Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers [Review] -- Does It Bring the Big Guns?

Unlike many genre fans, I have a great deal of respect for "media tie-in" fiction. I believe that some of the best science fiction and fantasy fiction has been the result of hard work by a media tie-in author. William King's Gotrek and Felix stories are wonderful Sword & Sorcery duo fiction, Diane Duane has written some wonderfully entertaining Spider-Man novels, and no list of praise for this sub-genre would be complete without mention of Paul S. Kemp's tales of Erevis Cale. These three authors merely scratch the surface of the high quality work that can be found in media tie-in fiction.

One of the things that most impresses me about well written media tie-in fiction is how an author can bring their own spark of originality to a world that has potentially been thoroughly explored by the media creators. Writing a novel tale within a world without being crushed by restrictions created by other creators, or without writing too far outside the box as to not be working within the shared world, takes a high level of skill. 

The media tie-in author is writing for two audiences: the existing fans of the setting and fans of the genre who may be unfamiliar with the television show, video game, or role playing game where the story takes place. The job of the author is to make fiction fans of the media fans and turn genre fans into fans of the underlying media. This is a difficult challenge.  Fans of a setting can be your harshest critics if they believe that you have written a story that violates the rules of the setting, even if the tale itself is creative and entertaining.  Even if the author manages to satisfy the fans of the setting/game, they also need to appeal to the genre fan in the hopes of making them fans of the underlying property. To put it in the crudest terms, media tie-in fiction are both a way to interact with existing fans of the media and are advertisements to future fans. It's a delicate balance between entertainment and advertisement.

One of my own personal favorite intellectual properties, and game settings, is the Weird West setting created by Shane Hensley (and friends) for the Deadlands role playing game. The game was originally published in the late 90s and has always had related fiction published for the game. I often re-read the "Dime Novels" that were written in the early days of the game. This year (2015) is the year that Deadlands has really exploded into the media tie-in market with comic books and novels being published for the setting. The novels are being published by Tor Books.  One of the largest, if not the largest, publisher of speculative fiction. 

The first Tor novel is entitled Deadlands: Ghostwalkers and was written by talented horror veteran Jonathan Maberry who has written the Joe Ledger and Pine Deep series of books. He's an excellent writer, but how well is he able to combine his own talents with the requirements that come with writing a media tie-in novel?

The Book

Ghostwalkers is the tale of Grey Torrence, a former Union soldier with a haunted past who now wanders the Weird West as he flees the ghosts of his former misdeeds. Torrence is a combination of John Wayne's character Col. John Marlowe in The Horse Soldiers and a Peckinpah badman with a dash of James West. Like Marlowe, he was caught behind enemy lines during the Civil War, but where Marlowe escaped triumphant Torrence's mission ended in failure. In Ghostwalkers, Torrence finds himself continually compelled to do the right thing even against overwhelming odds. He does this in part to atone for his past failings.

This reflexive heroism leads him into companionship with Thomas Looks Away of the Ogala Toyospaye in what could have been a simple Lone Ranger and Tonto tale. Maberry is too talented to fall into that trap and instead of giving us the Native American mystic, he gives us a Native American Mad Scientist more in the mold of Artemis Gordon than Tonto. It's a refreshing change and one that signals that the author might be giving us a couple more twists as well.

Torrence and Looks Away, two of the heroes of our tale, are caught in the middle of an apocalyptic time. What separates the Weird West from the Old West is that in 1863 a ritual opened the doors to the Happy Hunting Grounds and created a Hell on Earth where the dead rise from the grave and scientific innovation is fueled by a substance that seems to scream in pain when burned as a means to create power for Weird and impossible gadgets.

These heroes, and some additional companions, face off against the horrors of the Weird West. They fight the Walking Dead and resurrected Dinosaurs, but no opponent is as fearful as the greed and lust for power of their fellow man.

The Good

Maberry manages to introduce those unfamiliar with the Deadlands setting to the world in a seamless fashion.  By focusing the narrative on a character unfamiliar with most of the changes that have taken place in the world, he has a perfect cipher for our own experiences. Maberry also introduces the Weird West in small doses. He doesn't try to convey the entirety of the differences between this fictional West and our own. Instead, he lets us discover how the Los Angeles and California of this world differ from ours at a steady pace. We see the world unfold as the characters encounter it. It's good world building technique used to reveal existing information.

