of what the identity of the US became. Real people lived out their lives, while larger-than-life stories were being told of them. But how much was fabrication and how much was actual? Well, in Western Legends, you get […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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