Friday, September 28, 2012

Performance, transmission and devotion: understanding the Anglo-Saxon prayer books, c.800-1050

Performance, transmission and devotion: understanding the Anglo-Saxon prayer books, c.800-1050

Palladium Books® Weekly Update – Sept. 27, 2012

Palladium Books® Weekly Update – Sept. 27, 2012
It’s been another busy week for all of us at Palladium Books. The Alliance Open House went well, all projects are moving forward, and we continue to put in long hours to get product finished.
We are deep in trying to finish The Rifter® #60 and get it to the printer, as well as finishing all text and editing for Robotech® Genesis Pits™ Sourcebook, so I’m going to keep this Weekly Update short and to the point. I hope you don’t mind.

UPDATE: High-Octane Action

In one of my Murmurs from the Megaverse® last week, I grumbled that I was in a funk. Well, fear not. My funk gave way to what I call “dynamo-mode” – high-level enthusiasm in which I get a superhuman amount of work done in a short amount of time. I can only keep up that pace for so long, but the results are impressive. Of course, my week started off slow, as I was fighting off a bug and didn’t work most of Monday and was dragging on Tuesday. Ah, but I’ve already caught up on my missed work and have cleared my calendar for the next couple of weeks to focus almost entirely on writing and editing.

UPDATE: Online Sales

Online sales have remained solid. There is still plenty of excitement over the Rifts® Black Market Gold Hardcover as well as the softcover edition, and I’m surprised how many people have not yet purchased Rifts® Lemuria or Endless Dead™ (for Dead Reign™).

UPDATE: Dead Reign™

This game line only gets hotter and hotter, selling second only to Rifts®! Why all the excitement? Besides the obvious zombie-frenzy, the RPG has it all, Ordinary People as player characters, the epic struggle for survival in a post-apocalyptic modern world setting, death cults, mad men, innocent people in need of rescue, the survival of humanity, and zombies. Lots of different zombies. And the rules are set up for fast combat, fast action and fun, fun, fun.
If you have not taken a close look at this game series, you are missing out on visceral fun. Everyone I know who has tried this game loves it. And all you NEED to play is the core book. Give it a try. I think you’ll be surprised at how much fun this game setting is to play.

UPDATE: Advertising and Promotion

Wayne and I knocked out ads for the Dead Reign™: The Zombie Apocalypse role-playing game line as well as a sell sheet for one of our distributors. We’re also doing advertising in various trade magazines and trying to decide whether or not we should exhibit at the GAMA Trade Show and Origins next year. Even though those shows are in 2013, we have to start planning and booking space soon.

UPDATE: The Rifter® #60

The Rifter® #60 is in final production right now. All the artwork is in and Wayne is doing final edits and prep-work for typesetting and layout. We expect to be laying out the book over the weekend.

UPDATE: Robotech® Genesis Pits™ Sourcebook

If Harmony Gold approves and allows everything we’re offering up for this book, you will love it. I’m almost done with the final edits and tweaks. It is packed with fun source material, new insight, creation and encounter tables, new monsters, mutants and ideas for adventure.

UPDATE: Robotech® Tactical Role-Playing Game

This week has been jumping with activity on this front as Palladium works to nail down a formal agreement with the force we want behind the design of the game, packaging and sculpting. Emails and telephone calls have been flying, I have a draft agreement to review tonight, and follow-up calls to make tomorrow with this group as well as Harmony Gold. It is an adrenaline rush that should result in products that will wow and delight Robotech® fans of every stripe. Starting with plans to bring you more RPG products and gorgeous 1/285th game pieces for all eras of Robotech®.

UPDATE: Rifts® Vampires Sourcebook

When I finish Robotech® Genesis Pits, I jump into Vampires with both feet. All the art is done. Much of the book is written. Now it’s time to bring it all home.

Rifts Northern Gun One

UPDATE: Rifts® Northern Gun™ One and Two

Chuck Walton continues to work on art. Matthew Clements is dropping in some additions and fine-tuning material. Like I said last Update, you can think of the two Rifts® Northern Gun books as Rifts® Black Market on steroids.

UPDATE: Rifts® Megaverse® in Flames

I want this epic and evocative book out by the end of the year and will do my best to make it happen. It is another crowd pleaser.

UPDATE: Beyond the Supernatural™

There is a fair amount of excitement and anticipation for BTS sourcebooks, especially the long awaited Tome Grotesque and Beyond Arcanum sourcebooks. They are scheduled for a 2013 release, so there is no news on them yet. HOWEVER, there has been some chatter from concerned fans that the books will not actually come out. I want you to know that their release in 2013 is a personal mission of mine. They will see release sometime next year.

UPDATE: The Rifter® #50, Anniversary Issue – back in print

We have sent The Rifter® #50 back in for a short, special printing. It should be available for purchase around October 12-15. The same time that The Rifter® #60 should be ready to ship. 128 pages – $14.95 retail – Cat. No. 150. Contains source material for Rifts®, Chaos Earth™, Phase World®, Nightbane®, Heroes Unlimited™, Ninjas and Superspies™, Splicers® and the Palladium Fantasy RPG®. Ships October 12, 2012.

UPDATE: Kevin’s Online Toy & Collectibles Store

Alex and I will be adding a few new Palladium collectibles to my online store and we will continue to add items on a more regular basis. There are no more than five Rifts® Lemuria Emerald Editions earmarked for the store and other items such as the Rifts® Machinations of Doom Gold Hardcover, Rifts® RPG Silver hardcovers, BTS Gold, Rifts® Ultimate Gold, Erick Wujcik’s Amberzine #11, etc. are also in short supply. In most cases, I have only a dozen or less to offer. That’s why we continue to dole them out one at a time. Once they are sold out, of course, they are GONE! Other collectibles include first printings of books, signed books, “proofreader” copies of books (a couple more coming your way soon), original artwork, and other collectible odds and ends.
There are also a large number of collectible toys and action figures in my online store. All are from my personal collection. More toys and collectibles are added on a weekly basis.

UPDATE: Palladium Christmas Surprise Packages

Christmas is just around the corner. Every year for something like 15 years now, Palladium Books does what we call our Christmas Surprise Package.
The concept is simple and fun. You pay a low, flat price of $38 (plus shipping and handling), send us a “wish list” of 10-12 different (available) products and we send you $80 or more (sometimes considerably more) worth of Palladium product. And if you ask us to, the Palladium staff and available freelancers are happy to sign each and every book we send you. For many gamers, this is the only way they can get autographs.
We ask for a “wish list” of 10-12 items so that you do NOT know what you are getting. This creates anticipation and the element of surprise, so that just like getting a present on Christmas morning, you are pleasantly surprised by what the package contains.
The Christmas Surprise Package is a great way for you to try new Palladium games, sourcebooks and game settings, get Christmas presents for your gaming buddies at a low price, and try books you’ve been wondering about. It’s Palladium’s way of saying thank you to our many loyal and wonderful fans by doing something special. Plus it captures the essence of the holidays, and not just Christmas; these Palladium Surprise Packages are for all gamers, everywhere.
That’s the short version of the Palladium Christmas Surprise Package. We will email a full description and put it up in the Palladium online store in a week or two. As a general rule of thumb, we start offering the Christmas Grab Bags around the middle of October. We’ve been so busy trying to get new product to the printer and working on other projects for next year, that we are rather behind on everything, but I wanted you to know that we will be doing the Surprise Packages this year and they’ll start soon. Ho, ho, ho!
– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher and Surrogate Santa

Rifts Black Market Gold Hardcover

Rifts® Black Market Hardcover

Gold Contraband Edition – Available now!

