Monday, July 27, 2015

Gen Con Bound!

I rolled my Patron Bond check and now I am in the debt of Joseph Goodman. I will save the Invoke for a more desperate time. Anyway, I'm off to Gen Con 2015 soon!

I will be at the Goodman Games booth on Thursday afternoon, Friday at 1 PM, and Saturday morning. At said location, you can buy every single issue of Crawljammer, plus all the great new Goodman Games products (I saw the list of new releases, and let's just say you will need to get some bigger dice).

Also: I'll be running Crawljammer: Dreamscape of the Nightmare Beasts at 7PM on Thurs, and otherwise lurking around playing in games after hours at the Embassy Suites whenever possible and maybe playtesting some secret things.

See you in Indianapolis!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Crawljammer 2015: What is Going On???

A few announcements from Crawljammer Central at Moon Dice Games:

1. The Crawljammer Zine officially ended with issue #6!
I didn't announce this at the time, because I wasn't sure if I would stick to the decision or not, but after releasing six issues of the Crawljammer zine in 2014, I decided that was enough of that particular format. Plus, Staples only has a few different card stock colors to choose from for those covers, you know!

2. But Crawljammer will continue!
Because I LOVE DCC and I love developing and running space-themed DCC adventures (and so do a lot of folks), I will continue to produce Crawljammer supplements and adventures, such as...

3. The Weird Worm-Ways of Saturn, by Daniel Bishop!
Part 1 of this is ALREADY AVAILABLE. It debuted at Origins and North Texas RPG Con this week! And you can order it over on the right side of this page EDIT: CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN PDF FORM, AND PRINT COPIES OF ISSUES #1 AND #2 WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AGAIN ONCE ISSUE #2 IS COMPLETED -- it's the first part of a two-part Daniel Bishop Saturn adventure (with a new character class: the Saturnian Ape-Man). It's amazing, of course, because it's Daniel Bishop. And Fred Dailey rocked the art on the inside, and that Matt Hildebrand cover is eye-scorchingly spectacular. (If you had subscribed though issue 7 or 8 of Crawljammer, this is what you'll be getting instead. I'm sure you will not be disappointed!)

4. More DCC/Crawljammer Stuff Coming!
In addition to part 2 of Daniel Bishop's adventure (the first part was a planetary crawl, and the upcoming part 2 will go down into the depths of Saturn), the plan is to release a few other things I have been writing for Moon Dice Games this year: a supplement for DCC called The Age of Undying, a Crawljammer adventure called The Thrall of the Space Gods, and a print version of what I'll be running at Gen Con -- Dreamscape of the Nightmare Beasts.

5. Plus THIS!
And, most importantly, I have a small cadre of writerly companions working with me to revise and flesh out Crawljammer and the Crawljammer universe and we plan to release a complete Crawljammer handbook/player's guide/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. This will likely be a Kickstarter project sometime later this year or early in 2016. I want to make sure it is written first, before we Kickstart its production costs.

What do you think about all of this??? Crawljammer will live on! For years and years! And more!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Crawljammer Adventure Coming Soon!

Adventure by Daniel Bishop. Cover by Matt Hildebrand. Interior art by Fred Dailey. Published by Moon Dice Games. June 2015.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Games I Play: A Top 5 List for TableTop Day

It's International TableTop Day today, and though I don't really usually watch people play games on the internet, I do PLAY games like crazy, and one of my favorite things about playing games is playing NEW (well new-to-me) games and teaching new people how to play games.

When it comes to role-playing games, I'm usually the guy who hears something mention something geeky and I will slip in a casual, "do you ever play any role-playing games," and if they ever say anything like, "I've never had a chance," or "I don't know how to play those games," or "no," then I offer to run a game for them, and about 10% of the time I actually get a chance to do that, which is always awesome.

Obviously this blog is about role-playing games and Crawljammer specifically, but I also love all sorts of tabletop games, and this year I jumped onto Epidiah Ravachol's #51in15 challenge, which was all about playing 51 different tabletop games in 2015. I hope, I hope, I hope I reach 51 different games this year. I don't know how I'll make it. So many games in so little time!

Just kidding. I played 51 different games by March. My wife and kids play games, which means I get to play a LOT of games. It's pretty great.

Anyway, for the sake of the historical record, I'll list my 51 different games played at the end of this post, but I wanted to do a quick Top 5 list that doesn't include role-playing games (even though I LOVE role-playing games soooooo much) because I don't write much about board games and yet I play them all the time. So here you go:

5. Rampage
This game has since been renamed Terror in Meeple City because it isn't actually based on the arcade game where monsters destroy city blocks even though it's a game about monsters destroying city blocks. It looks like a children's game, and it would be appropriate for children, but it's also an amazingly fun game about flicking discs and blowing on cardboard stacks with meeple girders and using superpower cards and just generally looking ridiculous in the pursuit of that set of businessmen that you need to get the extra points at the end of the game. I would play this with anyone, anytime. Unless you don't like fun. Then I won't play it with you.

