Review: Save Doctor Lucky

 orrynemrys, The Prismatic Dragon  Comments Off on Review: Save Doctor Lucky
Dec 202012

One of the sincere joys of being a consummate gamer with a semi-serious friend addiction is the opporunity to check out new games… which will invariably happen even more after Santa has his way with me next week.  So… with all the holiday gift-giving going on – amidst my personal convictions that games are absolutely the most the brilliant sort of gift, since they invariably have the potential to please a small crowd of participant upon any given occasion – I thought I’d discuss one of the newest board game offerings on the market this holiday season.

This week’s delightful selection is a game concocted by the slightly unhinged scientists over at Cheapass Games and produced by Paizo Publishing entitled Save Doctor Lucky, and when the shiny new game box appeared on our table at this week’s session I found myself rubbing my hands together in wicked glee.  If you know why, then you probably would have had a similar reaction; if you don’t, well… allow me to enlighten you.

Save Doctor Lucky is actually a prequel to the ardently unapologetic murderfest Kill Doctor Lucky, originally released in ’96.  The original game casts the players as villainous guests of the aptly dubbed Doctor Lucky, who seems to slip out of harm’s way time and time again as the players maneuver to get him alone in his sprawling mansion and do him in, often with a weapon card of some sort.  Players can move themselves and the good doctor around the board with special movement cards and thwart each other’s attempts with the use of failure cards, which are expertly characterized by hilarious flavor text.  The pace of the game is set by the acquisition of spite tokens with every failure, each of which later adds the attack value of a murder attempt and can even be handed across the board as failure currency.  All in all, it’s a deliciously spiteful romp that leaves the table in stitches as the tension ratchets.

Save Doctor Lucky manages to reproduce the original game’s brilliantly simple rule system with a couple of twists.  In this game, the mansion is replaced by a sinking cruise ship that recently struck an iceberg and the players are trying to earn personal glory by being the one to save the old coot from going down with the ship.  Whereas in the first game the players are trying to get Doctor Lucky alone, in this one they can only attempt a rescue if one of the other players has line of sight.  The reversal is fairly entertaining and is made more challenging by the implimentation of four distinct decks of the ship laid out on four narrow game boards laid side by side.  Players still use movement and failure cards, but weapons are replaced by aid cards that increase the value of a given save attempt.

Though entertaining, the game fails to engage at the level of its predecessor on three counts.  First, the flavor text is simply not as funny.  There is some humor there, but not much of the laugh-out-loud variety, although there is a cool little puzzle woven into a number of the failure cards.  Secondly, the mechanism to limit the duration of play and amp up the tension is built into the sinking of the ship, which is implimented quite well but simply doesn’t have the hands-on flavor of the spite tokens thrown around in Kill Doctor Lucky.  And finally, speaking of flavor, the feel of the game just isn’t as gratuitous.  There’s something about trying to throttle the old man when no one is looking that adds an insidious degree of fun to the proceedings; trying to get your name in the papers as the old man’s rescuer lacks the same bite.

That being said, the game is still a lot of fun.  The rules are easy, and it makes a great family game.  If you’re a fan of the original game, I would definitely suggest giving a try… at only $30 on Paizo’s site, it’s a great value for a fun and really quite attractive game.  If you’ve never engaged Doctor Lucky before, however, I have to insist that you invest in its predecessor.  It’s just good, clean fun.

You’ll thank me for it.


Orryn Emrys, the Prismatic Dragon, is the director of the Prismatic Tsunami web community and the host of the popular Metagamers Anonymous RPG podcast. Learn more at

Batman : Arkham City Escape

 News  Comments Off on Batman : Arkham City Escape
Nov 282012

Cryptozoic Entertainment Partners with
Warner Bros. Consumer Products and
DC Entertainment for
Batman: Arkham City Escape
Board Game
Two-Player Game Pits Batman against
the Entire Rogues Gallery

In Stores Early 2013

Batman: Arkham City Escape Board Game

Irvine, CA — Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC Entertainment, and Cryptozoic Entertainment™, the premier developer of original and licensed games including The Walking Dead Board Game, today announced an all-new board game, Batman™: Arkham City Escape. Based on the amazing storyline of the award-winning videogame series developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, this two-player game will pit Batman against all of his greatest foes, from The Joker and Harley Quinn to Poison Ivy and The Riddler, as they try to escape Arkham City. In stores in early 2013, Batman: Arkham City Escape will feature one player as Batman and another controlling twenty of the Dark Knight’s most vile enemies in a battle of strategy and combat, as Batman attempts to stop the villains from escaping captivity.

Cryptozoic’s Batman: Arkham City Escape board game will feature an Arkham City game board, over which one player moves villains while Batman tries to prevent their escape. When Batman and a villain occupy the same space on the board, epic battles ensue, as Batman utilizes his Utility Belt and Combat cards and risks retaliation from each villain.

“The fact that Batman is a great property with a huge amount of material to work with is both awesome and daunting for this game. We really wanted to offer fans a way to experience combat between Batman and his enemies, and this game is all that and more,” said Cory Jones, president and chief creative officer for Cryptozoic. “With Arkham City Escape, Batman alone fights all these villains to keep the streets of Gotham City safe.”

In Batman: Arkham City Escape, players will rely on strategy and cunning to win, and each game will offer new twists and turns depending on each player’s decisions. The game will be complete right out of the box, offering an 18” by 33” Arkham City game board, an 11” by 18” Utility Belt board, eight custom dice with both Bat-symbols and The Joker smiles, a 40-card villain deck, a 40-card combat deck for Batman, and much more.

Batman: Arkham City Escape will be available in early 2013 at the suggested retail price of $45.00. Please for more information, and keep up to date with exclusive contests, promotions and game information on Cryptozoic Entertainment’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

 Batman: Arkham City Escape Board Game

Batman: Arkham City Escape Board Game

Batman: Arkham City Escape Board Game

– Two-player game pitting Batman against his greatest foes:

– All-new game demands strategy and cunning from both players

– Complete out-of-the-box, and featuring specially designed Arkham City game board, custom dice, and more than 80 game cards


About Cryptozoic Entertainment
Founded in 2010, Cryptozoic Entertainment, Inc. is a premier developer and publisher of original and licensed board games, card games, comics and trading cards, including the World of Warcraft® Trading Card Game, The Lookouts comic book, The Big Bang Theory Party Game and The Walking Dead™ Board Game. Following a philosophy and core principle of “Fans First,” the dedicated gamers and fans of the Cryptozoic Entertainment team are focused on producing fun and amazing products along with epic events that bring all gaming fans together as part of the Cryptozoic community. for additional product and event information.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner.  DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world.  In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes—a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.

©2012 Cryptozoic Entertainment. 16279 Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine, CA 92618. All Rights Reserved.

BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.

All other trademarks referenced herein are the properties of their respective owners.

# # #

Media Contact for Cryptozoic
AnnaMaria White

Nov 112012

Carpe GM Gamecast Logo 300x300
Hosts – Dan, Steve, Mack, Tyler, Bryan

Topic – In this episode we discuss some concepts of character generation, reasons for creating new characters, and how we decide what types of characters to play.  Included in this episode is also the first installment of our newest segment, Gamecast Games.

(:45) What’s on our horizon

(19:00) Character Generation

(22:58) How do you start character creation

(35:26)  Why do you create new characters

(40:30) How much of a part does emulation play in your character creation

(56:37) Gamecast Game – 2 True

Media – 

Batman Heroclix set
Clix For a Cure
HC Realms
Assasin’s Creed III
Taken (2008) – IMDb
Dungeons and Dragons (RPG)
Pathfinder (RPG)
Marvel Heroic Roleplay (RPG)
Mutants and Masterminds (RPG)

Bryan Supported – Punch Quest (App)

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Oct 252012

Under no circumstances do I enter into a relationship with a new game lightly, particularly when it costs around $50 to do so.  As an old school tabletop RPG player, I certainly already own more than enough gaming material to keep me entertained for the next 200 years or so.  So why buy into Wizards of the Coast’s audaciously-entitled Lords of Waterdeep?  Well… two reasons.  One, because it has such a fancy-looking box.  Trust me, I know what I’m talking about… I have more than a few old Helloween CDs, and I didn’t buy them for the contents.

Secondly, because it’s amazingly original.  So many games are just clones of something else with a little flavor and a couple new mechanics bolted on.

Thirdly (did I mention that there were three?), because it has lots of cool little fiddly bits to keep me entertained.

Okay.  So maybe I should’ve stopped at two.  The game play is rather unique, making a round of Lords of Waterdeep rather unlike anything else I’ve ever played.  It is a strategy game, of sorts, but not a war for nations.  As you huddle around the aesthetically pleasing game board, you adopt the persona of a scheming, backstabbing, money-loving, no-good… er, person of interest, who just happens to be one of the 15 or so powermongers who persistently vie for control of the city’s vibrant economy.  In a deceptively organized fashion, you bribe officials and make back alley deals, plying gullible adventurers with promises of fortune and glory as you slowly undermine the efforts of your worthy opponents.  And then, when no one is looking… you pull your dagger from the hidden sheath in your peryton-skin boots and plunge it into the heart of your neighbor.

