Monday, February 28, 2011

DUST Tactics Expansions to come....

More stuff for DUST!

As miniature games go, this is a good one. Check out Review 8b to hear what we had to say about it. If your interested or already a fan the following teasers are going you.

All I know is that I want them all. I've already pre-ordered one of each from Brett @ The Comic Store West (and if you've forgotten about it Brett then here's a reminder!).

From Game Trade Magazine:

~Snip Snip~

GTM #132 - Dust Tactics Expansions
by Fantasy Flight Games
Art 1Since its release, Dust Tactics has gained an eager and loyal following, thanks in part to its beautiful miniatures and elegant game mechanics. The Dust Tactics core set contains enough material for players to wage war for a long time to come. However, a slew of expansions have recently popped up on the radar, and a world of new possibilities will open up when they hit store shelves!
One of the first expansions in the queue isOperation Cyclone, an exciting new campaign expansion coming this winter. Operation Cyclonebrings the fight from Antarctica’s frozen waterways to its icy shores with a scenario guide including eight new battles, as well as the supplemental rules for artillery and amphibious terrain tiles! These terrain tiles allow attacking forces to pour onto the battlefield, while artillery rules bring a whole new dimension to the game.
Leading their forces to glory or the grave, two new heroes also enter the fray. For the Allies, Master Sergeant Rosie Donovan is the brilliant engineer who designed the Allies’ first combat walker, and her mechanical know-how is a constant asset on the battlefield. Her Tank Head repair skill lets her fix damaged tanks... but don’t underestimate her destructive prowess. She has personally adapted her massive bazooka to take down enemy walkers with a single shot!
Meanwhile, the Axis officer Manfred Kreuzer is well respected amongst his peers, having been part of the expedition that first discovered alien technology in the remote caves of Antarctica. This hearty soldier boasts five health, meaning he’s able to protect his men longer than any other hero. What’s more, his Assault skill and unlimitedPanzerfaust give him exceptional tactical flexibility.
Since Operation Cyclone introduces new rules for artillery, you might be wondering whatWalkers Allykind of artillery is on the way. The Medium Assault Walker and the Medium Panzer Walker (for your Allied or Axis armies, respectively) bring tremendous firepower and flexibility to your Dust Tactics forces. Each of these expansions includes a walker body with multiple weapon configurations, allowing a new level of tactical versatility. You can either customize the walker that comes in each pack, or combine them with the walkers from the core set to create a range of exciting combinations. By tailoring your walkers for each fight, you’ll bring new strategies to your Dust Tacticsexperience. Each of these walkers brings their own flavor and feel to their respective armies.
For the Allies, the Medium Assault Walkerexpansion contains one Allied walker that can be customized to multiple types — including the Allies’ newest walker: the Steel Rain! Altogether, the Medium Assault Walker expansion delivers all the parts you need to field a Pounder, a Hot Dog, a Mickey, or a Steel Rain.
The Medium Combat Walker M2-F, or “Steel Rain,” is a mobile dispenser of mass destruction. Although its mighty rockets don’t leave any space to carry the .50 cal, andWalkers Allythe weight of the frame and the artillery shells prevent Steel Rain from jumping over obstacles, these minor drawbacks are overshadowed by an impressive armament. Its 4.2’’ rockets can set sizable areas of the battlefield aflame and annihilate the enemy, and its massive mortar fires explosive shells weighing 20 kilos each!
The Axis’ Medium Panzer Walker expansion, likewise, contains one walker that can be customized to various types — including the Axis’ newest tank: the Lothar! Included are all the parts you need to field either a Luther, a Ludwig, or a Lothar. The model Pz. KpfL. D is affectionately nicknamed “Lothar” by the Axis troops. Its enemies, however, don’t share the same affection. The recognizable shape of the Lothar provokes fear in any soldier who sees it. It carries a formidable armament of Nebelwerfer missile-launchers on each arm, and can deliver a deluge of fire to fill the battlefield with destruction. The missile racks are big enough to carry an incredible number of rockets, and can strike from great distances on the battlefield.
While these behemoths are deadly enough as they are, their artillery effectiveness increases significantly when combined with command squads, which (using the Artillery rules from Operation Cyclone) can draw line of sight for the walkers. Two such squads are on the way.
Rangers SquadKommandtroupe
With The Boss, an Allied Rangers Command Squad, or Kommandotrupp, an AxisSturmgrenadiere Command Squad, you’ll gain a new level of control over the battlefield. Both The Boss and Kommandotrupp have the “Command Squad” ability, making them indispensable in overseeing your other forces. Their exceptional motivational skills even allow them to reactivate units that you’ve already used! What’s more, both squads have the “Artillery Strike” ability, meaning they can serve as spotters for any friendly tank armed with Artillery.
Each of these expansions open a wealth of new options for your Dust Tactics games. But when combined, they really shine, creating even more strategic depth!
Operation CycloneDust Tactics

