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Fiction – The Ballad of Mario Crane – Part Four

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 13:00

Check out Dirty Deeds, the latest Saddlebag expansion for Doomtown: Reloaded. In stores now!

The Ballad of Mario Crane, Part Four
by Jeff Bailey

Stakeouts. They’re horrendous with a good partner. It’s worse with Bippy gnawing at my dreams. New York was never like this. New York had its problems, but hell … I never died there.

I’ve been watching Soddum for over a week. I haven’t seen the man I’m looking for yet … Sloane. I’m guessing he rules from inside one of the buildings here, a general in his headquarters. There’s precious few buildings left: an abandoned saloon where the gang drinks, some houses with torn walls, and some cabins, all either new or built by those who now call it home. It’s not a question of where. It’s how to play my one chance to find him before I get spotted.

I’ve learned Sloane’s gang. There are a few leaders. The most senior appears to be the man with the cards. The woman gives her share of orders, too. She talks short, like she’s delivering messages. When I met them, the three of them were it. Now they’ve got a small army under their heels.

I see a lot of run-of-the-mill bandits, who occasionally drift into town. A Mexican rides in and out every few days. Lookouts walk patrol routes. It took a few days to suss out the weak spot I wanted. Or rather, the weak man.

I’m always surprised gangs allow drunks. They’re erratic, believe just about anything … and they’re often known for making up things. So their first report of trouble is often ignored.

I watched him last night, and I’m watching him tonight. Like clockwork, he starts singing too loud for the irritable types in the bar room, they throw him out, and he heads for the outhouse. I sidle up so that when he opens the door, I’m right in his face, gun drawn. He almost lets out a yell, but a hard barrel swipe to the cheek quiets him.

“The man with the cards. British talker. Where does he sleep?” I ask. But I already know.

“I-I don’t know. And I wouldn’t tell ya. You try anything in this town, you’re a dead man.”

I smile at his words while shoving him against the outhouse’s back wall. “Stay there. I’ll be back when it’s done.” I jam a stick in the handle, just thin enough to buy me time to get out of sight. And just like every drunk, he wants to be a hero.

I’m at the back door to card shuffler’s house thirty seconds before the drunk gets to the porch. I’ve got my hand on the latch, waiting.

*bam bam bam*

I wait.


Shouting upstairs. “Bloody hell. Someone better have a reason for waking me up!”

“Mister Jonah, sir! There’s an assassin lookin’ fer ya,” the drunk yells.

Jonah. I memorize the name.

Feet thud on the floor above. I test the knob. The slight give says it’s unlocked.

Angry mutterings accompany footsteps descending the stairs, followed by the opening of a door.

I open this door right in time with the other. I pull it closed behind me — I found a lot of burglars by looking for open doors — and move into the dark hallway. The angry conversation both guides me and covers my footsteps. I could have done this last night, but getting into a man’s house unheard is tricky. Getting into a man’s house while he’s shouting at a drunk at the front door … that’s easier.

“… get the hell off my porch, Jimbo. Wake me again, it won’t just buy you a broken tooth.”

I hear cards shuffle, and a moan of terror. Jimbo believes the cards aren’t for show, and he’s a regular here. Sometimes I trust a drunk.

“I’m sorry, Jonah.” Jimbo gives a shaky laugh. “Must’ve heard wrong.”

I ease into the front hallway. I see Jonah lit from one of the very few street lamps. I slip forward quiet foot by quiet foot, gun in hand.

Jonah slams the door. Showtime.

Click. “Don’t move … shout … so much as flip a card.”

His eyes roll sideways to see a face. I show him Colt steel.

Hands up and empty. Don’t think you’re too important to shoot. You’re just not worth a bullet … yet.” He drops the deck and raises his hands.

“So you’re not an assassin …”

“The back room.” I saw it on my way in. We move slowly, but with no trouble. He seems to know I’m not in the mood to talk yet not of a mind to kill him.

I don’t know what it means that I see so well in the dark these days, but it’s a gift. Most people would say ‘adjusted’; I don’t think that quite fits. I spot a chair near a stove and point to it.

“Sit on your hands.” He does. It’s awkward and leans him forward. It’s not handcuffs, but it doesn’t have to last long. Now he’s facing me, looking equally confused and suspicious.

“Somethin’ familiar about you, mate. I know you from somewhere?”

I look him in the eye. Have you attended so many murders? I move my hand to my lapel.

“Let’s see if this jogs your memory, Jonah.” I had already unbuttoned my shirt. I move my coat aside enough for the hole to show. He doesn’t gasp, doesn’t cry out, but does grow attentive. Jonah knows more than me about the dark forces in the world. I button up and play my opening card. “Don’t try anything. You and your friends had your shot. It’s my turn.”

Jonah leans back as far as he can without moving his hands. “Mister. You’d better –”

I punch him in the gut. I pull back the force a little, but it’s still harder than most human punches. He coughs a little blood, but somehow keeps his hands under his legs.

“You don’t get to say what I’d better anything. You do get to tell me where I can find Sloane. You get to give him up to me.”

He blinks twice. I slowly pull back the hammer and rotate the cylinder. It’s full.

“Um, he’s … in the cabin on the north side of town. That’s a right mansion in these parts.” I review my observations. The blonde was there several times. She’s still his girl, apparently. He notices my thinking.

“So what’ll you do this time? He got you once; he’ll get you again.” He sneers — an achievement while he’s still coughing from my punch — and chuckles. “All you’ve done is show me where not to shoot.”

I shake my head. “Someone might get that shot, Jonah. But it won’t be you.” I cold cock him, and with the tiniest of crunches, Jonah folds like a nine-high hand.

I slip out the back. I know where I’m going, and I know the patrol routes. As I said, my eyes are dark now. I might have guessed where his lair was; it’s where the lookouts keep the tightest focus during the day.

It takes a few minutes, but I get there. The shack has a few windows. I see a figure at a table with a bottle of liquor. The gleam of metal tips me off there’s a light inside and a gun on the table. I don’t have time to wait for him to get drunk. The patrols will find me before I get in. So I do this loud and proud with a single kick.

The door slams open.

Three shots come at me. The first one takes me in the shoulder, going straight through. It stings, but it doesn’t bleed. The second and third prove how good a shot he is. They go straight through the hole, almost on top of each other.

The lantern on the bedside table shifts in the commotion. I see long, dirty blonde hair … woman’s hair. There’s nobody else here. I draw a bead, but don’t shoot. It might be a mistake, but dying gave me more patience than before. And I won’t make things right by becoming what I’m hunting. I’m rewarded for my forbearance when her gun clicks empty. I see loose bullets on the table and grin.

“Drop it.”

She glares at me coolly, but drops the gun. She studies my face, then looks at the still-smoking holes in my coat. She watches the fabric blow outwards a bit as the wind comes in from the open door. She folds her arms in front of her, hands on elbows. It’s not quite ‘hands-up,’ but it’s not openly threatening.

Her voice is icy contempt. “You’ve taken two rounds to the chest, but I don’t think I’m the first to shoot you there.” She studies me as I take in this unexpected scene. “You’re calm for a monster.”

My hand tenses on the trigger. She sees it, but doesn’t flinch.

“The man you ride with is the monster! Where is he? Where is Sloane?”

She softly chuckles. “I am Sloane. Ask anyone out there.” She smirks. “Expecting someone else?”

I pull the hammer back with my thumb. She still doesn’t flinch.

“I’m not in the mood for tricks. I came to kill Sloane, the man you rode into Liver Creek with, but you don’t exactly have his shoulders.” I pause, considering the narrow smile that won’t wash off her face. “Or did I get here too late?”

