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I'm a fan of pen-and-paper RPG's. That's what you are going to find on this site. Sometimes there might be a blurb about the Secret World MMO; but the focus here is my drifting through Wisconsin's gaming communities.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Era III: 1994; Science Fiction and Re-treads.

Publishing pulls back a little. Only about 2/3rd as many titles as the previous year. This year seems to be a time of settling into established story-worlds and concepts. Nothing too far out, other than a toe tipped into the steampunk genre…

TSR came out with the Spellfire CCG this year. It had a strong start, with a great appeal in its early sets with the D&D crowd. By the end of the run, the much-appreciated artwork was (and this is not a joke) replaced with photographs of poorly-dressed TSR staff acting out the card in question (some wearing blue jeans and Gen Con shirts). Power creep became the issue of the day as this attempt as the CCG failed.

OK, on the publishing side of things, SLA Industries, by Nightfall Games is bought out by Wizards of the Coast. Pinnacle Entertainment Group is founded by Shane Lacy Hensley.  Partizan Press, a publisher of military history books, opens its doors. Roughly around this year-ish, Kenzer & Company opens its doors in Waukeagan Il; with the campaign setting of Kingdoms of Kalamar (AD&D compatible). Although TSR had a reputation of trademark lawsuits, K&Co was never threatened. AD&D 3e’s OGL also enabled K&Co to produce official D&D products at this time. Dream Pod 9 splits off from IANUS Publications. Last Unicorn Games opens its doors around this time. Decipher Inc, already a decade old (and known for its How to Host a Murder), and releases the Star Trek: TNG CCG. Avalanche Press opens its doors as well. Last but not least, Digest Group Publications under Roger Sanger of Traveller appears, eventually publishing Traveller 4e in 1996.

As far as core books are concerned, here is the list: 

Masque of the Red Death by TSR. This game is set in the 1890’s Gothic Earth, as an add on to the Ravenloft line.

Chill 2e by Mayfair Games. Join the secret organization S.A.V.E. to combat the supernatural evils tucked away in the shadows!

MasterBook by West End Games universal rules system for their various lines.

The World of Indiana Jones by WEG. Just like it says on the can, folks. Get ready for some pulp, 1940’s adventure! Note that this is something of a second edition.

Bloodshadows RPG box set, West End Games. Noir supernatural. Get your gat and save your dame from the stuff that should’ve stayed in its box down that back alley.

FUDGE, by Wild Mule Games evolves out of 1992’s SLUG game system.

Nephilim 2e, by Chaosium. This version is the first non-French edition.

Castle Falkenstein RPG meshing steampunk and fantasy by R. Talsorian Games.

Allansia, using the Advanced Fighting Fantasy system by Puffin Books, Mass battle gaming outside of the dungeon and city. It also goes a little more in-depth into the three continents of Titan.

Tokyo NOVA is a cyberpunk RPG. 1st edition is published by F.E.A.R.

Nexus the Infinite city by  Daedalus Entertainment. Welcome to Nexux, where ancient Babylon is two blocks over from the lost city of Mars. Watch out for those centurions and dinosaurs having a turf war!

Heavy Gear published by Dream Pod 9. It uses the SilCore system. Set 4000 years in the future, you try to survive in a war zone world of heavy armament and fast-paced combat.

HoL: Human Occupied Landfill by Dirt Merchant Games. This Sci Fi space humor game is the antithesis of other games. Poorly written with no apparent attempt at quality or organization, this dumbed down game dis-allows typical gaming (no PC creation, only pre-gens). If you are looking for a night of anti-gaming, this is your book!

Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game is published as part of the Storyteller System by White Wolf Pub. Licensed RPG set in the Street Fighter video game universe.

Phase World: published by Palladium Games. Part of the Rifts universe, this is the first space setting that links the three galaxies to the trans-dimensional nexus city of Center.

Steve Jackson Games releases!

GURPS 3: Grimoire by SJG.
GURPS 3: Mage: The Ascension by SJG.
GURPS 3: Religion by SJG.
GURPS 3: Vampire : The Masquerade by SJG.
Ultima VIII introduced mouse controls as well as attempting to add precision jumping sequences reminiscent of a Mario platform game, though reactions to the game's mouse-based combat were mixed.

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