I was particularly impressed with how Maberry was able to show how the influence of the Reckoners, particularly Famine, affected the world in a way that only fans of the game would notice. Genre fans get a good story, but there was a nice easter egg for the media fan. Since the knowledge of the world is passed on by people who live in it, and since they would be unfamiliar with the Reckoners, it was demonstration of solid storytelling. Additionally, modeling some of the characters and narrative on Wild, Wild, West was also a good choice. I don't know if it was intentional or sub-conscious, but I would have loved to watch this book as episodes of that classic show.

The Bad

There were a couple of moments I was pulled out of the text. Given Maberry's use of "Harrowed" characters, read the book to find out what those are, I kept expecting to see Stone (an iconic Deadlands character) around every corner. That never happened, and the story is better for it, but I kept expecting it and was a barrier in my reading.

There were also a couple of sentences/phrases that pulled me out of the fiction. The first was when Maberry discussed Juniper trees early. He wrote, "The mingled blurs coalesced into a canopy of Juniper leaves..." which left me wondering if he had ever seen a Juniper. One wouldn't normally use the term "leaves" when describing them. It seemed more like he was describing Oaks than Junipers. That could just be me though.

The second sentence included the phrase "mound of sobbing frilly whites..." as a means of describing clothes that were still wet from a demon rain storm.Given that I read an advance copy, I hope this got corrected before the final version. Clothes tend to be sopping wet, though in Deadlands it wouldn't be impossible to find sobbing clothes.

As you can see, "the bad" in the tale is pretty minor. When you are resorting to nitpicking as your criticism, you have read a pretty entertaining piece of fiction.

The Ugly?

Aside from a sex scene that made sense narratively, but was still a little too "because HBO" as it seemed unnecessary as a demonstration of affection, I found it near impossible to put the book down once I started reading. Maberry's tale has wonderful pacing and the right combination of mystery, horror, and action to reflect the underlying intellectual property.

There were only a couple of moments where I could "hear the dice drop" in the background. Grey's heroism sure seems more like a Savage Worlds Hinderance than an actual character trait, but moments like this were rare. If you like Westerns and Zombies, you should love Maberry's work here. I know that I did.

It was an entertaining mash up of The Wild Wild West, John Ford, and Sam Peckinpah. I can think of no higher praise than that.
3.5/5 stars.Dea

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Proposed Rules Changes for Future WorldCon

Prior to this year, I had never voted for a Hugo Award. To tell the truth, I didn't know that I could. I had believed that the Hugos were selected by professionals acknowledging excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing. Due to the recent controversies around the event, I learned that participation was open to all of fandom. In this way, it is similar to the way that the Origins Awards were run in their early days when fans nominated (often by turning in ballots they photocopied/mimeographed in Space Gamer Magazine). They differ from the early Origins in that only people actually attending the Origins Convention get to vote for the winner. I imagine that the similarities between the two are not accidental and that the Hugos informed the way that the Origins Awards were run early on. The Origins Awards have evolved over time, but mostly in the nomination process. It's still attendees at the Origins Convention who get to vote on the award winner. This is not without its controversy, but I'm not here to criticize that process which I think is fine for what it is.

Awards have no value in themselves, unless they come with a cash prize, and as one of my favorite authors (David Gerrold) describes it, "The credential of an award -- any award -- is not the award itself, nor even who bestows it. The credential of the award is a cumulative one, created by the quality of the previous nominees and winners." In the case of the Origins Award, a lot of wonderful and groundbreaking games have won the award. Savage Worlds won in 2003, Dungeons and Dragons won in 1977, and many more have won over time. When someone wins the award, they are winning the same award as these excellent predecessors and the prestige of the honor is in those prior winners. This is one of the reasons that the rules of the Origins Award are constantly debated and discussed and why the Award evolves over time.

