Game Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 30 March 2018 - 11:00am
And we’ve made it to Friday. Woohoo! The weekend looms ahead of us, full of all the potential that it brings. But, before we chow down on all those hard-boiled eggs and kielbasa (at least, that’s what I’ll be having) over the next couple days, let’s snack on some bite-sized gaming stories. Today on the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Days of Wonder Holding Small World Giveaway

Tabletop Gaming News - 30 March 2018 - 10:00am
Who doesn’t like getting games for free? Nobody. Who doesn’t like winning contests? Nobody as well. Combine the two and you’ve got a contest where you can get free games. That’s what Days of Wonder has going on right now. They’re giving away Small World stuff in celebration of the release of their Power Packs. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

D&D Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie III Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 30 March 2018 - 9:00am
I’m about to get into a new D&D group. It’s my first 5th Edition game, actually. I’ve already got my character built. I don’t have a mini for it yet. Not really sure I’ve seen one I want to use. Perhaps there’ll be one in the new D&D Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie III […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fully Operational Book For Star Wars RPG Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 30 March 2018 - 8:00am
There’s a new Sourcebook now available for the Star Wars RPG. It’s Fully Operational (I guess in more ways than one, when you think about it), and it’s chock full of new rules and abilities for you gear-heads out there. If you’re the type that likes to be able to put together or repair anything, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

March Releases Now Available For Infinity

Tabletop Gaming News - 30 March 2018 - 7:00am
Just squeaking in at the end of the month, the latest releases for Infinity are now available over in Corvus Belli’s webshop. From the announcement: March releases now available at our online store & your FLGS! Which ones do you prefer? Source
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Releases and Pre-orders From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 30 March 2018 - 6:00am
Warlord Games has quite a lot of product lines. There’s all their historicals, their alternate history, and their sci-fi games, and they’re always coming out with new releases. This week’s certainly no different. There’s new monks for Test of Honour, there’s a new German pre-order for Bolt Action, and then we’ve got a pair of […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dear Me, Don’t Let Them Keep You Out

Gnome Stew - 30 March 2018 - 2:00am
This week at the Stew, some of us were inspired by a series of disparate recent events to send some love and sentiments out to young gamers, especially those who are marginalized. We wrote these letters to our younger selves, because in you, we see ourselves, and we hope that we can give you the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video: Retaining player retention in Runescape

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 March 2018 - 3:45pm

In this 2015 GDC session, Jagex Game Studios' Phil Mansell discusses how designers can improve retention rates of returning players in online games by examining Runescape. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Street Fighter The Miniatures Game Coming to Kickstarter April 4th

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 3:00pm
Round 1… FIGHT! Man, how many of us heard that in a very specific voice? I know I read it that way. Capcom’s Street Fighter series is one of the most iconic fighting games in all of video game history (and, by the way, I was always terrible at them. I think I only ever […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dinosaur Protocol For Savage Worlds Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 2:00pm
I have to admit, this one had me at, “Hello.” I mean, it’s a setting book called Dinosaur Protocol. I instantly wanted to know more. And what I learned is that some sort of disaster had caused humanity to flee the surface of the Earth. Nobody’s 100% sure what it was, as that was hundreds […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

40 Thieves Board Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 1:00pm
In a hidden warehouse, an incredibly wealthy merchant keeps all manner of precious items. Expensive liquors, fine clothes, piles of gold, but most precious of all are a set of nine sapphires. Now, a group of thieves has decided that they are going to crown a new king, and they figure the best test is […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Armoured Digital Miniatures Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 12:00pm
Tanks. “You’re welcome.” No, Tanks! “Ok, you’re not welcome!” No, I mean that Armoured Digital, a new sci-fi skirmish game, is full of tanks and other armored vehicles (or, I suppose, armoured vehicles) that you “program” using your activation cards, deciding where and when your figures will turn, fire, and move. The game is up […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Thursday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 11:00am
It must be a Thursday. I never could get a handle on Thursdays. Honestly, last night at several points, I thought, “Well, tomorrow’s Friday.” Oh was I not happy when I would remember, “wait… no… it’s only Thursday.” Kinda feel sorry for the day. It’s like, “hey there, day-that’s-not-quite-Friday. Thanks for seemingly just extending out […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Z-Man Posts New Lowlands Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 10:00am
Running a farm certainly isn’t easy. It could be argued that running a farm along the cost of the North Sea is even tougher. But that’s what you’re tasked with in Lowlands, the upcoming farming game from Z-Man Games. In this preview, we get a deeper look at what it takes to work the land […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

