News from Around the Net: 18-MAR-2011

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for some news and link love around the RPG interwebz…

The last couple of weeks have been tough as the world watches Japan struggle in the aftermath of earthquakes, tsunamis, and potential nuclear disaster. It’s nearly impossible to not feel sympathy for the plight of the people affected by these tragedies.

Once again, the RPGNow/DriveThruRPG folks have stepped up to offer a way for the RPG community to help in this time of need. Please donate to the Japanese Disaster Relief and give to the Red Cross. It’s just $5 people. It’s the cost of a good cup of coffee at Starbucks these days, or a small meal at McDonald’s. Every little bit helps.

Some of the publishers at RPGNow/DriveThruRPG have gone a step further and created relief bundles and special deals to help out as well. These great folks prove what I’ve known all along – that gamers are some of the best and most compassionate folks in the world. We’re everywhere. And we want to help. Check out Adamant’s offering here or the list of products at the bottom of the page here and get a little something for yourself along with helping the folks in New Zealand or Japan.

With the serious stuff out of the way, let’s get back to the fun of gaming…

Some POSITIVE news to report (it’s not all doom and gloom!)…

Did you know that there’s a special anniversary coming up? Sunday marks the 5th anniversary of Open Design! (Here’s the blog post that kicked it all off!) A hearty congratulations to Wolfgang Baur and all the gang at Open Design for such amazing products over the last 1/2 a decade!

To celebrate, the kobolds are having a sale. 50% off of KQ issues 1-15, print copies (while they last!) of Sunken Empires, Iron Gazeteer, and Dwarves of the Ironcrags as well as The Kobold Guide to Game Design Volume 1, 2, and 3! Also – buy any print item and get the PDF free (if there’s a PDF version). The sale only runs today – March 18 – through Thursday March 24th, so be sure to grab the loot and run before the kobolds come to their senses!

And if all that wasn’t enough… If you spend more than $50 (USD) at once, you’ll get a free anniversary PDF chapbook collecting some of the great art featuring Jiro, the kobold mascot!

Now on to more news…

  • Egon over at Roleplaying Tips has provided a list of three key iPad apps for tabletop gaming that made me want an iPad 2 that much more…
  • Though not quite RPG-related, Mur at I Should Be Writing has struck out on her own in her writing career. Many of us struggling to get any writing done at all should use her bold actions as inspiration for our own endeavors!
  • In the “if you have to fight the Old Ones, you’re already dead” category of gaming, over at Yog-Shoggoth announced the release of a rules-dark (because nothing Cthulhu-esque can be “light”) system for Lovecraft-inspired gaming called Cthulhu Dark written by Graham Walmsley. This one page rules system takes a lot from LARPing, but I look forward to giving it a whirl at some point!
  • TE Jefferson and J Corveau over at the reborn Fantasy! magazine online put together a list of the fantasy worlds you might not want to visit if given a chance. For example, though Westeros in George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series is fun to read about, have you noticed how often characters kick the bucket? Or have you noticed how nobody ever has a great time on epic journeys? Great article for ideas in how to make epic campaigns more fun?
  • Ryan Macklin is known for having strong opinions about the RPG publishing industry and he raised a great point about the need for editors. I have to agree that self-editing (i.e. rewriting) only gets you so far and you need an independent third party to give it a once-over before you release your baby to the wild… But it’s going to cost $$$ and Macklin has some ideas how to handle that.
  • Over at the Gamer Lifestyle blog, there’s been an interesting discussion about offering free product updates as a publisher. The article offers some interesting points about the integrated strategy of working free updates into the process early…
  • And finally, there’s some news about WYRED, a cyberpunk version of Stargazer Games’ Warrior, Rogue & Mage, that I’ve been very interested in following… Quick and easy rules in a cyberpunk world? Count me in!

Do you have something to contribute to the links list? Feel free to drop me a note at fitz (at) gameknightreviews (dot) com!

Have a great weekend!

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3 comments to News from Around the Net: 18-MAR-2011

  • Appreciate the interest in WYRED! The second draft I was going to post, unfortunately, didn’t meet my play expectations. So I’m going back to the drawing board a bit on the combat rules. I’m chomping at the bit to get a more complete draft of the game up soon, though. But yes, the ultimate goal is a cyberpunk “rules necessary” rpg that isn’t too bloated with gear and weird rules.

    • Fitz

      @Rev. Lazaro – You bet. I love the WR&M rules. Light, fast, and infinitely expandable. I always had a blast in Cyberpunk 2020 campaigns in college and wanted something a bit simpler so I could focus less on the rules and more on the game. Best of luck on the next draft! Please give me a holler when you get it ready for public consumption and I’d be happy to write up a review!

  • Just letting ya know….Rough Draft 3 is up at The Chaos Grenade. Would love to hear some feedback!

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