Dec 232011
 

We’re talking ’bout black gold, Texas tea.

And we’re talking about Catan Scenarios Oil Springs. If you’re looking for a simple add-on to liven up your Settlers of Catan game, then the new Oil Springs expansion is that add-on. Adding oil to the mix of resources, players can use it to create any of the standard resources (wood, iron, etc.) as well as building up your cities into Metropolises. However, do this at your own (or other players’ peril) as drilling for the oiling and producing it can cause dramatic shifts in the weather while also polluting the region. Oil Springs is easily the cheapest way to freshen up your Catan game, so if you’ve got the need, do like the Beverly Hillbillies and dig for that bubbling crude.

Speaking of Catan, the two-player card game version, Rivals of Catan, received an expansion this week. Age of Darkness supplies three different theme decks to be incorporated into the base game. Focusing on battles between churches and temples, commercial harbors and merchant’s residences, and barbarians, each deck pits opponent versus opponent, with each receiving and playing different sets of cards.

I know you’ll be filling up on turkey, dressing, or whatever it may be you eat for the holidays, but get ready for a heaping helping of Pathfinder for your bellies.

First up are the shiny goodies. Packed full of the vibrant treasures of the Jade Regent, this new item deck for the setting contains fifty-four illustrated cards representing the sought after artifacts that may appear in a campaign. Game masters looking to add a bit of flare to their game pay heed.

Hailing from the same section of the Pathfinder world as the Jade Regent is the new Dragon Empires Gazetteer. This volume explores the Tian Xia continent, exploring its various regions, offering rule sets for five new character races, detailing the deities worshipped by the region’s residents, as well as countless other information that can add color and detail to a campaign.

In a similar vain, Mysthical Monsters Revisited supplies vast amounts of detail on classic mythical creatures like medusas, hydras, and harpies for game master’s to incorporate into their games.

And if you pick up the new Bestiary 3 along with it, you’ll have more monsters at your command than cans of Mountain Dew drank in the history of roleplaying. As with the previous Bestiary editions, this third volume includes 300 monsters as well as options for familiars, companions, races, and other varied methods of incorporating these legendary beings into your party’s adventure.

If you want to be a pirate, there’s no better pirate to be than a future space pirate! In an effort to aid you with that endeavor, the new Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions hardcover lays out all the minute detail gamers will desire to build and background a crime-based character in the system. These include new career rankings, like swashbuckler and reaver, sections on arming and equipping your ships and yourself, as well as a nemesis orign path generator that can build a formidable foe for your party. Shiver your steampunk timbers, maties, it’s a Hostile Acquisition!

In the course of your skullduggary, maybe you will break into the king’s palace in an effort to storm his treasury. And if you’re going to do that, wouldn’t it be better to have a map to indicate where you’re stealing what? Well, Game Mastery comes to the rescue again with their newest Palace Map Pack. The pack including eighteen tiles that link together to form a throne room, reception chamber, and treasury.

Around this jolly time of year, with the weather crisp and the gifts flowing, there’s one thing you should be thinking about…the horrible tentacled grasp of the Eldar Gods. In that effort, give the give of a new Call of Cthulhu Asylum Pack this year with Into Tartarus. The 60 cards in this deck focus on the global influences of the Ancient Ones.

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!