Thursday, August 29, 2013

'80s D&D commercial

As io9 said "makes it look satanic and lame". How did D&D take off so much with this marketing?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Star Wars RPG (FFG) resources

A resource of fan made material for the STAR WARS RPG by Fantasy Flight Games.

This is inspired from a thread on the Fantasy Flight Games message boards that somehow still isn't pinned to the top of the forums. And, actually might not be able to be pinned. I don't know, but here is a collection of fan made resources. This is an amazing pool of talent, especially for a game so young.

Since it looks like the thread won't be pinned on that forum, I hope this blog post can act in that same function. One should be able to bookmark this page and link directly to that thread in the above link (or right here).





Character Sheets
NPC Sheets
Stat Blocks by C. Steven Ross more info about the stat blocks here
Edge of the Empire
Age of Rebellion
Vehicle Sheet

Cheat Sheets/References

Talent Trees



Additional and Alternate Rules

Alternate Settings

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blake's 7 on XBox

Here's some interesting news. Instead of coming to the small screen or even the big screen, Blake's 7 is becoming a video game.
Blake's 7, the classic BBC science fiction show, is coming back.
A Microsoft-funded reprise of the 1978-1981 series is headed to the Xbox Live service, according to The Financial Times (paywall), replacing earlier plans to revive the show on the SyFy channel. SyFy's choice of director, Martin Campbell, will still helm the new production.
Blake's original run (available on euro-region DVD) offered all the hallmarks of British TV SF from the era: moral ambiguity, aspirations to realism, and distinctly wobbly sets. "No 'boldly going' here," wrote The Independent's Robert Hanks in a 1998 retrospective. "Instead, we got the boot stamping on a human face."

Set in the distant future, Blake's 7pits a group of dissidents against the authoritarian Earth Administration. Melding The Dirty Dozen with space opera and an infusion of current affairs, it received high ratings but fell victim to Thatcher-era cuts and critical disdain. Devised by Terry Nation, the scriptwriter responsible for Doctor Who's Daleks, it kept a cult following long after its demise. The flame was kept alive by novels, comics and radio plays.
The show joins Microsoft's production of a Steven Spielberg-produced sci-fi show, based on its popular game series Halo, in its lineup for this year's forthcoming XBox One console. Microsoft is gearing up to do battle with Amazon and Netflix, providers of online services who have invested heavily in original productions.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The STAR WARS show on ABC?

ABC has started talks with LucasFilm about a live-action television show- usually it would be the other way around. Since last time this 100 episode project was talked about, Lucas was saying he wanted to wait until CG was better able to handle it or something. Now, perhaps CG is better able to handle it AND Lucas is no longer running the franchise.

(Reuters) - ABC television executives are talking with George Lucas' Lucasfilm studio about making TV shows based on characters developed by the studio that created the "Star Wars" franchise, according to the president of Disney's ABC Entertainment Group.
"We've started conversations with them," Paul Lee told a gathering of TV critics meeting Sunday in Beverly Hills. "I have an inkling in my mind, but they have a lot on their plate."
Disney bought Lucasfilm in October for $4.1 billion and has said it intends to make a seventh "Star Wars" film in 2015 and a new one every two or three years thereafter. 
This autumn, ABC will begin airing "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," it's first network program based on Marvel comic book characters since Disney paid $4.2 billion to buy the comic book and film studio in 2009.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

H.G. Wells created miniature war gaming 100 years ago

RPGs came from miniature war gaming about 40 years ago, thanks mainly to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. Before that, way... way before that, H.G. Wells was war gaming. In fact, it appears he started the whole thing.

