Friday, October 11, 2013

Cheap Shot Special - Colorado Flood Relief Bundle

It's been a ridiculously busy week here with kid stuff every night and it continues into the weekend. One new thing came out this week that is a screaming deal - the Colorado Flood Relief Bundle on DriveThruRPG

From Fainting Goat's message on this:
And all proceeds go to help the Red Cross' flood relief efforts in Colorado. Please give it a look and spread the word.

The bundle is $20.- see this link for details.

If you're at all interested in Superhero games this is especially intriguing - look at what's included:

  • Broken Shield (supers game)
  • Bulletproof Blues (supers game)
  • Capes, Cowls, and Villains Foul (supers game)
  • Hope Prep (teenage supers for ICONS)
  • ICONS (supers game)
  • Megapolis (super city setting for BASH!)
  • Mutants and Masterminds Hero's Handbook (supers game)
  • Supers! (supers game)
  • Watchguard (a supers setting for M&M3E)
Those are full games and full settings - plus a bunch of adventures, extra hero & villain compilations, and other support material for most of these games. You could run a campaign for a year at least with this stuff with no other material at all.

Beyond this there's some cool stuff for Savage Worlds too - Achtung Cthulu, Kaiser's gate (alternate history WW1), and a Deadlands adventure - that's a really nice bundle of stuff.

Anyway, no, I'm not involved with any of these companies or writers - I just know a good deal when I see it and thought I would share.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Overreaction Wednesday

First, Next (Heh):

There have been a few more updates on Next. The big focus has been on "Class Groups" which are the warrior/mage/priest/rogue groupings from 2E brought forward. The initial discussion is on the WOTC post here.

Now I read this and I could not figure out the point of this change. Is everything else a sublcass? No. Is there some unifying mechanical element to separate the warriors from the mages? Not really. The comments section on that article is almost all negative and there are a lot of good points made. I get 4E's "Roles" and I thought it was a smart thing to discuss and worked just fine - it was a primary shorthand descriptor for each class, along with power source, but had no direct mechanical impact on the game beyond the general outlines of "Defenders do this. Controllers do this" etc. What are these Groups supposed to accomplish?

Well Friday we had a related Q&A update here. There seems to be some shifting on this and it's probably for the better given the online reaction. Besides obvious bad decisions like naming the rogue/thief grouping the "Trickster" - really? - there doesn't seem to be enough mechanical justification to offset the backlash. Old thru 3E got by without anything more than "arcane caster", "divine caster", "fighter/minimum BAB of X", and "thief/ability to sneak attack". Pathfinder does too. So I'm not sure there's really a problem that this thing solves. Of course, going back to the concept of Roles from 4th would make a lot of sense but they really do seem to be avoiding that.

Misfires like this make me wonder just how settled some of the decisions around Next really are. It seems like a fairly significant structural change to throw in at this stage of development. Plus the Q&A's "we were already doing less with the concept than what Mike described" comment seems odd - he just posted that a few days before - are we getting articles now that are several versions behind the current "insider" version just like the public playtest packets were?

Next, Pathfinder (Heh):

Paizo has put up an adventure ... finder? Guide? Sorter? Anyway page here. It has all of their published adventures sorted by level. Click on the level, look through the list and choose the one you want (the books are ordered alphabetically), click "Buy PDF", complete your transaction, download the thing, pop it up on your device and RUN!

I think that's pretty cool. You could run an entire ad-hoc campaign like this choosing a new adventure for whatever level the party happens to be when you finish up the previous adventure. You could even put it to a vote based on title and a cover picture. I think that has some potential but running that kind of thing with online tools could be a fun stretching of the DM muscles in a different way.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cheap Shots - Two!

Two new worthy ones this week:

"A Role-Playing Game set in the aftermath of the Highlander TM Movie"


"First of all, please note that this is a game for relatively mature and experienced players looking for more of a role-play than roll-play experience."

Oh boy ...

I have tried not to infringe any copyright. This is a game set in an existing setting created by someone else. I loved the first film and most of the others – and the TV series – so I thank the creators for providing this world for us to imagine our involvement within it. All I’ve done is create an RPG framework to make that possible.  

Where to start with this? I get it, people like Highlander. Heck, I liked the first one too. I suppose "Immortals" has finally drained out of the bargain bins across the country. I never really thought this was a different enough universe to warrant its own RPG - just play an immortal guy in some other game, like Champions. I made one for City of Heroes, gave him regeneration, a sword, long hair, and a kilt and called him "Eternal Scotsman" - this isn't hard.

Also, I thought the whole climax of the first movie was between the last two immortals? One lived and one died and SPOILER ALERT FOR A MOVIE FROM 1986 LOOK AWAY NOW: and the survivor was rewarded with mortality. That doesn't seem to leave much for a game specifically set in the world after this confrontation. From the preview:

These rules advocated personal growth by slaying others of their kind for their Life Force power which ultimately pointed to a future time and place where the final few would fight to the death to gain some powerful benefit. As it transpired, this meeting in New York in the 1980s is now widely believed to have been an elaborate scam of some kind dreamed up by an unknown agent for an unknown reason.

Somebody is scamming immortals now? That's it? That note above about loving the first film ... while I assume the other movies and the TV series spelled out something about this it seems odd to me to choose to set a game so that it deliberately invalidates the climax of the main story people know about this universe.

It's 18 pages and uses its own system and oh hey - that comment about not infringing copyright? Probably less of an issue if you weren't selling it! It's only a $1.99 but still - there's a difference.

Moving on we have this:

 The Assisted Living DEAD!

Grab your Walker and Compression Socks! The Zombie Apocalypse has your Assisted Living Facility! And you're locked in with them!

Alright this might be fun for a con game. It's 50 pages long, it's $5, and it too uses its own system. Hopefully a very_simple_system.

Wasn't this a GURPS supplement? Maybe not. It's probably the closest we will get to Bubba Ho-Tep the RPG so there you go. Kind of the  opposite of New Era in some ways too.

Anyway there are two new ones that caught my eye this week.

Motivational Monday

 A little CoH Tribute for the next few weeks...

One of my favorite types of character in CoH, I'd say my favorite was Martial Arts. Kaptain Amerika is probably my favorite of those.