RIFTS coming to Savage Worlds

On April 26th, Pinnacle Entertainment Group will be launching a Kickstarter for a conversion of Palladium’s RIFTS setting to Savage Worlds. The Kickstarter will run until May 19th, at which point we will know whether there’s enough interest in RIFTS on another system. Personally, as someone who grew up playing Palladium games alongside AD&D 2e, but grew to understand that there were better systems than Palladium’s now-well-aged system, this is a welcome sight indeed. I’m very curious to see what the final product looks like, and it might very well be a good reason to return to the gonzo* world of RIFTS.

More at PEG’s website here.

* Their word, not mine!

D&D Next Release Details

After an exhaustive public playtest, the time is nearly upon us! The new edition of D&D,  simply titled Dungeons and Dragons, is hitting shelves this summer into fall. The folks over at Dread Gazebo put together a great little synopsis of what that’s going to look like and when it’ll arrive.  It’ll start with the Starter Set in July, followed by the Player’s Handbook in August (some of which will be available at GenCon), then the Monster Manual in September, and finally the Dungeon Master’s Guide in November.

The books look really slick and while I’ve personally moved on to running a variety of other RPGs for the past number of years since D&D 4e’s release, I’m excited to see what the final product looks like and perhaps get a game started.

Click the link to get more details and see the fancy new covers:

Everything To Know About Upcoming D&D 5e Releases


Happy 40th, D&D

D&D is 40 today. The venerable granddaddy of RPGs means a lot to our hobby, whether we’re all willing to admit it or not. While D&D might no longer scratch that particular itch for you, it’s hard to not pay some respect to the game that started it all.

I got my start back in the early nineties when I was in grade 5. I was invited over to a classmate’s house to play D&D. It was AD&D 1st Edition, DMed by my classmate’s mother. I had a wizard named Lancelot who wasn’t afraid of doing battle with skeletons in U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and I was HOOKED after that. I quickly went to creating my own version of D&D without any books to draw from. The utterly gonzo games we had in our early day didn’t really change much with the addition of actual rules, either. A teacher of a friend’s brother graciously provided us with a copy of the old D&D Red Box. We played Basic for awhile, but it wasn’t too long before we all got AD&D 2nd Edition and began playing that. The rest, as they say, is history.

We haven’t been playing D&D proper for awhile now, having grown tired of 4th edition, but D&D still has a strong place in all our hearts, and we hope to see the new edition rekindle that spark.

Below, I’ve included a roundup of celebration from around the net today.

Wizards of the Coast posted the great anecdote  from Ed Greenwood  embedded above, and another from Troy Denning.

Here’s a GREAT bunch of anecdotes and memories on the Kobold Press site from key people in the life of D&D. The list includes David “Zeb” Cook, Jeff Grubb, Colin McComb, Bruce Cordell, Margaret Weis, Robert Schwalb, and Wade Rockett.

Monte Cook talks about what D&D means to him on his blog here.

Matt Forbeck talks about his beginnings with the game here.

EDIT: Here’s a couple more:

Salon has a great article about D&D here.

New York Magazine has a nice little article about D&D as well.

Happy Birthday, D&D!

7 things D&D teaches about storytelling

This is an interesting little article about the 7 things that D&D can teach you about storytelling. Even outside of just being a storyteller, the list is very useful for understanding what makes a good game or character.

1: Characters are more interesting when they’re flawed.

Like most D&D nerds, I cheated when I started playing. I fudged rolls. I had a character with three stats at 18 (the maximum), which I later calculated had a roughly 1 in 40,000 chance of happening without the aforementioned cheating. When I bought a character generator for my computer, though, I “accidentally” made a character named Crystal.

Crystal was in most ways an unexceptional person: a bit charming and graceful in her way, but frail, less than bright, and lacking in common sense. Rather than following any traditional path, Crystal was a fighter wielding a quarterstaff—a fundamental tactical mistake, especially given that this was back in the days of 2nd-edition D&D (THAC0 for the win).

I loved playing that character. Part of it was the challenge, part of it was a protective feeling for my own frail character, but the major draw was something more significant. I came to realize: The best heroic journey is not the story of an incredible person doing incredible things. It is the story of a flawed, ordinary person who—when called upon—rises to an incredible challenge and finds within themselves something truly extraordinary.

Read the rest here.

Warner Bros obtains D&D movie license

I’m a little ambivalent about this. On the one hand, yay, more fantasy movies. On the other hand, the D&D movies were… bad. I guess I’m more optimistic. Cautiously optimistic. Cauptimistic.

Warner Bros has acquired rights to make a movie based on Dungeons & Dragons, the perennially popular role-playing game fantasy game. The studio is actually quite far along in the development of the project, as it will use a script by Wrath Of The Titans and Red Riding Hood scribe and Frank Darabont protege David Leslie Johnson. That script, Chainmail, was acquired last year as a free-standing project, based on an obscure game that was also hatched by D&D designer Gary Gygax before he and Dave Arneson launched D&D. It is being retro-fitted to fit the much bigger game creation. The film will be produced by The Lego Movie producer Roy Lee and Courtney Solomon. The latter actually directed a 2000 Dungeons & Dragons feature, a film that starred Jeremy Irons and did not do well.

Read the rest at Deadline.

Margaret Weis Productions not producing any more Marvel

Having just run a game of the incredible Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game on the weekend, I’m saddened to learn today that while it and the recent Civil War event books have performed well, it hasn’t performed well enough for them to produce more content for the license, and it will expire very shortly.

You can get the PDFs from DriveThruRPG until they disappear on Tuesday, April 30th.

In brighter news, they talk about the Firefly and Leverage licenses as well as the upcoming Cortex Plus.

MWP detailed this in a sort of “state of the union” post that you can read here.


Forbes has a two-part article detailing Torchbearer, the newest RPG from Burning Wheel and Mouse Guard RPG creators Luke Crane and Thor Olavsrud. In the past, Luke has taken the lead with development while Thor did the editing, but this time the roles are reversed. The game itself is a heavily modified version of the underlying system in Mouse Guard, retooled for spelunking and dungeon exploration. Resource management is key, and oftentimes you’ll be dealing with challenges involving what you’re carrying just as much as you are dealing with traditional dungeon-delving challenges like traps and monsters.

You can read part one here and part two here.

The game is aiming for a GenCon release with a Kickstarter before it to drum up funds to complete the game.