All 12 scheduled games of the World Chess Championship have been completed, with neither Magnus Carlsen, the reigning champion, or Fabiano Caruana, the challenger, declared the winner. In fact, there was no winner in any one of the individual games.

The match will now move to four games of rapid Chess (25 minutes per player per game, plus 10 seconds per move). If there is no winner after that, there will be two games of blitz (5 minutes plus 3 seconds per move), followed by two more, and finally an Armageddon game, in which White gets an extra minute but Black wins on a draw.

In any case, a champion will be declared on Wednesday.

Drawn games are common in higher level play and the last World Championship also ended regular games at a tie. For the first time in the tournament’s history, however, all games played under classical time controls finished with a draw.

The last draw attracted some criticism for Carlsen, who offered it at the first opportunity (draws by mutual agreement are not permitted in the first 30 moves) despite being in a favorable, if somewhat complicated, position.

But it seems Carlsen was playing the game for a draw. Caruana, only 3 ratings points behind the champion in classic time controls, put up a good fight throughout the previous games. In rapid and blitz, however, Carlsen remains the top ranked player, while Caruana is number 10 and number 18, respectively. Carlsen apparently prefers his odds in these tighter games.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFrom CMON, save up to 80% on select items through Monday.

Save 33% on more than 47,000 items at DriveThruRPG.

Academy Games’ Be Thankful You Are Not Being Invaded by Vikings Sale pairs 878 Vikings with various other games for bundle discounts.

Through Tuesday, all in-stock boxed games from Flying Pig are 50% off.

Also through Tuesday, in-stock games from Tiny Battle Publishing are 25% off.

Subscriptions to the Magnus Trainer mobile Chess training app are 25% off.

Amazon deals:

Avalanche Press’ Black November Sale applies to Gold Club members, giving them 30% off 37 different products and 50% off two others.

The first 15 orders save up to €1,000 on Altar gaming tables in Rathskellers’ Black Friday Sale.

Save up to 20% in The Broken Token’s Black Friday Sale.

Meeple Source’s Thanksgiving Sale features discounts of 25-75%.

For 25% off in Firelock Games’s Raise the Black Flag Friday Sale, use coupon code “raisetheblack”.

For 20% off in Breaking Games’ Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale, use coupon code “BFCM2018”.

For 40% off most books from Goodman Games (excluding leather-bound and third-party products) and 20% off everything else (including the leather-bound books, as well as dice and other accessories) use the following coupon codes: “GGblackfriday2018”, “3PPblackfriday2018”, and “LEblackfriday2018” (multiple codes are accepted).

Mayday Games’ Black Friday Sale includes discounts on various board games, 35% off card sleeves, and free domestic shipping on orders over $50.

U.K. retailer Zatu Games is offering double rewards in its Victory Points loyalty program.

Save 20% in HasbroToyShop’s Friends & Family Sale with promo code “FF20”.

Top Shelf Gamer is offering discounts up to 25% on select products and bundles and free gifts ranging from stickers to dice bags to gift cards, depending on the size of the original order. This Black Friday Bling Weekend Event ends in the early hours of Tuesday.

Save 30% on orders from Renegade Game Studios with promo code “BFSALE”.

All Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Pathfinder PDFs are 75% off. Ends Tuesday.

Discounts are in the 20-45% range in Van Ryder Games’ Thanksgiving Week Sale.

Monte Cook Games’ Cypher Monday Sale starts Monday. Already active, though, is the gift code “2018MCGHolidayGift”, good for $5.

German retailer Spiel Zeit Shop is holding a sale on used and imported games.

Troll & Toad’s Black Friday Sale (discounts up to 60%) end Sunday night.

Drinking Quest games are 20% off.

The Game Crafter’s Turkey Day Giveaway of store credit and parts ends December 4th and will have seven winners.

Coupon code “BlackFriday2018Cards” is good for 10% off card decks from Superior Print on Demand, and “BlackFriday2018Photo” is good for 10% off photo products.

Bundle of Holding’s Indie Cornucopia 6 bundle features Dusk City Outlaws, Spire, and a few more.

90 Second Nerd is giving away Captive from Van Ryder Games.

Sign up for Iron Crown Enterprises’ newsletter for a chance to win $10 off at RPGNow.

To save 33% on purchases from Precis Intermedia, use coupon code “9WAZXMNUYN”.

