vrijdag 25 januari 2013

Call of Cthulhu and Shadows of Esteren win Diehard gamefan awards

Diehardgamefan.com is a website that covers all sorts of gaming from console games over boardgames to RPGs. On the website you'll find gaming news, reviews, and columns covering all aspects of the above games.

Seeing their awards makes me feel I'm collecting the right games. Or at least, that other people are just as exciting about some of these games as I am.

As you might know, I have a sizeable Call of Cthulhu collection and thus was very pleased to see that the game won several awards:

  • BEST RE-MAKE/RE-RELEASE: Cthulhu by Gaslight, third edition
  • BEST ADVENTURE (SOLO): Age of Cthulhu Vol. VI - A dream of Japan
  • SYSTEM OF THE YEAR: Call of Cthulhu

Alright, Mythic Iceland is technically not Call of Cthulhu but it's Chaosium and Pedro is a nice guy who I met at the Kraken so I don't mind plugging the book.

If you follow the blog (yeah right), you will have noticed I was pretty excited about Shadows of Esteren. I met some of the illustrators and authors at Spiel in Germany and I'm very happy to see the hard work of these superfriendly gamers is being appreciated.

  • BEST ART: Shadows of Esteren: Book 1 - Universe
  • BEST NEW GAME: Shadows of Esteren
  • BEST CORE RULEBOOK: Shadows of Esteren: Book 1 - Universe

And since I also collect Dungeon Crawl Classics, the DCC RPG won the award for BEST OLD SCHOOL RENAISSANCE TITLE. It's nice to see some love for the old school rpgs as well.

For a full report on Diehardgamefan.com's tabletop awards, just follow the link.

vrijdag 18 januari 2013

Rest in peace Lynn Willis

From the Chaosium website

"We are sad to announce the passing of Lynn Willis, a pillar of Chaosium, Call of Cthulhu, and of the roleplaying community. Lynn had been combating aging and illness for several years, and passed while in a hospital for treatment. He is survived by his partner Marcia, and a community of friends and admirers.

Lynn began in gaming as a board game designer, and entered Chaosium with Lords of the Middle Sea. He was the third employee of Chaosium, first as an editor and then as the mastermind behind the entire Call of Cthulhu line, as well as other projects, for the decades that he was with us. He loved his work and brought all his abilities to the job. He was incredibly smart, astonishingly widely read, detail oriented, and capable. He is largely responsible for the high quality, playability, and popularity of the leading horror RPG in our field.

CREDITS: Chaosium Dude since 1978; co-creator of Call of Cthulhu. Other credits include BOARD GAMES: Dragon Pass, Lords of the Middle Sea, Stomp, Reich, Raiders and Traders, Panzer Pranks, Arkham Horror. ROLEPLAYING GAMES: Basic Roleplaying, M.U. Graduate Kit, Keeper's Kit 1, 2, Engage & Destroy, Vive l'Empreur, Thieves' World, Thieves' World Companion, Worlds of Wonder, Ringworld, Ringworld Companion, King Arthur Companion 1, 2, 3, RuneQuest 1, 2, 3, etc., Apple Lane 1, 2, etc., Snakepipe Hollow 1, 2, etc., Cults of Prax 1, 2, etc., Cults of Terror, Borderlands, Pavis, The Big Rubble, Questworld, Stormbringer Companion, Demon Magic, Cities, Carse, Tulan of the Isles, Elric, Melnibone, Fate of Fools, Bronze Grimoire, Atlas of the Young Kingdoms, Seas of Fate, The Unknown East, Cthulhu Live, Call of Cthulhu 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, The Asylum, Cthulhu Companion, Fragments of Fear, Masks of Nyarlathotep, Alone against the Wendigo, Alone against the Dark, Cthulhu by Gaslight, Dreamlands, Spawn of Azathoth, Terror Australis, Great Old Ones, Cthulhu Now, Arkham Unveiled, At Your Door, Fatal Experiments, Blood Brothers, Blood Brothers II, Horror on the Orient Express, Cairo Guidebook, Dark Designs, Fearful Passages London Guidebook, King of Chicago, Miskatonic University, Taint of Madness, Compact Arkham Unveiled, Booke of Monstres 1 and 2, No Man's Land, Horror's Heart, Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep, Resection of Time, Secrets, Dreaming Stone, Before the Fall, Last Rites, Beyond the Mountains of Madness, M.U. Antarctic Expedition Pack, Unseen Masters, Keeper's Companion 1. FICTION: Castle of Eyes, Hastur Cycle, Singers of Strange Songs, Complete Pegana, Nightmare's Disciple, Percival, Bear of Britain, Book of Dzyan, S. Petersen's Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters, S. Petersen's Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands.

