All posts by Jeff Hall

Catan Regional Championships!

Do you have what it takes to be the best Settler? Games and Stuff is hosting a Catan Regional Championship on April 8-9. We will have Preliminary games on Saturday, April 8. Cost is $25 per person. Those that advance to the Semis and Finals will play on Sunday, April 9th!

The Winner will get to play in the Catan North American Championship at Origins! Studio Catan will cover your badge, hotel, and some food while you are there (you just have to get there).

There will be a variety of prizes and cool things for those in the other rounds as well! Don’t miss your chance to play in this awesome event. Registration is now open on our website and in-store!

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Not Alone – One of Essen’s hottest games is in stock now!

Not Alone BoxOne of the games getting a ton of buzz out of Essen this past year was NOT ALONE. This game will have a full US Release in a few months, but we have it now! Here’s a description of the game:

NOT ALONE is an asymmetrical card game, in which one player (the Creature) plays against the rest (the Hunted).

If you play as one of the Hunted, you will explore Artemia using Place cards. By playing these and Survival cards, you try to avoid, confuse or distract the Creature until help arrives.

If you play as the Creature, you will stalk and pursue the shipwrecked survivors. By playing your Hunt cards and using the mysterious powers of Artemia, you try to wear down the Hunted and assimilate them to the planet forever.

NOT ALONE is a light immersive card game resting on guessing, hand management, and a pinch of deck-building.

Don’t miss your chance to grab a copy now of this great game!

Blood Bowl League Kicks Off!

The Blood Bowl League is almost ready for Kick Off!

Here’s a brief rundown of the League and what you need to know to get ready for action:

  • SIGNING UP FOR THE LEAGUE MEANS YOU COMMIT TO PLAYING ONCE A WEEK.
  • All teams will be placed into a division. From there, games will be scheduled for the season between all the teams.
  • Each week you will have one game to play against a scheduled opponent. You can play this game any time during the week and submit results. Games not played will count as losses for both players. Again, commitment means you are playing!
  • At the end of the regular season, teams will advance to the Playoffs if their record is sufficient.
  • Official Game Night is Thursday, but again you can play at anytime during the week to get your game in. Weeks will run Thursday to Thursday.
  • You are responsible for tracking your team skills, injuries, etc.

That’s the basic information on the League. We kick off Superbowl Week (Thursday, February 2, 2017) and the league will run for 8 regular season weeks followed by the Playoffs.

There is a $10 entry fee for the entirety of the League. This will go toward prizes.

Sign Up by sending your name, contact info, and Team Type (Dwarfs, Elves, etc) and Team Name to info@gamesandstuffonline.com

NEW!!

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Just In…for MENOTH, GUARDIAN/INDICTOR kit and for TROLLBLOODS, Madrak, Great Chieftain.  New for the BATMAN and the MARVEL UNIVERSE, Heat Wave, Captain Cold, Bird & Mercs, Batman vs Superman Trinity, Mr Freeze’s Crew, Rick Flag, Mr Freeze Markers and Effect marks.  MALIFAUX..THE SKY PIRATES, WOKOU RAIDERS, HAYREDDIN and BANDERSNATCH.  INFINITY..SURYAT, Shock Army of ACONTECIMENO, MIYAMOTO MUSHASHI and Dice sets.

Breaking Up – GW and FFG

As many have already heard, the Games Workshop licensing deal with Fantasy Flight Games has come to end. On February 27, 2017 no GW-themed products will be sold to distributors or direct from FFG any longer. Most of the stock at distribution has already begun to dry up. That means ridiculous secondary market prices and panic from people who have always wanted a particular game and haven’t bought it in the years it has been available.

Games and Stuff has stocked up and we can get you those games you always wanted! We have very good stock on TALISMAN (including expansions), FURY OF DRACULA, 40K RPGS, FORBIDDEN STARS, CONQUEST LCG, and WARHAMMER QUEST, and solid stock on many other titles.
We’re committed to selling these to you at regular price while supplies last! But that won’t be forever!

