2019 is an important year for two popular games, Battletech and Shadowrun.
BattleTech will celebrate its 35th anniversary, while Shadowrun marks its 30th.
Catalyst Game Labs will spend the whole of 2019 celebrating, and will kick off Jan. 23 with special sales and asks fans to download logos for social media to help spread the word of the anniversaries.
BattleTech will have a Beginner Box, A Game of Armored Combat boxed set, Sourcebook, and t-shirts, hoodies and pins with the logo available for purchase. There will also be a PDF version of The BattleMech Manual available and re-released anniversary editions of the Warrior Trilogy Novels.
Shadowrun will have t-shirts, hoodies and pins available, as well as PDF versions of its Sourcebook No Future and the Anarchy supplement Chicago Chaos.
More information on these promotions and upcoming ones can be found at the Catalyst Game Labs website here.
CMON Ltd has announced plans to launch Trudvang Legends on Kickstarter in 2019 will be a storytelling board game and is based on the Swedish RPG Trudvang Chronicles (RiotMinds) set in the fantasy world of Nordic and Celtic Myths. Players will quest through this mysterious land using a series of Adventure Books. With the vast number of choices and inter-connectivity of the sagas the players create there is unlimited replayability in the game. With highly detailed miniatures and stunning artwork Trudvang Legends is sure to be an exciting adventure into Norse and Celtic mythology!
For all you board game collectors out there like me who don’t have time to play the games on your shelves, now you can do the next-best thing – read about them. A gorgeous hardcover book celebrating the 2018 year of board games is now looking for funding on Kickstarter.
An experienced group of gaming journalists has joined forces to create “The Board Game Book” – a 250+ page digest filled with insights and analysis as well as in-depth interviews with some of the most popular board game designers in the business. With dedicated chapters on family games, party games, strategy games, and more, this book is a valuable resource for all gamers, from experienced players to new entrants into the hobby.
The book contains more than 100 critical write-ups of 2018’s best games, supporting the stories with stunning full-color game photography. In addition, the book contains chapters dedicated to RPGs and miniature wargames, written by expert authors.
Rather than mechanical details, we’ll focus on how games feel: the decisions they throw at players, the atmosphere they foster around the table, and how their creators have melded ideas and influences to create compelling gameplay experiences.
A 20-page, work-in-progress draft of the book is available for perusal on the Kickstarter page. The final book will be available in both a digital and hardback version.
About the authors
Owen Duffy – board game journalist for The Guardian, Tabletop Gaming Magazine, Ars Technica, VICE, and IGN.
Matt Thrower – author of the Haynes Tabletop Gaming Manual and a contributor to The Guardian, IGN, PC Gamer, and Shut Up & Sit Down.
Teri Litorco – contributing editor at Geek & Sundry and author of The Civilized Guide To Tabletop Gaming.
Richard Jansen-Parkes – roleplay gaming writer for Tabletop Gaming Magazine and publisher of RPG adventures at Winghorn Press.
Fantasy Flight Games may have just announced the conclusion of the Star Wars LCG, but the Star Wars RPG continues to go strong after 30 years. So to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the RPG being released, FFG is going to be releasing and all-in-one edition of the core rules from when they were first released. Not only will you find all the rules and templates you need to create characters, it also includes all the information and handy tips for being the game master as well. So whether you are a player or the GM in the Star Wars universe, this new set is worth checking out. You can find out more on FFG’s website, and look for this on shelves this year.
Also in the RPG world we have a new partnership, this time between Renegade Games and Hunter Books. While you all know about Renegade Games, you may not know Hunter Books, the publishers of Kids on Bikes, Outbreak Undead, and the ABCs of RPGs. What this new partnership means is that RPG products from Hunter Books will be distributed through Renegade Games, making their unique RPGs available to more people. You can read more about the partnership on Renegade Games’ website, and look forward to seeing these RPG books on more store shelves soon.
In 1977 RPG’s were still in their infancy when Steve Jackson and Metagaming got together and published one of the first point-based systems out there, The Fantasy Trip. I recall playing it in 1978 or 1979 and being blown away at the flexibility of the system compared to the other RPGs I was familiar with way back then.
