March 31, 2001: Alliance Buying California Distributors
Alliance Game Distributors LLC, already the largest distributor in the adventure gaming business, announced Friday that it had closed on a deal for Berkeley-Topline Distributors, and agreed to purchase "selected assets" of Barchetta Distribution. Berkeley and Barchetta were by far the biggest independent distributors in California.
Here's the full press release from the Alliance site. Warning: this was a PageMill product and you may not be able to see it in Netscape until they get in and fix it :-)
March 30, 2001: Take Two Bytes and Call Me in the Morning
Psionic healing is a mouse-click away. US Psionics is offering the healing power of their Cybershaman computer program at discount prices, and the science of radionics is just one of their ongoing research projects.
-- Suggested by Dwellyn Myrddin
March 29, 2001: Origins Nominations
We're proud to announce that we got four Origins Awards nominations this year:
Pyramid, for Best Professional Game Periodical . . . not that it has a chance against the high-circulation competition, which unaccountably includes Origins Hall of Fame member Dragon, but it's the only online zine nominated, which is very neat.
GURPS Steampunk, by William H. Stoddard, for Best Roleplaying Supplement. And it deserves it.
Cardboard Heroes Dungeon Floors for Best Game Aid or Accessory. Gee, if you like it that much, we'll have to do some more!
The Munchkin's Guide to Powergaming, by James Desborough and Steve Mortimer, also for Best Game Aid or Accessory. So we're competing with ourselves. Some companies would weep and gnash their teeth. Our take is "Cool. Two nominations."
To see all the nominations, go to the Origins Awards website.
Online voting is promised for later, but the ballot is not up yet.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: All that glitters . . .
Liven up that sword, add some color to that armor with Pro Paint: Blue Steel. All the metallic glimmer of regular steel, but with an attractive blue-grey base.
March 28, 2001: Design An Ogre Scenario And Win!
The most creative people that we work with here at Steve Jackson Games are undoubtedly our customers. Now it's time for the Ogre fans to shine! We're running a scenario design contest in partnership with Wounds Unlimited, and the prize is $100 worth of individual Ogre Miniatures! Head on over to their site for all the juicy details, and good luck!
-- Ben Kimball
Travel down memory lane with What's New #3: The Magic Years, a compilation of the strips appearing in The Duelist magazine, plus a few previously unpublished.
March 27, 2001: And They Haven't Seen PokeTHULHU Yet!
Pokemon in all its forms has been banned from Saudi Arabia by religious authorities. Yes, really. Read the CNN story. Would they lie to you?
Warehouse 23 News: Fly the flags at half mast . . .
The KODT gaming community is about to be knocked on its ear by the loss of one of its leading members. Get the details in KODT #53.
March 26, 2001: Down With Spam!
This story originally appeared in "IO Revealed," from Illuminati Online, and is reproduced with permission.
Last Wednesday, the House Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee unanimously passed a bill designed to substantially reduce the amount of "spam," or unsolicited commercial e-mail, the average Internet user receives every day. The bill is a revision of one introduced earlier this year, co-sponsored by Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas and Heather Wilson, R-N.M. It will likely be passed by the full House Commerce Committee when it comes to a vote there this coming Wednesday, but still faces substantial obstacles in the full House and in the United States Senate. Last year a similar bill, which passed the House by a resounding 427-1 vote, was defeated in the Senate.
The bill is opposed by the Direct Marketing Association, and numerous individual legislators, who fear it will lead to lawsuits, empower ISPs to set and enforce their own anti-spam policies independent of established law, and possibly infringe on First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech. We here at IO have looked at the proposed new legislation, and find those arguments to be largely without merit. The opposition truly stems from organizations like the Direct Marketing Association and their paid lobbyists, who stand to lose money if the
bill becomes law. As of now, such organizations are free to send vast volumes of "junk" e-mail that is effectively free to them, but which costs individual recipients their time and patience, and costs those of us charged with actually moving the mail the considerable cost of the bandwidth to transmit it and the disk space to store it, neither of which are free.
