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News and other things from around the gaming world

This Night of Nights

Well, it's that time of year again. The winners of the Origin Awards for 1998 have been announced! For those who don't know, the Origins Awards are the Oscars of roleplaying. They were created by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design in 1974, and have been rewarding the pinnacle of game design ever since. The nominees in each category are chosen by the Academy members, with the winner then voted by both the Academy and the public. In addition, the Academy inducts classic games into the Hall of Fame. The winners are announced every year at the Origins International Game Expo, which is held in Columbus, Ohio.

We have the full list of all the winners here. What was most interesting to see here was that some usually strong contenders like Chaosium and White Wolf picked up nothing, wheras Wizards got themselves a swag. However, Pinnacle continued its great run with its Deadlands line winning five awards. The Knights won best magazine again, and Middle Earth maintained its title as best PBEM. It was also interesting to some retro titles coming through - Greyhawk, Dragonlance etc. Despite its many nominations, Cheapass games also failed to score a win, with FASA sweeping the best board game for its new Crimson Skies, which is attracting a lot of praise. Finally, a big round of applause for Last Unicorn, who picked up Best RPG for Star Trek:TNG. Well done, guys!

Best Abstract Board Game of 1998:
What Were You Thinking? Wizards of the Coast

Best Historical Board Game of 1998:
Great War at Sea: Plan Orange Avalance

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game of 1998:
Crimson Skies FASA Corp.

Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game of 1998:
Crimson Skies FASA Corp.

Best Action Computer Game of 1998:
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron LucasArts

Best Roleplaying Computer Game of 1998:
Baldur's Gate Interplay

Best Strategy Computer Game of 1998:
Starcraft Blizzard/Havas

Best Amateur Game Magazine of 1998:
Mythic Perspectives (Ars Magica) Gnawing Ideas

Best Professional Game Magazine of 1998:
Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine Kenzer & Co.

Best Trading Card Game of 1998:
Doomtown: Deadlands CCG Pinnacle

Best Traditional Card Game of 1998:
Guillotine Wizards of the Coast

Best Card Game Expansion or Supplement of 1998:
Magic: The Gathering: Uzra's Saga Wizards of the Coast

Best Graphic Presentation of a Card Game of 1998:
Doomtown: Deadlands CCG Pinnacle

Best Game-Related Novel of 1998:
The Silent Blade Wizards of the Coast

Best Game-Related Short Work of 1998:
Leftovers Pinnacle

Best Roleplaying Adventure of 1998:
Return to the Tomb of Horrors Wizards of the Coast

Best Roleplaying Supplement of 1998:
Greyhawk: The Adventure Begin Wizards of the Coast

Best Roleplaying Game of 1998:
Star Trek: The Next Generation RPG Last Unicorn

Best Graphic Presentation of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement of 1998:
Dragonlance Bestiary Wizards of the Coast

Best Historical Figure Miniatures Series of 1998:
25mm Darkest Africa Guernsey Foundry

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Figure Miniature of 1998:
Hangin' Judge Pinnacle

Best Vehicular Miniature of 1998:
Velocipede Pinnacle

Best Historical Miniatures Rules of 1998:
Medieval Warfare Terry Gore

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures Rules of 1998:
Battletech Master Rules FASA Corp.

Best New Play-by-Mail Game of 1998:
Dungeon Madhouse USA

Best Ongoing Play-by-Mail Game of 1998:
Middle Earth PBM Fourth Age Game Systems

1999 Inductees into the Hall of Fame:
Richard Garfield
Magic: The Gathering Designer: Richard Garfield, Wizards of the Coast

Conjure Dispelled?

News just at hand indicates that brand new Brisbane convention Conjure will not be returning for a second year in 1999. It will, however, return in 2000, bigger and brighter, and has retained the right to its name. A distinct convention will however be running in late 1999, going by the name of ConFuzoin. However, the committee for this convention is not yet formalised, and no further details have come to light yet.

Meanwhile, John Pope, of the Hit Point, will be running a convention later this year based around AEG's Legend of the Five Rings line. Called "Go No Con", it will run on October 2nd and 3rd. It will feature at least one RPG event, a Clan Wars (the Lo5R miniatures game) tournament and a CCG tournament on the Sunday. More details can be found at this website.

Corrections and Redirections

In Issue 3, we included a link to the Sydney RPG convention Necronomicon. One of its organisers mailed us and requested we advise our readers that the site has now moved to this address. We'd like to add that, judging from the website, Necronomicon is one top-notch con, so if you live in the area, get yourself out there this October!

Also, Issue 7 featured a link to the online RPG zine Beyond. It's editor writes to tell us it has also moved, to here. He continues to point out that some of the presentation problems mentioned in the review of the zine have now been fixed. So why not take another look?

Future Fiddling

In response to the readers survey and changing situations, you'll be seeing some changes happening around the magazine soon, including the possibility of a new look. This issue, we feature a first for us: an interview with game designer Luke Payne. And it seems other game designers are falling over themselves for us to talk to them or review their games. So in the next issue, we will be featuring our very first RPG review. But only if that meets with the approval of our fans. If you don't want to see reviews in PTG, PTB, now's the time to let us know.

In a similar vein, we are currently thinking about pursuing some sort of advertising to help cover some of the costs of the zine. If this is implemented, we assure you it will not impede with the readability or quality of the content in any way. But again, we don't want to do anything which will upset or annoy our readers' vision of what this mag is all about. So if you've got anything against ads, please also let us know.

