May 132017
 

Our friends at MAGE Company are, once again, entering the Kickstarter arena with the next chapter of the 12 Realms saga;

12 Realms: Dungeonland!

 pic3225635_lg

A big box, miniature laden, dungeon crawler with several modes of play, this is sure to be a favorite on game night.  As with previous titles in the 12 Realms line, familiar faces from fairy tales and lore are in the cast of playable characters (as well as some of the baddies).  I’ll have a more in-depth breakdown of mechanics and gameplay in the coming days, as there is a Print and Play trial version of the game available here.  (Spoilers! it’s a lot of fun!)

Also, once it’s live, you can find the kickstarter here.

That said, I asked the fine folks at Mage Company if they’d like to write an article about the game and how it’s different from previous iterations in the 12 Realms line.

So strap on your little riding hood and grab your axe because over the hills and through the wood, to Dungeonland, we go!

Exploring Dungeonland

Exploring 12 Realms: Dungeonland

12 Realms: Dungeonland is a standalone game set in the 12 Realms Universe. It is a cooperative dungeoncrawler, where each player takes the role of a Hero from fairytales and explores dungeons and magical locations. They battle against evil monsters and epic bosses controlled by AI, and evlolve through the way. So no need for anyone to be the bad guy. In Dungeonland everybody is a Hero. But what makes 12 Realms: Dungeonland different from the other 12 Realms games and what are its key features?

1) Not an expansion. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is a standalone game. This means you do not need to have any of the other 12 Realms games. This is not an expansion. You can just grab a box, gather with friends and start your epic battles!

2) Cooperative, but not as 12 Realms base game. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is a cooperative game too, but it offers a completely different experience from 12 Realms base game. The only thing these two games have in common is the theme. They are both set up in a fantasy fairy tale world, so Heroes, items and monsters will be inspired from this theme. However the gameplay is totally different and the two cannot be compared.

3) The Campaign Mode. The main way to play 12 Realms: Dungeonland is through the campaign mode. The Heroes explore their way through multiple scenarios. All of the scenarios all linked to each other and the decisions you make will affect the plot of the scenario. This means that your decisions affect the story, so be careful what you choose and what you do!

Exploring Dungeonland Ambush

4) The Arena. The game also includes an Arena board, where up to 8 players can involve in battle. The Arena offers 2 different game modes: The Duel: Players create 2 teams of 2, 3 or 4, depending on their number and battle each other. Which will be the team to be the last one standing? Waves of Enemies: This is a tower defense type mode, which will be used as a bonus stage between the different scenarios. In this mode, the Heroes battle against waves of enemies. The more waves they manage to defeat, the more rewards the get to continue their campaign.

5) The Master Quest. This is one of the unique features of 12 Realms: Dungeonland. You want to get the feeling of a complete campaign, but you do not have the time to play all the scenarios? 12 Realms: Dungeonland will feature the Master Quest, a single scenario that will give you the feeling of a complete campaign. This means that you will get the chance to experience the Hero development, the different choices that lead to different story endings and the Boss battle, all in a single session. No need to arrange several meetings with friends, experience everything in a single go.

6) Character Development. Each Hero has their unique starting gear and ability. During the campaign you can evolve your Hero by finding new items, weapons, spells, potions etc. At the same time, you can unlock new skills from the various skill categories that are offered through the game, to suit your playstyle. This means that even if you play the same Hero twice, they can be a totally new character and offer a different experience.

7) Exploration. The exploration mechanism is one of the key features of the game and offers great replayability. Through this clever mechanism, the dungeons and monsters are randomly generated each time, which means that two playthroughs will never be exactly the same. Furthermore, this mechanism is designed in a way to make you further immerse in the exploration of the magical dungeons, thus enhancing the game experience.

Exploring Dungeonland Wind

8) Gameplay. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is designed in such a way that it is streamlined and easy to learn and play making it suitable for families, without taking away the depth and strategic options that gamers would like to experience in a dungeoncrawler.

