Jack the Ripper

RPGs are role-playing games, where components are usually dice and rulebooks, games are typically open ended, and story and playacting often take a large role.


Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThinkFun is giving away a prize pack of Code Master, Math Dice, and other stuff.

For an extra 20% off clearance items from Toys “R” Us, use coupon code “CLEARANCE”.

DriveThruRPG is running a sale on Cthulhu mythos titles.

The Cardboard Republic is giving away Vast: The Crystal Caverns from Leder Games.

Purchase issues 83 or 84 of Compass Games’ Paper Wars magazine, or subscribe for issues 85-88, to get 35% off any in-stock game with coupon code “PAPERWARS”.

Cryptozoic is giving away a bunch of Batman stuff. Among the stuff are Batman Fluxx, Batman Love Letter, DC Comics cad sleeves, a full set of DC Comics Mighty Meeples, and Batman vs. Joker Rivals DC Comics Deck Building Game.

The latest Bundle of Holding is for Tribe 8, the post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG from Dream Pod 9.

Courtesy of Game Salute, WashingCon (an upcoming convention in D.C.) is giving away free games to the first 1,000 attendees. I’ll be at the show on Sunday. Maybe leave one for me?

Actualol is giving away a copy of Dead of Winter: The Long Night from Plaid Hat Games.

Mox Boarding House and Card Kingdom, local shops in the Seattle area, are holding their annual Labor Day Sale with discounts of 15-75%.

Tiffany is going to give away “games and accessories and what-not” when she reaches 4,000 followers on Twitter and 800 on Instagram.

Wizards of the Coast is taking suggestions for Magic: The Gathering Cube lists. Selected submissions get four complete digital non-premium sets of Kaladesh and 1,000 play points in Magic Online.

Downtown Dice & GamesLas Vegas’ version of a game cafe is Milk Teaze, where the tea, juice, and board games are served by women in lingerie.

Good Games, a chain of game shops with 25 locations in Australia, is opening its first in the United States. The store will be located in downtown Indianapolis, just around the corner from the convention center.

Retailer Downtown Dice & Games opened last month in Great Falls, Montana.

Molino Lounge, part of the Loungers chain, is opening up in the restored Old Town Hall of Oldham (Manchester area, UK), with an alcohol license but a family-friendly atmosphere, including newspapers, a book-swap, and board games.

Pawns and Pints, a game cafe planned for Kansas City, has already singed a lease in the Crossroads area but is raising money on Kickstarter to stock its board game library.

While looking for a location for Meeples Cafe and Games, a husband and wife pair are hosting Thursday night game events at Toolry in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Black Rabbit bar in Brooklyn has some of its own board games but also encourages patrons to bring their own and occasionally hosts tournaments.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesInside specially marked boxes of the recently released Monopoly Ultimate Banking game is a Vault Giveaway Card, which could be worth up to $20,850. That’s the amount of play money in a standard Monopoly game. See, since the Ultimate Banking version of the game does away with the play bills, Mr. Monopoly has decided to give away all his cash—at least that’s the story being promoted by Hasbro. For real, though, take the card and tap it to the Ultimate Banking Unit for an indication of whether it’s a winner. But in any case, enter the number on the card at the Monopoly Vault website for more chances to win and to claim any prize. It’s also possible to enter without purchasing the game. That involves hand-writing your name and address on a card and mailing it to a certain address.

Package deals on-tap now at Bundle of Holding include Fat Dragon Terrain Sets and Osprey Wargames. Also two separate deals for Shadowrun 3rd Edition: an Essentials bundle with rule books and a Sprawl Guide bundle with setting supplements.

To celebrate 10 years of Hollow Earth Expedition, Exile Game Studio is offering a PDF of the rule book for free until about 3:00 PM ET tomorrow.

For Gun Metal Games’ 11th anniversary, the company is selling all of its products at DriveThruRPG for 40% off.

I found some Loopin’ Chewie games from Hasbro at a Tuesday Morning shop locally for $10.

