Five Great Games for Halloween

Guns vs. tentacles.

Guns vs. tentacles.

A few years ago, we started a Halloween tradition with our gaming group. Every Halloween, we get together and play an appropriately themed game for a few hours, often with some kind of house rule that lets the players earn the right to eat candy. If we can manage it, we play on Halloween night, so we go to the door and hand out candy to neighborhood kids throughout the game. Sometimes there’s a scary movie playing in the background, too. With that tradition in mind, here are five of our favorite spooky games.

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Prince of Undeath Brings a Chaotic End to Your PC’s Career

YOOOOU SHALL NOT...ah, forget it.

YOOOOU SHALL NOT...ah, forget it.

If your D&D 4E chgaracters have been following along the original set of adventures (starting with H1), the grand finale has finally arrived. Prince of Undeath is the final battle, the ultimate adventure that will bring your characters up to 30th level. At this point, the PCs are basically little gods themselves, so you might as well fight some deities before you retire.

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White Wolf’s Proverbial Monsters Are Actually Quite Literal

If you fix a mirror someone else broke, do you get seven years of good luck?

If you fix a mirror someone else broke, do you get seven years of good luck?

Proverbial Monsters is a World of Darkness sourcebook from White Wolf that takes nine oft-repeated aphorisms, wives’ tales, sayings — proverbs, by any other name — and constructs nine fiendish creatures out of them, with nine scenarios for storytellers to drop their hapless players into. Just remember to take anything I say in this review with a grain of salt.

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Microsoft Surface Becomes the Ultimate Interactive Gaming Table

The stuff dreams are made of.

The stuff dreams are made of.

What if your battle mat was interactive? What if you had a virtually infinite set of map tiles and 3D miniatures? What if the your playing surface automatically tracked line of sight, range and movement? What if a team at Carnegie Mellon peered into our gamer dreams and made this all actually happen?

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It Costs How Much?! — A Rumination On the Economics of Collectible Games

Give me a Shelby Cobra. Now that's a mythic rare.

Give me a Shelby Cobra. Now that's a mythic rare.

It’s a phrase heard at game and card shops around the world, typically when someone with deeper pockets buys some ridiculously overpriced card or miniature: “It’s just paper and ink. There’s no way I’d pay that much!” That may be true, but somebody would. Here’s an essay on why the things we love cost as much as they do. You were hoping for something about dragons or zombies or something, I know. Next week, Vikings. Next week.

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Robot Viking D&D Online Meet-Up Tonight @ 9 p.m. Eastern

As we mentioned last week, Dungeons & Dragons Online is a free to play MMORPG. We’ve been organizing an adventuring group on the Robot Viking forums, and tonight we’re trying to schedule our first official meet-up. We haven’t picked a specific mission or raid or whatever, we can figure that out when we see who shows up. In any case, if you haven’t yet, sign up and download the game client — it’s free and there’s no monthly fee. Then head to this forum thread to find out everyone’s character name. Remember, Thelanis server tonight (Oct. 21) at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Primal Power — Now with Twice the Primal!

I've been advised not to make humorous comments about umber hulks.

I've been advised not to make humorous comments about umber hulks.

The new Primal Power handbook for D&D 4th Edition has exactly what you’d expect, namely a ton of new options for characters who use the primal power source. It also has some interesting material to help you tie your character concept to an aspect of nature, and some metaphysical explanation of what primal power actually is.

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Runewars Epic Fantasy Board Game Perfect for Winter Vacation

Even the box is epic.

Even the box is epic.

Fantasy Flight Games is known for their lavish, detailed and (though I risk abusing the word) epic board games. Twilight Imperium, Descent, World of Warcraft — epic is really the only word that fits. So it’s not a big surprise that they’re the company behind Runewars, a truly epic fantasy board game coming out sometime this winter. Just make sure you keep the fridge and the snack cabinet stocked for that first snow day that comes along, because you and a couple of gaming buddies are going to need all day for this one. You know, on account of it being epic and all.

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Dungeons & Dragons Online is Free. Seriously.

You never find puppies in the last room of a dungeon. Always it's scaly, angry things.

You never find puppies in the last room of a dungeon. Always it's scaly, angry things.

Dungeons & Dragons Online has been around for a few years, garnering somewhat mixed reviews and not really making much of a splash in the world of massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Lately, however, the game has seen a huge spike in membership and a lot of buzz on Internet gaming sites. Why? Because they’ve made it totally free to play.

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Five Comic Book Plots for Your RPG Campaign

One of the most famous covers in comics history.

One of the most famous covers in comics history.

One of the secrets to effective and efficient GMing is the ability to incorporate elements from many different sources into a role-playing adventure or campaign. If it’s a twisting plot full of unusual characters, melodramatic surprises and high-tension action you want, you need look no further than your comic book collection (or the back issue boxes at your local comic shop).

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Arcane Legions Has Been Released!

1E14c-v2

Arcane Legions, the new mass combat miniatures game from Wells Expeditions, officially released yesterday. We’ve got some new details on the game’s “insider’s club” and unit creator. If you’re into alternate history, fantasy battles or fast (yet tactically rich) miniatures games, you might want to take a look.

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Role-Playing in Wartime

Ready, aim, flee.

Ready, aim, flee.

Fantasy stories often involve vast wars, grand conflicts of elves, men and dragons. Whether they fight for territory, freedom or to destroy the One MacGuffin To Rule Them All, fantasy war stories can be exhilarating and capture a truly epic feeling like few other scenarios. Handling a war in an RPG campaign can be difficult, though. Here are a few ideas for sending your PCs off to war (with specific examples drawn from my own war-focused campaign).

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Grim Fears Haunt Every Changeling

I'm going to submit this to awkwardfamilyphotos.com. I mean, the dad isn't even looking at the camera!

I'm going to submit this to awkwardfamilyphotos.com. I mean, the dad isn't even looking at the camera!

When the bizarre magical world of Changeling bleeds over into the mortal realm, fairy tales and urban legends take shape as living, breathing beings. Most of them aren’t especially friendly.

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Support Our Sponsors

sponsorsTwo new sponsors came aboard at Robot Viking this week, and I’d like to take a moment to thank them and point out why I think they’re pretty awesome (aside from the fact that they help keep Robot Viking chugging along).

Arcane Legions is a collectible mass combat miniatures game from Wells Expeditions. The premiere release of the first set is less than a week away, and I can safely say I haven’t been this excited about a new game since Mage Knight first came out (no coincidence there, since many of the same people are involved behind the scenes). Based on our playtests, this is a fast, fun game that’s still deep enough to give you a genuine “armchair general” feeling. Don’t take my word for it though, head over to the Arcane Legions site and check it out for yourself.

TrollandToad.com also joined us this week. They’re one of the biggest online gaming retailers (and they also have a big presence at major gaming conventions), they’ve been around for awhile, and they have an enormous selection. Of course they have all the new releases in RPGs, board games, and collectible games, but they also have a really deep assortment of out-of-print games, plus gaming supplies like dice and card sleeves. As a repeat Troll and Toad customer, I can tell you they ship on time (my Zendikar box is already en route!) and have a great customer service department.

Thanks sponsors!