While the legislation may require some fine-tuning to eliminate some areas of legitimate legal concerns, the bill's sponsors have indicated a willingness to compromise and incorporate provisions for those concerns in a final version to be adopted into law. We here at IO urge the full House of Representatives to pass this important legislation when it comes to a vote, and likewise the U.S. Senate to approve an identical or similar bill to be worked out in conference committee. All that then remains to be done is for President Bush to affix his signature to the bill, so that all those who depend on e-mail are liberated from the nuisance and economic burden of "spam," in much the same way that similar legislation a few years ago protected fax owners from "junk" faxes.
You can read more about this issue at news.com.
Warehouse 23 News: Wizards? In a GURPS Space supplement?
A colony lost for 500 years has been refound. Can Unnight and the rest of the Universe adjust to each other?
March 25, 2001: Toon Fans Mourn . . . William Hanna Dies
William Hanna, half of the groundbreaking Hanna-Barbera team that created characters like Fred Flintstone, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, and Tom and Jerry, died Thursday. He was 90. Read the CNN story.
Warehouse 23 News: Muskrats in Swimsuits?
The official harbringer of summer, the Dork Tower Swimsuit Special has arrived, filled to bursting with great art, funny strips, and more cartoon bikinis than you can shake a stick at.
March 24, 2001: Must Have Been An Interesting Place To Work
Gee, when I visited their offices, they just shot at me with Nerf guns. I thought that meant they liked me. Little did I know . . .
What am I talking about? I just read John Tynes' Salon.com story about the early days at WotC. I have no doubt this article will be discussed a great deal in the weeks to come; you might as well check it out for yourself.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: The sleeping bear . . .
The northern Théan nation of Ussura lies covered in a blanket of snow, seemingly sound asleep. But she is a light sleeper, awakening at the slightest provocation and, like a bear woken from hibernation, she deals harshly with those who have disturbed her.
March 23, 2001: William Christopher Holley, Super-Genius
The recession must have already hit if Mr. Holley can't find a decent job. If your beleaguered tech start-up or ailing dot-com needs a pick-me-up, go to his Genius site. Or if you need astrological advice. Or Las Vegas odds.
-- Suggested by Indiana Banzai
Warehouse 23 News: We Need More Tanks!
Defend Newport City (or raze it to the ground) with the zany guys and gals of the Dominion Tank Police. This is a Big Eyes, Small Mouth supplement and resource book for the anime series.
March 22, 2001: Interim Report from Vegas
(1) Good show. Don't have a count yet on the number of retailers, but it's more then several. Definitely more exhibitors than last year.
(2) Met with John Kovalic and plotted a couple of TRULY EVIL things. Shudder and wait; I'm not spilling the details just yet.
(3) I got rid of the crud just in time to catch a cold. Eeeeeeeewwwwwww. My brain is toast. I dreamed last night, ALL NIGHT, about cast resin feet for model hovercraft. Now ordinarily I consider a disordered mind a good thing, but perhaps I am overdoing it.
(4) Richard's "Pikathulhu" sculpture made it in time to blow, at last count, 87 minds. And there's still tomorrow.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: The Hero Wars heat up!
Support for the Hero Wars RPG continues with three new books: Anaxial's Roster, a bestiary of creatures both mundane and magical; Thunder Rebels, the definitive guide to the Orlanthi barbarians; and the Narrator's Book, filled with useful information for new and experienced narrators alike.
March 21, 2001: How Do You Aim This Thing?
At last, a promotion spectacular, silly, and pointless enough to be worthy of the Illuminati themselves. Taco Bell is offering a free taco to everyone in the U.S. if the Mir station hits their 40-foot ocean target when it re-enters.
No word on what the prize is for other targets in the re-entry path, such as Tokyo.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: Over the river and the through the woods . . .
Well, over the river anyway. CityBook VII: King's River Bridge not only provides access over King's River, but is also home to many City residents, both honest and shady.
March 20, 2001: Shots from GAMA
Keith sent a few photos of our booth at GAMA back to the home office recently. If you've never seen an Ogre Mark V playing hide-and-seek, now's your chance . . .
- Ogre? What Ogre? [View]
- Guess which one is the Art Director . . . [View]
- The inimitable Kenneth Hite, communing with a fellow extraterrestrial. [View]
- Personally, I can't wait. [View]
- More Ogre than you can shake a battlesuit at. [View]
- Kamsii-head ducks as another Ogre Miniatures sample pack zips away. [View]
- Paneuropeans attack . . . [View]
- And the Combine defends. [View]
-- Ben Kimball
Warehouse 23 News: New Individual Minis!
