News from Around the Net: 09-DEC-2011

I don’t know about you… But as the holidays get closer to closer and my gift shopping doesn’t get done, my blood pressure starts to rise. So imagine my surprise when I started hearing about “Krampus” – a demonic creature who apparently accompanies good old St. Nick during the Christmas season in Alpine countries. Here it’s Santa Claus himself who maintains the “Nice” and “Naughty” lists. Or maybe he uses his elves… I forget. But I think it would be nice to outsource all the scaring of children and giving of coal to a demon on Santa’s sleigh. Certainly would make some of those tired old Christmas specials on TV a bit more interesting!

That said, I have to wonder if I should tell my kids about Krampus this year… They’ve been getting on my nerves a little. 🙂

This week I pinged folks on Google+ to see if anybody had some news to share and lo and behold I got a response! Stephen Newton was kind enough to let me know about some cool news out of Goodman Games about DCC, so be sure to check out in the “Publisher News” section below.

I’ll try and remember to ask for news about the middle of each week, but if you’re a gamer and you find a great story or link you think would help other gamers, or you’re a publisher with news about products and events, or if you’re a convention trying to get the word out to potential gamers – let me know! I’ve set up a new mail address just for news stories, so feel free to drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com! I’d love to hear from you!

I literally had far, far too many links to include this week, so I’ll be saving some of them for next Friday. I may have to start breaking this weekly feature up into smaller features throughout the week to make it a bit more consumable! What do you think about that idea? Leave me your thoughts as comments and I’ll see what I can do…

And with that – on to the week’s bucket ‘o’ links!

Food for Thought

Games and Gaming

Publisher News

  • Goodman Games just gave the OK this week to 3rd party publishers working on material for their forthcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, which means that we should start seeing more DCC products hitting shelves soon. Attack of the Frawgs by Stephen Newton from Thick Skull Adventures is one and both Transylvanian Adventures and Transylvanian Grimoire are coming soon as well from Goodman Games themselves I think, but couldn’t tell from the forum post. Any clarification? And I’d love to talk to someone at Goodman about the forthcoming DCC RPG! (Hint hint!)
  • Chris Tregenza at 6d6 games has been doing some detailed number crunching and deep thoughts regarding 6d6 as a business. And a week ago he asked a critical question about conventions… Are they worth it for small publishers? He offers some critical insights into what it means to be a small publisher along with some hard facts. Definitely worth reading. I look forward to see what other insights he shares with his readers.
  • Kobold Quarterly continues to feature glimpses into the world of Journeys to the West. Designer Christina Stiles details a bit about the Nethuysule, a “blue-purple-skinned humanoid” featuring “vertically placed eyes and a ridged forehead.” The druid in the encounter described offers a few tantalizing tidbits about these undersea plant-based creatures. And then there’s the Morphoi with its crab-based appearance that reminds me a bit of an Umber Hulk but with an ocean flair…
  • Apparently some of the out-of-print titles from White Wolf are alive again in PDF form at And Matt McElroy offers some behind the scenes news about this great news at Flames Rising this week!
  • If you’re into roleplaying adventures during World War II, check out the latest IndieGoGo project from Library of Ancient Scroll – Resistance: Cross of Lorraine. You play the role of French Resistance Fighters during World War II fighting the Nazis in their occupied country. Please check it out and toss a few coins in the pot if you can.
  • How do you feel about bugbears? Bugbears of the Frozen Tears by Jon Bennett from Raging Swan Press offers you a pack of sadistic bugbears stalking
    the tops of the White Cliffs looking for prey… They like causing fear and at the end they take heads as trophies. Can anyone stop these terrors from striking again?
  • New from LPJ Design this week is the NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting which includes more background and new playable options for Pathfinder than you can shake a stick at.
  • Chaotic Shiny has some new toys for you to play with as well – a new Puzzle Converter that takes Sudoku puzzles and chessboards and converts them into pictures full of glyphs, runes, or rocks (it’s pay what you want right now, so definitely check it out); and a new Magical Component Generator that creates all the bits and pieces you might need for a spell, potion, or ritual.
  • I love the concept of five-room dungeons and have used them off and on in gaming with my daughters of late. Well, Rite Publishing shows you just how cool these dungeons can be in their new product – Five Room Dungeon: The Rabbit Hole. Just be sure your characters are level 15 or above!



