Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Videocasts coming soon

KGS fans look for box opening videocasts of the following games in the weeks to come:

King of Tokyo
Gears of War - The Boardgame
Star Trek Fleet Captains
Hogwart's House Cup Challenge Collectable Adventure Board Game

Saturday, September 24, 2011

AD&D1e, A New Way to Play?

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 1st edition was the first role-playing game I ever played, and recently I've been interested in playing it again. Is it nostalgia for a bygone age when phones were attached to cords, tv screens were concave, and floppy disks were cool? Sure, but it's more than that. 1st edition was great! OK, the combat system isn't realistic and the way it handles armor is silly. Alright, the character classes might have been a little unbalanced. And yes, many campaigns were little more than dungeon crawly, hack'n'slash fests. But gods, was it fun to play! Even with all its sloppy game mechanics, endless charts and tables, and ridiculous monsters. Some of the best adventures I've ever played, both modules and home-brewed, were for 1st edition.

I've been thinking about running a module or two for KGS within the next 6 months, but was worried finding copies of the rules, both for players and myself, might be a problem. I still have most of the original books and modules, but I never bought the Fiend Folio and my original Monster Manual was misplaced. I was going to check eBay when I found out about OSRIC.

OSRIC (short for Old School Reference and Index Compilation) is a set of free rules that creates a version of AD&D 1st edition within the guidelines of the OGL. Basically, it's 1st edition without the original art and layouts of the TSR books, but the rules are almost identical. Within the 400-page pdf (found at are the equivalent of the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master Guide, and Monster Manual. Instead of splitting the rules into 3 books, the OSRIC rules are broken down into 6 chapters: Creating a Character; Spells; How to Play; Dungeons, Towns and Wildernesses; Monsters, and Treasure. There is also a Compiled Tables appendix, character sheet, and index. This layout is a real upgrade over the original books, which were labyrinthian in their layouts, and allows for much quicker rules access. I recommend OSRIC for anyone who wants to learn AD&D 1e and doesn't have access to the original books, and for those of us who no longer have all our old books and need to fill in the gaps. Again, the pdf is free, but they also have softcover and hardcover editions available if you'd prefer those.

I also found that Expeditious Retreat Press has published a number of 1st edition adventure modules using the OSRIC rules under OGL. While original, creative modules in their own right, they are definitely inspired by the classic TSR adventures. You might also want to check out Dungeon Crawl classics, also modeled on the classic style. Both are available as hardcopies at your local gaming store, or as pdfs on a number of gaming sites.

Finally, there is a podcast solely devoted to AD&D1e called Roll for Initiative (, also on iTunes). While not the most dynamic podcast ever, they do pack the show with a fair amount of information, and I like their takes on the various character classes.

So here's to AD&D 1e. Long may it reign!

Monday, September 19, 2011

KGS Podcast - Episode 00029 - Classic Marvel RPG Review


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Marvel Super Heroes D100 - Gaming Notes #4 (FINAL)

Recap: The X-Men are on the trail of Apocalypse, a powerful mutant who may be holding their missing teammates. Mr. Sinister gave them a tip that there was someone using his technologies in the Morlock tunnels who might be able to help them locate Apocalypse. After hours of fruitless searching, they open a door and see... a blue-furred Beast!
The Beast greets the heroes warmly, which is strange to the human-form Beast that has been adventuring with the X-Men. The Beast explains that he is from an alternate reality that was ruled by Apocalypse. He was thrown into this reality's past 20 years ago when his reality ceased to exist. He offers the X-Men a device capable of tracking Apocalypse in exchange for access to their scientific equipment.

The heroes, with this new Beast in tow, return to the X-Mansion to rest and heal. They hear the news that Avengers mansion was destroyed by the Masters of Evil and the Avengers have been badly hurt. Magneto calls from Muir Island and reminds them of the urgency of their mission - find the missing teammates!