People are already starting to scramble for copies and some people are likely buying up stock just to try and gouge players later! All of our stock is AT MSRP! So if you are after a favorite game before it is gone, be sure to come by soon!

gw_productfan

What games does this spell the end of? – Well here is a list:

• Black Crusade
• Blood Bowl: Team Manager
• Chaos in the Old World
• Chaos Marauders
• Dark Heresy
• Dark Heresy Second Edition
• Deathwatch
• Forbidden Stars
• Fury of Dracula
• Only War
• Relic
• Rogue Trader
• Space Hulk: Death Angel
• Talisman
• Warhammer: Diskwars
• Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
• Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game
• Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
• Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
• All Fantasy Flight Supply products showing imagery licensed to Games Workshop

 

Age of Sigmar League – The Final Results!

The Age of Sigmar League came to an end this past weekend and we have a champion to crown! Congrats to Brian Benson and his forces of Chaos for winning the League.

In second place is Rob Bowers and his Death hosts and in third place, Dale Youngquist and his Stormcast Eternals. Congrats to the winners!

The top three players should swing by the store to claim their prizes.

We will be back with some new Age of Sigmar events in October! Until then, keep gaming and battling for the Mortal Realms!

X-Wing and Armada Regional Information

So FFG has announced the next wave of Regional Events and Games and Stuff is hosting X-Wing (November 19) and Armada (February 18). These are sure to be very big events so here are the details you are all after!

X-WING
Saturday November 19 – Swiss Rounds
Sunday November 20 – Top 16
108 player spots
$25 per person
REGISTRATION OPEN FRIDAY, AUG 26 AT NOON

LINK TO X-WING REGISTRATION

ARMADA
Saturday February 18 – Complete event
60 player spots
$25 per person
REGISTRATION OPEN FRIDAY, AUG 26 AT NOON

LINK TO ARMADA REGISTRATION

So there you have it! Get ready for Friday and secure your spot! Links will be added here on Friday to the event/PayPal button.

RPG Lab Report – Shadow of the Demon Lord

I first heard about this game at a trade show when a friend brought it up and, upon detecting my ignorance, followed up with an awesome explanation of why I couldn’t remain unscarred by Rob Schwalb’s Shadow of the Demon Lord. Shadow of the Demon Lord certainly walks in the shadow of both D&D and Warhammer Fantasy, but it is here that it thrives and adds its own twist to the paradigm that makes it feel fresh and crazy metal. It has apocalyptic elements, splatterpunk moments, high fantasy nods, and steampunk aesthetics galore, but the synthesis is smart and polished while being animated by a system that is both light and intricate with theme and detail.

One thing of note: This lab report rotates around a game that was exceedingly gory and grotesque. The characters, the story, the events, are probably not safe for work. As a result, some of the actual play description will become inexplicably vague at points. Trust me, you want it this way.

NOTE: The words appearing in italics are the anonymous opinions and ideas of folks that participated in the Lab rather than my own.

THE SETTING
Before I launch into a description, let me say that the Shadow of the Demon Lord game is still unfolding. New content and scenarios are still being released and there is no sign of it stopping anytime soon.
There is a substantial yet digestible amount of setting material in the Shadow of the Demon Lord core book. It gives you cosmology with a great heap of weird gods spread out over multiple belief systems as well as general view of the game’s evocative map. After establishing all the important contextual stuff, we zoom in to the Northern Reach which is delivered in helpful detail. Exactly what you would expect and want.

Beyond this, however, are extremely fun rules for implementing the signs and effects of the looming doomsday when the Shadow of the Void – the Demon Lord itself – makes contact with our world and purges it from the manifest universe. Until that day, the world is cluttered with adventure hooks and interesting NPCs and serves as an optimal stomping ground for the player characters.