He will be missed. We trust that he is at peace. We give Marcia our thanks and blessings for her devoted love and support for Lynn, and wish her joy, happiness, and success in her future endeavors and memories of the past.

Charlie Krank, President Chaosium Inc.
Greg Stafford, Founder Chaosium Inc."

zaterdag 12 januari 2013

Frog God Games Razor Coast Kickstarter

"The Razor Coast has drawn men to madness and slaughter since the world was young. Tulita natives, born from the same fire as this jagged coast, claim the Razor existed long before the world’s other lands. It is a crucible of flame cooled by the ocean’s caress and its mountains, reefs and lightless depths teem with as many terrors as they do lustrous spoils. The Razor bucks the trappings of civilization in much the same manner the storm-tossed sea spurns the men who dare mount her. This is no place for the weak-willed. Untested souls are food for its storms, its fickle gods, its ancient spirits and the evil predations of unfathomable creatures. No less dangerous are the men who make the coast their home and whose dark desires put most horrors to shame.

Every year another colony of hopeful settlers springs up, only to be silenced by the unforgiving landscape or butchered by fearsome tribes of monsters lurking just beyond the tree line. Yet still the colonists come in their hundreds, lured to the coast’s riches: its kava, its jocas fruit and koa wood, to name but a few. All treasures worth twice their weight in gold and all ripe for the picking along the Razor. Mossy placards emblazoned with the bold names of these colonies’ founders are the only testament left to their brief, prideful existence. The last chapter of their story is now told in dust and ash.

Port Shaw is the only survivor. The town clings to the coast like the sea’s most stubborn barnacle, impossible to scrape from the Razor’s edge. At times it limps along, vexed by demons, angry gods, cannibal tribes, dread pirate armadas, and worse; but at present the city thrives as foreign vessels flock to its harbor, their holds hungry for whale oil and other treasures.

Port Shaw menaces and delights in equal extremes. Treasures and pleasures abound in this whaling boomtown, but evil and abandon take almost every soul who comes her way. This playground of pirates is ruled by the crushing fist of the Municipal Dragoons and filled with both the ancient curses of the coast’s Tulita natives and dark secrets of its own. It is an easy place to die, and a town where countless legends are born.

- From the Journals of Reiker Glassgrinder, naturalist and historian

After a failed attempt to publish Razor Coast through his former Sinister Adventures publishing company, Nick Logue of Paizo/Pathfinder fame, has now teamed up with Bill Webb of Frog God Games for the release of the long awaited Razor Coast swashbuckling campaign setting.

Razor Coast isn’t just an adventure, it’s part setting, part adventure path, and part toolkit to build your own unique campaign. It's filled with corrupt municipal Dragoons, dastardly smuggling rings, weresharks, desperate naval battles, oppressed tribes craving heroes, witches, cursed islands, legendary treasure troves, an impending apocalypse or two, demon pirates, retired assassins, undead worms, gator men, failed heroes waiting to be redeemed, dark conspiracies brewing in the oceans depths, vengeful ghosts…oh – and mutating cannibal pygmies. Who doesn’t like those?

Razor Coast will be released for both the Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry ruleset. "I think the two traits that links Swords and Wizardry and Pathfinder for me are these: First there is an adherence to the wonderful traditions of fantasy roleplaying that have defined two generations enjoyment of our hobby and second, a commonly shared sense of adventure. Anyone who has ever played in a game I’ve run knows well that rules take a back seat in my sessions unless they contribute to and enhance the spirit of adventure, daring, danger and drama that fuels our imaginations as gamers. Pathfinder and Swords and Wizardry both deliver the goods.", says Logue.

In addition to Nick Logue, a team of veteran designers is working on Razor Coast, such as Lou Agresta, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, and John Ling. As cherry on the cake, Frank Mentzer, author of the famous D&D Red Box, has agreed to write an adventure to be added in the kickstarter rewards.

Click here to support the Frog God Games Razor Coast Kickstarter.

donderdag 10 januari 2013

Adventure Seeds : The Diamond Sanctum of the Loathsome Daughter

Seeing that I've come to the conclusion that original content is what makes a blog tick, I decided to think of a few new categories which I could add to the blog.

Adventure seeds are always nice to have. You see an idea, adapt it a bit, and you're ready to go. So here's my first attempt at such an adventure seed. I'll keep it free from setting material as much as possible so it can be easily inserted into any campaign world.

The mission

The characters are sent to mercenary captain Rane Colworth to acquire the services of him and his men. Rane however, has a mission of his own that needs fulfilling. He's hunting down a half-orc warrior named Rhaga, who has been raiding villages with her band of orc followers, and during a recent raid has kidnapped Rane's 12 year old son. The mercenary company has been able to track the orcs to an abandoned diamond mine. If the party can bring back his son Taro and Rhaga's head, Rane will provide his services at a serious discount. Harren Ligger, Rane's most trusted lieutenant, will accompany the party into the mine.