JasonTDnDDM is giving away the alternate-art Dungeons & Dragon core rules gift set. Retweet by December 12th.

ShimmerwindIsle is giving away a dragon miniature and polyhedral dice set. Twitter stuff required by November 27th.

Cassandra M’s Place is giving away three games from Tactic Games.

Sahm Reviews is running many giveaways, including Dungeon Raiders from Devir, Hero Realms from White Wizard, Blue Lagoon from Blue Orange, and more.

Syrinscape is offering a 30-day free trial to all of its gaming soundsets, including Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, and more.

From Corvus Belli, save up to 50% and get free shipping with orders over €150.

Eagle-Gryphon Games’ Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale includes discounts up to 50%.

Alderac Entertainment Group is doing bundle deals for its Black Friday Sale.

Greenbrier Games is also doing the bundle thing, plus on Monday, get 10% off with sale code “2018GAMES”.

Hexbug’s Black Friday special BattleBots Championship Bundle is good for $25 savings.

Harn World PDFs from Columbia Games are 33% off with coupon code “thanks”.

Dog Might Games’ Black Friday deals include free dice at orders of $100 and free gift cards at orders of $250. Purchased gift cards are 20% off.

Games listed in Compass Games’ Holiday Catalog [PDF] are 30% off. Get the same discounts when ordering online with coupon code “HOLIDAY18”.

Update (4:00 PM ET, 11/23/2018) with late additions:

Osprey Publishing’s 30% off Black Friday Sale includes Gaslands, Frostgrave, Bolt Action, High Society, and more.

Steve Jackson Games’ Warehouse 23 Hauliday Sale has discounts of 23-75% and free gifts with orders of $25 or more.

Rogue Genius Games has bundles all 117 of the company’s Pathfinder PDFs for just $10 (normally more than $400). They’re calling it the Not Done With This Path Yet Sale.

Kenzer & Company’s Hack Friday Sale includes many items at 50% off.

For 20% off all board games from Capstone Games, use coupon code “HOLIDAYS20”.

The Open Gaming Store is running a Real Stuff Sale on print roleplaying products.

The Infinite Black Friday Sale means 20% off playmats from Infinite Black.

Save 30% on Beasts of Balance with coupon code “BFSAVE30”.

Use the “CRITHIT” code for a $5 savings at Hero Forge.

Everything is 20% off in Litko’s Black Friday Sale.

For 20% savings on Jenga Giant, use code “JengaGiant2018”.

Most things from PSC Games are on-sale for 25% off.

Crowdfunding Highlights

 

How do you like your Pathfinder? The Adventure Omnibus Kickstarter combines every single A, B, and C-series adventure released by Adventureaweek.com (AAW Games) from 2010-2018. And it’s quite extensive, which is to be expected for an eight year omnibus. A-Series dealswith the struggle of nature vs. civilization, with cause and effect as opposed to good and evil having a profound and lasting impact upon the world in which the players exist. The B-series has over 24 adventures designed for use in any campaign setting and a multitude of environments. And finally the C-series involves dungeons and exotic encounters with challenges which are more a battle of cunning and wits than might. You can find the path to adventure (see what i did there?) here.

The thing I love about the next campaign is the warning to not use them as oven mitts. These meeple themed stocking have five days to go as of this post and are set for delivery this year! Do you have a gamer on your Christmas list? (my bad of course you do) You can spread some holiday cheer by chcking out the campaign here.

 

Cubicle 7 needs artists and writers for its tabletop RPG team.

The Department of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz is accepting applications for part-time, on-call Lecturers in fields that include game studies, interactive storytelling, experience design, and board game design.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut is taking applications for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor in Game Design and Development. The program is focused on “serious, meaningful analog and digital games.”

Steamforged Games in Manchester, U.K. is looking for a Game Developer and a Quality Assurance Playtester. The latter supports the former with testing of products. Both will also assist with marketing efforts.

In Oxford, Osprey Games has an opportunity for a Games Developer to manage board and card game projects. Requires deep knowledge of the game market and organization and negotiation skills.

The Dice Tower is looking for a new full-time Video Editor to work in the Homestead, Florida area starting January.

RPG Therapeutics is looking for experienced Game Masters to run weekly roleplaying game sessions for at-risk youth. The part-time positions in the Spokane, Washington area are paid but also require professional experience in educational settings.

