Friday, February 25, 2011

Gobbo's First Contest

Third Eye Games had a Giveaway in the month of February.  Every day you could win a copy of the Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade RPG rules.  I won a copy and was sent my code.  I did however, already get a free copy of the PDF when I purchased the Print copy of the book.  

So, since I don't need a second digital copy of the rules, I am holding a contest.  It will run today through the 25th of March.  The winner will be determined by myself as well as Ron Blessing of "The Games The Thing" podcast and Eloy Lasanta, the creator of the game!

The contest is simple.  Well, as long as you can count it is!  You need to write a Ninja themed Haiku.  This needs to be an original haiku of your own creation.  So what is a Haiku?
  
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras (or on), in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 moras respectively.  Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables, this is not completely accurate as syllables and moras are not the same. Haiku typically contain a kigo (seasonal reference), and a kireji (cutting word).  In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line and tend to take aspects of the natural world as their subject matter, while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku and may deal with any subject matter.
As an example here is one of my favorite haiku:

Haiku are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense
Refrigerator

So, all entries must be submitted to WuXingHaiku@gmail.com and must be received by midnight March 25th [GMT -7] .  Make them fun, make them creative, but most important, make them NINJA!

Winner will be announced as soon after the contest is over as is possible.  I estimate it may take a week to go through all the entries and we need to review and verify them to be original.

Thanks for looking,
The Gobbo

Monday, February 21, 2011

Freeblades of Faelon


This last weekend was Genghis Con here in Denver and I was in attendance from Thursday through Sunday [as usual].  My friend Marc came to me and told me he had played in a demo just that after noon of a really interesting Fantasy Skirmish game called "Freeblades" [which I had never heard of] from a company calling itself "DGS" [nor had I heard of them].  I went over to the lobby area of the convention hall and found a group of distinguished gentlemen who were all wearing shirts with the DGS logo on it and told them [as I was getting ready for another game starting in 20 minutes] that I did not have time to try the game just then, but could the give me their "pitch"?


One of the gents gladly pulled me aside and showed me a map.


"This," he said, "is Faelon, it is the world setting for all three of the games we are developing."  My first thought was, THREE?  What, one game isn't good enough?


He then went on to explain that DGS was working on a skirmish level miniatures game [Freeblades], a mass battle game [Blademaster] and a roleplaying game [Bright Sword] all set in the same world, which would be completely cross compatible.  If you had a party of characters who end up in a massive battle, just port them over and use the mass combat rules. "There are 14 Factions in playtest in all 3 systems right now."  14?  Holy...  Well, they couldn't all be cool ideas could they?  French style Knights with magic, Roman style troops riding Velociraptor, Corrupted Mongolian style horsemen, Desert Necromancers, Lizardmen Pirates!  Does this list ever end?


The systems are almost identical between sets and use a wide range of dice [some of which I had never seen before!], ranging from d4 to d30 [with d14, d16 and d24's being the ones I didn't know existed!]  It sounded good, so the next evening [after I had already bought a few of the figures, which look awesome by the way] I sat down to try out the game.


The table was a set of caverns in which there were placed 6 tokens that were representing treasures [these could be just gold, or they could be a special item of protection or a magic sword].  The goal was to get the most treasures off the board, before your enemy.  Each side had 3 players and 8 figures on the table.  One leader and a couple minor heroes, along with a few fodder figures [come on...  it was funny!].  In the end, it was a great time and we all had fun.  My team won thanks to a shot from our archer, who had a d10 in his RAR [Ranged Attack Rating], who needed a 10 to hit, rolling a total of 24 [dice spike, or re-roll and add on a max roll for the die type], taking out their Leader with an amazing shot, that in all likely hood should have hit one of our own whom were in base contact with the victim!  


All in all the system is fast and fun and once it is finished in playtest, 4 of the factions will be released in the Skirmish game.


For more info and to find out more about the great systems and sign up to playtest go to their web site at http://www.dgsgames.com/

Thursday, February 10, 2011

3EG

Just yesterday I listened to a podcast called "The Games The Thing" [Great Podcast! but not what I am here to talk about today]. They had a gentleman on by the name of Eloy Lasanta, who is the owner/Lead designer for the company Third Eye Games. I had never heard of them so I did a little research and looked at their products and games.


 Their First offering is a game called "Apocalypse Prevention, INC."  The company describes the game as follows: 
Monsters and demons have existed on Earth since its inception, terrorizing humanity throughout history. But some of them decided to fight back, creating a company of like-minded beings (even other demons) to defend the Earth from supernatural threats. Today, the shadow company has it’s hands in every facet of life all around the globe, using this grasp to police supernatural activity. Demon races that live on Earth (i.e. the aquatic Lochs, shape-shifting Changelings, or even the pyrotechnic Burners) have joined the company as well, ensuring their safety as well as humanity’s.
Each agent arms themselves in a different way. Some become adepts, practitioners of magic who can learn from 18 unique and highly customizable Paths of Magic. Some enhance their body with Cybernetic implants, chipping away a small portion of their humanity for the greater good. Some train heavily in Combat Training, learning to protect themselves without reliance on experimental technology or the very magic they seek to stop. Others meet somewhere in the middle. With almost limitless combinations of powers and abilities, they can dabble in many things and become well-rounded agents.
API has been described by others as what you’d get if Joss Whedon and Mike Mignola wrote Men in Black.  I will not go into the system as I don't know it near as well as I want to and once I have a chance to get a game or 3 under my belt, I will write a more formal review.  


For 3EG's second offering they have given us "Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade".  A book that their site describes as:




The Emperor has called for blood! All ninja of the Izou Empire face the crushing might of their own nation. Where once there was peace, now there is only destruction and death. The ninja are forced to fight back, wielding the ancient art of chi manipulation alongside their shuriken and katana. Empire soldiers pack their own secret weapons to combat ninja wushu... powerful firearms. 
The ninja of the realm have assembled into their own army, the Lotus Coalition. Together, they hope to take down the Empire and stop the reign of destruction upon the people of the land. That is if they can overcome centuries old feuds and rivalries that could destroy them from within! 

This game has been tauted as a cross between Naruto and Avatar: The Last Airbender, with a little Basilisk thrown in for good measure. This is the game they reviewed on the podcast and it sounded so fun, I had to get a copy.  This game encourages players to work together or die at the hands of the Empire alone.

The new game they mentioned that will be out later this year [???], is a game called "Part-Time Gods" is a rules light version of the DGS [Dynamic Game System].  It looks to be inspired by the novel "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman [of The Sandman and Stardust fame].  Sounds like a blast!  Can not wait to see this one.


Well, that about wraps up what I have researched about Third Eye Games and what they make.  More info once the books arrive and I can read more in depth!


Now, let me know if you pick these up and what you think of the system.  For the month of February only, if you buy the print version of Wu Xing on drivethrurpg.com, you get the PDF for free!  More info at this link:   http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?discount=37669