Everything you want to know about the Black Market of Rifts® North America presented inside a pair of gorgeous black leatherette covers. Gold foil embossing on front cover and spine. Historically, gold collector editions only increase in value on the collector’s market, and often quickly. This is the lowest number of a Collector’s Gold Edition that Palladium has ever printed.
  • Striking Black leatherette cover with gold foil embossing.
  • Limited “Collector’s Edition” – only 250 signed and numbered copies.
  • 8 signatures, including main authors Kevin Siembieda, Matthew Clements and Carmen Bellaire, plus Chuck Walton and the Palladium staff.
  • Numbers to be sold, start with #5.
  • Exactly the same content as the softcover book described below.
  • Cover art by Chuck Walton.
  • Written by Matthew Clements, Kevin Siembieda, Carmen Bellaire, Taylor White, Julius Rosenstein and Alex Marciniszyn.
  • 192 pages – $60.00 retail – Cat. No. 886HC. Available now. Sold ONLY from Palladium Books via our online store, or call the office order line (734-721-2903) weekdays from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern time.

Rifts Black Market

Rifts® Black Market™ – Softcover Edition – Available now

See what everyone is talking about and order yours today. Rifts® Black Market™ is an epic, 192 page sourcebook that contains a wealth of information about the inner workings of the Black Market, the Five Factions, new Bandito Arms/Black Market weapons and gear, how to make any O.C.C. a Black Marketeer, special abilities of the Black Marketeer, criminal enterprises, Black Market loans, merc and crime jobs, and much more. This book has it all. AND best of all, a lot of it can be easily adapted to just about any world setting, not just Rifts Earth.
  • Rules to make any O.C.C. (or R.C.C.) a Black Marketeer.
  • Special abilities and benefits of the Black Marketeer.
  • Specialized O.C.C.s of the Black Market.
  • Criminal enterprises, jobs, and inner workings of the Black Market.
  • The Five Black Market Factions that wield the greatest power in North America: Bandito Arms, The Chicago Network, The Immaterial Hand, El Oculta, and Le Marche Noir.
  • Black Market internal operations and security.
  • Black Market services, products, practices and customers.
  • New weapons and equipment of Bandito Arms/Black Market.
  • A wide range of BigBore weapons and other merc weapons.
  • New power armor, vehicles and robot riding animals.
  • Black Market criminal assignments, jobs and mercenary bounties.
  • Major Black Market smuggling corridors and routes.
  • Smuggling methods, both magical and conventional.
  • Traveling Shows: Freak Shows, Medicine Shows and Circuses.
  • Traveling Shows as fronts for the Black Market.
  • Traveling Black Market Merchants, Market Towns and Market Outlets.
  • Written by Matthew Clements, Kevin Siembieda, Carmen Bellaire, Taylor White, Julius Rosenstein and Alex Marciniszyn.
  • 192 pages – $24.95 retail – Cat. No. 886. Available now.

Rifts Vampires Sourcebook

Rifts® Vampires Sourcebook™ – October Release

Unknown to most humans, deep within Mexico the vampires have established entire kingdoms. There they live like tyrants and gods, dominating an underclass of cattle people used as slaves and food stock. Learn more about the vampires, their rivals, allies and the humans who willingly serve their supernatural masters for a chance to join the undead. A must-have guide for those who wish to travel deeper into the Vampire Kingdoms or play as vampires and their human minions. In final production right now with art and text coming in and final editing and writing restarting next week.
  • More human kingdoms within Mexico like the Tampico Military Protectorate and Durango, the Silver City.
  • Firefighting robots, hover firetrucks and more anti-vampire gear.
  • Magic based Vampire Hunters and human strongholds.
  • Techno-Wizard anti-vampire weapons and magical devices.
  • Profiles for Doc Reid and Reid’s Rangers, the world’s most famous Vampire Hunters.
  • Fort Reid, an entire city devoted to hunting the undead.
  • The Bloodwatch, a secret vampire intelligence agency that tracks down and exterminates Vampire Hunters.
  • The Yucatan Peninsula, a mysterious dimensional pocket overrun by strange demons known as Xibalbans.
  • The return of the Mayan god Camazotz, Lord of Bats and Darkness.
  • The werebeasts of Mexico and Central America; those who assist the vampires and those who fight against them.
  • New O.C.C.s like the Bloodwatch Vampire Operative, Silver Swords Militia, Werejaguar Vampire Hunter and the Vampire ‘Borg.
  • Cover by Michael C. Hayes. Interior art by various artists.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda, Matthew Clements and Braden Campbell.
  • 128 pages – $16.95 – Cat. No. 884. An October release.

The Rifter #60

NEW! The Rifter® #60 – October Release

The Rifter® Number 60 is an action-packed issue that delves into adventure, magic, monsters and strange war machines. In production right now.
The Rifter® is an idea factory. The key to unlocking the unlimited resources of the imagination for numerous Palladium RPG world settings. It helps players and Game Masters to generate new ideas and keep their games fresh, and provides useful, ready to go, source material that gamers can just drop into their ongoing games.
Every issue of The Rifter® offers new monsters, villains, characters, O.C.C.s, powers, magic, weapons, adventure and ideas for your use in games and campaigns. There is usually source material for at least 2-3 Palladium game lines, often more.

The Rifter® #60 includes:

  • Rifts® Black Market – Trust and Intimidate: A Way of Life, by Liam Gray.
  • Rifts® Sorcerer’s Forge – Timothy Dorman presents a secret community of Techno-Wizards and their unique TW weapons, power armor and gear, as well as details about the place and some interesting inhabitants.
  • Splicers® – Kris Tipping presents House Pandorum and a host of new Splicers weapons, armor, mutants and monsters.
  • Heroes Unlimited – Adventure by Thomas Morrison.
  • Modern Horror Short Story – J.V. Adams spins a tale of intrigue and mystery.
  • All settings – Gaming with Children by Hendrik Harterich.
  • News, coming attractions, and more. John Zeleznik cover.
  • 96 pages – still only $11.95 retail – Cat. No. 160. October release.

Robotech® Genesis Pits™ Sourcebook – October Release

An in-depth look at the Invid Genesis Pits, their purpose, function and the creatures they create. Many, many avenues of adventure and ideas to spice up your Robotech® campaign with unexpected menaces and intrigue. In production right now!
  • Secrets of the Invid.
  • Notable Genesis Pits of Earth.
  • Genesis Pit mutations and monsters.
  • Different types of Genesis Pits from across the galaxy.
  • Inorganics and other war machines of the Invid Regent.
  • Ways to destroy a Genesis Pit.
  • Genesis Pit Monster creation tables and rules.
  • Bioroid and Zentraedi mutants, Simulagents and more.
  • Written by Irvin Jackson. 8½ x 11 size book format. Available only in the USA and Canada.
  • $16.95 – 96 pages. Cat. No. 555 – October release.