At the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game World Championship this coming weekend in Orlando, auditions are taking place for two voice-over roles in the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions feature film.

Sign up to Matt Worden Games’ email list for a chance to win Days of Discover and either Jump Gate or Dicey Curves.

For 25% off card sleeves from Mayday Games, use coupon code “SUMMERSLEEVES”. They’re calling it a “flash sale”, so the offer expires soon.

Atlas Games is looking for game ideas that work with its Letter Head card decks. The company is going to give away the rules for free and give away product to those who submitted the rules they choose.

Blog and podcast giveaways:

Amazon deals:

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesAfter a 51 year-old Welshpool, U.K. man was accused by his sister of stealing pieces from her Frustration board game, he followed her back to her home and pushed her against the wall. Then when confronted about the incident by his nephew, he punched him in the face. A local magistrate fined the man £635 and issued a restraining order.

Two people were arrested on drug smuggling charges in Northern Ireland after trying to pick up a children’s board game shipped via UPS from Canada that was stuffed with marijuana. Police say evidence leads them to suspect there were other such packages. They did not, however, name the game.

A group of four was photographed playing Mahjong around a table they set up in an MTR train in Hong Kong. However, by the time staff went to investigate, the game was gone.

Swiss Chess player, Yannick Pelletier, was initially refused a visa to attend the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan because of earlier travel to Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenia. After signing a letter stating that the visit was a mistake and promising not to go back, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs relented and granted him that visa.

House-banked gambling on card games is illegal in California, except at tribal casinos. More than 70 non-tribal card rooms continue in business, though, operating under a 2007 letter from the former chief of the Bureau of Gambling Control, Robert Lytle, which declared that as long as the role of dealer was offered to to the whole table every second hand, the game would not be considered illegal even if all the players declined. (When everyone declines, as they usually do, the role of bank is given to a licensed and contracted dealer-of-last-resort. And in any case, the host card room makes money by charging a fee for each hand played.) Lytle left the Bureau, however, shortly after issuing that letter and went to work as a card room consultant. And just recently he settled a complaint that he illegally received information from inside the Bureau on an investigation involving one of his clients. So now, nearly 10 years later, the Bureau is rescinding his letter but has determined that it is OK for the card rooms to reopen the bank position only every 60 minutes, under the condition that if someone new doesn’t assume the role of dealer, the game takes a break for 2 minutes. Card room operators are concerned about what this break will do to their profitability. Tribal casino operators claim that one person acting as dealer for 60 minutes does not meet the statutory requirement that the position be “continuously and systematically rotated amongst each of the participants during the play of the game.”

Similar issues continue to be debated in Florida, where an administrative law judge found that a Jacksonville poker room’s contract with a specific player to act as bank effectively results in a house-banked game.

The former chairman of the Irish Chess Union (ICU) is suing the organization for defamation. At issue is an ICU blog post commenting on his job as an arbiter at a Chess tournament.

An Information Technology Agreement negotiated by members of the World Trade Organization eliminates tariffs on electronic products, including video games and games “operated by coins, banknotes, bank cards, token, or by any other means of payment.”

Steven Russell, CEO of Rite Publishing, was killed in an automobile accident.

In a concurrence on a case involving the regulation of mobile billboards, federal circuit court judge John Owens explained his problem with the controlling Supreme Court precedent by referencing a Monopoly board. He took issue with the fact that while a Los Angeles city ordinance prohibits mobile billboards, cars with equally ugly decals would not “go to jail” but would rather “treat my curb like the upper left corner of a Monopoly board” (a reference, I believe, to the Free Parking space).

New Jersey state Assemblyman Jack M. Ciattarelli introduced legislation that would require school districts to offer varsity letters for all competitive extracurricular activities, such as participating on Chess teams, not just for sports.

Seven people were arrested on gun and drug charges after neighbors complained about a street dice game in Flint, Michigan. Patrolling detectives found “validated gang members” playing a street dice game in Richmond, California. They stopped, broke up the game, and ended up arresting one on gun, drug, and probation violation charges. Police arrested three for illegal gambling after breaking up a dice game in Monroe, Ohio.

