Thursday, March 8, 2012

Things I have picked up from DriveThruRPG recently

No this isn't sponsored. I just like them. I don't see much about them on blogs and such so I thought I would spend a post on something I like that isn't technically a game. It's a heck of an enabler though.

I signed up in 2006 and this was my first order (note that I just accessed this today - yes, you can see your orders from 6 years ago and re-download them if you've been through a hard drive crash or a divorce or something):

d20 Status Cards - I'm pretty sure I never used these. BUT, for a dollar I don't really care. Plus, I could use them tomorrow if I wanted to, thanks to the magic of the internet.

Elements of Magic (Revised) - This was one of my favorite d20 supplements. An alternate magic system that was all-elemental and let you put together effects on the fly. It was a perfect fit for my main homebrew fantasy world which was created for a Fantasy Hero campaign and had a largely elemental-themed magic system. Alas, my players wanted none of it so despite printing it out and putting it in sheet protectors and a 3-ring binder I never used it. Again, I do still have it...

Wild Spellcraft - This was another alternate take for d20 magic that patched in a wild mage option for casters. Much like Elements it was something I really liked and something I never got to use.

The Keep of Lord Mmorpgus - I do not remember what this was. An adventure or some kind of funny. Not going to download it to find out.

Campaign Suite Extended - Ouch. This one was campaign management software - places, NPC's, items, monsters - heavily targeted at D&D 3E. I decided I was going to get all modern and keep my campaign notes on the computer and just print them out as needed to cut down on the binder-stuffing. I entered a bunch of stuff, which was not fun, printed out some stuff, had trouble finding stuff, and just found it to be a hassle most of the time. I just didn't need to do things that way at that time. You can still download it but the company does not appear to support it any more. Ah well. It was 24.95 too. Ouch.

So enough about the old stuff. What about new stuff?

 ICONS: Hero Pack 2 
 ICONS: Hero Pack 2.5 
 ICONS: Danger In Dunsmouth 
 ICONS: Sins of the Past 
 ICONS: The Aotearoa Gambit 
 ICONS: Whiteout!
Lots of ICONS - we played it some during the holiday off-time and I was all fired up. Plus they were on sale for a buck or two and I like having premade adventures on hand to throw a session together on zero notice. A couple of PDF's full of characters gives me the option to throw in NPC's on a whim.

Olympian Breed - Setting & Character Creation Guide
This is a Savage Worlds freebie that sets up a new adventure chain set in Mythic Greece and uses both the Fantasy Companion and the Superpowers Companion. It's a cool enough idea, though I'm iffy on the superpowers part, but I think SW is a perfect system for playing in Mythic Greece. I like some of the ideas, but I haven't picked up the adventures as I think I could run a decent campaign with material I already have.

Spirit Magic
These were also freebies and are the basic rules and magic system for Mongoose's Runequest system. They're renaming it "Legend" and proceeding with it for things besides RQ and Glorantha. I have some history with RQ and wanted to check it out, and you can't beat free. No plans to use it but I would gladly play in someone else's game.

Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #1: Fire Powers
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #2: Armor Powers
Already discussed these here.

Battlescenes: Gorilla Warfare (ICONS)
Battlescenes: Death from Below (ICONS)
Battlescenes: Werewolves of the Gestapo (ICONS)
Battlescenes: Der Panzer Ritter (ICONS)
Battlescenes: Undead Stormtroopers (ICONS)
The Ice Palace (ICONS)
Vigilance Force: Heroes of WWII (ICONS)
Crown Guard: Heroes of WWII (ICONS)
Eugenics Brigade: Villains of WWII (ICONS)
Pearl Harbor December: Villains of WWII (ICONS)
People's Revolution: Villains of WWII (ICONS)
Blitzkrieg London (ICONS)
More ICONS goodness - This is all Vigilance Press stuff and I like it. Plus they were $1 so it's a nearly painless purchase. It's all WW2 themed supers - some are character collections, some are short adventures, and some are longer adventures though still not "long" by most measures. I got into a WW2 Supers mood and decided ICONS was a good bet to actually get to play it. We're going to work this in during spring break next week, probably kicking off with a viewing of Captain America, some character creation, and then one or two of the Battlescenes. It should be a lot of fun.

