Gen Con Report – Publisher Sneak Peak, Part I

Welcome to a special edition of the Gen Con Report. Prior to the start of Gen Con, we’re attempting to collect as much information as we can on the products that are being released / featured at Gen Con so readers know what to expect. Hopefully this will be a multi-part series, but here is a look at the first publishers who have provided this “inside” information.

Interaction Point Games
Two new books will be available in print at Gen Con:

Kingdoms of Legend: The Cold North
Kingdoms of Legend: Sands of Destiny

The rest of our games lineup will be available as well.

Kenzer & Company
Kenzer and Company is excited to announce the release of the HackMaster Player’s Handbook. This core book is available for purchase during Gen
Con at our booth (#519)

The HackMaster Players Handbook contains everything a player needs to actively participate in HackMaster. This 400 page leathered book features player character races, numerous classes, quirks and flaws, rules for honor, equipment, spells, combat rules, and so much more!

With this one book you can enjoy endless hours of game play. The Player’s Handbook is fully compatible with the HackMaster Basic rules and all supplements and products released with the HackMaster Basic product line.

This 400 page leathered core rule-book is available for $59.99

Foreward to the Player’s Handbook

Problem solving underpins the play of any roleplaying game, regardless of genre. Whether that means overcoming foes with superior tactics, answering a tough riddle or discovering the secret room concealing fabulous treasure, all involve overcoming a difficulty with your friends. Nowadays, a fantasy RPG devotee has many choices in which to indulge problem solving with his fellow enthusiasts. The trend over the last decade or so has been leaning toward the heroic game. After all, who doesn’t want to roleplay a hero? Heroes are very good at resolving a crisis, whether through force of arms, might of magic or otherwise. Here is where the HackMaster game sets itself apart from other fantasy roleplaying games. The HackMaster game is about more than just playing a hero that fixes troublesome predicaments. Indeed, HackMaster allows for heroic play – play long enough and you will experience such a game. But HackMaster includes another element overlooked by the other games – the journey to becoming a hero.

In HackMaster, players begin running characters generally little better than the local commoner. True, some may be head-and-shoulders above their fellow man, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most HackMaster characters even have one or more weaknesses that make the road to hero even more difficult. The challenge of the game is to overcome difficult situations with a band of allies, none of whom are overly exceptional. To find a literary example of this type of story, one need not look far. Arguably (if not factually) the most popular fantasy story of all is such a tale. In Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the main character (as well as his dwarven companions) is a plain everyday person. One of the reasons we love this story is because we can identify with Bilbo; he’s just like us. We root for him as he overcomes the odds on his journey to becoming one of the most storied heroes of Middle Earth. The Hobbit is about the journey to becoming a hero. This is also the essence of HackMaster.

Certainly, playing a roving band of superheroes a la the Justice League has its place, but arguably this is far less heroic than a commoner rising to the challenge. True heroism comes from overcoming the odds and risking life and limb in a perilous situation not the faux valor that comes from defeating supervillains when the chance of failure is slim or none. Does our society not love the story of the everyday man that saves a child from a burning building or rushing river? In HackMaster, your character will be asked time and time again to display true heroism, to overcome personal and situational deficiencies and rise to the challenge. This is not to say that other games are not fun, but I submit to you, gentle reader, that the journey from hero to superhero is less rewarding (and therefore less enjoyable) than the journey from average to hero to superhero. In HackMaster the most atypical thing about your character vis-à-vis society is his will to strive against the odds and make his mark in the world.

If problem solving is the essence of roleplaying, then the journey to hero is the ultimate method of play. The multiplicity and diversity of available quandaries in HackMaster-type play unquestionably exceeds those of the ‘begin play as hero’ types of game. Why bother ensuring your character carries enough rope when your party wizard can simply conjure some? With every move, from positioning in combat, to how rooms are searched, to equipping properly and so-on, if your characters begin as everyman, you’ll need to think through each and every aspect of play. Your characters will need to work as a team and plan to overcome obstacles. And when you do prevail, you will experience a feeling of exhilaration like no other – knowing you succeeded by relying on your wits and gaming skill rather than the sheer awesome power of your character. This is what sets this game apart. Play HackMaster for a few sessions and you will realize that this is the last fantasy roleplaying game you will ever need.javascript:;

The world of HackMaster needs heroes like you – steel your nerve, ready your wits and answer the call!

Flying Buffalo
Flying Buffalo will have at Gencon this year, the reprints of Grimtooth’s Traps Fore and Grimtooth’s Traps Ate. These books have been out of print for about ten years or more. Steve Crompton, the original artist, has touched up the artwork, and added some new art to each of the books.