Shooting broke out at a dice game in Dallas. Two people were wounded. Both are expected to recover. No arrests were made.

Two men in Washington, D.C. were shot (one of them died) when another two attempted to rob the formers’ street dice game at gunpoint. The assailants have both been arrested and are being charged with first-degree felony murder.

A former Director of Transportation for Toys “R” Us has pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.9 million from the company.

Rebel Minis Launches Iron Keep Press Imprint

Iron Keep PressIron Keep Press is the new publishing division of Rebel Minis, setup thanks to the success of their current line of rulebooks.  The current lines, Mighty Armies (Fantasy) and Red Ops 5 (Modern Horror) are based on miniatures they currently sell. Iron Keep Press will focus on rulesets for existing miniatures, but also ones that are stand alone in many different periods. All rulesets will be offered in print and PDF. Purchasing a print option will also entitle you to the PDF.

The first four releases will be: And a Bottle of Rum (Pirates), Colonial Adventures (Pulp), By Savvy and Steel (17th century Musketeers), and Joust (Medieval). Rebel Minis will also be releasing starter sets and boxed sets of minis for the titles that line up with their current miniature releases.

Gen Con 2016 logoDid Gen Con Indy seem even more crowded this year? That’s because of the turnstile attendance, which measures the number of people attending the show each day. The 2015 show had 197,605 admissions throughout the show; this year the numbers increased about 2.5% to 201,852. However, the unique attendance numbers were slightly down — instead of 61,423 people attending last year, Gen Con 2016 had 604 fewer people attend. Of the 60,819 attendees, a slightly larger percentage of them purchased full 4-Day passes than in the previous year.

Leonard Hoops — the head of Visit Indy, the city of Indianapolis’ tourism board — said that the gaming convention “drives more than $67 million in annual economic activity” to the city, with past conventions bringing in “more than $50 million” in 2014 and $47 million in 2013. This year, he estimated the impact of the convention at $71 million.

While still a large number, with the return of the Future Farmers of America’s convention to Indianapolis in October, Gen Con won’t be the largest show in town. “Indiana is ready and committed to support this event and welcome with open arms the 64,000 FFA members who will come to our capital city each of the next nine years,” said Governor Mike Pence. However, Mayor Greg Ballard stated that the National FFA convention has an “estimated $36 million in annual economic activity” for the city, about half of Gen Con’s.

Gen Con has a contract with the the convention center through 2020. The 50th Gen Con convention will be held in Indianapolis, August 17-20, 2017.

The 2016 Diana Jones Award

cropped-eric-bio-picIndustry professionals consider the Diana Jones Award to be the unofficial kickoff of Gen Con.

Held the night before the game convention opens, the award was presented to Eric M. Lang, the designer of many, many board games including Chaos in the Old World (nominated for the 2010 Diana Jones Award); several living card games for Fantasy Flight Games; and XCOM, the first boardgame that integrated an app for smartphones, tablets, and computers to play against the people at the table (and one of this writer’s favorite boardgames).

The other nominees for this year’s award were:

ConTessa, a gaming organization whose goal is to increase the number of women playing, running, and creating roleplaying games. The organization runs gaming events online and in person, including seminar for women in gaming. Gen Con 2015 saw the first track of ConTessa events run within the convention, “innovatingly creating a con inside a con”.

Fall of Magic, a storytelling game created by Ross Cowman, is printed on a five-foot-long cloth scroll that is unrolled and revealed during play. This artifact as game has a tactile component that brings the players together as they travel in a fantasy world to the birthplace of magic to discover why it is dying.

Larpwriter Summer School, a week-long course about LARP design. The course, began in 2012, is “packed with lectures on design and theory, design exercises, educational games, and playing larps.” The Larpwriter Summer School is part of a larger cooperation project between organizations based in Norway and Belarus.

Pandemic Legacy, a boardgame by Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock, is the game Pandemic, but where actions in previous games have effects in future plays of the game. The Diana Jones committee says “a Pandemic Legacy campaign is an experience unlike anything else in gaming, and the waves it has created are felt across this and many other areas of interactive entertainment.”