With a simple shrug, she admits to the murder. She looks at my gun, and then looks to meet my eyes. There’s a glimmer of recognition.

“You do look a little familiar. Liver Creek … oh, yeah … the cute rolling move before he shot you. Not sure how you’re standing here now, but it looks like I did you a favor. Was that all you wanted?”

I want my life back. I want justice … or at least vengeance. But things aren’t going my way tonight. My frustration edges out in a slow sigh. “You murder a murderer and expect a thank you? Then what? I leave, and you pick up where he left off? Is that what you want me to do?”

She shakes her head. “I don’t care what you do. Shoot or get out of my house.”

I look down the barrel at this woman, the trigger tight against my finger.

She’s tough … ruthless. She was there in Liver Creek. I’ve seen her threaten the crowd over and over again in my nightmares. Hell, she just shot me three times in less than a minute. But she’s not him.

I ease the hammer down. She laughs in my face.

“So even after dying yourself, you still don’t have it in you to pull the trigger?” She pauses, more in contemplation than surprise. “You don’t have the sense to be a killer.” Her head shakes again. “You must be a lawman … only thing that makes sense. You had the grit to get inside here, but not the guts to finish the job.” She nods towards the holes in my coat. “Literally.”

I flick the tip of the gun at her. “I’ve still got the drop on you. But you’re right. I was a lawman. I’ve stopped killers, but unlike you, I don’t shoot people just because they’re in my way. And I’d hardly call your situation any better. You live in a ramshackle cabin in a corpse of a town while you and your gang fight for scraps. Your man took more from you than he took from me. You’re wasting the heartbeats God gave you.”

She scoffs. “Spare the lecture. You’re tough enough that a hole in the chest didn’t put you down, but you don’t have the heart to finish this. I’m callin’ your bluff. I shot you three times, so you know what I’m capable of. I just told you I killed him. But you still won’t shoot. Your badge is covering your eyes.” Her tone sharpens from angry to mocking. “ ‘I’ve stopped my fair share of killers.’ Well, I’ve dealt with my fair share of lawmen. They talk tough.” Her voice gets louder, and her stare intensifies. “But sometimes the law’s right inconvenient when they think they know what’s what. Then they remember the law is just words. They look for the word that gets ‘em what they want. Like ‘expedited’.” She shakes her head as she takes a second to cool off. “But when a lawman can’t hide behind the law, can’t use it as their conscience, they fold. So if you’re done here, it’s the middle of the night.” She slumps into the chair next to the bed. ”I’d just as soon go to sleep.”

I take a breath and think. I’ve been on a one-way mission since I left Gomorra. If the man who killed me had been here, I’d have taken him down with no thought to a future. But this — him dead, her gloating and maybe aimin’ to kill more folks than he did — I can’t throw myself away now. But I also can’t kill her just because she looks guilty. Not even because she says she’s guilty. I have to see this whole thing through. To do that, I have to get out of this town alive … in one piece, I mean. That might mean killing every gunman from here to the county line, or …

I move the gun to point up in the air – still at her, but enough to signal her to get up.

“Don’t push your luck. My badge doesn’t cover my eyes, it just stays my hand until it’s needed. And right now, I’m at a fork in the road. One way is the way folk like you always choose. You die, I die, everybody dies.” I mime pulling the hammer back with my thumb. Then I tilt my head back towards the door. “The other road is a proper escort out of your camp so I can keep my promise to all the people your man killed, the promise to make sure all of us didn’t die for nothing.” I move a little towards the door, where I saw her coat. “So we’re going for a walk.” I pick up her duster from the pegs on the wall and throw it at her.

And I see what was hanging underneath it.

I’ve seen it a thousand times. Sometimes I take the guns from it and shoot him. Sometimes I watch helplessly as he draws the guns from it and shoots me or everyone else. One time, I threw him into the wall with it.

I click back the hammer for real and aim straight at her forehead. She knows something changed. Her eyes move to the wall and the sturdy leather holster belt hanging there … with a gun in it.

She flings her duster at me and bolts out of her chair for the gun. I throw the coat off and just manage to slip the pistol out of the belt before she yanks it off the wall. She curses as I move back again – but she seems more concerned about the holster than the gun.

I clear my throat. “That’s his holster. I wouldn’t have thought it fits you. So what is it, a blood keepsake?”

Her eyes fix on my gun. She’s coiled to strike. Her hand clenches around the holster like it’s a drunk’s last bottle, and the anger she kept down finally boils up. “It doesn’t matter one rotten bit who owned this before, or why I have it. It belongs to me now.” Her fingers tighten even more. “He’s dead. Nobody here for you, lawman,” she spits.

We stare for five whole seconds. No words. I’m holding my gun with the hammer back. She’s clutching that belt. Something about it hit her like lightning. Five seconds ago, she was so done with me she almost went to bed. Now she’s nitro. This woman might blow up the world, with herself on it, just to see the fireworks. I wouldn’t get ten feet from here with this woman as my ‘escort.’

But while we’re just staring, it hits me. She’s a tall, well-built woman with decent muscles. I’m a tall, shriveled man with incredibly compact muscles. Her duster is right there. I pocket her backup gun and slowly pick the coat up off the floor.

She watches me shrug her coat over my shoulders. I grab her hat with my free hand. Her eyes are burnt iron. She’s about to spit fire at me, but she swallows it. After a moment, she speaks again in a more controlled voice.

“You missed your chance to get what you wanted here. And you’re not worth any more fuss. If you somehow get out of Soddum, leave my duds where I can find ‘em, and I’ll forget all about you.”

I tense down a hair and allow a smile. “Really? How … chivalrous of you. But go ahead and sleep tight. I won’t forget about you. Not ever. You were there when he killed me, and you didn’t flinch. I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about you. You may have taken my prize away, but you’ve taken his name. Bad move. I’ll be watching you closely from now on. If you keep on his road of killing innocents without a sigh of regret, I’ll remind you I’m still here. If you think I’ll go away, you underestimate the patience of the dead.”

I back away slowly. She’s still clutching the holster … his holster. I don’t want to know if she cherishes the memory of his life or the memory of his murder. But she’s the problem now. I need to find out who this woman really is, and why she’s taken his name. Is it a shield, or a sword? I can’t find that out here. Not now, not in her cabin, and not in Soddum. I have to wait for her to make her play, make her mistake, tie the noose around her own neck. So I close the door and begin my slow walk into the dark night.

Categories: Company News

Ravenous River Design Diary

Sat, 11/14/2015 - 09:28

Designer Isaac Shalev has kindly provided us with a look into the creation and development of Ravenous River. Click here to check out the featured article.

Categories: Company News

More Koku and Evil Portents Updates!

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 23:47

Samurai of Rokugan,

The second and last wave of final Koku offers has gone live, as of late Monday night. That includes boxes of Ivory (and pre-Ivory) boosters and rare sets from recent expansions. We also decided to extend the deadline for the Glory Of redemption pack and the IA Catch Up Bundle so that no one would miss out. Those two items will deactivate with the second wave on 30 November, 2015.

We will cease accepting koku at the offices after 25 November, 2015.

Koku orders from the first wave may be delayed due to the Epic PvP Kickstarter fulfillment. We will be trying to fit these in next week, if at all possible.

Evil Portents has started selling on the AEG Online Store. Each day, Monday through Thursday, between 11/9 and 11/19, we will be releasing a limited number of Evil Portents Booster Displays, at a random time during the day. This probably seems unusual but we were cautious not to release our entire stock at once so that players would have equal access to this promotion.