Suddenly the Apocalypse detection device goes crazy... Apocalypse just appeared in Washington DC with his "four horsemen" and demanded the surrender of the President! The X-Men leap into action! When they arrive on the scene, they witness the destruction that has been wrought. They also notice Uatu, the Watcher, a cosmic level being who appears to record historically significant moments in time. The X-Men attack, only to realize that the four horsemen are their four missing teammates - Magma, Rogue, Angel, and Sunspot, all of whom are now controlled by Apocalypse!
In the combat, Longshot quickly goes down as does the Beast. Wolverine takes down Sunspot but makes a tactical error in attacking Apocalypse directly! It appears the X-Men will be easily defeated when a man with grey hair wearing body armor appears above the battle... Cable! He is badly injured and passes along this message, "The Scarlet Witch! She is the end of all mutants! No more mutants! You must stop her! She's too powerful to live!" Images of the horrible future (Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Decimation, Schism, Mutant Extinction) flash in the minds of all assembled - including Apocalypse. Apocalypse teleports away with his horsemen saying, "With the Scarlet Witch's power I could reshape the world in my image!"

The X-Men scramble to the New Jersey suburb where the Scarlet Witch and her husband the Vision live. The town is on flames - the Avengers are losing a pitched battle to defend the Scarlet Witch against Apocalypse (which is odd because the Avengers are still recovering from their mansion being destroyed...). Approaching, the X-Men are surprised when the Scarlet Witch blasts their plane out of the air!

The X-Men escape the burning vessel and rush into combat only to be stopped when the Scarlet Witch summons Magneto, Quicksilver, Crystal, and Wonder Man to defend her! They quickly engage in a three way battle -
On one side are the X-Men - Longshot, Colossus, Wolverine, and Beast.
On another side are Apocalypse and his three remaining horsemen - Rogue, Angel, and Magma!
On the final side are the Scarlet Witch's reality-warped puppets: Magneto, Quicksilver, Crystal, Wonder Man, Vision, and Agatha Harkness!

Apocalypse swiftly knocks Agatha Harkness down and Rogue steals Magneto's powers, putting Magneto out of commission. The Vision and Wonder Man quickly defeats Wonder Man's good friend, the Beast, and Magma puts Longshot out of commission. A battered Colossus is barely standing. Crystal and Angel exchange blows Quicksilver and Wonder Man pound on Wolverine with a flurry of blows, almost knocking him unconscious.

As a last ditch desperation grasp at victory, Wolverine goes into a berserker rage and beheads the Scarlet Witch! 
Instantly, the Avengers and her extended family are returned to their rightful places. Apocalypse, his prize stolen from him, says that the Scarlet Witch must not have been strong enough to survive and disappears, leaving his failed horsemen behind. The X-Men pick up their fallen comrades and head home. A dark future was averted but at what cost?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Star Wars Blu-Ray Friday !!!

Friday, September 16 is the release of the Star Wars Trilogy on blu-ray.
This is another historic milestone in the history of Star Wars and just wanted let everyone know I will be getting it and hope to review the movies (with the new changes) over the weekend.

I was thinking about this though and am unsure of the order that I wish to watch these in.

Should I watch them in the original order:

New Hope
Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
Phantom Menance
Attack of the Clones
Revenge of the Sith

or in the actual order of when the movies occurr which would of course be:

Phantom Menance
Attack of the Clones
Revenge of the Sith
New Hope
Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi

The order changes the entire focus of the saga. If I watch them in the order they originally aired then it is the story of Luke Skywalker and his life. If I watch them in the order of movie timeline then it is the story of Anakin Skywalker and his redemption.

This is an important decision and I am looking for help.

Monday, September 12, 2011

DUST Warfare - Moving DUST to the Table Top

You heard us say that Dust Tactics was a good game and we of KGS really enjoyed playing it ...Brian and I so much so that we ran a campaign a few months ago. The one big limiting factor I found was that it was total tile based...NO LONGER! DUST Warfare moves our beloved game onto the table.

