Friday, October 25, 2013

13th Age SRD - John Reyst

Downloadble .doc and .pdf files of each section are at :- Basically, not having read 3rd of 4th edition D&D but having read the Pathfinder SRD it looks like a simpler version of that with unique character background flavouring relating them to major powers in this setting. Also what makes that character a special snowflake worthy of a rainbow mule. You get background points specifically to do so. Also an interesting mechanic where to work out what bonus you use in Attack and Defense and Save checks you take the middle of your three bonuses...making sure that your broad range of abilities are more important. So a little bit Pacesetter if you like in that sense. 4 out of 5 A preliminary nice html version that apparently will get a more useful url later.

Interview; Beyond the Rift - Peter Watts

"PW: My next novel (Echopraxia, kind of a sidequel to Blindsight) is coming out next August. I’m just finishing the final rewrite on that now. After that there are three or four possibilities— ranging from art projects to video games—circling around just out of reach. Whether any of them actually touch down long enough for me to sink my teeth into remains an open question. But if nothing else distracts me, I hope to finally start in on Intelligent Design, which would be my stab at a near-future technothriller involving a vengeful lobster, a sapient stock market, and genetically-engineered giant squid." 3.5 out of 5

History of Superhero RPGs Part One 1978-1982 - Lowell Francis

"SECRET ORIGINS Over the decades I’ve run serious and extended campaigns in a half-dozen superhero systems. This weekend I pulled together all of the core books I had for different superhero games. I ended up with twenty-eight: from Aberrant to Wild Talents. And that’s just hard copies- I have many more in electronic format. And that’s just core books not the secondary material: citybooks, villain books, modules, alternate settings, WW2 books, power guides, and so on. Honestly if you told me I couldn’t run Fantasy games anymore, I’d turn to superheroes. I’ve done some of my favorite work in that genre- exploring themes and ideas more concretely than in many other games." 4.5 out of 5

Misdirected Mark 85 Con on the Cob - Fred Hicks

A wide-ranging convention interview about an hour long. Plus another hour or so of general 4.5 out of 5

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Return of Pacesetter RPG Style Horror - Christian Lindke

"Goblinoid Games has resurrected Pacesetter style horror just in time for Halloween with CRYPTWORLD. This game is the latest in Goblinoid’s Pacesetter line of games. The company cannot use the Chill name, as that belongs to Mayfair Games, but they have turned what could have been a drawback into a strength. CRYPTWORLD brings the rules and some of the thematic elements that made Chill successful and updates them to include elements of the horror movies of the 1980s…a film era as far removed from today as the Hammer movies of the 60s were from 1984. Daniel Proctor has hired Jim Holloway, the cover artist of the original Chill, to illustrate the cover and provide a full page illustration on the inside cover. These illustrations demonstrate that the game has a tone similar to that of Chill, but also highlight how CRYPTWORLD is more than a sequel… it is a successor. Where Chill was a game that was played best when simulating the horror of the Hammer Films, any kind of horror is possible with CRYPTWORLD. According to Dan Proctor," 4.5 out of 5

Memorize - Jimmy Eriksson

A shooty not-so deletion. 3.5 out of 5

Beyond - Raphael Rogers

Space-time jumping superpowers have a downside. 3.5 out of 5

Friday, October 18, 2013

21st Century Ghosts - Laird Barron

"On the day I found a copy of David Hartwell's The Dark Descent, which featured Shea’s novella and a number of other classics, everything changed." 3.5 out of 5

Unknown Armies Designers' Notes - John Tynes and Greg Stolze

GS: I think it was around this time that I got a bee in my bonnet about humans being the primary movers and shakers in UA. In most games, especially horror games, humans are kind of limp. They're not responsible for any of life's crap because they're not powerful enough to make it crappy. In Call of Cthulhu, people are cosmic accidents. True, so is everything else, but we're particularly small cosmic accidents. In the World of Darkness, things are smaller in scope but people are still either meal tickets or patsies. This is common enough in horror settings because powerlessness is horrifying. But responsibility can also be horrifying, and that was the tack we decided to take with UA. Think life's sucky? Well pal, you're the author of your own misfortunes. You did it. You can't foist this one off on some malevolent supernatural entity, because we're the malevolent supernatural entities. 4 out of 5