Saturday, February 26, 2011

HEX Record Set Straight by demon_llama

From the Exile Game Studio forum, demon_llama (a.k.a. ...the rich) has set the record straight about adventures available for Hollow Earth Expeditions. In our podcast we said that there were none available. Well, our listeners are quickly learning not to believe a word we say.

demon_llama shared the following:

Miracle Stone of the Amazon, October 2010
Frozen City of Terror, January 2011
there is also a lot of fan material available out there, most can be found over at

Lots of goodies over at Mythic Eras, so if you're a fan of the Ubiquity Roleplaying System, check it out!

The two adventures are available as PDF downloads at for a steal, costing only $10.99!!

Also, for the real completist there are two sets of style chips that we didn't mention available directly from Exile Game Studio at

Thanks, demon_llama for listening and helping KGS keep the record straight!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chad Vader: Brilliant Incompetence

What would you do if you have a complete Darth Vader costume, a camera, and (apparently) unlimited access to a grocery store? Make popular YouTube videos about a loser in a Vader costume who works in a grocery store? Sorry! Somebody already beat you to it! The videos in the Chad Vader series are hilarious. Chad does, indeed, have force powers but he uses them in lame attempts to war with his arch-nemesis, Clint; impress Clarissa, the checkout girl who detests him;make the store "fully operational;" and to create a more powerful check-out laser.

The series is best when it is poking fun of the ridiculousness of its own concept. Chad hums to the tune of Darth Vader's theme song, "I have a date, Chad has a date." Chad is thwarted from striking down Clint by a banana peel. Chad calls the store manager, "master."

It is amazing the effort the people put into their YouTube videos for absolutely no pay or rewards of any kind except recognition from fans. The folks who did the Chad Vader series deserve your recognition so check them out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yard Sale Treasure: Bermuda Triangle

I love yard sales. I love finding a hidden piece of treasure in somebody else's trash. This past summer, I found a real steal for $1 - a COMPLETE version of the board game Bermuda Triangle. This game was originally published in 1976 by Milton Bradley. The concept is simple. You're a shipping captain and you have to move goods around the Caribbean. Unfortunately, your routes take you dangerously close (and even into!) the Bermuda Triangle! The board is plotted with coordinates. Throughout the game, a large, nebulous Mystery Cloud moves and spins around the board. Should your ship move under the cloud or should the cloud move over your ship, you may be counted in the many victims the Bermuda Triangle has claimed.

The cloud actually has several large magnets in it. It can pick up your ship (which also has a magnet in it), pass it unscathed (if you're lucky!), or move it to a new location. As a game mechanic, this truly random game element is my primary fascination with the game. The game creators did a great job of recapturing the feeling a ship's captain must feel when they see a large storm approaching their vessel at sea.

While you may never see a copy of Bermuda Triangle, I'd like to encourage you to yard sale and keep your eyes peeled for gaming gems. Sometimes when grandma cleans out the attic and basement she digs out a forgotten game that can be a real gem. Do you have a similar story? Post it here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My BSG Summer

This past summer I watched the 2003 Sci-Fi (or SyFy *shudder*) Battlestar Galactica television show at the prompting of my friend, Bill. That is, I watched ALL of it. The miniseries. All four (or six, depending on how you count) seasons totally about 75 episodes. The movies, The Plan and Razor. And the multiple series of webisodes still available online. I watched it all. In one summer. If you do the math, I watched about an hour a day on average.

As you can guess, I was instantly hooked. What a FANTASTIC show. I can't recommend it highly enough to any fan of science fiction.

It's action packed. As you're watching, you never get the feeling that these characters as "safe" because in some metacognitive way you realize that they're the main characters and they can't die. It's got you on the edge of your seat the entire time. What's going to happen next? You just have to check out the next episode to find out. I was glad I didn't have to wait to find out because that would have been torture! There are quite a few ninety degree turns in which the show goes in a completely new direction out of the blue. They always kept it fresh.

It's gritty and mature. Star Wars and Star Trek are both very sanitized worlds - Star Wars is meant to be accessible to children and Star Trek represents a Utopian society. No so in BGS. The "heroes" are often forced into choosing between the lesser of two evils. Sometimes well meaning characters come into conflict with one another when they're both trying to do the right thing. The characters swear, drink, and, well, frak. Quite a lot of fracking, actually.