9) The perk of having the previous 12 Realms. As we said, you do not need to have the other 12 Realms games to play Dungeonland. However if you own any of the previous games, a conversion kit will be offered through the Kickstarter campaign, that converts all Heroes and their starting gear and abilities from the existing 12 Realms titles, making them suitable for Dungeonland. This means that you can take your favorite Hero and their miniature and use it in the game.

Feb 032017
 

Puppetland RPG

Topic -    In one of my favorite interviews ever, I had the pleasure of sitting down with someone who changed the way I looked at story structure, character developement, and gaming as a whole.

John Scott Tynes wrote Puppetland more than 20 years ago, making him a pioneer in the “storytelling” game world.

The concept was a twisted mixture of the familiar and the macabre, where the innocence of childhood sensabilities rides the center line, crashing headlong into visceral and existential horror.

There is a new, (beautiful!) edition of Puppetland available now.  John tells us the story of how it came to be.

In one golden hour, you and your friends tell a story that may very well stick with you forever, for better or worse…

…at the very least, you’ll never look at puppets the same.

Enjoy the show!

 

Media - 

John’s website - http://www.JohnTynes.com

Purchase the Puppetland RPG -

On Amazon

On Indie Press Revolution

ArcDream Publishing - http://arcdream.com/home/

The New Delta Green RPG –  http://www.delta-green.com/

The new Unknown Armies 3rd Edition RPG - http://www.atlas-games.com/unknownarmies/

RPPR Actual Play podcast- http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/

Holospark, the video game start-up where John works - http://www.holospark.net/

The Impossible Travel Agency (John’s first virtual-reality project with Holospark) - http://impossibletravelagency.com/

The original version of Puppetland - http://johntynes.com/revland2000/rl_puppetland.html

The (very “drippy”) cover art from the 1999 release from Hogshead Publishing:

Puppetland

 

John Supported:

The Siblings Trouble storytelling card game - http://www.pencilfirstgames.com/the-siblings-trouble/

Just for fun, here is the Santa Claus, Punch,and Judy video that I was talking about on the show:

 

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Sep 102016
 

GenCon 2016 Game review – Mr. Game!

logo-mr-game_large

At a glance –

Part board game, part social experiment, all chaos…

Mr. Game! challenges nearly every convention of the classic roll and move board game.  This modern spin on retro style gaming has become a family favorite for game night at my house. It checks boxes that I didn’t know existed and jumps through hoops that I had no idea I was holding…Refreshing!

The object is simple.  Everyone starts on one space and races to land on the “goal” space to win.  That’s pretty conventional stuff, right?  Wrong.   Mr. Game! creates an atmosphere where even the concept of “what is a space?” can be challenged.  The road to victory is complicated by an ever-changing board, as well as an array of cards with different types of wacky functions, a goal that just won’t sit still, and of course, Mr. Game!.

Mr game board

The board – 

The board is a pretty straight forward design with the numbers 1-4 in the four corners and some wandering paths of spaces in between.  You start on “1” at the beginning of the game and you’re trying to land on “4”. This is subject to change.

The cards –

There are 3 types of cards in the game, “Actions”, “Badges”, and “Powerups”.

display-action-goalswitchdisplay-action-singularitydisplay-action-banish

Actions” are the most common cards in the deck and are played immediately when drawn.  The effects of these cards vary wildly including (but not limited to) moving other people’s pawns, adding or moving spaces on the board, changing the goal, etc.

display-badge-mrwhistledisplay-badge-mrcaffeine

 

Badges” are cards that are kept secretly in your hand to be played at just the right moment. Some of the effects may be similar to “Action” cards but the ability to weaponize them makes them valuable.  The results of a well-timed “Badge” can range from devastating to hilarious…

…or both…

…or neither…

…or…

Never mind. Moving on.

display-powerup-jetpackdisplay-powerup-sleightofhanddisplay-powerup-ballandchain

A “Powerup” is a card that is played immediately when drawn and changes the way your pawn behaves, giving you some sort of ability or taking one away.  For better or worse, you’re stuck with these until someone takes them or you roll doubles.

