Archive | November, 2005

OctaNe RPG Review

Posted on November 30, 2005 by

Mad Max – what a trilogy. Dustbowl landscapes, battered old sedans, Australian accents and stubble. It had them all. Plenty of RPG’s have attempted to capture the post-apocalyptic genre in all its glory and few have fully succeeded. Introducing the latest contender: octaNe. Will it roar off into the healthy radioactive glow of sunset on wheels of fire, or will it get a razor-edged boomerang in the forehead?

By the way, the capital N is all part of the product identity. I thought it was going to stand for Nitro or something similar, but according to the introduction it just looks cool. Go figure. It kinda makes me want to pronounce the word oc-tay-NEH. Given the content of the game though, the odd grammar is well in-theme.


Gloom Review

Posted on November 19, 2005 by

Let me introduce you to Angel, the Starry-eyed Serial Killer. She was cursed by the queen, and grew old without grace. In her old age, she was pushed down the stairs. May our dearly departed Angel rest in peace. I was immediately drawn to Gloom for two reasons. The first is artwork, produced in the etching style of Edward Gorey by Scott Reeves, that sets the mood of the game. The second, is the unique game design concept created by Keith Baker. The result? One of the best card games I’ve ever played.


Necronomicon (Nox Arcana) Review

Posted on November 12, 2005 by

Nox Arcana delves headfirst into the darkness with its musical tribute to the Cthulhu mythos. Creating a haunting festival of sounds to this is a challenging feat—every day that passes Cthulhu transforms into more of an icon than a mere concept of Lovecraft’s imagination. Nox Arcana delivers its tribute in a jarring way; this is not a CD that should be idly played in the background, this is a performance that demands your attention.


Cold Hard World (Dead Inside)

Posted on November 11, 2005 by

Useful supplements are hard to come by nowadays; not only does the information in it have to be worth the price you pay, but the information needs to be useful in a way that you’d want to incorporate it into your gaming. Cold, Hard World is an expansion for the roleplaying game Dead Inside—offering more nuts and bolts to the original game than fluff. The supplement is a seventy-four page expansion of the first three chapters of the corebook.

Similar to Dead Inside, the pdf is written with definitive voice changes throughout. Dead Inside draws you in at key moments by addressing the reader; other times you’ll hear the voice of an instructor showing you how to play the game.


Saw II Movie Review

Posted on November 11, 2005 by

The basic premise of Saw II is the same as Saw. I know, you’re shocked. Put people in a messed up situation, see if they can survive, and possibly…learn their lesson. Also, like its predecessor, the movie really only revolves around one of these messed up situations. That is, eight seemingly innocent people wake up to find themselves players in one of Jigsaw’s games. They’re all trapped in a room where deadly gas is being vented in. If they cannot find the various antidotes hidden throughout their surroundings they will die. Donnie Wahlberg is Eric Matthews, a washed up old cop, whose son, Daniel, is one of the players in Jigsaw’s latest game. It’s a game of survival, who will win?


To Charles Fort, With Love Book Review

Posted on November 5, 2005 by

I’ve read a few reviews of this book that make statements like “Kiernan has finally found her voice,” or “this set of stories flow together so much better than [insert title of short story collection here].” I’m not completely sure that I agree. Granted, the lines that bind some of these stories together, or with her other novels like Threshold or Low Red Moon are a lot more sturdy, but to say that these stories are where Caitlin finally found her author’s voice just strikes me as a little misinformed. Caitlin’s had her voice for several years now, and while it may not be a shout, it is most certainly distinct and it carries.


World of Darkness: Antagonists Review

Posted on November 4, 2005 by

Written by Pamela Collins, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Jonathan McFarland and Morgan A. McLaughlin with artwork provided by Sam Araya, Durwin Talon, Avery Butterworth, Michael Gaydos, Travis Ingram and James Cole, World of Darkness: Antagonists is a sleek, thin hardcover that offers both players and Storytellers a good look at three “generic” types of foils – the walking dead, mortal hunters, and organized (or not so organized) religious threats – as well as a toolbox for the generation of home-cooked antagonists to fit the needs of any chronicle, limited entirely by the imagination of the ST. While World of Darkness: Antagonists is written in a voice that speaks very directly to the ST, the book is most certainly a boon for the player who wants to give their character a nice, solid history and “flesh out” some of their Merits… in the case that you’ve got an Ally out there who happens to be a freelance witch-hunter, that is… and therefore works out a place for itself on both ST and player bookshelves.


Interview with author Kelley Armstrong

Posted on November 3, 2005 by

The author of the Women of the Otherworld series tells about her writing, tells us why she likes werewolves and hands out a little advice for other authors.


Dominion vs. Excorcist: the Beginning

Posted on November 1, 2005 by

For those unaware, this is the “alternate” version of the Exorcist prequel, directed by Paul Schraeder. It marks the first time in history that two entirely different versions of a film have been commissioned by a studio, and that both have seen major release (though Dominion’s theatrical release was far more limited than that of The Beginning.) Naturally, watching the films inevitably breeds comparison between the two. So which is a better film? Which is a better prequel? Are the two mutually exclusive or do they go hand-in-hand? Let’s see, shall we?


The Final Kill

Posted on November 1, 2005 by

It was getting cold. He looked forward to starting a good fire to warm his aging bones. Almost the oldest of dragon hunters, he’d earned his experience the hard way, and his body bore the brunt of his hunts with the monsters he’d fought. Every ache, every scar, told a tale, and he had many of both.

Written by Rob Stratman


World of Darkness: Mysterious Places RPG Review

Posted on November 1, 2005 by

When I was running my Mage: The Ascension games back in “the day,” I used to describe Reality as a living, breathing organism. It was as alive and as vital as each and every player character and NPC in the chronicle. Reality was, in many cases, the biggest and baddest NPC there was. The tapestry of the world around our characters, the worlds we create for our players, is incredibly important to every single aspect of our game; mood and feeling are painted in words that we use to describe the world around our players’ characters. Simply put, the stage is as every bit as important as the actors, and it should be treated as such.

The overwhelming majority of my tenure within the World of Darkness has been spent among werewolves. Players and Storytellers of Werewolf: The Apocalypse and its predecessor, Werewolf: The Forsaken are pretty much expecting of a world where the ground walked upon is sacred and every object is, in some manner or other, alive to some degree. Places and things are as alive and as aware as people in a lot of Werewolf games… but why should that device be limited to a single line? Why should the “Living Reality” be relegated only to the philosophy of witches and warlocks? It shouldn’t. I say this with confidence not just because I’ve always believed it personally as a Storyteller, but because of a book like World of Darkness: Mysterious Places.


World of Darkness: Ghost Stories Review

Posted on November 1, 2005 by

Available at Fear is the oldest emotion possessed by humanity. Death and what might or might not lie beyond the mortal coil is, quite possibly, the origin of fear in and of itself. As mortals, death is inevitable. We don’t have the luxury of actually knowing what happens when we die, therefore we have […]


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