Meeple Source

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.

12705169_151308598584453_2493438227099948849_nTaking place on International TableTop Day, April 30th, the Inaugural Connecticut Festival of Indie Games will be held in Southington, CT. The festival, as its name suggests, is all about independent games, designers, and publishers. Backed by Geek Fever Games, they hope to draw independent games from all over the northeast US.

If you’re interested, you can snag tickets here. There’s also a Facebook page setup for the event here.

I’ll be there for sure!

According to Bloomberg, Hasbro and Mattel have discussed a potential merger. No concrete steps are said to have been taken for a deal that would likely face significant regulatory and other hurdles. And in fact, other sources suggest the deal is definitely not going forward. But imagine the crossover potential! I’m thinking the next American Girl Girl of the Year is a competitor on the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. Or what might the attachments look like for a Monster High Mr. Potato Head?

Hasbro Mattel Crossover Potential

purplepawn1_smToday marks 8 years since Yehuda posted the first article on Purple Pawn! Since then, Purple Pawn has seen 7,573 additional articles published. Thank you to all the reporters who’ve contributed over the years. And thank all of you for reading!


Gamer Garden Gnome

Declare your home gamer-friendly right there on the front lawn with this Geeky Garden Gnome ($15) from BigMouth.

Gamer Garden Gnome

Paper Money

FunskoolApparently working toward an IPO, CMON Limited (also known as CoolMiniOrNot) has secured $5.3 million in a series A financing round through Quantum Asset Management of Singapore.

Toobeez, maker of eponymous construction toys, has signed a deal with the MRF Group of India, making the former exclusive distributor of Funskool brand products in the United States—puzzles, games, infant and preschool toys, and arts & crafts.

After a short 4 month effort with two stores, Toys “R” Us is calling it quits on Ireland.

Kalmbach Publishing of Wisconsin, which puts out the magazines Discover and Model Railroader, among others, is entering the game business with the purchase of Rather Dashing Games, publisher of Dwarven Miner and more. Rather Dashing’s Mike Richie and Grant Wilson will remain on to run the operation.

Burning Wheel Headquarters has taken over publishing duties for the Dungeon World roleplaying game. Designers Sage La Torra and Adam Koebel will continue to direct development of the game.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesBoard Game Giveaway is currently running three:

Notable Amazon board games sales include:

Spectrum Games’ core RPG rulebooks are on-sale for $9 each: Retrostar; Cartoon Action Hour; Wild West Cinema; and Capes, Cowls, and Villains Foul.

In honor of “The Big Game”, Strat-O-Matic football products are 30% off through next Monday.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, High Flying Dice Games will give $5.00 off on its Professional Series games to anyone who’s a friend of the company on Facebook.

In recognition of lousy weather, Paizo is offering 10% discounts with coupon code “rain16”.

Four deals are running right now at Bundle of Holding:

  • Swords and Sorcerers, starting at $9 with such games as Shadow, Sword, & Spell; Barbarians of Lemuria; Sorcerers of Ut-Turuk; and Katanas & Trenchcoats – Ultragoth Edition.
  • Champions Fifth Edition, which starts at $20 but includes rule books and supplements for Hero System and Champions.
  • Ultimate Champions, featuring even more sourcebooks starting at $15.
  • Osprey Adventures +2, starting at $8 for books about Wizards, The Nazi Occult, Werewolves, The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, and more.

Crowdfunding Highlights

A campaign for a new version of Apocalypse World (my favorite RPG game system) went up on Kickstarter yesterday and it’s nearly funded two times over. It’s such a good system that several other games have been created using the same game engine. The skeleton of the setting is there — something happened to the world more than a generation ago, but not that far away in recent memory — presented in a way that drives the action. You decide what the apocalypse is: Mad Max-ian atomic wasteland? Nature run rampant? Global warming with drowned coastlines? $28+shipping gets you a physical copy.


Apocalypse World’s creator, Vincent Baker, also runs a Patreon where you can support him designing games (and, in his words, “watch them die”.) A three dollar monthly donation grants you access to contribute in discussion at his patrons-only message board, including a monthly private discussion. Interested in AW? There’s some early playtest notes in there.

