Category Archives: GAMING

GAMING: THE DRUMPF

avatar-scottwoodardIn this very real world of uncertainty and fear, many of us continue to seek solace with our friends or family members around our game tables. We gather together and take a well-deserved break from reality, hacking and slashing our way through dungeons deep and caverns old. To that end, we present to you a new opponent to add to your DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® adventures! Have fun and watch out for those redcaps!

(Created with the Homebrewery)

The Homebrewery - NaturalCrit3

GAMING: 3 CLASSIC AND DEATHLESS HORROR RPGS

avatar-scottwoodard81zgv2hxg-lHorror and tabletop roleplaying games have had a strong relationship for decades. From the very beginning, the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS bestiary included ghasts, ghosts, ghouls, mummies, skeletons, vampires, werewolves, and zombies, along with specific rules for how to dispatch them all. While there are plenty of horrific adventures to be had using DUNGEONS & DRAGONS at their core (heck, the classic Ravenloft setting for D&D was completely inspired by gothic horror), games with the supernatural as their focus have also been around for many years, some of which are still creeping along to this day!

CALL OF CTHULHU

71nscrsn70lOriginally released by Chaosium Inc. as a boxed set back in 1981, CALL OF CTHULHU, inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, was the first true horror roleplaying game. So successful was this particular RPG that just this year (2016), the 7th Edition was unleashed at GenCon. If you’re interested in challenging ancient horrors and elder gods with little more than a Tommy gun and a protective elder sign clutched in your hands, then this is the game for you. Note that most CALL OF CTHULHU player characters conclude their runs either dead or insane, often within the first game session following their creation, so if the thought of spending time rolling up a new character only to have them in an institution – or in the ground – by the end of that same night doesn’t appeal, you may want to take a look at some other games.

CHILL

148433Back in 1984, a group of former TSR employees (TSR was the company responsible for the original publication of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS) launched a new gaming company of their own called Pacesetter Ltd. While they would eventually publish a variety of roleplaying games of different genres, including science fiction and time travel, their flagship title was a horror game known as CHILL: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN. CHILL casts players in the roles of envoys working for a secret organization known as S.A.V.E. These agents work behind the scenes, battling against forces of the Unknown, including everything from Alpine Vampires to Zombie Masters. Originally released as a boxed set, the first edition of CHILL was supported with several fantastic sourcebooks and supplements (including a compilation of short adventures “hosted” by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!) After Pacesetter met its untimely end, CHILL eventually found its way into the hands of Mayfair Games, who then released a revamped 2nd edition in 1990 that was also supported for a few years with excellent sourcebooks and adventures, until Mayfair shifted its focus to things like a little-known boardgame known as SETTLERS OF CATAN. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter, a third edition of CHILL with a couple rule additions including a clever new Token mechanic was released in 2015 through Growling Door Games, and as of this writing, this edition is still very much alive.

DEADLANDS

dlr_pg_exedAs someone who actually wrote a weird western roleplaying game – THE SIXTH GUN from Pinnacle Entertainment Group – it would be remiss of me not to mention Pinnacle’s DEADLANDS! First released in 1996, DEADLANDS embraces the concept of the “weird west” by mashing up classic westerns, albeit more in the vein of Italian spaghetti westerns, with straight-ahead horror and sorcery. Supported by a ton of source material, including books, novels, miniatures, custom playing card decks, and more, DEADLANDS presents a unique way to explore horror in a new setting devoid of things like cell phones and the internet. Like CALL OF CTHULHU, DEADLANDS has remained in print, in one form or another, in the hands of the same publisher since 1996. In its most popular current form, it uses a slightly modified version of the Savage Worlds rules and is often referred to as DEADLANDS RELOADED. Other adapted versions of the game have been released, including d20 and GURPS editions.

If you’re ready to unleash nightmares upon your tabletop, check out the links throughout the article and don’t forget your silver bullets, your holy water, and of course, your dice! And as always, visit DriveThruRPG for additional tabletop roleplaying games, and be sure to use our affiliate link below!

Huge Discounts on your Favorite RPGs @ DriveThruRPG.com

GAMING: The Art (And Artists) of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS

avatar-scottwoodardGrowing up as a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS player and occasional Dungeon Master, I spent a lot of my childhood with my nose buried in the many rulebooks published by TSR Games (later TSR Hobbies, Inc.). While the goal was to digest the many arcane rules and scenario details in order to ensure smooth sailing at the game table, the most memorable elements from those rulebooks were, and still are, the many illustrations and full-color paintings that adorned the pages and covers of the various tomes and adventure modules.

