Tabletop Gaming Feeds

WizKids and Gen Con 50

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 03:32

WizKids will not have a traditional Miniatures release at Gen Con 50 but they will have the following – some of which can be considered miniature releases.:

  • Wartime
  • Dungeon Hustle
  • Witching Hour
  • The Expanse
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation Adventure System Board Game


The one closest to a miniature release would be Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation.

In the Tomb of Annihilation Adventure System Board Game, you play a heroic adventurer. With amazing abilities, spells, and magic weapons, you must explore the jungle of Chult, as well as the Tomb of the Nine Gods, where you will fight monsters, overcome traps and find treasure.



  • 42 Pre-Painted Miniatures
  • 3 Misty Arch standees
  • 2 Devil Face standees
  • 5 Hero tiles
  • 4 Villain tiles
  • 1 rulebook
  • 1 adventure book
  • 20-sided die
  • 40 interlocking Dungeon tiles
  • 5 double-sized interlocking Special tiles
  • 225 cards
  • Over 300 tokens



Following in the path of the other critically-acclaimed D&D board games, Tomb of Annihilation features multiple scenarios, challenging quests and game play designed for a single player or a cooperative group of 2-5 players. The Tomb of AnnihilationAdventure System Board Game features new trap and spell decks for even more exciting game play content!

Tomb of Annihilation can also be combined with the other D&D Adventure System Cooperative Play Board Games, including the terrifying Temple of Elemental EvilThe Legend of DrizztCastle Ravenloft, and Wrath of Ashardalon, to create an even more exciting experience.


There will be a Standard and Premium Edition of this game. The Premium Edition will feature fully-painted miniatures while the Standard Edition is single-color.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Playtest Impressions - Bunny & Burrows Light - No Animals Were Truly Killed in the Playtesting of These Rules

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 02:11

Friday night I was asked an important question: "Do you know of anyone that might like to playtest the Bunnies & Burrows Light rules?" What a loaded question! I spent hours talking with Dr. Sustare one night at NTRPG Con about Swords & Wizardry Light, a new edition of Bunnies & Burrows and the idea of Dennis putting together a "Light" version of the Bunnies & Burrows rules. My answer was "Send me the rules and I'll run it tomorrow night!" and they did and I did.

I sent the rules, character sheets and cards to my Saturday Night Irregulars and assembled out bunny posses. We had three bunnies. I suggested someone name one of their bunnies Hugh Humpalot but wisely no one bit at it.

The bunnies, all young, had to find some Rabbit Flower at a nearby marsh to help heal their den mother who was suffering from an as yet undefined disease.

It really does change the whole narrative when gold and treasure is not the driving force behind an adventure (because even ones that have other motives driving the action still supply opportunities to loot the dead)

Our brave bunnies:

- didn't find and didn't fall into a trap.

- hopped / climbed a tree for a better view, as they had no map (bunnies don't map) and just a vague direction of the marsh they needed to locate.

- were pounced on by a persian kitty who got rabbit punched to an early grave. Rumors that humping bunnies were running amok after their victory is greatly exagerated.

- located the marsh ad Rabbit Flower, but now it was dark

- drove a snake from the hollow of a tree trunk so they would have protection from predators over the night's passing.

- were attacked by and drove off a dachshund (the fact that my wiener dog was barking in the background for the prior half hour simply added to the scene)

- found and fell into that trap they missed the first time

- got the Rabbit Flower to their mother in times to heal her.

Created characters and ran the adventure in about 2 and a half hours with another 15 minutes of post playtest critique.

Damn but I'm looking forward to more Bunnies & Burrows.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Third Horizion RPG from Modiphius

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 23:19


From Modiphius

Today we’re really pleased to bring you four new releases for the Coriolis – The Third Horizon roleplaying game, with a Artifacts & Technology, Hamurabi, Mahanji Oasis and Aram’s Ravine supplements, all releasing individually as well as in a combined bundle featuring all four.


All four supplements are available on and 

Designed to expand and enhance your adventures in the Coriolis – The Third Horizon roleplaying game, which has been described as “the Arabian Nights in Space” these four supplement describe new technology, settlements, NPCs and adventures to be found in The Third Horizon.

 Artifacts & Technology Supplement
This 19-page PDF contains mysterious artifacts and powerful faction technology for the award-winning Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG and includes new technology like the Survival Cocoon, Symmetry Helmet and Scarabaeus Armor, as well as details on the mysterious Draconites race.


Hamurabi Supplement

This 12-page PDF describes the Hamurabi portal space station, and includes a complete scenario location for the award-winning Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG.  From the outside it looks like any other portal station, a lonely chunk of dark metal and flashing lights, but inside, the rundown corridors and dim-lit halls are rife with intrigue, adventures and danger.


Mahanji Oasis Supplement

This 13-page PDF describes the Mahanji Oasis on the planet Lubau, a complete scenario location for the award-winning Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG. Under the scorching sun, and in almost unbearable heat, life on Lubau continues. Nomad caravans, Zenithian explorers and ancient cultists manage to live their lives on the inhospitable planet closest to the star of Kua. They all meet at the Mahanji Oasis to escape the oppressive heat, make deals and scheme plots of intrigue.