We've added the "Gremlin" LGEV and the "Bigfoot" Mobile Howitzer to our line of individual minis.
March 19, 2001: Miniatures Scheduling Change
In order to meet the continuing high demand for Deluxe Ogre, Deluxe G.E.V., and the other miniature sets we have already released, we have hired another caster, and we will concentrate on the existing products until we can fill all orders immediately. This will push back our next announced releases (Combine Company Sets 2 and 7) by at least a month. Later releases will also be delayed. Rather than reschedule these for specific dates, though, we are just going to get to them in the order they were announced, as quickly as we can. We’ll keep you posted.
It’s all your fault for buying so many :-) Thank you!
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: For the Love of Specials
Every time we move stuff in the warehouse, something turns up that we were sure we didn't have anymore. This week it's GURPS For the Love of Mother-Not, a solo adventure based on the novel by Alan Dean Foster.
March 18, 2001: Thinking About Bio-Tech
How quickly might some of the things in GURPS Bio-Tech become reality? Sooner than you think. Dr. Rob Carlson of the Molecular Sciences Institute has posted this short article comparing the pace of current developments in DNA synthesis with the well-known "Moore's Law" rule of thumb about computer chip speed. His conclusion? Biotechnology is developing even faster than hardware.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: Get your anime and RPG fixes at the same time
Our selection of Big Eyes, Small Mouth has significantly increased with the addition of the BESM Character Diary, The Sailor Moon RPG and Resource Book, The Complete Book of Yoma, Vol 1, and Cute & Fuzzy Seizure Monsters.
March 17, 2001: Las Vegas, Here We Come
Next week is the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, and we're sending a large contingent. SJ, Phil Reed, Monique Chapman, Paul Chapman, and Monica Stephens are coming from Austin. Ross Jepson will fly down from Canada, and Keith Johnson will hop over from his home in California. We'll be making a couple of announcements there, and debuting some new games. Should be fun.
Thanks to John Macek for the picture!
Warehouse 23 News: Apocalypse Now . . . with tentacles
The world is ending and the Elder Gods are planning a party. Wanna crash it? Find out the details in Nocturnum: Deep Secrets.
March 16, 2001: Who Do These Guys Climb Over on the Way to the Top?
FEMA's secret plan for government control. Interview with the alien. Experimental everything. All their information is Above Top Secret, but much of it may be over your head anyway.
-- Suggested by Scott Case
March 15, 2001: Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
Our friends at The Onion have revealed a facet of the Conspiracy you might not have known about. But there were definitely grounds for suspicion . . .
Warehouse 23 News: Looking for a needle in a haystack?
We just made the haystack a little smaller. Warehouse 23 has a new search engine up and running. The interface is the same, but finding and ordering items is easier. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
March 14, 2001: New Ogre Page
John Hurtt has created this spectacular Ogre fan page with lots of photographs and commentary.
Warehouse 23 News: Some weeks it doesn't pay to get out of bed . . .
Enter the high-technology, high-fantasy, high-comedy world of the Gatecrasher RPG with Believe It or Else!, an adventure and supplement.
March 13, 2001: The Crud
Phil brought back a great souvenir from Florida: a flu-like crud that has more than decimated our office. I'm sick, Michelle's sick, Loren's sick . . . there may be casualties I don't know about yet. Phil himself had it worse than anyone, I think, so cut him some slack if you haven't heard from him recently. But if the epidemic burns itself out this week, we'll be able to do the GAMA show in Vegas in all expected glory.
-- Steve Jackson
March 12, 2001: We Get Reviews . . .
Jim Cowling wrote an Ogre review . . . just before the zine quit reviewing boardgames. So he posted it on his own site. So we're pointing at it.
(Timing is everything. Two hours after we posted this, we learned that the magazine in question had paid for the review after all, so
Jim quite properly took it off his site.)
And Illuminati is reviewed on i-rpg.org. They like it fnord. Wait till they see Brainwash . . .