Rifts Northern Gun One

Rifts® World Book 33: Northern Gun™ One

Northern Gun™ is the largest independent manufacturer of high-tech weapons, robots and vehicles in North America. Outside of the Coalition States, one could argue, no other kingdom is as powerful or influential, at least when it comes to technology and weapons. The manufacture and sale of Northern Gun weapons and vehicles has given virtually every kingdom, town, colony of settlers and adventurer group a chance to survive and prosper. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, NG has been the premier outfitter of mercenaries, adventurers and upstart kingdoms for generations. Now, for the first time ever, learn Northern Gun’s history, goals and plans for the future. Of course, that means new weapons, robots, power armor, vehicles and gear.
  • In-depth look at Northern Gun: its business operations and its community.
  • Bionic and cybernetic services.
  • Weapons and combat gear; new and old.
  • Northern Gun robot drones; new and old.
  • Northern Gun giant combat robots; new and old.
  • Northern Gun freighters and hover trains.
  • Northern Gun character classes and more.
  • 109 P.A. catalog of Northern Gun products!
  • Key locations, people and sales outlets in and around Northern Gun.
  • Northern Gun’s relationship with the Coalition States, Triax Industries, the Black Market and others.
  • The Kingdom of Ishpeming, a puppet-state propped up by NG.
  • The Ishpeming military and more.
  • Written by Matthew Clements and Kevin Siembieda.
  • Interior Artwork by Chuck Walton, Nick Bradshaw, and others.
  • Wraparound cover by Chuck Walton.
  • 160 pages – $20.95 retail – Cat. No. 887 – October or November release.

Rifts Northern Gun Two

Rifts® World Book 34: Northern Gun™ Two

More information about the weapons, vehicles and practices of Northern Gun, including the new rage of robot gladiatorial combat.
  • Northern Gun power armors; new and old.
  • Northern Gun hovercycles & land vehicles; new and old.
  • Northern Gun aircraft; new and old.
  • Northern Gun boats, ships and submarines; new and old.
  • Northern Gun Robot Gladiatorial Arena; new!
  • Robot Gladiator O.C.C. and robot gladiators.
  • The NG Bounty Board, the largest collection of bounties and mercenary contracts anywhere on Rifts® Earth.
  • Mercenaries, pirates and more.
  • Written by Matthew Clements and Kevin Siembieda.
  • Interior Artwork by Chuck Walton, Nick Bradshaw, and others.
  • Wraparound cover by John Zeleznik.
  • 160 pages – $20.95 retail – Cat. No. 888 – November release.

Rifts® World Book 35: Megaverse® in Flames™

The Minion War spills across Rifts Earth, where demons and infernals hope to recruit allies and use the Rifts as gateways of destruction. Their influence shakes things up across the planet, especially at locations where demons and Deevils already have a strong presence. Demons, Deevils and supernatural beings run rampant and wreak havoc across the world.
  • Demon plagues and mystic blights.
  • Soulmancy and Blood Magic revealed.
  • Magical and demonic weapons and war machines.
  • Demonic armies, strongholds and places of evil.
  • Hell Pits and Rune Forges.
  • Many Demon Lords, their minions and plans.
  • Calgary, the Kingdom of Monsters; in detail.
  • Ciudad de Diablo, Harpies’ Island and other notable Hell holes on Earth.
  • Lord Doom, Pain and other demonic leaders.
  • Horune treachery, Dimension Stormers and other villains.
  • Notable demonic generals, mercenaries, people and places.
  • Battleground: Earth – as demons and infernals amass their legions.
  • Global chaos and the places most dramatically affected by the Demon Plagues.
  • Epic battles and adventure ideas galore.
  • Written by Carl Gleba. Part of the Minion War “Crossover” series.
  • 192 pages – $24.95 retail – Cat. No. 876. A December release.


PDF downloads from

This is a great resource for getting out of print Palladium titles and other select books. We’ve made 90 titles available as PDF digital downloads from This is a great way to try Palladium products and get access to out of print RPG source material. Some notable titles include.

What’s next?

The following are in development:
  • Robotech® sourcebooks
  • Rifts® Antarctica and other sourcebooks
  • Splicers® Sourcebooks
  • Heroes Unlimited™ Sourcebooks
  • Chaos Earth™ Sourcebooks
  • Palladium Fantasy®: Mysteries of Magic™ Two & Three
  • Palladium Fantasy®: Land of the Damned™ Three
  • Nightbane® Sourcebooks
  • Beyond the Supernatural™ Sourcebooks
  • And other good stuff.

Recent Product Releases – available now

Rifts Dice Bag - Black

Rifts® Dice Bag

Back in print – Available now

Everyone at Palladium has a Rifts® Dice Bag, shouldn’t you? It is a good size, sturdy, drawstring bag made of imitation black velvet emblazoned with the famous Rifts® logo in gold.

Rifts Mystic Russia

BACK IN PRINT: Rifts® World Book 18: Mystic Russia™

Available now

Russian mythology and magic come to life in this fan favorite Rifts® World Book. The book includes all kinds of demons, monsters, new magic character classes (O.C.C.s), and nine different types of gypsies – some of whom are adventurers, others mystics and mages, some psychics and one is even a beguiling shape-shifter. Plus more background about Russia and the Sovietski.
  • 36 Fire Magic spells.
  • 29 Nature Magic spells.
  • 18 Russian Demons, their powers and hierarchy.
  • 10 Russian Woodland spirits, including the Man-Wolf and Werebests.
  • The Night Witch, Hidden Witch and Born Mystic O.C.C.s.
  • Necromancy and Necromancers expanded and their place in Russia.
  • The Russian Ley Line Walker character class (O.C.C.).
  • The Russian Shifter/Summoner O.C.C. (and all those demons to call upon).
  • Mystic Kuznya O.C.C.: Warrior and maker of magic weapons.
  • Plus Gypsy O.C.C.s, combat vehicles of the Sovietski, and more.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda.
  • 176 pages – $20.95 – Cat. No. 833. Available now.

Rifts Coalition Wars 1: Sedition

BACK IN PRINT: Rifts® Coalition Wars® One: Sedition™

Available now

Magic vs Technology. The infamous Coalition/Siege on Tolkeen story arc starts with this 160 page sourcebook. Not only does it lay the groundwork for the Coalition’s all-out siege on the kingdom of magic, but it includes a vast number of Techno-Wizard weapons and vehicles, powerful magic artifacts, demons, monsters, magic and a historic Crisis Time-Line from 12 P.A. to 106 P.A.
  • 15 Rift and Ley Line Magic spells.
  • 10 Spells of Legend and six powerful magic artifacts.
  • 50+ Techno-Wizard weapons including Goblin Bombs.
  • 12 Techno-Wizard vehicles and TW vehicle conversion rules.
  • Iron Juggernauts – Techno-Wizard giant combat robots.
  • The war plans of the Coalition Army.
  • Background on the Kingdom of Tolkeen and its inhuman allies.
  • Key places, maps, adventure ideas and more.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda and Bill Coffin.
  • 160 pages – $20.95 – Cat. No. 839. Available now.

Rifts Coalition Wars 2: Coalition Overkill

BACK IN PRINT: Rifts® Coalition Wars® Two: Coalition Overkill™

Available now

The Siege on Tolkeen goes into full swing as the Coalition Army makes the first devastating attacks on Tolkeen. Coalition Generals, Special Forces squads, and strategies are presented with a wealth of adventure ideas.
  • Key Coalition leaders and power players and their stats.
  • The Dirty Thirty, the most vile and deadly of CS Special Forces.
  • Coalition Bounty Hunters and Mercenaries.
  • The Daemonix – one of Tolkeen’s unholy alliances.
  • Stats for Dozens of NPCs, adventure ideas, and more.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda and Bill Coffin.
  • 112 pages – $16.95 – Cat. No. 840. Available now.