Then you sleep on the couch for about a week.

But seriously… Lords of Waterdeep employs the quick-paced action of a Eurogame and the time-honored traditions of strategic play to craft an unusual game that, despite the intimidating inclusion of about five thousand little pieces, is quick and easy to learn and not particularly difficult to master.  The rules are deceptively simple for a game with so many elements, and the game uses decks of intrigue and quest cards to add a random facet to every individual’s treasure chest of options.  And best of all, your identity as one of the city’s 15 lords is kept a secret during play, and each lord has his or her own agenda that provides buckets of potential victory points at the end of the game.

I’ve now played through almost a dozen games, and every game is very different.  Play time, once you’ve got the flow of the game figured out, rounds out at about two hours, give or take the time any given strategist decided to chew his curd while studying the board.  I’ve played several games with a full compliment of five players (they claim there will be an expansion that allows a sixth), but it is just as fun with only a few.

Your agents in the game are represented by standing pieces with a roughly bipedal shape, and the adventurers you hire to complete your quests are represented by friendly little cubes, color-coded for each of four basic classes.  Finally, the coin is modeled after the square brass toals that are used in Waterdeep according to later-edition D&D canon, and cool little golden sickles to stand in as 5-piece coins.

The game changes constantly, allowing for everyone to enjoy the journey without a clear idea of how it’s going to turn out.  Lords of Waterdeep is an excellent game for anyone old enough to grasp the mechanics and refrain from eating the pieces.

That being said… the little victory-point trackers look delicious.  *grins*


Orryn Emrys, the Prismatic Dragon, is the director of the Prismatic Tsuanmi web community and the host of the popular Metagamers Anonymous RPG podcast.  Learn more at

New Days of Wonder Games at Essen

 News  Comments Off on New Days of Wonder Games at Essen
Oct 042012

New Days of Wonder Games at Essen

Oct 4 2012

October is Halloween month, but for gamers something even more exciting is brewing – it’s Essen Spiel, the world’s largest game convention. This year in Essen, Days of Wonder will debut two new products – TheShadows over Camelot Card Game and the Ticket to Ride Halloween Freighter.


Shadows over Camelot – The Card Game follows in the footsteps of the original award-winning cooperative board game. As the sons & daughters of the legendary Knights of the Round Table, players work together to defend Camelot and defeat the game’s threats, represented by a deck of Rumor cards that swirl around the kingdom. Once again, the Knights face Traitors in their midst as loyalties are tested… Using totally different mechanics from its board game namesake, the card game nonetheless recaptures all the epic tension and backstabbing treachery of its glorious predecessor!

Ticket to Ride – the Halloween Freighter is a new set of custom-sculpted trains and stations which includes 45 new orange-colored Pumpkin Trains and 3 spooky Halloween Stations. It’s a Halloween treat for Ticket to Ride fans worldwide that can be used as a replacement train set for any Ticket to Ride game or map collection.

Shadows over Camelot – The Card Game is a stand-alone game that takes approximately 20 minutes and can be played with 2-7 players, as well as solo. It will be available in mid-October at the Essen Spiel and in game stores in Europe and North America in late October. The Halloween Freighter limited edition Train & Station Set will also be at Essen and is expected in game stores in North America and from the Days of Wonder webstore during Halloween week; and in Europe in early November. You can order the card gameTrain Set or both from the Days of Wonder webstore.



Sep 112012

This thing looks AWESOME!

LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE], the all-new science fiction survival-horror board game set in the LEVEL 7 world, has sold out at the manufacturer level due to the high volume of distributor and retailer preorders and excitement built by promotions at GenCon and PAX. Though stock of (the game) is sold out at Privateer Press, the highly anticipated semi-cooperative game will be available to retailers from distributors and will be available in stores on September 19.

You are a captive of Subterra Bravo, imprisoned in the facility’s deepest laboratory, the hall of nightmares known as LEVEL 7. Your singular goal is to escape, but to do that you will have to evade the human and inhuman denizens of this subterranean labyrinth before the entire base is locked down, sealing you in for the rest of your short, tormented life. Will you work together with your fellow prisoners to endure Subterra Bravo’s endless perils, or will you use them to secure your own escape? Ultimately, your chances of survival will depend on how well you manage your greatest weapon, which is also your greatest threat: fear itself.

LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE] is a semi-cooperative, story-driven survival-horror board game for 1–4 players with nerves of steel and a willingness to confront the impossible.

For more info and background on the sinister world of LEVEL 7, click the banner below!

Level 7 [Escape}



  • 47 Map Tiles
  • 138 Cards
  • 4 Character Sheets
  • 133 Tokens and Markers
  • 28 Stands
  • 8 Special Dice
  • Rulebook
  • Scenario Guide

Box Dimensions: 12.75 (W) x 12.75 (H) x 3 (D) measurements in inches.

Episode 10 – Etiquette, Protocol, and Superstitions!

 The Carpe GM Gamecast  Comments Off on Episode 10 – Etiquette, Protocol, and Superstitions!
Aug 212012

Carpe GM Gamecast Logo 300x300

Hosts – Dan, Mack, Steve, Bryan, Tyler

Topic – This is a big one.  In this episode, we answer(?) some questions about gamer etiquette, discuss some house-rule protocol, and listen to some “man-on-the-street” interviews about  gamer superstitions as we discuss and divulge our own.  Finally, we announce our first CarpeGM listener contest!

(00:37) Episode 10!

(1:30) On our horizon

(9:00) Disclaimer

(10:00) A lengthy discussion concerning gamer etiquette and protocol

(53:15) The Gilmore “Gilly”

(55:41) Gamer Superstitions

(56:15) Man-on-the-street interviews

(120:55) The 1st CarpeGM Listener Contest!!!
Media – 

Dark Knight Rises
Breaking Bad (IMDb)
The Borne Legacy
Fortress America
Geek and Sundry
Fiasco (Bully Pulpit Games)
Zima (Wikipedia)
Paizo Publishing
Postcards From the Dungeon (Podcast)

Heroic Adventures
Ninja – Legend of the Scorpion Clan (Game)

 Notes – The prize for our listener contest is brought to you by our friendly local game store
Heroic Adventures, Our Friendly local game store

            We support our friendly local game store….Do you?

Ninja - Legend of the Scorpion Clan

            Ninja – Legend of the Scorpion Clan

If you would like to enter our contest, send your entries to, or, for more information go to  Thanks for listening!

Subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!Subscribe on Stitcher Internet Radio!Like us?...Then like us!Follow us!Send us an email at dan@carpegm.netOur HomepageReccomend us on RPG!

Episode 4 – Discussing Board Games

 The Carpe GM Gamecast  Comments Off on Episode 4 – Discussing Board Games
Jun 082012

Carpe GM Gamecast Logo 300x300

Hosts – Dan, Mack, Bryan, Steve, Tyler

Topic – A discussion about board games and how they differ from RPGs.  We also talk about the different types of board games that are being produced today, some of our favorites, and we review Smallworld.

(2:15) The difference between board games and RPGs

(9:25) Different types of board games

(14:00) Luck VS Strategy

(22:32) Buddha’s List

(25:30) Our favorite board games

(40:46) Smallworld (Game Review)


 Fantasy Flight Gmaes
Wizards of the Coast
Hero Clix
War Hammer
Chaos Chess
Buddha’s List (Wikipedia)
Go (Wikipedia)
Pass the Popcorn
Logo (game)
Cards Against Humanity (free)
Frag (game)
Betrayal at House on the Hill (game)

Subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!Subscribe on Stitcher Internet Radio!Like us?...Then like us!Follow us!Send us an email at dan@carpegm.netOur HomepageReccomend us on RPG!

Jun 012012

Gamecast Logo 300x300 post
Hosts – Dan, Bryan, Mack, Tyler, Steve

Topic – We discuss our gaming and/or geek culture interests.

Notes – This is our third and (as far as we know) final experiment with the format of the show…open discussion.  Be sure to log in at The Game Room or send us an e-mail and let us know what you think.  Due to some unexpected technical difficulties, this episode is considerably shorter than previous episodes.  We promise to be back next week with a full episode.

Thanks for listening!



Media – 

White Wolf Publishing
Twin Peaks (IMDb)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (IMDb)
Chaosium Inc.
Underworld (IMDb)
Paizo Publishing
The Sandman (Comicvine)
Diablo 3
Van Helsing (Wikipedia)
Mouse Guard (RPG)
Burning Wheel (RPG)
Weapons of the Gods (RPG)
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (RPG)
Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers (IMDb)
Fear the Boot (Podcast)

Subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!Subscribe on Stitcher Internet Radio!Like us?...Then like us!Follow us!Send us an email at dan@carpegm.netOur HomepageReccomend us on RPG!