The same is true of the Hugo Awards. The prestige of the Hugo is in prior winners, and that is why there was such an uproar this year. Those who regularly participate in the Conference that determines the Hugo pushed back against those they believed had advocated a process that could lessen that historical prestige. Let us set aside arguments about whether the contributions on this year's various slates were actually Hugo worthy. That is a distraction from what the real underlying question is. That question is whether slates, qua slates, especially when combined with voting blocs threaten the prestige of the Award. Over time, in repeated games, the answer is likely "yes." Not in who wins. Repeated games will mean that there will be an equilibrium of sorts around the winners that approximates what the community as a whole really values, but it will mean that the prestige of being nominated will likely diminish - at least for a protracted period of time. To be honest, that period of time need not be long to do damage to the prestige of being nominated. I would argue that the mere taint of the existence of slates damaged the prestige of being nominated this year. This is too bad, because some worthy nominees were punished by this process.

Who's "right" is it to determine the rules and the how the Hugo is distributed? This is a simple answer, one that is once again provided by David Gerrold. The Hugo Awards "are a gift from the membership of the World Science Fiction Convention." You have to be a paying member, supporting or attending, to vote on the Hugo. I was a supporting member this year and I voted. I will continue to vote and support the Hugo because I really liked getting the nomination packet. I think that the World Science Fiction Convention community was well within their rights to protect their award. I don't think they handled it perfectly, but I have read accounts of interactions between Puppies and Presenters that occurred outside the Awards Ceremony that lead me to have a great deal of hope for the future of the WorldCon community. As tendentious as this year's Hugo Awards were, I think that some new friends were made and some great material for bridging the gap to a community that felt excluded has been produced. This will require work on both sides of the gap, but I see enough people making efforts. I also see people attempting to blow up the bridges as they are being built, but that is some people's nature. If we can learn to ignore the sowers of chaos and focus on our shared love of the genres, we will all be better for it.

Given the conflict, there has been a lot of talk about a need to reform the rules of how things are nominated and voted on. I'm one who is skeptical of most efforts of this kind in general as they tend to lead to unintended consequences. Take California's implementation of Term Limits after the 1990 passage of Proposition 140. The results of that law have been to create a new kind of career politician who constantly aims to jump from job to job, a lack of issue experience among legislators, an empowering of the lobbyist class due to the lack of issue experience and institutional memory in the legislature. Some people predicted these outcomes, but not many. These were all unintended consequences of a law intended to stop "career" politicians that only rerouted that career and made it less accountable to the people because we don't elect lobbyists and that's what many former legislators become after they have earned expertise.

So...I'm resistant to changing institutions for the sake of changing institutions. That said, I do think that one category - actually two but I'm going to focus on one - demonstrates that there is some need for a change in the process. This is a change that I believe should be implemented across the award categories and will enable fans to have significant input, take advantage of recent growth in the pool, and lead to better nominations in some categories.

I believe that the Hugo Awards should take "Open List" open nominations from fans as they do now. That these long lists should then be transformed into 15 item "Long Lists" by committees made up of people who have expertise within a category. These Long Lists are then voted on by members who register as supporting/nominating/attending members and turned into 5 item short lists that are the final nominees. This model is a combination of the current way of doing things with the way that the Oscars handle Sound Mixing and Sound Editing (Design) Oscars.

Quick, tell me the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing? I'm going to bet that most of the Academy couldn't answer that question in any meaningful way. Let's just say that films like Whiplash tend to win the Mixing Award (and get nominated) and films like Top Gun tend to get Editing Awards. As I bluntly described it to my wife Jody today. Sound Editing Oscars reward people who create innovative and immersive experiences that allow us to hear explosions as unique occurrences. Sound Mixing allows us to hear the score and the actors while the world is exploding. That's a glib way of saying that one is about sculpting individual sounds and the other is about creating an aesthetic whole or "euphonic" experience. I'm sure that David Bondelevich could do a much better job at explaining the differences, but that's because he works in Sound and teaches Sound for a living. He has expertise. That's why the Oscars, in their great wisdom, allow David and people like Don Hall to vote on the final nominees who will be submitted to the Academy at large...and that's after their committee has selected what they believe to be the best. Sound Editors have a wonderful event called the "Bake Off" where they view highlights of the competition. These editors understand the value of the Award and there have been years without a nominee in the category, and that's without politics entering the picture.

