Sep 172011

Like Doctor Jones says, “Fortune and glory, kid.  Fortune and glory”.

I understand that some of my segues can be quite the stretch, but the Indiana Jones reference here is rather apt.  That is because Fortune and Glory is a pulpy game set in the 1930′s revolving around treasure hunters, gangsters, lounge singers, and femme fatales globe trotting in search of…wait for it…fortune and/or glory.  Just like in Last Night on Earth (from the same company), players choose specific characters, all with their own unique abilities, with which to travel around the massive world map the game comes with battling baddies and collecting treasures.  Listen to Indy and take a peak at Fortune and Glory.

Grab some gear, become a legend.  You can accomplish both of these tasks for the world of Shadowrun by picking up this week’s new hardcover releases of Runner’s Black Book and Street Legends.  Both editions help to flesh out the deep, dark, dank world of Shadowrun in separate but equally grimy ways.  First up, the Runner’s Black Book is all about hardware. Hardware like the new Kriss X Submachine Gun and the TPP light pistol.  Plus it reprints and collects vehicle and weaponry information from previous releases like Deadly Waves, Gun Heaven, MilSpec Tech, This Old Drone, and Unfriendly Skies.  Second would be the mythical tome that is Street Legends.  Detailing the stats, back stories, and adventures of various famous runners, vampire hunters, and shadowy figures of the universe, Street Legends is the perfect way for a game master to expand their story.

Turn the gears, pump the valves, and steady the blimp ’cause Airship Pirates is off the starboard bow.  Steampunk lovers out there take notice because Airship Pirates is the new roleplaying game from Cubicle 7 (makers of such dandy RPGs as Doctor Who and The One Ring) set in a futuristic Victorian world where blimpships hover over the putrid clockwork cities below.  Based off of steampunk band Abney Park’s lyrics, this initial book in the Airship universe gives players and GMs, alike, all the information they need to be able to create a campaign, characters, and obstacles for a successful night of highskies adventure.

Continuing on the RPG bandwagon (What would that look like, by the way?  Lots of Mountain Dew I’m assuming.), the original master of the medium, Dungeons & Dragons, releases both a new supplement and a new adventure this week.  Both begin with M, coincidentally.  Anyway, Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium (please don’t make me type that again) is up first with numerous items of various magical, mystical, and monetary value.  Intelligent dungeon masters can use this book and the item-based story suggestions within to create a riveting quest for their players.  Next is Madness at Darmore Abbey, which is an adventure intended for 6th to 8th level characters.  Set in a former monastery that has now become a monstery, this adventure will challenge players as they face off against some of the worst creatures lurking in the dark. This box set includes every bit and piece players will need to run the adventure.

What’s that?  You didn’t get enough pulpy goodness with the first game?  Well, okay, we’re at your service.  In that effort, here’s the new expansion/standalone edition of The Adventurers, The Pyramid of Horus.  Also filled with all kinds of Indiana Jones homages, this threequel to the original Adventurers game from Fantasy Flight is set in a new local peppered with equally deadly traps and treasures.  Each person involved selects one of eight character options then begins searching through the pyramid amidst sharp, squirming, and striking dangers for artifacts.  Whoever makes it out with their head still attached to their shoulders wins.  Oh, and if the regular non-painted miniatures included with the game are not vivid enough for you, a separate set of pre-painted minis was released along with the game.  Buy a hat, a whip, and Sean Connery and you are good to go.

Okay, enough with this pulp stuff.  Let’s get into some dark, spookiness.  GURPS delivers on that front with a new flavor of setting in Horror.  If you’re looking to run a campaign outside of the normal fantasy setting, these hardcover editions are the perfect solution.  Horror, specifically, supplies tips and suggestions for both game masters and players on not just how to run a horror-themed game, but also the genre, in general.  Countless character archtypes sit alongside stats for hordes of nasty creatures (including everyone’s favorite, evil clowns).  Two campaign outlines are also included in the book to give another helping hand on getting going.

That H.P. Lovecraft guy certainly gets around, doesn’t he?  Another in the long line of Arkham Horror products, Elder Sign is a new spin on the classic explore-the-creature-infested-mansion structure.  Instead of using miniatures and a map, gamers play with a combination of dice and cards to gain courage and skill points that allow them to purchase objects, eventually shooting for the titled elder sign so that they can close off the Great One’s entrance into this world.  Special dice are also rolled to determine the obstacles and adventures that will unfold during the course of the game.  As the game serves one to eight participants, those who love Arkham Horror, but grow tired of the set-up phase, might find this a quicker, less part-heavy version of the game.

