Issue #1

About this Newsletter

This is the first of what I (Heruca) hope will become a semi-regular mailing to gamers around the world who have registered on the Battlegrounds Games forums.

A lot of BRPG owners reading this might well never have returned to visit the Battlegrounds Games website or forums after their initial purchase. I strongly recommend that you do so from time to time, to keep up to date on the latest BRPG releases, submit feature requests and bug reports, and to generally help shape the evolution of BRPG with your feedback. Tell us what you like, what you don't, what you think could be improved, and what future products you would like to see made available.

For those people who do not regularly visit the Battlegrounds Games site or forums, this newsletter will keep you posted on important news, developments, and product releases.


BRPG v1.6 beta is now available

BRPG v1.6 adds a Lobby feature, for chatting and finding games online. You can read more about this release and download it from here.


Updated User Manual for BRPG

Last August, BRPG's User Manual was updated to cover all the changes and new features added to the program since BRPG v1.0 was released. This new User Manual is 136 pages long and covers up through BRPG v1.4i. Download it by clicking here.

This is not the final version of the User Manual, because I first wanted to give the BRPG user community the opportunity to submit feedback or even submit new copy for inclusion in the final User Manual. Please send me any errata, amendments, suggestions for improvements, or other submissions.

Once the User Manual is finalized, it will also cover all the changes and additions from v1.4j to v1.6. For the time being, I suggest you refer to the relevant sections of the ReadMe file that comes with BRPG.

I hope the improved documentation helps everyone take full advantage of their software. I want BRPG to have the most comprehensive documentation available for any virtual tabletop program.


Change of plans for "Battlegrounds: RPG Edition v2" and "Battlegrounds: Wargame Edition"

I no longer plan on developing "Battlegrounds: Wargame Edition". Instead, the next big project I will work on will be a consolidation of BRPG v2 and the Wargame Edition. The program will be called simply "Battlegrounds", and it will be a state-of-the-art virtual tabletop program for all kinds of games, whether they be RPGs, wargames, boardgames, or even card games. A single program to learn, a single program to buy, and a single codebase for me to maintain (making for faster updates and more frequent releases and feature additions). Everybody wins.

I hope to start development on this project in the second half of 2010 (once BRPG v1.x is finished), and a Preview Release of Battlegrounds will hopefully be available by the end of the year.


Artpacks for BRPG

The ever-growing collection of artpacks are a major strength of BRPG, and can save GMs a lot of preparation time while simultaneously providing them and their players with visually rich and professional-looking content.

The following list contains brief descriptions of each artpack. If one peaks your interest, click on its link to see preview images, contact sheets, and/or to get additional information about the product.

Base Map Pack 1

A collection of 35 maps, broken down into six categories (Grass; Forest Floors; Scrublands; Swamps & Thickets; Earth, Sand & Mud; and Cavern).

Like the grass map that comes with BRPG, the maps contained in this artpack all use the same texture throughout. The idea is that you will customize these generic maps with object overlays as needed to suit your Encounters (e.g., by adding trees, boulders, roads, paths, ponds, etc), rather than use them as ready-to-go maps (although some of these maps can certainly be used "as-is").

$11.00
Component Dungeon Pack 1

A set of modular room and hallway components that you place on the background of your choice to create a dungeon layout. The artpack also contains doorway overlays, hallway bends & intersections, stairways, pits, columns, caved-in hallway sections, and other goodies to flesh out your dungeons. Even standalone floor and wall sections are included, so that you can lay out oddly-shaped rooms. The artpack contains an astounding 234 pieces.

This is a "must-have" set for both GM's who like to improvise on-the-fly and those who like to create elaborate layouts well ahead of game-time.

$11.00
Ravenlands Map Pack 1

A collection of 4 maps and 4 Fog of War Overlays. Produced by Scrying Eye Games, this artpack contains Maps 1 through 4 of their Ravenlands series of exquisitely detailed and interconnected maps.

• Map 1: The Castle Raven
• Map 2: Battleground of Old
• Map 3: River and Bridge
• Map 4: River and Caves

A 32 x 20 cell Overview Map (at a scale of 15 feet per cell) is also included, which shows how the first 8 maps in the Ravenlands series interconnect.

$10.00
Ravenlands Map Pack 2

A collection of 4 maps and 4 Fog of War Overlays. Produced by Scrying Eye Games, this artpack contains Maps 5 through 8 of their Ravenlands series of exquisitely detailed and interconnected maps.

