I have to admit I still have fond memories of the long Rolemaster campaign a friend of mine has run back when I was at university. Rolemaster is one of those quite crunchy games we enjoyed to play back in the day. Actually it’s was not so bad during play, but character creation usually took ages. Also levelling up was always something that took quite a while.
What I totally loved were the awesome critical hit tables. Our GM definitely enjoyed describing the results of these critical effects in a lot of details, and everyone at the game table had a lot of fun. Even though I now prefer games with much lighter rulesets, I still believe that Rolemaster is an interesting alternative to other fantasy roleplaying games. And if you don’t try to squeeze every optional rule into your game it’s actually less crunchy than some other games out there.
A while back, I.C.E. announced that they are currently working on a new, unified Rolemaster edition and in order to make it the best Rolemaster yet, they are conducting an open playtest. If you’re interested in playtesting the new Rolemaster, just head to the official forums and download the Character Law and Spell Law documents.
I am not sure, if I’ll actually have the time to give the new Rolemaster a try anytime soon, but it’s definitely worth a look.
The new Midgard Campaign Setting by Kobold Press is out, and it is a great book. I can best summarize it this way… If you are a fan of the setting as it has been presented through their excellent line of products, you owe it to yourself to get this book. If you are a fan of old school campaigns reminiscent of the settings of old, you owe it to yourself to get this book. If you like cutting edge campaigns that are inspired by myths, you owe it to yourself to get this book. If you are looking for inspiration for your own campaign and want great rules and inspiration, you owe it to yourself to get this book. Do you get the idea? I really, really, REALLY, like this book.
Wolfgang Baur, the setting creator and lead designer, and the rest of the writing team, Jeff Grubb, Brandon Hodge, Christina Stiles and Dan Voyce (they are the ones with credit on the cover but there are a few more outstanding creators on the credit page, you will not be disappointed) created a great campaign setting. It has the advantage of being familiar to fans of previous books by the publisher, but it is so much more. You are not getting filler material rehashed here; you are getting a broader picture of what you already loved.
I have a confession to make. I have not read the WHOLE book. I received a review copy on PDF and I dove right in. If you have been reading gaming books for a while, like me, you probably read a couple of pages, skim and scan around the book, go to the chapter with the rules or content that most interest you and read the book piecemeal. Slowly getting through it and maybe, eventually, reading it complete. The Midgard Campaing Setting is a 298 pages file, 288 of those are content, with an additional four pages of a thorough index, a necessity in any campaign setting.
So what happened? I read the introduction (yeah I’m one of those…) and I could not stop reading. By the end of that night I had read far too late into the night and I stopped because I had to be at work the next day. I have not been able to put it down since. I am still not completely through it, there are a couple of chapters to go, but this one deserves a read from cover to cover.
You probably remember Nova Praxis, the transhuman sci-fi tabletop roleplaying game I previewed a couple of days ago. A Kickstarter project has now been started to fund the release of that fine game. If you like the FATE system and the transhumanism genre of SF, you definitely should give it a look.
The project will be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by November 1oth, 3:57pm CET.
A personal note before diving into this review, hello dear reader, it’s good to be back. As the ebb and flow of the accelerated MA program 5 week schedule I am forced to be absent from the blog for extended periods of time. I apologize! I know Michael, the creator and force behind the blog, keeps things running smoothly and I am thankful he keeps a space for this roadie (inside joke) in the blog. It’s good to be back, for a couple of weeks at least… Thanks for reading, on to the review!
When I first saw the announcement for Amethyst some years ago I went, “Yay an RPG based on my favorite DC comic character aimed at Tween girls!” Then I realized how wrong I was… (In case you are wondering, it’s this Amethyst I’m talking about.)
I’m talking about Amethyst, the setting by Dias Ex Machina games. I missed the original D20 version published in 2008 (available for just $3.99 in PDF). As they ramped up for publication of the D&D 4th Edition version, Amethyst Foundation, all the promotion and sneak peeks of the game tempted me, but by the time they published the book I had quit that edition so I passed. Mind you it was NOT easy; reviews about the book really tempted me, specially this one by fellow blogger and contributor to Stargazer’s World Greg Schuster, aka Shinobicow.
Then along came Amethyst Renaissance, a Pathfinder RPG version of the game. I was thrilled. The fine folk of Dias Ex Machina provided a PDF copy for review and I was more than happy to read this huge book. And believe you me, it is a HUGE book. 399 pages of Awesome!
