Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

FtA: From the Ashes Interior Art Update

The fantastic Jez Gordon has signed on to contribute art to From the Ashes.  He posted a preview this morning of his piece that will accompany The Bloat, previously detailed here.

I'm really excited to have an artist of his caliber working on my book, and can't wait to get this out into the wild!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kickstarter Roundup

This seems to be a thing, so here goes:

Dwimmermount - Coming soon.

Myth and Magic - Seems less and less likely this will ever actualize.  The guy pops up once every few months to tell everyone how sorry he is for not communicating, then disappears again.  Most updates don't include any indication of movement on the game itself.  I've got the pdf of the Player's Guide, but the GM's Guide is, near as I can tell, vaporware, and while we've seen a picture of one book, I have no reason to believe that there is, in fact, an entire shipment of the book in existence, waiting to be shipped, as he claims.

Ogre - Finally have a delivery date, I live close enough to Austin that I can drive down for their launch party and pick up my copy in person.  October can't get here fast enough!

Recreating Jeff Dee's Rogues Gallery Art - Delivered.  A bit late, but worth the wait.

Champions of ZED - Almost a year late, and communication is sparse.  But, it does seem to be staggering towards the finish line.  I've got the pdf, so just waiting on the physical copy.

Appendix N Adventure Toolkit - Much like nuclear fusion, Appendix N are the modules of the future - and seem likely to always be so.  Maybe we'll get them at some point, maybe not.  I've got pdfs, and the most recent update says he's shipping now, but I'm pretty sure I've read that before.  Almost a year late, will likely be 1.5-2 years late if/when all rewards are sent.

 Tales From the Fallen Empire - Just got the art done, "Part 1" is apparently finished, while "Part 2" languishes in layout, seemingly interminably.  Six months late and counting.

The Future of Table Top Role Playing Games - An ambitious title, to be sure, but I was genuinely interested in this, a portable game surface that folds up, briefcase style.  Unfortunately, it didn't fund, and the creators, after promising to restart, have instead turned their attention to a dodgy RPG, dangling the prospect of a return to this project if they fund their game.  Sorry fellas.

Republishing, Synnibar: The Original SciFantasy RPG - The original, abortive attempt at getting this off the ground, where Raven c.s. McCracken asked for $50,000 and the gaming community replied with a resounding, "Meh."  Yeah, I backed it, call it morbid curiosity.

Hydra Dice: Necron - It's been somewhat interesting examining all the walls this guy has run into, from finding the right 3d printer to the right materials to designing the perfect cast.  He's now eight months late, and I'm starting to get ready for this tale to run its course, though.

Shadows of Esteren: A Medieval Horror RPG - I want to say they were maybe a month late in fulfillment.  I don't know, honestly - the book is beautiful, and I'm happy to own it.

Pitfalls & Penguins: First Printing - I was a bit alarmed at first when we weren't getting any updates following funding, but it turned out he did all his updates on Twitter, which seemed a bit odd, but maybe I'm the odd one that doesn't have Twitter?  Anyhow, it delivered... maybe a month or two late?  Looked good, but haven't played.

Axes and Anvils by Mike Nystul - Sigh.  I feel bad for the guy.  I met him at a con last year, and got to playtest the game.  It seemed like a fun game with some unique ideas, and Mike definitely had enthusiasm about the premise, so I was really looking forward to getting this.  Then came The Troubles.  I sincerely hope that he can find a way to turn this around, both for his sake and for mine - I do really want to play this.

Nocturnal Emissions Music Video Project - My wife and I are a big fan of Shilpa Ray, and some friends of mine gave us money to contribute to this project as a wedding gift so she would play our wedding reception.  It was awesome.

Myth & Magic Game Master's Guide and Collector's Complete - see above.

PURGE: Sins of Science- The 1st Real Time Strategy Card Game - Initial shipment came without incident, expansion set was scheduled for February but delayed until June, and no word since.  Almost halfway through June now, but waiting patiently.  Honestly, I had forgotten that I was supposed to receive it until I went to write this.

Shadows of Esteren - A Medieval Horror RPG: Prologue - While the first Kickstarter was run like a well oiled machine, this one... wasn't.  They hammered me with Updates throughout the Kickstarter, they kept coming up with new backer classes, new shipping classes, they had some map... thing... that was supposed to represent stretch goals, I think.  I just remember getting somewhat annoyed.  And now they're late.  Last update was a few months ago, saying everyone should have their books by late May, but....  At least they are communicating in the comments section, so that's good.

Hillfolk: DramaSystem Roleplaying by Robin D. Laws - Late.  A victim of their own success, to be sure, so a good kind of late.  Plus, it's in layout.  So hopefully, soon?

Spears of the Dawn - Kevin Crawford, the man, the myth, the legend!  They said it couldn't be done, but he proved them wrong!  Delivered, not just on time, but early!  No, seriously!