To wrap things up tonight, Bears!.  That’s all, thanks.

Okay, maybe a little more.  Bears! is a new entry in the growing trend of easy to learn, easier to play dice games, such as Zombie Dice, Martian Dice, and Cthulhu Dice.  Not surprisingly, maybe, these are not Yogi-and-Boo-Boo-type bears.  These are gnaw-on-your-fleshy-bits bears.  A dice pairing game at heart, players select which point nabbing strategy to explore:  shoot the bears or sleep through the attack.  Using a hand of five dice, everyone pairs their own rolled dice with a ones piled in the center of the table.  Certain combinations are worth different point values, but don’t worry, those are all outlined on a handy dandy reference chart.  That’s the game.  Heeeey, Boo Boo!

Feb 262011

MtG Event Decks

I think we can all agree that a brain sounds rather tasty, every now and then.  Or maybe I just think that because of this strange bite on my arm.

Whatever the case, Give Me the Brain, from Steve Jackson Games, sounds incredibly enjoyable.  Players control a group of zombie hamburger joint employees as they attempt to complete their daily tasks.  Only a handful of those tasks actually require a brain, though.  And, by the by, if you don’t want to remove and use a player’s actual brain, the game comes with one.  This card game has made the rounds for a couple of years, but, as we’ve just gotten it back in stock and have a number of rabid Steve Jackson fans out there, we thought we’d point it out anyway.

Another restock comes from Flying Frog Productions, makers of Last Night on Earth.  The game is Conquest of Planet Earth and, though, it has some traits similar to Last Night, overall it becomes a completely different experience.  Conquest has players choosing to play one of ten alien races invading the planet and then using them to battle humanity.  Each race has different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.  The contents include four different scenarios of play, as well, so that decimating Earth remains fresh and fun.  Also, another Flying Frog regular, a CD of ambient music is included to set the mood.

The sea is a harsh mistress.  Even more so if you’re in an alternate timeline where Dwarfs, Orcs, and other races battle it out in giant ships of doom…on the high seas.  If you’re unfamiliar with this world but interested, you might want to look into the Uncharted Seas Rulebook.  Within its crisp, well-organized pages are the basic fighting rules, sections on hits, ramming, running repairs, and other topics, as well as pages for tokens and templates.  If what you see within strikes your fancy, Pulp carries a healthy number of the ship and monster miniatures you’ll want to follow the rulebook up with.

The dystopian future is a harsh mistress…eh, doesn’t work as well.  But nonetheless true.  Spartan Games not only produces Uncharted Seas, but Dystopian Wars, too.  So, if you’re flavor is less high seas battle and more global warfare (or both) then the Dystopian Wars Rulebook is worth a peruse.  Once again contained in a glossy tome, the rulebook for Dystopian Wars explains everything players will need to know for running land, sea, or air conflicts.  The rules are also constructed to support speedy muli-player gaming with a hefty number of miniatures.  Advanced Victorian realities (lot of those cropping up recently) are also a hoot, so I’d advice giving Spartan’s a try.

We’ve carried it for awhile now, but never like this.  Hive Carbon drops this weekend and, in the process, gives gamers the fastest, easiest way to own all the Hive gaming essentials.  If you’re not familiar with Hive, though, the game has players attempting to surround each others’ queen bee token using other bugs, each with their own movement rules; think bug chess.  Hive Carbon contains the original base game along with the two expansion, Mosquito and Ladybug, that have been released.  Unlike the original versions, Carbon’s pieces are presented in slick black and white.

Or if you’re interested in the original, color base game or the Ladybug expansion, Pulp has recently received a restock on both of them.

Survive:  Escape from Atlantis proves that Atlantis exists, then swiftly blows it up.  Yes, similar to the Downfall of Pompeii boardgame, Survive is a race to live.  Each player controls a number of Atlantean citizens fleeing from their, soon to be, volcanic homeland either by boat or old-fashioned swimming.  Aw, but the waters around Atlantis are filled with numerous monsters that are exceptionally eager to gnaw on passersby.  This newly re-released version of the game includes new Challenge rules as well as an updated board and game pieces.  For anyone who buys the game and enjoys it, there will be a Squid monster expansion coming in very soon, as well.

And now for the Magic the Gathering minute.  Actually, I don’t have any clue how long it will take you to read this, but minute works alteration-wise.  Wizards released a new form of pre-built deck this week in the Event Deck.  Infect and Defile is a blue/black infect deck and Into the Breach is a red fire/lightening deck.  Both contain a main 60 card deck along with a 15 card sideboard, a deck box, and a life counter.  If you want to brush-up on the exact cards included in the deck, click on this link.