4. Eclipse
My son asked to play this, because he saw it on the stack of games I pulled out of the closet and I hadn't even busted open the shrink wrap since I bought it when it was on sale one time at Amazon. We opened it up, looked at the rules and all the cardboard pieces we had to punch out and the million little cubes and we hesitated...but I said, "I bet it's not that complicated once we set it up." And it's not. But it has some depth as you explore space and get your resources and then prepare to invade and attack your former allies. It is my favorite eurogame, wrapped in a cosmic package.

3. Seafall
This game isn't even out yet, but I knew designer Rob Daviau lived not-too-far-away and I told him I could pull together a group for playtesting, should he ever need one. And he did. So on a cold Sunday evening, we got together with a prototype of this game and played with what seemed to be the nearly-finalized rules. I can't say much about this game, but it has aspects of some of my favorite games like Eclipse and Robinson Crusoe and Puerto Rico and builds on the Legacy conceit of Rob's Risk Legacy game where the game board (and rules) change and grow as the "campaign" of the game continues. You might wonder how all of that can fit together (with plenty of new ideas and an evocative world) in one game. You'll have to see for yourself when the game comes out, but the version we played was pretty great.

2. Imperial Assault
I didn't have much interest in this when it was announced. Star Wars Descent? I didn't even understand why people would play Descent, when they could just play D&D or any other role-playing game. And it's not like there's a shortage of Star Wars RPG material. I'd play WEG d6 Star Wars right now if you asked me (please ask me!). But then I played Imperial Assault. And I bought Imperial Assault. It's just a smooth game of rolling cool-looking dice and working together to complete missions. It's the missions and equipment and customized upgrades and surprises that make the game so much fun to play. It's not going to have the depth of an RPG, but it has something that's just as entertaining in 2-3 hour doses: an efficiency and elegance of gameplay that makes you want to keep going. Another mission? Yeah, let's do it!

1. Battlestar Galactica
Oh, I didn't think this game would be for me at all. I tried watching that Battlestar Galactica stuff a few years back. I even picked up the whole series on DVD, assuming that I would love it as much as all the cool kids told me I would. But...unless Edward James Olmos was talking, I was bored by it. I just didn't care. I wanted the 1970's Cylons to show up and blast everyone. At least that would have been interesting. But though the board game is slathered with flavor from the reboot, it doesn't matter. You don't need to know any of the characters. You just need to be willing to play a simple cooperative game that has a traitor. Or two traitors. Or three. And the whole game is about building up that tension between the players. Paranoia abounds. It's the best board game I played all year. And, no, I am not a Cylon! (Yes I am.)

My #51in15 list, in chronological order of games played:
1. Splendor
2. Colt Express
3. Sheriff of Nottingham
4. Five Tribes
5. Dungeon Crawl Classics
6. Rolemaster
7. Battle at Kemble's Cascade
8. Takenoko
9. Carcassonne
10. Rampage
11. Smash-Up
12. Telestrations
13. Draco Magi
14. Ultimate Werewolf
15. Tsuro
16. Wits & Wagers
17. Love Letter
18. Agricola
19. King of Tokyo
20. Pandemic: The Cure
21. Seafall Legacy
22. Magic: The Gathering
23. Skull
24. Lost Cities
25. Hanabi
26. Witchcraft
27. Abyss
28. Forbidden Desert
29. Risk Legacy
30. Eclipse
31. Boss Monster
32. Questlandia
33. Nine Men's Morris
34. Zombicide
35. The Resistance
36. Metamorphosis Alpha 
37. Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
38. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Smurf Edition 
39. slash 
40. Mysterium 
41. Longhorn 
42. Gamma World 
43. Marvel Superheroes RPG
44. Call of Cthulhu
45. X-Wing Miniatures Game
46. Dungeon World
47. Imperial Assault
48. Machine of Death
49. Battlestar Galactica
50. Black Gold
51. Beowulf: The Legend

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Three Updates: New Crawljammer for Sale, TotalCon, and Mythoard

Fred Dailey knows how to draw Sky-Scavengers like crazy!
THREE UPDATES for you, numerically arranged:

(1) Crawljammer #6 is FINALLY available for sale. I still have a few copies to mail out to subscribers, and that process has been sloooooowww...and I apologize for that, but I wanted to offer the issue for sale to everyone so that I can get all the orders done and everything mailed out by the end of this month. There's tons of good stuff in issue #6, like the Yolovar character class (the laser-pistol wielding fly-man), a zero level funnel on the moon, and space monsters that you will want to avoid on your travels, and more.

