Saturday was my last day at Gen Con, and it will be missed … at least for another year. Tomorrow, I’ll post a bit more in the way of reflections, but for now, let me cut straight to some of the games that I came across.
Pulp Adventure Roleplaying Games
For gamers who lean toward pulpy goodness (which I imagine includes many Black Gate readers), there are a lot of great options out there.
One of the best games available for pure pulp action is the Hollow Earth Expedition game (reviewed in Black Gate #12), which is sort of like Indiana Jones meets Journey to the Center of the Earth meets Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow … with some other craziness thrown in. You really can’t go wrong with a setting that conveniently allows apemen, dinosaurs, Nazis, ninjas, sorcerers, zeppelins, and mad scientists to intermingle.
Since the original release of the game there are now two hardcover supplements available: Mysteries of the Hollow Earth and Secrets of the Surface World. Starting in fall of this year, the creators are planning to begin releasing a series of PDF adventure modules, which they refer to as the “Perils” because they’ll have names like “Perils of Morocco” and “Perils of Brazil” … and, perhaps, if we should be so lucky, “Perils of Scranton.” These PDF modules should be available through DriveThruRPG when they are finally released. In 2011, however, the word is that they’ll be releasing a Revelations of Mars sourcebook … so keep your eyes open for that, lovers of planetary adventure settings!
In Thursday’s post, I discussed the new and upcoming releases for the Colonial Gothic game system. Well, that isn’t all that the creators, Rogue Games, have going on. They also have a new game called Shadow, Sword, & Spell which is described as a “humanistic, pulp fantasy game.” Humans take the center stage in this game, which results in a setting that the publisher compared (in tone and feeling, though not in actual content) to those of Clark Ashton Smith, H. P. Lovecraft, or Robert E. Howard.
Next comes some good news on the ever-changing superhero front. Green Ronin Publishing has released – just in time for Gen Con – the new DC Adventures tabletop roleplaying game. The main DC Adventures Hero’s Handbook was hot off the presses, and there are plans for at least two supplements full of characters in the coming months. (Get a sneak peak at Heroes and Villains vol. 1, which covers characters named A – K.) Their website has some good design notes about they approached the stats for the various characters.
The DC Adventures Hero’s Handbook also features an update to a 3rd of the Mutants & Masterminds rule system, around which the game is built. (Here’s a discussion from their website about the most substantial changes to be found in the new rule system.) The good news is that existing Mutants & Masterminds characters can be fairly easily converted into a DC Adventures campaign.
And, finally, let me touch briefly on an existing game by Epidemic Books to which I was newly introduced. Using the Pathfinder game system, Oathbound explores a world between worlds. The guy at the booth explained it to me as a “Planescape in reverse” concept. Basically, heroes get pulled in from other worlds, but it’s real hard to get out. Characters pulled into the world are forced to battle each other, because it seems the very nature of the world is to sow conflict among the inhabitants. The only means of escape is to somehow locate more powerful heroes (or villains, I suppose) in the other dimensions, and then find a way to get them to come to the world in your place. This makes it ideal not only for long-term campaigns, but for shorter interludes in an existing Pathfinder game.
More Gen Con Photographs
To the right is a photograph of me and my boys with popular Forgotten Realms author Ed Greenwood, who was promoting (and giving away) hardcover copies of his new book, Elminster Must Die. (I guess I know what I’m reviewing for the next issue of Black Gate.)
Sadly, my very nice HP Photosmart M425 digital camera, which had served me well for years, began breaking down on Friday, and by Saturday it became clear that the picture quality was totally unusable. This means I had to switch to my cellphone and the still photo capture on my video camera … neither of which have the resolution of the Photosmart.
As such, the photographs of Wil Wheaton accepting my gift of a free copy of String Theory For Dummies (and, in fact, all of the photographs from the last couple of days) are of lower quality than I’d like, but that’s life sometimes. Regardless of their quality, all of my Gen Con photos are available at the image gallery linked below, for those who care to peruse them.
Until tomorrow, then…
|Gen Con 2010