And last but not least, the characters. FANTASTIC characters brought to life by a fabulous cast. In numerous flashbacks, these characters (and there complex interrelationships) are detailed. Every character is distinct and unique. The cast is quite large (20 or so primary characters) and throughout the series characters that first appeared in the background become quite significant.

Some fans (bitter Brian) have expressed disappointment at the series finale but I thought it was a fitting end to the series. Perhaps my perspective is different than fans who watched it live on television, but I loved Battlestar Galactica from beginning to end. The only problem? The series is so great, no matter how hard you try your BSG role playing game will never be as cool.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

DUST Tactics: Places and things to see.


Since the mass release of DUST Tactics by Fantasy Flight Games I've kept my eye ever upon Fantasy Flight for news and pic's of whats to come. Little did I know that there a world of DUST news and pic's from the DUST Tactics Team before the partnership with FFG.

Searching around for DUST things you may run into the ( ) website where you'll find an announcement from the DUST-Tactics Team directing you to Fantasy Flight Games. Don't let this drive you off just yet. As of now you'll find alot more pic's and teasers there then at FFG's site.

The site's not really that easy to navigate. The page you'll want the most is: ( From there you'll be able to look through a load of pictures and products that makes you wonder when Fantasy Flight Games is going to get these out to us.

If a few paragraphs and some hyperlinks won't get you to check out the's some teasers:

This is pic of a 1:6 scale Proto-type of a Soviet KV-47 which was displayed at the 2004 San Diego Comic Con and painted by Paolo Parente himself. I'm not even sure if I like it or not but I am impressed and it sold for, sit down, $2990.00!!

Under DUST-Books you'll find this modeling guide that's full of tips and stories. $14.00 to PayPal with shipping and handling...ah I'm ordering mine once I post this!

Under DUST-48 you'll find some Resin and decal pages. Neat vehicle and at $55.00 for 1/48 scale it's cheep compared to some resin's on the market today.

The only real disappointment to it all is the Scenery pages. Last on the list on the left side of the screen is DUST- Tactics-Scenery and DUST-Tactics-Premium-Scenery both of which are blank when you tap the hyperlink. But that little disappointment's nothing compared to all the neat stuff everywhere else.

All to often it take years for new game systems to be seen by the people that will love them. I have to say that Fantasy Flight Games has done a great job getting this out in the gamers view. I'm hoping they let Paolo run with the ball, leaving him alone to create and expand the world of DUST. The best thing FFG could do right now is to keep the product heading our way.

Lastly, if your anywhere near the Comic Store West in York PA on Thursday nights, stop in for a Demo or to play a game with Brian and I.


DUST Tactics League Night Update

Thursday, Feb 17th 2011 the Comic Store West in York PA. held its first DUST Tactics League Night. Brian and myself, Sam, of the Keystone Gaming Society hosted it and although we had a pretty small turn out we had some observers that at least feigned interest.

The first round:
The Axis (Brian W.) fought an all out engagement against the Allies (Brett Stoner). The Axis decimated the Allies leaving but one man standing. The poor guy was facing off a robot that he couldn't even hurt, had no choice but to turn tail and run away.

The second round:
An Allies (Brian W.) recon unit attacked a Axis (Sam C.) outpost. Losing both Axis vehicle in the first turn made it looked pretty bleak for them but by the end they managed to destroy the attacking Allies to the man! I'm not sure that 2 troopers constitute much of a victory but I'll take it none the less!

Brian 1-1-0
Brett 0-1-0
Sam 1-0-0

Our hopes are high for next weeks turn out!

KGS now on Twitter

The Keystone Gaming Society is now on Twitter. Click on the Twitter image on our main site ( to begin following us.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Global Pursuit: National Geographic Board Game

Ever wonder why some great games just never seemed to have caught on? Recently, I had the experience of playing National Geographic's trivia tile-laying game, Global Pursuit. Typically, I abhor trivia games. Trivia Pursuit bores me to death AND makes me feel stupid at the same time. I expected the same for Global Pursuit considering the similarities in concept but I was pleasantly surprised.

The thing that primarily impressed me was the basic game design. The core mechanic is building a map. They've taken a globe and reduces it into pentagons. You then lay these tiles to recreate the map. BUT, when you're laying the tiles, it recreates a three dimensional sphere (the world) in two dimensions which creates an imperfect map with many large gaps. To add complexity, you actually have several different types of maps, each of the complete earth. There are duplicate map pieces - one may be a political map, one a relief map, and one a map of the routes of ancient explorers. The way gameplay proceeds as you lay the tiles you can lay down, say, the Middle East which links to Europe which links to Asia which links to India which links to a second Middle East. You can literally end up with a map that has four North America or three Antarticas, etc. etc. etc. Just the way the pieces fit together is brilliant. Because they're pentagons they fail to fit together neatly like hexagons would so you have all sorts of breaks in the map. It's really quite ingenious.