Make sure to visit the AEG Online Store on Black Friday to check our promotions!

AEG Customer Service Team

Categories: Company News

Dirty Deeds Preview – Karl Odett

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 16:13

This preview is for the next Saddlebag Expansion, Dirty Deeds, arriving in stores November 16, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

Checking In
by Jim Despaw

karlodett_card“I am very sorry to keep you waiting!” Karl Odett closed the door to his office and hurried into the room, smoothing his ill-fitting green vest and willing his lips into the most caring smile he could manage. He smoothed his oily hair to the side with one damp palm and took a seat behind his desk. “How may I be of service, Mrs. …?”

“Fisher,” the woman started, her eyes pensive. “Mary Fisher.” Her hands fidgeted nervously on her lap, and her face wore several creases of worry. “My husband has gone missing, and I was told that he might have been brought here. His name is Arthur … Arthur Fisher.”

“Oh, my, how terrible!” Odett steepled his fingers and leaned forward on the desk. “And what makes you think he is here at the Sanatorium?”

“He … he …” she began, tears welling in her eyes.

Odett plucked a slightly wrinkled white handkerchief from his breast pocket and handed it across the desk. “It’s alright, ma’am. Take your time.”

“Thank you,” she said, dabbing under her eyes. “You are too kind.” Composing herself, she continued. “He had the sickness … the same as a lot of folks in town. I went to visit him at the tents last night and he was gone. Someone said he might have been brought here for treatment.”

“Certainly possible. Our secluded location and clean air are just the thing to cleanse the body and spirit! But I am afraid your husband’s name doesn’t sound familiar.”

“Could you please check … just in case?”

“Of course!” Odett sighed under his breath as he reached into a desk drawer, pulling out the first papers he could find. The pages were blank but he studied them intently. “Hmmm … there is no record of a Mr. Arthur Fisher here. Believe me, I know every patient that walks through these doors. I care for them as if they were my own, and each has a special place in my hear–”

Suddenly the door burst open behind them, and a ragged woman stumbled into the room. Her hair was a mess of tangles, and only a dirty blue hospital gown covered her lean frame. Her eyes darted around the room, falling on Mrs. Fisher first.

“Help me!” she shrieked. “Please … you must help –”

She fell silent, her eyes growing wide in terror as they fell on Odett. She turned back to the doorway, but found it blocked by a behemoth figure in faded blue overalls who nearly filled the entire doorway with his bulk. With a fluid motion he reached in and scooped up the girl, slinging her over one massive shoulder. She kicked and flailed against his grip, but the goliath stood unmoving.

“Well, Mrs. Fisher,” Odett said, rising from his seat, “it seems you will get your wish after all.” The other woman stood frozen in horror as he addressed the man in the hallway. “Horace, put Mrs. Fisher in the upper ward, so she can be close to her husband.”

Categories: Company News

Dirty Deeds Preview – Tlaloc’s Furies

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 13:00

This preview is for the next Saddlebag Expansion, Dirty Deeds, arriving in stores November 16, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

Tlaloc’s Furies
by Paul Durant

“Just as I thought,” said Smiling Frog. “The Ever-Triumphant Trail was too well-walked for them. They had to wait until she cut around Devil’s Armpit to make their move, the cowards.”

The old Pomo tracker slid down the ravine to inspect the scene, leaving his two companions to follow after. A covered wagon hung with shawls, beads, dreamcatchers, and all manner of assorted geegaws laid on its side, smashed half to pieces. All that remained of its driver was a pile of rags, but nobody had bothered to either kill or free the horse that had pulled it. The nag was still alive, baking in the sun. He took an umbrella from the wreck, opening it to give the animal some shade, and unslung his waterskin to give the horse a drink. It gave him a wary look that said it had no energy left to act thankful.

Animal taken care of, Smiling Frog inspected the wreckage. Careful not to jostle it too hard and send it into collapse, he propped open the back door and let the harsh noon light stream in. Tiny wooden totems, scrimshaw necklaces, decorative furs, and crafts in varying states of completion were scattered about the back, but he specifically sought a black iron box, inlaid with as many markings to ward off evil as there were tribes in the Great Maze, its hinges covered in paper talismans. It was the only thing of importance this wagon had to carry. And as he sifted through the cargo piece by piece, it became clear that the box was gone.

tlalocsfuries_card“They took it,” he said, standing and dusting off his hands.

Finally,” replied Laughing Crow as she rode up to the wagon. “If I had to haul these old bones all the way up here again to give them another chance at it, I’d wind up with saddle sores up to my neck.”

“Saddle sores?!” groused the spectral Inuit woman floating at her side. “She drags me across the veil, dresses me up like a caravaner so I can get shot by a pack of hoodlums, and she’s complaining about saddle sores?”

“If they didn’t shoot anyone for it, they wouldn’t have thought they were stealing something valuable!” Smiling Frog protested, before realizing that having her shot wasn’t even his idea. “This is the Maza Gang, not Sloane. Small-timers need a bit more hand-holding.”

“We ARE sure this is a good idea, right?” the old ghost asked him. “Those things are dangerous in anyone’s hands. They could be downright deadly in his.”

“We’re sure,” answered Smiling Frog. “Well, Stephen is, and I trust him. Hawk may be strange, but her ideas usually work out somehow.”

“I just wish she coulda saved us some trouble and told us how to GET the knives to him,” added Laughing Crow. “Because if they didn’t take the bait this time, I’d have just knocked on Mayor Whateley’s front door and tossed them into his lap.”

Categories: Company News

A Return to 7th Sea

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 18:08


For Immediate Release: A Return to 7th Sea

AEG is excited to announce that we have entered into a deal with John Wick Presents to sell back the publication rights for the 7th Sea game line. AEG will still retain rights to publish a number of products within that line over the next few years and we are negotiating and planning what that will be but have no announcements at this time.

John Wick was part of the original AEG development crew and we created some awesome worlds together during our first 5 years of business but 7th Sea was his personal passion project and while it benefited from being published at AEG, it was his baby. This deal puts the game the world he loves back in his hands and gives AEG an opportunity to adventure once again on the high seas in one of the most beloved gaming worlds of the last 20 years.

John Zinser, CEO of AEG, is excited for JWP and AEG. “The world of 7th Sea is just too amazing to spend any more time sitting on a shelf and while a deal we announced a month or so ago for that other property we developed has gotten a lot of attention this deal has been in negotiation for much longer. It is just good Karma that 7Th Sea ends up back with it’s creator. We are excited that we get to keep the part of the playground we do best and let JWP start to grow the brand again from the ground up.”

“It’s the game I get asked about most,” John Wick (owner of JWP) said. “More than anything I’ve ever done. I’m very proud of the work that was done, but I’m also very excited to see the game rejuvenated with modern game design and technology.”

“I’m very glad AEG is doing card and board games,” John Wick said. “They’ve proven to be one of the best companies in the world when it comes to those kinds of games. I’m excited to see what they come up with.”

For more information about 7th Sea and upcoming plans go to and

Categories: Company News

Final Koku Offers Available For All IA Members

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 17:30

Samurai of Rokugan,

The first wave of the Evil Portents koku offers are live and we have an exciting announcement to make:

We would like every Imperial Assembly member, past or present, to be able to participate in these offers. Therefore, we have activated every account that has ever held a subscription until December 31st, 2015.

However, to reward those players that still had active subscriptions before this, we awarded all such accounts with 101 Koku!

