This is Audio EXP for the 26th of October 2019, and the title of this episode is ‘Werewolves and instant dungeons’.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #15]
Does your local roleplay group grab a back room in a pub as a space to play in? Perhaps you’ve been to a board game cafe or had a quick game of Fluxx after the tacos have been swept away at a local restaurant?
What percentage of gamers have never played a game at a pub, cafe or bar? We’ll find out at the end of the podcast, right after we make our way through some of the news that caught my eye after a week of blogging on Geek Native.
Paradox Interactive a successful computer games publisher based in Stockholm. They’ve published games like Crusader Kings, BattleTech, Hearts of Iron and Planetfall. Oh, they’re also going to publish Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.
This is the same Paradox that bought White Wolf, and at their PDXCon event, they announced a werewolf computer game. The trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood looks pretty cool.
Paradox also announced they had found a partner to help make the fifth edition of the Werewolf: The Apocalypse tabletop RPG.
After all the drama with Vampire: The Masquerade on tabletop, I think Paradox has lost its appetite for writing TTRPGs themselves and would much prefer someone else did it under license for them.
Modiphius Entertainment has the license for Vampire. Paradox would not even give us a clue to who might have the Werewolf license.
My gut feeling is that that makes it less likely that it is Modiphius.
Why? I think it would be easier and less controversial to announce they had simply extended Modiphius’s license. The tease and the delay on the news makes me think Paradox are doing something new.
Well, I guess we’ll find out in time.
The new Werewolf computer game wasn’t the only trailer of note this week. Star Wars got people chatting, so did Netflix’s new Ghost in the Shell, but the trailer Geek Native shared was for a new Vin Diesel movie.
It’s called Bloodshot, and it’s a superhero movie from Valiant.
I think it looks… okay.
I know I’m interested in Bloodshot because it’s not Marvel or DC. He’s an assassin superhero with nano-blood, which seems relatively straight forward; therefore, I hope an easy movie to make.
I don’t want to use the word “Independent” to describe Valiant. They’re owned by DMG Entertainment, and they’re based in China.
In fact, I believe it’s DMG Entertainment that helps Marvel distribute their movies in China. Valiant itself exists after a failed attempt to buy Marvel but a successful talent raid.
I wonder what precisely the relationship between Valiant and Marvel is now.
Now, we’ve already covered the werewolf half of this episode’s title. What about the instant dungeon?
Oleg Dolya is a Russian game designer better known by the RPG community as Watabou. Watabou has an impressive and very popular city map generator which runs entirely in your browser. There’s no software to download. Just hit refresh and you get a new city map.
This week, Watabou launched a whole new map maker. He’s now done one for generating dungeons.
It’s the same approach as before. The site will load quickly, and there will be a simple dungeon waiting for you. Don’t like it? Hit refresh, and you’ll get a new one.
There are only a few toggles available for changing the style, but the dungeon can name itself – I made the mansion of the Void Prince – and it includes encounter ideas for critical locations.
All of Watabou’s mapmakers are entirely free. In fact, it’s been a good week for freebies on Geek Native.
We’ve a free 40-page preview of Vast Kaviya.
Vast Kaviya is a campaign setting currently crowdfunding on GameOnTableTop. It’s inspired by the likes of the animation Fire & Ice, by Conan, by Red Sonja, Thundarr and the like. In other words, muscled and sweaty men and women in loincloths and not much else out on epic slaying quests.
We’ve a short interview with Mike Myler, the setting’s creator, on Geek Native and talk to him about the sheer size of his setting and what role the warlords there have.
We also discover that this crowdfunding campaign was initially intended to be on Kickstarter, but concerns about union-busting there persuaded Mike to try an alternative platform. I’m sure that fact alone might encourage some would-be backers.
Mike reminds us that Kickstarter union staff are not calling for a boycott. Still, he intends to test other crowdfunding sites because he’s simply not happy with senior management over at Kickstarter.
That’s not the only free preview we have on Geek Native this week. There’s also Charles Rice and Apocalyptic Games’ City of Solstice.
The bad guys have won in the City of Solstice. A group of criminal factions called the Star Society are effectively in control.
You can think of this setting as what happens if the heroes fail.