Characters in TFT were defined by only 3 stats: Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence (ST, DX, IQ). Humans started with a base of 8 in each stat, and 8 more points to allocate as the player wished. Demi-humans had different starting stats and some special abilities. Action resolution was handled by rolling 3d6 against the relevant stat and attempting to get equal to or lower (after modifiers) than your stat to get a success. It was innovative and successful at the time and my middle school friends and I played often.
Then in 1983, Metagaming shuttered its doors and Steve Jackson was unable to secure the rights to his game, and he began focusing his efforts on a new system that would offer more detail and be more universally applicable, eventually publishing himself as GURPS Basic Set (first edition). This game found even more love and more acclaim for many, many years.
Well, according to this post from the man himself, Steve Jackson Games has finally secured the rights to the eight The Fantasy Trip titles that he wrote. He is still deciding what exactly will become of TFT at this point, but having it back is certainly a cause for players and fans of the game to celebrate.
Things got super busy in my neck of the woods and so last week got lost in the shuffle, but luckily for us most KS campaigns last a month, so I can pick up right where I left off and show you all some quality Kickstarters to check out. First up is is a new game in a previously established universe, and that is Chronicles of Frost from NSKN Games, a deck building game set in the Mistfall universe. In this adventure each hero player will have an exploration quest and a search quest that they will have to accomplish in order to win the game. Playing the game is similar to other deck builders with some differences, mainly the exertion system that NSKN has come up with. What this does is that every card available has a normal ability and an exertion add on, meaning that if you perform the action and then spend the skills or health to exert yourself, you increase the effectiveness of that card quite a bit. But there is a limit to how much you can exert yourself, so you have to use it carefully as you go along. When you use cards they will give you better equipment, movement/exploration points to explore the board, attack power, and resolve, the currency in the game. Build up your hero and take on the monsters roaming the land to complete your quests and win. For more info you can check out the Kickstarter campaign to be able to back for your own copy.
Up next is a campaign aimed mostly at the ladies in the gaming world, and that is board game jewelry called Tabletop Talismans. This campaign is offering people the opportunity to get necklaces, bracelets, key chains, and even earrings featuring the quintessential board game piece, the meeple. This meeple is a shiny aluminum version so that it is durable, light weight, and shines nicely in the light, and is being offered in several different colors. So if you want to get some meeple themed jewelry, check out their Kickstarter page.
Next on the list is a sequel/expansion to the game Best Treehouse Ever, and that is Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun. This expansion takes the original games and brings it into the forest, and with it some new mechanisms to help spice up the gameplay. At it’s heart this is a drafting game where you are drafting different rooms to place in your treehouse to score the most points each round. With the game being moved to the forest you now have additional bits like unique player powers based on where you are in the forest, animal cards that score based on room placement, and brand new room cards for a fresh game. Of course this can be mixed with the original game, and there are even included rules to play the game with 8 people, so if you enjoyed the first game, this will just give you more of what you love. To get this game you will have to hurry, the campaign ends on the 9th so check it out!
After that we have the digital game of the article, and that is One Deck Dungeon Digital from Handelabra Games. This campaign was originally a stretch goal from the One Deck Dungeon Forest of Shadows Kickstarter, but they didn’t make it during that campaign so the digital adaptation was put on hold. However, with Asmadi partnering with Handelabra Games, the possibility of a digital version of the game has been revived and launched on Kickstarter. So in this campaign you will be getting the game One Deck Dungeon in digital format through steam. This means that now where ever you have a computer with steam on it, you can pull out this highly rated solo game and delve through the dungeon. The game includes everything from the base game, an excellent layout with all needed information easily accessible, a campaign mode, and animations and graphics to elevate the game from it’s physical counterpart. So if you are looking for a nice digital version of the game, check out this Kickstarter today.