If you experience any difficulties or do not receive koku as you were entitled to, please email and we will address your problem as quickly as possible.

As you can imagine, things are pretty busy as we close down L5R and make these final items available to you. We may hold orders of koku shipments up to two weeks. We will make every effort to get these orders out in a timely fashion but there might be delays, regardless of our best intentions.

Thank you for your support over the years,
The AEG Customer Service Team

Categories: Company News

Dirty Deeds Preview – Rico Rodegain

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 12:00

This preview is for the next Saddlebag Expansion, Dirty Deeds, arriving in stores November 16, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

Double or Nuthin’
By Ross Fisher-Davis

ricorodegain_cardRico’s hands flashed the cards across the table so quick they were a blur, and then slapped one of his powerful hands down on the table loud enough to make everyone jump.

“And that was when I realized that I might be in some real trouble.” Rico continued the story that had taken four hands to build, loud enough to grab the whole saloon’s attention. He pointed a finger into Charlie’s face and flipped over the first of his dealer cards.

“Now I knew being lost in the Maze was bad enough, but now that I’d lost my horse, I knew I was in for a time of it. Lady Luck, that fickle mistress, was scowling down on me, let me tell you.”

Grant and Morley glanced down at their cards briefly, before Rico’s arms spread wide, as if to encompass the whole room, and gave a hoot.

“That’s when I saw it! Maze Dragon … biggest one I ever seen. Coming right at me outta the blue.”

The dealer’s cards came up, and with a flourish, Rico was tugging in winnings from all three players at the table.

“Bad luck gentlemen. You know what they say, ‘Next time lucky.’ How about another round? Now where was I?”

Grant looked down at his swiftly dwindling pile of chips and opened his mouth to speak, when Rico tossed him another hand and a winning smile.

“That’s right! It was all thanks to the information I’d found when I was exploring the old Knot Mine that gave me the advantage I needed to outwit that big overgrown skink, and so it was that I developed a cunning plan that would lead me safely out of his clutches, and get me the gold after all.”

“Wait, where did the gold come from again?” Charlie said, looking up from his cards, failing to keep up with the story and focus on his hand at the same time. Rico waved the question away with a flourish of deft hands and dealt out the last card.

“Whole ‘nother story; we’ll come around to that later, don’t you worry yer pretty little head about it. So anyway, the dragon bears down on me, and I can feel his breath right on my face, he’s so close.”

Glancing across the cards on the table, Rico clapped his hands together and gave a deep sigh.

“Well gentlemen looks like the fickle mistress is on my side tonight, don’t it?” He leaned forward to scoop up his opponents’ last surviving chips.

“Wai– … wait. What happened with the dragon?” Morley asked, missing the flush he could have had with the right discard.

Rico looked up, a wide smile on his face.

“Then allow me to continue, of course. Everybody loves a good story. In the meantime, shall we say, double or nuthin’?”

Categories: Company News

Evil Portents and Koku Redemption

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 20:59

Samurai of Rokugan!

Just in time for the release of Evil Portents, the final expansion for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG, we’re making some awesome stuff available for you to acquire with your hard-earned Koku! This is our way of rewarding loyal Imperial Assembly (IA) members, as well as offering you a way to spend the copious amounts of Koku many of you have saved up. This offer begins on Monday, October 26.

This will work the same way Koku orders for cards always have. You simply have to log into your IA account, move your mouse pointer over your banked Koku value at the top of the page, then select “Koku Redemption”. You’ll then see the items listed below. You will be able to order ONE of each available item. Before you complete your order, the shipping cost will be shown to you; you can pay that with PayPal, and then wait for your order to arrive!

A few notes:

  • Shipping weights/charges are normally calculated per card. We’re setting the # of cards for these offers to reflect the actual shipping cost of these larger items.
  • We’re still accepting Koku, so you can continue adding Koku to your accounts until further notice.

So, without further delay, here are deals.

Legend of the Five Rings Products

Until October 26th

The Koku / “Glory of” Redemption program will continue to offer the currently-available cards.

October 26th – November 8th

Beginning on October 26, you will be able to order up to ONE of each of the following for the listed Koku amount:

  1. Imperial Assembly Catch-Up Bundle – 1 Koku
    • 6 Packs of unreleased IA promos (3 copies of each):
      • Nimble Scouts, Scout Tactics
      • Colonial Herald, Colonial Edict
      • Another Time, Brilliant Victory
      • Scout, Narrow Ground
      • Berserkers, Duty
      • Zombie Troops, Corrupted Ground
  2. 10,000th Card Set – 10,000 Koku
  3. 2014 Holiday Pack – Just the Cards – 200 Koku
  4. 20 Festivals Glory Redemption Pack – 3 of each clan “Glory of” item
    • Comes with 1 copy of each side of each Clan’s stronghold from Twenty Festivals, in foil, and 1 copy of each Unique Personality from the Twenty Festivals starters, for a total of 36 cards.

November 9th – November 30th

Beginning on November 9, and last until November 30, you will be able to order up to ONE of each of the following for the listed Koku amount:

  1. Booster Boxes –
    • The Coming Storm – 1000 Koku
    • A Line in the Sand – 1000 Koku
    • The New Order – 1000 Koku
    • Ivory Edition – 800 Koku
    • Gates of Chaos – 500 Koku
    • Aftermath – 500 Koku
    • Coils of Madness – 400 Koku
  2. Rare Sets –
    • 20 Festivals A or B – 1100 Koku
    • Thunderous Acclaim  – 1200 Koku
    • The Coming Storm – 1100 Koku
    • A Line in the Sand – 1100 Koku
    • The New Order – 1100 Koku
Doomtown Reloaded Conversion Bundles

Obviously, there’s no replacing L5R in our hearts. However, we would like to at least help fill the void with Doomtown Reloaded, the fantastic card “weird” West card game from AEG. This is our first Evolving Card Game (ECG), which means it’s not “collectible”; there are no rarities and all cards are “fixed” in each Doomtown Reloaded product. Doomtown Reloaded shares some mechanical concepts with L5R, but the real fun comes from assembling poker decks and drawing poker hands to resolve shootouts and other interactions with your opponent. More information about Doomtown Reloaded is available here!

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get into Doomtown Reloaded, so we’re offering the following bundles through the Koku system.

Note: Shipping prices have been adjusted to reflect both the weight of the items and a small base cost for the product.

Doomtown Reloaded Conversion Bundles (available from October 26 to November 30 inclusive)

  1. Deputy Bundle – 100 Koku
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Base Set
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – New Town, New Rules
  2. Sheriff Bundle – 500 Koku
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Base Set
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – New Town, New Rules
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – Double Dealin’
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – Election Day Slaughter
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Pine Box    – Faith & Fear
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – Frontier Justice
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – No Turning Back
    • 1x Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – Nightmare at Noon
Categories: Company News

Dirty Deeds Preview – Miasmatic Purifier

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 12:00

This preview is for the next Saddlebag Expansion, Dirty Deeds, arriving in stores November 16, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

Miasmatic Purifier
By Jon Del Arroz

Right in front of me stood a large metal box, about the size of three outhouses. I held up a torn piece of the Gazette to make sure I was in the right place.

Feeling Ill? Persistent Cough? The cure is here! Come Wednesday to the Miasmatic Purifier due west of the Morgan Research Institute.

My lungs burned, fits of coughs came out, each harder than the last, but none strong enough to help. It’d been about a week since the gunk filled up my lungs. My chest ached and throat burned from the repeated sensation.

“Ah, you must be one of the applicants,” someone said from behind me.