Diana Jones Award

The award, named for the still-readable part of the burnt Indiana Jones Role-Playing Game logo encased in the lucite pyramid, was originally awarded to Peter Adkinson in 2001. The Diana Jones Award trophy is returned each year to the DJA Committee for the next award ceremony. This is the sixteenth year for the award ceremony.

The trophy itself is a lucite pyramid mounted on a wooden base, created to “commemorate the expiration of [TSR UK’s] licence to publish the Indiana Jones Role-Playing Game and the subsequent destruction of all unsold copies of the game.” Within the pyramid are burnt pieces of the last copy of TSR UK’s Indiana Jones RPG logo and game elements, including the infamous Nazi™ cardboard tokens. The DJA site claims the award was liberated from the TSR Hobbies office by “forces unnamed” before winding up in the hands of the Diana Jones Award Committee.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTOR is giving away a Pathfinder Tales novel, Starspawn by Wendy N. Wagner.

With every episode, Man vs. Meeple gives away a copy the game they reviewed. The latest is Vast from Leder Games.

Retweet by August 7th for a chance to win Grimtina’s Guard, a Tunnels & Trolls adventure from MetaArcade.

Steve Jackson Games is giving away a bunch of stuff over the next week, some at Gen Con but much of it via social media.

Would you like to be the primary person responsible for the Monopoly brand or help preserve games for museum archives or develop the digital version of a popular card game?

At Hasbro, the numerous open jobs include Senior Director of Global Marketing (“define and drive the global strategy for Family Gaming”), Design Manager (supervise technical design development efforts for a games category product line), and Product Designer (for “Phygital Games” combining physical and digital products). Subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast, is looking for, among others, a Director of Competitive Gaming and eSports for Magic: The Gathering, a Game Designer fluent in Japanese for Duel Masters, and a Principal Product Designer to oversee MtG R&D efforts and “develop strategic direction for block environments.”

Spin Master wants to hire a Public Relations Coordinator to manage outreach to press and a Senior Copywriter to author marketing materials.

Mattel has three Senior Designer positions open in the Boys Toy Box team for people with “a passion for action figures and/or game design.” Also positions for a Sr. Manager Digital Marketing and a Digital Producer.

ThinkFun is looking for a Product Manager and a Senior Product Manager to help organize the company’s projects, keep them moving forward, and manage quality.

Among the people that The Strong (National Museum of Play) is looking for are a Director of Conservation (to preserve games and toys in its collections), a Project Cataloger (to digitize and inventory games and puzzles), and a Teaching Host (to work with visiting school groups).

Ceaco (A.K.A. Gamewright) needs a Sales & Marketing Coordinator to assist with accounts, prepare marketing materials, and analyze sales data.

White Wizard Games (Star Realms) has an opening for a Digital Deckbuilder, that is, someone with experience in server-side apps and “a passion for card games.”

Thames & Kosmos needs a Purchasing & Planning Coordinator for analyzing sales data, managing inventories, and working with suppliers.

TOMY (Battroborg, Mr. Mouth) is recruiting for several positions: Brand Assistant, Digital Merchandising Manager, and Legal & Marketing Coordinator.

Toobeez (U.S. distributor of Funskool games from India) seeks a Junior Sales and Marketing Executive to help with social media, email marketing, and specialty retailer support.

The Toy Industry Association needs a Communications Specialist/Content Developer and a Director of Audience Relations. Both positions have a fair amount to do with New York Toy Fair.

Toyjobs is a specialty recruiter for the toy industry.

My Little Pony Plays Dungeons & Dragons

Friendship & MagicThe gang from My Little Pony play Dungeons & Dragons on this new t-shirt from Hasbro. Shirts run $25-29, with profits from the sale going to the Points of Light Foundation.

Join the adventuring party of Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and of course Pinkie Pie, for the most pony-riffic celebration of friendship this side of the Forgotten Realms!

Friendship & Magic

It’s How We Roll

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