• Map 5: Sacred Grounds
• Map 6: Town of Raventon
• Map 7: Mine and Quarry
• Map 8: The Ravenclaw's Inn

A 32 x 20 cell Overview Map (at a scale of 15 feet per cell) is also included, which shows how the first 8 maps in the Ravenlands series interconnect.

$10.00
Medieval Armies

Assorted troops (footsoldiers, cavalry units, leaders, corpses, etc.), all rendered in 5 unique homogenous styles, allowing you to depict five different armies or warring factions. Contains 98 unique figures.

Even when you don't need an army, many of these figures can be used to represent city guards, local lords, or even PCs, so they should be useful in a number of games.

$10.00
Kepli's Tree Pack

Contains 154 trees in autumn/winter & spring/summer versions. Includes a PDF that serves as a handy visual reference for all the trees in the artpack.

In addition to the incredibly-detailed tree graphics, this artpack also comes with 13 sound effects, 10 of which are loopable. You can use these sound effects to help create a more immersive environment. They include ambient sounds for both day and night encounters.

This artpack is good for both GM's who like to improvise on-the-fly and those who like to create elaborate layouts well ahead of game-time. The trees also happen to look great on many of the maps in "Base Map Pack 1", if you happen to already own that artpack.

$11.00
DevilDan's Monster Tokens NEW!

Contains 435 high-resolution figure tokens (including some which are color mods, for additional variety). They are suitable for use with fantasy or horror games that use a scale of 5 feet per square or 3 feet per hex.

$12.50
Component Sewer Pack

A set of modular components that you place on the background of your choice to create a sewer system layout.

In addition to sewer tunnels in a variety of configurations, the artpack also contains stand-alone elements to further customize your layout, audio clips to set the mood (and creep your players out!), and even figure tokens for commonly-encountered vermin (i.e., bats and rats).

The artpack contains 104 graphics and 19 audio clips (most of which can be set to loop continuously).

This is a convenient set both for GM's who like to improvise on-the-fly and those who like to create elaborate layouts well ahead of game-time.

FREE!
Vry's PC & NPC Tokens

Contains 105 high-resolution figure tokens (100 original tokens plus 5 color mods for additional variety). They are suitable for use with fantasy games that use a scale of 5 feet per square or 3 feet per hex.

An excellent "starter set" of PC & NPC tokens for BRPG.

FREE!
Vry's Monster Tokens

Contains 102 high-resolution figure tokens (100 original tokens plus 2 color mods for additional variety). They are suitable for use with fantasy or horror games that use a scale of 5 feet per square or 3 feet per hex.

An excellent "starter set" of monster tokens for BRPG.

FREE!
Cyberdrake's Indoor Map Tiles Pack

Contains 99 unique indoor map tiles (8x8 squares each) for creating cave and dungeon layouts.

This is a convenient set both for GM's who like to improvise on-the-fly and those who like to create elaborate layouts well ahead of game-time.

FREE!
Cyberdrake's Outdoor Map Tiles Pack

Contains 86 unique outdoor map tiles (8x8 squares each) for creating layouts of villages, forts, castles, towers, and the general outdoors.

This is a convenient set both for GM's who like to improvise on-the-fly and those who like to create elaborate layouts well ahead of game-time.

FREE!
Adventure Module #1: "The Quick & the Dead"

An adventure intended for use with D&D 3.5 (or 3.0) rules, with a party of four 3rd level PCs. Includes everything you need to play (maps, tokens, pre-generated PCs, stat blocks, etc.).

The module is being released for free so that Battlegrounds users have a ready-to-play adventure that they can use to learn the Battlegrounds software and get a glimpse at what it is capable of. It will also serve as an example that GMs or third-party developers can use when crafting their own BRPG adventure modules.

FREE!
Adventure Module #2: "A Simple Plan"

An adventure intended for use with D&D 3.5 (or 3.0) rules, with a party of two to four 2nd level PCs. Includes everything you need to play (maps, tokens, pre-generated PCs, stat blocks, etc.).

This is the first user-submitted adventure for BRPG. We hope it becomes a catalyst for more user-created modules.

FREE!



Game Boxes and Game Conversions for BRPG

BRPG isn't just for RPGs anymore! Over the years, the software has evolved to also allow playing many boardgames and wargames. Being able to play such games in BRPG makes the software a better return on investment than competing virtual tabletop software.