March 11, 2001: License to Sit
So it's come to this, has it?
March 10, 2001: Top Sellers in Warehouse 23
A frequently asked question has been "What are the best sellers in Warehouse 23?" And we agree that's an interesting question. So here's a sales report page that shows the most popular items, in several categories, by month. This report will be linked from Warehouse 23, so you can find it again.
March 9, 2001: Let's See You Cross the Velvet Rope
If your travel agent tells you she's sending you to a vacation hot spot, take heed: Although no one is likely to steal the exhibits from any of the sites listed at The Bureau of Atomic Tourism, the displays may be the only things feeling safe.
-- Suggested by Murray M. Lee
Warehouse 23 News: Laugh, and the world laughs with you . . .
KODT Issue 52 and KODT Illustrated Issue 5 are now available at Warehouse 23.
March 8, 2001: GURPS Steampunk Catalog Call for Submissions
We are currently seeking submissions for GURPS Steampunk
Catalog, a collection of amazing Steam Age technology for use
in "steampunk" games, featuring chemicals, laboratory
equipment, tools, vehicles, weapons, and even beasts created by
the brilliant inventors and mad scientists endemic to the
genre, presented in the style of a late-19th-century catalog.
Interested parties can view the submission guidelines here: http://www.sjgames.com/general/author/SteamSubmission.HTML
E-mail William H. Stoddard at email@example.com with submissions, questions, or other correspondence.
No matter which side you're on, one of these new Heavy Gear books has the vehicle information you need: Northern Vehicle Compendium One: Gears & Striders and Southern Vehicle Compendium One: Gears & Striders.
March 7, 2001: Naval Academy Honors Heinlein
The U.S. Naval Academy has honored a graduate who distinguished himself as a civilian, but always loved and honored the Navy: Robert A. Heinlein, possibly the most influential science fiction writer of the mid-20th century. The Robert A. Heinlein Chair in Aerospace Engineering "will provide vision and direction for the USNA's astronautical engineering curriculum, small satellite program, and satellite ground station."
Warehouse 23 News: Warehouse 23 Top 10
The Top 10 list for February 2001 is now up. Be sure to check out our top sellers (they're popular for a reason, after all).
March 6, 2001: Now Shipping!
Several new things are shipping this week:
Slack Attack (for Chez Geek)
Chez Geek is the award-winning card game that throws open the door on apartment life - the
cheap booze, the interrupted sleep, the shrieks of your roommate's S.O. Now add even more stress to your living situation with
Chez Geek 2: Slack Attack. This 55-card expansion adds new stuff, new activities, new annoying "friends" - and, yes, new
nookie! - to the ever-important quest for Slack.
#1333, ISBN 1-55634-450-3. $9.95
From the dawn of civilization to the Middle Ages . . . or in any
fantasy game . . . GURPS Low-Tech is a universal resource for any
campaign set before the age of gunpowder and the printing press. It's 128
pages of detailed research and game ideas:
Whether you're playing cavemen fighting to stay alive, armored knights
jousting for honor, or time travelers searching for the truth about
history, GURPS Low-Tech brings the past to life!
- Weapons: Cleave an enemy's skull with a stone axe, stab him with
a bronze sword, or impale him on your obsidian-tipped spear.
- Armor: Whether it's the crudest leather or the finest iron chain, any
armor is better than none. Plus new rules for piecemeal armor!
- Vehicles: Steer a dogsled across the Arctic, sail a trireme
across the Mediterranean, or ride your chariot over the battlefields of Asia.
- Equipment: Yokes and plows, adzes and hammers, sundials and locks;
everything it takes to build a town or a nation.
- Plus shelter, science, and civilizations . . . from the Stone Age
to the Middle Ages.
128 pages, #6526, ISBN 1-55634-343-4. $20.95.
Traveller Deck Plan 2: Modular Cutter
The Modular Cutter is truly the workhorse of the Imperium . . . and
the subject of a new GURPS Traveller book, eloquently titled "Modular
This set includes 8 two-sided maps . . . the 50-ton
modular cutter itself and seven different modules: Class I starport,
expandable base, laboratory, medical, safari, sensor, and survey.
