D&D is moving toward a new edition, but to make it the “best” edition, the designers have to look at what worked in all the earlier versions of the game. Our gaming group decided to try Basic D&D for a change of pace and a way to figure out what the ineffable “essence” of D&D really is.
Sure, it’s Magic Week here at Robot Viking, but sometimes Magic is a little too complicated for the younger gamers in your life. You need a gateway game to teach them the fundamentals of card advantage, hand-quality, and creature combat. How about Kaijudo? The upcoming Dojo Edition will feature this creepy squid creature, Vikorakas.
Wizards of the Coast has been working on a new user interface/client for Magic Online for 180 years*, and this week they finally opened it to a public beta test. It vastly improves some aspects of the old client, but needs work in some key areas. Which sounds about right for a beta.
*actual time less than 180 years
I haven’t been playing much constructed Magic lately, so I won’t fake my way through an analysis of M13 for competitive play. Instead, here are ten cards from the set, both new ones and reprints, that I think are particularly interesting. It might be because they’re a sleeper draft pick, a surprising reprint, a fun design or a great Commander card. Or all of the above.
It’s Magic Week at Robot VIking! What does that mean? That I’m going to talk about nothing but Magic all week. Duh. Hope you like Magic! Anyway, let’s get things started by roping up all of the wild bits of Return to Ravnica info that Wizards let loose at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC to the cool kids), plus awesome news for Commander fans.
The Steam summer sale is ongoing, and I’ve already discovered one unplucked gem – Legend of Grimrock. It’s a great old-school RPG computer game, but better yet, it offers a brilliantly simple plot for a tabletop mega-dungeon crawl.
In a strange bit of cosmic symmetry (or just skillful marketing), Wizards of the Coast killed off their Virtual Table on the exact same day Paizo announced their own version of the “way to play tabletop RPGs online”, called Paizo Game Space.
Indie Blackbyrne Publishing has stepped up from their Dark Veil series of adventures and created an entire campaign setting. Age of Lords is set on a large continent with a long history. In the aftermath of an epic war, nations are embroiled in tense conspiracies and political intrigue. It’s available for both Pathfinder and 4E (this review focuses on the Pathfinder version).
Bad things happen to characters in RPGs, and sometimes the results of those bad things can’t be adequately expressed with a mere diminishing of hit points. If you want to inflict more specific cruelties on your characters, or want to create some unpleasant damage in someone’s backstory, this table will let you find a range of calamities, from slivers to amputations.
Open Design and Kobold Quarterly are trying to conquer the world. Two worlds, really, if you count Wolfgang Baur’s Midgard and Earth. You can help and win some gaming stuff in the process — a lot of of stuff if you happen to spend some time down south. Way down south.
Many gamers have bittersweet memories of Mage Knight. It was an awesome tactical miniatures game that didn’t require painting or bookkeeping, with freeform movement and a bunch of cool fantasy factions. Yet the property was horribly mismanaged by the original Wizkids, with alternate rule sets and an eventual revamp (Mage Knight 2.0) that effectively killed the game by making all the old figures obsolete. Now Wizkids might bring Mage Knight back.
Gunpowder is an oddly polarizing force in fantasy RPGs. Personally, I think role-playing in the Age of Sail sounds awesome, and ship-to-ship combat just isn’t the same without cannons and flintlocks. If you’re into the Pathfinder gunslinger class, this short volume from Super Genius Games offers added detail, plus new feats and weapons.