Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free RPG Day 2010 this Saturday

A quick reminder that this Saturday is Free RPG Day, an industry-wide event for local game stores to get players to stop in -- hopefully new players, or regulars playing a new game.

Some highlights this year include the 40K Deathwatch RPG quickstart adventure, a Cthulhu scenario from Goodman Games, the quickstart for Prime Directive (the Star Fleet Battles RPG), and a Dark Sun 4e module.

You can find participating retailers here. Go to your local shop and try something new!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keyboards for Rock Band 3

After the teasing hint at the end of the Green Day Rock Band demo, there has been wild speculation about the possibility of a keyboard added to Rock Band 3. Now with the story (video) in USA Today this morning, it's official.

This is great, exciting news. The new gameplay elements are neat, but the keyboard opens up the possibility for songs by The Doors ("Break on Through" is in the demo video), Journey, Boston, Billy Preston, Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby (OK, maybe I'm dreaming here) and other synthesizer/organ/piano-heavy rock. How about Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression"? Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets"? Van Halen's "Jump"? (a song that could do for RB3 what "You Really Got Me" did for Guitar Hero)

Eventually, Harmonix needs to review some past content and update it for the keyboard controller, such as Boston's "Foreplay/Long Time" from RB1.

In the meantime, I'm dreaming of 80's synth-pop like this:

Monday, June 07, 2010

The end of The Cimmerian

At the end of May, an announcement was made that The Cimmerian blog would be coming to an end on June 11th. This coincides with the Robert E. Howard Days celebration in Cross Plains, Texas this weekend.

For several years now, The Cimmerian Blog has been the main informational site for Howard fans, and so much more. As the subtitle says, a website for "...the best in heroic fantasy, horror and historical adventure." From 2004 to 2008, The Cimmerian was the premier fanzine pro-zine in the Howard community. The blog was a great companion to it, and when the print edition ceased publication the blog continued the tradition.

You can read two good (short) histories of TC and its place in Howard fandom at the Two-Gun Raconteur blog and at the REH United Press Association blog.

Besides the high level of quality inherent in the articles posted there, what I'll miss most is having just one place to go for news. It appears that the articles will be archived at the website of the editor, so past articles won't completely disappear. Any new articles from the team of contributors will be spread among a half-dozen blogs and forums.

I'm also disappointed that I never picked up any print issues of TC. Yet another reason to purchase collectibles and rarities when you have the chance...