I also appreciated the scoring system. You collect points which you can earn by answering questions correctly. The questions are leveled so an adult can play with a teenager and the playing field will be level. There are also chances to earn extra points by matching map types and answering bonus questions that earn you 1d12 extra points.

This one is an out-of-print treasure for intellectuals who are interested in a stimulating, dynamic game that plays differently every time you play. Even folks like me who tired of Trivia Pursuit will appreciate this strategic take on trivia games.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You've been SteamPunked!

Cost: $7.99

Edited By:
Jean Ribe
Martin H. Greenberg


The term was keyed in the late 1980's, this genre throws itself in the Victorian era's Industrial age. With heavy influence from Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells and shows like Wild Wild West (1965-69) it often places the characters upon a back drop of the incredible machines, heroic men and delicate ladies (if they play a role at all) that filled the stories of these authors of the past.

Let me preface this with the fact that one of my favorite genre's is Steam Punk. I do not dress up in steam punk clothes and goggle. I do not attend Steam Punk conventions. But even before I bought my copy of the 1994 release of the role-playing game Castle Falkenstien ( ) I've been enamored by the idea of massive steam powered engines of gears and pistons driving great dirigibles, submarines, spacecrafts and burrowing machine into the unknown wilds. Wilds where men, idealist like Nemo and Robar or horrid cowards like Flashman brave for God, Country and Crown or to push away these same ideals. Well....

Even though SteamPunk'd was given the Top Choice Award by Flamingnet I think theres not enough Steam here. As for being Punk'd that was me, for buying the book. Classic archetypes define this genre as much as the settings and paraphernalia. Most of these stories fell far short in there attempt at conveying these things. They either drowned us with one thing or starved us of another. We want our characters to live in the genera not live as an excuse for the genre.

As much as I love the Steam Punk genre the book was painful. I am not one to put a book down, unfortunately, I will hold out and work my way through it in hopes that at some point the book/ story will come to some great ending and maybe I can gleam some little bit of wisdom or entertainment out of it that will have made the trip worth while. It only happened once in this book

Scourge of the Spoils by Matthew Mayo

This is one of the best short stories I've read in a long time. The setting is given directly, letting you know what the world is like without being overstated. Your left wanting to hear more but give everything you need for the story. Characters, in the story, feel real. Their introduced as needed and, like the setting, your given enough of their background to see where their motivations lie and left wanting to know more about them too. By the end your left amazed by the twist that you know you should have seen coming but, I'm sure, you didn't.

Bravo Matthew Mayo, I'll defiantly be checking out some of your other work.
For more about Mr Mayo and list of his works check out his Webpage:

As for SteamPunk'd if your looking for a good example of the genre this is NOT the book you want. Save yourself $7.99 plus Tax.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

French Toast , favorite game of 2010 and stuff.

Let me introduce myself, I am Brett Stoner the non-dues paying member of the KGS. I am also a founding member of the Crimson Hand Gamers. CHG is primarily a role-playing group with some board game and miniature experience. We are regular attendees at Origins in Columbus, Ohio. I had the best french toast up in Lakeside Skillet on Harvey's Lake in Shawanese, Pa. It was stuffed with bananas and deep fried. Yum! Yum!

In response to the Best of 2010 podcast:
Ablaze was awesome game. I like 4th edition D&D. I like it for one shot adventures but I prefer Pathfinder RPG(D&D 3.75) for campaigns.

Please Check out open RPG Day on March 12th at Comic Store West, York, PA.

Score Four

A lot of gamers would look at a game like Score Four and turn up their noses. "Isn't it just a glorified version of tic-tac-toe or Connect Four?" Maybe. But an abstract strategy game like Score Four holds tons of potential for staging a pure battle of the wits. Like chess, you're trying to impose your will on your opponent by making strategic moves. The goal is to get four four-in-a-rows with your beads any way you can - vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. But you've got to be sneaky. You've got to either arrange for your opponent to be in a no-win situation where you score no matter what they do OR you have to take your opponent by surprise. You have to simultaneously play offense and defense. Every move can be significant in many ways.

Score Four is an excellent game that has as much complexity as you have sophistication of thought. So even though it might not have Orc armies or an historical theme, I recommend you check it out if you can find an old copy. Oh - and here's one more word of advice. NEVER PLAY SAM IN SCORE FOUR. HE'S UNSTOPPABLE.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ticket to Ride Map Collection


Days of Wonder has announced the October release of the Ticket to Ride Map Collection,which will be unveiled at the Essen Spiel. The collection of new maps by designer Alan R. Moon for the popular railroad-themed board game will be augmented by the winning entry in a $10,000 promotional contest for fans of the award-winning game, who can prepare an entry that could earn them a tidy sum as well as recognition and acknowledgement in the Ticket to Ride Map Collection.

