PAX Unplugged 2017, the first tabletop-focused PAX, will host a plethora of prominent exhibitors, including Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Fantasy Flight, Asmodee, and CMON, among many others at this year's inaugural event, taking place November 17-19, 2017 at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Part of Penny Arcade's international roster of events, PAX Unplugged will reflect the experience millions of PAX attendees have enjoyed for more than a decade, but with a spotlight on card, board and other tabletop games. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the reveal of new and exciting titles, go hands-on with upcoming games, partake in tournaments and sit in on panels headlined by the industry's leading minds.
While PAX Unplugged will cater to the tabletop industry and affiliated communities, a selection of video games featuring board and card game elements will also have a place at the show.
After seeing the Bushido figs at Gen Con I couldn't resist picking a few of them up. I got the Ito Clan and Prefecture of Ryu starters.
Liking the snake theme of Ito Clan so I decided to put these guys together first. Looking at the figs I was a little worried about trying to glue them together, but it was not bad at all. The hardest part to glue for me where the scabbards on the Temple Bush and Chiyo, a lot of holding with my hands as I do not use zip kicker.
Gut Bustin' Games is in the finally 3 days of their Kickstarter for the new game, Cheap Shot - The Game of Insult Rummy. Head on over to the Kickstarter and get when sweet rewards when you back this game.
The gloves are off in this sassy game of biting insults and snappy blocks!
We wanted to work out a Skype interview but our time frames didn't match up, so we did the next best thing! An email interview with R.A. Salvatore, so here are the questions we asked him. Thanks again R.A. Salvatore for taking the time to answer them for us.
1. What can you tell us about your new book, Neverwinter?
The story picks up right after the events in Gauntlgrym, so for those who’ve read that book, it’s pretty clear what Drizzt has in mind. Neverwinter is a story ofrevenge, but as Drizzt walks that path, he’ll come to see that the situation in the region of Neverwinter is much more complicated than he understood, and even though he would like nothing more than to extricate himself and his companion from the region altogether, the strands of the web get thicker and more intricate.
2. You have been writing novels with the Forgotten Realms characters for a long time now, do you find it easier or harder to write story's with those characters.
Both. On the one hand, I know some of these characters so well that their reactions to situations are almost automatic – and what’s better is that I’ve come to understand that if Drizzt or another of the gang is acting out of character, that’s an indication to me that I’m missing something, that something else is going on off-screen and I have to go and figure out what it might be. In that regard, the characters have become an incredible tool for me to explore more deeply that which I’m creating.
On the other hand, there’s something exciting about discovering new characters, and having so solid a cast can be stifling if I’m not careful. The more recent works – the Transitions Trilogy and now this one – have given me that opportunity!
3. Who is your favorite character from any of your novels?
I love different characters for different reasons – they all play a role. My favorite comedic relief character is Oliver deBurrows from my Crimson Shadow series. Oliver is part Inego Montoya (from the “Princess Bride”) and part the little French guy on the wall in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” He’s not supposed to make you laugh asmuch as groan. I love writing him.
For bad guys, Marcalo De’Unnero of DemonWars edges out Artemis Entreri. De’Unnero is so firmly convinced that he’s right, he can justify anything. And he believes his justicfications; he’s truly a wretched soul. My favorite female character comes from that same series, Demonwars. I adore Jilsepone – those seven books of DemonWars are really her story more than anyone else’s. I didn’t know that when I started writing the books, but that’s the way it turned out.
I have to mention the Highwayman here, namesake of the book, and the major character in the Saga of the First King. I believe that he’s an important hero because of the challenges he must overcome. Some of the heartfelt mail I’ve gotten regarding him reinforces the idea that the Highwayman has touched many readers.
With all of that said, my personal favorite has to be Drizzt. He’s become such a friend, such a trusted voice for me. Through Drizzt, I ask myself all kinds of personal questions, and usually find my answers. There’s a reason he’s resonated with readers for nearly a quarter of a century, I guess, and primarily, that reason is that he’s resonated with me for all of that time.