Next up is a game from Ankama Games, makers of the highly regarded Krosmaster Arena, where you are trying to scare students out of their wits. Monster Slaughter is a game where you take command of different groups of monsters like vampires, werewolves, zombies, or golem to scare some students. On your turn you will take actions by rolling dice, and based on the number of successes you get will determine if the action succeeds, how much damage you do, or how many cards you can draw. This is a competitive game where each player has a specific order in which they want to eliminate the students in, and so you will be playing cards to help yourself, but also help the students if they are getting picked on too soon for you. Everything about the game is quick and light and in the end, whoever matched the elimination order the best will be the winner. So if this monster movie type game is your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.
And finally we have the reprint of the list, and that’s the Folklore: The Affliction second printing. Folklore: The Affliction is the horror themed RPG board game which aimed to turn a typical pencil and paper RPG into a self contained game. In this game you are fighting the evil that has come upon the land, wolves, ghosts, vampires, and the undead. Like an RPG you will be traveling around the world using a map of the land, and as you reach places in the world you will be able to zoom down onto adventure maps which are a couple tiles in size to explore that area. You will play over a series of chapters to make up an entire campaign, and each of those chapters are playable within about an hour, allowing you to still play and progress the story even if you don’t have a lot of time. So if you missed out on the first campaign, or if you heard great things and want to get into it now, check out the Kickstarter page today.
PAX Unplugged, the newly launched tabletop gaming arm of the PAX conventions, has officially announced the guests and events they will be featuring on the main stage. They are going to have a Dungeons and Dragons focus for this inaugural year with popular web series Critical Role, Dice, Camera, Action, and Acquisitions Inc. doing live shows. Friday night, Dice, Camera, Action will have “Wizards of the Coast’s resident Dungeon Master, Chris Perkins take Holly Conrad, Jared Knaubenbaur, Anna Prosser Robinson, Nathan Sharp, and an unannounced special guest, deeper into the jungles of the Chult“. Saturday evening will have some of the cast of Critical Role talking about their past adventures in Vox Machina as well as answer questions and preview the next campaign. Saturday night will see the likes of Chris Perkins, Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins, Patrick Rothfuss, and special guest star Kate Welch play Dungeons and Dragons live on the main stage with Acquisitions Inc. And finally, for those sticking around to the end, you will get to see the debut of PAX Unplugged’s spinoff to Acquisitions Inc. called “C” Team, being played by Amy Falcone, Kris Straub, Kate Welch, Ryan Hartman, and Penny Arcade and PAX co-founder Jerry Holkins. So if you like watching these folks online, you don’t want to miss out on seeing them live at PAX Unplugged. You can read more in the press release below and look forward to seeing them live next month.
Popular Dungeons & Dragons Players Converge on PAX Unplugged
Live performances by Dice, Camera, Action!, Critical Role, Acquisitions Inc.
The panel line-up for PAX Unplugged 2017
, the inaugural tabletop-focused PAX event, will feature Penny Arcade’s Acquisitions Inc.
, Geek & Sundry’s Critical Role
, and Wizards of the Coast’s Dice, Camera, Action.
Fans unable to join the weekend long celebration of tabletop culture,taking place Nov. 17-19
at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, can watch the action live on Twitch.
Boasting the longest-running show on Dungeons & Dragons
‘ Twitch channel, Dice, Camera, Action! LIVE at PAX Unplugged
will see Wizards of the Coast’s resident Dungeon Master, Chris Perkins take Holly Conrad, Jared Knaubenbaur, Anna Prosser Robinson, Nathan Sharp, and an unannounced special guest, deeper into the jungles of the Chult on Friday, Nov. 17, 8:30pm -11:30pm
at the main stage.
Geek Sundry’s Critical Role
cast, featuring creator Matthew Mercer, actress Marisha Ray, and renowned voice actors Liam O’Brien and Taliesin Jaffe, take the main stage for Critical Role: Talks Machina
on Saturday, Nov. 18
, from 4pm – 5:50pm.
The team will dive into the past adventures of Vox Machina, what may be in store for the next campaign and answer questions from fans.
Previously enjoyed by tens of thousands at PAX West and PAX East, Penny Arcade’s live-performance Dungeons & Dragons
game, Acquisitions Inc.: The Series
will take the main stage on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 8:30pm – 11:30pm.