Aram’s Ravine Supplement

This 15-page PDF describes the Aram’s Ravine colony on the planet Jina, a complete scenario location for the award-winning Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG. Between the deep forests of Kua and the smoldering wastelands of Lubau, we find Jina, an acidified hellhole with only one colony, Aram’s Ravine. The colony is a mining station for bauxite and other mineral salts and rife with mine lords competing for power.


We hope you enjoy these latest Coriolis releases and look out for more great Coriolis – The Third Horizon adventures coming soon!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Gamer Goggles - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 19:54

The fun and challenging dice game is not part of MAGE Company’s Family Line

Athens, GREECE (July, 2017) – MAGE Company is proud to announce that it has reached an agreement with GAGA Games in order to acquire its game Goblin Dice.

This 2-6 player board game challenges your attention and reaction time since you turn into a small agile goblin who participates in the race of the century. You will be followed by the Magic Stone that threatens to smash anyone who slows down for a second.

During the game players will have to roll the dice and then grab those with numbers they need as fast as they can. This gambling and fascinating board game, which lasts no more than 30 minutes, will stir up anyone playing it.

“The Development Team had so much fun while playing Goblin Dice that they insisted in adding it to our Family Line. This is a great game that everybody can have fun with, younger and older!”, underlines Alexander Argyropoulos, General Manager of MAGE Company.

The game will be published in Q2 2018 with an estimated MSRP of $20.


We love board games. And we want more people to enjoy them. That’s why we create, publish and distribute board games and organize various gaming events.

Our team consists of more than 80 employees and each of them is crazy about board games.
We have 10 board game shops in Saint-Petersburg.
Our partners from all over Russia sell our games in their stores.
Currently we publish about 3 new games a month including our own games and localizations of great games from all over the world.

We are focused on all kinds of board games: games for kids, for the whole family, and games for adults.


MAGE Company is a board game publisher based in Eastern Europe and in USA. The company was created back in 2010 for the purpose of creating new and exciting board games. Since then MAGE Company has published a variety of titles such as 12 Realms, Wrong Chemistry, Hoyuk, Raid & Trade, Res Publica: 2230AD, Carrotia, the Cohort and more. MAGE Company develops and publishes games that offer a different playing experience and always supports the main titles with news expansions that enrich the games with new mechanics. Following the standards of the marker, each board game includes components of high quality. Few titles are published each year, each with its own style, theme, and mechanics. Our priority is to keep a very special line of board, card and miniature games. Our current titles are divided in two different parts: the Family Zone and the Original Games. We build our lines based on games for the kids and families and for those who are more experienced gamers.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Star Realms Kickstarter Going Bonkers!

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 19:41

About a week ago I received the following email.


We are thrilled to announce the first Star Realms Kickstarter since we first launched Star Realms and White Wizard Games in 2013. Many of our fans missed the first Kickstarter, and so we decided to bring Star Realms back to Kickstarter with 9 new expansions!

This Kickstarter features NINE all-new Star Realms Expansions:

  • Frontiers is a deckbuilding game for 1-4 players, that is both a standalone game and fully compatible with Star Realms Deckbuilding Game and all of its expansions!
  • Stellar Allies is a 12-card Kickstarter exclusive multi-faction expansion pack!
  • The Alignment, The Alliance, The Coalition, The Pact, The Union, and The Unity are 17-card Command Decks that allow you to play as a legendary commander in the Star Realms universe!
  • The Lost Fleet is a Kickstarter exclusive* Command Deck!

Visit the live Kickstarter page here and back now!

We truly appreciate your support! We created this Day 1 Backer avatar for anyone that backs us today to let everyone on Kickstarter know that you are one of our biggest fans! You can add this to your Kickstarter profile and post it on your social media to let people know you are as excited about Star Realms Frontiers and our new Command Decks as we are!  Please share the Kickstarter link on social media to help us spread the word! It really does make a difference!

Play as a Legendary Commander with the new Command Decks, and take your Star Realms game to a new level! 

I haven’t been able to check it out until now.  If you are a fan of Star Realms get on board now! It’s already funded and still going- this project has already left our solar system hitting nearly 400K of 100K!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

MetaArcade to Launch Tunnels & Trolls Adventures on August 17 at Gen Con 50

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 19:16

MetaArcade to Launch Tunnels & Trolls Adventures on August 17 at Gen Con 50


Developer to Celebrate Release of Inaugural Title on “Adventure Creator” Platform; RPG Fans Invited to Visit Booth #509 from August 17–20 to Play Iconic RPG on iOS and Android


SEATTLE, WA – (July 12, 2017) – MetaArcade, a developer building a platform to allow players to create and publish their own RPG adventures, announced it will launch Tunnels & Trolls™ Adventures on the App Store and Google Play on August 17th, coinciding with the first day of Gen Con 50 in Indianapolis. Tunnels & Trolls Adventures, which will also release on PC, Mac and Steam later this year, is a dungeon crawling RPG experience that brings new and classic quests to life from Tunnels & Trolls, the second RPG ever published. The game is the first component of MetaArcade’s new platform, with the other being the upcoming Adventure Creator software that will allow players to create their own quests for the game.

