Friday, December 23, 2011

Critical Christmas

My lady-friend will be working over the Christmas weekend, so she and I decided to celebrate the holiday today. Fancy dinner and gift giving, followed by hours of watching the Batman: Beyond DVDs I got her. Not exactly related to the content of the blog, but as it turns out, my lady-friend knows that I like:

Linkskywalker's RPG Filled Christmas Wishes Come True!
Click to Enlarge

There's a lot of great RPG stuff here. So lets tackle it in order.

Goblins of Golarion is a small Pathfinder supplement which serves to aid people who wish to play as Pathfinder's iconic goblins. Not too long ago I ran a one-shot game called We Be Goblins! which was offered by Paizo as free promotional material for the release of this little supplement. And I must confess, the idea of playing as a goblin really got my group excited, and everyone had a lot of fun. Goblins of Golarion is only slightly over 30 pages long, which is about how many pages were allocated to each race in the old D&D 3.5 'Races of...' series of books. It's even structured similarly to those books. It begins with "Life as a Goblin," and goes on to cover numerous elements of goblin culture, specific goblin tribes, as well as a few player options at the end. Goblin specific feats, spells, and so on. Based on my cursory perusal, it seems like a solid supplement.

Moving on is a more full-bodied Pathfinder supplement, Ultimate Magic. I haven't had time to meaningfully look over the options presented here, but I suspect I'll feel about it the same way I felt about Ultimate Combat. Which is to say: lots of good stuff there, glad to have it in my collection, but way too much filler content. I really like the class archetypes system Pathfinder introduced. I think it's a great deal better than using prestige classes. Personally, I rather wish Pathfinder had gotten rid of prestige classes altogether, rather than nerfing them and de facto replacing them with archetypes. That being said, does every supplement need 70+ pages of archetypes? Surely you're not that desperate to fill pages, Paizo.

The rest of the book seems much better. Spell duels can be difficult, so having some advice on running them would be good. Spell blights sound extremely interesting, and I always love to get more detail on classic wizard tasks such as binding outsiders and crafting constructs. So overall, the "Mastering Magic" chapter seems cool. There's also a sizable chapter on feats. I'm somewhat dubious, due to my aforementioned problems with feats, but at the same time I readily acknowledge that the core game lacks feat variety for casters. Hopefully Pathfinder solved the problem better than D&D 3.5 did. I'm not really sure what to expect from the Words of Power chapter, and of course, there has to be several dozen new spells for some reason. I look forward to delving further into the book. I'm sure I'll eventually post about anything particularly interesting.

All I really wanted for Christmas was the Mouse Guard RPG. And I got it. I've been in love with the concept ever since I first read about it on /tg/ a few months back. After reading a few of the comics, I can confirm what I heard then. It's a story (or game) about the creatures at the absolute bottom of the food chain trying to survive in a world where everything is a giant monster. I have no doubt there will be one, or several, posts dedicated tot his book in the future.

The ladyfriend also picked up a number of items from our game store's "old stuff" bins. All very interesting, but the stand-out win here is a copy of Gang Busters. Classic 1980s TSR game about being a mobster or a copper back during America's roaring twenties. The game was pretty popular in its day, a third edition (though no second edition). What I got is first edition though, which is killer. I've really been wanting to sample some of TSR's earlier work. I will absolutely be forcing this game on my players at some point in the future, and doubtless I'll be posting about the experience.

I also received three issues of an independent British role playing magazine (says so right at the top) called "The Last Province." I haven't had a chance to peruse these much, but they look like they have some good information in them. And I always like old RPG materials, if for no other reason than collector's value.

Lastly, there's issue 17 of White Wolf Magazine. Truth be told, I don't know if I've ever played with a White Wolf product. However, the cover says that this issue covers AD&D 2nd edition, Shadowrun, and contains 3 adventures. Those are all things which interest me. One of these days I really must get around to trying Shadowrun! Also, the woman on the cover has the boob. Like, woah, lady.

Overall, a very merry Christmas for me!

Friday's normal colorful characters post will be pushed back to Saturday or Sunday, and will replace the regularly scheduled weekend post.

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