There are also four blank cards found in the deck that prompt you to use your imagination…or not.  It’s up to you.

Spaces –

Given the ubiquity and familiarity of spaces in tabletop games, I hadn’t really considered the idea of describing them until I got to this point in the review.  On one hand, because of the nature of this game, they need to be discussed.  But on the other hand, it feels a little like describing to someone how it feels to blink.

download

 The spaces on the board, at a glance, are rudimentary.  You have normal spaces that prompt no action. As mentioned before, there are four spaces in the corners of the board that are numbered 1-4 and serve as the “goal” spaces.  There are spaces marked with an exclamation point that prompt the player to draw a card.  There are also spaces found sporadically about the board that prompt you to “roll again”.   If that’s not enough, all of these spaces can be different colors depending on where they are found on the board.  The colors of the spaces have no bearing on their function when playing with the rules as written.  That said, the colors, location, and even the null area between spaces can (and probably will) routinely come into play because of this game’s chaotic nature.

Tiles –

Tiles are essentially spaces that can be added or moved on the board once prompted by a card, changing the effect of a space or adding a new one altogether!  There are several types of tiles.  Nearly all of the spaces described above can be found in the stack of tiles, as well as webs in which your pawn can get “stuck”, portals that allow you to quickly traverse the board, and null spaces to cut off possible avenues for your opponents.

Mr. Game! – 

Last but certainly not least, there’s Mr. Game!.  Before you begin playing, you decide who will act as Mr. Game!.  While all players are expected to interpret the rules, this player will have the final word on any decisions to be made concerning them.

From this mechanic, chaos is born.

While the other players are constantly trying to take advantage of any given situation that may get them closer to winning, they invariably will be challenging the very conventions of a roll and move game.  This, coupled with a purposefully minimalistic set of written rules, creates an environment where house rules are necessary.  This is where Mr. Game! comes in.  During play, Mr. Game! will have to make any number of probably ridiculous and unforeseen rules decisions.  As these situations are arbitrated, they become rules for the remainder of the game.  Keep in mind that whoever is playing as Mr. Game is also playing the game with everyone else and, as such, must uphold and is subject to his or her own rulings throughout the game.

What’s in the box? – 

( 1 ) Game BoardMr game board

( 1 ) How To Play Booklet

( 1 ) Alternate Game Types Booklet

( 104 ) Cards

( 18 ) Tiles

( 8 ) Player Pieces

( 8 ) Player Cards

( 2 ) Four Sided Dice

( 2 ) Goal Markers

( 4 ) Blank Cards

Components –

The components of the game are all of very good quality and have weathered several plays with little to no wear and tear.

Learning Curve –

If you read every word of the rules pamphlet it’ll take you about 10 minutes to learn to play. The set-up is minimal and the core mechanics of the game are extremely intuitive.

Packaging –

The storage space in the box holds all of the components well and passes the “shake test” with minimal movement.

Rules –

Ordinarily, a rules document that leaves so many unanswered questions would receive bad marks in this category. However, this one, because of the nature of the game, is perfect.

Play time –

The play time varies from game to game.  Most of them last 20 to 60 minutes with 4-6 players,

The “Sweet Spot” –

Rated for 2 – 8 players, the more the merrier! We’ve played with as many as 7 players with no negative experience regarding gameplay.  That said, after having experienced the game several times with varying group sizes, I’m going to put the sweet spot somewhere between 4 – 6 players.

Replay ability –

Having many variants and additional rules included in the “Alternate Gametypes” book that comes with the game, several more variants published at http://whoismrgame.com/your-house-rules/, along with the fact that you can play a completely different game just by changing the people playing or who presides as Mr. Game!, the replay ability of this one is off the charts!

Price – $35

You can purchase your copy here.

Final Thoughts –

The charm of Mr. Game! is rooted in the unpredictability that spawns from just playing the game. This provides the players with an experience that is unique not only to their gaming group, but to the individual session, which prompts the telling of stories and anecdotes about those sessions.  This is a trait usually found in meatier board games and tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons rather than a simple roll and move game.  But then again…

Just a simple roll and move board game, Mr. Game! is not…

I believe that Mr. Game! is, in and of itself, an experience.