To celebrate the game and platform launch, MetaArcade will showcase the mobile RPG adventure title at Gen Con from August 17–20. Media and roleplaying fans alike will have a chance to play the game, talk to its creators and get an early look at the Adventure Creator software for creating your own quests.

MetaArcade at Gen Con 50 Details



MetaArcade, RPG game and platform developer
– David Reid, Founder and CEO of MetaArcade
– Liz Danforth, Artist and Designer, who co-designed Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls and created signature art for Tunnels & Trolls and Magic: The Gathering
– Rick Loomis, Founder and President of Tunnels & Trolls publisher, Flying Buffalo, who wrote Buffalo Castle, the first solo adventure for any RPG



Gen Con 50 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Booth #509



MetaArcade is hosting media and fans to showcase the initial launch of its first title for mobile, Tunnels & Trolls Adventures, a dungeon crawling RPG that brings new and classic Tunnels & Trolls quests to life with player characters, choose your adventure-style decisions, thrilling die rolls, sweet loot and more. In addition, guests can demo the latest Adventure Creator software, MetaArcade’s tool for creating original content that will allow players to create, share and publish their own adventures.


MetaArcade will host signings, photo opportunities, contests and giveaways onsite, so attendees are encouraged to stop by Booth #509.



Gen Con show hours; August 17–20, 10 AM–6 PM daily and 10–4 on Sunday, August 20th



Tunnels & Trolls, the second roleplaying game ever published, is beloved by fans for its classic RPG heritage. Tunnels & Trolls Adventures exclusively and authentically brings T&T dungeon crawls to life with rich text, digital dice, iconic imagery and immersive audio cues. Players will make decisions in a ‘choose your adventure’ style and see how dice rolls affect their character’s success—or failure. Players can create their own unique character, with experience and loot carrying through as they complete the various adventure modules. But T&T Adventures is only part of the story as exclusive demos of Adventure Creator will be available alongside appearances by legendary artist and designer Liz Danforth, who will be on hand to answer questions and sign exclusive original art created for the game launch, and RPG icon, Rick Loomis.



Media are encouraged to schedule interview time; press kits will be available onsite.


The MetaArcade Adventure Creator platform and Tunnels & Trolls Adventures game are both developed and published by MetaArcade. Keep in touch with the latest MetaArcade news by following @MetaArcade and


About MetaArcade

Launched in 2016, MetaArcade is a Seattle area independent game company building a platform to allow players to create and publish their own RPG adventures – with no technical experience required – for free. The company was founded by lifelong RPG fan and seasoned vet David Reid, who previously held high profile roles at Microsoft, NCsoft, Trion Worlds, and CCP Games. MetaArcade will launch Tunnels & Trolls Adventures, the first title under its RPG platform, on August 17, 2017 at Gen Con 50 for Android and iOS mobile devices initially, with Windows PC, Mac, and Steam versions to follow at a later date alongside the content creation component, Adventure Creator. For more information, visit

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Gamer Goggles - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 17:44



Dragons, A River Journey, A Water-Born Raid, Ghosts and More Fill the Official Soundtrack to the Third Chapter of the Pathfinder RPG Strange Aeons
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (July 14, 2017) – Syrinscape, creator of the award-winning apps that bring tabletop games to life with movie-like sound, releases today the Dreams of the Yellow King SoundPack for Syrinscape’s Fantasy Player, custom-created to accompany the third chapter of the Pathfinder RPG’s Strange Aeons Adventure Path. The Dreams of the Yellow King SoundPack ($15.99, or as part of either the Fantasy or SuperSyrin subscription packages) is now available in the Syrinscape store.

The Dreams of the Yellow King SoundPack is the complete audio companion for the Pathfinders who have boarded a riverboat to Cassomir. They explore the Dreamlands and attempt a number of bizarre dream quests, fragmenting their minds and trying to survive against a dimension of nightmares. All the while, Syrinscape immerses players in the adventure with the sounds of the river journey, a water-born raid from the cult of Razmir (featuring voices by Pathfinder Lead Designer Jason Bulmahn), spooky haunts, dream parties, a drug den, a nightmare dragon, ambient music, one-shot sound effects and much more.

Watch Syrinscape creator and host of the Dicestormers Benjamin Loomes in this video a preview of Dreams of the Yellow King SoundPack.

The award-winning Syrinscape apps bring fantastic, realistic sound to tabletop gaming and are compatible with nearly any mobile device or computer. Syrinscape’s Fantasy Player, Sci-Fi Player and Board Game Player apps are free to download and the official sounds of Pathfinder, Starfinder, Mutants & Masterminds, Catan and hundreds of other sound creations for nearly any tabletop game are available for sale individually or as part of the Supersyrin Subscription for $10/month.