A man with dark hair, round glasses and black gloves approached. He tugged a glove off to offer his hand. “William Specks. Glad you came. I suppose you’ll want to know a little bit about what we hope will be the cure for the lingering sickness ailing our fair town.”

Mr. Specks moved with a bounce in his step, the kind you’d see when Miss Lula caught a glimpse of a baby horse, as he pulled open the thick metal door. Inside, dozens of blades spun. I followed him in, holding onto my hat so it wouldn’t fly away.

“Dr. Pasteur called a meeting a few days ago to talk about this epidemic and how it’s our duty as scientists to find the cure. This room is the fruits of that meeting. Powered by our company’s new ghost rock find, it sucks out the bad air filled with dust, debris, and chemicals from cattle flatulence, and simultaneously generates pure, clean air through a series of intricate filtration devices. Spend a half an hour in here, breathing in the pure air, and the bad should cycle out through your lungs.”

I blinked. “Mr. Specks, thank you kindly for the explanation, but I’ve been sick for too long, and my head ain’t what it used to be. I have to say I have no idea what you just said.”

The scientist smiled, motioned toward a small chair in the center of the chamber. “Just have a seat. It’ll all be better soon.”

miasmaticpurifier_cardMy boots clanked as I stepped onto the metal floor. Mr. Specks closed the door and the blades moved even faster. The room shook from all the motion, air washing all around, filling my lungs. Doggone it, I could breath again!

After a while, the doors opened again.

“How do you feel?” Mr. Specks asked.

I stepped outside. My lungs were clear of gunk. My nose didn’t even itch! I’d been cured. Praise the Lord and the good Mr. Specks. I took in the air as deeply as I could …

… and started coughing all over again. I doubled over from the pain in my chest, and found myself unable to keep my balance.

Specks shook his head, carefully stepping over me and patting his machine as if it were a pet. “Ah well, back to the drawing board!”

Categories: Company News

Fiction – The Ballad of Mario Crane – Part Three

Wed, 10/14/2015 - 12:00

Check out The Light Shineth, the latest expansion for Doomtown: Reloaded. In stores now!

The Ballad of Mario Crane, Part Three
By Paul Durant

They turned to look at me, each of them horrible in their own fashion, people who must wear masks to appear remotely human. In the center, there was a man who must have been a giant when he was alive, but now occupied his former space like the skeleton of a burned-up skyscraper. He was grinning, like he was enjoying himself, like he was happy, like he didn’t even recognize that he was already dead. His skin was waxy, sunken in to touch every bone, and around his neck there was a noose hanging like a necktie.

To his right stood a black man — I think he was black, under the blood it was hard to tell — wearing a fisherman’s yellow rain slicker. His eyes had been scratched out with some kind of claw, so I don’t think he could tell that his slicker hadn’t protected the tarot cards he was holding from being drenched in blood like the rest of him. Every one of his finger joints had a string tied to it, leading off to things I couldn’t see.

And to their left, a machine, one that was supposed to look like a woman if it had been completed. But a whole side of “her” face was missing, letting me see the gears and ratchets making up the assembly where a human being would have had a brain. They weren’t all there — pieces were obviously missing on the inside just as well as the outside. How was it still working without all the parts in its head? Was it still working? And who the hell decided to make its fingers out of scalpels?

The mouth on the machine pitched open, and emitted words, as if reading numbly from a script pasted together from other bits of text: “Lie down on your face, and don’t do anything foolish. Sloane will shoot you if you try.”

“Listen to the lady,” the skeletal giant, said, not nearly in the wheeze I expected from something so emaciated. “Or I might just shoot ya just for the fun of it.”

“Do … do you guys not notice this?” I asked, still holding my hands up. “This is not normal! She’s a broken machine, he can’t see, and you’re dead. Can you even lift that rifle?”

He could.

* * *

I would have loved to have a better explanation … some way I could have laughed off my experience as entirely normal. But when I woke up in an undertaker’s, with a hammer and a ruler sticking out of the gaping hole in my chest, there were no alternate explanations forthcoming: I was dead … and now I wasn’t … sort of.

I didn’t have the time or the presence of mind to comment on my situation when I woke up. Not even on the fact that the undertaker was treating the hole in my chest like a storage drawer — seriously, how unprofessional can someone be? — all I could do was grunt and roll off the table, causing the undertaker to scream. I probably would have too had I the breath in me, but instead all I could do was wheeze out, “What … happened?”

He stammered “You were dead? I figured you were gonna stay dead?” and all I could think was, Why is he asking that like it’s a question?

* * *

Back at the stagecoach office. Three nightmares, three broken things trying and failing to appear human. “Lie down on your face, and don’t do anything foolish. Sloane will shoot you if you try.” I’d been shot by him once in reality, and once again in my dreams. Let it not be said I never learn. I didn’t even wait for Sloane to speak up. Hands over my head, face in the dust. Not gonna be a hero this time.

Silence for a while … I fidget … then gunfire. I raise my head to see a different room. I’m in the undertaker’s again, surrounded by corpses. Sloane and his cronies murdered everyone else there without me to stop them. They didn’t shoot me this time. Maybe because I was already dead. A man who lies down while those around him die can’t be much better than dead himself, can he?

I sit up, and the undertaker screams. I raise my hands, try to get out something to calm him down, but he’s already at the point where he says “You were dead? I figured you were gonna stay dead?”

He reaches under his table and comes up with a dirt-covered shovel, repeating “Stay dead?” He’s between me and the only exit, and I don’t have time to say much before he caves my head in.

* * *

In the days since I stumbled out of the undertaker’s office, I have tried to get my head around the inexplicable phenomena that returned me to life. My body is different now; my skin is parched and dry, stretching thinner and thinner over my bones. I don’t feel any weaker — in fact, a ruinous strength has taken hold in me. I have to be careful not to destroy what I touch, as I learned the first few times I tried to have a glass of water. At least giant shards of glass piercing my hand don’t seem to do any lasting damage. Oh, and speaking of trying to drink, normal food just doesn’t do it anymore … only meat seems to help my hunger.

There’s also the gaping hole where a .44-40 round removed my heart, but that is easy to cover with my shirt. Honestly, that one is the least of my problems.

My mind hasn’t changed … but it is no longer alone. Something brought me back, something dark, and it’s decided to take up residence. I’d like to think it was my guardian angel, but the fact that I’m inadvertently crushing things and sated only by animal flesh doesn’t bode well for it being on the side of the angels. I’d ask a priest, but I’m kind of afraid that talking to a priest while being a walking corpse isn’t my best move. I’d ask the thing living inside me, but it isn’t all that talkative. Only time he seems to communicate is in the dreams he sends me, and those certainly aren’t any fun. Either he’s trying to wear down my willpower, weaken my spirit by tormenting me with twisted visions, or he’s just trying to annoy me; he won’t say which. He won’t even tell me his name. I call him Bippy, since he won’t speak up to object.

* * *

Back in the stagecoach office, where it always starts. Three figures, like they always are: giant dead man, half-assembled murder-machine woman, and bloody cultist. If I stop and talk, he shoots me. If I surrender, he shoots everyone else.

The machine gets to “lie down on” and I charge Sloane, aiming for his left shoulder, putting me closer to the blind cultist than the woman-shaped killing machine. Out of range for her to kick me, inside the minimum range of his rifle arm, I smack into him full force, and we go tumbling over the counter in a heap. He’s surprised by this, and before he can pull a knife, I have him in a triangle choke. Once his right arm is trapped under my leg and his guns are kicked out of reach, I draw my service revolver on his two flunkies.