Even before the age of 12, I was highlighting my favorite pieces and learning the names of the artists behind them; names like Jeff Dee, Erol Otus, Jim Roslof, Donald C. Sutherland III, and D.A. Trampier appearing on a new product’s title page ensured the reader that the illustrations held within would be of a certain quality and compatible style to previously published works.

dmscreendesktop-2

As the years drew on, new names joined their ranks, including Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Todd Lockwood, and Keith Parkinson, and soon after that, still more artists like Brom, Jeff Butler, and Tony DiTerlizzi. Now, a new documentary focusing on so many of these incredible artists is in production from X-Ray Films and Cavegirl Productions. Directed by Brian Stillman, Kelley Slagle, and Seth Polansky, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: THE ART OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is described as “an exciting new documentary that explores the history, influence, and stories behind the artwork that helps create the worlds in which we all play. The movie profiles D&D artists – both past and present – and also features former TSR insiders, game designers, authors, and fans. EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: THE ART OF DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS is a celebration of the art we all love so much.”

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is due to be released in 2017. Keep up with its production via their Facebook page!

GAMING: CINEMA AND SORCERY at GenCon 2016

avatar-scottwoodardmeavatarjessOne last look back at the greatness that was GenCon 2016! Over the course of the weekend, a number of folks tweeted themselves perusing copies of Scott and Arnold’s new book, CINEMA AND SORCERY: THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FANTASY FILM, and herewith we present a montage of all those stalwart adventurers as they pored over the pages of this one-of-a-kind tome! Following that – if ye be brave enough – are all the original tweets embedded below!

montagecs

GAMING: G2V at GenCon 2016 – Post-Convention Round-Up [TONS OF PHOTOS]

Play

avatar-scottwoodardmeavatarjessWell, GenCon 2016 is in the history books and the G2V Guys are both home in their respective cities on opposite sides of the country, but we’re bringing you this last special audio round-up of their final day at the show as well as their thoughts on the convention as a whole. Below you’ll also find some last looks at the many things they saw on the convention floor and some pics from their final CINEMA AND SORCERY: THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FANTASY FILM book signing at the Green Ronin booth! And stay tuned, because posting soon will be the Doctor of the Dead’s travelogue to Evans City Cemetery and the Living Dead Museum!

This guy was greeting visitors outside the hall. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This guy was greeting visitors outside the hall.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This Sentinel looks so tired. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This Sentinel looks so tired.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Found him! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Found him!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This is a game we can't refuse! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This is a game we can’t refuse!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The Survive the Horde table display. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The Survive the Horde table display.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
It did seem a bit harder to find many zombie and apocalypse-themed games this year, but they were there if you looked hard enough. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
It did seem a bit harder to find many zombie and apocalypse-themed games this year, but they were there if you looked hard enough.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Another zombie card game, sitting alongside a game that looks equally intriguing. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Another zombie card game, sitting alongside a game that looks equally intriguing.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A look at the huge Twilight Creations ZOMBIES!!! game case full o' fun!  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A look at the huge Twilight Creations ZOMBIES!!! game case full o’ fun!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Mmm, bite-sized brains (seriously though, don't eat those). Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Mmm, bite-sized brains (seriously though, don’t eat those).
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The zombie superhero RPG, with writing by friend of the G2V Guys, Tony Kenealy! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The zombie superhero RPG, with writing by friend of the G2V Guys, Tony Kenealy!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Everything is awesome!  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Everything is awesome!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The picture really doesn't do this stunning ocean-like display table justice. Amazing stuff. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The picture really doesn’t do this stunning ocean-like display table justice. Amazing stuff.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There were so many 50th anniversary STAR TREK games, here's just a glimpse of one of them! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There were so many 50th anniversary STAR TREK games, here’s just a glimpse of one of them!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Look at all those TNG-era D'deridex class Romulan warbirds! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Look at all those TNG-era D’deridex class Romulan warbirds!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Long-time G2V and DOCTOR OF THE DEAD supporter Bryan Spellman showed up to get a signed CINEMA AND SORCERY! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Long-time G2V and DOCTOR OF THE DEAD supporter Bryan Spellman showed up to get a signed CINEMA AND SORCERY!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Nick Seidler of the RED WHITE AND WHO team joins the guys! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Nick Seidler of the RED WHITE AND WHO team joins the guys!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Green Ronin's Donna Prior came over for a quick pic with the guys! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Green Ronin’s Donna Prior came over for a quick pic with the guys!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The scavenger hunt flyer from Hyper RPG that featured CINEMA AND SORCERY! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The scavenger hunt flyer from Hyper RPG that featured CINEMA AND SORCERY!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A close-up of that flyer. A bear??? Sounds dangerous! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A close-up of that flyer. A bear??? Sounds dangerous!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Eric and Brandon of Geekline415 stopped by to pick up some books!  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Eric and Brandon of Geekline415 stopped by to pick up some books!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
We have a winner! Angela picked up the sword ice pops in our signing giveaway.  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
We have a winner! Angela picked up the sword ice pops in our signing giveaway.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky