Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Lulu coupon code

25% off your order, good through this Friday night. The fine print:
 
Enter coupon code TIME305 at checkout and receive 25% off your order. The maximum savings for this coupon is $400. Offer good towards print costs only - shipping and tax amounts are excluded. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on July 29, 2011 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate! While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. Transaction must be in US dollars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I'm looking forward to at Gen Con

Following on from Monday's post, I thought I would mention some aspects of this year's Gen Con that I am thinking about the most. Unlike some previous years, there isn't a must-have item for me that is being released for the show. Shadow, Sword and Spell was the big one for me last year. Even so, I am looking forward to:

The OSR booth -- Although there was an small Old School presence among the items at the Tabletop Adventures booth last year, this is the first time we will see an entire booth of OSR publishing at Gen Con. I welcome the chance to browse through some of the items that I wouldn't normally see in the local shops, like OSRIC and some of the modules. I hope someone at the show will have copies of OpenQuest.

Indie/Story Games -- Whatever term you want to use, I would like to (eventually) pick some of the games that I've missed out on so far -- Fiasco, My Life with Master, Microscope, Spirit of the Century, The Shab-al-Hiri Roach, just to name a few. I didn't see IPR on the exhibitor list this year, however.

Chaosium -- This venerable publisher is back at Gen Con after some years. I'd like to take a peek at the 30th Anniversary Edition of Call of Cthulhu, check out any generic BRP books and, with luck, they will have their scratch-and-dent Mythos fiction sale.

Demo games -- I generally do not sign up for games in advance, preferring to keep my schedule open for pick-up games. It also gives me time to check out demonstrations from publishers. One in particular that I'm eager to try is the new Star Trek deck-building card game from Bandai... even if it isn't the Original Series.

Getting books signed --  I enjoy having the chance to talk to some of my favorite game creators and have my books signed. I still need to check the lists of artists and other special guests.

Finding some out-of-print treasures -- You never know what you might find in a dusty, forgotten bin at one of the booths.

Sales on older overstock/warehouse deals -- I'll miss Titan's "Buy One, Get Three Free" sale, but Chimera Hobby Shop always has some great hidden treasures.

Late night gaming in the hotel bar -- Last year we found a booth to play Descent, it was Munchkin the year before... this year we're thinking Castle Ravenloft.

Whatever it is that you enjoy about Gen Con, make the most of it, and have fun!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Preparing for Gen Con

It's less than two weeks until Gen Con, the largest gathering of gamers on the planet. There are many other fine local and regional conventions, but this remains the great gathering of the gaming tribe, set to invade a welcoming Indianapolis with dice, cards and miniatures in hand.

I always enjoy this time before the con when blogs and other gaming sites post their guides and advice for con-goers. Even being a veteran Gen Con attendee, I still find useful and clever information. I'd like to highlight some recent posts that I think are helpful:
 In addition, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association has a page of maps specifically for parking lots and downtown restaurants in PDF format. These maps are worth taking with you on-site for your planning needs.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Godzilla discs in October

Back in April I mentioned that Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock was rumored to have the rights for Godzilla vs. Megalon on DVD. Since then, they have announced the official release of not only Megalon but also Destroy All Monsters on both DVD and Blu-ray on October 25th. Media Blasters posted on their Facebook page that the CD soundtracks for both films are also on the way.

A flyer given out at G-Fest in July has preliminary box art for both, although it appears that MB is still deciding what art to use and what supplements will be on the discs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Upcoming books of interest

Tom Stewart's highly anticipated but often delayed book, Robert E. Howard: The Battle for the Legacy of Conan, was due this month. It appears to be delayed yet again as Diamond Comics Distributors cancelled orders for the book. This is the first book-length work on Howard's literary rights after his death and the course that his work followed through various editors and rights-holders.


The novel adaptation of the Solomon Kane movie was released at the end of June by Titan Books. I still haven't seen the movie yet--I'm holding out hope for a US theatrical release. My interest in the novel is because the author is Ramsey Campbell, who finished some of the Kane fragments for publication in the Bantam paperbacks in the 1970s.

Still no official word on the contents of Conan the Barbarian: The Stories That Inspired the Movie, the paperback collection of original Howard stories. Comments from associate editor David Pomerico indicate that there will be five stories, printed in publication order. A marketing blurb from the Borders website was re-posted on the Conan.com message board and suggests that "Shadows in the Moonlight" and "A Witch Shall Be Born" are two of the five stories. Update: a review of the UK edition was posted on 7/21 at the Conan Movie Blog, although the page count and story list seem to be different.