The contest is certain to provoke interest in the Ticket to Ride Map Collectionamong the game's devoted followers, many of whom have already created their own maps to enhance the variety of theTicket to Ride game experience.

Map designers must submit an official entry form describing their map no later than April 15th, 2011. Days of Wonder will examine the submissions, make a determination and contact the winner by June 30th. Official rules and entry forms are available at the Days of Wonder Website.

Days of Wonder will release more information about the Ticket to Ride Map Collection, which will function as an invaluable resource for the game, over the coming months.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Saw The Saws

Horror movies. The phrase brings to mind bad make-up and effects, ridiculous plots, and shock-factor that falls short. Sure, they may have made you jump once in awhile, but it used to be that "horror" was just a code word for "comedy with blood." Not anymore. Movies such as The Ring and Saw have redefined the genre.

I recently finished watching all seven (yes, seven) of these movies. There are a few misses in there (like #2 and, unfortunately, the final chapter), but overall the filmmakers have done an excellent job. The Saw franchise does two things well: Tell a story from movie to movie with extremely tight continuity and give you the creeps.

The surprising thing about the Saw movies is how well written the storyline is. What starts as a very simple concept really is revealed to be a multi-layered storyline with many twists and turns. Just when you think you have everything figured out, they do something like, oh, kill off the major antagonist, Jigsaw, AND his apprentice in the third film. How do you carry on a franchise once you've killed the villain? I won't spoil it for you but it's the gift that keeps on giving. One movie takes place simultaneously with an earlier movie but you aren't aware of it until the end when there's this amazing, "Wait? What's happening?" moment. Every character has a motivation and backstory that is explored with flashbacks in each film. Simply fantastic.

The second thing the Saw movie does well is make you feel empathy for the people in the traps. It's not just some high school kids being murdered. It is good (or bad) people having to do things WAY out of their comfort zone. This causes you as the viewer to empathize and feel what the characters are feeling. How would you feel if you had to cut off your own foot with a hacksaw? Or how about rip a key and a fishhook out of somebody's stomach that's tied to the end of a string hanging out of their mouth? As I watched the series I found myself cringing with uneasiness and I would look away from the screen multiple times during each movie.

These movies might not be for everyone, but I would tell fans of the horror genre to check them out and to stick with the series through the lackluster chapters. But peeling this onion really may make you cry.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yahtzee Junior: Toy Story Edition Review

If you have kids you know how it goes. You endure endless games of Chutes and Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-O and Candy Land. As a strategy gamer, games like this can suck out your soul.

Which is why when I find a game that's worth the cardboard it's printed on, it is worth noting. Don't Break the Ice is one. Trying playing that with another adult as a strategy game some time! Very good game!

Much to my surprise, Yahtzee Jr. Toy Story 3 Edition is another fabulous game. I think I actually like it more than regular Yahtzee. My initial impression was, "Oh no! A movie tie in game! Probably some repackaged slop that they peeled the Monsters Inc. stickers off of and repackaged for Toy Story. Well, I can't say I've played a wide variety of Yahtzee Jr. games, but this one is a keeper.

The trappings of regular Yahtzee are here: Roll five dice trying to get different combinations. But the scoring system and game board is very clever. You can only score in each character's row one time, from 0-5 (five being a Yahtzee!). The catch is that if you tie with another player who's scoring marker is already on the board you go back to the nearest available slot.

Also, the dice intrigue me. Four dice are identical, with Woody being "wild" on each die. But on the fifth die, Zurg replaces Woody. If you roll a Zurg, that die is removed from your turn - no rerolls! At the gaming table, even my three year old yells, in the deepest voice he can muster, "ZURG!!!" when a Zurg is rolled.

The gameplay is quick and fun. My three year old can play this game independently and make simple strategy decisions ("I don't want to go for Woody because Mommy already has the five!"). So in my house, when it comes to family game time, we'll choose Yahtzee Jr. Toy Story Edition. That is, until the three year old can master Primordial Soup and Ablaze, which I've begun teaching him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Earths

It isn't a secret that DC animation is top notch. Since Batman: The Animated Series from 1992 (almost two decades ago!) DC has been putting out high quality animated shows and features. Marvel keeps trying to match DC and they've done some good stuff but DC keeps raising the bar. I just finished watching Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and I've got to say that DC has done it again.

The quality of the animation is fantastic. Just cinematically this film is beautiful with various camera angles and distances used for effect. Characterization is spot-on and they really used a wealth of characters, not just the "big three."

