Thursday, August 23, 2007

New "Wizard of Oz" Goes to a Darker Place Feature Story

Oh, this will suck. This will suck hard.

The 1939 film 'Wizard of Oz' starring Judy Garland was great fun for the entire family to enjoy. A few big names in the movie business are looking to remedy that. Warner Brothers Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures will work together to create a less family-friendly version of the film. That’s right -— they’re going to take bright, beautiful Oz, sweet singing Dorothy and company and drop them all into a darker, more sinister place. The writers and producers promise a 'grittier and nastier' version of the classic tale, reports Digital Spy.

Remember, this will be brought to you by the man who had this reimagining of Dorothy:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Not Feeling Well

There will probably be a short lull in posting.

2007 ENnie Winners

The ENnie winners were announced at GenCon yesterday. It looks like the Summer Revolution has failed.
Best Fan Site, presented by Russell Morrissey:
Silver: Planewalker
Gold: Dragonlance Nexus

Best PodCast, presented by Dan Repperger of Fear the Boot:
Silver: Yog Radio
Gold: Have Games, Will Travel

Best Cover Art, presented by Kevin Kulp:
Silver: Hollow Earth Expedition, by Exile Games Studio
Gold: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press

Best Interior Art:
Silver: Qin, by 7th Circle
Gold: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power by Green Ronin Publishing

Best Cartography:
Silver: WFRP GM Toolkit, by Black Industries
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Best Production Values:
Silver: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin Publishing
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Best Writing:
Silver: WFRP Children of the Horned Rat, by Black Industries
Gold: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press

Best Rules:
Silver: Spirit of the Century, by Evil Hat
Gold: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin

Best Adventure:
Silver: Mutants and Masterminds, Time of Vengeance, by Green Ronin Publishing
Gold: WFRP: Lure of the Liche Lord, by Black Industries

Best Setting, presented by Kieth Baker:
Silver: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Best Supplement, presented by Kevin Kulp:
Silver: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin Publishing
Gold: WFRP Companion, by Black Industries

2008 ENnies Judge Election, announced by Richard Miller:
Kathryn -Gertie- Barden (Xath)
Elizabeth Bauman (Queen_Dopplepopolis)
Chris Gath (Crothian)
Zachary Houghton (Zachary The First)
Kevin Kulp (Piratecat)

Best Aid or Accessory, presented by Kevin Kulp:
Silver: GameMastery Combat Pad, by Open Mind Games/Paizo Publishing
Gold: Deck of Many Things, by Green Ronin Publishing

Best Miniature Product:
Silver: EZ Dungeons, by Fat Dragon Games
Gold: Game Mastery: Flip-mat Tavern, by Paizo Publishing

Best Regalia:
Silver: Liber Chaotica, by Black Industries
Gold: Order of the Stick, No Cure for the Paladin Blues, by Giant in the Playground

Best Free Product:
Silver: Classic Battletech Free Package, by Catalyst Games
Gold: Savage Tide Player's Guide, by Paizo Publishing

Best Electronic Book:
Silver: Magical Medieval Society: European Warfare, by Expeditious Retreat Press
Gold: Classic Battletech Free Package, by Catalyst Games

Best d20/OGL Product, presented by Rodney Thompson of Wizards of the Coast:
Silver: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press
Gold: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin Publishing

Best Game, presented by Rob Boyle of Catalyst Games:
Silver: Qin, by 7th Circle
Gold: Scion, Hero, by White Wolf

Product of the Year, presented by Peter Adkinson:
Silver: WFRP, Children of the Horned Rat, by Black Industries
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Fan's Choice, Best Publisher:
Silver: Green Ronin
Gold: Wizards of the Coast

Thursday, August 16, 2007

'D&D 4th Edition' Announced at Gen Con

Wizards of the Coast is announcing at GenCon today that it will release the 4th Edition of its category-leading Dungeons and Dragon roleplaying game in 2008, the first full new edition in eight years. The three core books will be released next summer on a monthly schedule: Player's Handbook in May, Monster Manual in June, and Dungeon Master's Guide in July. Pricing and page counts of the new products will be consistent with current packaging. Graphics have been updated, art will be used on the covers, and interior design has been opened up to make the books less intimidating to new players.

