Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014: My Year in Gaming

As 2014 draws to a close I like to reflect on my gaming for the year.  I am an avid collector and will buy game products like a hoarder stockpiling newspapers.  It is important to review the enjoyment of my game collection so that I can make sure that I am enjoying the gaming hobby rather than having the gaming hobby enjoy me.  Here are some highlights, thoughts, and rants for 2014.

Biggest Accomplishment

I signed up for a Play 5 RPGs You Have Never Played Before challenge over on rpggeek.com (I'm listed at item #38).  I completed the challenge with eight new games under my belt.  I love trying out new rpg systems, and playing eight new games was a great way to expand my gaming view.  Three of those new games were played with my daughter, which in turn led to our first family rpg sessions.  My wife has said that she doesn't like rpgs but she bit the bullet for some sessions of The Warriors Adventure Game and Call of Catthulhu.  This challenge was awesome for exposing me to new systems as well as bringing family role playing into the house.

Best New Game I Played

Call of Catthulhu, paws down, is my choice for the best new rpg that I played this year.  I backed this project on Kickstarter and have been amply rewarded.  The game is about cats who fight against supernatural forces of evil.  The mechanics are simple and the theme is perfect for my daughter.  She loved this game so much I had to buy her her own copy.  My goal is to have an in depth review up on the site soon.

Most Anticipated Overdue Kickstarter That I Have Not Yet Received

The Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls game is still not in print.  I love T&T for its ease of play and zany nature.  The book is 2 years behind schedule, but the creators have been releasing regular updates and I have pdfs of the beta rules.  When this book arrives in my mail I will do a dance that will put leprechauns to shame.

Those are some thoughts on the year as 2014 ends.  I still need to play the FATE system, I am reading the entire Eclipse Phase rulebook, and I continue to collect more games that I should.  Next post, looking towards the gaming future in 2015!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Day for Kevin Crawford's Silent Legions on Kickstarter!

Kevin Crawford, designer of games such as Stars Without Number and Scarlet Heroes has a new Kickstarter finishing up today.  Before you roll your eyes at the mention of Kickstarter, know that I have backed two of Kevin's products and both of those books are sitting on my bookshelf.  Kevin is a master at completing Kickstarters.  If you back his game you receive the beta copy of the PDF immediately.

Make your own mythos!

The game is called Silent Legions and it is an old-school D&D take on Lovecraftian horror.  Mr. Crawford designed the game for sandbox style play, and the jewel of the book is the chapters on mythos creation.  The PDF is worth it for the rules on generating your own elder gods and cosmic horrors for any campaign.  I've read through the rules and I am currently starting a play-by-forum game.  The rules are heavily influenced by original edition D&D with a skills system added to it.  The adventure creation system is perfect for GMs who need to create campaigns quickly.

If you are a fan of horror and old-school rules check it out.

Silent Legions

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

RPG Watch - First Contact: X-Corps

I love science fiction and one of my favorite sub-genres is alien invasion stories.  My interest was piqued when I noticed First Contact: X-Corps, a new role playing game based on an alien invasion of Earth over on rpggeek.com.  The game has been released in a Spanish and French edition. A free quickstart of the game has been made available in English.

I would love to play in a game like this!

The game is based on the Open D6 system.  This is the set of rules that West End Games used for their Star Wars games.  The system only uses six sided dice, the proletariat of the dice community.  Some aspects of the system seem fairly simple; role a number of dice, add them up, and compare them to a difficulty number.  Some other aspects seem a little more complex, such as the countdown initiative system with interrupted actions.  

The quickstart rules give you two modes of play.  You can be normal people surviving as aliens land, or you can be part of the special ops teams trained to fight the invaders.  I like that the character sheets have a section labelled “psychology”, which tells you how your character thinks about things.  I was puzzled as to why the paramedic did not have the medicine skill, though.

The artwork is cool and full color.  This quickstart is the perfect appetizer.  It gives you enough to whet your appetite and makes you want more.  I will be watching for this game in the near future,  

Check out the quickstart here.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

James Raggi has new books for sale!

I am a bibliophile to the point of having a fetish for books.  I'm the kind of book collector who winces when someone bends the spine of one of my precious tomes.  I will mull over details such as paper thickness and binding quality when I am deciding to purchase a book.  

When it comes to rpg products, James Raggi's Lamentations of the Flame Princess products are the most unique and beautifully produced books I have seen.  His vision of a fantasy role playing game is like Kafka taking acid while listening to Slayer.  Lamentation of the Flame Princess (or LotFP) adventures are paradigm breaking affairs that breath new life into the hobby while simultaneously scaring the crap out of it.

Not only are his products innovative, they are also physically gorgeous.  The artwork is horrid and hypnotic.  The paper and covers are assembled with true spirit, producing a gestalt of a book that makes the hands that hold it tremble.  When I lift my copy of the core rules the gravitas of the product radiates through me.

Mr. Raggi has just printed some new books and I suggest that you go buy some.  My suggestions:

A Red and Pleasant Land - This is some weird Alice in Wonderland campaign by Zak Smith.  The artwork alone looks great.  I would be buying this myself if not for a recent personal income crisis.  Please make James sell out of these so I don't have to suffer anymore.

No Salvation for Witches - This book has some crazy witch goodness inside of it.  I have seen the pdf and the artwork is awesome.  Looking at it will give you the urge to go to confession.

There are plenty of other awesome books for sale.  Please order the books; LotFP products are well made and you get the pdf with it.  Plus it is always cool to receive packages from Finland.