Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Brian Blume Passes Away

Once of the co-founders of TSR, Brian Blume, passed away last Friday at age 70 from dementia and Parkinson's Disease. Blume met Gary Gygax at one of the early GenCon gaming conventions and together they, along with Donald Kaye, founded TSR (Tactical Studies Rules) with funding from Blume's father.

Blume wrote or contributed to several of TSR's early products including Eldrich Wizardry and Boot Hill. He was also responsible for introducing D&D to Europe when he sent a copy of D&D to Games Workshop, which decided the game was far better than anything produced in Europe at the time and became D&D's European distributor.

Blume was also instrumental in the power struggle within TSR that eventually led to Gary Gygax selling his shares and leaving the company. Blume also left the company about the same time. Most of his subsequent game work involved cartography, most notably with White Wolf

Monday, March 30, 2020

Paranoia RPG

Followup  to today's FB live video about the Paranoia RPG, players need a very dark sense of humor when playing this game. They also need to understand that they are at the mercy of Friend Computer and they are essentially cogs in a machine. It is fun to argue back to the Computer as long as you understand that the outcome will be that character's immediate termination for treason.  Anyone who takes the game too seriously is in for disappointment. That is why you have 5 additional clones. You are probably going to say something wrong, push the wrong button or go into the wrong place and get killed.

Of course, if you are the sort who thrives on creating chaos in the game,  you can do that and even get away with killing fellow player characters, because almost any action can be justified as "treason". Of course, do it to much and your fellow players will probably kill you off, because almost any action can be justified as "treason".

Every player belongs to a secret society and has a mutant power, both of which are treasonous so revealing them is grounds for termination. Generally, players have secret objectives to complete during their missions. Successfully completing those missions, since the purpose of them is generally to undermine the stability and direction of Friend Computer, is treason.

Successfully serving Friend Computer, AND surviving the mission, will often raise your status up a grade and get you an additional clone but that is not the purpose of Paranoia. Moreso than any other game of which I know, with the possible exception of Toon, having laugh out loud fun during the game is the point. Do not play this game if you want to develop an intricate backstory for your character and have them surmount numerous challenges, growing their legend along the way. That won't happen in Paranoia. You will die, laughing.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Tunnels and Trolls

Just talked about the 2nd RPG ever released, Tunnels and Trolls, on the store's Facebook page. Tunnels and Trolls cam about because, even in 1975, some people thought D&D too complicated. Tunnels and Trolls has a very basic system for combat. Weapons are rated for so many dice of damage. Everyone on each side rolls their weapons's dice, adds in any bonuses they might get, adds the totals together and compares the total to the opponent's total. The higher number wins the combat and does damage equal to the difference between the two totals.

Any armor worn can absorb that damage to a point, but any 6s rolled are called "spite damage" and the opponent takes the damage in "spite" of how much armor they might wear.

T&T was the first system to use a point system for magic. Wizards had a certain number of magic points and could cast spells as long as they had points. In addition T&T was the first system to use a sliding saving throw based on difficulty. A fairly easy task would require a roll of greater than 20- the applicable statistic. Harder tasks would add 20 to the required saving throw number.

T&T also worked well with solo adventures. since the system was so simple, an author who knew what they were doing could make up a sufficiently challenging yet easy to play adventure and the publisher sold thousands of these over the years.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Facebook Live Events

Tomorrow, March 29, Scott will host two FB live events, one at 2 p.m. and one at 4. By request, the 2 p.m. event will feature a walkthrough of our used game section with commentary by Scott

At 4 p.m. since there seems some interest, Scott will select an RPG, not Pathfinder or D&D, and do a brief discussion of it. There are a lot of video review sites out there for boardgames but the RPG arena seems a bit sparse. If we get enough interest, we will do this regularly.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Release Schedule

Games Workshop has announced no new releases until at least May 2 and WOTC has pushed back the release date for Ikoria until May 15.   Under the circumstances, blackout dates between Prerelease and launch would create a poor experience for fans. Therefore Prerelease and launch are collapsed into one date. Both in-store and at-home Prerelease will be available on May 15 for any stores able to safely implement them.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Online D&D

Syd will run a Friday session of D&D on Roll20 this Friday night at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. We have two seats available so if you want one, message us your email address and we will email you an invitation

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Vault Comics FLGS Initiative