Rifts Coalition Wars 4: Cyber-Knights

Rifts® Coalition Wars® Four: Cyber-Knights™

Available now

We didn’t want you to forget about this excellent sourcebook in the series. The Coalition’s siege on Tolkeen has had a devastating impact on people across North America. None have been more affected than the Cyber-Knights. This sourcebook reveals not only the history and secrets of the Cyber-Knights, but the schism the war has created among the fabled warriors.
  • Cyber-Knight O.C.C., secrets and powers revealed.
  • In-depth examination of the Code of Chivalry.
  • Cyber-Knight Factions and rules of combat.
  • Crusaders, Fallen Knights, Robber Knights and Despoilers.
  • Lord Coake statted out, along with stats for other Cyber-Knights.
  • Notable weapons and armor of the Cyber-Knights.
  • Story background, adventure outlines, ideas and more.
  • Interior art by Freddie Williams II, Wayne Breaux Jr. and Mike Wilson.
  • Cover by Dave Dorman.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda.
  • 112 pages – $16.95 – Cat. No. 842. Available now.

Rifts Xiticix Invasion

Rifts® World Book 23: Xiticix Invasion™

Back in print – Available now

Earth is home to thousands of alien species from beyond the Rifts. One of the strangest and most dangerous is the Xiticix. A danger nobody seemed to realize until the sprawling Hivelands began to encroach on the territories of other people. Armed with new breeds of aggressive warriors, new weapons and legions of insectoids willing to fight to the death, people are beginning to wonder if they are the next threat to humanity.
  • 9 different types of Xiticix, their hierarchy and society.
  • Xiticix Hive Cities, defenses and plans for expansion.
  • Xiticix powers, abilities and weapons.
  • Psi-Stalker Tribes fighting the Xiticix. The Psi-Stalker R.C.C. revisited.
  • Heroes and Hardcases: groups and 15 Non-Player Characters.
  • Plots against the alien invaders by the Coalition States, Lazlo and others.
  • Fort Barron of the Coalition Army, mapped and described.
  • Adventures, maps and many adventure ideas.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda and Wayne Breaux Jr.
  • 160 pages – $20.95 – Cat. No. 838. Available now.

Rifts Triax Two

Rifts® World Book 31: Triax™ Two

Back in print – Available now

The war between the people of the New German Republic and the Gargoyle Empire rages on, but only the heroes of the NGR seem to be getting the upper hand. See where things stand in the year 109 P.A. and get a closer look at the NGR Army, government, society and people. This World Book also presents the latest weapons, combat vehicles, power armor and robots of the NGR as well as commercial vehicles, robot helpers, and more.
  • 27 new Triax weapons plus new body armor and additional gear.
  • 10 new Triax giant robots including the Talon and Devastator II.
  • 10 cars and commercial vehicles plus more than 50 special features.
  • 9 new robot drones including robot assistants, pets and Spy ‘Bots.
  • 6 new Triax power armor suits, including the Predator II, Ulti-Max II, War Eagle, Fat Boy, and a flying Glitter Boy.
  • 5 new aircraft and other combat vehicles.
  • Mobile NGR forts and bases, cyborgs and more.
  • Information about the New German Republic and its society.
  • Information about the New German Republic’s military.
  • The latest on the Gargoyle War and Gargoyle Empire.
  • Mercenaries, adventurers, outsiders and surprises.
  • Ideas for adventure, combat and much, much more.
  • Written by Taylor White, Brandon Aten and Kevin Siembieda.
  • 192 pages – $24.95 – Cat. No. 881. Available now.

Rifts Sourcebook 2: The Mechanoids

Rifts® Sourcebook Two: The Mechanoids®

Back in Print – Available now

Archie 3 and Hagan Lonovich are two of the most beloved villains (anti-heroes?) in the Rifts Earth setting. This sourcebook highlights their strange relationship, plots and blunders. One of which is inadvertently unleashing The Mechanoids® into the world!
The Mechanoids have one driving goal: To destroy all humanoid life! This book has it all. Source material, the Mechanoids, new equipment, monsters, adventure and cryptic prophecies.
  • The prophecies of the Seven Dangers.
  • 20+ Mechanoids and their robot legion.
  • Optional Mechanoids® Player Characters and character sheets.
  • Archie Three and Hagan: Heroes or villains?
  • The weapons and robot minions of Hagan Lonovich.
  • New creations from Archie Three and Hagan, plus more history and insight about the unlikely duo.
  • Five adventures, random encounter tables and adventure ideas.
  • Cover and some interior art by Kevin Long.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda.
  • 112 pages – $16.95 – Cat. No. 805. Available now.

Dead Reign Sourcebook 3: Endless Dead

Dead Reign™ Sourcebook 3: Endless Dead™ – Available now

Endless Dead™ is a new 96 page sourcebook that will send your Dead Reign™ campaign in new directions or add depth (and zombies). What are you waiting for? Order your copy today. And if you haven’t taken a look at the Dead Reign™ RPG yet, but love zombies, you need to give this dynamic game a try.
  • 7 new types of weird zombie amalgamations, plus variations.
  • 5 new O.C.C.s include the Wheelman, Zombie Hunter, Zombie Researcher, Survivalist and Sentinel.
  • The Military. An expansive section on the military and their response to the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Vehicle stats, rules and tables for turning cars into anti-zombie defenses.
  • Vehicle combat rules and zombie-fighting in vehicles.
  • Many random generation tables and encounters.
  • Creating survivor caravans, hideouts, Safe Havens and Death Cults.
  • Timetable for setting campaigns.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda and Matthew Clements.
  • Cover by E.M. Gist. Interior art by Mumah, Bradshaw and others.
  • 96 pages – $16.95 retail – Cat. No. 233. Available now.

Other Recent Releases

New! Rifts® PencilCat. No. 2561 – 50 cents per each pencil. People love this item and often buy them in sets of 10. Enjoy.
New! Palladium Fantasy RPG® Coffee Mug – red on a black, 15.5 ounce mug – Cat. No. 2560 – $10.00.
New! Dead Reign™: “Survive or Die Trying” T-Shirt – Cat. No. 2556 – price varies with size: Medium: $18.95, Large: $18.95, XL: $18.95, 2XL: $20.95, 3XL: $22.95, 4XL: $24.95, 5XL: $26.95
New! Rifts® Wilk’s Laser Technologies™ Logo T-Shirt – Cat. No. 2557 – price varies with size: Medium: $18.95, Large: $18.95, XL: $18.95, 2XL: $20.95, 3XL: $22.95, 4XL: $24.95, 5XL: $26.95
New! Imagination Unleashed T-Shirt – black image on a red T-shirt – No. 2558 – price varies with size: Medium: $18.95, Large: $18.95, XL: $18.95, 2XL: $20.95, 3XL: $22.95, 4XL: $24.95, 5XL: $26.95
New! Rifts® Northern Gun™ Logo T-Shirt – Cat. No. 2559 – price varies with size: Medium: $18.95, Large: $18.95, XL: $18.95, 2XL: $20.95, 3XL: $22.95, 4XL: $24.95, 5XL: $26.95
Property of the Coalition™ T-Shirt – Cat. No. 2528 – price varies with size: Medium: $18.95, Large: $18.95, XL: $18.95, 2XL: $20.95, 3XL: $22.95, 4XL: $24.95, 5XL: $26.95

Back in Print – Available Now

New Rifts® Miniatures

The following new Rifts® miniatures have never before been released by Palladium Books.
  • Approximately 28 mm in size.
  • Each figure is an unpainted, pewter miniature. Some assembly and cleaning may be required.
  • Sold as a single, individual figure in a plastic bag and comes with a black, 30 mm or 40 mm plastic base.
  • Prices vary according to size, but range from $6-12 retail.
  • Sorry, not currently available in stores. Available only from Palladium Books.