The background

20 years ago, Rane's first wife Elisa was taken prisoner during an orc raid on their native village. Rane only learned of the raid months later when he returned home from a mission. A man possessed with as sole focus revenge, he spent the next sixteen years hunting down the orc tribe responsible for the raid. When he finally located the orcs, he set up a raid of his own and completely wiped out the tribe. To his amazement, his wife was still alive. To his horror however, she clutched to her breast a 15 year old half-orc girl named Rhaga, born from multiple unwanted matings with her orcish captors.

Prideful as he was, Rane could not live with the shame of his wife having born orcish offspring so he ordered them both killed. Rhaga fought valiantly to protect her mother but she couldn't hold her ground against the trained mercenaries and was forced to flee. Elisa Darfour died that day and both Rhaga and Rane vowed to not rest before the other was dead.

Over the years Rhaga changed into a powerful and fierce warrior and rose up in the ranks of her tribe. Eventually she challenged the tribe leader and killed him easily making the tribe her own. Travelling back towards Rane's native village, she assembled quite a host of orc followers. When raiding villages she does so using her mother's maiden name Darfour in the hopes of encountering Rane's mercenary company to oppose the orc invasion. Prominently displayed around her neck is a silver medallion she received from her mother. The back of the medallion reads "To my love Elisa Darfour, Rane".

Rane, hearing rumours of a Rhaga Darfour raiding villages, assembled his men immediately. His scouts have been able to track Rhaga to an abandonned diamond mine. At about the same moment, the adventuring party meets up with Rane looking to secure his services. Rane makes up the story about his son being abducted, and sends Harren Ligger along with clear orders to kill Rhaga at all cost.

Rhaga can be reasoned with but seeing Harren, one of Rane's men, among the party will make her initial reactions quite hostile.

dinsdag 1 januari 2013

Collection update and goals 2013

As per the Acaeum's essay on collection ins and outs I set up a number of collection goals for 2012.

It would be only proper to have a look at those goals and see whether I achieved them or not and to set up some collection goals for 2013.

2012 Short term goals review

The first goal was to keep my Legend of the Five Rings collection complete. This goal I would say I have achieved. I found 8 of the 9 4th edition limited edition books. The only missing so far is the one with the Dragon cover. Also the regular releases have been followed with purchases of the books of earth and air and Second City boxed set.

The second goal was to complete my Godlike collection. Another goal achieved, the GM screen and Black Devils Brigade are in my collection as well these days.

Third goal I failed. Keep my Fading Suns collection up-to-date. I still haven't found the Shards hardcover and softcover (haven't looked for them either). Other than that I decided to include the deckplan supplements into my collection as well so those I don't have either.

Fourth goal I achieved again. Keep my Delta Green collection complete. Strange authorities was added to the collection in both soft and hard cover. I also purchased the softcover of Through a glass darkly but it got waterdamage in the mail so I'll have to replace that one. This goal won't be repeated for 2013 since it basically falls under my Call of Cthulhu goals.

Fifth goal : Keep my Pagan Publishing collection up-to-date. That one is pretty easy seeing Pagan's release schedule so Bumps in the Night was added (a few times) to my collection. The Bumps in the Night Kickstarter also enabled me and a few friends to share a number of RPG sessions with Scott Glancy which is awesome ! The sessions are still ongoing so who knows, maybe they will turn into a blogpost one day.

Sixth goal : Keep my Frog God Games collection up-to-date. This one I would say I didn't quite achieve. It's largely due to some Frog God Kickstarters in which I invested some nice sums of money. This has kept me from buying all the new releases but I still increased my Frog God collection with quite some new books so this one is a work in progress.

2012 midterm goals review

Number one : Pick up easy to find Cthulhu books. Yup did that and then some. I think I added about 70 books for Call of Cthulhu alone.

The second goal for completing the Forgotten Realms, well let's say I didn't achieve that one. I did pick up a number of books, but haven't really been actively trying to complete the Realms. And I doubt if I ever will. If I would want the Realms to be complete I'd have to pick up all the RPGA Living Forgotten Realms modules which are quite hard to come by. And well, there's 'a few' novels too.

Pick up Pathfinder stuff regularly was my third midterm goal and another one achieved easily. For this one again, 70-something books were added. By the way, Paizo peeps if you're reading this, your release schedule is insane! If you collect only Pathfinder, it might be manageable but if you're like me, collecting pretty much all over the place, it's nuts.

Number four was picking up missing DCC modules. This I did although I'm nowhere near completion. Especially since the release of the DCC RPG means new books are being released for this line on a regular basis. And Goodman Games feels the need to publish limited edition versions of everything but the kitchen sink.