That's a lot of background leading into one of the two areas I've noticed that have led me to think that this is a change that is NEEDED by the Hugos. Those areas are the Best Dramatic Production (both Short and Long Form) categories. The nominations of the past few years have been non-representative of the genre as it is being Dramatically Presented. It is as if WorldCon nominators and voters don't watch movies and shows at the same clip that they read. This is likely a true observation, and isn't even a "critical" one in as much as reading is likely a better activity to stimulate the mind than the passive viewing of another's creation.

What prompted my sentiment in this area was that as a new Hugo voter, I decided to look at past nominees in this area. When the Hugo nominees were compared to the Saturn nominees (the Saturn being the Hollywood Hugo) there was too little overlap in my opinion. When the 2014 Hugo Nominees didn't include About Time in the Long Form category I was baffled. I was even more baffled when I shared my befuddlement in the SF/F reading fandom I knew and none had heard of the film. This demonstrated to me that there was a disconnect between the Dramatic Form genre and the World Con exposure to it. That and the fact that BBC titles are so dominant as to make it possible to create a parody list that fairly emulates the actual list. Let me give you a couple of examples.

In 2014, the following new SF/F television shows aired.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Series for 2014 

  1. Ascension
  2. Constantine
  3. Flash
  4. Gotham
  5. Z-Nation
  6. Outlander
  7. The Strain
  8. Extant
  9. The Last Ship
  10. Dominion
  11. Salem
  12. The 100
  13. Believe
  14. Resurrection
  15. Bitten
  16. Helix
  17. Intelligence
All of these shows meet the criteria to be considered as nominees for the Short Form Hugo. After the 938 nominating ballots were counted  the nominees were:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (4705 final ballots, 938 nominating ballots, 470 entries, range 71-170)
  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
  • Doctor Who: “Listen”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves ((HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • The Flash: “Pilot”, teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  • Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
The thought of Grimm (of which I am a big fan) receiving nominations, for an episode that was pretty cool, over The 100 or The Strain or Sleepy Hollow is kind of baffling to me. Let's have a look at the Saturn Award Nominees for 2014.

Best Network Television Series:

The Blacklist
The Following
Hannibal  (winner)
Person of Interest
Sleepy Hollow

Best Syndicated / Cable Television Series:

12 Monkeys
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Falling Skies
The Strain
The Walking Dead  (winner)

Best Limited Run Television Series:

Bates Motel
From Dusk Till Dawn
Game of Thrones  (winner)
The Last Ship
The Librarians

Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series:

Agent Carter
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Flash  (winner)

Best Youth-Oriented Television Series:

The 100  (winner)
Doctor Who
Pretty Little Liars
Teen Wolf
The Vampire Diaries

There are more categories, to be sure and to be expected from an award dedicated to the media, but there is also a wider representation of the genre. The 2014 Hugos have three shows of what I would call the "arty" SF variety and 2 from the "pulpy" variety, signalling that the struggle of the year was echoed in even the TV nominations. So...let's look back one more year. The year where the Hugos failed to nominate the very "literate" About Time in the Long Form category. What new shows were released in 2013? 

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Series for 2013

  1. Almost Human
  2. Dracula
  3. The Tomorrow People
  4. Witches of East End
  5. The Originals
  6. Atlantis
  7. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  8. Sleepy Hollow
  9. Under the Dome
  10. Defiance
  11. Orphan Black
  12. Utopia
What was nominated?

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (760 nominating ballots)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere”, written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • Doctor Who: “The Day of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Television)
  • Orphan Black: “Variations under Domestication” written by Will Pascoe, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space/BBC America)
  • An Adventure in Space and Time, written by Mark Gatiss, directed by Terry McDonough (BBC Television)
  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, written & directed by Peter Davison (BBC Television)
  • Doctor Who: “The Name of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Saul Metzstein (BBC Televison)
 Let's see...Game of Thrones because social phenomenon, BBC, BBC, BBC, BBC. Wow! Almost Human had some flawed episodes, but it had episodes that are among the best ever made in SF TV. "The Day of the Doctor" was pretty badass, but "The Name of the Doctor" is the weakest of the 2013 nominees. What did the Saturn Awards Nominate?