Finally, with this issue we are dropping our official commitment to a bi-monthly timetable. Due to changing situations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet this sort of regularity. We are not going to adopt a quarterly (or any other) timetable, because we just don't know yet how things will work out. We'll do our best to keep the zines coming out as often as we can.

Luckily, we already have a system in place to help deal with this. When you subscribe to PTGPTB, you simply send us your email and we email you personally the second our new issue goes on line. This means you don't have to keep checking back to see if we're up, and we don't have to worry about our fans missing an issue. It's easier for you, and it's easier for us.

PTG, PTB Makes Cheap Move for More Hits: Big Breast-Plated Barbarian Babes!

Well, I'm no suma cum laude when it comes to the mother tongue. So this will probably suck big time, and probably blow up all over our face, leaving a big sticky wet patch. You'll probably think we need to be spanked or whipped for writing it. Well, we hate to prick your balloon, but we think it is a sizzling hot idea, one that gets our blood pumping through our mighty organs and makes us quiver and pant with excitement. So we grabbed our tools and began stroking our creative juices furiously.

The threesome of guys at PTGPTB have come up with a way to squeeze more action from the zine. We tried various positions, but the one that got us all whipped up into a frenzy was the use of subtle innuendo and bad puns to increase the number of hits we score. It might be a bitch to write, and really turn you off, but the shower of golden coins it could get us in advertising will make up for it. On the other hand, we desperately want you turned on, so if you get all hot and bothered, we'll have to swallow hard and pull our heads in.

Barbarian babes are famous for their huge, bronzed breast plates which they strap to their sweaty chests to prevent painful penetration from offensive weapons. And barbarian guys are known for their very horny hats which thrust erect into the air. But why is sex such a burning issue? Are we just being anally retentive when we keep moaning about it?

After all, roleplaying has some big knockers, who can be very hard to handle. They have perverted their religion to call us lewd sick freaks who like dominating young minds. Parents are also often banging on about the deviant influences, preferring their children to play with balls or pussy cats. Virgin roleplayers, often still struggling to beat the sensation of feeling naked without their dice, are confused by this rude double penetration into their private business. So we will not be gagged or bound, or harnessed by the religious right. We will scream the ecstacy of gaming to the heavens!

Anyway, you get the idea. We're not really sure what we hope to achieve by this, other than attracting the attention of people we're only going to frustrate. Still, it made us laugh, and we hope it made you laugh too. Not to mention pert nipples.

TSR/WOTC Release New "Jumbo Size" AD&D Core Rules

In a move which has attracted much of the industry's attention, TSR/WOTC has announced plans to release a new "Jumbo Size" edition of the AD&D Core Rule Books.

The new edition will not include any singnificant changes in rules or text, but will bring several books together. Included will naturally be Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monstrous Manual (expanded to include all recent Monstrous annuals), Character Record Sheets for all classes and the Tome of Magic. These will be accompanied by all of the Character Race and Class Guidebooks, the Dungeon Master's Guidebooks, all volumes of Encyclopaedia Magica and the complete Wizard and Cleric spell books, the three Players' Option rule expansion books, background guides for all the major AD&D worlds (Forgotten Realms, PlaneScape, DarkSun and Ravenloft), the two classic campaigns, The Night Below and The Rod of Seven Parts, and much more. All this will be included in a handy loose leaf binder just over a metre thick, said Adkinson.

"Before now", Adkinson continued at a press conference at the Origins Game Show in Columbus, Ohio, "the technology did not exist to produce this book without it being so large as to pose a risk of our customers being crushed to death under their copies. But with the latest breakthroughs in computer printing, the complete edition of AD&D is now not only unlikely to cause dangerous internal bleeding, but can also be carried by just you and a few of your friends. This is truly revolutionary."

Adkinson went on to say that this was the product of many years of research. "Since we released the Players Options series, we've seen the need to collect and collate every major book in the AD&D line. Our players are getting sick and tired of having to spend months leafing through two dozen different books in search of the one obscure mechanical ruling or piece of anal background trivia they need to keep their games running correctly. Finally, their prayers have been answered, with everything you could ever want to know about AD&D condensed in to one handy-dandy reference guide."

When questioned about the earlier CD Rom which contained similar information, Adkinson was quick to dismiss this as subservient to this new product. "Let's face it," he said, "no AD&D player wants a pussy little CD to carry around. How wimpy is that? No, AD&D players are geeks, and geeks love big honking books filled with meaningless drivel they can look up. Big books are scary looking, and the thicker the better. When a GM plonks this sucker on the table, his players are going to shit themselves right there and then, just from the size of this mofo."

Adkinson then proceeded to demonstrate the efficiency of the new edition. "Want to know the exact proficiency bonus for a multiclass SwordSinger Elf as compared to a single-class Blademaster half-Elf? Try page 8,234. The percentage chance of a piece of hessian rope being burnt through by a Troll-fat candle in three rounds? Turn to page 45,601. The names that the Slodobesian Go-Go Monkeys give to their Gods? Nicely referenced on page 221, 982. See? Simple."

At that point, Adkinson closed the book with his fingers still marking a page and had to be rushed to hospital. A spokesman for the company later said that Adkinson was doing fine and can almost write his name again now.

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