Monday, 30 July 2007

FAL News: New WFRP campaign named

An observant N0-1_H3r3 on the BI forums discovered an entry for a new book for WFRP titled The Thousand Thrones.

The enigmatic entry.

My first thougth was that it's the name of the new campaign from BI, and then poster Lord of the Pit posted a link to the cover, which seems to clinch it.

The cover.

As for now the discussion seems to be mostly focused on the price, which at 30 quid seems a bit steep. The cover looks smashing though, so I'll certainly look into this in more detail when it's released.

Now the only thing I wonder is ... where the hell did he get the user name N0-1_H3r3 from?


Fanboy At Large merges with Altdorf Correspondent

Breaking news!

As you might know, I'm also running Fanboy At Large, a blog with general and D&D-related gaming tidbits. After much pondering during my vacation, I have come to the conclusion that I don't have the time and resources to devote to two separate blogs.

My recent work with my iAltdorf project have made me want to focus more energy towards the Altdorf Correspondent. So I have decided that Fanboy At Large will instead become a feature of this blog for the time being. The main focus of The Altdorf Correspondent will still be WFRP, but the WFRP content will be sprinkled with other gaming material as well.

I will transfer the posts from Fanboy At Large to The Altdorf Correspondent during the week to come.

We'll see how that works out!


WFRP: Gossip (7)

"The goblins are marching on Altdorf! They have lost the Storm of Chaos against Archaon and are retreating here make a last stand! First they want to take the city, and then turn it into a huge fortress! The Emperor needs to put more gold into arming the people so that we can defend ourselves!"

- Agitator speaking at the Ruckusplatz

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Thursday, 12 July 2007

WFRP: Here be dragons

Preview of iAltdorf

This is a preview of what I've been up to lately; my own map of Altdorf. The final map will be a PDF map, with layers so that you can turn some features on and off; names, streets, buildings, sewers and districts.

I've been using the map from The Enemy Within (published 1986 by Games Workshop) as my base, and the general layout of the city matches that map. Also, MadAlfred et al's stunning work on the Imperial Capital has been referenced. Read up on Altdorf here!

Finally, as you will see when the map is released in a year or two - just kidding, I'm hoping to release a first version end of August - I've added my own street names and places as well. But as I work on the map I'm reminded of the passage in Spires of Altdorf claiming the capital can never be mapped. Only now do I realise the truth in that.

I would also like help in adding to this map or just correcting it, so if you feel like beta testing it, please drop by in the comments!


Tuesday, 10 July 2007

WFRP nominated for several Ennies!

Today I read the final nominations for the Ennies, the EN World award for excellent gaming products. This award used to be a d20 system affair, but in recent years they have widened the scope and now includes material for any system.

WFRP have already fared well in the Ennies. The rulebook and the bestiary won a total of three categories in 2005. This year also looks to be a good one for WFRP, both for Black Industries and for the fans!

And this year the nominated WFRP products are:

Best Fan Site
Liber Fanatica

Best Interior Art
Children of the Horned Rat, Black Industries

Best Cartography
Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: Game Master's Toolkit, Black Industries

Best Writing
Children of the Horned Rat, Black Industries

Best Rules
Honorable Mention: Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: Companion, Black Industries

Best Supplement
Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: Companion, Black Industries
Honorable Mention: Tome of Corruption, Black Industries

Best Adventure
Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: Lure of the Liche Lord, Black Industries

Best Regalia
Liber Chaotica, Black Industries
Witch Hunter's Handbook, Black Industries

Best Free Product
Black Industries Web Site, Black Industries

Fan's Choice: Best Publisher
Black Industries

Product of the Year
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Children of the Horned Rat, Black Industries

A big applause for BI, Black Library, all the writers and artists, and an especially grand hooray for the Liber Fanatica crew!

Read more about the Ennies here!


Wednesday, 4 July 2007

FAL Review: Shackled City

Publisher Paizo. Released July 2005. Format Hardcover. Game system Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. Setting Core. Pages 416. Price $59.95.

