Margaret Weiss's Battlestar Galactica RPG Update

BattlestarGalactica.3.21.06a.jpgAfter the initial announcement from Margaret Weiss Productions of a Battlestar Galactica RPG on the horizon, there wasn’t much news to be had anywhere. We were left hanging in the dark. The official Margaret Weiss website still has the same under construction page, the same number of products on their website, and no mention at all of the progress of the B-Star RPG. Odd. It was beginning to look like the title had become vaporware.

But GamingReport.com seems to have poked a hole through the media dam with news and details of the upcoming RPG rulebooks. Here’s a snippet from their site:

”The full 224-page full-color Battlestar Galactica Role Playing Game Corebook won’t be out until July 2007, but only Cylons haven’t pre-ordered it already from their FLGS. The Corebook includes everything needed to create characters, all game rules, gear lists, ships, ship and chase mechanics, and sample characters, plus military jargon, procedures, and rank listings. It also includes complete deck plans for Galactica! $44.99”

More information can be found in the GR post “GTS Special: Dragonlance, Serenity, Battlestar Galactica, and more!” [link]

With the very long hiatus of the BS:G TV series (not until 2008 it seems), then the release of the RPG in July will be nice little treat to get us through this detox. It’s already been hard enough and we’re like only one month in. We're crossing our fingers our fingers in the hopes that we'll soon hear of an official website launch, too, but at this point we’re not going to hold our breath - given the lack of online presence from Margaret Weiss productions that’d be suicide. We’ll probably have to find a 3rd party community site from which to mine RPG materials. Hopefully MWP will put more effort into the product than their online presence.

We’ll keep you posted as any more details are released.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 26, 2007

George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" RPG Announced

A Game of Thrones, Book 1 in A Song of Ice and FireThe publisher Green Ronin has announced its plans to produce a Role Play Game around the A Song of Ice and Fire, the fantasy setting made famous my George R.R. Martin series of novels of the same name. We personally don't have much hands-on experience with Green Ronin, but we haven't quite found any bad press about the RPGs either.

Yes, it's true, we're more board gamers than RPG players. For some reason we feel that we've always played RPGs incorrectly. Maybe the years of structured board gaming has squelched our improvisational skills. But to be fair, fighting a goblin one v one with both he and your hero missing 15 rounds in a row.. just doesn't lend itself to the creation of an exciting narrative. At about round 4 you give up describing how totally inept both characters are, and reach for your beer and a keno ticket instead.

But that doesn't mean we can't see a potential successful franchise when it comes and punches in the face. Based on the most popular thread running through Green Ronin's forums, the veteran RPGs company is starting things from scratch, designing RPG systems custom tailored to the A Song of Ice and Fire theme. Considering the source material it's based on, we hope for the best.

ArrowContinue reading: "George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" RPG Announced"

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

December 26, 2006

Battlestar Galactica RPG Announced by Margaret Weiss

BattlestarGalactica.3.21.06a.jpgWe don't usually cover RPG news here, but this one has us quite a bit excited. Marget Weiss is the co-author of one of our favorite trilogy of novels from childhood - the Dragonlance Chronicles. And the Sci-Fi Channel's B-Star is easily one of our favorite shows airing on TV these days.

Blame the eggnogg: You got Sturm Brightblade in my fraking Starbucks!

From the official press release on Gaming Report: "Like the show, the role playing game book is set in space and will focus on the challenges of survival in exceedingly trying times — and the difficult choices that must be made. The core product, the Battlestar Galactica Role Playing Game, is a self-contained game product using the same game system as the best-selling and award-winning Serenity Role Playing Game (also produced by Margaret Weis Productions). The game book will be a full-color hardcover book featuring still images from the series as well as original artwork. It will provide rules for play, character creation, and information about the ship and crew of Galactica as well as the other main characters from the show. A Quickstart Guide will be released in early 2007 with the core product premiering in the spring. Additional products will closely follow the release of the core product. The entire line will be supported by an interactive website."

We haven't played any of Margaret Weiss' other RPGs (like we said - RPGs really aren't our cup of tea), but we've heard some pretty good things about the fast-playing Serenity RPG, and the BS:G RPG is said to borrow from that ruleset.

But of course we're not blinded by love. Just because two separate things rock on their own (BS:G and the author of the Dragonlance Chronicles) doesn't mean that they'll mesh together into something that also rocks. Take this for example:

In one hand Russ is holding a Scotch. Scotch rocks (unless your under aged, then it's the Satan's swill). In his other hand is a innocent kitten, which is cute, and soft, and therefore also rocks.. But nobody likes scotch soaked kittens. And kitten-aged scotch sounds just about as good as candy corn sausages. Poor Russ. How will you ever drown your sorrows? No, not like that. OK - put the kitten down.

And so our critical minds are a bit concerned. especially given the current state of affairs over at the Margaret Weiss official website. You would think that such a large product announcement would coincide with a killer website launch. You know: with specific details of the bells and whistles of the game system, ready for interested parties to ring and ... well, whistle. But as of right now there's very little there - mostly "Under Construction" links (psst... hide the links if they don't work!). Hopefully the final game won't be quite so sloppy.