4. What first inspired you to start writing novels?
Honestly? I ran out of fantasy books to read. I fell in love with the genre when I read Tolkien in 1978, in my freshman year of college. By the time I graduated in 1981, I had read about every fantasy book I could find. There weren’t that many readily available around 1980. I was working at a mindless job, loading lumps of scrap plastic into a grinder 10 hours a day (and I had to remember to change the catch barrel every 20 minutes – that was the extent of thought for the task). I was going crazy, so my girlfriend at the time, now my wife of many years, told me to quit threatening to write a book and to just do it. So I did.
I was also working as a bouncer, and when I got home from work – 1 or 2 in the morning – I was too wound up to go immediately to sleep. So I put on Fleetwood Mac’s “Tuck” album, lit some candles, got out the spiral notebook and wrote Echoes of the Fourth Magic, my first novel. It wasn’t my first published work – that was The Crystal Shard - Echoes of the Fourth Magic and its two sequels, The Witch’s Daughter and Bastion of Darkness did get published and remain available.
5. Any words of advice for someone who may be interested in writing a novel?
Sure. I always tell beginning writers: if you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, then you’re a writer. Writing isn’t a choice. It isn’t what you do; it’s who you are. Writers write because they have to, because they have stories clawing at the inside of their skin demanding release, because writing is the way they make sense of the world.
If you don’t feel that, then quit. If you can’t quit, congratulations, you’re cursed. You’re a writer. Anyone trying to become a writer as a shortcut for fame and fortune should go and buy a lottery ticket instead. This business will chew you up and spit you out.
6. When you create a character's background, do you have it all in your head what it will be before you start writing the novel, or do you kind of come up with it as you go along?
I have a general idea of a character before I introduce him or her in the book. A very general idea. I know what he or she looks like. I know how they fight – swords, bow, magic, etc.? And then, as I write them through the book, I learn about them. I let the characters tell me who they really are, and sometimes it takes many years before I finally figure them out. I’m not kidding – a character like Jarlaxle kept me guessing for the better part of a decade, and I still don’t know everything about him.
That’s what makes it fun for me. I write books the same way most people read them, not always sure what will be on the next page. Same with the characters. They surprise me, they delight me, they disappoint me all the time. Yes, I’m insane. I’m okay with that.
7. Our gaming group actually played your adventure The Accursed Tower that you wrote for AD&D 2nd Edition back in the day. Are you still an active gamer with your gaming group?
I love that module, and we had a blast writing it! By ‘we,” I mean my gaming group, Seven Swords, because we all had a big hand in the writing. I should run it for my group someday just to see how much they remember.
I guess that answers your question. Yes, I still game – we finished a 4th Edition campaign a couple of months ago. It’s harder now because life gets in the way. Some of the group works strange hours, others have small kids who are getting into all the sports and clubs and such that fill up a calendar quickly. We took the summer off, but plan to get back to the D&D table as soon as I get done with my tour. I’ll be running the game, so it’s back to a 1st Edition-2nd Edition-House Rules hybrid.
8. Some of us are excited about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning when it's release early next year. Overall, how was the experience of being a part of a new game company like 38 Studios?
It’s been an amazing 5 years working with the incredible team at 38 Studios. All credit goes to Curt Schilling, who had the guts and gumption and faith to bring this all together. I can’t wait for Reckoning to hit the stores! For all this time, we’ve been pretty quiet about what we’re doing; we want the product, the games, the world, to speak for itself. Well, in February, 2012, it begins 9adn I get to start blabbing about this exciting new fantasy world). I can’t wait.
I’ve only played parts of Reckoning, so I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy the whole thing. I truly believe that Reckoning will raise the bar for single-player RPG’s. it’s visually gorgeous and gone are the days of boring combat…okay, stop me there. The game will speak for itself!
9. Some of the factions in Reckoning seem interesting like the Travellers and the Fey Court? Do you find it difficult to come up with original material after writing in Fantasy and Science Fiction settings for so long?
