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The Local Scene
Briscon Update!Yes, it's here again. Briscon '98 will be happenning on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May, at the University of Queensland once again. The application forms have just been released through all the gaming stores, so pick one up and get yourself in there. Or check out all the info on their website: http://www.starvision.net.au/johnc/briscon/briscon.html
Briscon is the only chance the rather fragmented gaming community of Brisbane gets to come together and share ideas and have a great time. Even if you're not playing in one of the events, come down and check out the great array of games on sale, have some food, join the fun, and show your support for gaming in Brisbane. Don't miss out.
Well, besides that, there is very little to report in our first issue of the local gaming news. Briscon is still a few months away, university gaming clubs like QUGS haven't started up yet, and all in all, things are pretty quiet. So I've decided to simply look at some of the hot new games that have just arrived on the gaming shelves in Brisbane. Those of you in other areas of the world may consider this old news, but we're a little behind the times somewhat when it comes to the latest games.
The Most Holy Trinity
The hottest new arrival on the shelves is White Wolf's big new SF game, Trinity. White Wolf have published it in a ring-binder (an idea that Harnmaster first came up with) so new supplements can just be clipped in as you buy them. The problem with this is that you can't write advertising blurb on a smooth glossy folder. To get around this, White Wolf have released a prospectus, if you will, of the game, which covers the basic rules, details of character design, which includes some details of the setting, and an outline of a typical adventure. So you can just pick it up and get a very good idea of what the game is like. Ask your gaming store if they have a copy available.
From the prospectus, I managed to glean that the system looks pretty good. It is similar to the system used in White Wolf's World of Darkness games, but even more simplified. Players have four basic attributes (basically Physical, Mental, Social and Will-Power (psionics)) which are rated from one to four. They also have a few skills, and then they have eight points to spend on Psychic abilities, and eight points of health, and they have to choose which type of psychic to be, out of a list of eight. Makes you wonder why they called it Trinity, doesn't it?
Well, it's called Trinity, because that is the name of this big conglomerate that runs everything, of which the players are members. And, as usual for White Wolf, the conglomerate is at war with someone. Players take the roles of the new weapons in this war - super-human psychic warriors. It sounds very much the same as all White Wolf releases, but the setting is very stylish (it's accompanied with some great, almost manga-style artwork) and rather well done, and looks like it has enough depth on its own to attract a similar following as the World of Darkness games. And it looks like they've taken some time out to fix up some of the problems with the rules as well. Watch out for this one.
More White Wolf
Speaking of White Wolf, also just arrived are three new supplements for the World of Darkness setting. In the Wraith Guildbook series, we have a double edition - two guilds in one. Entitled Pardoners and Puppeteers, it deals, not surprisingly, with these two guilds in the standard style of all the other Guildbooks, and hence is just as full of ideas, and just as necessary to your campaign. The only difference is that this one is better value for money than usual. Definitely a good idea on White Wolf's part.
For Changeling, we have The Book of Houses, a big thick reference guide to all the Fey Houses, both old and new. Certainly lots of ideas there as well. Lastly, we have Kindred of the East for Vampire, which brings a new twist to the vampire world in introducing the very strange blood-suckers that inhabit the Orient.
Last but not least, the new "alternative setting" World of Darkness game: Werewolf: The Wild West arrived here a little while ago, but deserves a mention. Back in those days, the Garou ran wild across the plains, and ruled the land rather than hiding from society. From all reports, this change in the Garou's status makes for a more high-powered, more free-wheeling and more violent game. Ouch.
The Megaverse WeeklyPalladium Games' game of cross-dimensional multi-universe mish-mash any-setting, do-anything, be-anything super-heroes, Rifts, has now got to big for its Megaverse. It seems there is so much material for Rifts popping up - new rules, character classes, settings, articles etc that they can't possibly put them all into new supplements. Hence, the new Rifts' "magazine", The Rifter. This is basically for players to pick up and scavenge through, and as well as the above stuff, is crammed full with player's hints, gaming tips, discussion from the writers and a guide to new and upcoming releases. All this means that this is a big 100- page book, not a magazine, but it's grab-bag, varied content stops it from being called a sourcebook. An interesting idea, anyway.
More Science Fiction
The Traveller guys continue their bombardment of supplements with three more releases: Missions of State, a collection of short adventures, Annililik Run (try saying that three times fast) a full-length adventure and Imperial Squadron, with more info on the Empire, and some adventure ideas. So Traveller GMs have no excuses for running out of ideas.
And from West End Games, for their new MIB game, we have the Director's Guide, and a new sourcebook, Aliens: A Recognition Guide, Volume 1. These look a little on the thin side, but given the light-hearted, style-over-substance nature of MIB, this shouldn't detract too much from the quality.
Although there is precious little going on on the role-playing scene, there is something for all you wargamers out there. Ace Comics and Games, on Adelaide Street, are currently having a miniature painting competition. You can call them for details on 3221 5197, or just drop on in. As well as having heaps of wargaming stuff (they've just recieved a huge new stock of Warhammer figures), they also carry RPGs, books, videos and of course, comics. It's a small operation, but worth checking out. Say hi to Dion and the guys from us.
If you're looking for some more gaming info, or some of those aforementioned hot new releases, then may we also recommend The Daily Planet, on Elizabeth Street, opposite Sizzler's (phone 3221 8064), or Nothing But Games, which is Shop 7, at 281 Logan Road, Stones Corner (phone 3847 4999). NBG are really quite superb because, unlike most so-called gaming shops, they don't also fill their shops with comics, books, chess sets, or anything else they feel they need to attract customers. For once in Brisbane, we have a shop that sells nothing but games. Drop in for a look - or a game - sometime, and find out why this is the best gaming store in the city.
Oh, and if you like a good deal, check out the bargain bin at NBG - not-very-old World of Darkness books like Mage and Wraith for under $20 bucks! Plus some old time classics, like Basic D&D modules, and a lot of stuff in-between. Gotta get me some of that.
Well, that's all from us for this issue. See you next time.
Heard about something happening around town? Let us know here.
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