Miscellaneous
  • Miscellaneous


    Playing Dungeons & Dragons teaches a wide range of skills, from complex math to problem solving to team work. How can you convince employers that your gaming experience makes you the best person for the job? CareerBuilder says that "Candidate used Dungeons and Dragons as an example of teamwork" was an example of an "outrageous and common mistake" candidates make in job interviews.


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    Now this is an act of remarkable generosity. Noble Knight Games is taking it upon itself to fulfil the failed pledges of a Kickstarter campaign by Ken Whitman's d20 Entertainment. Ken Whitman has an unfortunate reputation in the industry for failing to deliver on things repeatedly over a 20-year period, and Noble Knight has received a shipment of stock despite knowing that Kickstarter backers have not received anything. So what are they doing? They're donating that inventory to the Kickstarter backers. Noble Knight Games is a store based in Wisconsin, USA.  ...READ MORE

    i'm really excited to welcome a new columnist to EN World. Joining Mike Tresca (in-depth industry columns), Sean Patrick Fannon (Picks of the Week), and, of course, myself (daily RPG news scoops), is Christopher Helton. If you've heard that name before, it's because he was the tabletop gaming communist (no, columnist - damn you, autocorrect!) for the Bleeding Cool website. Christopher has reported on things like Catalyst's Valiant RPG, Moon Design's takeover of Chaosium, the Savage Worlds version of Rifts, and many indie games. He also maintains the Dorkland! blog, which carries opinion and review pieces on tabletop gaming. This will help expand EN World's focus a little with more coverage of a wider range of games.  ...READ MORE

    Bruce Heard has kindly sent along a preview of an upcoming project. He, too, knows how much I like sharing previews! Coming up during the first week of December 2015, Calidar Publishing will be launching its second kickstarter. The new project, Beyond the Skies, is a 220+ pg full-color compendium for use with any RPG. Packed with thematic maps and handy floor plans, it tells all about gods, their spirit servants, their foes, the temples of their mortal followers, and the lairs of secret societies. A preview page is up and available for feedback. It says a lot about the new book and the talent behind it. You may remember how well the first book did, In Stranger Skies (it is trending at an astonishing 97% here on EN World's ratings) and this one promises to do as well or better. This kickstarter makes it possible for new backers to acquire the original book at a discounted price, and other titles strictly restricted to kickstarter supporters.  ...READ MORE

