Gencon UK 2007 – Games Workshop

Games Workshop
Miniatures aren’t really my bag these days, aside from lusting after Rackham and Privateer Press stuff, but ever since playing the old hardback Rogue Trader version of Warhammer 40k I’ve wanted to roleplay in the heavily Nemesis influenced Imperium of Man. Dark Heresy is going to be the first, main book of the new 40k RPG which, controversially, seems to be much more focussed than most RPGs and seems intended to be sold in sections – the first one being the one dedicated to the Inquisition, much like the old Inquisitor giant-fuck off miniatures game.Anyway, controversy or not if the game is anything like WFRP – which it appears to be – one should be able to kitbash it into shape pretty easily even before the other releases come along – though they’ll obviously be a bit of a bonus. Steve should be able to play a demo tomorrow – GW are one of the few sets of demos that won’t cost you an arm and a leg – so we should be able to tell you more but the little demo booklet they have is a rather disappointing ‘dungeonbash with chainswords’ though, I suppose, something along those lines is likely the best way to go if you’re just showcasing the system, rather than anything else.

Alas and alack, it seems we still won’t see the Black Industries/Green Ronin stuff being pushed in GWs hobby stores, but that’s not really a decision that can be blamed on GWs convention crew. Still, it’s a damn shame and a huge amount of missed potential in securing new generations of gamers.

So, hopefully more on this tomorrow.

Gencon UK 2007 – Twisted Chronicle

Twisted Chronicle – ‘Gothic Society’
A new launch from a new company just starting out, they’ve got a lot of heart and big ambitions for their game – a post vampire takeover world – and seem to be winning a lot of friends and potential converts with their earnest and big hearted approach. The game wears its influences on it’s sleeve but has a lot of charm. I won’t go into too much detail as I’ll be reviewing it later in the week but the basics are that the vampire houses have divided up the world between them and feud with each other, now that they have won. There’s a lot of Christian/Satanic imagry and themes to the game with the vampire houses derived from the seven deadly sins.Anyway, I’ll have a full review coming later on for this first effort of theirs and let you know what I think of it. Either way, success or not, I think we’ll see more of these guys coming up I think.

Gencon UK 2007 – Core Games Publishing

Core Games PublishingQ. So, how is Corporation doing then?

A. As far as we see its doing well, the sales for the book are good and we’ve had lots of good feedback from the players.

Q. What’s coming up?

A. Nice of you to ask. We’ve got the tech book coming up soon, that’s in play test at the moment but its huge, almost the same size as the core book, and we want to make sure none of the equipment is gamebreaking.  The tech book will also include new trainings and new licenses as well as a whole new category of weapons that require direct UIG authorisation to use.

The tech book will take a little while yet though so in the interim we’ll be releasing some adventure books to keep the hordes away from our door.

Q. How about the PDF market, are you going to publish into the PDF market?

A. It’s a good idea, we went straight to print with the main book but we may look at making a PDF release of it.  We’re also looking at maybe putting the adventures out on PDF as well.  We’ve haven’t definately decided yet.

Q. What about other games, any plans?

A. Yes, but nothing solid at the moment I want to do something not fantasy but fantastical.

Article by Steve Mortimer, picture by Donna Desborough

Gencon UK 2007 – Pelgrane Press

Pelgrane PressQ. How does the software (Campaign Cartographer and add-ons) do?

A. It does well actually, there are lots of supplemental packages and extras so it influences people actually buy ‘sets’ rather than one or two bits.  We’ve recently updated to v3 which uses vector techniques to make the images and tiles scale on all levels of zoom.

Q. What about future plans for the software?

A. We’re planning on getting some new tilesets out soon, Fantasy & Modern Floorplans are the next things to look out for.

Q. How about a DVD release of the core software and all the add-ons.

A. Maybe, can’t say we’ve really thought about it but I’ll float the idea.

Q. So I see you have a pre-production version of a game here, care to talk about it?

A. Well, what you’re seeing here is the pre-alpha playtest version of Trail of Cthulhu which is our next big thing.  It’s an investigation based Cthulhu game that is driven by the Gumshoe engine with some planned releases to follow up after its release, we’re looking at PDF Adventures, a book of antagonists (but not monsters, more the agents of the monsters) and maybe a book about magic, however we’d be looking at it from the perspective of a ‘true’ form of magic made accessible through the various magical traditions.

There is also a game thats is early development called Urban Gods that has the players representing the influence of newly awoken urban gods within the bounds of their home city.  For example the god of sewers might have one or two mortal agents but lots and lots of rats at his disposal, while the rats may not be very powerful on their own their are capable of acting in concert to achieve goals for you.

Q. Other than the new Cthulhu game is there anything else planned for Gumshoe?

A. I think it would really suit a CSI type game, obviously the license for that would be virtually impossible to get so a more generic forensics/crime scene game would be nice.  Also I’d like to do a medieval type game like the Cadfael stories, obviously with the option to bring in some of the more strange horror elements.

Q. How about Dying Earth?

A. We’ve just realeased the Compendium of Universal Knowledge for the game and while we initially thought that might be our last book we actually think we might have one or two more in us, a monsters/antagonists book and maybe some PDF Adventures.

Q. How do you think Gumshoe is being recieved?

A. It seems to be polarising opinion somewhat, people seem to either love it or hate it, with very little middle ground.  This leads to us having a very devoted fanbase which in itself is something we’re very proud of.

Article by Steve Mortimer, picture by Donna Desborough

Gencon UK 2007 – Stealthy Spider Publishing (Occult Wars)

Occult Wars

Q. You’re new, how did you get started?
A. We’re very keen wargamers who did a little bit of roleplaying a long time ago, we’ve been working on the rules on and off for about 6 years and decided not too long ago that we should publish it.

Q. How do you get started in the Miniatures Market?

A. You need a lot of stake cash to get a miniatures run started, currently we’re reselling figures from other manufacturers.  However we have a small run of our own miniatures coming out soon sculpted for us be Phil Lewis of ex-GamesWorkshop fame.

Q. Tell us about the game.

A. It’s a modern horror game initially designed with a miniature play idea but it fully supports a more traditional RPG aspect as well and can be played without mini’s.  The game itself is designed to allow characters to be created quickly and on a balanced playing field.  Equipment is acquired at character generation using a roll system with the roll’s being modified depending on what you’re playing i.e. weapons are easier to get for military characters.
The game is also designed to scale well allowing for anything from the traditional 4 man investigator team right up to full on military engagements where you could control whole divisions of troops going up against say Nazi Werewolves.Q. What about support for the game, both in print and online?

A. The game is supported online both on our own site and via several active yahoo groups.  We’re also already planning a couple of extras, maybe some zombie toolkit stuff and eventually a second edition which beefs up the RPG element and gives a more filled out background.

Q. So you mentioned the RP element, how well is RP supported in the game?

A. The game can be played completely as an RPG with no figures at all but we still think that we can expand on the RPG element, we’ll be looking at this for the second edition.

Q. Would you consider ever doing a fully RP version of the game?

A. We’d rather maintain the balance to be honest, we’re miniatures gamers at heart and while we enjoy the RP elements we’d never want to sacrifice all the tactical miniatures options for a standalone RPG.

Cheers guys and we hope the game does well.

Report by Steve Mortimer, photo by Donna Desborough