GDC Wrap-up Part 1: Notes on Indie Publishing (Spring 2018) - by Adam Saltsman

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 29 March 2018 - 9:46am
Quick review to the best of my ability the current state of small- and medium-size publishers and publishing deals across the game industry, including terms and advice about how to launch your new indie game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

To prevent toxicity, design games with community management in mind

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 March 2018 - 9:10am

"Community is now, more than ever, an actual part of game design," argued Flaregames' Tara Brannigan. "It's not something you staple on the end." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

IELLO Announces Calendar Contest

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 9:00am
Calendars are good to have around. It’s good to know what day it is. Helps you plan for the future. And if you’ve got some cool pictures to go with it, all the better. IELLO wants to create a new gaming calendar and they’d like your help with the photographs. They’re launching a Calendar Contest […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dark.Net Now Available From WizKids

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 8:00am
In a not-too-distant future, four giant corporations have taken over every aspect of life. Those that live in this dystopian world can choose to either just go and work for one of them, or live life out on the edge. There, reputation is everything and information is the most valuable currency. In Dark.Net, players find […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

CE 9 - Both Foul and Deep

New RPG Product Reviews - 29 March 2018 - 7:45am
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
Rating: 5
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This DCC-toolkit clocks in at 53 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages SRD, leaving us with a massive 50 pages of content, though these are formatted for 6’’ by 9’’ digest size (A5), which means you can fit multiple pages on one sheet of paper.


This review was moved up in my reviewing queue at the request of my patreons.


So, first things first, in case you’re new to the series: The Campaign Elements-series is basically a collection of set-pieces supplemented with rules, intended to be dropped as is into an ongoing campaign…or to be used as a scavenging ground. As such, this sits squarely on the line between modules and setting supplements – while it can be used as written, it is just as useful as a file to supplement other modules; take e.g. “The Jeweler that dealt in Stardust” – the module assumes that the smartest way for the PCs to enter the locale would be via the sewers, but there isn’t much going on there. This is where an enterprising judge can employ this supplement, as we get a ton of material for sewers.


Wait. I know. Sewer levels/environments have a bad reputation. I can name, at the top of my head, a ton of modules that take place in sewers. Among these, 10%, at most, are worthwhile. But what if you want/need to run such a module? Well, this pdf pretty much helps dealing with that issue. We begin with a summary of different hooks to get the PCs down into the sewers. From there, we move on to general terrain features, the first thing a lot of modules in sewers fail to properly take into account. So yes, falling into sewage is a BAD idea – 6 different diseases can be found herein, ranging from mites and parasitic worms and scarlet rash. The second component many sewer-scenarios get wrong is that they depict, ironically, I might add, sewers as a mechanically sterile environment – this pdf does help here quite a bit: We get a d30 random encounter table, which brings me to one of the main components of this pdf.