Package Right has openings for Print Power Cutters and Packaging Specialists at its manufacturing plant in Tipton, Indiana. Shifts are 11 hours long.

Ludo Fact is looking for an Assembly Line Supervisor, a Picker and Packer, and a Certified Forklift Operator for its game manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFantasy Grounds is giving away an Ultimate license along with modules for Dungeons & Dragons Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

ChiTAG and Brilliant PR are giving away a package of eight board games from various publishers.

Game Trade Media is giving away a Dungeons & Dragons prize package that includes the rule books, miniatures, dice, a large format Forgotten Realms map, Endless Quest books, and more.

Spiel Pro has discounted Chessex polyhedral dice sets 20% (expiring on the 23rd).

Man vs Meeple is giving away 12 different board games. The deadline for entries is the 27th.

Missing Sleep is giving away Catan from Asmodee (UK only).

Miniature Market’s Black Friday Sale started early.

In Rogue Games’ Thanksgiving Sale, three RPG titles are 35% off.

Everything is discounted in Noble Knight Games’ Holiday Sale.

Pixelated Cardboard is giving away two download codes for mobile versions of Morels (Android or iOS).

Wyrd Games’ Thanksgiving Birthday Sale includes limited releases and a free figure for orders of $150 or more.

Multi-Man Publishing’s Fall Sale, including some discounts in excess of 50%, ends tomorrow night.

Save up to 40% in Revolution Games’ November Sale.

Get 35 books, everything from the first three editions of the Champions superhero RPG, for just $32 in Bundle of Holding’s Early Champions offer. For the non-superhero stuff from Hero Games, look to the Early Hero System offer.

What’s Eric Playing is giving away two copies of ICECOOL2 from Brain Games.

At ThinkGeek, board games are on-sale 25% off.

In recognition of the product requiring a second manufacturing run, Infinite Black is giving away a complete Elder Dice set, nine polyhedrals plus an extra nine d6s in each of three colors, along with matching boxes.

Renegade Game Studios is giving away Architects of the West Kingdom.

Everything Board Games is giving away Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates from Forbidden Games, Guardians of Wayword from Kid Loves Tiger Games, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig from Stonemaier Games, and two copies of Terminus Breach from Matty Lloyd.

Get a free Christmas Colouring Pad with every order direct from Orchard Toys.

Set Enterprises Early Black Friday Sale means 25% off and free domestic shipping with promo code “THANKS208”. Also, the company will donate a copy of Karma for every one purchased before the 30th. And Set is running giveaways on the company Facebook page.

Post a holiday wish list to Facebook or Instagram by December 1st for a chance to win $250 in Playfoam products and a $250 Amazon gift card from Educational Insights. It’s the Squishlist Giveaway.

The Giveaway Geek is giving away Affectionate Cats and Cuddles from Blue Heron Entertainment, a Kickstarter pledge for Arcane Alley from Strange Space Games, a Kickstarter pledge for Level 7 Omega Protocol from Privateer Press, three copies of BunneeBank from Heeleet, and three copies of Fantasy Pug Quest from Tin Hat Games.

Feisty Frugal & Fabulous is giving away Fortnite Monopoly from Hasbro.

Michigan Savings & More is giving away a package of five games from Endless Games and a separate package of three from ThinkFun.

Mom and More is giving away The Baby Beluga Game from CooperativeGames.com.

Mama’s Mission is giving away three games from Wonder Forge.

Wizards of the Coast’s Waterdeep Dragon Heist adventure for Dungeons & Dragons is something very different and I’m of two minds about it. Meant for characters levels 1-5, it’s no dungeon crawl, MacGuffin quest, or wilderness expedition, rather an investigative style adventure set in one of the Forgotten Realms’ most famous urban locales. Supplementing that part of the book is a 25 page visitor’s guide to Waterdeep written from the perspective of an iconic Realms character.

On the positive side, Dragon Heist provides a distinctive fun adventure for low-level characters, one that combines interesting combat encounters with a variety of roleplaying opportunities, engaging story, and intrigue-filled backdrop. Part of the way through, the players’ characters may end up owning their own city property to use as a base of operations.

I love how Dragon Heist brings the city of Waterdeep to life with social and political factions, historic and mundane locations, and oh so many characters! The complex life of the city is even reflected in the art, which features a number of normal looking street scenes.

