weekly store update 230421

Weekly Store Update: 21 April

We have a slew of great new releases! Leading off is Magic the Gathering's March of the Machine. Board games represent with Marvel Zombies - a Zombicide game, and Azul Mini, all the big fun of the original in a smaller package. We also have timely restocks (almost a complete refill of Lacerda designed strategy games from Eagle-Gryphon) and more! Ever wonder what our Pangea looks like? We have that for you too. Check it all out!


Welcome to our weekly newsletter! For our new readers I'm Eric, and Wendy and I run Stone Valley Games. This newsletter is our way to share both local and world-wide gaming news of interest that popped up last week. It also provides our subscribers, both local and remote, some information on the going's on around here so everyone feels like part of the action. At the bottom of this newsletter we show you the restocks, new items, and preorders added to the store last week. It's not too difficult to navigate, so let's get to it!


There is a good chance you have heard of ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot released in late 2022. It has a language-based model that is continually being fine-tuned with use to provide human interaction in a conversational manner. It can do all sorts of things, and if you haven't yet heard of it, or the science behind it, I encourage you to investigate. 

Many other platforms are also working on their version of an AI driven chatbot, including Google. Google's version is called Bard. Several weeks ago, we jumped at the chance to participate in Bard's trial run in what Google is calling its 'early experiment'. We weren't sure if we'd ultimately be allowed to participate, but we did sign up to try. Then, late in the week, we were invited in and had a few hours to play around with it. 

What can it do? Well, quite a bit actually. We still have quite a bit of experimentation to go, but here's an example. I told it a little about our fantasy setting - the Stone Valley Pangea, right at 100 words or so. Then I asked Bard to explain what happens to the people living there. This is Bard's response: 

Sure, here is a possible story of what happens to the people living in Stone Valley Pangea:

The humans who were planted on Stone Valley Pangea over 300,000 years ago quickly adapted to their new environment. The people who lived in the mountains became strong and hardy, while the people who lived in the plains became skilled farmers and herders. The people who lived in the water became expert sailors and fishermen, while the people who lived in the desert became masters of survival in the harsh environment. The people who lived in the swamp became skilled hunters and gatherers, while the people who lived in the forest became masters of the wild.

Over time, the people of Stone Valley Pangea began to develop their own unique cultures and traditions. The people of the mountains built great fortresses and temples, while the people of the plains built vast cities and empires. The people of the water built great ships and explored the seas, while the people of the desert built vast oases and trade routes. The people of the swamp built great cities of mud and wood, while the people of the forest built great halls of stone and wood.

In the center of Stone Valley Pangea, there is a mysterious and powerful obelisk. The obelisk is said to have been created by the gods, and it is said to possess great power. The people of Stone Valley Pangea have long been drawn to the obelisk, and they have built a great city around it. The city is known as Stone Valley, and it is the capital of the entire continent.

The people of Stone Valley Pangea are a diverse and fascinating people. They have come from all over the world, and they have brought their own unique cultures and traditions with them. They have built great cities and empires, and they have made great discoveries. They are a people of great strength and resilience, and they are a people of great hope.

Here are some possible adventures that could happen to the people living in Stone Valley Pangea:

  • A group of adventurers set out to explore the mysterious obelisk in the center of the continent.
  • A war breaks out between the different regions of Stone Valley Pangea, and the adventurers must find a way to stop the fighting.
  • A group of bandits is terrorizing the countryside, and the adventurers must track them down and bring them to justice.
  • A group of monsters is attacking the villages, and the adventurers must find a way to stop them.
  • A plague is spreading across the continent, and the adventurers must find a cure.

These are just a few of the many possible adventures that could happen in Stone Valley Pangea. The possibilities are endless, and it is up to the players to decide what happens next.

That's...pretty neat. Many of those concepts and ideas I had already fleshed out, and a lot of it is standard stuff for any fantasy setting. However, I was kind of surprised it could pick up on the modification of people over time based on their environment. Now, my ultimate execution of that concept was in a much more significant mutation, but not bad Bard, not bad. 

We are going to continue working with Bard to see if we can better define its capabilities. I'm not sure if it can help in a lot of areas right away, but I do think continual experimentation will highlight areas where it may be useful. We're pretty excited about it. 


Talking about the Stone Valley Pangea, I spoke about it a bit in last week's newsletter. In very short order, our artist took the very rough sketch on the left and turned it into the art on the right.

Stone Valley Pangea
stone valley pangea map

It's hard to see unless you enlarge it, but there are really neat details sprinkled throughout the updated Pangea. In order to keep the web page "relatively" fast we've cranked down the resolution and many of those details might not show through very well. However, at high resolution some close-up views reveal all sorts of secrets. 

You can see all the regions names as well, and how all six regions border the Obelisk, even if only slightly. That's vital to the overall story and how the peoples originally became divided - and may ultimately join together again. 

I'd say this version of the Stone Valley Pangea map is complete. We have a few ideas for other versions of the map that we may share with you later. I need to get our fantasy page updated with this art, but just haven't had much time to work in there lately. Maybe by next week. 

We have a few more art ideas that we'll share with you soon, but for now our current projects are complete. Are you enjoying the ride?


In another story we've been following, Paizo's support of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license is heating up. right from them:

In January, Paizo and an alliance of more than 1,500 tabletop RPG publishers announced our intention to support the development of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license, a system-agnostic, perpetual, irrevocable open gaming license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics and encourages collaboration and innovation in the tabletop gaming space. The ORC is not explicitly a Paizo license, but is intended for the common use of the entire games industry, across a wide variety of games and platforms. Over the last several weeks, we have been working closely with Azora Law, an intellectual property law firm that works with Paizo and several other game publishers, to develop and refine a working draft of the ORC license for public discussion and refinement.

You may not know, but Stone Valley Games was one of those 1,500 tabletop RPG contributors who initially signed up. We're most likely going to use the ORC when eventually getting our fantasy setting in a more polished position. 

In any case, the first draft of the completed ORC is ready for public comment. We've just started mulling it over and have to find a legal dictionary to help us I think... If you're interested in checking out how it's looking, you can find everything at Paizo's blog right here - including links to the license itself. Enjoy!


Okay, enough news for this week! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, and many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting our page and you'd like to keep up with our giveaways, sales, new products, and articles like this one just create an account here. Once created you will be subscribed to our newsletter and become enrolled in our loyalty system, instantly earning 50 Stones that you can use on your very first order. A Stone? One Stone is equivalent to One Cent. That doesn't sound like much, but you earn 2 Stones for every dollar spent and 5 for each product review, so though it may seem small, those savings add up fast! Redeem your Stones upon checkout, and they can save you up to 10% off your cart total. Loyalty Matters! 

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