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!

Aug 152011
 

And by “special” this week translates as “late”.

What isn’t late, but, in fact, early is the freshly returned from Gen Con roleplaying game set in the universe of The Hobbit, The One Ring.  From Cubicle Seven, this new hardcover slipcase contains the first set of core rulebooks in what will become an expansive Tolkien-based roleplaying system.  Taking place five years after the events of The Hobbit, the Adventurer’s Book and Loremaster’s Book (both contained within) grant players and GMs the ability to create and explore the world of Wilderland.  The system received a hefty amount of buzz at Gen Con this year for being a rare Tolkien universe RPG that actually works.  And possibly the best part, if you enjoy the game there are plans to release future expansions that will push the timeline forward, eventually leading to the events of Lord of the Rings.  Oh, and one last thing, if you pre-order with Pulp or purchase one of the copies we currently have in the store (hurry or they’ll be gone!), you gain the option to pick up a promo world map for ten bucks!

When Cthulhu comes calling you can expect it to be a gloomy occasion.  That might be why Atlas Games decided to add a new version of the popular Gloom series to the shelves called Cthulhu Gloom.  As with the regular game, players attempt to maim, massacre, and murder their helpless human cards with whatever tools they have at their disposal.  Here those tools become the madness and insanity of the creepy crawlies that oozed from Lovecraft’s brain.  Opponents can also stall opponents murder spree by keeping their human cards alive with “happiness” and “joy”.  If your sense of humor errs toward the darker and demented, Cthulhu Gloom with have you cackling all night.

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, laddies.  Set in the ancient countryside of merry ole Ireland, in Hibernia players battle to occupy specifically colored regions of the country.  Around the perimeter of the board is a colored track that leads to victory if you follow the order carefully.  Put those two elements together and you realize the strategy of the game is occupying colored regions in a coordinated manner so that you can make it around the track before anyone else.

Coming from the same game designers is Cambria.  Still focusing on the concept of occupation, Cambria has players swatting the Roman legions out of Britannia by surrounding and destroying their forts.  Each fort is given a number between 1 and 6, which coordinates with a D6 that players will roll.  Depending on the numbers, they will then place colored wooden markers on roads leading up to a fort with the same markings.  Once a fort has been surrounded, points are distributed to the player who did the most, uh, surrounding.

The deck building trend of the last couple of years receives an infusion of freshness with Wizkids hit game from Gen Con, Quarriors!.  That freshness comes in the form of dice and, boy howdy, are there are ton of them.  130 of them, to be exact, are contained within the stylish tin box the base game comes in.  Much like Dominion or Ascension, a set of cards is laid out in the center of the table.  What differs here is that players will not purchase the cards, but dice that are sitting next to them.  All a player’s dice are kept in one of the four silk dice bags that come with the game and used (depending on which one of the six sides/abilities was rolled) to either purchase more dice, reroll dice, or attack opponent’s creatures.  A beautifully designed, highly replayable game, Quarriors! is the love child of Dominion, Magic the Gathering, and Zombie Dice.  Also, for those who love free stuff, Pulp has a limited number of promo card sets that you get when you purchase a copy of the game.