“The first thing that must be said regarding this setting is this: don’t expect lollipops and unicorns.  The very existence of the great being known as the Demon Lord causes the deterioration of reality and ultimately results in the end of the worlds that it sets its eye(s?) upon.  Campaigns for Shadow of the Demon Lord begins amidst the onset of this Apocalypse and the planet of Urth (that’s right, Urth) is ticking towards its doom.  The grim and horrible darkness that the adventurers may face our terrible in natural.  We encountered a demonic painting that spawned a hideous and gruesome demon child that exploded in a shower of viscera upon death.  Needless to say, the goblin and the orc fled willingly before the brunt of the fighting began.  Oh and did I mention that the orcs rose up against their human overlords recently, beheaded the emperor and turned the imperial capital into a city of bloodshed almost overnight?… because that just happened.”

“I frigging LOVE the setting. It’s dark and weird. Magic can be frightening and have HORRIBLE consequences. It’s a setting with scarcity, reminiscent of OSR games, but somehow without the obnoxious record-keeping. It had the best of REH’s Conan/Solomon Kane, with a ton of 80’s fantasy mixed in (Sword and the Sorceror, Beastmaster, Fire and Ice, Deathstalker, The Barbarians, Gor, Yor, Sorceress, etc). It licks the pleasure center of my brain with a scaly wet tongue.”

CHARACTER GENERATION
Character generation is fast and random. You choose a culture an Ancestry and the rest is rolled on a series of baroque tables that absolutely weep story hooks and character background material. There are six or so races that are detailed in the Core Book and the character’s initial career is some menial or disturbing task which constitutes the petty beginning from which your soon-to-be hero will arise. Once you reach first level after the intro scenario, you choose from four very familiar class archetypes that, in contrast with your starting career, creates a really fun creation process. Two tiers follow in which the character gets two additional paths added to the mix which really makes for a vast feast of character options.
For our particular game we ended up with:

  • A clockwork warrior/former soldier with terrible taste in friends.
  • A lecherous, gluttonous orc magician that specialized in manipulation and curse magic.
  • A changeling sorcerer that dabbled in magic dark beyond its own reckoning.
  • A goblin huckster with a penchant for the collection of spoons.
  • A square-jawed human agent of righteousness in the employee of the new religions.

“Character generation was very cool. Randomized Ancestry, Profession, Quirks, Personality, Age, Build, Wealth, Appearance, and an Interesting Thing makes for an incredibly fun and weird character generation process. Everyone at the table had an awesome, playable, weird character with a lot of potential for weird roleplaying. This might be my favorite character creation process in a modern game.“

“The Character Creation System of Shadow of the Demon Lord allows the players to create class-less level 0 characters and features a quick, easy, and fun method for creating low-powered characters who are interesting and unique in their ways.  The process allows the players to either select or randomly roll from many long lists of character traits, including the character’s height, her quirks, and, of course, their background.  These traits are largely irrelevant mechanically, but when your goblin thief owns a collection of fifty unique spoons, there is always something to blame when that stealth roll doesn’t go as planned.  The system really forces the players to recognize who their characters are and understand their characters in many ways, fleshing them out as the character progression progresses.  It also makes the character unique in their traits, not their mechanics.  The base character creation system basically gives the players minimal control over their characters’ mechanical benefits, which are largely dictated by their racial features, while maximizing their characters’ story, and, for that, I think it’s one of my favorites.”

THE SYSTEM
The system for Shadow of the Demon Lord has excellent economy of theme and mechanics. The simplicity invokes the feel of many of the best OSR games but it does not shy away from fast, fluid mechanics informed by newer rule sets.

The required dice are a d20 and three d6s. With skills, you target a difficulty of 10 and with attacks you target the opponent’s defense. Oddly, this scales really well and has held up for me, personally, in a way that conveys improvement without taking it to some berserk anime magnitude. Characters advance through three tiers of play and monsters are presented with something akin to a challenge rating.

The magic system is fun with schools of spells with a few ultra-detailed, flavorful effects each. Some are forbidden and accrue corruption which is a whole fun set of rules as well. Stack on some mean-spirited insanity mechanics and it all sings like a devil choir.
In combat, a fast/slow initiated system is handled cinematically rather than as a succession of unimportant rolls.