The thing that put over the top was the fight sequences. Simply fantastic. I struggle to think of better fight sequences in any superhero film - animated or live action. They had to have a fight choreographer plan everything out. The Wonder Woman mid-air battle is very dynamic. In group battles they brilliantly used characters fighting in the background to keep you informed on what each person is doing (after all, when, say, 15 costumes are fighting at the same time it gets a bit chaotic.). Characters improvise and use different moves based on individual fighting styles and powers. DC's attention to detail awes me.

In conclusion, it's a good time to be a fan of comic books with all of the high quality live action and animated television shows, theatrical releases, and direct-to-DVD releases that have been coming out. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is just one recent example that shows when Marvel and DC try to outdo one another, the winner is the fans.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fable 3 Side Mission, Best Side Mission Ever.

I've been a fan of the Fable series from the begining. I enjoyed the first game and loved the second. Fable 3 is about the same as far as game play goes, so I love this one just as much. But the staff who create the side missions should be given a raise for this one. You assist three wizards who have created a fantasy world, but need a hero to rescue the princess. They shrink you to the table and put you at the start of the adventure. So you begin your "quest" by talking to townspeople made of a single peace of paper each and voiced by one of the wizards. This may be one reason you shouldn't have more than one D.M per game, because they don't agree on how the adventure should go. One is an average gamer, the other wants everything and everyone to die, and the third wants it to look pretty and nice and everyone hold hands and sing. They first to must make the evil Baron, who has kidnapped the princess, look more scray instead of a sunlit, garden filled court yard. Inside the castle the Baron taunts you from a conveyer belt with teddy bears. You then proceed to fight cute, fluffy chickens. But this will never do for a hellscape inside a castle. They mus tbe demonic, the size of a dog and of course, shot fireballs. After easily slaying the Baron's guards, you now stand before the princess. And how else should she thank you but to kiss you. Well if she wasn't a piece of paper she could. So you'll have to do all the work. You can tell by the wizard's that they probably have never had a single girlfriend between them. So they find the kiss quite interesting to say the least. So in general I found not only this mission but all the mission's clever and funny. If this one doesn't sound too funny, it's becasue it's difficult to paint this kind of picture without playing it for yourself. But I can promise you that Fable 3 is and incredable game, and probably my favorite video game for the Xbox 360 of 2010.

New Games I'm Excited About

From recent Game Trader Magazines, here are a few games I'm excited about trying out!

The first is an expansion to Ticket to Ride. Almost every TtR is top notch. Some of the previous expansions (Dice, 1910, 1912) have added tremendous re-playability to TtR. I expect nothing less from Alvin and Dexter. Basically, two monsters roam the board from city to city, blocking rails and devaluing real estate. This is a dramatic turn from traditional TtR gameplay and it adds a more cutthroat aspect to the game. Plus, for $13? How can you say no!
Monster! Monsters! is the latest release for the Tunnels and Trolls game. This rulebook explores a concept that I've always wanted to game but never have had the chance to do. The players control the monsters who try to kill and plunder hapless villagers and adventurers. Brilliant! There was a similar module released for DnD 3.5 but it was a throw away that didn't see the light of day until 4e was almost on the shelves.

Finally, Perpetual Motion Machine. I'm usually not attracted to games based on concept alone but this one got my attention. Each player is trying to build a machine. Not a perpetual motion machine because that doesn't really exist. But a machine that APPEARS to be a perpetual motion machine so you can swindle the public and reap the rewards before the public's suspicions are raised. I'm interesting in trying this game to see how they translate this concept into game mechanics.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Two Great Resources for your next Pulp Adventure

Pulp RPGs or, for that matter, any RPG set in the early- to mid-20th century can pose a problem for those of us who didn't live during those times. Sure, you can read books and watch movies and TV shows set in these eras, and these are very helpful. However, there are two other resources I find very helpful.
First, try listening to old-time radio dramas and pulp serials to get a better feel for the era. Suspense and Escape are two of the best adventure dramas ever produced, although I tend to enjoy Escape more for its action and pacing. Episodes of The Shadow, especially those starring Orson Welles, are truly classic adventures. But for true adventure, nothing beats Voyage of the Scarlet Queen. It's two-fisted action and adventure on the Pacific set just after World War II.
Finally, I recommend I Love a Mystery, especially two of the serials, Bury Your Dead in Arizona and Temple of Vampires. Both combine adventure, mystery, and the supernatural in surprisingly modern ways. To check out these and other shows (all free!) go to
Or if you prefer packaged OTR shows on CD, I can recommend I've bought several MP3 CDs from this guy, and they all work great.
The other resources is an archive of HD photos, This is an amazing website filled with photos from the 1850s throught the 1970s. For pulp adventurers, there are lots of detailed photos of city streets, old shops and gas stations, cars, planes, trains, old signage, and how people looked and dressed. It's all there for you in stunning clarity. Most of the black and white images are taken from the original negatives, which is the reason the photos look so good. The city street scenes are especially compelling. It's fun to zoom in and pick up detail that would be impossible just looking at a picture in a book. These photos are great aid for players and GMs. Next time, instead of trying to describe a busy street in 1930s NYC, show them what it looked like.

