Monday, September 27, 2010

More Thunderstone

Releasing in November


Thunderstone: Doomgate Legion

$34.99 SRP

Hiding away in secret for centuries, the order of the Doomgate Legion have guarded the Stone of Avarice from friend and foe alike. Their cult-like existence known only to a few, the Legionnaires dedicate themselves to the secrecy, protection, and worship of the stone. They are its champions. Its sentinels. Its vanguards.

It is up to you to defeat them.

The second expansion to Thunderstone adds more to the game of "deck-building with a purpose." Doomgate Legions introduces the Cult of the Doomgate, who have guarded the Stone of Avarice for centuries. This cult, along with a sect of evil druids and other all-new monsters await your heroes as they race to secure the third Thunderstone!

Doomgate Legions features two all-new card types: Mercenaries and Treasures! Mercenaries are henchmen for hire in the village who bring all new abilities to the dungeon. Treasures are found after defeating monsters, providing powerful new benefits for your party! Mystic amulets and legendary armor will take your deck to new heights. But beware: the cultists have been at work on strange and horrifying new Diseases that will pose major hurdles for your heroes!

* Four new Heroes

* New art from Jason Engle

* Many new village cards including Mercenaries

* Five new Monster groups, including the Doomgate Legion

* Over 300 new cards total

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Comments about Castle P

Nice thread on boardgamegeek about the store. For those of you locals that posted to it, thanks and we'll work to keep meeting your expectations.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New from Pazio

Releasing October 27th:

Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: The City of Seven Spears (Serpent's Skull 3 of 6) (PFRPG)

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Misfit Monsters Redeemed (PFRPG)


PF: City of Seven Spear, The

$19.99 SRP


PC: Misfit Monsters

$19.99 SRP

The heroes at last emerge from the trackless jungles of the Mwangi Expanse to discover the vine-choked lost city of Saventh-Yhi, ruined outpost of the ancient kingdom of Azlant. With seven spear-like monolith towers peaking above the verdant canopy and crumbling causeways echoing with the savage cries of unknown predators, the city promises untold wealth to those brave enough to claim it. But the heroes are not alone, for their allies and enemies among Sargava’s colonist government, the Pathfinder Society, the Aspis Consortium merchant league, the Pirate Lords of the Shackle Isles, and the mysterious assassins of the Red Mantis also have designs upon the treasures of the City of Seven Spears, and the race is on to plunder the riches of the city’s many adventure sites.

A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 7th-level characters, this volume continues the highly anticipated Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path, in which the heroes fight their way through a treacherous jungle to discover and plunder an ancient lost city. This volume features a gazetteer of the jungle-choked lost city of Saventh-Yhi, with tips for expanding the site to add depth to the campaign as well as an overview of the primitive ju ju magic of the Mwangi Expanse natives. Plus five all-new monsters in the Pathfinder Bestiary, new fiction in the Pathfinder Journal, and more!

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-274-6

Paizo’s Classic Monsters Revisited sold out quickly, setting a new standard for re-imagining the most famous monsters of fantasy gaming. Dragons Revisited followed shortly thereafter, applying that unmistakable Paizo style to the great wyrms of swords & sorcery. Dungeon Denizens Revisited and Classic Horrors Revisited were soon to follow, each receiving critical plaudits, strong sales, and ballyhoos from gamers around the world. Pathfinder players (end even some members of the staff) began to wonder, is there any monster they can’t re-invent?

With the trepidation of an adventurer exploring a dungeon with a sweating forehead and a 10-foot pole, Paizo proudly presents Misfit Monsters Redeemed, an in-depth look at 10 of the lamest, most-hated, and flat out goofiest monsters ever to haunt a fantasy roleplaying campaign. People tell us we can improve any monster, so we’ve recruited the most misunderstood denizens of fantasy roleplaying to put that theory to the test.

This soon-to-be legendary 64-page full-color volume includes all-new backgrounds, expansions, and tips for monstrous lovable losers like the adherer, delver, dire corby, disenchanter, flail snail, flumph, lava child, lurker above, tojanida and, of course, the insidious wolf-in-sheep’s clothing. The gaming world will never be the same again!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Talisman Expansion Coming

Coming in October


Talisman: Sacred Pool Expansion

$24.95 SRP

The endless struggle between the spirits of light and the forces of darkness is escalating. Mighty heroes are called to choose their alignment and fight to prove themselves worthy... The Sacred Pool, an expansion for the classic board game Talisman, brings new excitement and tension to your quest for the Crown of Command! Four new playable characters join the race for power, and never-before-seen Alternate Ending cards ensure ample replayability. Meanwhile, Stable cards bring you useful equestrian followers, and Quest Reward cards give new incentives to complete the perilous Warlock Quests! In addition, The Sacred Pool presents new reasons to watch your character’s alignment. The inclusion of Neutral Alignment cards allow you to follow new paths in Talisman and possibly receive greater rewards...if you choose the right side. The Sacred Pool comes with 4 new characters, 72 new Adventure cards, 16 new Spell cards, 24 Quest Reward cards, and much more!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Movie Release Dates

Courtesy of Diamond Comics, here's a pretty complete list of movie releases through the end of 2011:

Title Format Release Date Notes
Let Me In Film OCT 1 A 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire child in this American adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In
The Social Network Film OCT 1 The epic story of the founding of Facebook; directed by David Fincher (Se7en)
Red Film OCT 15 Bruce Willis and John Malkovich star in this high-octane drama about an aged and retired spy forced to turn against the organization that trained him decades ago; based on the Warren Ellis/Cully Hammer graphic novel (MAR090211D)
Fallout: New Vegas Video Games OCT 19 Bethesda Softworks and the RPG designers at Obsidian Entertainment bring another chapter in the post-apocalyptic PS3/PC game.
Star Wars: Force Unleashed II Video Games OCT 26 Darth Vader's apprentice Starkiller returns in this sequel to the hit game.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World DVD OCT 28 Arrested Development's Michael Cera heads up the cast of this adaptation of the popular Oni series
DC Universe Online Video Games NOV 2 DC's MMO action game, allowing players to create their own characters and fight with or against DC's heroes and villains.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Video Games NOV 9 The seventh edition of the first person shooter game for the PS3 and Wii.
Morning Glory Film NOV 12 Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams star in this comedy about a televison morning show
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I Film NOV 19 The first part of the film adaptation of the final novel in J.K. Rowling's best-selling fantasy series
Red Dawn Film NOV 24 The remake of the cult-classic 1980s film about Colorado high school students repelling an invasion of the United States
Tangled Film NOV 24 Disney's latest animated classic, retelling the story of Rapunzel
Epic Mickey Video Games NOV 30 Warren Spector (Deus Ex) creates this platform RPG for the Nintendo Wii that features dark and twisted versions of Disney characters
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Film DEC 10 The third film in Walden Media's adaptation of C.S. Lewis' best-selling fantasy series
Tron: Legacy Film DEC 17 The sequel to Disney's innovative 1982 virtual reality film
Yogi Bear Film DEC 17 The classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon series comes to theaters in a CGI-animated/live-action hybrid starring Dan Ackroyd, Justin Timberlake, and Tom Cavanagh
Gulliver's Travels Film DEC 22 Jonathan Swift's 18th-century satire is remade once more in a new film starring Jack Black
Little Fockers Film DEC 22 The third film in the series that began with Meet the Parents; stars Ben Stiller, Robert de Niro, and Teri Polo
Title Format Release Date Notes
The Green Hornet Film JAN 14, 2011 Stars Seth Rogen, directed by Michel Gondry, based on the popular superhero
I Am Number Four Film FEB 18, 2011 Science-fiction movie about teenage aliens from Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar
Kids In America Film MAR 4, 2011 Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3), Anna Faris, and Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) star in this retro comedy from the creators of That '70s Show
Battle: Los Angeles Film MAR 11, 2011 Los Angeles comes under attack by aliens in this documentary-style alien invasion film starring Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) and Michelle Rodriguez (LOST)
Red Riding Hood Film MAR 11, 2011 The Brothers Grimm fairy tale is updated in this horror film starring Amanda Seyfried
Paul Film MAR 18, 2011 Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite for this road trip comedy about two British comic book fans loose in the United States
A Game of Thrones Television SPRING 2011 An original television series for HBO based on George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire and starring Sean Bean (Sharpe) and Lena Headey (The Sarah Connor Chronicles); available as a collectible card game from Fantasy Flight and a pen-and-paper RPG from Green Ronin (JUN085177F)
Scream 4 Film APR 15, 2011 The latest chapter in the post-modern horror franchise
The Thing Film APR 29, 2011 The 1950s horror classic is remade for a new generation by Battlestar Galactica producer Ronald D. Moore
Thor Film MAY 6, 2011 Directed by Kenneth Branagh (Henry V), starring Australian actor Chris Hemsworth
Priest Film MAY 13, 2011 Based on the comic book by Min-Woo Hyung, Priest centers on a warrior priest (Paul Bettany) who disobeys church law by teaming with a young sheriff to track down a band of renegade vampires who have kidnapped the priest's niece
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Film MAY 20, 2011 Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the Fountain of Youth in this, the fourth film in Disney's popular film series based on the Disney theme parks ride
The Hangover 2 Film MAY 26, 2011 The gang from the breakout comedy The Hangover return for more hijinks
X-Men: First Class Film JUN 3, 2011 Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kick-Ass) charts the early days of the X-Men with this prequel to the film trilogy, starring James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto
Green Lantern Film JUN 17, 2011 Ryan Reynolds stars as DC Comics' cosmic guardian
Cars 2 Film JUN 24, 2011 Return to Radiator Springs with this sequel to the blockbuster Disney/Pixar animated classic
Rise of the Apes Film JUN 24, 2011 The Planet of the Apes franchise continues in this new film starring James Franco and Andy Serkis
Transformers 3 Film JUL 1, 2011 Director Michael Bay blows up more military hardware and more audience eardrums in this third movie based on Hasbro's popular Transformers toy franchise
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II Film JUL 15, 2011 The second part of the film adaptation of the final book in J.K. Rowling's best-selling fantasy series
Winnie-the-Pooh Film JUL 15, 2011 Disney adapts A.A. Milne's beloved childrens' stories for a new generation
The First Avenger: Captain America Film JUL 22, 2011 Marvel Comics' patriotic hero comes to the silver screen
The Smurfs Film JUL 29, 2011 Peyo's beloved blue creatures come to theatres in a live-action extravaganza
Marvin the Martian Film OCT 7, 2011 Warner Bros.' animated world-be Martian invader comes to theaters in a hybrid CGI/live-action film
Puss In Boots Film NOV 4, 2011 Antonio Banderas reprises his role as Puss in Boots in this spin-off film to Dreamworks' beloved Shrek films
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part I Film NOV 18, 2011 The long-awaited film adaptation of the fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer's vampire romance series begins
Sherlock Holmes 2 Film DEC 16, 2011 Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the sequel to Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Film DEC 21, 2011 David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) helms an all-star adaptation of Stieg Larsson's best-selling Swedish mystery novel

Monday, September 20, 2010

Invasion from Outer Space

Saw preliminary work on this last spring. Looks like it should be out in time for Halloween:

Expected in October


Invasion from Outer Space

$59.95 SRP

2-8 Players

Ages 12+

60 Minutes

Invasion From Outer Space, The Martian Game is a fast-paced game of fiendish Martians, Big Top Heroes, and SciFi Movie Action. Players take on the role of either the Carnival Heroes, using their special talents and working together to fight off the Martian Invasion; or as the invaders themselves, waves of Martian Soldiers and Flying Saucers, blasting Humans with Ray Guns and unleashing their vile alien technologies upon the Earth.

Featuring a modular game board, eight Carnival Heroes to choose from (such as the Fire Breather, Strongman, or Jo Jo, the dancing Bear), an army of Martians to start the invasion (including Martian Champions such as the dreaded Zard Beast), and several different Scenarios to play that drastically change the game; Invasion From Outer Space is designed to create a cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds.

Also, as Invasion From Outer Space is built using the Last Night on Earth game engine, the two games are fully compatible. With ease, players can now have their Martians invade the small town of Woodinvale, Zombies attack the Carnival, or even play a massive game with up to three independent factions (Heroes, Zombies, and Martians). The possibilities are endless.

So drop those roasted peanuts, strap on your jumpsuit, and step into the spotlight...the Martians are Coming and the Invasion From Outer Space has begun!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hex Hex XL Coming Soon

Hex Hex XL - Now Shipping To Distributors
(S&D0004, $37.95 MSRP)
Deviously Simple. Delightfully Mean-Spirited. Wickedly Fast-Paced.
And Bigger and Better than Ever!
HEX·HEX™ is a fast-playing, stand-alone card game for 3 to 6 people. Players hurl Hex after Hex around the table, constantly redirecting, deflecting and altering the Hex's power until finally someone runs out of options and becomes HEXED. In the end, the winner alone will command enough Voice to control the group and lay down the law... creating a new rule for the next game.
HHXL CardsHex Hex XL is the new, larger core edition of our popular Hex Hex game and will replace both the 1.5 base game and Hex Hex Next. As you might surmise from the title, the new, larger game will include a larger, but streamlined deck of 150 cards taking the 'best of' cards from both sets. In addition, the game will have 2 NEW variants with new cards, tokens and even 5 wooden obelisks to support them. The variant Hex Hex Vexed includes 25 new 'law' cards and 12 new tokens, and is perfect for a one-game sitting, where you want to see a few classic HEX·HEX 'Laws' come into play DURING play. Each Hex cast becomes a specific type of Hex - that delivers a curse upon all the players who become Hexed that hand. The other variant, Hexen Stix, adds a lightning-fast reflex element to game play - a ring of hexagonal shaped obelisks that mete out penalties for those who do not rise to the challenge quickly enough in grabbing them and can reward those who do.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Smallville RPG

Took a look at the Smallville RPG today and, while it looks nice and probably plays pretty well since it uses the Cortex RPG System, I don't think this RPG will have "legs", simply because it's based on a media, specifically movie or TV, property.

