Monday, October 8, 2012

2nd Edition Reprints

You've probably heard that Wizards of the Coast has announced they will be reprinting the core 2nd edition books, plus some adventure modules. I will not be buying them, but I think having any of the (current) four editions available is a net positive. The one thing I think they did wrong is release them as collector's additions instead of books meant for gaming.

This decision has me questioning their end game. I don't think Wizards actually want to maintain active support of all of these editions. That these reprints are being released while 5e is being assembled makes me wonder if Wizards is looking to gauge which previous edition they should emulate most. I know this is a cynical view, but I sincerely doubt they released these reprints because fans want them. If nothing else, I'm willing to bet they were reaction to the OSR and Pathfinder. After 5e drops, whenever that is, what's the likelihood that Wizards will release Collector's reprints of 4e?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FTP Alert: Dungeonslayers

I just discovered this via The Iron Tavern and I have to say, it looks pretty awesome. I haven't had the chance to look at the rules yet, but, from the review, the game is all about speedy resolution so you can keep things moving (you only use a d20!).

The best part? It's completely free. I'll definitely be adding this to my ever-expanding collection of games. Even if I never play it, I'm sure that some of the 170 page rulebook (only 10 of which are actual rules) will be useful as source material.

This game has actually been around for a few years and was released under the creative commons license. That means you can take the work of German designer Christian Kennig and mold it to suit your needs. Several variants already exist, including options for modern day zombie-killing and Mutant Future weirdness, albeit in German. I'm sure as this product gains steam over here, we'll see those options, and many more, make their way into translation.Check it out here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mouse Guard: First Impressions

This weekend was a lot of firsts. It was the first time my old group had met in about two months. It was the first time I ran an adventure on the fly in. . .a long time. Most importantly, it was the first time I ever played Mouse Guard.

I was a little bit uncertain as to how this game would go over, honestly. To start, this game is painfully adorable. If the visual of a determined group of mice braving a rain storm as they cross a lake the size of a puddle in a leafboat is too cute for your tastes, I can understand. But I would highly recommend you leave your doubts at the door and soldier on.

We played two sessions. The first was the sample mission, "Find the Missing Grain Peddler." For these more intense, story driven games I always find it best to start using pre-made characters. The downside of this, in my experience, is that while players will do their best to accommodate the personality they have been handed, they are never particularly invested, especially if there is no plan to continue the story after the first sessions.

Afterwards, we dove right into character creation. This section is so incredibly straight forward and easy to do on the fly that you can, as a group, open right to this section and begin the process having never read it prior. An hour after doing so, we had our patrol ready to go.

I hadn't originally planned to run our first session, but I was feeling good about how character creation went and decided to run with it. Two hours later, we were done our first mission. One of things that make this game so much fun is how big the world is in comparison to you. Everything is a challenge when you're about three inches tall. We hit a few snags trying to talk about distances, but once we decided to not worry about the actual scale of what was happening, things moved very quickly.

I am very pleased with the system, and am currently trying to arrange for us to get on a weekly schedule. For anyone interested in The Burning Wheel, I highly recommend starting here just to get the hang of things.