On the negative side are difficult to accept plot devices and confusing superfluous content. Now perhaps I should be more willing to suspend disbelief—players in the games I run tend to be a lot more forgiving—but some of these are very weak or poorly constructed. There’s the sentient artifact that resists revealing its secret to anyone but the player characters, the search for a creature that comes down to borrowing someone’s already-made custom detector device, bad guys that bungle their schemes just enough to attract the characters’ attention, and chase scenes rigged for a certain result.

What bothers me the most, though, is not the adventure but the structure of the product. The book takes 60 pages to describe lairs that, if the story unfolds as intended, the players should never visit. And, while the ultimate prize offered the characters is the same, the book presents four alternate antagonists, each with their own extended encounter sequence. The situations faced in these alternate encounters are different but they’re set in many of the same locations. Except, in a way, the secret location of the ultimate prize. That depends, for no apparent reason, on whom the DM has chosen to oppose the characters.

Why this convoluted setup? More than unnecessary, it creates major characters with inspiring motivations for the story line but then asks you to ignore most of them. I suggest two possible explanations. One, it fills out the page count. The essential part of the adventure is just not enough for a $50 hardcover. Or two, it’s designed to support streaming. Four alternatives to a significant part of the story means more variety among the groups streaming their games, as well as improving the possibility of groups playing at home without the whole story being spoilered by a favorite stream.

With all of this in mind, Waterdeep Dragon Heist presents a fine adventure that is particularly well-suited for new players or others who might be looking for more mystery and more role-playing than dungeon-raiding. New Dungeon Masters, however, might find the details, complexities, and difficult plot issues a bit much to handle. Otherwise, it is a fantastic resource for an urban campaign in the Forgotten Realms. There is so much more than the one story in this product to inspire a DM, hints, hooks, locations, legends, and complex characters.

A complimentary copy of Waterdeep Dragon Heist was provided by Wizards of the Coast for review.

Peeing Pup

New from Hasbro is Peeing Pup, a hot-potato style game of the potty-humor variety. Pass the battery-operated puppy when it barks. Hope it doesn’t spray before it’s your turn to pass it on to the next player.

Kids’ll love it, I’m sure. But probably not the best choice when trying to convince your family to adopt a dog.

Peeing Pup ($20) from Hasbro is exclusive to Walmart through the holiday season.

 

One of the most anticipated titles of the year, Avalon Hill’s new Betrayal Legacy retains the spooky theme of its predecessor, Betrayal at House on the Hill, but is customized over multiple games. Players explore the house’s murderous origins in the year 1666 and the obsession of successive generations of residents through 2004. After 13 chapters, they have a replayable game and a haunted house with a unique history.

Betrayal Legacy was designed by Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy, Risk Legacy, Seafall). Suggested retail price is $75.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesSave 50% on tickets to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair with coupon code “CHITAGPLAY”.

For the company’s fifth anniversary, Dog Might Games has discounted in-stock items 10-25%.

Xai is giving away RPG-related accessories, including dice, a dice bag, and fantasy-themed scented candles.

Ending at midnight tonight is a giveaway from Blue Orange Games and Bubble Bum that includes three games and an inflatable child’s booster seat.

Save 15% on games from HasbroToyShop with promo code “WINNING!”.

Laid Back Games is giving away Super Mario Level Up! from USAopoly.

Mom and More is giving away The Baby Beluga Game from Child and Nature.

Feisty Frugal & Fabulous is giving away Fortnite Monopoly from Hasbro.

Preorder Yaah! magazine issue number 12 from Flying Pig Games for a 28% discount.

Greenbrier Games has several discounted bundles on-sale for the holiday shopping season.

The latest deal at Bundle of Holding is another collection of Fate games, including Fate Core, Fate Accelerated, Bulldogs, Kaiju Incorporated, and Elysium Flare.

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The card game Uno, along with pinball and the Magic 8 Ball, were Thursday inducted in to the National Toy Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Selection for the Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have “inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period.”

Uno was invented in 1971 by an Ohio father as a variation on Crazy Eights to play with his family. He financed the initial print run of 5,000 games himself but later sold the rights to International Games, which itself was acquired by Mattel in 1992. Gameplay involves getting rid of one’s cards by matching color, number, or symbol, as well as playing wild cards or cards that affect turn order.

Other toys in the Hall of Fame include Etch A Sketch, jigsaw puzzles, marbles, and last year’s inductees, Clue, the Wiffle Balle, and paper airplanes.

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