Video Games
  • Video Games


    Economists have once again pointed a finger at escapist fantasy as the potential downfall of civilization -- with video games the most recent scapegoat -- due to young people supposedly finding their increasingly realistic escapism more appealing than work. And yet tabletop role-playing games are even more engaging than video games...so why haven't they heralded the end of the world as we know it?

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    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s news. Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition design team announced, teases for the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, Origin Awards nominees announced, a new Pathfinder video game, Mike Mearls does an AMA, and more! Yeah, I stretched more to get this headline than the last one...

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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a turn-based RPG video game which was Kickstarted in 2015. I don't usually cover video games here, since tabletop RPGs are a big enough subject on their own, but this one's a little different because the developers recently revealed a "Game Master Mode". Not only that, they used that mode to play Lost Mine of Phandelver - the adventure in the D&D 5E Starter Set - at WotC's offices. It has overtones of Neverwinter Nights, a game of which I have very fond memories. (thanks to Søren for the scoop)
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    A rundown of the New Releases that should be hitting games stores this coming week! Board games, card games, RPGs, Wargames, Miniatures and collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! For more information about any of the products please contact your local games store.

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    The Dread Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail is legendary among tabletop gamers. It turns out that the diabolical rabbit has precedent in medieval manuscripts before it was finally imported to tabletop role-playing games.


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    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! We finally know what the PlanEscape website is all about, Goodman Games is bringing us In Search of the Unknown at the Keep on the Borderlands, Friend Computer might be upset if you don't find out about a new pre-order available, RuneQuest gets a new line developer, and more!

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    I-CON, short for Island CONvention, has been a staple of geek culture on Long Island for decades. I-CON disappeared for five years, but it returned this year with I-CON 32 to a new venue. I had the pleasure of being a guest last weekend once more and I'm happy to report the con is back on its feet.


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    When Chris Cocks, the recently-named CEO of Wizards of the Coast, took on his new position we speculated how his digital gaming background, strongly grounded in Magic: The Gathering, might influence the company's vision. Thanks to a letter he released in January, we have a bit more insight into how he plans to translate his vision into reality.


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    There's been an announcement by Chris Cocks, the President of Wizards of the Coast, of a shift in their support for their product through digital means. The new studio includes the Magic Online team, and it mentions a D&D augmented-reality game (something like Pokemon Go?)  ...READ MORE

    The unstoppable franchise that is Star Wars is back in the headlines thanks to the blockbuster success of Rogue One, a film that delves into the sci-fi epic's detailed backstory. It's easy to forget that when Disney acquired the Star Wars license and redefined what was canon, the company declared that the tabletop role-playing game was an integral part of defining the universe.


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    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Star Trek Adventures opens its playtest to the public, official MLP gaming news, the ASA says Hello Games didn’t use deceptive advertising, Steve Jackson Games new products and organized play announcements, and more!

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    Justin Achilli - well-known writer, designer, and developer from the heyday of White Wolf - is back in a big way with this very exciting new project. Folks have been playing the party/RP game about finding werewolves in the village for many, many years; almost every single convention I've been to has either an official gathering for it, or impromptu hallway games erupt in the middle of the night. Now, the game of lying to your friends about your other friends in order to not get eaten or murdered on the spot comes to virtual reality.
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    Everything is Dolphins is a bare bones role-playing game created by author and musical artist Ray Weiss and later released, with accompanying art, by Tim Hutchings. Everything is Dolphins in turn has its roots in a groundbreaking video game, Ecco the Dolphin. And Ecco the Dolphin was inspired by some bizarre real-life experiments with dolphins that influenced the creation of the video game.


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    We covered the influence of Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes on Wasteland and then later GURPS on Fallout, two examples of just how influential the tabletop role-playing game industry had on computer games. But it was perhaps inevitable that Fallout -- which was already tabletop friendly with its GURPS-inspired SPECIAL system -- would attempt to transition back into the tabletop format that spawned it. The path back to Fallout's tabletop roots was fraught with more peril than a pack of deathclaws.


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    In the previous installment we discussed how Wasteland, the original inspiration behind Fallout, was shaped by the design capabilities of several tabletop game designers. In this installment that tradition continues with the application of GURPS to the Wasteland-inspired Fallout...until it wasn't.

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    Fallout, the beloved video game franchise that mixes 50s retro-futurism with the apocalypse, has its roots in a role-playing game...and then attempted two different licensing deals with role-playing game companies before they were tripped up by legal challenges. From Tunnels & Trolls to GURPS to D20 Modern, Fallout's evolution was intertwined with both video game and tabletop gaming history.

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    In the previous installment we discussed the influence of the disastrous end to a Dungeons & Dragons campaign and how it helped shape the beginning of the first-person shooter, Doom. But there was another character who influenced id Software's follow-up to Doom. His name was Quake, and although he never appeared in his original form in the titular game, his magic arsenal was typical of a a high-level D&D character.

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    Doom, widely-regarded as one of the first successful first-person shooter video game, has its roots in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign that went disastrously wrong when one of the player characters made a literal deal with the devil...and lost.


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    The developer of Sword Coast Legends, n-Space, is shutting its doors for good. Publisher Digital Expremes says "We are deeply saddened by the closing of n-Space. Staying alive as a mid-sized independent developer in the games industry is no small feat. Their passion for creating games never faltered and their dedicated team has ended on the high note of completing the console version of Sword Coast Legends. We are working hard with them to realize as much as we can for their team during this difficult time and encourage players to keep an eye on the official website for more details on the launch of Sword Coast Legends on Xbox One and PlayStation 4."  ...READ MORE

    I don't often cover video games, but the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment can't be ignored! Actually, I've mentioned this a few times before; Torment: Tides of Numenera is based on Monte Cook's Numenera world and roleplaying game. PC Games has an early access review of it - it's kind of mixed, although it is based on a slightly buggy Kickstarter backers beta version. The game launches on Steam Early Access tomorrow, in a version which contains about a fifth of the game. However, the review does indicate that "Planescape: Torment’s influence is pretty strong from the get-go", and so those who are fans of the original game by Black Isle should find this offering intriguing, albeit the game is "more high falutin, however; not as easy to digest as its predecessor."  ...READ MORE
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