The Grimtooth books are part of the Catalyst Product line – “a catalyst for your imagination”. They are sourcebooks for any fantasy role playing game. (Not specifically intended for D&D or D20 or Pathfinder or T&T or whatever).

Each book is 100 evil, vicious, dastardly, wicked, nefarious, and horrifying traps explained in detail and illustrated by Steve Crompton.

Gaming Paper
Gaming Paper will be releasing two new products at GenCon this year.

Fractured Phylactery – A kickstarter project that will be available for the first time at GenCon. This is a Pathfinder Role Playing Game compatible adventure.

Centuries of unlife do strange things to a lich’s mind. Leander d’Arstond is no exception; driven insane by his long unlife and past brushes with destruction, the brilliant wizard challenges do-gooders to hunt him down. D’Arstond is no ordinary lich, however, and those who treat him as such are in for a dangerous surprise.

In order to bring the lich down forever, characters must undertake an extraplanar journey of epic proportions before finally confronting the evil-doer in his lair. Failure is not an option for the characters, as the lich will then continue his evil machinations against the forces of good.

This Gaming Paper Adventure Includes:

  • Over 50 pages of adventure!
  • A stand-alone adventure for 4–6 players, levels 15–17.
  • 6 maps
  • Numerous illustrations to help immerse you and your players in the adventure.

The Fractured Phylactery is an adventure for 15th–17th level characters. Written by John Ling, maps by Robert Lazzaretti, and with stunning artwork by Joel Biske this adventure is compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.


A yet to be named Pathfinder compatible source book.  Or, as I like to call it Pathfindarrrrr compatible.  I call it that because it is a pirate sourcebook. This book includes new races, classes, class options, weapons, monsters, DM resources, magic items, and more for running a pirate adventure or campaign.


Catalyst Game Labs

1. Cosmic Patrol: Into The Cosmos, sourcebook [$24.99; digest size, hard cover, B&W]

You are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime! The unlimited cosmos stands before you, full of sights and experiences as wild as your imagination. And that’s the key: imagination. Cosmic Patrol is about creating a story and Into the Cosmos gives you more alien races, characters, missions and rocketships to base your galactic adventures on!

Into the Cosmos features:

  • When in Doubt, Doubt: A new short story of a Cosmic Patrol Intelligence Service agent infiltrating a Hakhaze base!
  • Gazetteer: A series of treatises detailing new parts of a dangerous cosmos!
  • Rocketships: Eight ships Patrolmen may use or encounter while cruising the deep black!
  • Dossiers: New heroes and villains for players to use or fight against. Martians! Hakhaze! Ro-Men! Neptunian Frog Men! Humungulous!
  • Missions: Twenty-three Mission Briefs to challenge even the most courageous Patrolman!

The cosmos has millions of ways to kill you. When it tries, call the Patrol!

2. BattleTech: Field Manual: SLDF, Setting Sourcebook [$39.99; soft cover, B&W + 16 pages color]

It was the middle of the twenty-eighth century. Two hundred years after the Age of War, all of mankind now lived, united, under one flag: the Star League. Defending and policing this vast realm nearly 3,000 worlds strong was the largest army ever known to humanity: the Star League Defense Force. Harnessing the largest fleet of WarShips ever assembled, the most advanced technologies in BattleMech and aerospace design, and the finest, most disciplined training regimens in known space, the SLDF was the invincible might that kept the feuding Houses of the Inner Sphere in line.

Field Manual: SLDF describes the single greatest military force the Inner Sphere has ever seen: the Star League Defense Force. Including a brief history and overview of the SLDF, its formation, organization, and training programs, this book provides the most detailed look ever at the army that protected the Inner Sphere before the treachery of Stefan Amaris and the Succession Wars that soon followed. Special rules are also included, enabling players to create Star League forces for use in campaigns set in one of BattleTech’s most storied eras.

3. BattleTech: Total Chaos, Campaign Sourcebook [$29.99; soft cover, B&W]

In late 3067, the Word of Blake unleashed its Jihad, fanning the flames of violence and spreading it across the Inner Sphere. Three mercenary commands struggled to find their footing and profit from the all-encompassing warfare. As they navigated their way through the conflicts erupting on hundreds of worlds, these mercenaries grew in power, prestige, and character. Facing adversity, victory, defeat, and enemies within and without, they were typical of many commands touched—for ill or for good—by the Jihad.

As the Jihad unfolded through the Jihad Hot Spots plotbooks, players were introduced to the Chaos Campaign, a new game play system that gave players the opportunity to craft their own games around specific battles and events of the Jihad. Now that campaign, spanning fourteen years of conflict, has been collected and updated. Presented here are all of the Chaos Campaign tracks from the Hot Spots plotbooks and interwoven with select tracks from the Jihad Turning Points e-publication series and several all-new tracks and mini-campaigns.

