Friday, June 29, 2012

40K Friday: Rynn's World

This is a pretty good one. It's a 40K Space Marine Novel, but it's not completely wrapped up in the glorious exploits of one legendary character. Nor is it littered with constant temptations by Chaos. Nor does it feature conspiracies by cultists, inquisitors, or traitors. Instead, it focuses on a legendary battle that's a straight up face-off between the Crimson Fists and an Ork invasion - of their homeworld.

One of the refreshing things about the book is that the marines begin as somewhat arrogant and detached from the world they call home, have their arrogance thrust into their face but are defiant nonetheless, then there is a terrible accident and the Fists are on their heels for the rest of the story, fighting to survive as a chapter. They have doubts, they have fears, they experience failure on a massive scale and in the most personal of ways.

Of course being marines they still fight on but there are some actual interesting debates over vengeance vs. duty, short term vs. long term, and the need to fight vs. the need to preserve the chapter for the future and the larger struggle to defend the imperium.  Don't get me wrong, there's no lack of skull-exploding bolter head-shots and powerfists crushing bodies in close combat but there are some interesting problems being faced alongside the action.

Additional freshness: the marines don't win every fight, even the on-screen ones. Their big heroes don't even win every fight. Near the end of the story the embarrassment of needing help to defend their own homeworld is even mentioned. Overall, most of this book covers a situation we don't see very often with space marine stories - desperation and failure. Some of the pivotal events are due to sheer bad luck and circumstance - again, not traitors or conspiracies or psykers or warpstorms or anything else. Longtime 40K players know all about rolling a "1" - sometimes random chance can have some pretty devastating consequences. Reading along as the marines are rocked back on their heels and struggling to keep it together makes for a pretty good story.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hell on Earth Reloaded!

I had not been following this one as I wasn't sure it would ever come out - remember Savage Worlds came about about 9 years ago, Deadlands Reloaded 6 years ago - but it is out now in PDF form with hardcopy books soon to follow. Apparently there will be a separate plot point campaign book as well. I am a pretty happy camper as this is one of my favorites: some Gamma World, some Twilight 2000, some Supers, and of course some Deadlands, and it's all mixed together into a very cool package. The original system was pretty crunchy and as much as I liked it there were times when combat bogged down a bit. Now with full support for a Savage Worlds version I'm extremely interested and it's going on the "play" list for later this year - once the big summer project is over.

She looks a little different up above - and I'm OK with that

An Update from the Past, Present, and Far Future

It's been a little quiet here this week - the short version:

  • The main game continues but for the Apprentices this is the lull before July when all of them are here pretty much all of the time. So less to discuss.
  • Current work is in an extremely busy period so less time to play, think and post.
  • Lots of other major changes on the horizon which are taking a great deal of time and consideration, cutting into the meanderings of the gaming mind. This month I'm counting myself fortunate to run and read and still get some sleep in between everything else.
It's not all business and distractions though  - I found this email from, well:

Traveller5 is nearly complete. Its full of material: Character Generation, Androids, Robots, Clones, Worlds, Starships, Small Craft, Adventures, and more.

Monday, December 10, 2007 12:17 AM
We're sending you this because you have ordered the Traveller science-fiction role-playing game from Far in the past.

Traveller5 is nearly complete. Its full of material: Character Generation, Androids, Robots, Clones, Worlds, Starships, Small Craft, Adventures, and more.

come see more at our web page
We are in the last stages of completing an extensive initial CDROM version of T5 by Jan 31 totaling about 1000 electronic pages. Order now, and we'll send you our special offer now and the CDROM as soon as it rolls of the press.

We have a special offer on the web site. Come see what we have. 

So, if I ordered this in 2007 am I automatically in on the kickstarter? Were people able to order this back then? How did this work out, exactly? I pretty much stopped following it once I got interested in the Mongoose version so I'm a little curious about it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Quick Hits

 - 6th Edition Warhammer 40,000 has been previewed and it looks like Games Workshop is choosing to encourage narrative games over the tournament-heavy mentality of the last few editions. It will probably be less mechanically balanced than before but the return of things like allies and overwatch and some of the new rules - measure at any time! finally! - is a move towards a style of play less concerned with optimized builds and balance over all. Hmm, that sounds a little familiar.

- The PDF for MHR Civil War is available and the early reviews are positive. I'm looking forward to it but I'm holding out for the hardcover version. The Apprentices now have their own copies of the basic rulebook and have been boning up on how the system works.

- They're making another D&D movie - lord - ENWorld has info and discussion here. Probably more than it deserves.

- Our 4E campaign continues and is going well. I should really start putting up those session summaries.

- I finished reading the Pathfinder rulebook. The last time I looked at it was the Beta and I just did not care enough about another version of 3rd at that time. I have to say I think they did a pretty decent job of updating 3.5. I am going to run the boys through the Skull and Shackles campaign and I have an idea for running a secondary game on a whenever kind of schedule too. I'll probably post more about that this week.

- Other developments are disrupting my planned schedule and with the acquisition of some things. It's for a good reason but for the next month or two there may be a lot more "examining of existing stuff" and less "picking up of new stuff".

Motivational Monday