Designers Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Tito Leati, David Noonan, Christopher Perkins, Chris Thomasson. Cover artist Mark Cavotta. Interior artists Attila Adorjany, Tom Baxa, Peter Bergting, Matt Cavotta, Jeff Carlisle, Christine Choi, Stephen Daniele, Omar Dogon, Tom Fowler, Andrew Hou, Ben Huen, Eric Kim, Chuck Lukacs, Val Mayerick, Mark Nelson, Ramón Pérez, Chris Stevens, Jim Zubkavich. Cartography Chris West.

Spoiler altert! This review contains information about the plot of this campaign. If you are planning on playing Shackled City, don’t read any further!

Shackled City is a collection of adventures from the same company that publishes Dragon and Dungeon. Since they have a license from Wizards of the Coast this book is officially D&D. Also, given the ties and connections the people at Paizo have with WotC, and their history of working on the official game before and during the Paizo era, they have a good grasp of what makes or breaks the D&D expericence.

Shackled City was the first long adventure path that I read in Dungeon. As far as I know the term originated with the launch of third edition D&D, with the Sunless Citadel and following adventures. Paizo ran with that idea and published 11 connected adventures in Dungeon. They started at level 1 and worked their way up to level 20, all with an evolving plot line and within the same setting. The Shackled City adventure path ran in issues 97-98, 102, 104, 107, 109, 111 and 113-116. Now comes the hardcover, bringing these adventures together in one book. To play the campaign you need the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual. Other books such as the Planar Handbook or Manual of the Planes could come in handy, but are not at all necessary.

The book collects and expands somewhat on the original 11 adventures from Dungeon as well as adds a 12th to ease transition between adventure one and two. This all clocks in at 416 pages, presented in hardcover with full colour and comes with a fold-out map and 24 page map folder attached to the insides of the covers. All illustrations in the book are related to the campaign and includes action scenes as well as portraits of important NPCs and monsters. Appendices describe the major villains in detail and present new monsters. It is also important to note that even though the main gist of Shackled City is adventures, there is plenty of information on Cauldron and its people as well, which is important given that the campaign mostly takes part there.

The price tag might feel a bit steep but considering the amount of information and the high quality presentation, as well as the hours and hours of gaming to be had from this path, 59.95 is a reasonable price. The book feels heavy and solid, and the physical aspects of it are immaculate.

Ok, but what about the plot? The shackled city is called Cauldron. It has been chosen by evil forces as the site where a gang of villains are to open a dimension gate to Carceri. Obviously, this is not good for the people of Cauldron. The reason for choosing this city is because it is situated in a dormant volcanoe and has various links to the planes through some of its inhabitants. This is of course all unknown to the PCs as the campaign kicks off, and as the action unfolds this is revealed to be only a part of a bigger plan to free a powerful captured demon prince. There are plenty of action to be had, but also investigation and interaction with various NPCs. The PCs end up serving the people of Cauldron and must deal with their politicians as well as the monsters bent on their destruction. The consequences for failure are dire; Cauldron and its people are devoured in a storm of flames and brimstone.

Shackled City has quickly become one of the famous shared experiences of players of third edition D&D, along with the Sunless Citadel and Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. And it is easily one of the best roleplaying products I have ever seen for any system. It has its ups and downs, but the downs are mostly inconsequential editing errors. Shackled City rivals my long standing favourites Masks of Nyarlathotep (for Call of Cthulhu) and The Enemy Within (for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay) for the top spot of best campaign ever. While it won’t touch Masks of Nyarlathotep, it is a more consistent experience than The Enemy Within, which floundered after the first three installments. I am convinced that this adventure path will be a true classic for D&D, and also a milestone in the history of our hobby.


FAL News: Pathfinder Trailer

Checked the Apple Quicktime site today and found the trailer for Pathfinder: Legend of the Ghost Warrior. A re-imagining of the Norwegian movie Veiviseren, it will be interesting to see what they have done with the story. Judging from the trailer I don't have high hopes, although the visual impact is great.

My impression is that it will mix a lot of disparate genres with copious amounts of anachronism, and top it up with gratitious violence. Could be destined for cult status on par with Brotherhood of the Wolf, a sleeper hit with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplayer fans. Pathfinder is more likely to appeal to the D&D crowd or the fans of the Conan RPG and movies. I get a heavy Vallejo vibe from the poster ...

I'll probably love it and hate it at the same time. Opens April 13 in the states. Don't know when it's coming to Europe.