Taking a look at the store shelves, I see role playing games for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Serenity, Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Dr. Who and, in the used section, Men In Black, Hercules/Xena, Star Trek, Star Wars and StarGate, all of which had varying amounts of support and, with the exception of Star Wars and Dr. Who, haven't sold in months.

Hoever, RPGs with licenses derived from books, tend to sell steadily. We still sell both the older and newer DC Heroes RPGS, as well as the Marvel based ones. The Elric RPG sells, albeit slowly, as does Call of Cthulhu. The reason for this, based on my experience and research, is that the book licensed RPGs continually have new material coming out. In the case of the comic based ones, there's a whole new crop of material ever month. Michael Moorcock keeps putting out material in his Eternal Champion series and a month doesn't go by without a new Cthulhu based short story. Among the media based RPGs noted above, only Star Wars and Dr. Who have fresh material coming out on a regular basis. Without that new material, they would suffer the same fate as the others in the list.

The Smallville TV series starts its final season next week. Even with the announced list of products shipping from MWP, the track record of similar media based RPGs is pretty dismal. If MWP had gotten the license for the game earlier, much like Eden Studios did with the Buffy RPG, the company would have stood an excellent chance of selling a good quantity of the books. this late in the series' run, I don't expect the RPG to last much beyond 2012.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Promotion vs. Game Promotion

Was listening to this story on NPR today and which got me thinking about the difference between how the book industry promotes and how the tabletop game industry promotes.

To promote Room, the publisher sent out 6000 review copies then hosted parties and events at BookExpo and other trade events. The focus is on getting bookstores to know about and talk up the book to their customers.

To promote most tabletop games, few review copies are sent out. Few parties and events are held to generate retailer interest. the most that happens in terms of a sponsored event is a dinner hosted by a publisher at one of the industry trade shows, such as the Alliance Open House or the GAMA Trade Show. The publisher focuses on demos at conventions and generating online buzz about the game.

The main reasons for this are twofold:

1. there are no publishing houses in the game industry such as there are in the book trade. Book publishers look to individual authors for material and sign contracts with the author to publish books the publisher feels will be successful. The book publisher does not create original content. Whereas, the tabletop game publisher usually exists to publish and sell the output of particular person or group of people or in support of a particular product, such as Steve Jackson Games or Pazio Publishing. Most game designers, rather than selling their product to an existing publisher, create their own company to publish and sell it to one of the existing distributors, such as Alliance or ACD.

There are some game companies, esp. boardgame companies such as Mayfair, Z-Man and rio Grande, that do buy the rights to games from outside developers. However, their usual model is to find successful European games and import them or buy the rights to print them in the US. As far as I know, they do not sign contracts to publish games that have not already proven successful in the European market.

2. Most game companies are undercapitalized. They have the money to print the game and depend on sales of that game to fund the next one. If subsequent game sales are successful, the money is plowed back into capital improvements, with little left over to spend on promotion. Hence, a heavy reliance on free methods of promotion, such as email, Facebook and Twitter, forums and websites, which promote the product to the consumer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dragon CD-ROM and PDFs

I was looking through my collection of Dragon magazines the other day, which dates back to the mid 80s, and remembering how many back issues of the mag we used to sell. Customers years ago used to come and browse through the boxes, seaching for a particular back ussue, much like comic collectors used to do.

Much of the searching from back issues by comic collectors came to an end with the advent of eBay, which made almost every issue a collector could want available for a price. The hunt for Dragon back issues came to an end several years before the widespread acceptance of eBay, when TSR released the Dragon Magazine CD-ROM, selling at the time for about $25 and now going for over $100 on Amazon. The CD held the first 250 issues of Dragon in a searchable format, so collectors didn't have to worry about searching down that elusive back issue any more. Less than a year after the release of the CD-ROM, our sales of Dragon back issues had tapered off to one or two a month, then nothing. We have gone months and even a year or better without selling anything from the Dragon backstock.

In a way, I think the Dragon CD helped usher in the era of the PDF game and online magazine. The people who bought the Dragon CD long before the rise of the PDF proved to companies that there was a market for the release of printed material in this format and that people were willing to pay for it, albeit a lower price, but they would pay just the same. Players got accustomed to reading the magazines on their computer, so it was just a short step to offering them other materials in electronic format.