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Thursday, June 18, 2015

My RPG purchases of the last 12 months or so. (give or take)

2014 into 2015 saw me buy more physical RPG  materials than I had in quite a few years.
PDFs not withstanding here is a run down of my  recent purchases and  how they are fairing.


  • Blood of Heroes by Pulsar games.
    • I wrote another post (soon to be posted) about my favorite Game system ever MEGS. It was originally used in the  DC heroes game by Mayfaire games and found it's final incarnation as "Blood Of heroes" published by Pulsar games. That post will cover what I like about the game.

      There is not much to like about Blood of heroes the  book.
      It's basically a cut and paste of the  old MEGS system from DC heroes, with a few tweaks and balances to the powers section.  It runs the same and is laid out the same as the original. From my reading g the biggest changes were made to the gadget building section which is more usable in Blood of heroes than it was in DC..

      The image to the right? It was issued in the  year 2000 the  same year as the Blood of heroes RPG. Nothing in the book is close to that quality, The art in Blood of heroes was not strong considering the game was based on comic book superheroes.

      Luckily the game it's self is still excellent and fun to play, and we are playing it. I have started runnign a superpower / Alien hunting / investigation campaign and everyone involved seems to like it.
      • Current location , Book shelf behind my desk.
  • D&D 5th ed Players Hand Book
    • So to say this is tier best players hand book since the  2nd edition players hand book would do two things. First it woudl make me look like I'm into arguing editions of D&D , I'm not.  Secondly  readers might assume I think this 5th ed book is a masterful bit of RPG kit, which again I don't.
      I could quibble, but at the end of the  day , and as I have said before the authors of 5th ed had a herculean task informant of them when they set out to attract new players and satisfy the  armies of edition grognards running around. For the most part they have done  a fine job of it and my quibbles would be just that, one mans quibbles.
      We are currently playing in two 5th ed games, one run by my friend Otto  and the  other r run by my friend Jay. The players hand book is getting referenced at least once a game in each of their games. So it is seeing some use.
      • Current location: On my desk. Open to "Monk"
  • D&D 5th ed Dm's Guide.
    • I  wrote a lengthy post about this book the weekend I bought it.
      I have not so much as opened it since.
      • Location: On my book shelf snug in a book shipping box.
        (in 30 years when 5th ed is "Old School" my DMG will make some one a great find, trust me... Or I will have burnt them for heat back in 2037, after the oil ran out )
  • Numenera RPG.
    • I bought this thinking we were going to be playing a protracted Numenera campaign, which never materialized.  I totally blame Monte Cook games for this, as they went ass backwards with their book production by going from strictly defined to broadly defined with the scope of their books.
      Starting with Numenera which is Cipher system with a setting, then moving to  The strange which is  Multi setting Cipher system , then doing an even broader "Cipher system rule book" latter this year.
      What a pain in the  ass.
      So we started by playing Numenera , then cycled quickly in to a Strange game and never went back.
      I have to say I love the setting of the 9th world. I like the  Fantasy sci-fi mix and the dusty mystery of it all.  The setting fluff in that big old Numenera book is  great to read and the  production values make it equally fun to look at.
      The system is not exactly my cup of tea. Sitting somewhere in between traditionally crunchy and  more free form, I don't think it does either particularly well.
      What it does do well with the  ciphers in the cipher system is  give the players access to nearly unlimited one shot  KEWL POWERZZ, These make playing the game a hoot, and really brings the  9th worlds lost tech and  crazy history to  light.
      If I was offered to play in a straight up Numenera game again I would jump on it even if it woudl just be to play with crazy  lost tech in a crazy  setting.
      • Current status: In a box in the closet.
  • Ragnarock: Fate of the Norns RPG.
    • There is a cold hard truth here. Ragnarock the game is beautiful,Thematic, evocative.
      However to actually play the thing there is just too much ephemera that needs to be purchased.
      Character Mats, runes, damage tracks.. ect.
      Yes I could piece it all together myself, and yes I could figure out a way to play without the official stuff, but I think the game woudl suffer for it.
      I honestly can never see this game getting to my table, when there are so many easier to just grab and play RPG options laying around. That's the cold hard truth.
      • Current status in A box in the attic.
  • A Red and Pleasant Land:
    • This is a lovely book. Te production values are top notch by any standard.
      As I said in my mini review a few months ago, the book is legit. After reading it over I think it's strength is in its singular vision realized though Zak Smith who has The ability to not only write but also illustrate with his own style and voice. There aren't may products which are the result of one persons process  realized with the care of production afforded "A red and Pleasant Land."
      For my part I have not found a way to sneak it into my game. While it could be a "pocket dimension" of some kind, it really doesn't fit very well into my low fantasy D&D game.
      For all the positives I have to say about it, its not something that fits my style as a GM. I'm glad I own it, I'm happy I read it, I'm impressed by it, but I don't see myself using it anytime soon.
      • Current location: In a box in my closet.
  • Tears of A Machine:
    • This swans not a purchase, it was given to me by one of our group who has an interest in playing it. I had not heard that much about it and  missed out on the kick starter. Neal had two copies (signed by the author even) and was willing to fire one my way.
      I have read through the book, which for the record is an anime style, teenage angst driven  mecha game. The  book is good, laid out well, the game seems easy to run and playable, even if tethered to the theme. (Then again what the hell should I expect it says "A tabletop RPG of giant robots and the teenagers who pilot them.," right on the tin.)
      I love giant Robots, Unabashedly.
      Neal likes the game.
      We were on track to play it, but then he got involved in a game of the strange with another group, I started running blood of heroes Friday nights.
      • Current location: On my bookshelf in RPG purgatory.
  • The Reissue of the  Classic Car Wars Boxed set.
    Get it at Amazon 
    • Bought at a convention.
      A comic book and costuming convention.
      Thank god this was there.

      How could I have not bought this? Seriously.
      Car Wars, is awesome. I want to take a whole day to play out  12 seconds of cars blowing each other up with recoil-less riffles, and anti tank guns. I gnat to sit with my friends and laugh when Some one tries to cut through a park at 60 miles per hour, and comes one roll away form making it.
      This reissue is  fantastic, because I am a stupid fanboy and  you could print "Car Wars" on a bag of dog shit and I would think, I mean seriously think, about buying it.

      All that aside it is a good reissue. A good full size map (figure 8 track ? Yes please!) on decent stock (not that  toilet-paper thin stuff they used to use), pre-cut counters (If you have the  original set you know this is a blessing) a staple-bound rule book that covers just the car stuff and none of the extra things from the Deluxe car wars set. It's a box with everything in it players need to get the game up and "rolling" as quickly as possible.
      It's just enough stuff to make the younger player s in your group ask, "You really used to game like this?"
      At which I always smile and say , "Yes, yes we did .... now about that control check for phase 3?"
      • Current location: On my book shelf & in my heart.
  • AAIE, stands up to mentioning.
    • A game I wrote for our group and talked a lot about on the blog.
      I had 5 copies printed via lulu for the guys who did the most helping me test the game.
       Getting them was a thank you for the help kind of thing.  It's full of typo's and It's not laid out all that well, but still it was nice to have it and hold it in my hands. Having the  book will make playing the game easier, and when we get back to playing it I expect it will see some use. Cost me all of 6 bucks a copy Whoop-ty-do.
      • Current Location: On my book shelf.
That's it for new thongs on my shelf for the  past few months.
I don't plan on buying this much stuff again for quite some time. Normally I don't buy books unless I plan on using them so this year has been a bit of an anomaly.

Hope you enjoyed the read.
have a great day.
Thank you for stopping in.
-Mark.