“All right, now both of you, face down on the ground!” They are dead silent — it appears that Bippy can make any new image he likes, but can’t do too well with sound, and so any time I deviate from the ‘script’, I’m left hanging in this eerie silence. But the two do comply, and they vanish underneath the low counter. They stay down, beyond my sight. I can’t even hear Sloane struggling in my grip, because I’d never heard that sound in life. I don’t have any cuffs, but I’m not feeling that charitable anyway. So to ensure Sloane isn’t any more trouble, I break both his arms before I let him go. They’re brittle like sticks of chalk and snap off in a cloud of choking dust.

His flunkies are gone and their hostages are dead. When they dropped from my field of view, they started stabbing, and I couldn’t hear any of it. They murdered eight people within feet of me, and I couldn’t do anything because I didn’t even know about it. Then they slithered off like the snakes they are.

Behind me I hear a voice: “You were dead?” I turn, and the room behind me has become the Liver Creek undertaker’s. The undertaker is standing there with his shovel once more, examining the carnage, thinking I should be among the bodies. He’s probably right. He lifts the shovel at me. I lift my revolver. He charges as I squeeze the trigger.

I tell myself what we always told ourselves in New York: anyone who attacks a policeman deserves what he gets. If I’d only had a baton I’d be dead instead of him. Now nine people are dead because of me. I walk out of the undertaker’s onto the street.

Gomorra sits on the horizon, the only landmark on a vast plain of grey. There’s a hole in the sky above it; a great sucking chest wound in the heavens. There’s a black-clad ferryman sitting in a boat, beckoning me to to ride with him across the desert, to finish my journey into the land of the dead that is Gomorra, California. I reach into my pocket for the customary two coins, but he waves me off; this one is on the house.

It is only after I board and the desert turns to inky, black water that I see another boat behind me with another ferryman. This one holds my wife and child. The boat comes to Liver Creek, and from the waves around them, I see Sloane’s two cronies rise with knives drawn. I leap from my vessel, but cannot reach them before their throats are slit, and I sink into the darkness.

* * *

In the weeks since my death, I’ve tried to figure out who I am now and what the heck I ought to be doing. I wired back home and told them not to come; this is obviously not a situation I want my family to see. It didn’t take any threat of Sloane to do it either, but the dream showed me it was a bad idea to forget about doing it. I hope Esther’s sister isn’t fed up with them yet.

I never picked up my job with Morgan, either. I don’t think a respectable woman like Lillian Morgan would want anything to do with an animated corpse, nor would she want the walking dead poking around her ranches. I did complete the journey to Gomorra. And when I sleep, that journey unfolds in front of me, a phantasmagoria of dim, dreamed torments where no matter what I do, I cause death, and no matter what decision I make, it is the wrong one.

It’s really starting to get on my nerves.

This town is awful. The Sloane gang terrorizes it regularly; the police don’t seem to have the manpower to dissuade them. I’d offer my experience, but again … corpse animated by black magic … probably. The people here are violent and foolish. Every third building is some kind of casino or saloon or brothel; I don’t even know where people are getting the money to spend at them. The economy here is nothing like the city.

Well, maybe it is. I’ve been keeping my head down … feeling out the situation, maintaining a low profile. I try to avoid doing things that Bippy can turn into more nightmares, hoping that maybe I can learn something new from the visions I get.

* * *

Stagecoach office again. No more mucking about. Rush Sloane before he even opens his mouth, tackle him behind the counter. Get my gun up to the cronies. “Okay, hands where I can see them, and don’t leave my sight.” No. You know what? No more chances for them. Once they’re disarmed, I fire.

The woman falls first, into a pile of metal shavings and gears, as if my bullet disrupted the delicate balance holding all her pieces together. The other one’s eyes go wide, and his mouth starts moving a mile a minute. Maybe he is begging for his life, and maybe he’s invoking some fell curse. I hadn’t heard either before, so no sound is coming out anyway. I shoot him, too. He explodes like a rotten cantaloupe, blood everywhere. I break Sloane’s arms and stand. The hostages are alive this time … but they shiver in fear at the sight of me.

Better afraid than dead, I guess.

Now it’s time for the undertaker to come in with his shovel, and tell me “Stay dead?” I shot him last time … but seeing those terrified faces staring up at me, I don’t want to this time. I brace myself for the swing, catch the shovel, and yank it out of his hand. I don’t want anyone else to die.

He won’t let go when I pull, and I send him careening backwards into the counter. He collides with a sickening thump, head gashed open by the counter’s edge. The hostages all look at me like the monster I am. He shouldn’t be hurt. He should be fine; nobody is that fragile. This is unfair … but I can’t really complain, can I? Because people are that fragile. Everyone. They all break at my touch.

No reason to stay and be gawked at. I walk out of the office and promptly turn around, facing away from Gomorra, looking for the boat carrying my family. Of course, there’s no boat; it’s the desert. But there is the telegraph office I used to send the message to them. Maybe Bippy thought turning the desert into water was a bit too on the nose.

The two people I met outside the office — the real office, when I actually sent the message to Esther — are standing outside. The man’s as dapperly dressed as ever, but that’s all there is to him; he’s just a dressmaker’s mannequin now, a wooden doll with no features. The woman next to him looks as she did in the real world, which is to say shabby, unkempt and sleepless, with a tamed raven on her shoulder. She looks entirely normal actually until she turns around, and I see her heart’s hovering outside her chest, and upon it is a weary, half-lidded eye.

“Why thank you,” says the mannequin-man, even though I didn’t actually compliment him this time. “You know, if you’re interested, I have all my tailoring done by Bethany Shiile. She’s always happy to take on new clientele.”

My response now is the same as it was then, mostly so I won’t throw him off track. “Thanks, but I don’t know how much she could do with someone of my, ah, complexion.” The sidewalk outside the telegraph office has turned into a dock, somehow, and I know my family will be here soon, needing somewhere to moor.

He chuckles. “Are you talkin’ about the fact your skin’s white, or the fact it looks like you left it layin’ out in the desert for a week?” He leans in like he’s going to jokingly jab my ribs, but I care even less than I did the first time. He’s blocking the dock, and if he won’t stop talking, my family will sail on by and miss me. “You wouldn’t be the worst lookin’ fella to come in. But if it’s skin you’re worried about, I know –”

“I don’t get it,” says the girl beside him, interrupting. “Why is the eye on my heart? That’s weird for the sake of being weird. The hole isn’t above Gomorra either. And turning the desert into water? That’s way too on the nose. This whole thing is just a bunch of nonsense symbolism thrown together to try and look meaningful.”

The man doesn’t have neck joints so he has to hop in place to look toward her. “What on Earth are you talking about? Is that bird telling you some story we should be aware of?”

I was as confused as he was when she said those words, because when she did, we were all normal looking people in the real world. But this time, they almost make perfect sense.

She looks straight at me as she continues. “You need to get out of Gomorra. Leave. None of this,” she waves her hand, “means anything. It’s all in your head; there’s nothing here about the future. You’re not going to learn anything except what you wanted to learn anyway.” Then her bird cawed at her, and she turned to answer it, becoming lost in a conversation between human and bird. “No, I don’t … What, is this not happening? Is that guy not actually there? … Well then what’s the problem?”

The mannequin-man continues to stare at her. “You are the single strangest person I’ve ever met, you know that?” He hopped in place to turn back to me. “She is like this every single time she meets someone new. Drives me up the wall.”