(2) I will be at TotalCon in Mansfield, Massachusetts tomorrow! Through Sunday! I will be running a Crawljammer funnel and a level 5 Crawljammer game featuring some Space Gods. See you there! Or, if you are reading this at a later date, I hope you had fun that weekend, wherever you were!

(3) And finally, I can't emphasize enough that Mythoard is a thing worth supporting. Jarrod Shaw has put together this Loot-Crate-for-RPGs and if there aren't enough folks to support it, I fear that it will be much shorter-lived than it should be. Matt Hildebrand and I worked around the clock in January to get Bizarre Tales done in time for the February Mythoard shipment, and it's definitely a stretch for Moon Dice Games, what with its color cover and professional printing, but it came out looking great. It's only available if you subscribe to Mythoard for February, but you can subscribe to additional months as well, or just February, or whatever! But, seriously, if you can afford it, please support Mythoard so that it can grow into something amazing and send us cool packages of mystery each and every month!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Appendix N of Bizarre Tales

As I mentioned last week, Bizarre Tales -- exclusive to Mythoard in February -- was a challenging project to write, as I tried to condense as much adventure and a sense of a strange world in 20 OSR-drenched pages. I took inspiration from a variety of sources, and if Bizarre Tales had its own Appendix N, this is what it would look like:

Breakheart Pass, by Alistair MacLean and Tom Gries
"Dagon," by H.P. Lovecraft
Deadwood, Seasons 1-3, by David Milch
The Empire Strikes Back, by George Lucas and Irvin Kershner
The Folly of the World, by Jesse Bullington
The Fall of the Rebel Angels and Netherlandish Proverbs, by Pieter Bruegel
"The Slithering Shadow," by Robert E. Howard
Weird Tales, July 1948, by various

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Bizarre Tales: The True Story of What it is and How it Came to Be

A Matt Fox painting from 1949 on the cover!
Bizarre Tales is done. 20 pages, full-bleed color cover. ONLY available in the February Mythoard.

Here's how it happened: I emailed Jarrod Shaw, Mythoard-master, after seeing the first beta shipment from December, asking if he was interested in having something from Moon Dice Games in a future Mythoard. He was willing to buy copies of the most recent Crawljammer issue and add them to the stack o' goodness for January or February. I didn't think that was good enough, honestly. I think Crawljammer is excellent, obviously, but I didn't think it was good enough for the Mythoard crowd because many of the subscribers of Mythoard, from what I have seen posted, already subscribe to Crawljammer. I thought it would be disappointing to include something most folks would already have or would be getting soon (sorry about the delayed shipment on Crawljammer #6, everyone!).

I proposed doing something original, exclusive to Mythoard.

Because here's the thing: I want Mythoard to become a huge thing. I personally want to get an amazing pile of gaming supplies and book and ideas every month, but I also want Jarrod and his family to become so busy shipping out Mythoard boxes that they have to hire an army of minions to meet the demands of tens of thousands of subscribers. And that's not going to happen if the Mythoard packages are filled with leftovers. Jarrod has bigger plans. Aspirations to put something out into the world that's special.
The Wanderer brings mystery, and Bounty Hunters follow.

I know Bizarre Tales isn't going to change anything on its own, but I think it turned out well. It's one of the most challenging things I've written, following from the setting established in Tim Shorts's beta exclusive and packing a weird town and about a dozen new creatures and various distinctive NPCs and two scenarios into 20 pages. With awesome art by Matt Hildebrand. I would buy it. And it's only available in print in the Mythoard February package.

Matt and I made it for Mythoard. And for you. Subscribe now, before they are gone!

Friday, January 2, 2015


Crawljammer layout master and cover artist Matt Hildebrand and I are currently collaborating on a 16-page system-neutral OSR sandbox setting (for adventure!) that will be released in February of this year.

Here's the deal, though: It's a MYTHOARD EXCLUSIVE!

If you're not familiar with Mythoard, it's a monthly package of RPG goodness that you can subscribe to, and inside each month's super-sized envelope or box, you will get a bundle of dice, or gaming supplies, or adventure booklets, or whatever Jarrod and his Mythoard minions have compiled.

It all started in December with the Beta release to 100 initial subscribers, and it continues each month this year, with subscriptions now open to the first 200 folks who lay down their sweet cash.

Our release -- THE DAY THE BOUNTY HUNTERS CAME TO BAULDER -- will appear in your February Mythoard package. But the only way to get the February package is to subscribe!

So check out Mythoard. And watch out for those bounty hunters.