    For much of the world, it's All Hallow's Eve (AKA Halloween AKA Samhain), which is the gateway to the Holiday Season. For Americans, this means places like Cracker Barrel have already begun pimping Christmas like it's a Kickstarter on its last days, and the battle strategies for Black Friday are well into the planning stages. It's kind of... you know what, never mind. Tonight and tomorrow, my clan is enmeshed in Halloween parties and celebrations, and we'll continue to embrace this as the geekiest holiday of all! Speaking of celebrating, check out the Halloween Sale among the Picks!
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    I use Google Analytics to track this website's performance, and especially to get some insight into usage patterns and (anonymized aggregate) demographic data. Here's a quick look at the reports for the last month. I grabbed a few snapshots of total users, gender and age demographics, and location data by country. There are no great surprises: traffic is healthy (although this is by no means the best month so far this year - one month had over 450K unique active users), the percentage of female visitors is still terrible low - far too low - and the US is by far the largest single country of origin. That last item is interesting - the amount of non-US traffic has increased a lot across the board over the last couple of years, and while the US traffic has increased in terms of raw numbers, it has decreased by about 15% in terms of percentage share. In other words, there's lots of new traffic coming in from other countries.
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    I go where my muse takes me, and this week, it wandered mostly through various editions of D&D, plus a couple of Savage Worlds settings. Things got steamy a couple of times, and I even threw in a Bonus Pick from DriveThruCards. I want to go ahead and head off any trolling about my Pick of the 4e Player's Handbook. Love it or hate it, there's no denying its importance. Interestingly, I've heard many highly respected colleagues refer to it as a "great game, just not really a great D&D edition." Others maintain that it's a fine D&D game. All opinions are valid, and reasoned discussion is welcome - just keep it cool and calm.
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    Here we are at Con on the Cob - which is absolutely one of the most enjoyable and raucous convention experiences I've ever known - and thanks to Carinn finally getting me to load up the laptop, I've managed to stay on top of Picks here. Even better, here's this week's roundup of Picks. I gotta say, once again an accidental theme presented itself this week, and that theme is WEIRD! Card-based mechanics, alt-history, two-dimensional people, and talking garbage abound, so if you're someone who is really looking for the new and strange, this is a week of Picks to peruse!
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    New for EN5ider patrons. In a slight change of tone before we start EN5ider's horror themed month for October and Halloween, we have a fun "drinking game" diversion from the serious rules, designed to throw some chaos into a special one-shot session or adventure. Five drinking games, and four recipes for fantasy themed drinks, three of which can be made alcohol free if needed, make this article one you'll remember! By Kiel Chenier; illustrated by Indi Martin.
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    I bought one of these years ago, back when they were called "GameMastery Combat Pads" (or something similar), and out of all the accessories I've ever bought outside of dice, I think this item has seen the most use. It's a magnetic pad used to track initiative; I've used it for D&D and Pathfinder, and any game with an initiative mechanic will benefit from it. The pad itself and the magnetic counters are all dry-erase, so you simply write PC and monster names on them along with their initiative rolls, and rearrange as appropriate. Generally, in my group, one of the players is designated as the initiative tracker so that the GM has one less thing to do. Anyhow, I didn't realise it had gone away - but now it's back in the Paizo store. If you don't have one, I recommend picking one up; they're $24.99, but they'll last you years.
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    I don't usually report on dice Kickstarters, simply because there's a lot of them. It's not often that a major company is involved in one, though -- Q-Workshop has partnered with Paizo Publishing to produce what they have dubbed "the most awesome metal dice set on Earth". These are black painted, engraved, full-metal dice - the usual set (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d10 with tens). A set will cost you $69, with free worldwide shipping, expected in March 2016; or, if you pay a bit more, you can get them in time for Christmas.
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    "If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything." ~ Count Rugen, The Princess Bride. Oh, friends, this is so very true. The last few days have been a bit rough, I will say, and much of what I am dealing with comes from failing to do the kinds of things I should for far too long. Ours is a very sedentary hobby (unless you're one of those magnificent maniacs that plays action/combat LARPS), and it's all-too-easy to let horrible habits settle in. Bad food, no exercise... trust me, this will catch up to you, as it has me. I am taking steps, but they are difficult and drastic, and you'd be much better off getting up once in a while, wandering around a bit, and substituting some healthy stuff for the pizza. OK, sermon over, on with the Picks!
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    No, no, I am not telling everyone to bite me; there's a lycanthrope book by that name below. Meanwhile, I've yet another mea culpa to offer, since I failed to get a Picks roundup done last week. Truth is, True Believers, that this rather elegant site has some specific formatting requirements that are hard to manage when I am away. This is, honestly, because my so-called laptop is so entrenched as a desktop machine, taking it with me to cons is beyond inconvenient. I had thought to use Carinn's machine (which she takes with her religiously), but I didn't have all my logins readily available. These are, of course, digital world problems, but I am guessing many of you can relate. As Casey Kasem often said, "and now, on with the countdown."
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    Hey, look at that! A full week's Picks at long last! Of course, this may end being a mess again next week - I'm a Special Guest at Pacificon Game Expo, and Carinn and I will be spending an entire week in the Santa Clara/San Jose area, with a planned jaunt to San Francisco (she desperately wants to see Chinatown). While at the show, I've got something very special in the works (tune into the comments at the end for more info). However, I am curious, Dear Readers - has anyone else noticed a decided resurgence of interest in the science-fantasy (AKA "swords-and-rayguns") sub-genre?
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    I just wanted to drop a quick note about how press releases and the like tend to work here at EN World. Over on the right (assuming you're looking at this on the news page, and not via the forum, or Tapatalk, or what-have-you) you can see a list of press releases. Anybody is welcome to post one there. When a press release drops in my inbox, that's usually where I put it. It's the place for press releases, announcements, Kickstarter launches, promotions, competitions, and all that fun promotional stuff. Just hit the Post Announcement button. As you can see, I just today posted press releases from Cubicle 7 about their new Doctor Who RPG, and Chaosium about their new staff hiring.
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    Frog God Games has announced that it will be offering a dollar-for-dollar value of PDFs to backers of two Centre Stage Miniatures Kickstarters which failed to deliver to their backers. Though Frog God did not run the two Kickstarters - they were for miniatures whose art was licensed from them for that purpose - they say they feel the need to make an offer like this as a show of goodwill to fans who might have backed the Kickstarters because Frog God's name was associated with it.
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    Sorry for missing again last week, friends, but this convention season's been both wonderful and brutal for me. I am deep in recovery mode – just not as young as I once was, and the constant altitude shift from the Mile High City to sea level and back has been brutal. Nonetheless, lots of great gaming things going on, both in my personal sphere and in the world of gaming. Now that I am a part of Pinnacle Entertainment, not only am I up to my neck in the Megaverse as it will be shared in Savage Worlds, but I am excitedly hoping to help out with the new Flash Gordon products Pinnacle announced at Gen Con. I've also got something cooking with Len Pimentel of Lakeside Games – a new version of Prowlers & Paragons! Speaking of great things happening in gaming...
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    Game designer Jim Ward, after whom the wizard Drawmij was named, and who worked on Metamorphosis Alpha, Deities & Demigods, Greyhawk Adventures, and more, has been in hospital for some time, and various bills are rising. If you have the urge to help, there's a Go Fund Me page for him where you can donate money towards his current target of $5000 [edit - the target is now $8000] [edit - having passed $8000 the target is now $15000]. Jim has already had surgery, and needs more.
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    Companies and websites getting hacked is a pretty regular occurrence these days (I've been notified just today of two breaches of companies I'm a customer of - the other is a mobile phone company). The latest victim is DriveThruRPG (also known as RPGNow), which has sent out emails to those who have made a card payment on the site since July 6th, as well as those who have their payment details stored on the site. The company has sent an email to both groups of customers. If you've used DTRPG or RPGNow in the last month or so, or if your details are stored there, be sure to check that there are no unusual transactions on your account.
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    Tomorrow (August 10th), RPG designer and publisher Monte Cook will be holding an Ask Me Anything (AMA) right here at EN World. You can ask him about anything, including Numenera, D&D, Monte Cook Games, Malhavoc Press, and more. The AMA will continue through the week.
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