News from Around the Net: 20-JAN-12

Welcome to the gaming news roundup for the week of 20-JAN-2012!

This week was “one of those” weeks with work, so I’m gleeful that it’s Friday! Yay!

The debate continued this week about “D&D Next” or “D&D 5e” or “Ultimate Fighting D&D With Kung-fu Grip,” so you’ll see a few stories related to that this week. Plus a general assortment of odds-n-ends.

In addition, I was contacted by some new folks publishing gaming materials (perhaps not new, but new to me), so I want to thank Axel from Headless Hydra Games, Kurt from Terminal Studios, Roderick from Dark Tavern Press, and Brandon from Ignitus Innovation, Inc.. Look forward to reviews or news about products from these folks sometime over the next few weeks and months! (If you’re interested in having me review something, news you’d like me to include in my weekly roundup, or are interested in sponsoring these Friday posts, drop me a line at the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and let’s chat!)

The only other thing I’ll mention before we get going was the SOPA/PIPA outrage this week. I’m not usually a political animal, but SOPA was enough to get me to do something. Though I’m a small blog, I did my part and blacked out the site for part of Wednesday. It seemed that the protest was quite broad across the ‘net, with Wikipedia getting much of the attention in the media. I just hope it was enough to get our lawmakers to open their eyes and consult with technical experts on this. Online piracy is definitely an issue, but there have to better ways of handling it.

So without more gabbin’, let’s dive in, shall we?

Food for Thought

Games and Gaming

D&D Next

Publisher News

  • Raging Swan Press just released So What’s the NPC Like, Anyway? this week, written by Creighton Broadhurst himself! Within its few pages you’ll find tables to help you create hundreds of memorable, well-rounded NPCs. Details include notable physical and personality traits, mannerisms, current activity and profession. I’m looking forward to this one myself, as I’m always looking for quick new ways to create unique NPCs on the fly.
  • I mentioned Dark Tavern Press at the beginning of this post and they’re looking for more backers of their new RPG product – The Shroud of the Ancients, a D5 Role Playing Game created by Randy Miller and Roderick Edwards. The art looks great and the ideas are intriguing – the big hole in the middle of the map for the Lowlands in the World of Terrath is especially curious. I don’t think I’ve seen any worlds with that large a hole in the ground before! Please check it out at their Kickstarter page if you get a chance! They have 11 days left to raise more than $4000 as I write this, so they need the help.
  • Also mentioned was Ignitus Innovation, who back in December 2011 launched their biggest product yet – Steamfunk! Though the name by itself was enough to get my attention, this rules-neutral Steampunk campaign setting has some great ideas for any 1800s or early 1900s-era game you may be running. It’s a gorgeous PDF and I look forward to checking it out soon myself. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • And lastly in the “already mentioned” category is the Mor Aldenn Setting Guide from Headless Hydra Games, which was also added back in December. This campaign guide, written for the Pathfinder RPG, is another
    one that looks great off the bat. The map that comes with the PDF is absolutely gorgeous and detailed, which gives me hope the book lives up to its promise!
  • You may have noticed that I like maps! So I’m always happy to see cartographer Jonathan Roberts’ work come to light. Recently Rite Publishing released a map pack of maps for the Illfrost Temple – the Fantastic Maps: Illfrost Temple Map Pack Set, which includes the temple map, the approach to the temple, and the dungeon beneath.
  • Though WotC has kicked off the “D&D Next” efforts already, they don’t seem content with just working on rules design. I think this is good! Rules are one part of the equation for sure, but helping people find the products and get help figuring out what to do with them are also very important. Bart Carroll at the WotC D&D blog called out some of the changes they’re considering for the web site – and they all sound spot on. Getting folks involved is key, so I’m happy to see this effort.
  • Along the same lines, I found this page at the Third Eye Games site describing the “3EG Adepts” program, which encourages experts in 3EG products to reach out to new gamers and share their passion for 3EG. What do you get in return? Bragging rights, access to pre-release copies of products for testing, discounts, and more. If WotC doesn’t have something similar for D&D, they might want to investigate such a thing.
  • “7 Questions of Doom.” That is so cool. I wish I’d come up with it! Paper & Plastic beat me to it and managed to interview Mike Olson on his involvement with the new Atomic Robo RPG coming from Evil Hat. Some great insight into how designers can be brought into projects.
  • If you’re interested in what “_blank”>Green Ronin is up to in 2012, they cleared that up this week! Apparently 2011 ended well and they have the biggest staff ever, which is awesome. And there’s more Dragon Age on the way, more A Song of Ice and Fire, more Mutants & Masterminds and DC Adventures. It sounds like they’re keeping busy!


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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