MI8021 – Rifts® Shadow Beast – $12.00
MI8022 – Rifts® Mystic Knight – $6.00
MI8023 – Rifts® Lord Magus – $6.00
MI8024 – Rifts® High Magus – $6.00
MI8025 – Rifts® Coalition Psi-Stalker (new-style Dead Boy armor) – $6.00
MI8026 – Rifts® Coalition Dog Boy in DPM-D1 Armor – $6.00
MI8027 – Rifts® Coalition Dog Boy #2 (with energy rifle) – $6.00
MI8028 – Rifts® Coalition Dog Boy #3 (with rifle and Vibro-Knife) – $6.00
MI8029 – Rifts® Coalition Dog Boy #4 (German Shepherd with rifle and Vibro-Claws) – $6.00
MI8030 – Rifts® Coalition Dog Boy #5 (Bulldog with energy rifle and Vibro-Claws) – $6.00

Classic Rifts® Miniatures – Back in stock

The following favorite Rifts® miniatures are back in stock. Some, like the Glitter Boy, have sold on the collector’s market for as much as $50-$120. They are being re-released for the first time in a decade.
  • Approximately 25 mm in size.
  • Each figure is an unpainted, pewter miniature. Some assembly and cleaning may be required.
  • Sold as a single, individual figure in a plastic bag and comes with a black, 30 mm or 40 mm plastic base.
  • Prices vary according to size, but range from $6-20 retail.
  • Sorry, not currently available in stores. Available only from Palladium Books.

MI8031 – Rifts® Glitter Boy Power Armor – $20.00; this is a large, heavy figure.
MI8032 – Rifts® Glitter Boy Pilot – $6.00
MI8033 – Rifts® Kydian Overlord (Atlantis) – $20.00; this is a large, heavy figure.
MI8034 – Rifts® Dragonsaurus (Atlantis) – $10.00
MI8035 – Rifts® Slaver and Slave (Atlantis); 2 figs, no plastic bases – $10.00
MI8036 – Rifts® Crazy – $6.00
MI8037 – Rifts® Juicer #1 (with laser pistol) – $6.00
MI8038 – Rifts® Juicer #2 (with Vibro-Sword) – $6.00
MI8039 – Rifts® Cyborg #1 (with Rail Gun) – $12.00
MI8040 – Rifts® Cyborg #2 (with gun hands) – $12.00
MI8041 – Rifts® Cyborg #3 – $6.00
MI8042 – Rifts® Coalition Officer (old armor) – $6.00
MI8043 – Rifts® Coalition Grunt #1 (old armor) – $6.00
MI8044 – Rifts® Coalition Grunt #2 (old armor) – $6.00
MI8045 – Rifts® Coalition Grunt #3 (old armor) – $6.00

Palladium Convention Calendar

Over the next several weeks, Palladium and various staff members will be making appearances and selling product at various gaming events. We sent out a special email last week to let folks know about some of these events, but here’s a more complete listing. Come on over and join the fun.

ConGregate Game Convention – October 6, 2012 – Livonia, Michigan

Timothy Lutheran Church
8820 Wayne Road
Livonia, MI 48150
10:00 A.M to 11:00 P.M.
Julius Rosenstein and Palladium pal and G.M., Jim Cross, will be running Palladium gaming events. Jim is also the convention organizer. There will be all kinds of fun gaming events. I’m sure I’ll pop in at least briefly considering its just down the road from the Palladium Office.

YoumaCon – November 1-4 – Detroit, Michigan

This a rapidly exploding anime convention the could have 15,000+ people this year. It includes a wide range of amazing costumes, guests, events, cosplay, gaming and multi-media fun.
Palladium Books will be exhibiting in the dealers’ room and we’ll have members of the Palladium staff and other maniacs at the booth, including me (Kevin Siembieda), Wayne Smith, Alex Marciniszyn, Julius Rosenstein, Chuck Walton and maybe a few other Palladium madmen. Artist Ben Rodriguez will be there too, but he’ll have his own booth. It all happens at Cobo Hall, downtown Detroit, near the waterfront. Join the fun.

Anime North – May 24-26, 2013 – Toronto, Canada

Speaking of which, have I mentioned that I will be one of the guests at Anime North in Toronto next year? Well, I will. The event takes place Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, 2013. This will be my first time back at a convention in Canada in something like 15 years. Too long.

Gen Con® Indy – August 15-18, 2013 – Indianapolis, Indiana

Oh yeah, we can hardly wait for Gen Con next year. We may even need to expand the size of our booth.

Note: No Palladium Open House in 2013 and right now, there are no plans for one in 2014.

© Copyright 2012 Palladium Books Inc. All rights reserved.
Rifts®, The Rifter®, RECON®, Splicers®, Palladium Books®, The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game®, Phase World®, Nightbane®, Megaverse®, The Mechanoids®, The Mechanoid Invasion®, Coalition Wars® and After the Bomb® are Registered Trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. Beyond the Supernatural™, Chaos Earth, Coalition States, Dead Reign, Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas & Superspies, Minion War, Mysteries of Magic, SAMAS, Thundercloud Galaxy, Three Galaxies, Vampire Kingdoms, Warpath, and other published book titles, names, slogans and likenesses are trademarks of Palladium Books Inc., and Kevin Siembieda.
Robotech® and Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® are Registered Trademarks of Harmony Gold USA, Inc.
This press release may be reprinted, reposted, linked and shared for the sole purpose of advertising, promotion and sales solicitation.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

George R. R. Martin Interview at Comic-Con (Video)

George R. R. Martin Interview at Comic-Con (Video)
Video: George R. R. Martin on Casting Game of Thrones and Killing Off Characters
Updated Jul 16 2012 - 9:02am · Posted by · 0 Comments
George R. R. Martin has risen to fame as the writer of hot-book-series-turned-TV-hit Game of Thrones, but years ago, he was just a regular Comic-Con fan. We spoke to George at last night's Entertainment Weekly party about getting recognized now, especially thanks to his trademark hat — he even took it off for us! — and how actresses are always asking him to be cast on the HBO show. Plus get the latest update on his next book and find out how he feels about killing off his characters.

Emilia Clarke Talks Game of Thrones at the Emmys (Video)

Emilia Clarke Talks Game of Thrones at the Emmys (Video)

True Steel: Warrior Series Katana : Cold Steel Swords

True Steel: Warrior Series Katana : Cold Steel Swords

Warrior Series Katana : Cold Steel Swords

The fully functional combat ready Cold Steel Warrior Series O Katana sword is expertly crafted , with attention paid to every detail , making the Warrior Series O Katana Sword by Cold Steel the ideal collector's choice.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Target: Joffrey Baratheon Poster

Target: Joffrey Baratheon Poster

True Steel: Templar Knight Gold Sword by Marto of Toledo Spain

True Steel: Templar Knight Gold Sword by Marto of Toledo Spain

Templar Knight Gold Sword by Marto of Toledo Spain

The Templars: Monks - Soldiers: Guardians of the Faith, Guardians of the Holy Land, and Guardians of the Pilgrims. The Templar order, of religious and military character, was founded in Jerusalem in the year 1118 by nine crusader knights. with the official denomination of "Order of the Poor Knight of Christ". Later they were known by the "Knight of Solomon's Temple" (Templar) denomination after establishing themselves in King Solomon's ancient temple. The Pope Inocencio II recognized the order of the Templar in the year 1139. The stamp of the Templar, emblem of the order; is two knights mounted on the same horse (representing the duel vocation of the order - religious and military) with the inscription in Latin "sigilum militum Xpisti" - (Stamp of Christ's militia).