This volume also includes detailed reports on nearly forty planetary campaigns, providing context and details previously clouded by interstellar media, local reports, and personal journals. With an updated and streamlined core ruleset for the Chaos Campaign and new Jihad era Random Availability Tables for the Word of Blake, Mercenaries, and Militias, this book has everything players and gamemasters need to recreate the pivotal campaigns of the Jihad and lead their forces to victory.

4. BattleTech Weapon’s Free: BattleCorps Anthology 3, Fiction Anthology [$14.95; digest size, soft cover, B&W]

A man scrabbles to find the BattleMech that will make his fortune. A deadly tank gunner ponders the cost of his calling. An iconic battalion fights its last battle. And in the Deep Periphery, desperate stirrings of horrible weapons breed rumor and betrayal.

Sixteen stories of combat, honor, betrayal and death fill the pages of Weapons Free: BattleCorps Anthology Volume 3. This diverse collection, drawn from the fiction published on in 2006, presents the edgy and violent fiction BattleCorps readers are used to, including a never-before-seen tale of Zeta Battalion.

Savvy readers will recognize now-familiar names in BattleTech lore among the authors: Steven Mohan, Jr., Kevin Killiany, Phaedra Weldon, Jason Schmetzer, Ben Rome and Herbert Beas. These writers have shaped the direction of the BattleTech universe; in 2006, with these stories, they were exploring the freedom they’d earned to do just that.

5. Shadowrun: Shadowrun 2050, Historical Setting Sourcebook [$44.99; hardback, full color]

Chrome eyes. Computers called “decks.” Big hair, big cyberlimbs and bigger guns. It’s Shadowrun in the year it all started. Take a step back to Shadowrun’s roots withShadowrun 2050, a book that combines Fourth Edition rules—the smoothest, most accessible rule setShadowrun has ever had—with the setting that first made the Sixth World a legend.

Shadowrun 2050 has everything players and gamemasters need to dive into the grimy beauty that kicked off one of the greatest roleplaying settings of all time. With information on how to adapt Fourth Edition Matrix, gear, and magic rules for the 2050 setting, as well as in-universe information about the powers of the world, what shadowrunners will be up to, and who they’ll be running into, Shadowrun 2050 puts a new twist on the classic setting.

Captain Chaos. Maria Mercurial. The Laughing Man. Sally Tsung. JetBlack. Hatchetman. Nightfire. And the Shadowland poster who just called himself The Big “D.” These people and many others are waiting for you in the year that started it all, a setting brought back to life with new, full-color artwork showing the chrome, dirt, neon, and darkness that was in the heart of Shadowrun when it started and remains at its core today.

6. Shadowrun: The Clutch of Dragons, Deep Shadows Sourcebook [$29.99; soft cover, B&W]

Never, ever deal with a dragon. Shadowrunners have heard that dictum so often, they frequently say those words in their sleep. But what the aphorism forgets to tell you is this—what if you don’t have a choice?

The tension between dragons has been growing, and the big lizards are throwing every weapon they have at each other, including shadowrunners—especially shadowrunners. Extractions, industrial sabotage, theft, wetwork—there’s plenty of jobs in all those areas, and dragons are finding ways to get reluctant runners to work for them. Maybe they’ll hide their involvement in the run, or maybe they’ll bribe the runners with large piles of nuyen or blackmail them with their past activities. Or maybe they’ll just tell the runners they have a simple choice of working for them or being eaten.

Whatever tactics they choose, the dragons are going to be active and aggressive, and if runners want to survive, they better be on their toes. They need to know who the draconic players are, what they’re up to, and what might happen to them if they fall into a dragon’s grip. They need to be ready for anything, because when dragons go at each other, the world shakes, the earth beneath them burns—and far too often, shadowrunners die.

The Clutch of Dragons provides the information gamemasters and players need to involve draconic plots in their games, from profiles of individuals dragons, their plots, and their lairs to information about the latest efforts to build anti-dragon weapons. This is a critical reference for any players who want to test their skills against the machinations of dragons—or who want to see just how much trouble they can survive.

7. Shadowrun: Sprawl Sites: North America, Game Aid [$19.99; 16 page B&W booklet, 8 color maps]

The Sixth World is full of dark alleys, twisted corridors, and hidden locations for nefarious activities. Shadowrunners and 16th century explorers both know the same truth—the difference between death and survival when entering a hazardous area may be a good map.