“[The rules are] Awesome. Easy to understand: D20 and add or remove extra dice for advantage/disadvantage. Roll for damage. Run away! Character sheet was awesomely tiny and easy to understand. I personally don’t like weird artsy character sheets (13 Age, Numenera, etc), but this one worked better for me than most. The backgrounds and flavor text organically make sense within the rules, and are easy to invoke. Themagic system is great, flavorful (and punishing, if you decide to cast nasty spells).”

 “Shadow of the Demon Lord features a simple d20 system that uses the addition of up to three six-sided dice to simulate the modifiers that may be involved in the roll, called banes and boons by the game, such as related professions, advanced equipment, clouded vision, unnaturally strong and putrid stench, etc.  This simple system limits the dice needed for the game to one twenty-sided and three six-sided and is great for players that wish to avoid having to perform many different steps of simple math.  The basic system is very enjoyable because it doesn’t clog the session and resolves itself quickly.  All skills are set at a fixed difficulty and made more difficult with the addition of banes to the roll.   This basic system is very enjoyable because it doesn’t clog the session and resolves itself quickly.  The character advancement system employed by the game is probably the most interesting part of the game, aside from the horror that comes naturally with the setting.  As the characters finish an adventure, the characters level up and at certain levels, gain the benefits of different paths.  These paths range from the simple warriors and magicians to the powerful duelists and exorcists.  This allows for crazy combinations asthe characters progress, such as a changeling who is a magician, an oracle, and a diplomat with abilities reflecting all three paths the character has entered.  This gives the characters of the game an amazing amount of versatility in their advancement.”

IN CONCLUSION
It is hard for me to remain objective when evaluating this game as it hits like thirty-six of my forty pet RPG buttons. With that taken into account, I think Shadow of the Demon Lord is a rock solid contribution to the fantasy RPG arsenal. It handles some difficult adult material in a way that is simultaneously reckless and puerile yet completely inclusive and fun.

The rules are a vital system that vanish behind the speedy, blood-splattered narrative and the setting lets you rampage across a cursed and demon-befouled land that crumbles all the more beneath the PCs triumphant steps.

“This game was excellent. After a session of character creation, we just got down to it. The system is light and fast, combats were exciting, and the scenario was appropriately horrifying and creepy. Fun all around!”

“This RPG.LAB took us, the players, through one of the MANY published adventures for Shadow of the Demon Lord.  The plot was extremely well entertaining, featuring a corrupt church official and his disdain with a new and bizarre group of ooze-worshipping cultists.  The story was filled with unimaginably disgusting and vile events, some of which were the results of our party members.  The end result was largely entertaining for everyone in the party and left us wondering a great deal of things, including when and how Gathik would be getting his spoon back from that greedy info-broker.  Even though the length of this RPG.LAB was short compared to the others, it was, nonetheless, a great and enjoyable experience.”

George is the full-time assistant manager of Games & Stuff. He is a fan of way, way too many RPGs.

RPG LAB Report – Feng Shui 2

Long ago, in a land called Daedalus Entertainment, a legendary game designer named Robin Laws created a game called Feng Shui. Feng Shui (which was often described in terms of other famous licensed properties like “The Big Trouble in Little China RPG”) was based on the created world for the CCG called SHADOWFIST which pitted several eccentric factions against one another in a battle for the control of various time junctures. Daedalus spit a few great supplements and then Atlas Games took the wheel and delivered several more. Sporting a stable of writers that might these days be unaffordable to all but the most successful of publishing companies, Feng Shui captured the imaginations of action- loving gamers with its simple 2d6 mechanic and array of evocative stunts and powers.

NOTE: The bits in italic quotations at the end of each section are player comments and not the expressed views of the RPG Lab coordinator.