The Templar Knight Gold Sword by Marto of Toledo Spain has a tempered steel blade with 24K Gold etchings on the upper third with the Templar cross in red. The very elaborate hilt is in 24K Gold plated cast metal with many figures in relief and some in Silver plated inlays, depicting templar symbols. The disk shaped pommel frames a red Templar cross, badge of the Order.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

15 Geeky Stained Glass Masterpieces

15 Geeky Stained Glass Masterpieces - Mental Floss
Jill Harness
15 Geeky Stained Glass Masterpieces
by Jill Harness - August 28, 2011 - 11:30 PM
Stained glass is generally reserved for the windows of churches. But if you worship science fiction, video games, or other geeky pop culture icons, there are still plenty of stained glass pieces just for you.

1. Boba Fett Helmet

Not all stained glass belongs on a window. DeviantArt user Mclanesmemories proves it with a Tiffany-styled Boba Fett helmet light that was created to the exact dimensions of the actual helmet from the movie. This geekstrordinary masterpiece took years to complete. While the creator didn’t count the exact number of pieces he used, the green top of the helmet alone is comprised of over 200.

2. Church of Family Guy

While many of the designs on this list are only panels or window hangings, DeviantArt user Pac0daTac0’s “Church of Family Guy” is actually being used as a window at its creator’s home. Now that’s a superfan.

3. Dalek

After seeing the light pour through this wonderful Dalek design by Geek Stained Glass, I’d love to see a Tiffany-style lamp featuring a Dalek on one side and the TARDIS on the other. Now that’s a geek-classy way to light a home.

4. Dig Dug Console

The Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland is a template for what a great arcade should be. It features classic games, the largest pinball collection in the Pacific Northwest and a busy entertainment schedule. To show off their love of gaming, the business even added a stained glass window of a Dig Dug console to the building, as photographed by Flickr user matt lohkamp. And in case you were wondering, yes, they do have Dig Dug in their collection.

5. Yoda

While Etsy seller Terrazaglass has already sold this specific Yoda design, perhaps you could approach her and request a custom made Yoda if you were so inclined. She certainly did an excellent job accentuating each lumpy wrinkle on the Jedi master’s brow.

6. Star Wars

This design was specially requested by one of Etsy seller GeekyGlass’ clients. If you have any ideas for your own Star Wars stained glass pieces, you now know exactly where to turn.

7. Twilight

If you prefer brooding vampires over heroic space knights, then you might want to check out this great Twilight piece also by GeekyGlass. It changes colors and appearances throughout the day as the daylight passes, which seems quite appropriate given the subject matter.

8. Star Trek Logo

One thing that makes this creation unique is that the middle section contains no glass at all. The piece, by DeviantArt user Bigblued, is quite striking when seen in direct sunlight.

9. Cthulhu Jeebus

For those that worship at the temple of H.P. Lovecraft’s monsters, this Cthulhu Jeebus is a delightful dedication to The Dark One. You might notice that like the Family Guy design, this one is also being used as an actual window by its creator, DeviantArt user Future Vintage.

10, 11 & 12. Transformers

As you could probably guess from his name, DeviantArt user AutobotWonko likes the Transformers quite a bit. If you needed more proof, just take a look at these impressive stained glass recreations of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Galvatron. Each one took around 25 hours each.

13. Spider-Man

Chris Roth is a professional artist who was asked to contribute a piece to the Stan Lee tribute show at Gallery 1988. Rather than creating one of his more traditional oil paintings, Roth opted to create a stained glass design featuring the first comic to include Spider-Man, Amazing Fantasy #15.

14. Link

Making the princess-saving elf from Zelda look tough isn’t an easy task, but Etsy seller Janreus took on the challenge and succeeded with flying colors. For those interested in bringing home their own hero, this piece goes for 99 Euros (about $140).

15. 8-Bit Mushroom

While it’s hard to bring pixels to life, it’s easy to incorporate them into stained glass. Etsy seller Radiant Art created this adorable dedication to the Super Mario Bros. It contains 80 pieces and was sold for $175.
* * * * *
Do we have any stained glass artists out there? Have you ever displayed a stained glass masterpiece—geeky or otherwise—in your house?

Read the full text here:
--brought to you by mental_floss!

Skeleton could prove coup for maligned King Richard III | The Asheville Citizen-Times |

Skeleton could prove coup for maligned King Richard III | The Asheville Citizen-Times |

He Le Hobbit : un voyage inattendu - Bande-annonce exclusive

Vidéo à voir sur MSN: Le Hobbit : un voyage inattendu - Bande-annonce exclusive
just thought everyone would be interested in hearing it in French. He

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Archaeologists enter untouched ancient Mayan tomb - National Culture and Mythology |

Archaeologists enter untouched ancient Mayan tomb - National Culture and Mythology |

A team of archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History have entered a previously undisturbed tomb in Palenque. The fifteen hundred year old mortuary site is thought to possibly contain the remains of K’uk Bahlam I, the first sovereign ruler of Palenque, who was the creator of the dynastic line that would include famous Mayan governor Pakal.
The tomb is located nineteen feet under the top of the Mayan temple known as Temple XX. It is thought to have been sealed more than fifteen hundred years ago. The tomb was discovered in 1999. Because of the instability of the nearly sixty foot tall temple the tomb is located in it was believed until recently that the tomb was, and would remain, inaccessible to human exploration. On two previous occasions remote controlled cameras have been used to try and penetrate the tomb.
“Given the dates,” said Arnoldo Gonzalez, who is heading the investigation along with restorer Rogelio Rivero Chong. “We happen to be in face of the birth of the Palencan dynasty, in the year 400 after Christ. Even though we could be talking about the mortuary chambers of the founder of this dynasty, this doesn’t stop being mere speculation until we commence the archaeological exploration; this chamber could even be an antechamber since we don’t know if there is more below the ground.”
The initial finds of the archaeological team have been eleven vases, a few small pieces of jewelry, and some pieces of jade stone. The show stopper of the finds in the tomb so far is a red mural showing the Nine Lords of the underworld Xibalba in full head dresses that spans three sides of the room. It is similar to the murals found in the tomb of Pakal though this tomb pre-dates that of the Mayan governor.
It is hoped that a sarcophagus holding the remains of K’uk Bahlam I will be discovered in an anti-chamber to the room that archaeologists have already started to catalogue and explore. K’uk Bahlam I, the first of the dynasty that would later produce Pakal, was also known as Quetzal Jaguar. He is often depicted in ceremonial head dress and with jaguar ears. A team of restorers, photographers, chemists, and architects are on hand to try and preserve the previously unexplored tomb as much as possible. No further exploration will be done for at least three weeks while they try to stabilize the murals that were already discovered.
"What is important in tombs of that time, the Early Classic Period, is the painting,” said Gonzalez in a statement about the first foray into the tomb. “We're looking at one of the few examples of murals discovered in a funerary context in Palenque, which is why the work we're doing is so important.”