It is a century since HG Wells published the first proper set of rules for hobby war games. There's a hardcore of gamers who are still playing by his code.
Pine tips are stuck in the grass to represent trees. Roads are laid out with trails of compost.
This is the Battle of Gettysburg, with Union soldiers on one side and Confederates on the other. But the soldiers of this new Gettysburg are 54mm (2in) tall and mostly made of plastic.
The battle is taking place between a group of enthusiasts in a garden at Sandhurst military academy under the rules of Little Wars, devised by HG Wells in 1913.
War was then looming in Europe and Little Wars was both an expression of Wells's passion for toy soldiers and to his fears over the coming slaughter. The science fiction author even believed that war games could change attitudes.
"You only have to play at Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing Great War must be," wrote Wells.
The game is a forerunner of modern formats like the Warhammer system sold by Games Workshop.
Sandhurst chaplain Paul Wright has updated Wells's rules - retitled Funny Little Wars - and says about 100 people in the UK still play it. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Wright has been war gaming since he was a child.
"As an army chaplain, having buried a lot of people and had friends of mine killed, I'd hate to think I was trivialising war but I don't think I am," he says.
For a lot of people, says Brian Carrick, one of the Union "generals" at the Sandhurst recreation, the fun of war gaming is "about the rules and recreating history and experiencing command in a battle - but for me it's simply about playing with my soldiers. I collect them, I paint them, I enjoy them and this gives me something to do with them."
The actual firing of miniature artillery pieces is at the heart of the Wells school of war gaming.
A Funny Little Wars game sees rival commanders bombard their adversaries with matchsticks, fired with little spring-loaded triggers in the tiny cannons. Careful measurements from where the matches land decide the number of victims.
But this is looked on with disapproval by some modern war gamers, who prefer theoretical bombardments worked out with distance tables.
Phil Barker, a celebrated deviser of modern games, acknowledges Wells's role in "showing it could be done - and giving grown men an excuse to play with toy soldiers".
But he adds: "Combat was based on shooting solid projectiles at the figures. Today, this would be discouraged because of the risk of someone getting a projectile in the eye, but it was the chance of damage to the finish of lovingly home-painted figures that led to the switch to less lethal dice."
Wells was not bothered by casualties to his soldiers. He fired inch-long wooden dowels from his favourite toy cannons, models of 4.7in (120mm) naval guns, and they could take the head off a fragile hollow-cast lead soldier.
Modern toy soldiers are beautifully sculpted and coloured and some war gamers treat them "like their wife's jewellery", says Little Wars player Dr Anthony Morton. In Wells's day "they were not regarded as works of art - they were bland in detail and very cheap to replace".
The author's sons' nurse Mathilde Meyer once wrote: "Hopelessly damaged soldiers were melted down in an iron spoon on the schoolroom floor, and others had a new head fixed on by means of a match and liquid lead."
When the forces in Little Wars get close enough to exchange small arms fire things get complicated, with tables consulted and dice rolled to decide how many soldiers must be taken off the field.
Wells laid down that a gun is captured "when there is no man of its own side within six inches of it", and at least four opponents have "passed its wheel axis going in the direction of their attack".
There are rules about how much forage the cavalry need every six moves and how many moves it takes engineers to rebuild a railway bridge.
At Sandhurst, the early stages of the battle bring success for the Confederates. The Yankee side deployed a lot of men to receive an expected attack from the west.
But when they get close, the Confederate flags on that side turn out to be dummies, and the blues are left underprepared for a mass grey assault from further north.
For Wells, the horror of WWI and what he called the "almost inconceivable silliness" of the top brass had a great effect on him.
"Up to 1914 I found a lively interest in playing a war game, with toy soldiers and guns... and I have given its primary rules in a small book," he recalled.
"I like to think I grew up out of that stage somewhen between 1916 and 1920 and began to think about war as a responsible adult should."
That makes it sound as though Wells cashiered his toy soldiers. But he did not.
The writer Colin Middleton Murry later recalled a war game on a childhood visit to Wells in the 1930s.
"He rushed round frantically, winding up clockwork trains, constructing bridges and fortifications, firing pencils out of toy cannons. It was all quite hysterical - quite unlike any grown-up behaviour I had ever known."
War gaming is fun but is also a pointer to the true horror of war, Wright says. He agrees with Wells, who wrote of his game: "How much better is this amiable miniature than the Real Thing!"
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