Vault Comics has set up a program whereby you purchase a gift card from us, send them a copy of the receipt and they will send you 2 digital first issues of comics they will release later this year. Vault is the home of a number of well regarded comics including Test, She Said Destroy, Finger Guns and The Plot.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Online D&D

We will be running two online sessions of D&D this week, one from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT on Wednesday and again on Friday. We are making the seats available first to players that attend the seated game session, then will offer remaining seats. We will only have a total of 7 seats available at each session and will use Roll 20 as the platform. If other DMs would like to run during that session, send us a link to your game and we will be glad to post it.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Comic Shipments Delayed

We just received notice from our comic supplier that tomorrow's books, hitting the rack on March 25, will be the last new books for the immediate future, i.e. unless we hear otherwise, no new books on April 1. Diamond wants to keep their staff safe from the Covid-19 virus and we agree with them.
What does this mean to you? We will post our Comics from the Castle Video tomorrow and pull any books you have subscribed to as well as any others you want, as long as they have not been spoken for already. Then we will either
A. hold your books until the shelter at home gets lifted, currently planned for April 7
b. Deliver your books curbside or to your home. If curbside, just call the store and pay with a credit card or Paypal, then let us know when you get here and we will deliver them contactless to your car. If your total order is over $25, we will gladly bring them to your house.

Next week, look at this as an opportunity to try a book that always interested you. We will also make up $5 grab bags, 5 of the same type of book (batman, X-men, independent etc) in a blind bag, so here is a chance to try something new very inexpensively.

We will all get through this. Hopefully sooner than later.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pandemic (the Game)

If you are looking for a great game to play during your sheltering period, I highly recommend one of the versions of Pandemic. Since you are playing against the game, rather than each other, it has great replay value and, since you can adjust the difficulty level, as you get more familiar with gameplay, you can adjust the difficulty level to make it harder to beat.

Get tired of fighting Pandemics with modern technology? Then you can venture into the past with Pandemic Iberia, set in the 19th century or Fall of Rome, set during the, well you can guess.

Want to venture into fantasy? Then choose Pandemic Cthulhu in which you work to stop the gods of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos from decimating the world.

Finally, there is Pandemic Legacy in which not only can you adjust the difficulty of the game, but customize it as you play, making your own personal version of the game.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

New GW Releases for March 28

Due to the statewide shutdown, we will probably pass on ordering these until we get the go-ahead from the state to re-open. However, if you want a set or the book, let us know and we will hold or deliver them:

Psychic Awakening: Saga of the Beast (40-35)
  • Format: Hardback, 80pp
  • Languages: English, French
  • The next release in the Psychic Awakening series
  • An essential purchase for every collector, especially for Ork and Space Wolves players, with extensive updates for each army
  • The perfect purchase alongside the Prophecy of the Wolf

US $40/ CAN $50
For sale in your shop on Saturday 03-28-20

Prophecy of the Wolf (PW-xx)
  • Format: Multi-part plastic kit
  • Languages: Eng (-60), Fre (-01)
  • Contains 23 plastic Citadel miniatures, 3 of which are brand-new:
    – Ghazghkull Thraka and Makari for Orks, and Ragnar Blackmane for Space Wolves
    – Also includes: 10 Primaris Infiltrators/Incursors (48-97), 5 Ork Nobz and 1 Grot Ammo Runt (50-12), 3 Ork Meganobz and 1 Grot Oiler (50-08)
  • Approx 34% added value
  • Ork and Space Wolves players are going to want this set purely for Ghazghkull and Ragnar

US $170/ CAN $210

Friday, March 20, 2020

Covid-19 Hours

Well, the Governor announced today a statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses, which, despite what I think, we do not fit the classificattion. We will close at 5 p.m. on March 21 and reopen at 10 a.m. on April 7. We will post Comics from the Castle Videos on Facebook on Tuesday and will mail or deliver orders if you call,message or email. If you really want to help out, you can buy gift certificates from us by sending an amount via Paypal at castlep@aol.com then use the amount on future orders. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Still Open

We are still open regular hours and expect regular restocks arriving, especially D&D miniatures. We have closed down the back gaming room for events through March 28, since we know people want to get out of the house, we will keep the two small rooms up front available for small groups. However, please make sure you do not come if you are feeling ill