I will try not to retread what Greg said in general about the game. Suffice it to say this book is a gorgeously illustrated, beautifully laid out book. The writing is top notch. Like previous versions of the book this is a post-apocalyptic world but here the disaster comes from the clash of magic and technology. I love the concept, the cover is evocative, so is the art, but for me the setting was encapsulated by a map that came along with the digital product (with some gorgeous wallpaper and assorted other images), a map of a changed North America labeled Canam. The map and the names, this image just fires my imagination.
Savage Mojo’s Tommy Brownell contacted me a while ago and informed me about a Kickstarter they are running.
They are raising money over Kickstarter in order to be able to create two books, one for Pathfinder and the other for Savage Worlds, and a wide variety of accessories from character cards to a full soundtrack.
The Tomb of the Lich Queen is a deadly dungeon which serves as a prison for an angel called Anat. For about two-thousand years the evil Lich Queen has held the angel captive and the tomb has lured in many heroes who failed to rescue the angel.
The initial goal of $5,000 has already been met, but if they can reach the stretch goals Savage Mojo will be able not only to turn it into a whole trilogy but ultimately release it as a boxed set.
The deadline is October 14th and if you are into old-school dungeon crawls you should at least check it out.
A while ago, Void Star’s Mike McConnell contacted me and asked me if I was interested in having a look at his upcoming sci-fi game Nova Praxis. I am a big fan of all things sci-fi so I agreed without hesitation. Even thoughI haven’t have that much time lately go give it the time it deserves, let me share my initial impressions.
Nova Praxis is a self-contained post-singularity sci-fi game based on Mike’s Strands of FATE system, which has been modified to suit the needs of a transhumanism setting. The preview PDF I had the chance to look at is a beautifully looking 216-paged PDF with awesome artwork and which is fully hyperlinked. For a mere beta version of the game it already looks gorgeous. If you expect your modern sci-fi game book to look sleek and stylish you won’t be disappointed by Nova Praxis at all. By the way, the author told me that some rules are still missing at that stage, so expect the final page count to be higher.
The setting is a post-singularity, post-scarcity setting with a lot of transhumanist elements. In the future an artificial general intelligence capable of human levels of creativity helped paved the way for miraculous technologies like FTL travel, virtually unlimited clean energy, molecular assemblers, lossless human brain emulation and digital conversion. Then the AGI suddenly shut down and nowadays research consists of deciphering the vast archives of the AGI to find its inventions.
Back in 2008 I lamented the lack of Privateer Press’ support for the Iron Kingdoms roleplaying game and hoped that “Privateer Press will surprise us with their brand-new IK roleplaying game that perhaps even is compatible to their miniatures line in the future.” So it’s no surprise I was overjoyed when I read about their plans to release a totally new Iron Kingdoms roleplaying game. For the last few days I have been reading through the new Iron Kingdoms Core Rules book graciously provided by Privateer Press for the purpose of this review. And I have to admit I have been smiling from ear to ear all the time.
The new Iron Kingdoms Core Rules book is a 358-paged full-color hardcover book which contains all the rules and background needed to run games set into the Iron Kingdoms campaign setting. As expected from a Privateer Press product the production quality is extremely high. Artwork and layout are on par with what you’ve seen in any of the WARMACHINE products. It’s a pleasure just to leaf through the book and enjoy the artwork. Yes, it’s that good.
The first section of the book (about 100 pages) focuses on the world of Caen in general and the area of Western Immoren in particular. You get a detailed description of the history of the Iron Kingdoms, the cosmology and an overview of life in Western Immoren. By the way, some of you might not have heard of the Iron Kingdoms before, so let me give you a short introduction: The world of Caen is not your regular fantasy world. Yes, there are most fantasy races you’d expect and yes, there is magic, but Western Immoen (which is the area the game is set in) also went through an industrial revolution, which led to all kinds of mechanical marvels like Steamjacks (coal-driven golems), trains, steam engines and firearms. The nations of Western Immoren which are also called the Iron Kingdoms were formed after the successful rebellion against the evil Orgoth Empire who had conquered the area four centuries earlier. Nowadays the Iron Kingdoms consist of the human nations of Cygnar, Khador, Llael, Ord, the Protectorate of Menoth, the dwarven nation of Rhul, Ios, the homeland of the elves and the hostile island nation of Cryx. The Iron Kingdoms are ripe for conflict and there are countless opportunities for adventures.