Syrinscape can also be completely unlocked for free for 30 days at and includes two free SoundSets to keep after the trial.

About Syrinscape
Using a powerful audio engine and complex algorithms to produce ever-changing soundscapes and rich encounter-specific music, Syrinscape conjures every aural landscape imaginable, from ethereal forests and stony shorelines, to dank, vermin-filled dungeons, to the spooky depths of the underdark. Designed by accomplished composer and tabletop gamer Benjamin Loomes, along with the developers at the Interaction Consortium, Syrinscape builds on more than 8 years of prototyping and community feedback. Syrinscape is based in Australia. Syrinscape is available for a wide range of devices, including PCs, Macs, Android Tablets and phones, iPhones and iPads, and the players can be downloaded via syrinscape for free.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A Very Different Mini OSR Campaign Idea Using The Lost City (B4) by Tom Moldvay & Some Free Old School Appendix NDownloads

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 17:00
When it comes to the The Lost City (B4) I always seem to find myself reinventing the wheel with this adventure and that's alright in my mind.Lately I've been doing a lot of high end/hi technological relics for my games & a project I've been working on with a friend. More on that another time folks but the point is that I can easily justify my choice of artifacts & relics. Once upon a timeNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bundle of Holding - Colonial Gothic (18th Century Colonial Horror)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 14:48

Colonial Gothic is one of those games that I've picked up occasional pieces of over the years because of my love of history and the twist that Colonial Gothic gives to it. An opportunity to pick up over a dozen books for it for about 20 bucks is simply a no brainer.

The way I see it, you don't even need to use the system behind the books to enjoy the books (I probably won't) but I could see myself hacking Swords & Wizardry Light to run something like this.

Damn these useful Bundles of Holding!

This one has a short window - just over 2 days left.
Hero! The Founders bring you the Colonial Gothic Bundle, featuring the new Third Edition of the supernatural flintlock-horror tabletop roleplaying game Colonial Gothic from Rogue Games. Uncover the secret history of America's 18th-Century frontier, where monsters stalk the woods and ghosts haunt every sleepy hollow. This bargain-priced offer brings you almost the entire Colonial Gothic line -- everything you need for a complete campaign of magic and mayhem in the shadows of early America. For just US$8.95 you get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Colonial Gothic Third Edition rulebook (retail price $10), three essential supplements (Gamemaster, Adventure, and The Player Companion, total retail $21), and the 174-page Beginnings adventure (retail $8) that kicks off the massive Flames of Freedom campaign that will encompass the entire American Revolution. NEW! We've just added The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (retail $1): Washington Irving's classic 1839 story of a haunting in upstate New York, plus gaming notes adapting it to Colonial Gothic. And if you pay more than the threshold price of $20.59, you'll level up and also get our entire Bonus Collection with almost every book in the Colonial Gothic line -- ten more supplements worth an additional $70: Three sourcebooks: The Grimoire (retail $6), Gazetteer (retail $7), and Bestiary (retail $7). Three setting books: Settings (retail $8), New France (retail $7 -- previously presented in our August 2013 Bundle of the Ages), and The French & Indian War (retail $8). Lovecraft (retail $7): Bring the Cthulhu Mythos onto the American frontier. The Templars (retail $5 -- also from our August 2013 Ages offer): Colonial Gothic's secret history of history's most secretive bunch. NEW! The Defeated Dead (retail $8): A ghost story of vengeful soldiers at the site of the US Army's greatest defeat. NEWER! The Landlord's Daughter (retail $7): Secret societies, pirates, betrayal, witchcraft, and a mysterious illness in Marblehead, Massachusetts.Note, although OneBookShelf delivers copies of these PDFs, I do not make affiliate monies from these sales. I bring offers like this to your attention because I think they are amazing deals and I'd hate for my readers to miss out on them. You can always buy me a beer later ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

War for the Planet of the Apes

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 14:00

It's five years after a brief and unease truce between humans and apes in Northern California led to war.  The latest films is at turns The Outlaw Josey Wales and The Great Escape rather than a war film unless the title is more clever than it appears and references a war where the apes or not the primary combats--and gives a sly hint to its outcome.

Andy Serkis is again great as Caesar, and so are the other motion-capture actors. The special effects have gotten so good the apes don't really seen CGI at all, other than of course they are. Steve Zahn sort of steals the show here is the new character "Bad Ape" adding a bit of tastefully done levity to otherwise fairly grim precedings. Woody Harrelson is playing crazy, as usual, in the flavor of Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.
If you liked the previous installments in the current trilogy, you'll like this one. If you haven't seen any of this current series, you should start with Rise.

One thing I've noticed, when the first film came out it was widely commented that it was essentially a reworking/re-imaging of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. This is sort of true and viewed from that perspective Dawn and War are then a two part reworking of Battle for the Planet of the Apes. (Dawn, particularly has a lot of specific scene parallels to Battle.)