How to Make a Book Safe - I'm a big fan of Greg Stolze, going back to Unknown Armies and Demon: The Fallen, so I back his stuff whenever I can.  Bonus for this one was an actual hollowed out book safe and two linocuts done by the author himself.  Delivered on time, if I recall.

Boss Monster: the Dungeon-Building Card Game - They were late, but handled it the right way - not just apologies, but added value.  Hopefully we should see this in the coming month.

Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual - Delivered quickly and professionally.  That Joseph Bloch guy, I like the cut of his jib.

Cairn - A Mike Nystul Production.  Sigh.

Martin Wallace's Moongha Invaders - Technically not late, it's due next month, but as the sculptors just started work on the pieces in May, I'm pretty doubtful that it'll ship on time.

The Morrow Project 4th. Edition - Late - it was due in January, but supposedly he's shipping now.  Hope to see it soon!

Cataclysm at the Acaeum - I meant to ask Bill Barsh about this when I was at NTRPGCon, but didn't.  He was really pushing for a May delivery, but it doesn't seem to have worked out.  There was supposed to be an update at the beginning of the month, but nothing yet.  Hopefully this can finish soon.

Das Horn: the Definitive Drinking Horn. - Ugh, what a disappointment.  Their initial design for the horn was awesome, so I backed.  Now months late and numerous design changes later, I'm much less interested in the final product, and not sure if I'll actually use it if/when I get it.

Creature & Encounter RPG Card Decks - Victim of scope creep, big time.  They started off making encounter cards, then decided to add three other types of cards, then couldn't decide which system to make them for, so they decided to make them for like six systems and now instead of a May delivery we have a, "Who Knows?".

Fate Core - The pdfs look great - I can't wait for the books!  Might even make it on time, too!

Republishing: The World of Synnibarr - I believe in Raven c.s. McCracken!  After blowing up my inbox for the first month or so after funding, he's gone (comparatively) quiet.  Hopefully that's a good thing.  He's got plenty of time yet, so no worries.

Guilds of Cadwallon - This just arrived recently - got it in May instead of March - no big deal.  Fun game, too!

Seattle Doomsday Map - completed, and it looks gorgeous!

Necrochrome - Another Greg Stolze joint. Just got my bookmark in the mail last week!

The following are still in production, and not late:

Sorcerer Upgrade

Dragons Hoard

LotFP 2013 Free RPG Day Adventure

ALAS VEGAS: an RPG of bad memories, bad luck & bad blood


"Mask of the Other" Audiobook

MAJUS: A Magic Noir Pacesetter Game

Domains at War: Battles, Campaigns, and Mass Combat

Adventures Dark and Deep Bestiary

Adventure Maximus

Moby Dick, or, The Card Game

Finally, these are the Kickstarters that I am currently backing, and you should too!

Kingdom - I loved Microscope, and I'm really looking forward to this.

Cthulhu Wars - The price point is pretty high on this, but it looks absolutely gorgeous.  I'm calling it a birthday present to myself.

Friday, June 7, 2013

In the Future We Will All Be Anime

Well, according to a scientist and an artist, that is.

And, y'know... it's Forbes.  So.

Lamm says this is “one possible timeline,” where, thanks to zygotic genome engineering technology, our future selves would have the ability to control human biology and human evolution in much the same way we control electrons today.
Lamm speaks of “wresting control” of the human form from natural evolution and bending human biology to suit our needs.  The illustrations were inspired by conversations with Dr. Alan Kwan, who holds a PhD in computational genomics from Washington University.
Kwan based his predictions on what living environments might look like in the future, climate and technological advancements. One of the big changes will be a larger forehead, Kwan predicts – a feature that has already expanding since the 14th and 16th centuries. Scientists writing in the British Dental Journal have suggested that skull-measurement comparisons from that time show modern-day people have less prominent facial features but higher foreheads, and Kwan expects the human head to trend larger to accommodate a larger brain.
Kwan says that 60,000 years from now, our ability to control the human genome will also make the effect of evolution on our facial features moot. As genetic engineering becomes the norm, “the fate of the human face will be increasingly determined by human tastes,” he says in a research document. Eyes will meanwhile get larger, as attempts to colonize Earth’s solar system and beyond see people living in the dimmer environments of colonies further away from the Sun than Earth. Similarly, skin will become more pigmented to lesson the damage from harmful UV radiation outside of the Earth’s protective ozone. Kwan expects people to have thicker eyelids and a more pronounced superciliary arch (the smooth, frontal bone of the skull under the brow), to deal with the effects of low gravity.
The remaining 40,000 years, or 100,000 years from now, Kwan believes the human face will reflect “total mastery over human morphological genetics. This human face will be heavily biased towards features that humans find fundamentally appealing: strong, regal lines, straight nose, intense eyes, and placement of facial features that adhere to the golden ratio and left/right perfect symmetry,” he says.