Daily Archives August 14, 2013

One-Hour Library Review: Numenera

When I first started playing in D&D, I didn’t start out in a “standard” fantasy setting like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms. I started off in the weird, nightmarish, wonderful, though-provoking realms of Planescape, traveling from the City of Doors through portals to all corners of the multiverse. Behind this remarkable setting is a man named Monte Cook who started his own company years ago and created a number of fantastic d20 products like the epic-scaled urban setting of Ptolus¬†and the psionic adventure¬†If Thoughts Could Kill. When Monte joined the development team for D&D Next, I was excited and eager to see what his reunion with Wizards of the Coast would yield. When he left the project suddenly and without much explanation, I was disappointed but curious what else he had planned.

That’s when I started to see teasers for Numenera. It looked strange and confusing and intriguing and bizarre. It looked like everything I loved about Planescape, and every subsequent teaser is even more interesting. Now I have the pdf in front of me and I can’t wait to delve in for my first hour with the book. Come on down the rabbit hole…

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SolForge open Beta has launched!

Normally at Castles and Cooks, we avoid talking about electronic games beyond the occasional port of a board or card game (you really should pick up Ticket to Ride and Ascension). It isn’t that we don’t play video games, but it just isn’t our focus.

Then there are exceptions. There are two groups in gaming that I will blindly follow: Richard Garfield and the team over at Stone Blade Entertainment. Then again, the only game I play more than Ascension is Magic: the Gathering. So when the SolForge Kickstarter started, I went all in.

And yesterday launched the open beta of SolForge for both Steam and iPad and has released SolForge: Core Set.

The new beta introduces five big things to the game:

  • Core Set is released – this is 180 card set, which means a lot of new stuff (especially those not on Steam)
  • Booster Packs & Collection Management – three kinds of boosters are now out, along with the ability to manage your collection and deck building
  • Free-to-Play – normally, I tend to dislike F2P games since it means getting nickeled and dimed the whole way, but SolForge allows everyone to play and earn cards just by playing.
  • Cross platform compatibility – yes, you can now play on your iPad against your friend’s Steam account. Oh and Sean, I challenge you.
  • Game Timers – A little thing that goes a long way, now online matches have a timer to keep everyone moving (and to prevent others from stalling)

I haven’t gotten to play much since it got released last night, and the iPad version keeps crashing right now – but guess what. It’s a beta.

See the full press release after the break.

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