Relic Living Metallic Tissue Armor For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 06:04
One of the rarest relics created by the ancient Hyperboreans was  nanite skin weave mesh armor of the gods. This living metallic tissue armor was created using a vril power source when the Hyperborean super science was at its highest. The armor is made of an alien metallic living lattice that most would mistake for mold or fungus growing on rocks & whatnot in forbidden & dangerous parts of Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Colonial Lemuria Lists for Fortunes Won and Lost

Two Hour Wargames - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 20:36

As some of you may know, Colonial Lemuria, Mission St. Mary and Fortunes Won and Lost are compatible. We've taken it a step further and converted the Lemurian Lists to the Fortunes Won and Lost types - saving you the time and effort. Enjoy!

Lemurian Lists

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Game Industry Interview: Arthur Petersen

Greyhawk Grognard - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 18:17
Following up on my interview with Ed Healy, I am pleased to present another behind-the-scenes interview with someone responsible for bringing Cthulhu Wars to life; Arthur Petersen, Project Director for Petersen Games.

As the previous interview, I wanted to get some behind-the-curtain sort of stuff, this time focusing on production itself.

Reminder that Onslaught 3 for Cthulhu Wars will go live on Monday morning; this weekend I'll be doing a series of posts to whet everyone's appetites for this wonderful game and it's unworldly terrific miniatures.

Q: Can you give a quick definition of what a Project Director does?

A: Sure. At Petersen Games it mostly means making sure Sandy’s ideas for a game become reality. Making a tabletop game includes so many parts – from design and playtesting, to art and miniature sculpting, game layout and marketing, all the way to manufacturing and shipping. I coordinate the diverse parts and oversee the teams who put it all together. Of course, because we are fairly small (only 6 total, including employees/owners), it also means for me being heavily involved in some of those parts. For example, I double as the entire “manufacturing” team at Petersen Games – directly working with our factories and handling everything that has to do with the physical creation of the game itself.

Q: What sort of logistical challenges do you think are unique to a large board game type KS campaign like Cthulhu Wars, as opposed to a smaller board game or RPG?

A: Logistical complication is mostly determined by the array of products and product combinations sold. For example, we sort of shot ourselves in the foot with our previous Cthulhu Wars campaign (Onslaught Two) by offering over 50 unique products, and then going further and allowing a full a la carte selection. Out of around 5,000 backers there were over 2,500 unique combinations of rewards! That meant the “pick and pack” job – the sorting of each reward in our fulfillment warehouses took longer than it would have if most backers got the same bundle of products. Another issue with logistics for the sorts of games we do is the weight – no one likes to pay a lot for shipping. But when you are sending rewards that way over 50 lbs., well, someone has to pay it!

Q: Other than the well-known issue of Chinese New Year (which I see you actually included in your project plan timeline), what sort of special considerations do you have to make when dealing with China-based manufacturing?

A: One of the biggest hurdles is communication. While most factories (and all factory brokers) employ someone who can speak English, it’s rarely perfect. Sometime I just have to ask our art director to make a quick image or diagram of what I need to communicate about some manufacturing issue. Their response for something will tell me they didn’t understand me, so I use pictures, basically. And sometimes they have to respond with pictures. Much of the time, however, with a detailed spec sheet it’s clear to both sides what’s going on. Other than communication, my main advice to anyone getting into Chinese manufacturing is to provide PERFECT specs when you want a quote for pricing.

Arthur Petersen (left)Q: What's the biggest challenge when it comes to producing larger projects like Cthulhu Wars?

A: That’s hard to answer. If you ask Sandy, he’ll probably say the playtest time or getting the sculpts done faster. If you ask our business manager, he’ll say trying to get the cost down, since our big figures and products mean our margins can suck, even when we charge seemingly high prices. As for me, it’s changed over the years. What was most difficult for the first Cthulhu Wars KS was not the most challenging for O2, and I bet it will be different for this new one. Frankly, any answer I give will probably be a reflection of where I am as I learn to manage our teams, as opposed to something specific for Cthulhu Wars.

Q: How has the production process changed from the original game to today, where you're about to start the third Kickstarter campaign in the series?

A: Let me answer with a story. Cthulhu Wars has, as you may know, 6 Acolyte Cultists figures per faction, as well as 2 little markers (for Doom and Power respectively) per faction. Well, when you create steel molds for the plastic pieces (via a process called tooling), you can make several identical cavities to make more than one of the same piece at a time. Because we had never made a game before, we didn’t really micro-manage the tooling process like we do today. The factory unfortunately made a steel mold that contained 2 cavities for the cultists, and 2 cavities for the doom/power markers. This meant that with each pressing of the mold in a given color of plastic, 2 cultists AND 2 doom/power markers popped out. But, if you recall that you need 6 cultists and 2 markers, which is a ratio of 3 to 1, this meant that we had 3 times as many markers as we needed. They’re still in China somewhere, probably in a land fill at this point. It was a waste of plastic that WE had to pay for via the factory charging us 3x the cost to make the markers than we should have. We only learned this when I flew to China and then shortly switched factories (who modified the steel molds at great cost to us). Now, we make them all in appropriate quantities for better cost efficiency. That was a little longer than I meant to take, but the bottom line is that now we manage our production on all fronts much more carefully. Now I wish I had told a sculpting story – we’ve learned a lot in terms of sculpting too!