Before, I’d just shrugged because she struck me as just as strange. Now I knew what she was seeing the whole time.

* * *

She knew what I would see. She probably knew I would be there at the telegraph station that day; that was why she came at all. And she had an important message for me. Leave Gomorra. Don’t listen to the dreams. The dreams tell me I can’t touch anything without breaking it … that all I bring is ruin and death. But they aren’t true.

I know why I should leave Gomorra. Because outside of this town, in the ruins of its sister city Soddum, the Sloane Gang are holed up.

And I have to find Sloane.

Categories: Company News

2015 Fall Kotei Season Update!

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 13:55

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan!

The 2015 Fall Kotei Season results are updated to the current weekend, and can be found HERE.

Within the last couple of weeks two of the TOs for Kotei Events, in Argentina and Spain respectively, have requested their events to be removed from the calendar. These events have been replaced with Events in Oklahoma City, OK, USA on October 31st, and Claremont, FL, USA on December 12th. This keeps the Kotei Season at the 35 Events that were initially planned.

The 2015 Fall Kotei Season Events Page has been updated HERE, with links to their respective 2015 Fall Kotei threads on the AEG Forums.

Finally, we are aware that there has been some delays with the inclusion of Evil Portents as part of the Kotei Kit prize pool. We are working on this situation, and as soon as it is physically available for shipping with Kotei Kit’s it will be included. If Tournament Organizers have any questions about their upcoming Kotei, please send an email to


Categories: Company News

The Light Shineth Preview – Morgan Mining Company

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:00

This preview is for the next Pine Box Expansion, The Light Shineth, arriving in stores October 5, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

Morgan Mining Company
by Jon Del Arroz

Lula Morgan watched as several men pulled the broken plasma drill out of the new vein of ghost rock that had been found weeks ago, rejuvenating Gomorra’s potential as a moneymaker. Lula’s witch of a stepmother had a knack for sniffing out money. Lillian certainly latched on to wealthy Nathaniel tightly enough to ensure the inheritance. Then she ran Lula out of the ranching game, hoping some dead end mining job would pacify her. And after she’d worked so hard too! This time, though, Lula struck a mother lode … or at least a small vein, as the miners had told her.

The men heaved the contraption with a rope, revealing a metal cone at the end of a cylinder. The machine ran on ghost rock itself, but not nearly as much as they’d already discovered. The plasma drill’s logo read “Sweetrock Mining Company”, which annoyed Lula to no end.

“Men!” Lula commanded, picking up her skirts so they wouldn’t get ruined in the mud. “When True fixes this thing, have him file that off and engrave a new logo on it.”

“What’ll it say?” a voice said, boots and spurs clinking on the ground behind her.

morganminingcompany_cardLula turned around to see Lane Healey, who in turn inspected her men with a wry interest. “Tallulah Morgan Mining Company, of course,” Lula said.

“Bit long, don’t you think?”

Lula narrowed her eyes. Was he mocking her? This mining operation was almost entirely hers, and she dreaded any association with the company Lillian had stolen from her. Yes, she’d show Lillian – and then she’d take her company right out from under her as well. “You’re right, Lane.” Lula smiled and patted his arm. “We must maintain the brand. ‘Morgan Mining Company’ it is.”

“You’ll need someone to guard the strike,” Lane said with a motion over to the sinkhole-turned-cavern. The building stood half-collapsed on its side in disrepair. It didn’t look like much, but the ghost rock was there.

“This and the other strikes we’re going to find. Why don’t you be a dear and see if those kind Shane and Graves fellows might be lookin’ for some extra work. I need you to secure the maps.”

“Maps?” Lane asked.

“In my office. Hired a fellow called McDroste to do some prospecting. If there’s another vein, we’ll find more.” And then we’ll take over the whole Morgan empire and this town in one swoop. Lula flounced towards her company’s new building, and Lane followed her as expected. Once he was trapped inside, Lula would set Lane upon the much more important task of rearranging furniture. The office desperately needed redecorating.

Categories: Company News

Update on the Evil Portents Expansion for the L5R CCG

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 20:03

Previously, we announced that we were going to be offering a special deal on Evil Portents, the final printed expansion for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG from AEG. We’re pleased to announce that this deal is now under way! We are providing Evil Portents to distributors and retailers for FREE. We’re suggesting that retailers use this FREE product to run events or promotions to get the most out of all the L5R CCG product they currently have on hand, but exactly how they use it will be up to them.

Read the full details at

Categories: Company News

The Light Shineth Preview – Michael “The Badger” Dodge

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:00

This preview is for the next Pine Box Expansion, The Light Shineth, arriving in stores October 5, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

Repaid with Interest
by Jeff Bailey

michaelthebadgerdodge_cardMichael Dodge stood on the roof of the First Bank of Gomorra, looking at the office next door. A small glyph was carved on the window sill. He jumped to that building’s roof. Quiet wasn’t one of his strengths, but it was dark and the area was pretty empty this time of night. He whispered Daomei’s instructions as he went about his business.

“Find the mark; open the window.”

Iron bars mounted to a frame protected the window. Michael smiled, gripping the central bar with his ghost rock powered, hydraulic arm. One quick yank ripped the frame free in a burst of splinters.

“Behind the desk.”

The office was dimly illuminated by the torches on the street. The safe was under the desk – strong to some, but weak to the Badger’s Claw.

“Strike in harmony with the fireworks. They’ll cover the sound.”

He heard a rampart in the distance, striking the safe with his arm, crushing the top.

Michael saw the glare of another firework through the window, punching again. The safe door weakly swung open. He fingered a bundle inside his coat.

“Take the money. Make the switch.”

He pulled a pile of banknotes from the safe and swapped it with his bundle.

“Leave by the third firework.”

The Badger slipped out, locking the door behind him.

* * *

Ms. Anne Berger screamed into the street from her small loan office. “Robbery! Somebody help!”

Deputy Mortimer Parsons jogged up. “Ma’am?”

“I’ve been robbed!” she snarled. “Do something!”

“I was actually just coming to see you, Ms. Berger. Turns out someone left your stolen property under a table at Charlie’s Place.” Parsons pulled a folio from inside his duster.

The doctor blanched and looked into her ruined safe. She picked up the folio that lay inside. “I don’t know what you have –”

Parsons chortled. “Just a few bank registers. It seems that they detail quite a bit of money disappearing from some of your clients’ loan payments. Judge Somerset will need to look over these, but I imagine, you’ll be hearing from us soon.” He departed, leaving Anne rocking on her feet.

Anne slouched in the midnight coach, what few belongings she could gather quickly in the suitcase next to her. As she stewed over the stolen money, she opened the folio that she pulled from her safe earlier. It held letters that she’d torn up, each an anguished plea for mercy under the weight of their loans, loans she’d arranged. Each one had been carefully sewn back together with a shiny green thread.

The final page was a handwritten note. “The misery you lent is repaid with interest.“

Categories: Company News

Dice City Tour – Great Wall

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 19:34

The Dice City Tour continues with a look at the Great Wall, a monumental achievement that will protect all that we’ve built here! Check out the Dice City Tour to learn more about it.

Also be sure to pre-order your copy of Dice City for pick up at Essen!

Categories: Company News

Design Diary – Spirit Guide

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 12:00

by Konstantinos Thoukydidis

We’ve already taken two design diaries to explain how Miracles support and Hexes disrupt thematically in the town of Gomorra. Now, with the release of Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force, we finally get to reveal the third and final type of spell available: Spirits.