Bring High-Def photos to your Pulp RPG game

Check out this website,

D'OH! Retraction Time! We Messed Up!

Sorry Radioactive Ape Designs! In our podcast for Atomic Highway we (Sam and I) unfairly criticized the game because of the fumbling rules. Well, as Colin from Radioactive Ape Designs so kindly and gently pointed out, we got the rules wrong! More dice do NOT increase your chances of a fumble. So I humbly apologize for the error. If I could go back in time I would rate Atomic Highway a FIVE not a FOUR like I originally gave it. But in my defense I'd like to say that it was SAM who read the rules and taught me how to play.

Colin, thanks for checking us out and listening to our podcast. We really do love Atomic Highway. Sam has run it for a few different groups now and is planning to run it in our upcoming RPG day at Comic Store West on March 12th.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Star Wars Family Guy VS Star Wars Robot Chicken

Both Family Guy and Robot Chicken have been releasing George Lucas backed Star Wars parody episodes over the past few years. Robot Chicken has released three episodes, simply titled Episodes I, II, and III. Family Guy has also released three episodes, titled Blue Harvest, Something, Something, Something Dark Side, and It's a Trap! Between the creators of the two shows there has been a healthy rivalry to outdo each other in creating the funniest Star Wars episode. So, who has won?

The approach of the two shows is completely different. Robot Chicken approaches it in its traditional sketch format. They jump freely across all six movies. One minute you're with JarJar trying to sell auto insurance, the next moment you're with Luke and Vader in a father-son dance competition. Alternately, Family Guy takes one movie at a time and literally retells the movie with startling faithfulness, taking pains to recreate exact camera angles and framing.

I found that in almost every regard, Family Guy beat Robot Chicken. You would think hopping freely around all six movies, Robot Chicken would be able to cherry-pick the best gags but quite a few of them are simply absurd and fall short of being funny. In all of the Robot Chicken Star Wars episodes only had one laugh-out-loud moment for me (it involved a jedi dropping a lightsaber on a starship). I actually found the Star Wars episodes to be less funny than a typical Robot Chicken. It's almost like they were trying too hard.

Family Guy's Star Wars episodes have a knack for integrating Family Guy conventions into the Star Wars story. There are jokes that work on so many levels, for Star Wars fans, Family Guy fans and as a social commentary. From episode to episode there are running gags that you look for (What's Meg going to be in this episode?). I found myself laughing out loud regularly and, in typical Family Guy fashion, uttering a shocked, "Oh my gosh!" at the irreverent humor ("You can't say that word! That's OUR word!") They manage to lampoon and celebrate Star Wars at the same time. I felt as if it's okay for them to make fun of Star Wars because it is so evident that they love Star Wars so much. I enjoyed these episodes more than your typical Family Guy episode. The Family Guy creative team truly reached its pinnacle with the Star Wars episodes.

So the winner? Family Guy in round one. And two. And three. They have beaten Robot Chicken in every imaginable way on this one. If you haven't checked out the Family Guy Star Wars episodes, sell your Robot Chicken collection on ebay so you can BUY, not Netflix, BUY these bad boys. You'll want to keep pulling them down off of your shelf time and time again.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

RPG DAY - March 12 at Comic Store West

So far we have Jason of the Crimson Hand Gamers running a 3rd edition Mutants and Masterminds adventure. Brett, who is a member of both KGS and CHG, will be running Pathfinder.

Let's go KGS guys step up and volunteer to run a game.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Geppi Museum = Mecca for Comic Book and Pop Culture Fans

Nobody knows what heaven is like but it is hard to imagine it could possibly be much better than
Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. I visited this museum a while back and, quite honestly, my every sense was completely overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of awesomeness that is contained there.

What is on display at Geppi's? Well... entertainment. Specifically entertainment that YOU like if you're any kind of pop culture junkie, gamer, or geek. The museum is literally stuffed to the gills with comic books, posters, toys, statues, and other pop culture artifacts. There isn't any place you can't look that you're not finding something that you thought you'd never actually see in person. You could spend a week in Geppi's and barely scratched the surface of what's there.