Or, another way to think about the City of Solstice is as a mashup of fantasy and The Untouchables.
In the setting, the PCs are members of a Guild who – in theory – are about keeping law and order on the streets.
I was surprised when Charles Rice, the author, called City of Solstice an OSR setting. An open-world setting – as cities tend to be – with surely lots of investigation, non-linear planning and ethical considerations did not strike me as a terribly strong candidate for ‘Old School’.
There’s also a short interview with Charles on Geek Native, and I have a quick chat about him with OSR.
Rice has one of the best ways to describe OSR – Old School Revival, as he calls it, Old School Renaissance as I’m more familiar with – and that’s in the game characters are their class and equipment, it’s expected the DM will tinker with the rules. There may even be an adversarial relationship between DM and players.
One of the concerns I tend to have with OSR is that people seem to define it differently, generally to suit their needs and sometimes it just feels like gatekeeping or an artificially created ‘them versus us’ situation. Not in this case, with this description of OSR, there’s a way to describe the Revival that could be consistently applied to games. It would also clearly rule D&D 5e out as an OSR candidate.
And there are more freebie worth talking about. Green Ronin has a Halloween giveaway for Mutants & Mastermind gamers.
Nothing to Fear is a free adventure set in Freedom City for 4 to 6 Power Level 10 heroes.
Now, speaking of Halloween, if you’re a regular reader of Geek Native – thank you – and you will have seen a feature called The 12 Masks of Halloween appear on the site.
This is a countdown – a count-up, perhaps – of the last 12 days before Halloween. Each day there’s a new Mask to look at. We’ve had fluffy dinosaurs, demons and even raided rock and roll for some famous musical monsters.
This is the 10th year in a row, I think, that the 12 Maks of Halloween has been running.
But, we haven’t quite finished with the freebies. This week GAMA, that’s the Game Manufacturers Association, launched a new magazine.
It’s called Around the Table and you can read it for free on Geek Native.
This is a magazine intended for people who run game stores or who write games to sell to stores. You’re not going to find stats for dragons, trolls and wombats in these pages. You will, however, find insight from names you might recognise or influential people in the hobby who tend not to be in the limelight of publicity very often.
Now, we’re almost at the end of the podcast, and we’re going to talk about whether gamers mix dice with their drinking or whip out card games after their burgers.
I thought I might touch on where Geek Native gets some of these quirky survey results from. They come from competitions that appear on the site.
I didn’t want to have competitions where you have to spam your friends on social media to enter. Not only did that feel wrong to me, but I also don’t think most gamers would do it.
It turns out it’s pretty hard to get gamers to enter competitions at all. We’re a sceptical bunch.
Instead, to enter most competitions on Geek Native, all you generally need to do is log into a widget and answer a survey. Yep, sorry, you need to log into a thing. That’s the only way I can manage entries, and this particular widget goes to great length to fairly randomise winners and run the competition.
Completing the survey gives people points. Each point is a chance of being a winner.
There’s a competition live on the site right now, but only for 48 more hours, and that’s to win one of two signed copies of Justin Lee Anderson’s The Lost War. This is a fantasy novel inspired by the Scottish capital – Edinburgh – and a roleplaying game Justin used to play in.
The question you have to answer to enter this competition is whether you think names have power.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions apply.
Competitions closes 28th of October.
So, back to the poll results, we got from a competition in which I was giving away copies of the drinking game BARPIG and to whether or not gamers have played in the pub.
Nearly 10% of people who took part in that competition said they weren’t gamers. Okay, cool. People enter to win things, and they can always give away prizes as gifts.
We can divide everyone else who took part in two groups; frequent gamers and infrequent gamers.
One-third of frequent gamers, that’s about 33.3%, said they had played in a pub, cafe or similar venue. So, if you’ve done it, then you’re more progressive than most of the community.
What about the infrequent gamers? The stats are a little higher. 38.7%, about 5% more of those respondents said they had played a game in a pub or cafe.
I wonder if there are people who only ever roll dice when they’re out with friends in board game cafes. What do you think?
Well, that’s a wrap for now. Thanks for listening and we’ll catch up next week.
Check the comments below to see what readers have to say.