Welcome to the raggedy edge of human space, The Orion Frontier. This is the edge of human exploration. Rimward from here, There be Dragons! No star chart or encyclopedia tells us what lies beyond, only whispered tales of scouts and pirates provide us myth- inspired answers.
In this episode, Ethan, Nathan, and Jeremy are joined by Mike Cross and Chris Stevens from Terra/Sol Games. The topic of discussion in the show are their line of products featuring the Twilight Sector setting, and, to a lesser extent, Netherell, a setting contained within Twilight Sector. They talk game design, and setting evolution, as well as hit upon developing hard science fiction settings.
In the Three Parter, Jeremy takes some time to rant a bit on his application to join a server in Minecraft. Nathan takes a look at the new Ogre Kingdoms book for the Warhammer Tabletop Battles game. Ethan wraps up the Three Parter with a short review of the newest addition to the Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R. R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons.
Finally, they wrap things up with a catch-up on Random Encounters!
Total Running Time on this episode is 128 minutes.
About Terra/Sol Games
Terra/Sol Games evolved out of a long running RPG campaign. The reason that’s important to note is because the fact that we evolved from a RPG campaign colors the philosophy of everything we do.
RPGs from the beginning have been defined by sets of rules. To me that has always seemed backwards. While we love to see a movie in IMAX, if the movie isn’t any good no amount of IMAX magic is going to save it. I think the parallel to RPGs is obvious. At Terra/Sol Games we want to help change that.
We’re about campaigns, hence our motto: “Because the Campaigns the Thing”. Terra/Sol Games will strive to bring our customers the best in RPG campaigns. From settings to adventures we will bring to you deep, coherent, ongoing campaigns. So whether you want to sit back and let us do the driving or you want to play in the sandbox yourself, we will give you the tools to run a campaign the way you want, and hopefully you’ll come to agree with us, that rules are nice, “But the Campaign’s the Thing”.
Buy Twilight Sector from RPGNow, Amazon.com, or Noble Knight Games
Buy Netherell from RPGNow.
About Warhammer Tabletop Battles
Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles (formerly Warhammer Fantasy Battle and often abbreviated to Warhammer, WFB or WHFB) is a tabletop wargame created by Games Workshop. It is the origin of the Warhammer Fantasy setting.
The game has been designed with regiments of fantasy miniatures. It uses stock fantasy races such as humans (The Empire, Bretonnia, Kislev), Elves (Dark Elves, High Elves, Wood Elves), Dwarfs, Undead, Orcs and Goblins, Vampires, as well as some more unusual types such as Lizardmen, Skaven and the daemonic forces of Chaos. Each race has its own unique strengths and flaws; Wood Elves, for example, have the most powerful archers in the game but have poor overall defence and Bretonnia have the strongest cavalry but weak infantry.
Since first appearing in 1983, Warhammer has been periodically updated and re-released with changes to the gaming system and army lists. The current official version is the eighth edition, released on 10 July 2010.
About the Ogre Kingdoms
An Ogre is a large humanoid creature in the Warhammer Fantasy fictional universe. They are based on the ogres of mythology.
Prior to the release in 2005 of Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms for Warhammer Fantasy Battles tabletop game Ogres appeared only as mercenaries or Auxiliaries to other armies. The Ogre Kingdoms book expanded the history and character of the Ogres and they can now be fielded as a single army of their own, although the option to use them as mercenaries in other armies remained. However, the option to field allies or use mercenaries in general has since been dropped from the core Warhammer rules, with the discontinuing of the Dogs of War and the Regiments of Renown. Furthermore, the release of the Ogre Kingdoms Army Book itself was controversial, as many core armies had yet to be released at that time.
The ogre army differs from most other armies in Warhammer as it is composed mainly of monstrous Infantry (i.e. models mounted on larger bases which are significantly tougher than normal man-sized infantry, but fewer in number). This has proved popular with gamers who like to spend more time painting individual models than massed regiments, players who like a slightly more ‘quirky’ army and those looking to build an army on a smaller budget (with current UK prices it is possible to construct a playable 1000 point army for less than £90 including the cost of the Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms sourcebook. Most other armies require an investment of well over £100 to reach this level).