Q: In regards to Kickstarter, does using KS to launch a game or group of supplements change the production process? If so, how?

A: I’m not sure how to answer this – I’ve only ever worked on games that were funded by Kickstarter, but I’ll do my best. The main consideration I’d suspect, as compared to direct to market products, is that we are beholden to our backers. When dealing with a massive game product line like Cthulhu Wars, so many things can be delayed. And what usually happens is that a bunch of little delays (in playtesting, editing, art, sculpting, tooling, manufacturing, shipping), etc. all add up together to create what seems to the backers as one BIG delay. We experienced this with our Orcs Must Die! boardgame in which every part seemed to take longer than we hoped, but none of the segments of the development cycle, on its own, was really delayed. Yet, their sum total pushed us back nearly a year! Backers obviously hate waiting one day longer than when we promised the delivery would be!

Q: How does the figure sculpting process work? How far in advance do you need to begin before you have a finished figure in hand?

A: First, Sandy develops a style guide for the model, with descriptions, explanations and reference art (from the internet or wherever), and provides this guide to the concept artist. Second, the concept artist draws a front and back, black and white illustration to Sandy’s specification. This is often a back and forth process with Sandy and the artist to make sure it’s exactly as Sandy envisioned; it takes about a week or two to lock down per concept. Once we have the final concept, I provide it to the sculptor. We now use 3D sculpting, which means revisions and review can be done with a quicker turnaround  (although the full time to sculpt is about the same – roughly 4-5 weeks for most sculptors, unless the figure is REALLY big; Dire Cthulhu took 8 weeks, and the Bloated Woman took a full 9 weeks to make!). Our average sculpt on Cthulhu Wars O3 took 5.2 weeks to do, including feedback and revisions. Once we have the final sculpt, we need to confirm its size is correct, and then it’s done! Make some turntables and show it off on our Kickstarter and social media!

Q: To what extent does the game design itself influence the physical design and production aspects of bringing the game to life?

A: This isn’t a direct answer to your question, but we always like our sculpts to seem in motion – action poses for the most part. Not every time, but you’ll notice that our models seem to mostly be doing something, or about to do something, rather than just sitting there. The Dark Young’s tentacles are moving around with mouth agape, in a howl, for example. This, I think, is an extension of Sandy making dynamic games – he never would want the pieces to seem static when the game will be fast moving.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring game designers, from a production design perspective?

A: In a few words, I would say to understand that there are a great many ways to reproduce a similar game mechanic or experience with different physical pieces. Play around with what is possible physically – switch tokens for dice, and miniatures for cards. Be creative with what you want your components to be. It may seem counter intuitive, but if you look at Cthulhu Wars, one thing you’ll notice is a relative dearth of non-plastic pieces. Sure, the map is big, and you have Faction Cards and Spellbooks, but that’s about it. It’s almost the exact opposite of many games that just have oodles and oodles of little tokens to represent various gamestates. Cthulhu Wars, for example, achieves an amazing amount of depth and unique ability interaction without resorting to “poison” counters, or whatnot. Of course, game styles vary considerably, but my point is that you could imagine Cthulhu Wars done entirely different with a zillion other pieces. Instead, Sandy wanted the focus to be on the miniatures, so there’s PLENTY of those, with a minimum of other things. Fit YOUR game’s physical pieces to how you want the game experience to be!


Disclosure: I was sent a bag of Cthulhu Wars figures to use in helping boost the Onslaught Three Kickstarter (you'll see them soon). I paid for the first Kickstarter and Onslaught Two myself, however, and will pay for Onslaught 3 when it launches Monday.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Beta Heavy Laser Rifle Relic For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 17:21
Serving with distinction for over thirty five years the Beta heavy laser rifle is one of the most iconic weapons of the federation. It has served in multiple fronts from the Earth Wars to the shores of Alpha Centuri. It is a reliable and highly adaptable weapon system that even today is found from time to time in some ruins & federation ships. The weapon system has been retro engineered fromNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Comlink Relic For Your Old School Game Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 15:56
Based upon retro engineered recovered alien technology from various crash sites on Old Earth during the 1980 period. The comlink was the standard in Old Earth telecommunications for over forty years. It is a reliable & viable system which forms a non scripted piece of communications & security technology aboard many federation & legion installations to this day. The Commlock (Portable Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

TSR Era POD - B1 - In Search of the Unknown

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 13:13

I've been lax at keeping up with the lasted Print on Demand (POD) releases from the TSR era. Well, today I'm trying to do some catching up.

The latest POD release of TSR goodness is B1 - In Search of the Unknown. After the Dungeon Geomorphs and before B2, B1 was the adventure you found in your D&D Basic Set.