Sprawl Sites: North America presents eight full-color maps that can be used in a variety of sprawls, making it simple for gamemasters to call up a number of different locations when they need it. From a luxury hotel to a collection of blocks in an urban barrens, from a shopping mall to a trideo studio, the collection includes maps that can be used in many different situations. The maps are double-sided, with a key on one side, making them useful as both a guide for players and a reference for gamemasters. The package also includes a booklet providing details on security and other personnel found in the location, along with plot hooks to help involve these spots in your game.

8. Leviathans: Core Box Set, miniatures game [$99.99]

In 1878 the Polish genius Rynchowski isolated an electrical fluid with remarkable lifting capabilities. A single, pivotal event that would change the world.

The smartest military minds of the coming generation—Zeppelin, Jellico, Fisher and others—diverted their attention to the glorious new technological revolution and sea-going battleships were abandoned around the world. In their place, armored giants took to the skies.

In 1906, Great Britain launched the HMS Leviathan, the first of the “super air ships”, sparking an arms race around the world. By 1910 the most powerful nations boasted large High Fleets, and the start of small skirmishes left the world uneasy…welcome to Leviathans!

Leviathans is a game in development by Catalyst Game Labs that simulates combat between warships that have taken to the air in an alternate history/steampunk 1910. The king leviathans, the battleships, are the largest vessels. Maneuvering in support are the smaller ships of light cruisers, destroyers, and others ships. Will you captain your fleet for king and country, expanding your nation’s power and becoming legend? Or will you fall from the sky, forgotten?

You will determine the outcome!

In this box you’ll find a British and a French fleet allowing for instant action as two world powers vie for air supremacy on your game table!

This Box Includes:

  • 2 rulebooks to transition players from the quick-start rules to the core rules
  • 8 high-quality, 1200-scale plastic ship miniatures
  • 12 Ship Cards
  • 12 full-color Recognition Cards
  • Leviathans Gazetteer universe primer
  • 2 fiction novellas
  • 2 18” x 22” board-game quality maps
  • 10 custom D12 dice and 2D6
  • 2 reference cards
  • Leviathans recognition poster
  • Sheet of faction/ship crests
  • Template game aides (die cut cardboard counters)

9. Leviathans: British Fleet Box, miniatures game expansion [$49.99]

Th­e British Fleet Box contains the British battleship, light cruiser and two destroyer high-quality plastic ship miniatures from the Leviathans Core Box Set, but with four new, unique variant Ship Cards. Players can instantly expand their faction fleet after purchasing the Core Box Set for larger games!

This box includes:

  • 4 high-quality, 1,200-scale plastic ship miniatures
  • 4 Ship Cards
  • 4 full-color Recognition Cards
  • 1 set of Leviathans custom dice

10. Leviathans: French Fleet Box, miniatures game expansion [$49.99]

Th­e French Fleet Box contains the French battleship, light cruiser and two destroyer high-quality plastic ship miniatures from the Leviathans Core Box Set, but with four new, unique variant Ship Cards. Players can instantly expand their faction fleet after purchasing the Core Box Set for larger games!

This box includes:

  • 4 high-quality, 1,200-scale plastic ship miniatures
  • 4 Ship Cards
  • 4 full-color Recognition Cards
  • 1 set of Leviathans custom dice

11. Balance of Power, board game [$49.99]

It is 1815 and the world has been turned upside down. Napoleon Bonaparte has finally been defeated after nearly conquering all of Europe through years of devastating warfare. Now the Great Powers must deal with the chaos left behind. As each nation eagerly tries to grow, a careful balance of governmental, military and economic interests must be maintained.

In Balance of Power, players carefully create and move Kings, Generals and Bankers as they capture territories and expand their empires. A player’s skill and strategy are all that stand between him and ultimate victory!

12. A Shadowrun Core Supplement, full color, hardback, that will be available in a standard edition, as well as a small number of Limited Edition.

BOOTH: 1703
EVENTS: Check out the following link for all Catalyst Game Labs Gen Con Events:

LEVIATHANS MINIATURES GIVE AWAY: Come play in a Leviathans demo and walk away with a free miniature. Keep playing and you can trade your smaller ship in for a larger and larger ship each time you play! Play as often as you like and try and snag as many miniatures as you’d like…but while supplies last!

PARAPHERNALIA: Catalyst will also have the usual additional items for sale of patches, faction/corp custom dice, t-shirts, stachel bags and so on! Also, this year you might find some new, cool game aides to help you play the game, such as the Weapons Deck!

For More Shadowrun Information, visit and
For More BattleTech Information, visit and
For More Cosmic Patrol Information, visit
For More Leviathans Information, visit
For More Balance of Power Information, visit
For More Catalyst Game Labs Information, visit

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