It appears that at least the first volume of the H.P. Lovecraft omnibus editions is getting a new cover in September. This one seems to be listed as a "Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition", as compared to the previous 1999 black-band Penguin Classics edition, although the page count is exactly the same.

Monday, July 18, 2011

ENnies vote suggestion: Old School Hack

I believe that the ENnies Awards are important for the hobby, perhaps more so now than the Origins Awards because the votes are made by the general gaming public.

With that in mind, I'd like to take a cue from Risus Monkey and The Free RPG Blog and ask that you consider Old School Hack in the Best Free Product category. Not only because it is a great free game (not a quickstart, the full complete rules), but it is the only product from the OSR community eligible for an award this year. Vornheim is an Honorable Mention for Best Aid/Accessory and Stars Without Number is an Honorable Mention for Best New Game.

If you have never voted for the ENnies before, it isn't necessary to vote in every category if you don't know those products. Take a look, however, because one of your favorites from this past year just might be listed. I'm rather partial to Bookhounds of London and The Unspeakable Oath, myself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A random thought

Is there some reason that DVD prices on Amazon seem to fluctuate like the price of gasoline? I could understand price changes if they were on newer releases, but these are prices on older catalog titles. Amazon can display different prices to different customers based on cookies, past buying habits, etc. Is that part of it?

Monday, July 11, 2011

RPG blogger badges at Gen Con

There has been some discussion in posts and comments on several RPG blogs about meeting up in some way at Gen Con. I wondered about a way for bloggers to identify themselves in the crowds at the con. Some years back at an early G-Fest, one member of a Godzilla e-mail list generously offered to print up color badges for any list members who wanted one.

I thought about something like this, maybe using the RPG Blog Alliance logo. Sniderman from The Savage AfterWorld made the comment that he was incorporating his blog header image into the badge holder, which then gave me the idea for this:


I used plain paper as a test. For the real thing I might use thin cardstock and attach it with double-sided tape.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Freeport Adventure Seeds: Kraken Atoll

Kraken Atoll is a ring of sharp, broken volcanic rock in the Southern Ocean approximately 12 days sail due south of Freeport and the Serpent's Teeth. There are several breaks in the atoll allowing ships passage into the calm shallow waters of the lagoon within. The lagoon itself is about 350 yards across.

The Atoll occupies an important location as one of the few islands in that area of the ocean. Due to the lack of solid flat land on the rocky atoll, early visitors began to lash ship hulls to the rocks. Over time a line of hulls were strung across the lagoon two hulls deep, strapped together by lines and held in place by anchors. Most are without masts and far from seaworthy, given over to ramshackle extra decks built over the 'castles and main decks, tarpaulin roofs, built-on stairs or ladders, or portals cut from one gun deck to another with rope bridges in-between. The hulls are in various states of disrepair, although not from barnacles, which are crowded out by the abundant mussel and starfish populations.

This floating city has built up into an important trade settlement and temporary haven for people constantly on the move. It flies no flag. Although Hexworth has recently patrolled the nearby waters in its search for pirates, Kraken Atoll maintains a neutral status and is a frequent stopping point for travelers, merchant traders, fishermen, privateers and smugglers. No questions are asked and answers seldom given--except for the right amount of coin or trade goods. Gossip is a frequently-traded commodity.

Notable personalities:
  • Rebick -- forger; can be found aboard the Wandering Storm
  • Verbeek -- goblin fisherman; in reality the local agent for the goblin information network
***
I will get back to more of my True20 Freeport post-campaign report, but I also wanted to post a few of the locations, personalities, items or scenario seeds that I used during the campaign.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

You've got D&D in my Warhammer Fantasy

"Stereotypical Brit Gamer" Chris posted his Basic/Expert D&D/Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rules mash-up yesterday. Thanks to Jeff Rients for pointing this out. Aside from being a super-cool idea on its own, Jeff also points out the tone of how the text is written and the way Chris notes where his rules bits are originally from and why he used them. I've downloaded the rules but have yet to check them out for myself.

I've been a long-time 40K and Warhammer Fantasy fan. Other than 1e and Red Box D&D, the original Rogue Trader rulebook and White Dwarf magazine were my early entries into the hobby--the last few issues of the Dwarf when they had scenarios for WFRP and still covered D&D and Call of Cthulhu. The British gaming scene of the mid- to late-Eighties really stands out strongly in my consciousness as a gamer.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Star Trek, Avengers, X-Men episodes now streaming on Netflix

Just in time for the long holiday weekend (in the US): Engadget is reporting that the Star Trek episodes promised earlier this year are available starting today. The second and third seasons of the Original Series, all of The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise are up now, with Deep Space 9 appearing in October.
 
Also of interest is the mid-90s X-Men cartoon, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and... Power Rangers.