Master User week in review
Lolth of the Underdark (this evil half-lady, half-spider god) is the big baddy in D&D Online's Forgotten Realms expansion.
January 20th, 2012
02:29 PM ET

Master User week in review

Here's a look at some of the stories that had master gamers and other computer-loving nerds geeking out this week:

Fez-O-Rama announced pre-orders for the D20 Fez. Embroidered in deep red on an even deeper red velvet background with the namesake number in gold. This elegant fez is the perfect topper for those times when you know luck is on your side and you want to be sure everyone else in the room is aware of it too. (via Major Spoilers)

Wizkids added two new photos of ships, Federation ship USS Defiant and the Klingon Bird of Prey Regency 1, from their upcoming "Star Trek HeroClix:Tactics" game. (via WizKids)

Wizards of the Coast released the "Haunted Temples" map pack including three foldout battle maps for D&D. This pack contains three full-color, double-sided, 21” x 30” battle maps with 1-inch scale grids. One map features two exciting, never-before-seen encounter locations: a crumbling cathedral and a haunted chapel with adjoining cemetery. All three maps provide attractive, reusable terrain suitable for any D&D campaign. (via Wizards of the Coast)

Dave Graffam Models released Crane House, a new paper "print and build" model for tabletop gaming that fits into the Rakes Corner line of tabletop printable scenery. (via Daves Games)

Fantasy Flight Games announced that hand-painted Arkham Horror Monster Figures are now available. The figures are designed to work with Fantasy Flight Games' Lovecraftian board game. Each monster's base is designed with a slot to accommodate a monster token from the "Arkham Horror" or "Mansions of Madness" board games. (via Fantasy Flight Games)

Open Design released the "Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design," a 240-page book of in-depth essays on what makes RPGs tick. The book gives time-tested advice from the top designers in the industry. This compilation includes all three volumes of the "Kobold Guide to Game Design" series — now with new material by Wolfgang Baur, Mike Stackpole, and others. (via Kobold Quarterly)

Wizards of the Coast announced the April release of limited-edition reprints of the original core rulebooks for the "Monster Manual," "Player's Handbook," and "Dungeon Master's Guide." These premium versions of original D&D rulebooks feature new cover designs. Available in limited quantities as a hobby channel exclusive in North America, proceeds from the books will help support the Gygax Memorial Fund—established to immortalize the “Father of Roleplaying Games” with a memorial statue in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast announced the first ever expansion pack to "Dungeons & Dragons Online" (DDO). Developed by Turbine, "Menace of the Underdark," will launch in this summer and will allow players to adventure within the Forgotten Realms setting and the vast subterranean world of the Underdark. The digital expansion will feature new additions like an increased level cap and a new Druid class. (via G4tv)

Wizkids announced the June release of their second major set of Pathfinder Battles miniatures. Pathfinder Battles: Rise of the Runelords Part I will include a range of new figures. The release of the pre-painted Pathfinder Battles: Rise of the Runelords miniatures will support the release of Paizo’s 420-page "Rise of the Runelords" hardcover, which collects and updates six "Pathfinder: Adventure Path" publications (via iCV2)

Did we miss something? Let us know if you come across news you think your fellow geeks need to know about in the comments or on twitter @CNNGeekOut

Paizo's Pathfinder Beginner Box
October 28th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Inside Paizo's 'Pathfinder Beginners Box Set'

I like to consider myself an avid tabletop role-playing game player. I started playing Dungeons & Dragons with the original 1983 “Red Box." I played through college and now run a regular D&D game at my local gaming store.

But I'm always excited to try out new games. My group does this every other Thursday. Not only do we get to learn new gaming systems but I think it keep us from getting burned out on the campaign we are playing by taking little breaks. So I was excited to get a copy of Paizo’s latest product, the “Pathfinder Beginners Box.”

I knew about Paizo from the other table top products they sell, like maps and source books. I’d seen their RPG “Pathfinders” on the shelf at my local gaming store, but didn't know a lot of the about the game or its history. Paizo Publisher Erik Mona was happy to fill in the blanks.

Mona explained to me that “Pathfinder” is essentially an offshoot version of the 3.5 edition of “Dungeons & Dragons,” produced under the Open Game License (OGL). FULL POST