Please don’t assume that I’m coming up with everything for Reckoning or for the world of Amalur. It doesn’t – it can’t – work that way. We’ve got two teams of incredibly talented narrative designers working long hours every week to put fleshon the bones of the world I and a few others created. I’m not being humble here; I’m being honest. My job was to come up with the basics of the world, a 10,000 year skeleton history and great meta-story (a creation/destruction myth, if you will), so that all of the talented people we brought in – artists, writers, designers, etc. – would be painting on the same canvas. They’d all understand the flavor of the world, the smell of the world. They’d understand the consistency of the world and work within those parameters. Consistency is everything when you’re trying to allow a reader or player to suspend disbelief and become immersed.
After the creation, my job is more a matter of editing and coaching. I constantly push the team to think to the next level, and the level beyond that, to not only name a cool region of ruins, but to tell us how it got there. How does it fit in the history of Amalur? Why is it there? Why does it look like that? What does it add?
10. If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be and why?
I’d be a member of the Companions of the Hall. One thing I tried very hard to do with the Drizzt series was give the readers a gang of heroes – friends – with whom they’d love to adventure. Well, it worked, for me at least, because I’d love to be walking down the road beside Drizzt, Catti-brie, Wulfgar, Bruenor and Regis.
2 player, scenario based board game, with one player taking control of the Dwarfs, while the other commands the Undead. There are 6 scenarios to play through, each build upon each other, culminating in a huge, desperate battle which will ultimately decide who controls the King's Hold.
We will have a detailed review of the game coming up in episode 80.
Rulebook, Mantic guide, sealed dungeon tiles and dice.
Battle Bands is a collectible game for children which uses different flexible "rubber" bands in various shapes. The Bands come in different shapes such as animals, dragons, and beasts, and come in different colors representing powers. Blue is Water, Green is Earth, Red is Fire, and Black is Darkness. The game comes with a colorful Battle Mat that you set on the floor and shoot the Bands onto from about six feet away. To shoot a Band you simply pull it back and flick it with your fingers, like you would with a normal rubber band. Each Band has a different point cost that is calculated when you assemble your army.
You must first pick a point size to play: Brawl (50pts), Skirmish (75pts), Onslaught (100pts), and War (150pts). The size of your army also determines how many points are needed to win the game. An army must have 5 Bands, no more and no less. You may pick any of the colors to use, but only one Band may be a black. A player then shoots his Band at the mat. Any Band that misses the mat is removed from play and does not count. If a non-black Band lands in the Abyss Circle it is also removed from play. If the Band lands touching two or more spaces, the player gets to move it so it is in the center of one of the spaces. A Band that lands on the corner of the mat means the battle mat must be rotated ninety degrees in the direction of the arrow on the mat. If another player’s Band lands in the same space with the other player’s Band the Bands must battle each other. Earth beats Water, Water beats Fire, Fire beats Earth, and the Darkness Band beats all the others. Darkness Bands with the special rules depending on the actual Band. Each Band also have a crad that goes along with it, it has a picture, point cost, and the special rules for the band. Players alternate the shooting of their Bands until both players have run out of Bands. Once both players have shot their Bands, players see how many points their Bands have scored. The game ends when the first player to the set amount of points wins. If both players have enough points, the player with the most points wins.
Starter Pack $6.99 7 Bands 7 Warrior cards Battle mat
Booster Pack $3.99 5 Bands 5 Warrior cards
My thoughts: Battle Bands picks up on the latest fad of shaped and colored rubber bands. I have seen the rubber bands at many different stores, even a few people wearing them on their wrist. Outside of a fashion statement I didn't really see the point of them, however Battle Bands gives you a reason the use their shaped bands! The game is aimed for boys ages 6 and up, but by no means is it for boys only. Battle Bands gives kids the chance to collect and use these select Bands to play a game against their friends and/or family. I had the chance to have my nieces play the game and they both loved it! They loved the "cool shapes" that the Bands came in, and the collectability it offered.If you have kids or younger family members, this is a game that will be a hit with them. The great price of the game is also something that helps make Battle Bands more attractive over many of the other games out there for kids. My bottom line on Battle Bands is: 3.5 out of 5.
