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Yay! Rodeo games announced recently that they are developing an iOS version of the classic board game Warhammer Quest. I played the original version during a session in which a local board game collector pulled out a whole bunch of his “classics”; it’s a quirky and fun little game, partly because it’s so hilariously perilous. I’m looking forward to seeing it again in an electronic version, and as always, I’m delighted to see more Warhammer products for iPad. Here’s IGN’s scoop with a bit more info. A detailed description of the original board game can be found here on Board Game Geek.
Those sponsoring the Warhammer FRP 3e Scenario Contest (see my entry on it here and the thread on the FFG forums here) have announced a submission date of October 15. I’m hoping that we’ll see some new writers and some fresh ideas. (I even hope for some clever new uses of the standard rules!) As for me, that’s a week before I’m running a half marathon, so if I’m going to get an entry written, it’ll have to be sooner rather than later.
If you’re on the fence, do try to hammer something out. Emirikol has offered to help new writers with editing and formatting their material, so there’s little to lose!
I’ve been away on vacation, so I haven’t had much time to update–in fact, I’ve been backpacking, so I’ve been away from wifi or 3G range for days at a time. Naturally, as soon as I got back to civilization, I dove into a sea of emails, texts, and Google searches to answer random questions that had popped up during our hikes that we hadn’t been able to solve immediately. (Makes you realize how dependent you are on the internet to answer your “idle questions.”) Once I’d finished with my first internetting frenzy, I decided to grab some new reading material for the last few days away. Just out of curiosity, I typed “Black Library” into the iBookstore to see if there was any Warhammer content.
Quite awhile back, when iBooks were relatively new, I’d looked for BL content on the bookstore, and there hadn’t been much. I went over to the official BL website and ordered some etexts there, and while it wasn’t a terrible pain to import the etexts to my iPad, it was just enough of a hassle that I hadn’t bothered to go back. All that’s changed–significantly. Now there are over thirty-three screens of English BL content on the iBookstore and several more of French language content! Delightful. Now I can satisfy my need for trashy Warhammer reading and expend as little effort as possible.
I also notice that Games Workshop has put up the Codex: Necrons; it does look as though they’re going to make an effort to put all of the Codices onto iBooks. As I said here, I do think the format’s promising, and I’m glad to see they’re continuing. I just hope other RPG publishers decide to go the same route!
Overall, I’m glad to see more of this type of content on the iBookstore. I tend only to buy books I need for work as physical copies. I already have such a huge library from grad school and for work that I don’t need to fill it out with tons of other texts that I’m unlikely to annotate. It’s nice, then, to pick up a few Warhammer books in ebook format, and if it’s easy to do at 2am when I’m already on my iPad, all the better.
This week, my husband and I are vacationing at my in-laws’ place. They live in an area of the Adirondacks that one might describe as “remote.” It’s not quite shack-in-the-woods remote, but the nearest townlet, about fifteen minutes away, consists of a bank, three or four stores, two gas stations, and lots of Burma Shave-style signs with religious slogans along the road. While I enjoy my time here spent hiking, swimming, and boating, it does always confirm that I’m a city girl. On the other hand, I always see some hilarious things that would make awesome adventure hooks. Today, I present you with four things I’ve seen so far that would make stellar Warhammer FRP adventure hooks:
- A man burning the corpse of a horse in the front yard of his house. One of the horse’s legs sticks out of the flames at a jaunty angle.
- A tiny shack with barely enough room for one man to sit suddenly appears in an unowned part of the woods where there was no shack just a few months ago. My husband and I happened upon a charming bench near a pond in a previously uninhabited part of the forest, and just when I was about to sit down, he suddenly whispered, “Stop! There’s a hut behind you.” I thought he was making a Star Wars joke, but the reality was much creepier.
- A live dog strapped to the top of a car, (or in Warhammer, to the top of a carriage.) I could see my PCs stalled for half an hour of hilarious roleplay trying to figure out if they should save the dog, or if they should set the carriage on fire because the dog’s likely a demon and the people in the carriage follow some lord of Chaos.