And the fifth and final midterm goal was to collect everything Necromancer Games. I didn't actively set out to achieve this goal but I did manage to pick up a shrink-wrapped Rappan Athuk Reloaded, limited edition boxed set of 1000 copies.

2012 lifelong goals review

Collect everything D&D/TSR. I must have failed a sanity check when I wrote that goal. But since it's a lifelong goal, I'm working on it. Slowly.

Another lifelong goal was to find rare Call of Cthulhu stuff. I would say I did a good job there. I picked up a few items of licensed Cthulhu stuff from the 80-ies. I also picked up several of the early boxed sets including the 2nd print of the 1st edition, the 2nd edition boxed set, and the Gaslight boxed set. Also I was able to play in an RPG session with Sandy Petersen, author of Call of Cthulhu, which definately has to count for something.

The last lifelong goal would be to collect everything Pagan Publishing. Maybe this one is the most achieveable of the lifelong goals. I've been working hard on this one, that's for sure. 2012 saw me adding Courting Madness to my collection, in addition to the player aid kits for Realm of Shadows and Walker in the Wastes, Killer Crosshairs and one of the prints of the Weapons Compendium. And I got my hands on a pre-publication of Unspeakable Oath number 1. So I aced this one.

I can honestly say 2012 was a great year for my collection. And for me as a Call of Cthulhu fan. I was able to play in games with Sandy Petersen and Scott Glancy. It will be hard to top that one in one year.

2013 goals

  • Short term goals
    • Keep my Legend of the Five Rings collection up-to-date: The only thing I'm missing is the 4th edition limited Dragon clan book.
    • Complete my Fading Suns collection: The deckplans are readily available. The Shards I'll have to see where to pick those up.
    • Keep my Pagan Publishing collection up-to-date: I'm unaware of Pagan's release schedule for 2013 but this one should not be so difficult.
    • Keep my Frog God Games collection up-to-date: This one will depend on how many Kickstarters Frog God is going to do. They currently have one online for Nicolas Logue's Razor Coast setting. I haven't decided yet whether I will jump in on that one. Another thing is that Frog God releases everything for both Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry so if I want this one complete I need to buy pretty much every book twice.
  • Midterm goals
    • Keep my Godlike collection complete.
    • Pick up the easy-to-find Cthulhu books I'm still missing
    • Pick up Pathfinder stuff regularly
    • Pick up missing DCC modules
    • Complete Necromancer Games collection.
  • Life long goals
    • Find the rare Call of Cthulhu stuff
    • Collect everything Pagan Publishing
    • Collect everything D&D
    • Collect everything TSR
    • Complete the Forgotten Realms and associated settings like Kara-Tur and Al-Qadim

Where I'm at

Here's I'll give a short overview of the number of RPG items per setting/game/system. Between brackets is the number at the beginning of 2012

  • Birthright: 9 books (4)
  • Call of Cthulhu: 276 books (204)
  • Dark Sun: 9 books (8)
  • D&D (including a handful of small press items): 353 books (329)
  • DCC: 73 books (59)
  • D20: 149 books (131)
  • Dragonlance: 40 books (30)
  • Dragon Magazine: 100 books (91)
  • Dungeon Magazine: 91 books (85)
  • Eberron: 21 books (16)
  • Fading Suns: 43 books (42)
  • Forgotten Realms (and associated campaign settings): 200 books (182)
  • Frog God Games: 57 books (29)
  • Godlike: 10 books (8)
  • Greyhawk: 13 books (12)
  • Hollow World: 4 books (1)
  • Iron Kingdoms: 44 books (44 includes Warmachine, Hordes, and No Quarter)
  • Judges Guild: 20 books (20)
  • Kingdoms of Kalamar: 8 books (8)
  • Lankmahr: 7 books (6)
  • Legend of the Five Rings: 115 books (99)
  • Mystara: 1 book (1)
  • Paizo: 155 books (71)
  • Planescape: 4 books (1)
  • Ravenloft: 19 books (17)
  • 7th Sea: 30 books (30)
  • Spelljammer: 13 books (9)
  • Spycraft: 19 books (19)
  • TSR Non-D&D: 32 items (6) (Boardgames, Boot Hill, Indiana Jones, Marvel Superheroes, ...)
  • Unknown Armies: 11 books (11)
  • White Wolf: 15 books (16)
  • Others: 40 books (32) (Ars Magica, Free RPG Day, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, OSRIC, Qin, ...)

This means I have passed the 2000 item milestone. To some that might sound quite insane. But there's collections out there that are waaaaayy bigger than mine. Now if only I would find a house to buy so I could start a game room to showcase my collection, now there's a goal for 2013.