Lead-in products, Wizards Presents: Classes and Races and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters, will be released in December. An April release, Keep of the Shadowfell, will include a set of quickstart rules for 4E.

Speculation Runs Rampant

GenCon starts today. The granddaddy and biggest of the gaming conventions.

Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast changed their D&D home page to have a placeholder titled "4dventure" with a countdown that has, apparently, been reset a couple of times. From another source, a graphic has surfaced that specifies today (Thursday the 16th) at 6:30pm.

Does this mean that Wizards will announce the fourth edition of D&D today? I guess that we will find out soon enough.

Speculation begins.

Green Ronin To Publish Wild Cards RPG Line

Green Ronin Publishing has reached an agreement with New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin to license the Wild Cards series of shared world anthologies. Green Ronin will publish a line of Wild Cards roleplaying game books next year for its Mutants & Masterminds RPG. The first of these books, the Wild Cards Campaign Setting by series author John Jos. Miller, will debut next August at Gen Con 2008.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Abduction Lamp

Abduction is a lamp for Sci-Fi fans of all ages. A light bulb inside the metal UFO lights up the beam and the windows. The glass of the beam is frosted to distribute light in all directions. Abduction is currently at a concept stage. Visit if you're interested in the details behind the lamp.

Thanks Jonny!

Comic Artist Mike Wieringo

This is a pretty staggering loss.

The comics industry lost a luminary this weekend - Mike Wieringo passed away Sunday of a sudden heart attack. Details are still sketchy as of this time, but according to close sources, the acclaimed artist had chest pains at some point during the day and called 911, but the responders did not make it in time.

Wieringo was 44 years old. He was a vegetarian, and 'one of the healthiest ones of us in the bunch,' as his longtime friend and collaborator Todd Dezago described him. Currently, there are no details about services or a funeral.

Wieringo worked every day, updating his blog and website with a constant stream of sketches at

Above is the last sketch completed by Wieringo, posted to his website on Friday.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The ABCs of Sex Education for Trainables

A 70's training film for people who need to teach sex ed. classess to the mentally disabled.

Former British spy claims mystic powers

You know, if you can't figure out how to work this idea into a game, well, you just aren't trying hard enough...

A renegade former British spy who was jailed after blowing the whistle on alleged wrongdoing in the intelligence services has claimed to have new-found powers as a mystic.

David Shayler told British cable channel More4 News that he had visited a psychic who he believes channelled the spirit of Mary Magdalene and anointed him as the Messiah.

'Suddenly my whole life made sense,' the 41-year-old former officer with Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5 said in an interview broadcast Thursday evening.

'I felt a sense of peace, I suddenly realised why it had been how it had, why I seem to get such a strange deal from the universe, when I seem to be trying to tell the truth about everything.'

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Official Announcement

For Immediate Release
August 9th, 2007

DeadWorld Owner Gary Reed and Seraphim Guard Join Forces For DeadWorld Role-Playing Game.

The DEADWORLD RPG is based upon Gary Reed's DEADWORLD comic, previously published by Caliber Comics and Image Comics, and soon to be released through Desperado Publishing. One of the forerunners of the zombie comic, DEADWORLD was an early work of artist Vincent Locke who went on to work on DC/Vertigo's SANDMAN and A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, recently made into a major motion picture.

DEADWORLD will utilize the first BRP license Chaosium has given out for it's upcoming BASIC ROLEPLAYING: THE CHAOSIUM D100 SYSTEM to release later this year.

Seraphim Guard plans to release the DEADWORLD RPG in fall 2008, at the Wizard World Chicago comic convention.

"We expect this to be a lot of fun" says Dustin Wright, of Chaosium Inc. "Zombies and Basic Roleplaying, what's not to love?"

"I have been a fan of the BRP system since I picked up a CALL OF CTHULHU boxed set back in high school," says Christopher Helton co-owner and Creative Director of Seraphim Guard. "I am excited and extremely enthused to be able to be designing something using the system that has given me so many hours (and years) of enjoyment."

"Even though Deadworld has been licensed for apparel, CDs, masks, and other products, this is the one I find the most exciting," says Gary Reed owner of DEADWORLD and many other former Caliber Comics Properties. "Deadworld fans have been clamoring for a role playing game for over a decade so I'm sure they're just as excited as I am about it."

Chaosium is a California based publishing company that has been releasing high quality games since 1975.