This is being brought to us from, none other then, Andy Chambers. Many of us know him as a long time contributor to some of Games Workshops most famous titles. He is also one of the lead designers for Mongoose Publishing's Starship Troopers game while being the creative director of Blizzard Entertainment, they own World of Warcraft (Okay, I guess I can overlook the whole WoW thing).

So from Fantasy Flights own website, a teaser for DUST Warfare....

Allied Captain Joseph Brown looked out the window of his building at the devastated streets of Scapa Flow beyond. Smoke and fire issued from the battered husks of buildings.

He kept his eyes open for signs of the enemy. Soon enough, a line of fearsome Axis combat walkers thundered with each step as they strode up the alley. Captain Brown loaded a grenade into his launcher and signaled to his troops…

Fantasy Flight Games is excited to announce the upcoming release of Dust Warfare, designed by renowned miniatures guru Andy Chambers! Our intent to launch a Dust tabletop miniatures game was announced even before Dust Tactics was released. Now the success of Dust Tactics has paved the way for us to take the next step. Currently in beta, this tactical tabletop miniatures game of alternate 1940s reality World War II combat will demo throughout Gen Con Indy 2011.

World War II with alien technology

The year is 1947, and World War II still rages, fueled by the discovery of alien technology. The world’s superpowers have developed unprecedented weaponry, including lasers, phaser cannons, and massive combat walkers. These war machines stride across the battlefield, protected by their heavy armor, and devastate enemy troops with their fearsome cannons.

Dust Warfare players assume the roles of generals, each commanding a custom-built army of squads, walkers, and heroes. Draw upon Axis might or Allied versatility as you wage ferocious battles for control of the rare ore, VK, needed to fuel the most powerful of the superpowers’ weapons.

Double the bang for your buck

Dust Warfare players build armies from the exact same set of miniatures as Dust Tactics. This means that if you already own a Dust Tactics army, all you need is the Dust Warfare rulebook. All the stunning Dust Tactics miniatures will be useable for Dust Warfare immediately upon its release, and as both games go forward, they will continue to draw from the same wealth of fantastically detailed miniatures.

Current fans of Dust Tactics will recognize the furious combat, strategic scenarios, and gorgeous miniatures. Players new to the world of Dust are in for a treat.

Dust Tactics introduced rules for fast, intense combats featuring combat walkers, bazookas, flamethrowers, and lasers. Dust Warfare builds upon the board game’s rules and strengths to offer players an exciting new game experience with the tactical and strategic challenges of a tabletop miniatures game.

Fantasy Flight Games has exciting plans for the Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare lines, and players who pick up Dust Tactics miniatures find their new units immediately useable for play in both games!

Command your army from start to finish

Designed by Andy Chambers, the Dust Warfare rulebook introduces unprecedented player engagement. Players first get drawn into the action during the Command Phase, where you have to choose how to spend command points during an escalating battle. You might spend command points early and often to advance and sustain an early lead, or you might save them up for dramatic late-game effects that may decisively turn the tide of battle. The Command Phase presents players with the chance to exert their influence and command style upon the field of battle in an engaging new way.

Players have the chance to activate all their forces during the Unit Phase, and reaction mechanics keep you fully engaged throughout your opponent’s turns. As enemy units close in on yours or begin to open fire, you can choose to spend actions from your next turn to react. Keen commanders will make good use of their reaction options. They will also learn how best to feint and bait their opponents to react, draining them of available actions.

As the battle heats up and casualties mount, you need to keep a sharp eye toward your army’s morale. The constant barrage of enemy fire can suppress your units or even force them to retreat. You may try to lay suppression fire even when you can’t destroy your enemy’s unit. Sometimes, just pinning them down can give you the edge you need.

...Dust Warfare is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What is "Gaming?"

A couple of funny instances have happened to me recently. I frequently wear my official "Keystone Gaming Society" shirt around (it's a nice shirt!). I had two people notice it and make comments about it.