About A Song of Ice and Fire
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. Martin began writing the series in 1991 and the first volume was published in 1996. Originally planned as a trilogy, the series now consists of five published volumes (the fifth was published on July 12, 2011); a further two are planned. In addition there are three prequel novellas currently available, with several more being planned, and a series of novella-length excerpts from the main Ice and Fire novels; Martin announced on his 2011 national book tour that the first four prequel novellas, his “Dunk and Egg” series, will be collected into a book and published by Bantam Spectra after the fourth novella is first published in an original anthology he and Gardner Dozois are editing. One of these earlier excerpt novellas won science fiction’s Hugo Award. The “Ice and Fire” series has been translated into more than 20 languages and the fourth and fifth volumes reached the top of The New York Times bestseller lists in 2005 and 2011. Overall, the series has sold more than seven million copies in the USA and more than 15 million copies worldwide.
The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world, primarily on a continent called Westeros but also on a large landmass to the east, known asEssos. Most of the characters are human but as the series progresses others are introduced, such as the cold and menacing supernatural Others from the far North and fire-breathing dragons from the East, both thought to be extinct by the humans of the story. There are three principal story lines in the series: the chronicling of a dynastic civil war for control of Westeros among several competing families; the rising threat of the Others, who dwell beyond an immense wall of ice that forms Westeros’ northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of a king who was murdered in another civil war fifteen years before, to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. As the series progresses, the three story lines become increasingly interwoven and dependent upon each other.
The series is told in the third-person through the eyes of a number of point of view characters. By the end of the fourth volume, there have been 17 such characters with multiple chapters and eight who only have one chapter apiece. Several new viewpoint characters are introduced by the conclusion of the fifth volume, setting the stage for the major events of the sixth novel.
The growing popularity of the series led to it being optioned by HBO for development of a television adaptation, Game of Thrones, after the first novel. A pilot episodewas produced in 2009 and a series commitment for nine further episodes was made in March 2010. The series premiered on April 17, 2011 to great acclaim and ratings, and two days later the network picked the show up for a second season. Shortly after the conclusion of the first season, the show received 13 Emmy Awardnominations, including Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Supporting Actor.
There are board games and role-playing games based on the available novels, as well as two collections of artwork based on and inspired by the Ice and Fire series. The French video game company Cyanide has announced that they have partnered with Martin to create a video game adaption of the books, entitled A Game of Thrones: Genesis. There are licensed full-sized sword and war hammer reproductions available; paintable white metal character miniatures; larger resin cast character busts; Westeros coinage reproductions; a forthcoming series of graphic novel adaptations of the “Ice and Fire” series; and a large number of gift and collectible items from HBO based on their cable television series.
About A Dance With Dragons
A Dance with Dragons (published in 2011) is the fifth of seven planned novels in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R. R. Martin.
A Dance with Dragons was originally intended to be the title of the second novel in the sequence, when Martin still envisioned the series as a trilogy. Some early US editions of A Game of Thrones (1996) list A Dance of Dragons as the forthcoming second volume in the series. The 1998 anthology Legends, which features the novella The Hedge Knight from the same universe, lists A Dance of Dragons as the fourth installment of the series. Like the previous four volumes in the Ice and Fire series, the book includes a lengthy appendix, with the volume running a total of 1,022 pages.
On March 3, 2011, publishing imprint Bantam Spectra announced that the novel would be released on July 12, 2011. Martin delivered the manuscript to his editor on April 27, 2011; however, as early as 2006, Martin made sample chapters available on his website and at Amazon.co.uk. Additionally, the German branch of Amazon.com (Amazon.de) released a reported 180 copies two weeks early by mistake. The US hardcover was officially published on July 12, 2011, having gone back to press for six printings (totaling more than 650,000 copies) prior to the 1,000+ page novel being available; 298,000 copies in print, digital, and audio formats were sold that first day alone, becoming publishing giant Random House’s biggest book of 2011 and a runaway bestseller. The book was the second in the series to debut at the #1 position on the New York Times bestseller list. A few weeks after publication, A Dance With Dragons went on to be #1 on both Publisher’s Weekly and USA TodayBestsellers lists.