The following list contains brief descriptions of each game currently available. If a particular game listed below peaks your interest, click on its link to see preview images and/or to get additional information about the game.

"Valkenburg Castle" Game Box

A fantasy game of adventure and combat in the depths of an ancient dungeon. Players may use heroic leaders, clever burglars, staunch dwarves, mysterious magic users, and squads of fighting men to explore, and eventually to capture the castle from evil orcs, sorcerers, trolls, ogres, and other monsters (including a dragon!). Two or more players maneuver their units on a game map which depicts the five levels of the dungeon beneath the castle (the game is played in three dimensions).

A solitaire scenario is included, and there's even a game variant which lets you assault the dungeon with modern combat squads equipped with rifles, submachine-guns, hand grenades, and demolition charges. The game features 5 scenarios and a campaign game.

$18.00
"Asteroid Zero-Four" Game Box

A two-player science-fiction game portraying a nuclear war between two mining bases in the asteroid belt of our solar system.

Each player commands an asteroid base equipped with laser turrets, command bunkers, ore processing plants, landing pads, and defensive missile launchers. Each player also has spacecraft, missiles, and an arsenal of nuclear ordinance at their disposal to attack the enemy asteroid base with.

To win, you must destroy or disable the enemy mining operations in a fixed number of turns, while trying to keep your opponent from doing the same to you.

$18.00
"Search for the Emperor's Treasure" NEW!

In this charming, tongue-in-cheek fantasy boardgame (often considered a boardgame version of "classic" Dungeons & Dragons), two to eight players take the role of a fighter, elf, cleric, or magician, then wander around the board collecting arms, treasure, and resolving encounters (which can be good or bad).

The game ends when a certain number of Imperial Treasures has been found (depending on how many players are playing) at which point the player with the most treasures wins. Gameplay is competitive (half the fun is throwing nasty encounters on the other players).

$8.00
"Close Assault" (Basic Game) NEW!

A game of man-to-man combat in WWII. Soldiers can be standing, crouching, or prone, and each posture affects their vulnerability and lines of sight. "Random sequencing" mechanics (a "chit-pull" system) simulate simultaneous movement, the fog of war, and combat friction without the bother of written orders.

FREE!
"Aliens" Boardgame

9 Colonial Marines with limited armament must fight their way through the alien-infested reactor room to the APC that will evacuate them to safety.

Fans of the Aliens movie should find this game very enjoyable, and fans of the boardgame will be pleasantly surprised by how much the gameplay and atmosphere are enhanced by the software.

FREE!
"Aliens" Boardgame Variant

A mini-expansion for the Aliens Boardgame conversion (required for play).

This variant adds a few new elements to the game, including:
1. An awesome new map by Joshua Oram
2. A mandatory search for cocooned colonists before you can exit the map
3. New unit type: Facehugger aliens
4. An on-screen Motion Tracker that lets you know when the aliens will begin arriving on the map
5. Exploding barrels
6. A turn counter that tracks how long you have until the nuclear reactor explodes


FREE!
"Zombie Plague" Boardgame

In this cooperative game of humans vs. zombies, the humans must race to barricade all the doors and windows of a house, search the house for helpful items and weapons to defend themselves with, and they must do all this while fighting off an ever-growing horde of shambling zombies.

The zombies, of course, just want to eat the humans. Zombies are slower than humans, but they make up for that shortcoming through sheer numbers.

The humans can also try to escape using the car in the driveway (if they happen to find the car keys), but they'll have to make it to the car. Or perhaps they can find the hidden cellar and take refuge in there until help arrives...

Zombie Plague is simple, fast, fun, easy to learn, and very strongly themed (it is very reminiscent of the classic George Romero zombie movie, "Night of the Living Dead"). Every game of Zombie Plague tells a story, almost as if you were in an interactive zombie movie. It's even fun if you get killed, since you come back as a zombie and can continue playing, now intent on killing your former teammates.

FREE!
"Zombie Plague" Expansion Pack

An expansion pack that takes the Zombie Plague game to a whole new level and greatly increases the game's replayability.

Includes three new maps/gameboards, five Rules Expansions PDFs, ten new tokens, an updated Zombie Plague card deck, two new custom die types, seven sound effects (to liven up any Zombie Plague game), and much more.

FREE!
"Dead of Night" Boardgame

Two to six players must survive a zombie onslaught until dawn. The game can be played cooperatively or competitively. Can also be played solo, using automatic zombie movement rules.

FREE!


That's all for this issue. Thanks for reading!


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