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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Solo supers

This is one of the games I'd love to run. I think having only one player is incredibly easy to deal with if you are running a supers campaign. You just need to come up with a few memorable supervillains and maybe one Cobra/VIPER-style evil organization, and you can play forever.

There are thousands upon thousands of old comics to steal stories from. If you use well-known villains like Dr. Doom or the Joker, your job becomes even easier.

Any power level will work, because you don't have to worry about balance at all. I'd personally love to play in a lower-powered game, with characters roughly equal to Spiderman or the Punisher. Then again, a run with someone on the Superman level would be awesome, though I'm not sure if I'd want to make a full campaign of that.

Cosmic heroes really seem difficult to do for a long term campaign, unless you really want to create a bunch of dependent NPC's and spend more time playing soap opera instead of thrashing villains. I'm sure some groups could do it well, though.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I wonder how the 1e reprint sales were?

I know it's like pulling teeth to get sales numbers out of the rpg industry, but just anecdotally, I wonder how the sales for the 1e reprints were. A local comics shop with a small rpg section had a number of them in, and the guys at the counter said they sold several sets. I didn't see the reprints at another comics shop that carries rpg's. (I refuse to give business to my local rpg store, so I have no idea if he even got the reprints in, but that's a long rant).

I personally didn't buy the 1e reprints yet. I might pick up the DMG, but I honestly am not a huge fan of 1e. I think B/X did early D&D better, and 3e and the retroclones were all big improvements over 1e.  A revised, errata-fixed edition of 2e would be my Holy Grail, though.

It would be great if the sales did very well. It would bode ill for the future if the reprints were a flop. I am pretty sure 3.5 is up for a reprint (errata included!) sometime later this year. I will buy those.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Malazan artwork

I've been reading the Malazan books by Erikson, and I found a bunch of great pics based upon his world. Here's a few (click on them for much larger versions):

Tattersail meets with Quick Ben, Kalam, Whiskeyjack, and Sorry at the very beginning of Gardens of the Moon.

Karsa Orlong riding around in the Seven Cities, being awesome.

Segulah warriors, with Lady Envy in the background.

Mappo Runt, looking suitably barbaric.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Forgotten Realms reboot

WotC is once again rebooting the Forgotten Realms, this time for 5e. Erik Scott de Bie has a nice SUMMARY of what's in store. It is still very general, without a ton of details. There's also a thread on CANDLEKEEP where Erik provide a bit more info.

I'm interested in what WotC is attempting. They know they need to fix the massive mistake that was the 4e Realms. Some stuff will be fixed by Ao rewriting the tablets of fate. Others will include Abeir once again being separated from Toril. All of this sounds good to me.

I will say I do not support the GLBT Politically-Correct Thought Police worming their way into future novels, but it wouldn't be nice for us to not allow them to push their agenda, even in gaming circles.

In any case, I hope the reboot is done very well, and is successful.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elves as Sith rulers

This is an idea I've had kicking around in my head. I'd use a heavily-modified retroclone.

1. All characters would be elves (fighter/mages of some kind). They would be the rulers of the world.

2. They would be just better than other races. Period. One level one elf could easily kill a group of five human soldiers.

3. They can wear armor, use weapons, etc. They also use magic.

4. Magic may be limited to stuff like leaping, healing, some kind of roar that demoralizes and deafens, etc. Not sure if I want stuff like lightning or not.

5. Anger and hate fuel magic. If you're nice and mellow, magic won't work, or at least it will be very diminished. Therefor, the most evil elves are also the ones running everything.

6. There is a rebellion, of course. It will have some elves in it. Maybe they use technology to combat elven magic.

Friday, August 17, 2012

FFG posts Star Wars RPG info

Blah. From their website:

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is the first of three epic roleplaying game installments. Each will be a standalone core rulebook, but will complement the other two to form a single game system. Each of these three planned core rulebooks presents the Star Wars galaxy from a different point of view, and they all take place during the height of the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Galactic Empire.

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is the first of these installments, focusing on the fringes of society, the scum and villainy of the galaxy, and the explorers and colonists of the Outer Rim. In this game, players take on the roles of hard-hearted bounty hunters, roguish scoundrels, charming smugglers, or fearless explorers trying to survive and thrive on the edges of civilization. 

In the second installment, Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, the players take the fight to the oppressive Galactic Empire as cunning spies, cocky pilots, and dedicated soldiers in the Rebel Alliance.

Finally, in Star Wars: Force and Destiny, the players become figures of legend: the last surviving Force users in the galaxy. Hunted by the Empire, they must stay alive, and more importantly, stay true to the ideals of their forebears—the fabled Jedi. Each of these independent game lines stands alone as a unique gaming experience while fully integrating with the others to form a single unified system. For more on Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, skip below to read our overview.


So it's going to be set up just like the 40K rpg. I don't like this at all. Especially the fact that the Jedi and Sith are going to be held back for at least a year, probably two. 
Oh yeah, it's going to have "unique, custom dice" that you will need to play. What the fuck?! Not another game going this route! What the hell is wrong with six-siders?! I'm betting it's going to be something right out of their board games, which will probably end up being a crap system. I just went from kind-of-excited to completely not interested in this game. I won't be surprised when it fails, hard.