So we'll sleep with one open eye until we get more info on this one in 2007. Still, it's got potential.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 26, 2006

Now Shipping "Battlestations: Pax Galacticum" Expansion

BattleStationsCover.7.26.06.jpgPublisher Gorilla Games have released their latest expansion to the cooperative rpg / board game hybird "Battlestations". "Pax Galacticum" (Adventures in the Verdant Nebula) comes with a new setting, new ship tiles, rules, and hero skills. Here's the official line:

Adventure beyond combat in the second exciting supplement for Battlestations! Challenges of skill, rescue missions and puzzling space anomalies will add intrigue and depth to your adventures. New Combat skill actions and equipment allow an easy translation for 'marines' to become brave rescue workers! (The adventures, equipment and bonus modules are completely compatible with the basic game.)

Contents:

  • 1 rulebook
  • 6 double-sided modules
  • 30 double-sided markers
  • 16 fungaloids

The "Pax Galacticum" expansion is now shipping from Funagain Games and the online at the official Battlestations! store.

For those of you new to Battlestations - the game is a cooperative hybrid board game where players work together to control a starship of their design. The design is decided by the group, and reflected in the placement of the various ship tiles, including rooms like the Helm, Missile Bay, or Science Bay. Players control custom hero characters who walk around the various rooms of the ship pushing buttons, putting out fires, operating the zero-G toilet, firing weapons, and pushing back alien boarding parties. BattleStationsCover2.7.26.06.jpgPicture a board game where players fulfill the officer roles of Star Trek (but in a more colorful universe) and you can see where this game gets its popularity. Here's the Battlestation's official description:

Battlestations is a pulp sci fi adventure boardgame. Ongoing adventures feature simultaneous ship-to-ship and boarding combat in space. Players work together as a starship crew aboard a ship of their own design facing referee-controlled forces. You’ll track the heroes' positions on the starship layouts and the starships’ positions on the space map. The action in Battlestations is character driven. If you want the ship to turn, speed up, or launch a missile or blast the enemy ship, a hero has to take an action to make it so.

Take action to defeat enemy warships, resolve alien encounters or adventure through uncharted astral phenomena.

With the expanding Battlestations universe, there's always a new adventure in the stars!

Contents:

  • 48 double-sided 3.5" Starship Modules
  • 8 8.5" x 11" Hex Maps
  • 160 Die Cut Counters
  • 32 Die Cut Hexagonal Markers
  • 10 Glass Marker Beads
  • 6 Dice
  • 128 cardboard Fold-up Heroes
  • 112-Page Adventure Book

Tastey. The original Battlestations starter set is also available at FunagainGames. Also, read more about the game at the official Battlestations website.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

May 10, 2006

D&D Sourcebook Review on Slashdot

DnD.5.6.06.jpgThe boys over at Slashdot games have done a great rundown the D&D and GURPS source books released during the last six months. They have a great opinionated synopses for each title, so you should give it a ready before you buy any of these following titles:

  • Spell Compendium
  • Races of the Dragon
  • Magic of Eberron
  • Heroes of Horror
  • GURPS For Dummies
  • GURPS Space
  • A Player's Guide to Ptolus

We're a bit surprised that they slammed the Sell Compendium so hard. It's actually pretty good deal considering you get all the spells from all the books, without having to buy the whole library. But to each their own.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

May 4, 2006

Our Review Policy

Zoomed-in white looks gray.We have this crazy notion that most review sites skew their scores towards the positive. Essentially one or two stars out of five are almost unheard of.. and that's not fair. If 2.5 is average, smack in between 'great' and 'crap-awful', then how come just about everything in the world is a 3+? Not to get depressing - but last time we check ed the outside world it wasn't black and white but pretty grey.

So please don't shower us with hatemails when you see a low score for something you love. We'll just reply with a fruit basket containing a simple note with the link to this page saying "We told how it is." If you disagree with our points about what was good, what was bad, and why, well then.. that's different.

Without further adieu, our 5 star 'system':

  • 0 Stars : Fill your gas tank and grab a coffee (to go), because the only satisfaction you'll get from owning this product will occur the moment you abandon it on the side of a distant freeway.

  • 1 Star : The potential of this product is obvious, but it falls short in almost every way. It'll end-up on the bottom of your game stack, sitting dusty and neglected.

  • 2 Stars : This product has a few good things going on, but the bad elements overshadow them. Only for people who are enthusiastic over the subject matter.

  • 3 Stars : A very strong product for the intended audience. A product that 'works' out of the box.

  • 4 Stars : This product is so good that it will interest almost everyone, even folks who normally wouldn't' give 'similar products' their extra umbrella in a rainstorm.

  • 5 Stars: : Lie, loot, cheat, .. sell some blood if you have to, just get this product. We'll still be playing it when we're 80.

The word "product" should be replaced with "game" in almost every case, but we do sometimes review gaming peripherals, so we thought we'd be product-generic to be on the safe side.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 20, 2005

GMs - When You're Feeling Uninspired

GermanWinter-11-17-05a.JPGIf you're feeling tapped of the creative.. things.. and stuff.. or somethin', then you might want to check out this post in the En World forums. There's a few well-suggested links in here, like sites devoted to: Roman History, Various. Name. Generators., Historical Atlases, and uh The Online Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms.

That 'Western Signs' site is actually pretty cool. The subject seems obscure, so we thought it'd be served out of some guy's flooded basement. But it's hosted by a Swedish publishing firm -- and they've got their act together.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 17, 2005

Take Christmas Shopping to a Whole New Level with d10 Earings

Pick up a pair for that special someone who's all about the gaming. Now - you might find yourself relegated to the couch or slapped in the face if you lead Christmas morning with this gift, but at 5 bucks a pair they should serve as good stocking stuffer. These jobbers are hand made and come in various colors and all the dX varieties, which is great if the fashionable wearer has geometric prejudices.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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