Perhaps your apocalypse is more zombie-flavored? The Walking Dead: All Out War, is a miniatures battle game based on the comic book. But it’s not suvivors versus zombies, it’s survivors versus other groups with the walkers reacting to every move. Already unlocked at the $125 level: 11 survivors, 12 walkers, with more to come. Already funded, you have the entire month of February to pick this one up from Mantic Games.

shoesSpeaking of miniatures, Oathsworn Miniatures just has a few days left in their Heroines in Sensible Shoes campaign. These are fantasy miniatures of female adventurers wearing… sensible armor and clothing. Chainmail bikinis, boob armor that directs swords to the sternum, exposed legs, revealing cleavage, or jutting buttocks? Not here. Just women adventurers dressed how they would logically dress when suiting up to raid a dragon’s hoard. About $7 for a miniature, $19 for three.

Let’s talk dice. Trayser Metal Works creates cast metal gaming dice in their garage and they’re looking to upgrade their metal shop to handle higher production volumes. They feature nine impressive dice shapes and styles in four different metals. Take a look at this amazing album on imgur to see how they do it! Individual dice are available as rewards for about every $14 pledged to the project.

Mimic Dice Bag

New from Ultra PRO, the Dungeons & Dragons Mimic Gamer Pouch ($17).

Mimic Dice Bag

Toy Like Me

Number 1 in this week’s Highlights isn’t a game. I’m not even sure the campaign is thinking about games rather than just toys. But it’s a cause worthy of our support. And that cause is #ToyLikeMe, an effort to have better representation of people with disabilities in children’s toys. The #ToyLikeMe campaign has already brought Playmobil around to the idea of producing figures with disabilities. And just today, Lego revealed a minifigure in a wheelchair. To help keep the campaign growing, though, its organizers are asking for £16,000 to develop a professional website and associated resources. Drop a little in the hat, will you?

Crowdfunding campaign number 2 this week is for a card game version of Manhattan Project, Minion Games’ title about developing and building nuclear weapons. I love the original and Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction looks to be a great translation. Of course all elements of the game—workers, resources, buildings, etc.—are now represented by cards. A more interesting difference, however, lies in the fact that at the end of each turn, a player has to discard every factory, every university, everything that’s not a resource or a bomb. This means that the industrial engines that players chain together will now constantly need to be refreshed.

Thief’s Market from Tasty Minstrel Games is about dividing and spending loot. The loot is represented by dice, which the players take turns either selecting from the center or grabbing from one of their fellow thieves. Then when the dice are all split up, they can be spent on finery, useful items, or henchmen, each of which confers some later benefit. At the end, the thief with the most notoriety wins. That is campaign number 3.

Fabulous BeastsNumber 4 is Fabulous Beasts. This one, at first, looks like a typical stacking game. Three-dimensional animal figures are placed on top of each other until something gives and everything falls. But that’s not actually the whole deal. Fabulous Beasts also integrates a sensor platform, such that as the animals are stacked a unique virtual world and story unfolds in a linked tablet app.

Finally, at number 5 is Olympus Inc, an urban fantasy setting book for the Savage Worlds roleplaying game. Olympus Inc is the story of a magical war between Titans and Olympians taking place in, but hidden from, modern society. With Olympians developing their power through corporate intrigue and the magical war hidden from the perception of ordinary people, Olympus Inc has a distinct cyberpunk element as well.

Chainmail First EditionA set of supplementary rules used back in 1970 to adapt ancients-era miniature war games to the battles found in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings turns out to have provided inspiration and a source of material for the first edition of Chainmail, itself a precursor to Dungeons & Dragons. These rules, developed by Leonard Patt for the New England Wargamers Association, were recently rediscovered by author Jon Peterson in an obscure newsletter from the time, The Courier. Peterson’s careful analysis demonstrates how Patt’s rules for wizards, heroes, dragons, and fireballs were borrowed by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren for the Fantasy Supplement of Chainmail.

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