DriveThruRPG, an Internet-based business that specializes in the marketing and distribution of RPGs and roleplaying accessories for traditional dice-and-paper gaming, has posted a bundle of products provided by participating publishers for the purpose of generating charity revenue for the relief of Pakastan's flood victims.
As was done earlier this year for the people of Haiti, DriveThruRPG is calling upon the gaming community to once again make donations towards a fund that will ultimately be wired to Doctors Without Borders. The bundle is priced at $25.00 and contains dozens of donated products valued at over $700.00. The entire amount received from those making donations will go to Pakistan relief.
“Though it has long since moved out of the primary news cycle, the plight of the Pakistani people remains a terrible story,” said Sean Patrick Fannon, Marketing and Communications Manager for DriveThruRPG. “Millions remain homeless, and many thousands of lives are at risk due to injuries, illness, and starvation. We proved once before that we can provide some help to those in need, and we are determined to do so again.” DriveThruRPG remains committed to its relationship with Doctors Without Borders; thanks to their non-partisan, non-philosophical agenda and their dedication to provide medical assistance and aid all over the world, they remain the perfect choice to channel help where it is needed.
“Discovering the power to make a difference, as we did with our Haiti efforts, was inspirational,” said Steve Wieck, Co-owner of DriveThruRPG. “Once again we are driven to leverage our tools and our marketplace to reach out to those who suffer, and we are grateful that we have the ability to do so.”
The Pakistan Flood Relief RPG Bundle, provided at a donation price of $25, will remain available until Monday, October 25th, at www.drivethrurpg.com. As well, DriveThruComics (www.drivethrucomics.com) has a similar bundle for $10, containing over $100 in comics titles.
DriveThruRPG.com is the world's largest source of RPG products available for download, as well as a burgeoning source of digital content for gamers. It is an industry leader in modern business and technology developments for the tabletop gaming fan. For more information, contact Sean Patrick Fannon (firstname.lastname@example.org, 614-946-9371).
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization working in nearly 70 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. For more information, contact Emily Linendoll, Press Officer (email@example.com, 212-763-5764).
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Brew City Gamers are raising money for the Milwaukee branch of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. We are participating in Race for the Cure event on September 26th and have set up the BCG team.
Once again we will be putting gaming items up for auction on ebay, with the proceeds (minus shipping and hosting fees) going to Susan G. Komen. There are a bunch of great items that will we be hitting ebay very soon. I'll also post pics and the auctions links in this thread when they go up.
If you would like to donate an item for us to auction off email us at BrewCityGamers@gmail.com or if you would like to make a donation in honor of our team.
1. Intro/Whybut 2. News [28:25] 3. BCG Brew Ha Ha I [1:01:57] 4. ShaunWoo's Top 5 Hong Kong Action Movies [1:25:50] 5. Top 10 Hoth Battles in Video Games [1:37:49] 6. Warmachine 35pt list (part 2) [1:46:21]
1. Intro/Whybut 2. Red Dead Redemption [8:34] 3. Feedback [28:41] 4. Iron Man 2 Movie [44:23] 5. Privateer Press Invitational with Dr. Norbert [58:01] 6. News [1:44:14] 7. 35pt Warmachine army lists (part 1) [2:02:02]
1. Intro/Whybut 2. Announcements/Feedback [9:21] 3. News [14:59] 4. Video Games - Top ten villains of 2009 [32:40] 5. RPGs - Call of Cthulhu overview [43:39] 6. Video games - Torchlight review [1:00:52] 7. Off topic - Ask the Shwu [1:16:11]
A day late, but not a dollar short! Show notes for this weeks topics are:
Announcements/Feedback [10:10] News [17:30] Bug's Star Wars Saga campaign overview [31:04] 2010 Gaming Resolutions [1:11:17] Hype and Disappointment for games [1:25:02] Off topic - Top Tres: Albums [1:40:21]