Best Network Television Series Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series
Best Television Presentation Best Youth-Oriented Television Series
Well...shit...American Horror Story and Hannibal kick ass. We can write off some as not fitting the Hugos, like Hannibal, but American Horror Story is some of the best Fantasy on TV and Falling Skies is a solid show that is worthy of consideration for a category that awarded Gollum's Acceptance Speech during a year that the Saturn was considering Dead Like Me and Carnivale. Let's just say that a "literary" award got out "literaried" in the nominee category in 2004.

I understand that the Dramatic Presentation being two awards is new, and I understand that World Con is first and foremost a celebration of print. Having said that, I think that the Hugo would benefit by creating Juries that winnow the infinite to the Long, then having voters narrow the long to the nominees, and have those nominees voted on. I think that this would expose the SF/F community to a lot of great genre entertainment they might be overlooking.

I also think they might be well served by opening up the categories a bit like the Saturn and asking if there aren't some subgenre's that should have their own awards.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

[Disney's Frostlanders] Converting Disney Infinity's Captain America to a Kid Friendly Mini-Game Format

Since the day I first saw +James August Walls's Kid Friendly mashup of Disney Infinity and Skylanders for the Savage Worlds role playing game, I have been inspired to work on more content that I can share with my twin daughters History and Mystery. No longer am I satisfied with sessions of Candyland or Pokemon Jr. Adventure Game, though I very much still enjoy playing those with the girls, now I want to design adventures that will turn them into full fledged game enthusiasts.

The other day, I posted the beginnings of a Frostgrave inspired rules set that I plan on playing with the girls. The rules are simple, and different from Frostgrave, and I think that they will make for a good basis for game play. Over the next few weeks, when I'm not posting about other things, reading for my qualifying exams, or working, I'll be posting articles in the Disney's Frostlanders series. Initially, these articles will feature character conversions for my kid friendly miniatures rules and James' simplified Savage Worlds rules.

One key thing to keep in mind for these conversions is that they are going to be conversions of the characters in the game and not in other source material. I sort of broke this rule with the Captain America that I published yesterday, giving him leadership powers that fit the comic character, but these adaptation articles will tend to avoid that trap. I'm not trying to make the "perfect" conversion of the characters, I'm trying to make a fun to play conversion of how the character plays in the emulated video game.

For today's conversion, I'd like to focus on the Disney Infinity 2.0 version of Captain America.

This version of Captain America has upgrades in three main areas Melee, Ranged, and Health/Speed.


Captain America has no special movement powers, so his movement will be at the default level for each game system.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


Watching the video, it looks like Captain America is a highly skilled combatant in Disney Infinity and so in the Frostlanders system I will be giving him a Melee Attack value that is close to the maximum of +4 (keeping in mind that "powers" can add to damage later for other characters). There are few characters more skilled in combat than Cap, but I am going to leave room for the possibility and for there to be room for players of Cap to have the character "grow" with experience. Keeping these things in mind, I'm giving Captain America a +3 in Melee in Disney's Frostlanders. In +James August Walls ' Savage Skylander Skirmish, it looks like he uses "Agility" as the Melee and Ranged Stat and has given Merida a d12 in that Stat. I'm going to be a little more critical in my assessment, and give Cap a d10 Melee stat. This gives us the following.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders
+3d10/Parry: 7


Given how skilled Captain America is with throwing his shield, and how well that is represented in the video, we will need to give him a decent ranged attack. He's no Hawkeye, and thus no Merida, and I'd like to leave him room for character growth later, so I'll give him a +2 in FrostLanders and a d8 in Savage Skylanders.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


Captain America is wearing what looks like leather armor and is bearing a shield. In FrostGrave, leather armor adds +1 to Toughness and a Shield adds another +1 but Caps shield is special so we'll give him an additional +1 for a total of 8 Armor. Given our lower damage swing, d12 based damage instead of d20 in FrostGrave, this is a pretty good value. In Savage Worlds a Toughness of 8 is pretty substantial, more so in this adaptation since our simplified version of the game will default to the Melee stat with a bonus for weapon/strength. The "Hulk" in our simplified system would have a power reflecting higher strength and not a stat. Cap's shield will add to damage (1d6), so he'd be able to hurt someone with a similar Toughness. We'll give him 8 in both systems, especially since most ranged attacks will be 1d6 added to the Ranged attack value. We aren't going to be as granular as even James' simplified system. All Energy Blasts/Ranged Attacks will do (Ranged Stat) + 1d6 damage. Cap's tough, but hurtable.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders

We are given no evidence that Captain America has above normal Willpower in Disney Infinity, but he does seem brave. We'll give him a +1 and a d8 Spirit in Savage Skylanders.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


He should also have a mid-range Health value somewhere between 12 and 16. Cap is a tough combatant, but he's no Hulk. Vigor is used to test for recovering from being Shaken in Savage Worlds and Captain America doesn't appear to get stunned very easily. James gave Stitch and Baymax d8 Vigor ratings and I think those are fine, this seems even more accurate after the recent change to the Shaken rules in official Savage Worlds products.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


I've listed the "Parry" Statistic under Melee since that attribute only matters in Savage Skylanders. Captain America has a 7.


This is where things get a little interesting. Captain America seems to have a couple of key powers in the Disney Infinity game. He has the ability to "charge" his attack, he has a regular ranged attack, and he has an area shield "explosion" attack.

We will represent these in the following way.

Shield -- Damage +1d6 (d10+1d6 Damage)
Powerful Shield Attack -- Subtract 2 to hit and add 2 to damage.
Ranged Attack -- (d8+d6 Damage)
Shield Explosion -- Attack every creature in 6" Circle with a +2/1d8 Melee Attack (d8+d6 Damage)

I think that pretty much covers this adaptation of Captain America based solely on the video. I've added a couple of other powers to my skirmish game "non-Infinity" Cap, but that one lacks the Shield Explosion power.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Coming to a Tablet Near You

When Paizo Publishing released Rise of the Runelords, the first base set for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, in 2013 they re-invigorated the "Card Based Dungeon Crawl" genre. Mike Selinker's design work on the game combined elements of the classic Dungeoneer card game with innovative mechanics from games like Dominion, We the People, Ascension, and Thunderstone and maybe just a dash of Savage Worlds and Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is an entertaining card based simulation of role playing game campaigns. It is engaging to play and can be played in a relatively short period of time.

Now thanks to Obsidian Entertainment, developer of Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the Kickstarter phenomenon Pillars of Eternity, we will be seeing a version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game on our tablets. The game has been developed for Apple iOS and Android Tablets, will make its PAX Prime debut in Seattle, August 28 – August 31, 2015.
The Obsidian version of game takes advantage of the benefits of computer based play to enhance the player experience by allowing for immediate gameplay, multiple games running simultaneously, and additional downloadable adventures.

As in the table top game, each player will have a unique character composed of a customizable deck of cards and stats, and character classes such as fighter, rogue, wizard, and cleric.

Features exclusive to the digital version of the first release include:
  • Reactive cut-scenes featuring Pathfinder’s iconic characters
  • The ability to explore the towns, cities, dungeons, and landscapes of the Rise of the Runelords campaign, including the fiercely independent Sandpoint, and the goblin-infested isle of Thistletop
  • Beautifully enhanced and animated backdrops of every locale
  • Multiple adventure profiles to enable players to experience the campaign using every character
  • Tutorial that distills the rulebook into a mini-adventure
  • Single-player and pass-and-play multiplayer gameplay mode

Obsidian’s Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is scheduled for a fall 2015 release.

About Pathfinder
In the world of Pathfinder, players take on the role of brave adventurers fighting to survive in a world beset by magic and evil. The Pathfinder RPG is currently translated into multiple languages, with hundreds of thousands of players worldwide. The Pathfinder brand has also been licensed for comic book series, graphic novels, miniatures, plush toys, and apparel. For additional information, visit Paizo.

About Obsidian Entertainment

Founded in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment is an entertainment software development company based in Irvine, California, passionately dedicated to the creation of high quality role playing games for all personal computer and console platforms. Obsidian is best known for the products Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the record breaking crowdfunding through Kickstarter for Pillars of Eternity. Visit Obsidian Entertainment for more information.