Lastly this week, I know I’m not the only one who was a bit caught off guard by the article by fugaros this week at How Not to Run a Game Business simply titled “Stop. Making. Games.” This article is so totally opposite to what I think that I wanted to give it a shot. Yet the further I read the more it ticked me off. Be happy that the shelves are packed with products. Encourage people to create more great products to eventually show up on physical or virtual shelves somewhere. But having choices doesn’t mean we’re undermining the gaming industry with crappy games. And bashing prospective designers as “people who have no goddamned right to be making a game” is not just rude but crappy advice. The only way to get better is to try. And the market will sort out what is worth buying and what isn’t. If you don’t want to see the other games, put your blinders back on and leave the store.

Constructive criticism is one thing. But bashing an entire segment of people dedicated to making and playing games? Come on… You’re entitled to your opinion whoever you are, but I definitely don’t have to agree.

I encourage anyone who has an idea to put together a product. Polish it as best you can and put it out there. I’m always happy to check out whatever you may create. And I’ll do my best to say what I like and don’t like, but offer some feedback on why I don’t like it and what I recommend to fix it. I’m just a guy who loves to game and has done the self-publishing thing. I’m not perfect and NOBODY is. But I encourage you to try.

That’s it for this week on the news front.

I hope everybody has a great weekend!

As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next week!

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9 comments to News from Around the Net: 09-DEC-2011

  • Thanks for the link, Fitz. Glad you got some food for thought from the article.

  • Thanks for the shout-out and including our great cover (all credit goes our fabulous graphic designer Catherine Harkins who collaborated with her brother Andrew Harkins for the cover… they deserve all credit there) in your newsletter.

    As for the Transylvania Adventures and Translyvania Grimoire – those two are coming from another 3rd party publisher licensed to produce games for DCC RPG, but not produced by Goodman Games themselves. All the products announced in that 3PP forum (including my stuff) are from 3PPs. Goodman Games has where they describe the adventures and products they’re creating directly.

  • Screwed up my href tag in the link above. Here’s the page to DCC RPG including the adventures they’re producing themselves:

  • I’ve been thinking about the question of whether or not to split the column up into smaller slices, as you suggest you might do. It might be tempting to do so by topic – this day for Games & Gaming, that day for Publisher News, and so on; this preserves uniformity of subject, but at the price of additional administrative overheads. If you seriously intend to look into this, I would spend a few weeks tallying which days of the week you get the most links for inclusion and then split them as evenly as possible, rather than strictly by time. It might be that there would only be 1 or 2 days between link roundups when you do it that way because you are dividing by workload. It would give you a better chance to correlate the possibilities with existing commitments and determine whether or not its a practical solution. Just my 2 cents on the subject.

    • Fitz

      @Mike Bourke – First, thanks so much for actually pondering this question a bit. I appreciate the time. Second, after doing the same on my side, I’m trying something a little different this week.

      I found a tool called Bundlr ( that will allow me to collect links in a bit more visual, consumable fashion than I was doing with Instapaper originally. My hope is that I can surf my Bundlr links for the week, pick maybe 3 of the best for each category, and then embed the rest so people can peruse the entire collection and none get lost. I’m not sure it’s going to help much, but it might focus my efforts down to an hour or 90 minutes and make it a bit more reasonable anyway.

      The problem with breaking it into multiple smaller posts is the fact that my time doubles every day, with a links post and a review or other article. I feel I’m on a good pace these days with articles appearing once a day 6 days a week (thanks to bringing Robert Oglogdzinski from on board – he’s handling my Saturday post), so I don’t want to mess with that too much.

      Thanks again for stopping by with a great suggestion!

  • I appreciate the shout out for my weaksauce review of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium. Thanks!

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