Gary Reed is the owner of DEADWORLD. For more information see his website.

Seraphim Guard is an Ohio-based game publisher best known for publishing HEARTQUEST, a shoujo anime role-playing game that was the first commercially published Fudge system game.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Elliot S! Maggin For Congress!

I'm running for Congress in California in 2008 and I'm asking for your help.

Among the assumptions I've always made in life has been that each of us Americans is a worker in a common cause. It was the job of each of us to make sure everyone for whom we were responsible had a chance to get a good education, had a chance to grow up healthy, had the chance to create a life as fulfilling and accomplished as it was in his or her soul to make it. Save the whales and the rest of us. To start with, each of us had roughly an equal shot and we lived our lives freely in pursuit of whatever we felt happiness to be.

Then, lately, a new thing began to happen. My country started to slip out from under my feet.

Now, in my fifties, I suddenly live in a country where people are born not to privilege or opportunity, but to enormous debt. The mind-spinning wealth that we still generate has been redistributed upward so few of us reap the benefits of a still increasingly productive system. Risk has been socialized while profit has become individualized. When you've got a strong, prosperous middle class you have a forward-thinking, innovative business community. When the middle class is under social and economic assault as it is today, the inevitable result is social torpor and political extremism. We approach a condition where a small group of enormously wealthy people are served by a growing community of servants, and opportunity is a foreign notion. And when anyone anywhere notices this out loud he is immediately accused of being a “class warrior” or a “blame-gamer” or a “conspiracy theorist” or some such centrally generated piece of tripe talk.

If there's really a conspiracy behind a thing, then it's no longer a theory.

The 24th district in California takes up most of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, just north and west of Los Angeles. Currently -- and for the past twenty-odd years -- a man named Elton Gallegly represents the district in Congress. Elton has generally been a reliable, if lackluster, operative of the conservative agenda. He supports tax cuts for people earning over 200-thousand dollars a year, and has voted to make those tax cuts, including the elimination of the estate tax, permanent. He voted to declare the war in Iraq part of an ongoing war on terror without an end date, and against earmarking funds to provide troops in the field either with armor or bomb-safe personnel transports. His votes are consistently anti-labor, with a 7 percent AFL-CIO rating, including completely de-funding OSHA's ability to enforce workplace safety regulations. He supports making the so-called Patriot Act permanent, and as far back as 1996 he voted to deny the right of habeus corpus in appeals of convictions. His rating from NARAL is actually 0%: he opposes funding for health care providers who give counsel on abortion, and opposes all stem cell research. He buys the whole package.

The ENnie Awards -- Voting For Judges

The ENnie Awards are an annual set of RPG awards given out each year at GenCon. While they started as a predominantly d20-centric set of awards they have really branched out into being a lot more representative of gaming as a whole.

Someone that I know from dealing with on forums, his blog and through email is running for one of the judge positions for next year's awards. That would be Zachary Houghton. You might know him as Zachary The First on places like RPGnet, or as the person who runs the RPGBlog, regardless I think that he would make a very good judge for the Ennies and I think that anyone who is interested in gaming who reads my blog should give him their consideration when voting for the ENnie judges.

While I think the process of consideration that is outside of the hands of the judges has been subverted by a segment of the gaming "biz," I still think that the ENnies can be turned around and I think that the best way to turn that around starts with having top caliber judges. So, while I want you to vote without any outside influences, I do personally think that Zachary is a good guy who wants to do right by the process.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Badger Returns (Again)!

He's made the rounds at a variety of independent publishers, but this November, Mike Baron's Badger returns at IDW. Originally kicking off with four Capital Comics issues in 1983, Badger moved to First Comics for a substantial 66-issue run.

The character proved popular enough to appear in original graphic novels, spin-off mini-series, and First Comics' crossover, Crossroads, in 1988. Unfortunately, the main title ceased publication as First folded. Subsequently, Badger appeared from Dark Horse (two minis in 1994) and Image (11 issues, beginning in 1997).

For Baron's part, he's had a lengthy career apart from Badger. In addition to co-creating (the also just-returned) Nexus with Steve Rude, Baron has written The Flash, The Punisher, Batman, and more. We caught up with Mike Baron to talk about who Badger is, whether there's ever a right time for a comeback, and breakdowns.