The first person asked if I worked for the state managing casinos or the lottery. How funny! They thought that "gaming" meant "gambling!" I had to explain that "gaming" meant playing board, card, and role playing games, that no wagering was taking place, and that, no, I do not work for the state.

In a different place at a different date, the second person asked how I was involved in sports. I realized that, once again, somebody had read my shirt incorrectly - "gaming" does not refer to sporting events! I explained that I was a part of a blogging website that discussed and reviewed games. They looked a little less interested when they learned the true meaning of "gaming...."


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gaming Aide #1c - Tabbing Eclipse Phase

As a promised, following up my post Gaming Aide #1this post, Gaming Aide #1c, is my third in a line telling everyone where I've put my tab in some of my most used game books.

Eclipse Phase is a near future sci-fi roleplay for the experienced gamer. To me it lending itself to the long term campaign, push's the boundaries of sci-fi and horror while giving the player the ability to move his character from body to body. This trans-human genera will most likely step you out of your comfortable sci-fi zone to a harsher more real feeling future.

The Eclipse Phase book needs tabs! If your a player you going to need a book so you can read up on the background and to have access to all the things you'll want/ need to know to play and your going to need to tab those pages! For us referees your going to find the referee screen to be incredibly helpful one minute and yet incredibly useless the next and so your going to need your book tabbed to fill in for all the other stuff you'll need to reference during play.

If you've read my other 2 posts about tabbing you know this disclaimer already! One thing to keep in mind about my list is that my books are tabbed for my use as a referee not a player. Here and there you'll find me marking a page for my players but not to often. So as a player in Eclipse Phase game you'll want most of these same tabs along with the tabs for your morph, weapons, gear and any other things that you end up using all the time.

What you'll find below is what page to put the tab on and what I wrote on my tab

Eclipse Phase referee tabbing:
pg 71 - Hypercorps
pg 75 - Political Blocs
pg 79 - Socio- Political Movements
pg 83 - Criminal Factions
pg 119 - Actions
pg 153 - Rez Points
pg 191 - Combat
pg 198 - SS, SA, BF, FA
pg 203 - Weapon Ranges
pg 207 - Wound Effect
pg 209 - Healing
pg 243 - Muse 1 of 3
pg 265 - Muse 2 of 3
pg 313 - Equipment
pg 332 - Muse 3 of 3 Stats
pg 335 - Melee Weapons
pg 337 - Fire Arms, Railguns
pg 371 - Creatures

An amazingly small number of tabs for how much I used the book during our 4 weeks of our playing it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eclipse Phase / Mindscan - Understanding copying consciousness

During our Eclipse Phase podcast I mention a book that I used to help people understand the concept of copying your consciousness into another body. This is a common theme in EP and an important idea to have a solid grasp on when playing the game.

The book is:
Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer

The 4 pages you want to read are all that is of Chapter 2.

some excerpt from that chapter:

"from the moment the synthetic body is activated, there will be two of you-two entities who each feel they are you.

...In your own mental picture of yourself, which one do you consider the real you: the one that suffers aches and pains, the one that has trouble sleeping through the night, the one that is frail and old? or the vigorous you, the you in full possession of all your mental and physical faculties?

...the human mind is nothing but software running on the hardware we call the brain.

...consider the fact that the atoms that make up your body are completely replaced every seven years: there's not one bit of the you who was once a baby that still exists; it's all been replaced.

What matters is the continuity of being....

I'm sure that even by my few quote's you now have a better idea of the concept.

So the only question is when can we start actually doing this?! I mean, I might not be able to go on but I know that my copied self would want to and what if we could have a copy of those we know and love around long after they died?!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Marvel Super Heroes D100 - Gaming Notes #3

Previously, on Marvel Super Heroes RPG - X-Men...
The heroes defeated the Marauders in downtown Omaha in search of Mr. Sinister's base so they can rescue the kidnapped baby, Nathan Summers.