Rating – 10 out of 10

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

-Dan Whorl

Check out our interview with the creator of Mr. Game!, Frank DiCola, here.

A review copy of Mr. Game! was given to me at GenCon 2016 by the game designer.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

 

Feb 172016
 

Our good friend Chris Birch is at it again. This time he’s bringing the big guns…a Conan RPG!

You’ll want to get in on this as I’m sure that it’s going to be HUGE!

Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of  Kickstarter has LAUNCHED!!!
 
 
We are almost HALFWAY through the first goal and counting!
We have one of the biggest line ups of major artists ever for a roleplaying game. Each book is a beautiful high quality hard cover book featuring a major commissioned cover art by one of the legendary names we have assembled along with truly authentic and evocative content by industry veterans and newcomers. Please check it out!
…all under the watchful eye of world-renowned Conan experts and scholars including  Jeffrey ShanksPatrice Louinet and Mark Finn, working together to bring you the most authentic Conan roleplaying experience yet, focusing exclusively on Robert E. Howard’s original stories.
Thanks so much for your support and patient as we prepared this incredible project!
 
Chris, Modiphius
Feb 172016
 

Ok, Those of you who follow me know how much I absolutely love Savage Worlds.  Those of you who are new to the site…

I absolutely love Savage Worlds!

This Kickstarter looks fantastic!

Make sure you look at the contribution levels because, as usual, Savage Worlds has positively nailed the price point!

This one’s only going for two weeks!  Don’t waste time.

Press release follows:

Pinnacle Entertainment Group, award-winning makers of Savage Worlds, Deadlands, and many other games, launched a two-week-long Kickstarter for the historical horror setting for World War I, Weird War IIt has already funded and passed the first stretch goal.
 
Pinnacle Entertainment Group is the creator of Savage Worlds, an award-winning tabletop roleplaying game system.

Pinnacle Entertainment Group Announces Weird War I Kickstarter for Savage Worlds

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Chandler, AZ February 16, 2016 – Pinnacle Entertainment Group, award-winning makers of Savage Worlds, Deadlands, and many other games, launched a two-week-long Kickstarter for the historical horror setting for World War I, Weird War IIt has already funded and passed the first stretch goal.

 

Kickstarter link here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/545820095/weird-war-i-savage-worlds/description

 

Weird War I is the latest entry in Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s Weird Wars series. The Twilight Legion has so far marched across the battlefields of Rome, Vietnam, and World War II. Now our intrepid soldiers, sailors, airmen, and even civilians must endure the mud and trenches of what would become known as World War I.

 

The Kickstarter for Weird War I includes PDF and print options for a Player’s Guide, War Master’s Handbook, War Master’s Screen with Raid on Fort Douaumontadventure, and two map sets. Also available are specialtydiceBennies (poker chips), and a vintage-style canvasmessenger bag. Backers also have the opportunity toadd Weird War I to the entire Weird War line forSavage Worlds in the top tier Twilight Legionnaire reward level.

 

Supporters recently unlocked a stretch goal giving all backers the complete map sets in digital format. Other stretch goals within easy reach include pregenerated archetype characters with paper miniature figure flatsfor civilians and the French, and a second Plot Point Campaign, In Vino Veritas, giving the players a chance to play the German side of events and deals with an ancient power aroused by the carnage of the Great War.

 

The Kickstarter ends on Thursday, March 3rd at 8 pm Eastern. Reward levels begin at $15 for players and $35 for game masters. Don’t miss out—back it today!

 

About Pinnacle Entertainment Group

 

The award-winning Deadlands and Savage Worldstabletop RPGs were created by Shane Lacy Hensley, owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. For more information, visit www.peginc.com or contact Jodi Black, COO and Managing Editor for Pinnacle, at PEGJodi@gmail.com.