Comic books? Their collection goes back to the Yellow Kid who started it all. From there, they have the entire history of comics documented. What's before the Golden age of comics? The Victorian Age. And they've got books from that era. Action Comics #1? Check. Amazing Fantasy #15? Check. Name a book you've always wanted to see and, chances are, they'll have it. And the crazy thing is the comics on display are only a very small fraction of their total collection.

From there you can proceed to view an assortment of movie, gaming, cartoon, and television show memorabilia. From Star Wars to Star Trek to the Flintstones to Sesame Street to McDonalds to The New Kids on the Block to Barbie... Geppi's has it all. Want to see a movie posters from the 1944 Captain America movie serial? They've got it. Curious about the Captain Marvel Fan Club from 1942? They've got it. I could literally go on for pages. There's just no way to describe it accurately.

So if you're any kind of a fan of comic books, science fiction or pop culture in general, do yourself a favor and visit Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. The only thing you'll regret is having to leave.

The photo below shows how they literally have used every square inch to display their incredible collection.

Happy Birthday to Old Brian

For my 41st birthday my wife and kids got me a bunch of cool things from Think Geek ( My favorite item was the LED Critical Hit Light-up 20 Sided Die. I will be using this during all KGS games.

My wife also told me she would like to play in the next game we play as a group. I nearly fell off my chair. So Dave if you are reading this I hope you have room for a GIRL in our Savage World game that we are starting in 2 weeks.

Gamma World - Legion of Gold

The box set before I ripped it open.

4 card stock sheets of monster and character tokens (2 sided).

160 page book, with more hero options, expanded rules, new monsters, and an adventure.

2 sided maps and 10 NEW Alpha and Omega Tech cards.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gamma World News

Check out this really cool Gamma World interactive character sheet.

Check back here this coming weekend and I will reveal the latest Gamma World Expansion - Legion of Gold (I'm getting it for my birthday on Saturday).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Great Debate: Is Fantasy Football Role Playing?

We're called the Keystone Gaming Society... but what is "gaming" or, for that matter, what is a "gamer?" I would submit that gaming is the act of playing games as a hobby and a gamer is somebody who regularly engages in gaming. All of this brings us to fantasy sports in general and, being the season of the Super Bowl, Fantasy Football in particular.

Are people who play Fantasy Football gamers? What type of game is Fantasy Football?

For those of you who have never played Fantasy Football, here's how it works. You get together with a group of friends and form a a fantasy football league. Typically, a league consists of 6-18 players but I have heard of leagues that have 40 or more players. Each player pretends to be the coach of an imaginary NFL team. You draft real NFL players to be on your team and then go head to head with other coaches each week of the NFL season. How do NFL players on your team score points? It's based on the actual player's real-life statistics from that week in the NFL. So if Adrian Peterson goes off for 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns, he has done very well for you in the fantasy football world. Every league has slightly different rules for scoring.

I would argue that people who play Fantasy Football are, indeed gamers. I would also call Fantasy Football role playing. Sure, it's not DnD. Certainly it's unique - it's as if a LARP had a love child with a text based RPG. But let's examine the facts.

In role playing you play a role. In fantasy football, the players play a role - the role of an NFL coach. I personally have seen many a fantasy coach take on a distinct personality when posting to league message boards, creating a team logo, naming the team, and talking smack. Over the years, your team gains a history just like a character does.

Role playing is social - just like fantasy football. Fantasy football becomes dull very quickly without all that social interaction, just like role playing would. Many a fantasy football league has a draft party and then gets together regularly to watch the NFL games as they keep tabs on their team on laptops.

In role playing you manage your character's statistics. In fantasy football your manage an entire team's statistics. These statistics change as the season progresses and you've got to change strategies and make moves based on these changes.

In role playing there is a random element. Typically this is rolling dice, but in fantasy football the random element is what the real-life NFL players do on any given Sunday.

So, in conclusion, Fantasy Football is most definitely role playing. Despite the apparent inital differences, I would say Fantasy Football is more similar to a paper and pencil role playing game then most MMOs or console "role playing" games like Final Fantasy.

Lastly, look at the guys in this picture. Don't they look like gamers to you?

Agree? Disagree? Let the debate begin!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Doctor Who - Aliens and Creatures

I picked up the NEW Doctor Who RPG expansion - Aliens and Creatures. I'll probably never play this game but I love the show and this is great source material. Plus Cubicle 7 does a really good job with content. Below are photos of everything included in the box set:

The main box, unopened

134 page rulebook detailing creatures from the Doctor's latest adventures. Next to it is a 32 page adventure book.

Story point tokens.

NEW gadget cards.

Ship map for the included adventure.

Detailed creature cards for easy reference.

All in all as I mentioned fantastic source material, beautifully presented. Maybe I can get KGS to play a one off adventure sometime soon.