Pricing is $4.99 for the PDF, $7.99 for the Print and $9.99 for the PDF plus Print.
"In Search of the Unknown," forms a complete adventure for use with Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. It is especially designed as an instructional aid for beginning Dungeon Masters and players, specifically created to enable new Dungeon Masters to initiate play with a minimum of preparation.  In addition to descriptive and situational material, this module also includes special informational sections giving background history and legends; listings of possible monsters and treasures, and how to place them; a list of adventuring characters; tips on various aspects of play for the Dungeon Master; and helpful advice for starting players.Remember, all purchases made with The Tavern's affiliate links helps fund The Tavern. Its also good for karma and cures warts and arthritis. These statements have NOT been approved by the FDA.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d7 Random Relics & Treasures of Beelzebul Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 06:21
Hashic Vro Tholian occultist looked on the swampland with concern & more then a little fear. Positioned all around the vast & seeming infinity swamp were the wrecks of a thousand flyers from hundred alien cultures. 'What's up with all of the flyers Hashic?'  'Rel The Strong' the red Martian mercenary spit the words out with a sort of vindictive Martian curse. 'I've seen this type of Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bundle of Holding - CityBooks - Grimtooth's Traps - Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes (Flying Buffalo)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 00:07

There is currently a Flying Buffalo / Catalyst bundle at Bundle of Holding and its a good one.

For 7.95 you get CityBooks I, II, III - Treasure Vault and Grimtooth's Traps 1 and 2. That is quite simply an amazing value for the old school resources you get.

Up your buy in to about 20 bucks, and you add in CityBooks IV, V, VI, VII - Grimtooth's Traps 3 and 4 - and the real gem IMHO, Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes (it includes the Adventure of the Jade Jaguar solo adventure)

20 bucks for seven CityBooks, four Grimtooth's Traps, Treasure Vault and MS&PE? You simply can't beat the value. Less than 2 bucks a book.

Note, although OneBookShelf delivers copies of these PDFs, I do not make affiliate monies from these sales. I bring offers like this to your attention because I think they are amazing deals and I'd hate for my readers to miss out on them. You can always buy me a beer later ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Game Industry Interview: Ed Healy

Greyhawk Grognard - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:32
When Cthulhu Wars from Peterson Games first Kickstarted a few years ago, I was all over it. Not only is it a fun strategy board game in and of itself, but it's got a theme I really enjoy (Lovecraft), and the figures are absolutely amazing (and conveniently work with 25/28mm scale figures - more on that later). There was a subsequent Onslaught Two Kickstarter that just delivered a ton of new factions and add-ons for the original game (on which I was all over as well), and the latest, Onslaught Three, is about to go live on Monday morning.

