Thursday, January 21, 2016

40K Friday Special Edition: Eldar Battle Reports

Just in case there's anyone else out there interested in seeing how some other people are playing the space elves in 7th edition, here are some links to video battle reports I have found and enjoyed:

  • Eldar vs. Chaos Marines (Iron Hands) - I have an Iron Hands army too so this was fun to watch. Nice looking table, nicely painted armies.
  • Eldar vs. Dark Angels - I also have a Dark Angels army so this was another doubly informative report. Another nice table.
  • The Bellport Battle Bunker gives us 3 nice reports vs. Crimson Fists (another army of mine!) 
  • Skari has been doing batreps for a while now. Lately he's been running a combined Dark Eldar/Eldar force and it's fun to watch. 
  • Finally MiniWargaming has a really nice fight between Eldar and Necrons that is totally worth the time. These guys do a great job - even the room they are playing in is interesting.
So there are ten reports I found interesting enough to share.  Tomorrow: my own non-video battle report.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

5th Edition - OGL, SRD, and a new campaign?

Well WOTC set the RPG Internet on fire last week and there was some additional news of note this morning. Short takes below:

  • 5E opening a lot up to the OGL: Good thing. I kind of like the limited number of published adventures out there but I'm not playing it so that's not really fair. I think the original OGL was huge for the hobby (it's how we got Mutants and Masterminds among many other things) so anything that embraces it is a positive, and the big name in RPG's coming back to it is a big, big positive.
  • The SRD: a few are talking about what it lacks but I see the races, classes, alignments, gear, spells, combat rules, magic items ... all the standard elements of the D&D rules over the last umpteen years and editions. Looks like a pretty solid start to me.
  • The DM's Guild: Well if you wanted to try and make some money off of those adventures you've been writing they're making it pretty easy now. Explanation of how it works is here. It's of limited immediate interest to me as I'm not playing 5th but it's an interesting model for letting other people play in your sandbox and get paid for it. I think reputation will play a big part in this, but that it will quickly sweep away a lot of other efforts for the low-hanging fruit: NPC's, new monsters, and short encounters that a lot of the DTRPG publishers like to sell. I do wonder if prices will settle at certain tiers for specific content or if it will be a race to the bottom with almost everything going to 99 cents. It will be fun to watch over the next year.
  • That Ravenloft thing is coming back too. I'm glad to see something that is more than another campaign pulled over to the Realms. This one sounds like it's staying home and you can get there from anywhere so that's good. It's also cool that they have the original writers involved.

    It is, however, another update/rehash like the Tiamat adventure, the Elemental Evil adventure, and the Drizzt/Menzoberranzan/Underdark adventure - now it's the Ravenloft adventure. Lord knows there's plenty left - will we see a slaver's adventure? An S-series special adventure? A giant-heavy adventure? Planescape Redux? Another Keep on some Borderlands-centric campaign? I bet we see at least some of that. I would be interested in seeing something new though - something that's not a direct homage to one of the classics. How about a new classic for 5th edition? Even if it's in the Realms there's a lot of ground to cover. How about something in Chult with all of those dinosaurs running around? How about something mummy-ish in Mulhorand? How about Paladins vs. Liches in the Blooddstone lands? Ok some of those could be made tribute-ish but it's not required.  

It is cool to see activity on 5E - even if I'm not diving in to it I think it's important to the whole RPG hobby to keep it alive and active. I'm sure I'll take another run at it one of these days.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Green Ronin 2016

Green Ronin posted their plans for the year on their site and it looks like a pretty good projection for some games I like. Link to the article is here. My thoughts are below. In general though I am a fan of GR, both what they have done and how they have done it since Freeport and Mutants and Masterminds were first released.

  • First up: Fantasy Age is something I know little about - I have not played Dragon Age, I haven't watched the Titansgrave web show, and I'm not really interested in Blue Rose. My standard attitude is "I have plenty of fantasy RPG's already." That said it seems to be doing pretty well for them and that's a good thing and having quality alternatives to D&D & Pathfinder out there is a good thing too, even if I never play them.
  • The meat of it for me: Mutants and Masterminds!
    • Cosmic Handbook Print Edition - I think the PDF has been out for a while but I like hardcopies for this game and I am interested. Don't know how often it will come up but it's a handy book for a GM to have even if your team never leaves the earth.
    • Revised GM Kit - well I have the original and it's not like I need another screen but reference cards and a combat tracker sound interesting. 
    • Hero High - I can confidently say I will never run a supers campaign based in a high school but the teen hero thing is a huge part of the genre, it's good to have options even if it's mainly for character background, and the original is one of the more highly regarded 2E books so let's see what comes from a new edition and 5+ years of thinking about it.
    • The biggest single item for me: Freedom City 3E. It's an update of my favorite super-setting book in 30+ years of playing them. The 1E book was good, the 2E book took it to a new level, and my hopes for 3E are very high. With just the previous book and the 2E core book you could run a superhero campaign for years. Hopefully the new one does the same.
    • Atlas of Earth Prime, once collected, will make a nice supplement for Freedom City but it's not the main attraction for me. Rogues Gallery is more of something I do not need more of. I went for their first two "supplement a week" programs with Threat Report and Power Profiles only to see them collected at the end of the year so I've waited on these for the full set. As much as I want to support M&M I'm not as much of a fan of the way these are produced as I used to be.
  • Freeport for Pathfinder is getting a campaign, a bestiary, and some small encounter support - that sounds solid. I can't use it right now but if I return to d20 piracy and high seas adventure these will be on my list for a look.
  • Song of Ice and Fire continues to get support which is cool. This one falls into the "It's not my thing but I'm glad someone is doing" category. If a group of players ever hits me up to run something like that,well,  I know where to go.
Looks like a busy year for them and a nice growth year for M&M in particular. I just hope I can run through enough of my on-again-off-again M&M Freedom City campaign to justify moving it all over to 3E when the time comes.