Total Fan Girl: Book Review: Blood Eye

Total Fan Girl: Book Review: Blood Eye

EA Signs On to GaymerCon

The Escapist : News : EA Signs On to GaymerCon
Death by gaming: an investigation into the Taiwan café fatalities
Doctors, café owners and players speak out.
When the paramedics lifted Chen Rong-Yu from his chair his hands remained frozen in place, one clawed as if holding an invisible computer mouse, the other poised to tap out a shortcut on a vanished keyboard.
At 10pm the previous day Chen had taken a seat in the farthest corner of an internet café in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He lit a cigarette and began to play League of Legends. Chen played the online game for close to 23 hours, occasionally sleeping for a short while at his monitor before picking up where he'd left off.
While the popular café was half-full that night, the moment of the 23 year-old's death passed unobserved. No one noticed the melted ice-cubes in his overflowing cup, the ghostly pallor of his cheeks, the idling of his on-screen avatar. It was only when the girl on the front desk went to inform Chen his time was up that, with a gentle nudge of the shoulder, he toppled stiffly.
On 1st February 2012, Chen Rong-Yu's time was up.
This Taiwanese news report shows graphic images of Chen's body as it was removed from the internet café.
Chen is not the only young man to have died this year while playing a game at his computer.
On 13th July 2012, Chuang Cheng Feng telephoned his grandmother to let her know he wouldn't be coming home. He was headed to stay with a friend in the Yujing District of Tainan, Southern Taiwan. He wasn't sure when he would be back.
Standing at five-foot-five, 19 year-old Chuang had a muscular body, a benefit from his time training for local Tae Kwon Do competitions. It was this competitive streak that fired Chuang's passion for his other hobby: online video games. However, this relationship was unchecked, and enabled by the local internet café where he would arrive most afternoons and play until dawn. Chuang's life revolved around game café culture. His parents were divorced and, according to friends quoted in local newspaper reports, he found living with his grandmother lonely. Here was a place where he could retreat from the isolation of the real world and take control of his circumstances - albeit within the confines of a video game.
He secured a part-time job at a nearby game café, but the pay was low. In early July he handed in his notice with plans to move to Yujing in search of something else to do. On 13th July 2012, Chuang's friend called to say he wouldn't be able to meet up after all. At a loss, Chuang fell back on old habits. He walked into the Big Net internet café and loaded up Diablo 3. Killing time.
Some 10 hours later Chuang shifted in his seat, mind fuggy from the thick cigarette smoke in the room, eyes stinging from the glare of the monitor. He needed some air. He groaned to his feet, took three steps, stumbled and collapsed, foaming at the mouth.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The death by gaming story occupies a peculiar place in the modern news cycle. News of a fresh tragedy arrives every six months or so, usually from Asia and in 2012, most often from Taiwan. The circumstances are always similar, now familiar: a young man found dead at his keyboard in an internet café, the victim of an unhealthy relationship with a sedentary hobby.
Activision Blizzard, the makers of Diablo 3, declined to be interviewed for this feature.
For players it acts as a cautionary tale, the kind of story mothers might tell their children to warn them off playing Nintendo DS beneath the sheets after lights out: 'Look what could happen to you if you play a video game for too long...'
For the tabloids it provides vindication of a generational distrust for this grubby entertainment medium that has been steadily infecting culture for over 30 years: 'I knew these video games were bad news. I just knew it.'
With their grim regularity, these stories have become part of the texture of modern reporting on video games. It has reached the point where their significance and sting have been lost in the routine.
And yet so many questions remain. Is it possible to die from playing a video game for too long? Should games carry health warnings, like cigarettes or rollercoasters? Why does playing games seem more lethal than watching films or reading books? Why is the phenomenon largely limited to one region of the world? Could it spread, like bird flu?
Are we all at risk of death by gaming?
A month after Chuang's death, the news spotlight has swivelled away from the Big Net café. Despite the name, this is a small business in a quiet town on the rural outskirts of Tainan. It's one of the only internet cafés in the area, which makes it easy enough to find the phone number in a local directory.
The owner answers the phone, sounding timid, unsure.
"Are you a reporter?" she interrupts, as my translator explains the purpose of the call.
"Recent events have been catastrophic for my business."
Big Net café owner
"I am afraid that recent events have been catastrophic for my business. It's suffered a huge slide. I cannot talk to you about what happened. I want us to stay out of the news now."
She hangs up. We try again the next day, pointing out that our interest is in the phenomenon, not the specifics of her business.
"No," she says. "Thanks but really: no interview."
Internet cafés are widespread in the region. For young players it's far more economical to play games at one of these establishments than at home. Two dollars buys eight hours of game time. Taking into account the cost of a broadband connection, a PC, electricity and the games themselves, playing in public becomes the only affordable option.
The set-up in the cafe where Chen Rong-Yu died, according to one news outlet's CGI recreation of events.
Big City is one of the larger café franchises in Taiwan. We call a branch in the Yongkang District of Tainan, 15 miles from the café where Chuang died.
"Yeah, since the news of that death, business has been different," says Lian, the 25 year-old staff member who answers the phone. "It's far quieter than usual. It seems probable to me that this downturn is somehow linked."
"Are you worried that the same thing that happened in Yujing might happen in your café?" I ask.
"Of course."
"Have you taken any measures to prevent a similar tragedy?"
"Headquarters held a meeting after Chuang's death," Lian says. "After that, employees were issued with new guidelines, asking us to pay closer attention to customers. We have been told to issue a verbal warning if we notice any customer sitting at the same terminal for too long. To be honest though, I haven't noticed anyone behaving in the same manner as Chuang did."
A little farther north, 27 year-old Huang, branch manager of the Ingame Café, is more willing to admit that people playing games for prolonged amounts of time is an issue. "Our business has been mostly unaffected by the recent death," she says. "We do have customers like that, who stay here for a very long time. Not many, but certainly a few. But I'm not really worried that something like that might ever happen here. We have a system to prevent customers from sitting in front of the computer for too long."
"Really?" I say. "How long is too long?"
"We don't allow any customers to play for more than three days at a time."
"Three days?"
"Yeah. Once it gets past that amount of time we ask the customer to go home, rest and refresh. This is a well-organised internet café, you see."
Three days is an awfully long time, I point out.
"You know what? Don't even mention three days," she says. "In fact, I just asked a customer to leave who had been here for over 24 hours."
"Why? Was he beginning to look unwell?" I say.
"Other customers had started to complain about his smell. So I asked him to leave. In my experience, no-one tends to play a game for longer than a day and a half at a time."
I wonder who Miss Huang thinks is to blame for these deaths: the players, the cafés or the games themselves?
"I think all internet cafés start up with good intentions," she says. "The problem with this sort of addiction stems from those addicts themselves. It's probably their family or their education that's to blame. It's really a matter of self-discipline."
In Taiwan, just as in Europe and the US, people are free to injure themselves through myriad forms of obsession and over-indulgence, from alcohol consumption to rock climbing. But these potentially dangerous pastimes come with mandatory warnings. If people are dying from playing video games to excess, it seems logical that game boxes should also carry cautionary advice, and game cafés should place limits on playing time.
League of Legends: should it come with a health warning?
Lin, section chief for the Economic Development Bureau of the Tainan City Government, isn't so sure.
"Ultimately, I agree that it's a matter of self-discipline," he says. "It is up to adults to decide how long they play a game. We cannot tell game cafés how to limit their customers' time. We have to respect the free market, so city government can't get too involved in this kind of issue."
"Ultimately, it's a matter of self-discipline."
Lin, Tainan City Government official
Lin's job is to help small businesses in Tainan flourish but also to ensure that these establishments are safe and regulated. I wonder, with young men dying in cafés, whether the balance is off?