Angry crowds gather around the street-clothed heroes and the villains they just defeated. Devastation surrounds them in the aftermath of the battle. Two cops are calling in reinforcements but the mob surges forward, chanting anti-mutant phrases. Rocks are thrown at the unconscious Marauders by a few irate rioters. The situation is quickly spiraling out of control until Wolverine steps forward and calms the crowd. The mob disperses with some interested onlookers lingering to see what will happen next.

Cyclops and Colossus enter the orphanage in search of Mr. Sinister's base, which they believe to be under the orphanage. Finding the orphanage empty, they go to the basement where they hear sniffles and children crying. The children are huddled together in the basement with the orphanage staff trying to sooth their fears as best as they can due to the loud, destructive fight that just occurred outside the orphanage. Cyclops tell them the danger has passed. One of Cyclops's old orphanage guardians from when he was a child at this orphanage recognizes him and agrees to let me look around the orphanage. Their search is fruitless - it turns up nothing.

Meanwhile, outside more police show up and rope off the crime scene. Freedom Force, the mutant government team, has been called to take the evil mutants into custody. Wolverine catches Marvel Girl saying as she calls Nathan "her baby," when, in reality, it's Madelyn Pryor's baby. He confronts her but she dodges the question. A blind lady in the crowd catch's the Beast's eye - it's Destiny from Freedom Force. She warns him, "Beware the red death. It's an end to all mutants. Stop the coming Apocalypse!"  then disappears back into the crowd. Knowing that the rest of Freedom Force can't be far behind, the X-Men redouble their efforts to find Sinister's base.

A search of the exterior of the orphanage and the sewer turn up nothing so in desperation, the X-Men have Jean Grey read the mind of one of the Marauders, Scalphunter. They discover that their is a dimensional portal nearby that is activated by a device the Marauders have. Jean lifts the device and they proceed to the nearby door.

Upon entering, they are transported to a long, dark corridor with a large, bright room at the end. "Welcome, my brothers!" Mr. Sinister greets them warmly. A force field prevents them from attacking Mr. Sinister and Dazzler, who is with him holding Nathan. Mr. Sinister and the obviously mind-controlled or possessed Dazzler explain their master plan to the X-Men: They had to have the Morlocks killed to weed the mutant gene pool of those unworthy. Sinister claims that the Morlocks were created by somebody else using his technology. He explains how he has manipulated Cyclop's, Jean's, and Madelyne's lives so that Nathan can be born - the mutant he hopes will grow to be capable of destroying the ancient, evil mutant - Apocalypse. He reveals that Apocalypse most likely has their missing teammates (Rogue, Sunspot, Magma, and Angel) and that he desires to rule the world. He doesn't know where Apocalypse is, but he is guessing that the one who stole his technology to create the Morlocks does. Sinister has Dazzler return Nathan to the X-Men saying, "I have what I needed," before disappearing.

Mr. Sinister's tesseract base starts collapsing and the X-Men struggle to get out. Uncharacteristically, Marvel Girl seems reluctant to save anyone except Nathan. Finally, she does but once outside Dazzler hands Nathan to Marvel Girl and both of them start walking away. The team pursues Marvel Girl and after Cyclops strikes her with an optic blast, she reverts back to her normal self. It seems Madelyne Pryor had taken over Jean's mind when Jean had made mental contact with the comatose Madelyne earlier. Freed from Madelyne's influence, a weakened Jean flies back to the X-Mansion with the rest of the X-Men. Jean stays behind with Nathan and Psylocke at the X-Mansion while the rest of the X-Men return to the Morlock tunnels in search of the one who can lead them to Apocalypse.

After ten hours of fruitless searching in the scorched-clean tunnels, Beast's "kit-bashed" radar device detects an energy signature. Opening the door, the X-Men discover in a room crowded with computers and lab equipment... A blue, furry Beast!?! How can this be? Is this another clone or imposter or something else? Find out next time...