Sunday, August 26, 2007

GenCon and Gaming-Related Post

If you're not into gaming, you can skip this one. I'm mainly going to talk about the goodies from GenCon.

I talked about GenCon last week in a post and said I'd get back to what I picked up and what I found interesting.

The first on the list is the interesting; I played a quick demo of the Dragons of Kir. A board game that I found very interesting and I wish I'd had a chance to sit down with it and try it a bit more in-depth . . . especially since I played it first thing in the morning and I was still pretty groggy (damn that time change). Anyway, I hope to pick it up at some point, or at least play it a few more times.

As for the things I picked up, here's the list:

The Deck of Many Things card set from Green Ronin. Anyone who's played D&D for a long time knows about the magical artifact call the Deck of Many Things. It's a wildly chaotic item that's incredibly dangerous, but a lot of fun(?) for GMs and players. So, now that I have a copy I'll have to use it at some point.

Hero High from Green Ronin, for the Mutants & Masterminds line. I'm a big fan of M&M, but I have to say, this book really stands out as a great read. I enjoyed paging through it on the plane and kept getting sucked in and amused by the writing. I like the character samples, the villains, the information provided, it's all good. Seth, you should read this book.

Oh, plus, it has an ad in the back of the book for my and Seth's upcoming Iron Age sourcebook.

A More Perfect Union also from Green Ronin, for the Mutants & Masterminds' Paragons setting. I edited this adventure (not that long ago, actually) and it was good to see it in its final form. The adventure itself is actually very cool -- and very different than "standard" four-color superhero adventures. If you want to try something different with your next supers game, try Paragons and this adventure (or just run this adventure as a "one-shot" because sample characters are included).

Og, the caveman roleplaying game, from Firefly Games and written by Robin Laws. It sounds silly; and it is. But in a delightfully funny way. Robin did a great job of making the game system fit the simplicity of the setting, but still have a bit of robustness to it. I really enjoyed reading this game and I find that I'd love to run it sometime. The hard part will be convincing others to try it. It really is worth picking up and checking out.

Fear Itself from Pelgrane Press and (also) written by Robin Laws. This is the second book from Robin in the Gumshoe game system line, the first being The Esoterrorists. Fear Itself is another excellent execution of an idea by Robin, but I have to admit that horror isn't my genre of choice. And while this book it very good, it concentrates on "realistic" horror and horror with a slightly supernatural bent. If you're into this sort of thing, you should definitely check this out. Really, I'm waiting for the Gumshoe version of Call of Cthulhu. I think that will be a great melding of system and setting.

Reign, a new roleplaying game from Greg Stolze using the game system he created for Godlike and also used in Wild Talents (the title of which always reminds me of the Bill & Ted's band Wyld Stallyns). I bought this for Jason, but I've been reading it and now I'm convinced that, first, I really need a copy, and second, that I really need to play in a game of it. It simplifies some aspects of gaming (especially high-powered political games) in great new ways that ought to make those sorts of a games so much easier to play and run. One of the guys from the Tuesday game has talked about running this game and I'm very excited to try it out. Plus, how you go wrong with a game system that lets you randomly generate (an actually interesting) character with one roll of the dice? Very cool. Buy it.

Passages, a relatively new roleplaying game from Blue Devil Games. I don't know the people behind this, but when the fella at the "indie" games booth told me what it was about, I had to pick it up. The pitch he used was "it's basically a Victorian version of Stargate," and the cover image (follow the link) shows the cast of characters from Alice in Wonderland and a dead Jabberywock. Oh, how cool. I've yet to read it.

Pathfinder Chronicles: Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide from Paizo. This was a $2 purchase and I bought it because I'm really impressed with the previous Adventure Paths from Paizo and I want to like this new one. Hopefully I'll be able to trade with some of the Paizo guys to check out more of this series. I'm sure it'll be good.

The Birds collection from Pelgrane Press, wirtten by Robin Laws. This comic strip has been appearing weekly on Robin's blog for a while now and it was strange when I started reading this book and noticed that they've been appearing since 2004! I thought it was still very new, so that surprised me. Anyway, you can read the series online at his blog, but the collection has already made me very happy. It's so wrong.

Warhammer 40K Roleplay Free Demo Adventure from Games Workshop's Black Library. I ran into T.S. Luikart at the Games Workshop booth and he handed me this preview of the upcoming Warhammer 40K RPG. It looks interesting and very similar (in terms of the game system) to Warhammer Fantasy, but the 40K setting really doesn't do it for me. It's too dark and grim for me, but I'll know a bit more when I read the preview more fully.

And there you go.

I traded for some books with Jennifer Clake-Wilkes, an editor at WotC, so I should be receiving some goodies from her soon as well.

And, the Mission: Indonesia expansion for Xeko was released at the con, so I was able to pick up some samples. It's fun to see the words I wrote, oh, so long ago, finally in print. Very cool.

More very soon.


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