Harry Harrison passed away

Harry wrote the Stainless Steel Rat series, West of Eden, and a number of other books. He was one of the mainstays of my childhood. It's hard to believe yet another influence on my life has moved on. RIP, Harry. Watch out for the Special Corps!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drugs in a fantasy world

Just something I was thinking about. Does your setting have drugs mentioned often, or even at all? If they are listed, are any illegal? If they are legal, do the player characters use them? Are there any benefits or penalties?

Drugs I would allow as legal in any setting I run:
Wine, beer, ale, tobacco, marijuana.

Drugs that would be legal in most places:
Opium, mushrooms.

Pretty much the only drugs I think would be made illegal are ones that cause the user to become violent (like bath salts or meth can do).

Of course, in a fantasy setting, there would be magical potions and other substances that would be available to the rich. Likely, these would all be legal, but really expensive.

Drugs that grant magical powers (such as black lotus in my games), are almost always illegal for anyone not connected to a temple. The priests reserve these for themselves.

In some societies, even low level potions might be heavily regulated. Imagine if Charm Person potions (or scrolls) are illegal, due to how much they would be abused.

Hackmaster Basic free pdf

Just wanted to get the news out there that if you are interested in the Hackmaster game, the Basic rules are now available FREE online. I recommend checking the game out, especially if you like old school D&D. While it's not my preferred game, I think it has some neat ideas.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wizards has a playtest update for 5e

Mearls has posted it HERE. I'm still cautiously optimistic about the upcoming version of Dungeons & Dragons. The notes in this article at least show that they are listening to the playtest results. I think the Thief fix is great, though Thieves still need adjustments for combat.

The update is pretty short on details, unfortunately, so it's still a wait-and-see situation. I hope WotC manages to publish the best edition of D&D ever, though.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

ASSH is Now Available for those interested. It is published by Jeff Talanian and North Wind, who was heavily involved in the Castle Zagyg line with Gary Gygax. The game is supposed to be old school D&D, but with a heavy dose of swords and sorcery.

I've only seen bits and pieces that have been released and discussed on blogs such as Akratic Wizardry. It looks interesting, though I suspect the game is going to fall into the trap of needing four or more player characters.

This is one area I think D&D fails at, and hard. Adventurers in sword and sorcery often went alone, or with maybe one companion, on their adventures. They were largely self-sufficient. The roles imposed by D&D run counter to this. Maybe Jeff has addressed this in the rules (I hope so). If he hasn't, then we get yet another clone that we really don't need.

The artwork looks great, though I suspect there's going to be a lot of Cthulhu in the game. I like that in bits, but not as the main monsters session after session. I hope this is also addressed.

In any case, I remain cautiously optimistic. If Jeff has actually reworked the rules enough that a lone fighter can easily complete adventures, I think this game will be awesome. If it's yet another clone with new artwork, I'm going to skip it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monte Cook's new project

It's called Numenera. Looks pretty cool, so far. It's on a future world, with satellites and nanotech still floating around. However, the current civilization is going to be more of a fantasy game. Nano stuff will be seen as magic, and I'm hoping there will be some kind of power armor for fighters.

The game uses the d20, but it certainly doesn't sound like it will be based off of D&D. Your character will have certain abilities that lower target numbers. So far, it sounds like a rules-lite game, which is a big plus in my book.

The art will all be done by one guy, and the sample pieces all look fantastic. I'm betting this game is going to be one gorgeous book. I really hope it's set up and cross-referenced the way Ptolus was. In any case, I'm pretty optimistic. At least he's forging sorta-new ground, instead of pumping out yet another clone.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My favorite monsters

I like certain D&D monsters a lot, and use them often when DMing. I use NPCs as most of the bad guys, but the occasional monster is pretty necessary, or you're not really playing D&D.

You will probably also notice that most of the monsters I like are pretty mundane. Beholders are not interesting to me. They're just a little too gonzo. I love using undead, so I hate clerics that are good at Turn Undead. That one ability pretty much makes an entire category of monsters kinda lame.

Goblins: Excellent bad guys for low levels. Adding in Worgs makes them even more fun.

Skeletons: I like having them as part of traps. Maybe they are sitting underwater in a partially flooded corridor and will jump up as the players walk through.

Werewolves. It's hard to use these monsters well in D&D since most people figure out what the bad guy is and know how to defeat it, but I still like them.

Wraiths. I like having them come through walls to attack. I give them a huge bonus to surprise the first round if they do this.

Displacer Beasts. Use fireballs to saturate the area. It's the only way to be sure.

Giant Spiders. Lots of webs to trap players and poisons to ruin their day.

Vampires. Also usually recognized ahead of time, but they are classic villains for a reason.

Wererats. My favorite were-creature. I tend to have one or two tougher wererats leading all of the normal ones, as otherwise, they are kinda wimpy.

Various animals, such as bears and wolves. I keep this pretty rare, and often have them show up controlled by another monster.