Also included is a sheet of all-new Traveller Cardboard
Heroes miniatures, created specifically for this set. Explorers,
scientists, doctors, civilians . . . including a Virushi surgeon and a Bwap
8 two-sided maps in a 4-color wrap, with 1 sheet of Traveller-specific Cardboard
Heroes in ziplock bag.
#6620, ISBN 1-55634-480-5. $16.95
GURPS Pyramid 1
GURPS fans, rejoice! This 128-page book reprints 19 of the
best GURPS items from the print issues of Pyramid Magazine.
Now you can get these rare articles in one place . . . updated by
Pyramid editor Steven Marsh. Included are the popular campaign
setting "Sprockets," high-powered rules like "Brain Hacking" and "Willful
Weapons," source info like "Low-Tech Economies," and unique adventures like
"Trespasser's Isle" (post-holocaust piracy) and "Time of the Tyrants"
And yes, there will be another book later in 2001, with more of the
same great material!
128 pages, #6129, ISBN 1-55634-494-5. $20.95.
Cardboard Heroes Bases
Cardboard Heroes miniatures are beautiful, much cheaper than
metal figures, and more convenient too! These plastic bases add weight and
stability, and the colors will help distinguish between figures at a glance.
They're available in packs of 10, in seven colors - black, white, gray, red, yellow, blue, green
- and assorted. Each pack includes a free
Cardboard Heroes zombie . . . because every campaign can use
an occasional horde of slavering undead. Trust us on this . . .
10 plastic bases and cardstock insert in a zip-lock bag
#5104, ISBN 1-55634-500-3. $2.95.
-- Keith Johnson
Warehouse 23 News: Land of the rising sun
Everything you need to role play in Japan is in this week's special. The Nippon Bundle includes GURPS Japan, GURPS Lite, Cardboard Heroes: Japan, Cardboard Heroes Bases, and a special bonus.
March 5, 2001: Pi Million
A few days ago, we passed 3.14159 million hits on our home page. Be very impressed, if you are so inclined.
-- Steve Jackson
March 4, 2001: Style Guide Update
Attention all SJ Games writers and editors -- the SJ Games Style Guide has been revised and updated. If you are writing or editing any material for us, you should read the SJ Games Style Guide from start to finish. Then print it out, memorize it, sleep with it under your pillow, and recite your favorite passages to your friends. I'm not kidding.
-- Alain H. Dawson
Warehouse 23 News: Hit the road . . .
Take your adventures On the Road with CityBook IV. It brings the same detail and interest to travel that the rest of the CityBook series brings to cities.
March 3, 2001: Now We Can Build That Agonizer Booth
The Pentagon has announced a new beam weapon that inflicts pain but - at least if the targets run away like they're supposed to - does not cause actual damage. They're visualizing crowd control applications . . . but wait till the Klingons get hold of it. See the CNN story.
Warehouse 23 News: Return to the Emerald Empire, Part 2
The second half of the new Legend of the Five Rings, 2nd Edition core rules, the L5R Game Master's Guide has arrived. It contains everything the GM needs to create their own Emerald Empire and adventures to run in it.
March 2, 2001: Building Elf-Esteem
If you feel somehow out of place in this world, you aren't alone. You may just be Otherkin's kind of people. Fairies, angels and more unite, and sign the guestbook.
-- Suggested by John Crimmins
Warehouse 23 News: A Blast From the Past
Better late than never, Classic Traveller Reprint #4: The Short Adventures is finally available.
March 1, 2001: Conventions in Florida
Philip Reed, our Art Director, will be at MegaCon and Furry Spring Break (both in Orlando, Florida) this weekend, running demos of our new "shooter" game, Frag. If you're in the Orlando area and looking for some violence, be sure to swing by either convention and throw some dice. (And we mean a LOT of dice!) He'll be at MegaCon Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and at Furry Spring Break on Saturday morning.
Also at MegaCon, you can track down Tom Biondolillo (artist on our new
Traveller Cardboard Heroes) and Zach Howard (artist on GURPS Steampunk and the upcoming GURPS Horror) and get them to sign some of your stuff.
We're looking for an experienced webmaster to support and maintain our online presence. If you've got excellent organizational and communications skills, live on the net and dream in HTML, check out our job posting page; we'd love to hear from you.
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