News from Around the Net: 3-FEB-2012

February!?! Where’d January go? Geesh!

Here in Colorado, the snow started to fly last night and we are in the first real winter storm in 2012. What does that mean for yours truly? Not much really… I work from home. 🙂 But it will hopefully give me some time to work on a few side projects and get some reviews squared away for next week.

In other news, I’ve lucked into another gaming group recently. Jason and the guys are playing a long-term 4E campaign and we played for about five and a half hours last Sunday night. What filled the majority of the session was a three stage combat with varying waves of undead and an entertaining “Big Creature on Campus” at the end. If it wasn’t for a killer headache I had through a couple hours of the event I might have been a bit more with it as midnight approached.

Of course, that event (and the potential of gaming with Justin’s group the next day, though it was canceled) led to a post. So if you’re interested in potentially winning a $10 gift certificate to RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, chime and offer your best advice for an aging gamer who was more than a little wiped out come Monday morning. There have already been some interesting stories of much better time management than I usually apply and I’ll sum up the sage advice in next Wednesday’s post.

And if you missed it, the kind folks at Nevermet Press (thanks Jonathan!) set me loose on the NMP blog this week. I’m detailing a systemless setting you can drop into a fantasy or modern campaign if you have a desert that’s just crying out for a demonic adventure seed. Sometime in the next week or so I hope to have the next post in the series ready to go describing some of the fun personalities at play in the Oasis of Del Foor. Be sure to check it out!

So that’s it for me… Let’s get to some news, shall we?

Food for Thought

Games and Gaming

Publisher News


That’s it for this week on the news front. If I fit much more into this post it may explode. But be sure to check out the Bundlr links below for others I couldn’t fit in!

If you need a bit more of a news fix, check out “The Weekly Assembly” @ The Gamer Assembly and Chris Hackler’s “What’s Up With D&D?” @ ENWorld this week.

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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4 comments to News from Around the Net: 3-FEB-2012

  • Thanks for the link and the prominent mention, Fitz. Can you put your finger on the reasons why you sometimes like Alternate Histories and sometimes don’t?

    If not, permit me to offer my own theory (based on why I feel the same way). There are three things that an alternate history can work, but if any of the three are missing, the Alternate History falls short and is on shaky ground; any further flaws and it will collapse under its own weight.

    #1, the alternate history has to feel reasonably plausible. You can strain credibility a little here and there, but the essential elements have to make sense.

    #2, the alternate history has to be interesting. An alternate form of the history of the Babylonian Empire would not excite very much. That’s why there are so many alternate histories based on WWII and not so many about the Vietnam and Korean conflicts. This goes beyond the era, though – the premise has to be interesting as well.

    And, #3 (in media or an RPG) there has to be a good reason for having an alternate history in the first place! This last one is so self-evident – and so not necessary in a collection of alternate histories – that it is often overlooked, leaving the alternate history vulnerable to failures in the other areas.

    That’s my theory – any comment?

    • Fitz

      @Mike Bourke – You betcha. I’m a fan of real history and though I like to ponder the occasional what if, most of them tend to focus on major events that have been bludgeoned to death like WWII’s classic “What would have happened if Hitler won?” I’m much more interested in stories (like the recent urban fantasy The Thirteen Hallows) that use the timeline as a solid base and then reinterpret events in the past through different lenses – such as magic or technology.

      Ultimately I think it comes down to enjoyment. If I’m reading a story with an alternate history and it *feels* like a history lesson, it’s not entertaining enough and I’ll likely put it down.

      That said, I definitely see your three points. Plausibility, interest, and having a good reason to exist all make perfect sense. But for me the “interest” comes down to “entertainment value” more than any scholarly interest.

  • Thanks for the links Fitz. I’m glad you enjoyed the Hellmouth. I’ve got quite a few more weird dungeons to go from there too 🙂

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