Action Scenes: Museum Mayhem (ICONS)
This is another ICONS adventure from VP but it's a modern adventure, not a WW2 thing. It's one "encounter" or "scene" about a break in at a museum. I'll be using it in the next Atomic City run.

Cascade Failure
It's a post-apocalyptic d20 game. Interesting. Also free, which makes it even more interesting.

That stuff kept me pretty busy but I did manage a few things:

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
Wow some of us should write a bit about this game.

Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #3: Mental Powers
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #4: Summoning Powers
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #5: Tech Powers
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #6: Weather Powers
Again, already covered.


Wild Talents: Essential Edition
I really like Godlike (look! More WW2 Supers!), and I liked the One Roll Engine enough to pick up Reign awhile back too. This is the current modern-era version and I figured it would be worth a read to see if they've changed anything. Maybe one day I can convince someone to play it.

Invasion: Oceania! (ICONS)
Battlescenes: Operation Bookbinder (ICONS)
Stormtroopers of the Deep (ICONS)
As I was planning some WW2 ICONS action I realized there were a few VP products I didn't own, so I rectified this right away. Bookbinder features a giant robot attacking an aircraft carrier - I think we can all pretty much agree that you have to have that one. It's 75 cents during the GM sale - how could I not get that?!

Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #7: Electrical Powers
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #8: Water Powers
Covered these already, just keeping up as they come out.

3 Generations After The End
This is a sorta-generic post-apocalyptic setting that has about 15 pages of content and is very Thundarr-ish with monster stats for Savage Worlds, D&D 4E, Fate, and Apocalypse World. There's not a whole lot to it, but it's free so I gave it a look. I'd classify it as something I would use if my Gamma World party decided to mess around with a malfunctioning teleporter and I need an instant setting to drop them into - it's perfect for that.If it ever comes up. Or if some Savage Supers did the same thing...hmmm.

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
Jason Tondro's life's work continues. The discussion of the archetypes in these is not system-specific, though there is an example statted up for ICONS of each, which can be handy when running a minimal-prep game, which is usually how I run it.

I've picked up a few more freebies too, like a bunch of the d6 system books for Fantasy, the basic Tri-Stat book (in case I decide to dust off Silver Age Sentinels for the Apprentices too). There's a lot of interesting stuff in the "Free" category on there and it might be worth a look, especially for the gamer on a budget as there are whole systems available, some of them quite good.

I have to say that early on I saw PDF's as not that useful, because to use them in play I felt like I had to print them out. Now, between smartphones, ipads (not that Lady Blacksteel ever lets me use hers), and laptops, I can actually run whole games with minimal printing. I still prefer a good solid hardback most of the time, but I can see a place for them now that I didn't see five years ago.

Also, I'm cheap. If I can pick up 5 short adventures for 5-10$ then I'm a pretty happy guy as that's useful material that can sit on the shelf awhile and not make me feel like I wasted money. I suspect this part of the RPG industry will continue to grow, and I suspect that I will continue to help it grow - just doing my part.


Barking Alien said...

You do like yourself some ICONS dontcha'?

Nice haul.

Blacksteel said...

ICONS - It plays easy and a buck or two for an adventure that I can run through in an hour or so with the kids is good value. Converting them to M&M isn't all that difficult either if I go that way more in the future.

I've probably spent around $50 on ICONS total and had quite a few hours of fun with it.

Comparatively there are about 40 D&D 4E hardbacks on my shelf. I've had quite a bit of fun with them too but they didn't cost a buck apiece either.

So there's this whole "thing" with ICONS where it's light in more ways than just the rules that just appeals to me on multiple levels.

Plus one of the promises of PDF gaming was that without the expense of having to print and ship books they were going to cost less. ICONS is the first well-supported game I've seen that fulfills that promise, and I want to encourage that kind of approach.

There's you're insight into Blacksteel's Psyche for today. It's still recovering from that MODOK pic on your page, but it's getting better.