Posts Tagged: RPGs

Strange (home)brew: Dungeonscape becomes Codename: Morningstar and moves to Kickstarter

I can't wait to upload my completely original modules, Fort on the Borderlands and Against the Large People.

I can’t wait to upload my completely original modules, Fort on the Borderlands and Against the Large People.

When we last left the intrepid band at Trapdoor Technologies, they had just been released from their deal with Wizards of the Coast and their plans for a Dungeons & Dragons 5E digital toolset had dissolved into the ether. What the hell are you going to do now, we wondered. Well, I wondered. I got to meet the folks at Trapdoor at Gen Con and see what they had been working on, and couldn’t wait to run my next D&D campaign behind nothing but the soft, comfortable glow of my iPad. It seems that both their and my dreams had been dashed.

Not quite. Trapdoor has taken the technology behind Dungeonscape and has parlayed it into something bigger and better called Codename: Morningstar. They’re looking at a fully functional campaign organizer and creator that doesn’t rely on any one ruleset, but can be used for any home brew our little brains can think up. This isn’t just a tool for flipping through digital handbooks and rolling up characters any more, now you can start a new campaign or, even more exciting, import campaign materials you’ve already written, and all this can be done on a tablet.

Oh, and it’s not just your materials. The plan is to allow users to upload their content for others to use, or possibly buy. Need a quick one-nighter for tonight’s game? Head to the library and download one. Want to share the world you’ve spent the last 8 years building? What’s stopping you?

Codename: Morningstar is currently over on Kickstarter looking to rake in over $400K. They’re only at about $50K now, so they’ll need a lot of help over the next 17 days. Check out some of their videos after the break to see how they’re trying to incorporate digital into tabletop RPGs.

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RPG of the Year 2014

The power of dreams.

The power of dreams.

Owen has asked me to explain our pick for the best RPG of 2014 because he respects our exemplary audience enough not to want to inflict upon them his amateur poetry. I sympathize; many of the most impressive games of the year rely upon high-class presentation, while this particular game’s presentation is about as classy as a nose-picking contest on America’s Next Top Hobo. When I put that way, it doesn’t sound likely to inspire verse, but at Pocket Tactics we are moved by a nontraditional muse.

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RPG of the Year 2014 Runner-up: Shadowrun Dragonfall

Candystorm.

Candystorm.

Like Doctor Sam Beckett, Shadowrun: Dragonfall leaped into our time to put right what once went wrong in the Shadowrun franchise– and did a bang-up job. Now let’s not overstate the case here. Last year’s franchise resurrection Shadowrun Returns wasn’t bad at all. Heck, we figured it was the second-best RPG of 2013.

So Dragonfall isn’t a radical makeover of Shadowrun Returns because it need not be. This is an adroitly executed RPG in a unique high-fantasy-meets-low-sci-fi setting with above-average writing and atmosphere so thick you could can it. Dragonfall is just Shadowrun Returns with its shirt tucked in and some new kicks. Dragonfall looks in the mirror for a little self-affirmation and then struts out the door because it’s hot and it knows it.

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Arise from your tryptophan coma to download the Witcher Adventure Game

This year, I'm thankful for this not being a MOBA.

This year, I’m thankful for this not being a MOBA.

“Hey, here’s a great idea: let’s announce the release of our game while the single biggest video game market in the West is drooling in front of the TV, near-catatonic from eating half their body weight in turkey.” Apparently Polish devs CD Projekt are hoping that Americans will subconsciously absorb the news that the Witcher Adventure Game has been released on iOS (iPad-only), on Android, and on PC, based on the popular RPG of the same name.

But let’s not give CD Projekt too much stick: in a world where every major console and PC game property is running headlong into the App Store to cash in on F2P psychosis, the Witcher Adventure Game appears to be a deeply nerdy digital board game. Thank you CD Projekt for not making your Witcher mobile game into a free-to-play kart racer (though they apparently are working on a licensed MOBA).

The Witcher Adventure Game (which was first announced back in January) was made in conjunction with high-spec tabletop publishers Fantasy Flight, who are naturally releasing a physical version of the game as well. The gist here is that you (and/or online multiplayer friends) control a group of four heroes questing around a board getting into low-fantasy hijnks. The game plays like a computer RPG to an extent — characters level up and develop new abilities as the game goes on.

There’s a trailer after the jump.