SETTING

Oh the setting…

*deep breath*

Throughout time there has been a secret war – a Chi War – in which forces both positive and negative have played a pivotal role. The politics of magic and control are its heart and the players are the agents of heaven, hell and earth. Shaolin monks, cyborg apes, eunuch sorcerers, thousand tongued demons, magically transformed dragons, post-apocalyptic warlords, the immortal rulers of the netherworld and the Hong Kong Police Department have all played their part in this non-linear mess of a battle. Faction agendas, petty whims and good old fashioned heroism are the motivations and the winner’s definition of reality is the prize. The method is entirely based on control of concentrations of geomantic power that take the form of Feng Shui Sites.

“The setting is kind of deep, and rightly so: it’s a revised, slightly advanced edition of the setting that was used in the first edition RPG, inspired by the card game. Which is still being produced, by the way. It has to cover four distinct eras, ranging from feudal China through the British occupation, modern-day, and well into a self-inflicted apocalypse waste. And it has tips for covering other possible eras too.”

SUPPLEMENTS AND MATERIALS USED

Currently Feng Shui 2 only has two game specific supplements in hard copy – the core book and the screen (which also comes with a handy guide to fight locations and a few other bits). So, in addition to the character sheet, we only used these things.

CHARACTER GENERATION

Character Generation in Feng Shui largely makes DungeonWorld’s character generation seem lengthy and cumbersome by comparison. You simply pick an archetype (like Highway Ronin, Exorcist Monk, or Scrappy Kid) strap on some dramatic hooks and motivations, and boom, you are in. That’s it. You just pick the character that resembles your favorite movie hero and go for it.

Since you asked, we had:

  • A Drifter Swordswoman in flight from the terrifying affections of the Queen of the Darkness Pagoda…
  • A roof-hopping Masked Avenger who uses stealth and fear to punish the wicked of Hong Kong…
  • A seemingly bumbling cop with a knack for magical demon management that could end up saving the world…

“Character generation is minimal, basically a matter of filling out details to customize your chosen archetype. That said, the number of choices for archetypes fit the Hong Kong Action theater (HKAT) genre conventions quite nicely, so it doesn’t feel like you’re forced into builds.”

“What character generation system? At its simplest, character creation is a matter of picking a template and copying everything over, unless you printed from the PDF. Any customization beyond that is not only optional, but a matter of negotiation between player and GM. They get around this shortfall by having character templates so robust and iconic that they’re all pretty much playable right off the printer. This may seem to direct your efforts”

RULES

Outside of the unique powers (which are summarized in appropriate detail on the archetype sheets for ease of use), the rules are simple:

Postive 1d6 + Negative 1d6 + modifier vs. difficulty modifier (with degrees of success) With this simple mechanic, adjustable with special abilities and stunts, and exploding 6s, you are off to the races. Read over the combat section thoroughly is my advice. Although there is no one right way to enjoy an RPG, Feng Shui without ample action and violence is like ordering salad and ice water at Five Guys.

“People who like “crunchy” games won’t be able to wrap their heads around this one. It’s almost frightfully simple in places, but it has to be a little simple in order to keep play moving fast. This encourages players to come up with wilder, more descriptive actions more befitting a Hong Kong action movie, and benignly shrugs at GMs who hear all that scenery-chewing and say “Eh, why not.”

The laxness also provides a degree of freedom, for example, to play the Magic Cop as either a black-ops modern-day sorceror or as semi-bumbling comic relief. And don’t underestimate the fun of doing the latter.”

CONCLUSION

Needless to say, we had a blast. Gangsters were cut down, demons were defeated, cocktails were served and weeping guitar laments were played as the bullets flew.

Feng Shui has been one of my favorite gaming properties since its inception and the most recent edition is the best yet. Incredibly easy to prepare for and inspired by stuff we all know and love, this was a rewarding RPG.lab experience.

“This is my third (or fourth, if you count the one I ran) experience with RPG.Lab, and I’ve yet to walk away disappointed. This is a great idea and I hope you guys keep doing it, especially as new games keep appearing.”

George is the full-time assistant manager of Games & Stuff and the de facto GM of RPG.Lab. He is a big fan of way too many RPGs