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Good Solo Games

Looking for a good game you can play solo while you self quarantine ?. Here are some suggestions:
Forbidden Desert
Forbidden Island
First Martians
Arkham Horror
Eldritch Horror
Pathfinder adventure Card Games

Good r Two player Games

In case you are looking for some good two player games to entertain you, here are some we recommend:
Castle Panic
Lords of Waterdeep
Race for the Galaxy
San Juan
Boss Monster
Magic (of Course)
Pokemon (of course)
Yu Gi Oh (of course)
Force of Will (ditto)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Why People Hoard

Have you been wondering why people had decided then need multiple packages of toilet paper, 50 bottles of hand sanitizer and 50 pounds of potatoes when they never needed them before.Here are a few reasons why:

1. Sense of control--in a fearful and uncertain situation, it gives people an action they can take that gives them a feeling that they have some semblance of control over their immediate environment. Buying a package of toilet paper or bottle of hand sanitizer is a comparatively cheap way of reasserting that control.

3. FOMO--or Fear of Missing Out. Most people start off looking at those people buying large quantities of products as overreacting but, once they see large numbers of people doing the same thing, they start worrying that those other people may know something they do not and, if they do not act now, they will regret it later.

3. Hierarchy of Effects--Also known as AIDA, people move from Attention to Interest to Desire to Action. The more you hear about people panic buying or "hamsterkauf", the more you pay attention to it and the more attention you pay, the greater your desire or concern about not having enough products in case stores run out.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Open Regular Hours

We will maintain regular hours during the COVID-19 shutdown. We are removing the table mats from the game tables and will wipe them down before and after use.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Warhammer 40K Releasing March 21

Adepta Sororitas Seraphim Squad (52-27)
  • A multipart plastic kit, containing a jump infantry squad of 5 Citadel Miniatures
  • Can be built as either the Elite Zephyrim Squad or the Fast Attack Seraphim Squad
  • A multi-buy purchase, as both squads can be fielded up to 10 strong and makes two distinct units

US $55/ CAN $65
Adepta Sororitas Repentia Squad (52-23)
  • Contains 10 multipart plastic Citadel Miniatures - 1 Sisters Repentia Superior and 9 Sisters Repentia
  • Each Sister Repentia has a choice of 2 heads and 2 sets of arms
  • An evocative, effective, combat unit for the Adepta Sororitas

US $50/ CAN $60
Adepta Sororitas Immolator (52-08)
  • An excellent armoured transport option for the Adepta Sororitas army, capable of transporting up to 6 infantry
  • Includes 3 gun weapon options (Immolation Flamers, a twin Heavy Bolter or twin Multi-Melta)
  • A multi-purchase unit for those wanting an armoured Sororitas army

US $75/ CAN $90
Adepta Sororitas Canoness (52-21)
  • Multi-part plastic kit
  • The primary HQ choice for Adepta Sororitas
  • Can make any of the equipment options from the Codex/Datasheet

US $35/ CAN $45
Adepta Sororitas Dialogus (52-16)
  • Multi-part plastic kit
  • An Elite character choice for the Adepta Sororitas, containing 1 miniature
  • Provides strong in-game benefits to friendly units, and the army as a whole

US $35/ CAN $45
Adepta Sororitas Imagifier (52-15)
  • Multi-part plastic kit
  • Provides a choice of strong in-game benefits to nearby friendly units
  • Potential for multi-purchase due to in-game benefits

US $30/ CAN $35
Adepta Sororitas Battle Sanctum (52-29)
  • Multi-part plastic kit – can build a structure up to 20” tall, including a separate 8” tall statue of St. Celestine
  • Perfect centrepiece scenery for Adepta Sororitas armies
  • Contains rules that benefit nearby Sisters’ units.

US $110/ CAN $130
For sale in your shop on Saturday 03-21-20

Adepta Sororitas Rhino (52-26)
  • Multi-part plastic kit
  • An armoured transport option, capable of transporting up to 10 models
  • A multi-purchase unit for those wanting an armoured Sororitas army

US $60/ CAN $70

Friday, March 13, 2020

Responding to COVID-19

Given that Governor Pritzker announced today that all Illinois schools would close from March 17 through the 30, it seems appropriate to list things we will do to minimize the chance of you getting exposed to the virus:

We have plenty of soap, water and towels. Please make use of them

Magic Mystery Booster Drafts for the weekend are cancelled. Other events draw small enough numbers that we will consider them on a case by case basis

We will be happy to bring your purchases out to your car if you wish. Just call, message or email, make arrangements to pay and let us know when you expect to arrive. Then call or message us when you get here and someone will bring your purchases out to you.