Featuring Penny Arcade and PAX co-founders Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, The Kingkiller Chronicle
‘s author Patrick Rothfuss as Viari, and special guest star Kate Welch as Rosie Beestinger, Acquisitions Inc.LIVE at PAX Unplugged
will also feature Wizards of the Coast’s Chris Perkins reprising his role as Dungeon Master.
Debuting for the time at a PAX, Acquisitions Inc.: “C” Team LIVE at PAX Unplugged
will feature Penny Arcade’s Acquisitions Inc.
spinoff ‘”C” Team.’ Join industry personalities Amy Falcone, Kris Straub, Kate Welch, Ryan Hartman, and Penny Arcade and PAX co-founder Jerry Holkins, as they fumble through a special one-off game in which a total party kill is almost certain, Sunday, Nov. 19, 11am – 2pm
on the main stage.
Tickets for PAX Unplugged 2017 are currently on sale via the official registration page
. Three-Day Tickets are $60 USD while Friday Only, Saturday Only, and Sunday Only Tickets are $25 USD. Sunday Kids Day Tickets (for children age 6-12) are also available for $10 USD.
Part of Penny Arcade’s international roster of events, which also include West, East, South, and Australia, PAX Unplugged is a hybrid of digital and analog tabletop gaming, giving card and board game enthusiasts a dedicated event to celebrate their rich and thriving culture. Reflecting the experience millions of PAX attendees have enjoyed for more than a decade, visitors will have the opportunity to see the reveal of new and exciting titles, go hands-on with upcoming games, partake in tournaments and sit-in on panels headlined by the industry’s leading minds.
“The mission of PAX Unplugged is simple,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of Penny Arcade and PAX. “We want to recognize the tabletop community that’s grown year over year at our events with a show just for them. It’s going to be pretty amazing first outing, and I can’t wait to attend the show myself.”
or Penny Arcade Expo is a festival for gamers to celebrate gaming culture. First held in Seattle in 2004, PAX has nearly doubled in size each successive year, with PAX Prime 2014 selling out of tickets in a matter of minutes. Connecting the world’s leading game publishers with their most avid and influential fans, PAX expanded with a second show in Boston in 2010 and a third in San Antonio in 2015, making it the three largest gaming shows in North America. The first international PAX was held in Melbourne, Australia in 2013. In 2017, Penny Arcade announced PAX Unplugged, its first tabletop focused show, to be held in Philadelphia.
is a web comic focused on video games and video game culture, written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. With over 3.5 million readers, it is the most popular and longest running gaming web comic online. Penny Arcade is also responsible for the Child’s Play Charity, the Penny Arcade gaming expos (PAX) in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Melbourne, multiple videogames based on the brand, and multiple online video series.
is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture world. ReedPOP is dedicated to celebrations of popular culture throughout the globe that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) West, East, South, Australia and Unplugged, Emerald City Comicon (ECCC), BookCon, BookExpo, Oz Comic-Con, Comic Con India, Paris Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, Star Trek: Mission New York, TwitchCon, ComplexCon and more. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan-based group of professionals uniquely qualified to serve those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, India and Australia.
Fantasy Flight Games isn’t done with Eldritch Horror yet, as they have just announced the next expansion for the game, Masks of Nyarlathotep. Those who are players of the Call of Cthulhu RPG may recognize that title, as it is one of the iconic adventures that you can undertake in the RPG. So with that in mind, not only is FFG adding this new expansion to Eldritch Horror, but Chaosium will be updating and reprinting the Masks of Nyarlathotep RPG campaign. You can read more about the RPG on the Chaosium website, so lets talk a bit more about the Eldritch Horror expansion.
In this expansion for Eldritch Horror you will be getting a ton of new cards in order to fight this horror which can change forms as easily as you change clothes. In addition to the extra spells, items, allies, as well as monsters and events, you will gain access to character specific back stories. Each of these back stories have different success and failure conditions, and depending on which you trigger, will either give you a helpful boost, or just drag you down further. Also new in this expansion is the addition of a campaign system, allowing you to play multiple games in a row, with the state between games not resetting. This will amp up the stress and theme even more as you will have to deal with the long term consequences of the status ailments you accumulate over the course of the game. So if you like Eldritch Horror and want even more content, check out the FFG website for more info and look for it on store shelves in the first quarter of 2018.
