The Duke Tournament at Gen Con


So, I won the design contest for The Duke‘s Gen Con Tournament Tile. This tile will be given away to all who participate in the Tournament at Gen Con. I’m pretty excited about this as I’m really loving the game so far and now I will have an official game piece I designed! Pretty cool if you ask me.

The tile is called the Swashbuckler and it was created with the thought of Errol Flynn, Pirates of all sorts,  Captain Jack Sparrow and especially The Princess Bride. The tile jumps in from on high off a chandelier or the top of a staircase, lands next to an opponent and with a flick of his rapier or main-gauche, he strikes the enemy down or sidesteps to prepare to leap again. The light side tile is left handed, while the dark tile is right handed, evoking the famous battle in The Princess Bride (which is one of my wife’s favorite movies).

I hope all of you who play The Duke enjoy the Swashbucklers as they get into your hands at Gen Con.


Gen Con 2013 is Coming!

Gen Con 2013 is on it’s way and I’m getting psyched! Events go on sale in just a few short weeks and before ya know it, I’ll be in Indy.

I’ll be doing the same thing I did last year, which is to point out the various booths I’ll be looking forward to and the games I’m playing. Last year will be tough to top with the Deadlands Noir Don’s Game and a couple great sessions of DCC RPG with Harley Stroh. BUT, the first event I’m looking forward to is already on my list for this year. The Dungeon Bastard has a Kickstarter going for The World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl! I’m in at the Dwarven Paladin Level so I can get a seat for the live game and they just changed the pledge level to allow for spouses and such to get a seat with you as well! It’s something I asked for and the Bastard came through! Pledge for this one, it’s guaranteed to be EPIC.

Torn Armor Kickstarter

There is a pretty cool Kickstarter running right now for a tight little fantasy squad-based skirmish board game called Torn Armor. A project by Natalya Alyssa Faden, this Kickstarter has just reached the halfway point of funding and like most projects, could use some more backers to get funded and cruising toward stretch goals.

The project has some mini-stretch goals already, or soon-to-be, unlocked. Below are a couple pieces of art of these goals. We have a Winged Hussar (unlocked) and Buckles and Sebastian (locked).

Hussar BucklesSebastian


For those who need more incentive to back, Reaper has something for you.



Also, check out these crazy models that are add-ons. These things look amazing.



And if you hang out on Google+, which you should if you are a gamer, you can see some of the excellent maps Natalya Alyssa Faden has posted there. Some of these maps are available in the Torn Armor Kickstarter as well.

So, get on over there and pledge for this one, and tell ’em I sent ya.

How D and D 3.0/3.5 Changed Gaming Forever.

Did the concept of Attacks of Opportunity destroy the game? Has a game mechanic that allows you to be punished (attacked) for wanting to move your character made the average gamer change the way he thinks about ALL games?

Even back in 2004, the Attack of Opportunity was causing problems. Look at WOTC’s own article on the subject. The first sentence is “If there’s one question players and DMs dread, it’s this one: Does that provoke an attack of opportunity?” That was almost a decade ago.

Now, Attacks of Opportunity have invaded gaming in every way. People who have never played D and D know of the concept and ask about it. I was playing Zombicide with my game group a few weeks ago. A player had his character near a couple of zombies, when deciding whether to move or fight, he asked if moving away from the zombie would provoke an Attack of Opportunity  This is a player who has NEVER played 3.0/3.5. Yet, he still knows about Attacks of Opportunity, questions his actions in game worrying about them, and would have changed tactics if the game supported the rule.

This got me thinking, “Has the Attack of Opportunity become such a confusing/worrisome notion that even a gamer who has never played in a game that utilizes them considers them in his gaming decisions?”

We are currently playing Savage Worlds and since I run all of our games, I have so many rules rattling around in my brain pan that I get confused sometimes when thinking about the rules of the game I’m currently running, We have played Deadlands Classic, HackMaster, DCC RPG, Hollow Earth Expedition, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Tunnels and Trolls, Hero System 6th Ed., along with various board and card games. Having run all of these games, sometimes my mind blanks for a second and I have to find a rule in the book. While we were playing Deadlands Noir the other week, a player asked if he would provoke an Attack of Opportunity moving out of melee. I had to pause and think, then look in the book.

Why did one game mechanic change our entire way of thinking about games? Not in a good way mind you. The pervasive worry that comes from that rule has put many a game on hold right in the middle of the action. As a GM, if a player asks about Attacks of Opportunity, I have to know the answer. One of the problems with that, is that other games that don’t use the same verbiage may in fact have a rule just like an Attack of Opportunity. So, unless you have memorized all of your various games’ rules, you have to check. That disrupts the game, it’s flow and it’s effectiveness as a storytelling medium.  When I played 3.0/3.5 as a GM I just removed the rule (OSR FTW) but that didn’t stop the players from asking if they provoked one during most encounters. But during Zombicide? A board game? And we still had to look in the rulebook?

I will say this definitively, I wish the Attack of Opportunity had never been invented, I have spent more time pausing games and checking rulebooks for rules that operate in the same way as that accursed D and D mechanic that I now have to write on the inside cover of my campaign notes where and how it exists in each game I’m running.

Has there ever been an RPG game rule that has caused more confusion and anger than the Attack of Opportunity? I think not.