- A group of stern-looking children striding purposefully towards a stand of trees in the middle of nowhere carrying nothing but a long chain.
And really, there’s the real joy of vacationing: the stories you bring back. Most people want to tell those stories to their families and friends, but some of us twisted souls want to get together and retell slightly more violent versions of our vacation tales as we sit surrounded by piles of dice, stacks of cardboard scenery, and sets of miniatures.
After poking around the Profantasy Software site the other day to look at something or other, I noticed the Dioramas Pro module for Campaign Cartographer 3 and picked it up. I’m not a master craftsman of cardstock scenery, by any means. After all, I started this blog by talking about my love-hate relationship with glue. Still, I like to make scenery for my campaigns, as I find that my PCs find it easier to tell the story at hand if they have a shared visual space on which to base the narrative. In my head, I was going to craft highly evocative Warhammery scenery to match the prewritten modules and/or strange and bewitching buildings to match my upcoming Skaven scenario. How cool would it be to have a building for the Garden of Morr that actually had little black rosebushes all around the building? How neat to have buildings that had been heavily “modified” by Skaven engineers (who, of course, don’t exist)?
For full disclosure’s sake, I should say that I only played with DP for one afternoon. Like everything else from Profantasy, DP has a steep learning curve, but it hardly seems impossible; I could easily figure out how to use the tools available, and the quickstart guide helped immensely. I could quickly make a series of different types of buildings that would stand up serviceably when I glued them together. It’s also very easy to change the scale of your building to accommodates different games. What’s less exciting, though, are the visual details provided within the program for decorating the buildings. Bleech. Simple line windows and doors–nothing like the buildings I would want to create. It’s possible to export the skeleton of your building and put it into Photoshop or Pixelmator so that you can do some graphic manipulation there. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll use DP to do. Still, it would be nice if it were easier to export the images, and even nicer still if the graphics sets in DP were a bit more elegant.
I’m not sure I’m pleased with this purchase. I like the flexibility of crafting any kind of structure I want, but honestly, I’m not sure how often I’ll use it. Part of me wishes I’d just bought some blank cardstock building skeleton files that I could manipulate in Pixelmator. (Those must exist, right?) Still, I think that’s more of a failing of my not really considering how the product was designed than a failing of the product itself. DP seems quite powerful if you’re into the “engineering” side of things. It’s just that I’m more on the “put funny visual jokes on the side of the buildings” side of things instead. Lesson learned about rampantly consuming things I don’t need, I guess. At least until the next intriguing thing I don’t really need comes along.
Awesome! I talked awhile back about how RPG scenario writers might put iBooks Author to good use, so I was excited to see the announcement on Twitter today that Games Workshop plans to release a line of iBooks supplements for its wargame. GW plans to release a handful of texts each month, and the company has obviously dumped some real money into making their initial offerings both useful and beautiful. The official video shows some of the etexts’ innovations. 3D images of their models that readers can rotate to view from all sides seem like a good way to get a sense of whether or not you really want a particular miniature, and videos and slideshows that explain how to paint models so that they look like the ones shown in particular scenarios will help those who want to learn good painting techniques. The video also goes out of its to point out that the search functions and the notation functions of iBooks will make using rules from these texts easy mid-game.
I’m really glad to see some gaming companies jumping onto iBooks and using the Author tools. I do wonder how much crossover there is between the GW crowd and the Apple crowd; they wouldn’t have struck me as quite the same people, for the most part, but I’m glad to see gaming companies make use of this technology. I’m going to wait until the Codex: Space Marines hits the virtual shelves, and then I’ll do a review of it. I can’t wait to see what it’s like! In the future, I hope that companies like GW expand their use of the functions of iBooks to some of their fiction offerings, and I’d love to see Fantasy Flight jump on the bandwagon and release some of their WFRP3e materials in this format, too.