One of the greatest video game franchises of all time will be adapted by Fantasy Flight Games in 2017 for tabletop gamers. FFG has announced that Fallout: The Board Game will hit tables in Q4 2017.
Based on Bethesda’s blockbuster video games, Fallout: The Board Game will put 1-4 adventurers in a post-nuclear landscape inspired by the worlds represented in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
The Great War of 2077 is so long past there is no place in your memory for its events, but the barren landscape before you has its own story to tell. Immaculate homes which once housed seemingly perfect families and busied Mr. Handys have been transformed into empty shells. Humans wander the wasteland among mutated creatures and rogue robots, in search of little more than survival. You are now among them. Sure, this world might be a mere shadow of its former glory, but plenty of adventure and mystery still await a brave traveler. And your adventure has only just begun…
Only a few locations are available on their map at the beginning of the game and players will have to make tough choices as to whether or not to work together or as individuals when exploring this world.
Scenario Based Gameplay
Each scenario begins with a few landmarks to guide you on your quest. The base game includes four scenarios which will be very familiar to franchise fans; The Capital Wasteland, The Pitt, The Commonwealth, and Far Harbor. While key locations are predetermined based on the scenario, the rest of the map territory is variable when setup. Scenario setup will also determine which two factions will be available to play.
The back of the scenario card will include a progress track for each faction, with the game ending when one faction reaches the end of the track, though that faction may not end up the winner.
Much like the video games, choices made along the journey are what make up the adventure. Players will decide whether to pursue experience or Caps, collect loot or add loyal companions to the party, and most critically decide when to continue to progress in the main quest and when to head in a slightly different direction. The scenarios are driven by cards that will provide actions that will need to be completed to move the story in the game forward and moving towards the completion of a main quest, while also providing a path towards side quests.
The game pushes back as time ticks by. While players move around the board filling inventory and building skill, warring factions will be gaining power and will force players to pledge loyalty or defy conformity while working towards establishing themselves as the most influential player in the wasteland.
While the journey is what defines Fallout: The Board Game, someone needs to be a winner. Influence cards will be collected as quests and actions are completed, earning you glory.
Fantasy Flight Games has provided a walkthrough of some of the key cards (character cards, influence cards) and concepts (HP, possessions, XP, special tokens) in their product launch announcement.
While Fantasy Flight Games has listed Fallout: The Board Game as a Q4 2017 game, attendees to the sold out GenCon 2017 can likely expect game components inside a glass case at the FFG booth.
Fallout Video Games
The Fallout Video Game series dates back 20 years, with the first Fallout game having been released in 1997, with seven additional games and spinoff games having been released since then.
The reception to the first game cemented the legacy of the franchise. The game was ranked as the fourth best PC game of all time by PC Gamer, and has been inducted in the video game Hall of Fames by Computer Gaming World, GameSpot, GameSpy and IGN. The Smithsonian featured the game in their “Art of Video Games” exhibit alongside Fallout 3. Gamespot included the game in a list of 10 best video game endings, while Game Informer featured it in a list of top game openings.
Building off the content of seven video games, Fantasy Flight Games will have plenty of material to develop future expansions should Fallout: The Board Game find any of the success of the original video games.
Wizkids, publishers of the most popular RPG, Dungeons and Dragons, are releasing a pre-painted miniature line with a focus on bringing younger kids into the RPG world. The line will feature younger characters with special abilities and animal companions that travel with them. In the setting of the RPG they travel in, “fledgling adventurers gain their powers and abilities at a young age, allowing them to defeat the evil creatures in their world. Their powers, however, are fleeting. As the children grow, they begin to lose their powers over time. When they enter adulthood, most forget they ever adventured in the first place as everyday responsibilities take hold.”
The miniature line looks great, and the RPG setting sounds interesting, so look forward to this new line to launch in early 2018. You can check out Wizkids’ website for more information and to see the figure designs.
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