So when the good folks behind Cthulhu Wars sent out a call for folks who might be interested in helping promote the latest Kickstarter, I threw my hat into the ring. So, following on the heels of my Lovecraft in Greyhawk post the other day, we're going to start off with an interview with Ed Healy of Gamerati, who is managing the Kickstarter. 
I thought it would be interesting to take the opportunity to drill into some of the mechanics of the game industry behind the curtain, and Mr. Healy was more than accommodating. This particular interview was heavy on the Kickstarter aspect of the project, but tomorrow we'll see another with some insights about the production side. Enjoy!
Ed HealyQ: How many Kickstarters have you successfully managed so far?
A: I stopped counting about a year ago, so my numbers aren't going to be 100% accurate. That said, as of July 2016, we'd helped publishers raise over $51 million dollars across over 300 projects. This includes varying amounts of advertising, PR, content marketing, strategic planning and tactical management - some more than others. We run, soup to nuts, 29 campaigns.
Q: What was your first Kickstarter? What sorts of lessons did you learn in that experience that you have applied in later campaigns?
A: We helped Erik Bauer from Gaming Paper with the Gaming Paper Adventure project back in 2010, providing advertising, PR and content marketing:
In those days, crowdfunding was very different, so I'm not sure the lessons directly apply. It was more like the Open Design projects Wolfgang Baur ran in the 2000s, where the community was helping a creator get an idea off the ground. The first big lesson I learned was on the Lamentation of the Flame Princess Hardcover and Adventures IndieGoGo Project. Namely, that it helps when the people working on your product also have communities of their own to help increase your exposure. This is still true. I love it when an artist has 20,000 followers on Instagram or a game designer has fans on BGG. It shows they probably know how to self-promote, and you can never have too much help promoting a project.
Q: What sort of logistical challenges do you think are unique to a large board game type KS campaign like Cthulhu Wars?
A: Shipping. Hands down. It's the most complex and terrifying aspect of crowdfunding projects. If you are only serving the USA, there are still dozens of potential shipping solutions. Add in the rest of the world and you have Customs, import duties, VAT... Shipping was one of the main reasons I killed our Loot program a number of years ago. Now, of course, we have a warehouse and 5 more years of experience. I can't imagine launching a project that explodes without having someone on my team that understands shipping. You may recall, the original Cthulhu Wars project launched that way and Sandy Petersen mortgaged his home in order to pay all the costs they didn't plan for.
Q: Other than the well-known issue of Chinese New Year (which I see you actually included in your project plan timeline), what sort of special considerations do you have to make when dealing with China-based manufacturing?
A: Language. Most decent manufacturers have some English-language representation. However, just because someone speaks conversational English doesn't mean you are completely understanding each other. Americans, in particular, have different assumptions about accuracy and timelines. Don't accept "no problem" or "okay" as answers. Yes and No are really the only thing I bank on. In writing.
Accuracy. I know I mentioned it, above, but check your math. Check your math on costs, on box dimensions and on product weights. Then check again. I have yet to work on a campaign for a game manufactured in China where there wan't at last a half-dozen errors.
Customs. It's not always an issue, but Customs can hold up delivery of your project by weeks. When we fulfilled the Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 2 project, much of the product was stuck in American and German Customs for more than a month.
Q: Approximately how long is your planning phase when doing a KS campaign on the same scale of a Cthulhu Wars? What goes into that planning phase?
A: If I had my way, I would have a finished "China Ready" prototype 18 months before launching a project. Sadly, I rarely do. 
Most planning phases are short - days or weeks, long. For Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3, the whole team flew to Texas and we hammered out all the main details in two days - product mix (SKUs), backer rewards and stretch goals.
After that, though, comes preparation - getting demo copies to press and maintaining media relationships, getting any additional art commissions in that are missing, working with the graphic designer to get the campaign graphics and marketing materials (ads, etc) ready.
That's really the hard part - because, no matter what you do, someone always wants to change something during the planning phase. Usually 3 minutes before the project goes live!
Q: How do you determine stretch goals and pledge levels?
A: There's a bit of art in there, but generally speaking:
(1) If it's part of the core experience for the game, it's not a Stretch Goal. It belongs in the initial offering.
(2) As much as possible, have goals that everyone can benefit from.
(3) Adding new game play content (RPG encounters or NPCs / new strategy game units or models) is always superior to 'bling' when it comes to Stretch Goals.
(4) Stretch Goal Pricing: Cost to product one unit of 'the thing' x 10 x number of expected backers = Minimum Stretch Goal ask.
(5) It's better to run out of Stretch Goals and drop the mic at the end than to have a dozen left over that people know you didn't make it to.
(6) Higher pledge levels should build off lower levels in some way. For instance, if they are at some premium $400 level, make sure they get everything the 'normal backers' get.
(7) Digital rewards, if possible, rock. They cost nothing to ship!
(8) If you have multiple similar products (RPG modules or faction expansions), have backers at one of your lower pledge levels get only one, so people can debate which one(s) the like best. Of course, use your Stretch Goals to encourage them to upgrade to those higher tiers where they get 'all the things'.
(9) Tshirts are a bad idea. Never do tshirts.
(10) Variants make great Stretch Goals - foil cards, promos with variant art, Glow in the Dark Cthulhu!
Q: Do you think having stretch goals actually encourages people to increase their pledges, or to pledge when they might not ordinarily do so? Or are stretch goals something that are almost expected in a KS campaign nowadays?
A: Stretch Goals give you something to talk about. You get the benefit of highlighting some aspect of the game in your update about the Stretch Goal, and you have something new to post to social media - something your community can reshare to boost your signal.
When Stretch Goals are done right, they absolutely put pressure on some backers to increase their pledges. Let's say, at the beginning of a campaign, you can get the SMECHS RPG Core Rules for $50 or you can pay $100 for everything - everything, at the start, being the core rules and the monster manual. Now lets say that you have 15 Stretch Goals that include new types of Smurfs and new types of Mechs - and every $100 backer gets those PDFs ($5.00 MSRP each) for free. For someone that really likes the idea of a Smurfs / Mechs mashup RPG, they'll quickly feel the pressure to upgrade from $50 to $100 to get all the extra content.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone just starting on their first KS campaign?
A: Rule #1: Nothing beats making a good product. You can sell crap in a nice package once, but then you're done. Do it right, from the start.
Rule #2: Be patient. Playtest. Edit. Then playtest 100 more times.Then edit a couple more times. You're making a samurai sword, not a billy club.
Rule #3: Start building your community _while_ you're making the game.
Rule #4: Advertising = Marketing ≠ Advertising (You can't just buy some ads and think you've done marketing.)
Rule #5: It's easier to sell a product when you're telling a story, instead of selling a product.
Rule #6: Everything will be twice as expensive and take three times longer than you think it will.
Rule #7: It's Good to be a Gamer


Disclosure: I was sent a bag of Cthulhu Wars figures to use in helping boost the Onslaught Three Kickstarter (you'll see them soon). I paid for the first Kickstarter and Onslaught Two myself, however, and will pay for Onslaught 3 when it launches Monday.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

New Forbidden Magic Spell For Your Old School Campaigns - Summon Scrag Horde

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:30
'Why are we running?' Rel The Strong' the red Martian mercenary was running through the mud of 'Old Venus'. 'Because I relieved the legion of an object that didn't belong to them' Vro Tholian occultist was flying through the swamp with little ceremony. 'Is it valuable?' Rel's voice was flaccid at best & panicked at worst.  'Yes' 'Then what are we going to do?' Rel was almost but not quite Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator - Tabletop Gaming Blogs