"You're right. It is our duty to protect the youth from potentially damaging activities," says Lin.
"The police will routinely do spot checks after 10pm on cafés in Tainan to see if there are any under-18s on the premises. If so, they are asked to leave. And during the summer holidays we also run a Youth Project, which provides advice to young people on how to have healthy and safe summer holidays - including warning them about the dangers of playing games for too long.
"Right now we are actually working on a draft of new regulations for internet cafés. But these policies will be limited to teenagers and protecting them from the negative influences of online gaming."
So in Taiwan, for the foreseeable future at least, it's a matter of self-discipline. Over-18s are free to play for as long as café staff will allow them to, stench permitting.
Besides, before any game publisher, café owner or government official would be willing to issue a formal health warning about the mortal dangers of playing a video game for too long, there would need to be an understanding of what exactly is causing these tragedies.
Dr Ta-Chen Su is the attending physician and clinical associate professor at the Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital. While the number of cases of young men dying while playing games is too few to have inspired any specific research into the phenomenon, Su has a personal interest in the subject.
Dr Ta-Chen Su.
Chen Rong-Yu, the 23 year-old who died while playing League of Legends in February, was his patient.
"It wasn't reported, but last year Chen had a heart attack and was transferred to NTUH for evaluation," Su says. "During his hospitalisation the checks included echocardiography, 24-hour electrocardiography, cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography and cardiac electrophysiology.
"The results of all of these tests showed no signs of any heart problems that might lead to his sudden death. Nothing. The patient refused to accept our suggestion to implant a cardioverter-defibrillator. After hearing there was nothing wrong with his heart, he refused to have further cardiovascular tracking and never came back to us again.
"Three months after I last saw him, he died in the internet café. As we can eliminate any pre-existing heart problems from his cause of death, he must have died from another cause."
What was the cause?
"Acute autonomic dysfunction is the first potential cause of death," says Su. "Video games can generate a great deal of tension in the human body. The player's blood pressure and heart rate rise. If this excessive tension is maintained for more then ten hours, it can result in cardiac arrhythmia and sympathetic-parasympathetic imbalance, also called acute autonomic dysfunction."
Killing orcs for prolonged periods of time can be stressful enough to give you a heart attack?
"In a sense. Secondly, even if the game is not especially stressful in this way, simply playing for such a long period of time can prove fatal."
Dr Su compares playing games for days at a time to putting in unhealthy amounts of overtime at work - something that leads to exhaustion of the mind and body.
"Looking at these cases over the past five years, we can see that a quarter of the victims suffered acute myocardial infarction and, in each case, they had slept for fewer than five hours over the three-day period before they died."
The third potential cause of death Su has identified is something doctors refer to as 'Economy Class Syndrome'.
"Many studies show that maintaining the same pose for hours at a time without moving your body, especially your legs, can cause deep vein thrombosis," he explains. "Moreover, if you don't drink and eat properly while in this position, your blood can become sticky, leading to a pulmonary embolism and sudden death."
The final cause of death is linked to the cafés themselves, specifically their conditions.
"Internet cafés often have poor ventilation and offer players a cramped space to play in. One recent study found that the air pollution index in internet cafés often exceeds safe levels. Most establishments have dedicated smoking zones on the premises but while air conditioners cool the air temperature, they don't improve its quality.
"Likewise, Taiwan is a humid country. Relative humidity usually maintains at 60 to 90 per cent, conditions that help fungi, bacteria and dust mites to flourish in a confined space. These can stimulate asthma and other allergic syndromes. Severe air pollution can have a devastating impact on a human's heart and blood vessels, increasing the possibility of blood clots, raising the heart rate and blood pressure, stiffening the arteries and having a negative impact on hemodynamics."
Chen and Chuang's cases are not isolated. On 2nd September 2012 a 48 year-old man named Liu died in Kaohsiung City following a seven-hour gaming stint. His was the third game-related death of the year recorded in Taiwan.
Game deaths don't just occur in Asia either. In 2011 Chris Staniforth, a 20-year-old from Sheffield, England died from deep vein thrombosis after playing Halo for 12 hours.
For more on game-related DVT visit, a website set up in memory of Chris Staniforth.
I ask Dr Su why there appears to be an increase in the number of these cases.
"It's because more and more internet cafés are opening and the number of people taking up online gaming is increasing," he says. "The content of online gaming is improving and growing more attractive than ever. I believe that, if café conditions don't change, we are going to see more deaths."
"If cafe conditions don't change, we are going to see more deaths."
Dr Ta-Chen Su
While Su won't comment on whether governments should include warnings about the dangers of extended game playing, he is eager to offer his own advice for players hoping to minimise the risks.
"Don't play for over eight hours at a time," he says. "The exhaustion one experiences by playing a game for this length of time is akin to driving a car for that length of time. Don't keep awake by chain-drinking coffee or energy drinks. Don't stay up overnight playing games. Many studies show that staying up all night increases the possibility of autonomous nerve dysfunction. We know that acute sleep deprivation slows blood pressure recovery and this can lead to acute cardiovascular events for gamers, either sudden death by stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
"Also, don't sit in the same position for hours at a time. Stand up; exercise from time to time. Finally, be aware of the air quality on your game environment. If the café has poor air quality and no ventilation, go somewhere else.
"And please remember: online gaming is just entertainment. It's not a necessity for your life or happiness."
Back at the Ingame café, Tainan City, there's an attitude among players that death by gaming is something that happens to other people, with bigger problems and deeper issues.
Ding Kuo Chih, 22, has been playing games in internet cafés for a decade. "I've never played for longer than 48 hours at a time. Nowadays I rarely play for longer than ten hours at a stretch," he says.
"Yeah, I heard about the guy who died. My friends and I were just talking about it, actually. We all think it's just ridiculous to play game to death. The guy must have had some financial problems or something. Perhaps that's what happened - he chose to spend all his money on gaming, so he had no money to eat and drink properly. Something like that."
Starcraft: still popular.
The news of Chung's death did have an effect on Ding's playing habits. "I used to eat and drink inside this café," he says. "But now I go out to eat and get some rest during my break. And I drink more water to force me to leave my chair and visit the restroom more. But I still play for just as long, I guess."
All other players we speak to have heard of Chuang's fate, but his story appears to have had little impact.
"It's not really changed anything for me," says Chiu, a mousy girl playing Starcraft. "Maybe he had some problem with his heart? It wouldn't happen to me. I have a job."
Likewise, for 16 year-old Shih, Chuang's death seems irrelevant.
"Yes, I heard about that," he says, reluctantly turning away from his game. "Maybe he died because he played for too long? It's not changed anything for me. I am an infrequent gamer. I only come here once a week, so it's OK for me to play for a long stretch of time. I am just killing time."
Death by gaming is a first-world phenomenon. It derives from a perfect storm of technology, business, geographical conditions and game design craft.
As such, it's a story full of suspects but without a smoking gun. The player's responsibility is to play responsibly. The café's responsibility is to provide healthy and safe playing conditions. The game-maker's responsibility is to encourage the player to take breaks, even as their game's systems seek to hold attention. The government's responsibility is to encourage everyone to act responsibly. With so much shared responsibility, it's easy for any one party to shirk theirs.
I ask Huang, the Ingame café's branch manager, who she thinks is ultimately responsible for preventing further deaths.
"You know, I don't have any strong feelings on this issue," she says. "One way or another, everybody involved is just trying to generate business, right?"
Meanwhile, Shih goes back to his game. Killing time.
Special thanks to Lin Meng Ying for her interview and translation assistance.