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Matt Forbeck

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

Amortals (Excerpt)

, || In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan "Methusaleh" Dooley is brutally murdered, he's brought back from the dead one more time to hunt his killer, but this time those who wanted him dead are much closer to home.

This Saturday: Free RPG Day

If you’ve ever been curious about roleplaying games—the tabletop kind, not the ones you play on a screen—now’s the time to poke your nose into your local games store and ask around. Specifically, if you check in on this Saturday, you might find yourself entering in the middle of Free RPG Day.

Participating stores fill the day with introductory games and free giveaways, from game publishers ranging from Wizards of the Coast (Dungeons & Dragons) and Paizo (Pathfinder) through to Green Ronin (Dragon Age—yes, based on the video game) and Pinnacle Entertainment (Savage Worlds). These events are designed to show even the rankest novice what the games are all about and then hook you good, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get involved and start having fun. 

Every store runs its version of the day in its own way, playing to its particular strengths. The stores buy into the program at different levels, and the publishers offer support at different levels too, giving the shops an assortment of options. Be sure to check the store finder and contact your local shop for details about their particular programs and giveaways before you head out to join in.


Matt Forbeck is the author of thirteen tie-in novels, most of them having to do with Dungeons & Dragons or Blood Bowl. Angry Robot recently published his first original novel—Amortals—and his second—Vegas Knights—is due out this spring.

Star Wars vs. Star Trek (Excerpt)

Star Wars vs. Star Trek by Matt ForbeckIn honor of our Star Trek Movie Marathon and May the 4th celebrations everywhere, please enjoy this excerpt of Star Wars vs. Star Trek by Matt Forbeck, out from Adams Media. Read on as he pits starship captains against smugglers, Jedi against Starfleet commanders, to see who will come out on top. Don’t miss our signed copy giveaway going on right now!

***

Chapter 1

Men—Masters of the Universe

The men of Star Wars and Star Trek form the bulk of the heroes of both series. That’s partly because each series was created in the sixties and seventies, back when the women’s rights movement was just cresting, and part of it is due to the fact that the vast majority of people who consume science fiction—whether in film, book, comic, or game form—are young men. While more women and girls devour science fiction today than ever before, it’s still a field that boys and men dominate.

[Read more]

Grab Games to Help Kiwi Quake Victims

A number of tabletop game publishers have joined with DriveThruRPG.com—the industry’s top merchant of gaming e-books—to put together a benefit bundle of games to help the victims of the recent earthquake in New Zealand. For just $20, you can pick up a bundle of gaming-related PDFs worth a suggested retail value of over $330. All proceeds will be donated to the New Zealand Red Cross.

DriveThruRPG.com has put together similar bundles for disaster relief in the past, including for both Haiti and Pakistan in 2010. These efforts raked in a tremendous amount of money to give aid to the afflicted. This bundle features adventures, sourcebooks, fiction, counters, and even core rulebooks for many games, including Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, CthulhuTech, d20, Supernatural, and many more. 

The bundle sale is going on right now, and it should last until Monday, February 28. If you’re at all interested in gaming PDFs, this is a chance to pick up a huge bundle of them for just a double sawbuck, and to do some good for some people in dire need at the same time.


Matt Forbeck is the author of thirteen tie-in novels, most of them having to do with Dungeons & Dragons or Blood Bowl. Angry Robot recently published his first original novel—Amortals—and his second—Vegas Knights—is due out this spring.

Playing and Writing: The Gen Con Writers’ Symposium

The Gen Con Writers’ Symposium just launched a spanking-new website for this year’s events. Since Gen Con badge registration just opened up yesterday, it’s a good time to start thinking about making plans for the show.  This slate of dozens of events comprises a genre writer’s convention run inside of Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in this hemisphere. If you’re a writer who also plays games—or who just lives within striking distance of Indianapolis—it’s worth your while to take part.

[Gaming and SFF panel details below the cut]

Bored of Board: Remixing the Classics

Most homes have a closet or a corner stuffed with dented, torn, and decaying copies of classic games, things like Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, and so on. They usually get hauled out around the holidays as a way to spend time with relatives you don’t see for most of the year, but once you’ve played them a few times, they get stuffed back in that closet to be forgotten once more. 

According to my friend Mike Gray—who’s the director of game acquisition for Hasbro, the world’s largest game company—most mass market tabletop games are purchased by older female relatives as gifts for the eventual owner. On average, they are then played slightly less than once and put into a closet until the next garage or estate sale. It’s the kind of crime that keeps game designers weeping into their pillows late at night.

[How to remedy that]

Amortals (Excerpt)

Please enjoy the first two chapters from new science fiction thriller Amortals by Matt Forbeck, from Angry Robot Books. And while you’re here, check out Matt’s series of gaming posts!

 

CHAPTER ONE

Getting killed always gives me the worst hangover. When I was younger, I thought maybe it had something to do with my soul being forced out of my body and then shoved into the next. Even if I couldn’t remember it, that sort of trauma had to leave some sort of mark on a person’s spirit, right?

“You ready for this, Agent Dooley?”

I rubbed my baby-smooth chin and leaned forward in the chair, flexing my fresh legs. The techs at the Amortals Project had shaved my face micro-clean, which I never liked, but it would grow out fast enough. “This isn’t the first time I’ve seen myself die, Patrón.”

[Read more]

Playing Tabletop Dungeons & Dragons Online

On November 18, Wizards of the Coast announced that its long-awaited Virtual Tabletop software for Dungeons & Dragons was finally entering invite-only beta testing. The company first promised this software as part of a subscription-based online toolset due to debut alongside the 4th edition of the game, back in the summer of 2008, and it had long been presumed cancelled, so this is a bit of a pleasant surprise. Just as interesting, parts of the original version of the Windows-only toolset—Dungeons & Dragons Insider—that did make it to the public were recently retired in favor of web-based tools.

[Read more about virtual D&D]

So You Wanna Be an RPG Superstar?

One question a lot of people ask me is, “How do I break into writing roleplaying games?” There’s rarely a short answer to this. Most professional RPG writers made their way into the industry in their own unique way. Some start out running games at conventions. Others help in a publisher’s booth. A few throw caution (and more than a few bucks) to the wind and launch their own publishing company.

For the past three years, though, a company named Paizo has had a simple if dramatic answer: enter its RPG Superstar competition.

[Learn more after the cut!]

Dungeons & Dragons Returns to Comics

Hi! My name’s Matt Forbeck, and I’m a full-time author and game designer, among other things. The fine people at Tor.com asked me if I’d be interested in blogging about games here, and I happily accepted the opportunity.

For those who don’t know me—a large percentage of the world, I’m afraid—I’ve been a full-time writer and game designer for over 20 years. I spent most of that time as a freelancer, although I spent four years as the president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, the publisher of award-winning games like Deadlands and Brave New World, and not quite two years as the director of the adventure games division of Human Head Studios (developers of Prey and Rune).

Over the past several years, I’ve moved more into writing computer games, designing toys, and writing novels. I like games of all sorts, so you can expect a mix of news and analysis covering video games, computer games, tabletop games, puzzles, ARGs, and more. If you have suggestions or tips, feel free to let me know. Meanwhile, games are all about fun, so let’s have some!

[Below the cut, the history of Dungeons & Dragons in comic book form!]