With Miracles taking up the buffing aspect and Hexes focused on weakening, we already have the dude-affecting aspects of the game pretty much covered. Given that we try to make each spell type feel unique in its strategy and function, we didn’t want to make effects that would feel somewhere in between those two. So the challenging aspect was to figure out how Spirits could make an impact on the game without stepping into the territory of their counterparts.

The answer to this lies within the core mechanics of the game. Doomtown is ultimately a game about area control and maneuvering. While the poker mechanics provide an explosive and climactic way to handle conflict, the meat of the game actually relies in clever positioning. And for something so fundamental to the game, we haven’t really expanded on it sufficiently.

Spirits are the first (but won’t be the only) attempt to address that. Their effects are, in some form, tied into locations and this is their relating factor. They are, in practice, the spell-based area control strategy.

We feel this is sufficiently in line with the flavor of Spirits in the Deadlands lore and provides a unique way to affect the game state. Although this might conflict with Miracle or Hex effects at times, it’s grounded in a method that nevertheless retains their unique flavour.

To that end, we’ve also invented a new keyword, Totems, which is only there to avoid the need to repeat that these particular Spirits must be attached to locations. While normal Spirits work like the other spell, Totems take their area control effect to its logical conclusion as they are tied specifically to one location. For the loss of flexibility and maneuverability caused by this, they tend to have flexible, powerful, or blanket abilities.

manyspeakasone_cardHow do Spirits affect the game state? They directly affect locations and dudes who are there or might go there in the future.

A good sample of this is Many Speak As One. While nominally it is a normal spirit that attaches to a shaman, its effect is tied to a specific location each turn, providing a way for shamans to take control of the town with fewer dudes on hand.








spirittrail_cardSimilarly, Spirit Trail is the shaman answer to Shadow Walk and Walk the Path from Hexes and Miracles respectively. While it is tied to a single location only, it can be used for everyone who needs it, and its blanket adjacency means you can place it at your home and a second one at critical deeds (even your opponent’s) and get a free extra movement that bypasses the Town Square.

How do Spirits manipulate out-of-play cards? They cycle off cards from your hand to allow you to find the ones you need. They also allow you to look or setup your decks for follow-up effects.

Shamans rely on guidance rather than direct manipulation, so their out-of-play effects focus on increasing their throughput. This in combination with the first Eagle Wardens outfit can allow the shaman player to quickly find what they need each turn.




Spirit Guidance is the archetype for such spells and getting one on the first turn can mean you rarely have dead cards in your hand, especially if you manage to get out of your home to use the more powerful ability. In a game where you refill to your hand size maximum each turn, being able to play almost all your cards each turn is a significant advantage. But it also allows you to cheaply hold on to cheatin’ resolutions for next turn’s lowball and then cycle them out if it doesn’t happen. Cards such as these, greatly reduce the opportunity cost of heavy hitters in your deck, allowing for riskier, yet more powerful design choices.

The secondary out-of-play effects are not yet available in a Spirit, but you’ll see it appear soon enough.

How do Spirits support you in shootouts? Spirits will seek to gain the advantage by using token dudes and predictive effects to set up better hands or by allowing a reset of the shootout state.

While Spirits might sometimes enter into Hex or Miracle territory when tied to a location, the most common effect you’ll see is their ability to generate multiple expendable token dudes to help you fight. This provides both staying and fighting power and conveniently shuts down “Lose2Win” strategies hard.

ghostdance_cardthepackawakens_cardGhost Dance is the archetypical version of such a spell, providing you with a shooter on demand, allowing even the wimpiest of shamans to be scary, but of course it’s 2 cost, 8 value and 10 difficulty make it a bit harder to wield. On the other hand, there’s also its little brother, The Pack Awakens which will also provide you with expendable shooters, but at much lower difficulty and with a value that will succeed itself even with a Shaman 0. It requires that you bring the fight to the location of the totem of course, but with cards like Buffalo Rifle and Rope and Ride, this can be appropriately manipulated.

We have only barely begun to scratch the surface of what Spirits can do, and The Light Shineth and further expansions will heavily push Spirits to catch up with the other skills, providing even more awesome options to solidify your control of Gomorra.

Categories: Company News

The Light Shineth Preview – Dabney Scuttlesby

Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:00

This preview is for the next Pine Box Expansion, The Light Shineth, arriving in stores October 5, 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

For What Ails You
by Ross Fisher-Davis
dabneyscuttlesby_cardYou there, sir! Yes, you! You have a worried look about you. What could possibly be troubling you, my good man? Come, come, over here now. Don’t let the crowd fool you. This ain’t a revival, just good ol’ fashioned wonders.

See you got a spot of boils there. Bad news, that is … been seeing it all day.

How many kids do you have, eh? Three? Hand to heart, it’s nearly impossible to keep those little ‘uns safe. Must be making your hair fall out … but we’ll get to that in a moment. Coughing already, are they? Shame, shame. Been goin’ around something fierce from what I hear.

Well, what If I told you that I can protect you and your loved ones, all for little more than the price of a mint Julep? ‘Madness,’ you say! But look again, good sir: Scuttlesby’s Miracle Tonic! Distilled through an incredible mix of far eastern phosphenes, lunules, and mountain orchids, filtered through a unique skeuomorph of my own design, this fantastic tonic guarantees a clear mind, sharpened senses, and a body free of any sickness, fever, or malady you care to name … and it’ll even regrow that hair to boot! Don’t be shy, take a whiff sir.

Smells like science, doesn’t it? I could tell you were a perceptive man the moment I set eyes on you. That’s why I’ll offer you a deal like no other. This very day, a one time only offer, you can supply your whole family with Scuttlesby’s perfected, proven, and patented panacea.

Boils? Thing of the past.

Itchy rash? A mere memory.

And best of all, take care of those poor little children’s coughin’ and wheezin’ the whole day through.

Does it truly? Good people, would I stand here — a proud man, with knowledge gleaned from mystical medicinal masters from the Far East — and lie to you? Why would I, when it’s simply a matter of unique design working in cadence with the body’s natural equilibrium through correcting all negative bio-conductive influences? Elementary science!

Dabney Scuttlesby’s a man of his word. You’ll never feel better. Guaranteed results, on my dear grandmother’s life.

Three bottles sir? Of course. And one for you my lady? Absolutely, though not even I can improve on that lovely face … medicine can only go so far, am I right gentlemen?

And why not celebrate with a trip to the circus? Tickets to see the marvels of those fine souls at the Fourth Ring, courtesy of yours truly. That’ll brighten the kids up quick smart, let me tell you. No, no, don’t thank me, I’m just a man doing his service to the fine folks of Gomorra.

A wise purchase! Let your family know miracles are on their side.

You sir! Yes, you with the limp! What would you say if I told you I could take all that pain away, for barely more than the price of a plate of bacon? Come on over, let Dabney take care of you.

Categories: Company News

Flock Artist Diary

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 04:42

Artist Valentina Moscon offers a look into the creation of the  illustrations for Flock. Click here to check out the featured article.

Categories: Company News

Evil Portents Glimpse of the Spider

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 19:00

Samurai of Rokugan!

We present to you, your second glimpse of Evil Portents! For more cards please check out the Spider Clan Website and the Imperial Herald.

You should also check out this awesome strategy article on the Spider Clan in Evil Portents. It is for full Imperial Assembly members only, so if you are not a member. Here is yet another reason to sign up today!

Finally, the remaining cards along with all other Evil Portents cards will release on the Oracle of the Void, Monday September 28th at 12:00pm PST.

Make sure you place your orders today at your local stronghold store!



Categories: Company News