If you are unable to make it to the store, we will gladly deliver purchases earning 5 stamps or more on your Castle Card to locations in Carbondale or within 15 miles of the city. We will need prepayment, directions to a delivery location and a mutually convenient delivery window.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

SEMO Cancels Seated Classes

for one week. SEMO announced today that all seated classes would be canceled from March 23 through the 27. All classes would move to online distribution or get conducted through alternative methods, whatever those might be.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Spring Break Extended

Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, SIUC announced this evening it would extend spring break until March 23. Classes then would move to either online instruction or other formats until further notice.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Games Workshop Releases 3/14

Coming this Saturday

Battletome: Seraphon (88-01)
  • Hardback 104pp, Eng, Fre
  • The essential book for the Seraphon armies in Warhammer Age of Sigmar
  • Contains Warscrolls for every unit and Bound Endless Spell available to the Seraphon, powerful Warscroll Battalions and a wealth of background information
  • Brings brand new Allegiance Abilities to your armies of Seraphon
  • Contains up to date Pitch-Battle Profiles for every Seraphon unit
  • Introduces new rules for four powerful Seraphon Constellations

US $40/ CAN $50
Warscroll Cards: Seraphon (88-02)
  • An excellent upsell item for anyone purchasing Battletome: Seraphon
  • Includes 43 handy Warscrolls, one for every unit
  • Also contains 40 handy double-sided tokens for all of the Seraphon’s spells and abilities

US $35/ CAN $40
Seraphon Realmshaper Engine (88-03)
  • A brand-new large piece of terrain, that can be included in Seraphon armies
  • The kit is reversible and features two separate designs – one old and overgrown with vines, the other newly built

US $60/ CAN $70
Start Collecting! Skinks (70-72)
  • Approx 37% added value
  • Contains 17 Seraphon miniatures:
    1 Skink Starpriest (88-16), 12 Skinks (88-07), 3 Terradon Riders (88-13), 1 Bastiladon (88-08)
  • Includes rules for using the miniatures in this set together

US $100/ CAN $120
Start Collecting! Gloomspite Gitz (70-57)
  • Approx 25% added value
  • Contains 16 plastic Citadel miniatures:
    1 Loonboss (89-58), 1 Squig Herd (12 miniatures) (89-48), 3 Rockgut Troggoths (89-33)

US $95/ CAN $120

Start Collecting! Daughters of Khaine (70-61)
  • Approx 26% added value
  • Contains 9 plastic Citadel miniatures:
    1 Bloodwrack Shrine including 1 Avatar of Khaine, 1 Hag Queen and 1 Slaughter Queen (85-16), 5 Melusai Blood Stalkers (85-20)

US $90/ CAN $110

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Batman #38

Apparently demand is spiking on this book due to someone thinking that Matthew Werner, who first appears in this book and is obsessed with Batman to the point of having his own parents killed, grows up without a scar and changes gender to become Punchline.  Go figure but stranger things have happened.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Home Delivery

We are considering offering home delivery of games and comics within a 15 mile radius of the store. Orders would have to be large enough to earn 3 Castle Card stamps, would have to be paid for with credit card or Paypal and called or emailed to the store prior to 6 p.m. Still looking into this as we would have to check into insurance and liability, plus we do not know if there is enough demand for such a service in the Carbondale area. Food yes, but Magic or comic books, maybe not.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Free T-shirt

If you want one of the free Castle Perilous/ Warhammer t-shirts, let us know by Monday at 9 p.m. CT. We are going to be sending in our order on Tuesday and will be allocating them according to Preferred Customer, Regular Warhammer/Warhammer 40K player and everyone else. In the comments Let us know your name, your size and if you would prefer a regular or tall shirt.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020


We are getting t-shirts made with the store logo and Warhammer Logo  emblazoned on them. Shirts will be Heather blue with the logos on them in white. We are looking at getting 40-60 of these made will make these available for free to Preferred Customers first, then to people who play Warhammer and Warhammer 40K here regularly, then to other customers. If you meet either of the first two criteria, let us know your size and we will get you a shirt

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mythic Odysseys of Theros

Remember the Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica? Well, come June 2, you will be able to take your characters onto the plane of Theros and play, not only as one of the classic D&D characters and races, but as a satyr or leonin. Two covers, one standard cover and one game store only. If you want the game store cover, and you can see it by clicking on the link above, put in a preorder with us ASAP as those are generally one and done.