You see, we not only get the usual people of the sewers (including secret taverns, cultists, etc.), but also a bunch of components we usually don’t see: Filthlarks, for example, the scavengers of the filthy places, gentlemen clubbers going to a clandestine meeting…and there are resurrection men; basically grave robbers in the name of science. Beyond those, we also get what amounts to a pretty massive bestiary section: We get albino alligators, aliens rats from another world, blood slugs, centipedes that seek to burrow into your flesh, carrion moths that spread hallucinogenic powder via their wings…even cooler: What about the cessceada? These swarming insects can cause the skin of those infected to slough off. There are beetles that can be sold to the dyer’s guild for profit, particularly agile drain runner foes, disgusting oozes, filth elementals… Have I mentioned the globlins that split by fission? Hellspore fungi and lamprey swarms are cool, and in the dark recesses, there also is the terrifying loathly one; there are phantom gentlemen…and more. This bestiary section is really cool, with each of the entries breathing some form of truly intriguing and captivating idea, in spite of the sometimes down to earth theme.


The pdf also provides the patron Squallas, mistress of the night soil rivers, but we only get the invoke patron table here – no custom spells, patron taint or spellburn, but all right. This would btw. be as well a place as any, there are quite a few really nice full-color illustrations throughout the pdf – particularly the sewer troll image is nice.


At this point, it should be noted that judges with an extensive library of books may find some nice easter eggs here and there – in the case of the troll, for example, a nod to the upcoming, Angels, Daemons and Beings Between II by Shinobi 27 Press. These nods are unobtrusive enough to not impede your enjoyment of the content, but certainly should be fun for quite a few judges…and they provide obscure and potentially easily ignored links you can further develop…but I digress.


Now, so far, I have mainly commented on the toolbox-y aspects of this pdf, but it is also an adventure locale. We get a solid b/w-map of the sewer-area depicted AND a player-friendly iteration, which is a huge plus, as far as I’m concerned. Now, the keyed encounter areas provided for the judge come with well-written read-aloud text (we have come to expect nothing less from Daniel J. Bishop!), but also feature unique hazards and creatures beyond the ones already mentioned – some are obviously intended as plot-threads for the judge to further develop, while others are just amazing; the image of a massive spider that carries its brood on its back is great, and just let it be known that just because corpses move doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily undead…which can result in a rather cool scene. Oh, and the line from the core book? Yes, there is a means to learn a spell from the mouth of a dead man…and how that phrase is twisted is really cool. I could explain all of the 9 keyed encounters here, but I’d frankly do the book a disservice.


You see, the series has traditionally a “squeezing it dry”-section, wherein you can find further suggestions to get the maximum amount of mileage out of the book – considering how strongly the toolbox/bestiary aspect is emphasized here, I can most definitely see judges employ this pdf’s contents far beyond the exploration of the sewers presented here.


Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to a 1-column b/w-standard that is pretty printer-friendly. The full-color artworks are captivating, cool and deserve a big shout-out. The cartography featuring a player-friendly map is really cool. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with detailed, nested bookmarks, making navigation comfortable.


Daniel J. Bishop’s name on a book is, for the most part, a great indicator that it will rock – in fact, even if you do not play DCC, both new school and old school games can get something out of his offerings. There is a crisp quality to his prose, an overarching vision that not only gets the peculiarities of DCC, but, more importantly, really understands the tone and what makes it stand out. There is always an aspect of the weird here, one that feels like it was drawn straight from the greats. In fact, much like Leiber or Howard, he is adept at using precious few words to inspire; his fantasy, infused with a little dose of gonzo and the soul of sword and sorcery, has a distinct tone that is both grounded and wondrous, that retains this strange, captivating sense of plausibility. This booklet brings this aesthetic to sewers, perhaps the most maligned of adventuring locales, and elevates them. In short, this little booklet is one of the very few supplements/modules dealing with sewers that I’d consider superb – the monsters are so cool and interesting that quite a few may well warrant conversion. DCC judges, the primary audience of this book, should consider this a must-purchase anyway. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 March 2018 - 7:00am
Cell is supposedly the perfect fighting machine. The Dragon Ball crew, on the other hand, disagree, and they’ve come to the Cell Games to prove it (and to keep Cell from blowing up the Earth, too. There is that part to consider). In Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell, players will take on the role of […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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