 

#  #  #

Copyright © 2016 Pinnacle Entertainment Group, All rights reserved.
Jul 292014
 

Special Guest - Erik Carl

Topic: I had the great pleasure of sitting down with my good friend, host and Executive Producer of Metagamers Anonymous, and patriarch of the Prismatic Tsunami community, Erik Carl.  We discussed gaming with kids and his latest venture, TsunamiCon!

Support! Support!  Support!

 

 

Media - 

 

 Be sure to check out and support the Tsunamicon Kickstarter, a National level gaming convention based in Wichita, Kansas and being organized by our sister podcast, Metagamers Anonymous.   Only good things can come of this……..

Tsunamicon Kickstarter
Tsunamicon.org
Tsunamicon Facebook

Erik Supported:

BobCon: A gamer retreat in Kansas City
BobCon 2014 by Brad Kelley — Kickstarter
BobCon | Facebook

 

 

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Jul 162014
 

Topic - In this episode, we make a few announcements, discuss what we’ve been doing lately, and have our first argument er….discussion about the 5th Editionof Dungeons and Dragons.  Hold on tight, this one gets a little bumpy!

Hosts - Dan, Mack, Bryan, Steve, and Lucas

 

 

 

Media - Be sure to check out and support the Tsunamicon Kickstarter, a National level gaming convention based in Wichita, Kansas and being organized by our sister podcast, Metagamers Anonymous.   Only good things can come of this……..

 

Tsunamicon Kickstarter
Tsunamicon.org
Tsunamicon Facebook

 

 

 

 

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Feb 072014
 

Topic - In this episode, we discuss at length what has been on our horizons and later talk about some goals and resolutions for the new year.  Enjoy!

Hosts - Dan, Mack, Bryan, Steve

 

Media - 

Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition (Kickstarter)
Mouse Guard RPG
War of the Burning Sky
We Didn’t Playtest This At All (Game)
Dan supported - Asmadi Games

 

Check out Connibal Roads Debut EP, Alonging for the Black and White!

The interstitial music for this episode is: “Missing Pages” by Connibal Road
For more from this awesome band:
Check out their website - http://www.connibalroad.com/
Find them on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/connibalroad
Twitter - https://twitter.com/ConnibalRoad
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/connibalroad
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/mbivens
Reverb Nation - http://www.reverbnation.com/connibalroad
Where can you purchase their music?
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/connibal-road/id488749984
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_srch_drd_B006LEGNXW?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Connibal%20Road&index=digital-music&search-type=ss

 

 

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Jan 292014
 

Kyle & David take a look at Double Fine’s Kickstarter success story “Broken Age,” the first point and click adventure game from mastermind Tim Schafer in 16 years!

header_292x136

Broken Age is a timeless coming-of-age story of barfing trees and talking spoons. Vella Tartine and Shay Volta are two teenagers in strangely similar situations, but radically different worlds. The player can freely switch between their stories, helping them take control of their own lives, and dealing with the unexpected adventures that follow.  Broken Age began two years ago in a historic, record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. Now it’s here in all its beautiful, 2D, hand-painted glory, with an original orchestral soundtrack and an all-star vocal cast.

 

“Broken Age” on Steam

 

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Jan 282014
 

Mutant Chronicles Kickstarter!!!

MUTANT CHRONICLES RPG KICKSTARTER NOW LIVE!

Finally after a year of hard work the much anticipated return of the Dark Legion is here as we unveil the Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition RPG Kickstarter!

We’re already over 72% funded (£8k of £11k) as I write this after only two hours and we have a ton of books, miniatures and accessories to fund for you with lots of new material, storyline, artwork to bring the world of Mutant Chronicles to vivid life.

Prodos Games are creating a load of new roleplaying focused villains and adventurer miniatures for the Kickstarter, and we’ll be showing them off in the coming days and weeks.

You can be sure of a wild ride ahead!

We’ll be running until 8pm on Sunday March 9th

Here’s some graphics, banners and Avatars if you’d like to support us.

As you may know, Kickstarters take an enormous amount of work to run so any help in spreading the word is so very much appreciated.

Modiphius

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