Monday, March 2, 2020

New GW Releases for This Saturday

Releasing this Saturday

Drukhari Incubi (45-40)
  • Brand-new, all-plastic Incubi miniatures!
  • Previously only available in the Blood of the Phoenix battlebox
  • The elite close combat unit of the Drukhari
  • Includes 6 plastic Citadel miniatures, and includes the parts to make a Klaivex and 1 Aeldari/Drukhari Icon

US $55/ CAN $65
For sale in your shop on Saturday 03-07-20

Craftworlds Howling Banshees (46-45)
  • Brand-new, all-plastic Howling Banshee miniatures!
  • Previously only available in the Blood of the Phoenix battlebox
  • The elite close combat unit of the Craftworlds Aeldari
  • Contains 6 plastic Citadel Miniatures, and includes the parts to make 1 Howling Banshee Exarch and 1 Aeldari/Asuryani Icon

US $55/ CAN $65
For sale in your shop on Saturday 03-07-20

Jain Zar, the Storm of Silence (46-49)
  • A brand-new miniature of Jain Zar, the first Phoenix Lord available in plastic!
  • Previously only available in the Blood of the Phoenix battlebox
  • Leader of the Howling Banshees

US $40/ CAN $50
For sale in your shop on Saturday 03-07-20

Drazhar, Master of Blades (45-41)
  • A brand-new, all-plastic miniature of Drazhar
  • Previously only available in the Blood of the Phoenix battlebox
  • A supreme master of combat, and leader of the Incubi

US $40/ CAN $50

Sunday, March 1, 2020

WOTC's Drop Strategy

Well, looks as if WOTC plans to hew to   the drop marketing strategy adopted by athletic wear and clothing even more closely than it has with its previous sets as the company released a Theros themed Secret Lair set, Theros Stargazing, with almost no announcement, an even shorter release window (only 3 days Feb. 14, 15th and 16th)  ending after the World Championship XXV1 concludes oncludes, and even more limited quantities. I tried ordering a couple of copies for the store and received a notice that we would only receive 1. While earlier in the day, the website indicated that customers could order up to 10 of each set, that language has vanished from the site, although customers can add multiple sets to their cart, just one at a time.

The way I see it, this change accomplishes three things for WOTC

1.       Draws attention to the Magic World Championship series. The handy link provided on the Secret Lair website takes your right to the Twitch Stream for the World Championships. Given the amount of traffic driven to the Secret Lair website this weekend, I imagine a substantial percentage of it clicked on the link just to take a look at the World’s , increasing traffic and awareness of the Twitch channel.

2.       Harvests emails. Prominently displayed at the bottom of the Secret Lair website is a box allowing viewers to sign up for notifications regarding future releases. Given that WOTC apparently plans to keep information about new drops a closely held secret (well it is a Secret Lair) until just before the release, Magic players and customers wanting to know about any upcoming releases will have to give WOTC their email and, since this is information the customers will want to know, it will be an email address the customer checks regularly, not an email they use for signing up at websites to get a freebie and then never check.  Nope, this strategy makes sure WOTC’s emails go right into the frequently checked email box.

3.       Increases the cachet of the Secret Lair drops. Much like the top clothing, show and skateboard manufacturers using this method, by holding information back about the drop until just before it occurs, WOTC has successfully increased the exclusivity of its Secret Lair sets and, hence, the exclusivity of those who have access to it. Even more than with the Mythic sets and the previous Secret Lair drops, I expect demand to increase for these sets after the sale date ends. Sealed sets of previous Secret Lair releases (OMG Kitties, Bitterblossom) sell in the range of $50 to $75 apiece. Unlike previous sets, we have already had customers calling asking if we would get any of this Secret Lair release which tells me something about how much demand there will be in the aftermarket for the cards.

Given the success of previous Secret Lair releases and  the demand for this one, I see no reason to expect Wizards to cease using this model anytime in the near future. Increased sales, increased perception of exclusivity and more emails to which to market, what’s not to like?