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There be dragons next week: Shadowrun Dragonfall hits iOS on December 4th

Hack yourself a better haircut, young man.

Impossible Germany.

A future version of myself just popped into my dusty office here at PT HQ high atop Mount Hexmap with startling news: Shadowrun: Dragonfall, the follow-up to last year’s RPG of the Year Runner-Up is finally dropping for iOS. Right around three months following the PC release, the game will hit the App Store for iPad next Wednesday at midnight. That future version of myself also begged me not to send him back to his timeline but I’ve got enough family over for Thanksgiving already, thanks.

This is great news for RPG fans: I really enjoyed last year’s Shadowrun Returns despite a short-ish campaign and garden-variety turn-based tactical combat. By all accounts, Dragonfall polishes up the dull bits of its predecessor and is generally even better. If you’re not familiar with the setting, imagine Twilight as written by William Gibson and you’re basically there: a science-fiction cyberpunk world where magic exists and the Giants are playoff contenders. Also the Giants have real giants.

I’ve rezzed a trailer for Shadowrun: Dragonfall for you after the jump. No word yet on the Android version. [UPDATE: Android getting a simultaneous release next week, HBS tells me.]

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It also rises, again: Ossian Studios’ The Shadow Sun released for Android

...then they throw down their weapons and embrace.

…then they throw down their weapons and embrace.

Bah, bah I say to all you console drones and PC snobs (excepting, of course, those who frequent PT sister site Red Door Blue Key), with your Farrelly Cries and your Dragon Eggs: Inquiring. Who needs ‘em when we iOS folks have sweet, sweet preinstalled Health app action? Oh, right, and Ossian Studios’ sweeping fantasy RPG The Shadow Sun.

And wouldn’t you know it, former Bioware employee and current Ossian CEO Alan Miranda has just informed us that The Shadow Sun is now out on Android as well, after several months of open beta. The Android version is debuting at $5, with the iOS universal version dropping down from $8 to the same price. That’s a permanent price-drop, and not just a sale.

I quite liked The Shadow Sun when I took a look at it last year. The game’s shorter than you might expect, but that expectation’s only there in the first place because The Shadow Sun does an excellent job invoking the epic tone of past classics. Baldur’s Gate is a natural comparison (in part because Miranda worked on Throne of Bhaal while at Bioware), but I feel TES: Morrowind is more illustrative of how The Shadow Sun approaches its not-quite-high fantasy setting.

With this price drop now’s definitely a good time to try the game out, regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS. Trailer after the jump.

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Fly me to the rune : Super Glyph Quest on the App Store

Ariel and Ursula face off

Ariel and Ursula face off

Super Glyph Quest is the brainchild of ex-Bullfrog developer Alex Trowers and his wife Leanne Bayley and a sequel-of-sorts to the much-enjoyed Glyph Quest. Like the first game, the object is to combine elements into chains and create powerful spells to decimate your enemies, only this time there’s more of everything. There are more elements to chain, more characters, more monsters, crafting, and even an over-arching storyline to bring everything together into a nice, neat package.

Super Glyph Quest was released back at the end of October, and we somehow missed it. This is what happens when Owen gets married, folks. Lucky for us, they just updated SGQ this week, which brought it to our attention, finally. It’s good they did, because I’ve since downloaded SGQ and have been having a good time with it. It has clever gameplay that’s not afraid to mock itself or its genre, and it can be pretty funny.

Super Glyph Quest is available for iOS Universal and costs $3 with no IAP in sight. If you want to just see what the gameplay is like, you can try out the original Glyph Quest for free.

Trailer after the break.

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A beginning: Loot & Legends alpha soon, looking for testers

Not malodorous slime!

Not malodorous slime!

Loot & Legends is the more broadly appealing name of the browser-based dungeon crawler we’ve come to know and love, Card Hunter. It’s coming to iPad at some point down the road, and that day is getting closer all the time. Last night, developer DropForge Games tweeted that the alpha for Loot & Legends was nearly ready to go and, to top it off, they’re looking for users running iOS 8 or later to help them test it out.

If you haven’t played Card Hunter, the game is basically a digital love letter to old-school pen-and-paper role playing. You control a party of adventurers who, of course, delve dungeons and look for loot. It’s all done to look like a tabletop game with 3D standees and an AI in the shape of a GM, comments and all.

Plans are for an iPad release with an Android release soon after. Card Hunter trailer after the break.

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