Tuesday, 13th November, 2012, 03:55 PM #1
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
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Pretty Darn Fun (A look at new PDFs)
This week we have 10 excellent and interesting PDFs to take a look at. We have Shadowrun mixing with politics, advice on comedy, some new rule sets with cool settings, some new settings for cool fantasy campaigns, some books that can be used in just about any game and a mix of other styles/genres/systems. The Spotlight highlights an old but superb game system making its way to PDF form. It’s all a nice assortment and you’re sure to find something you like.
Shadowrun: Dirty Tricks
Just in time for the US elections is this book detailing with politics in the Shadowrun universe. I’ve often felt politics and the potential intrigue inherent therein makes for a refreshing change from “normal” adventures. They tend to allow for more role-playing while still keeping an edge of tension going. And I love Shadowrun. This hefty book, 160 pages, looks like an exhaustive treatise on the subject for the Shadowrun setting which could easily provide plenty of fun adventures.
How to Use Comedy in Your Game
Comedy in an rpg game is a tricky thing. Too much and it becomes slapstick and the campaign can lose its “realism”. Too little and the game can become too serious and heavy, not fun. Somewhere there is a balance. This book says the heck with balance and tries to show how it is possible to play in a game where comedy is the goal and not a by-product. I suspect there is also advice that can be used to insert some comedy into a serious campaign without ruining it. If nothing else, this publication should get people to think in other ways when it comes to their game and comedy.
This is a campaign book of psychics and cyborgs battling otherworldly beings to keep the world safe in an espionage driven action setting. One of their highlights is that there is no ambiguity as to who the good guys and bad guys are. You are a good guy out to save the world from the bad guys. Sounds like a lot of fun can be had with this campaign. As a nice feature, that is easiest to do with the PDF format, is that you can get the book for the d20 or Savage Worlds or True20 rule set. You can also get a sample adventure for free to check out how it looks.
This is one of those books that can be used in multiple games. It looks to be system agnostic and is all about weapons for modern day, future and apocalyptic settings. It runs 144 pages and features background information, as well as a color picture, of each weapon in the book. In addition, it comes with armor that you can also customize. This looks like an excellent book for anyone running a game in those genres.
Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas
Paul Kidd has been one of my favorite game designers for some time, ever since Lace and Steel came out. Now he presents us with a sandbox adventure setting in a town for the Castles & Crusades rule set. The book is purported to detail the entire town; NPCs, locations, adventure hooks and maps. While I don’t personally play Castles & Crusades, this sounds like it could easily be adapted for any fantasy rule system. And who couldn’t use a complete town for their campaign?
This near-future rpg looks to be full of espionage and spy goodness. In the future governments are replaced by corporations and you play an agent of one such entity. This custom system allows for augmentation of your character so they are better than a normal human; things they will need to survive. This game looks like it could be a bunch of slick fun. This particular offering is a bundle set that includes the Core Rules, Incorporated Volume 1 (128 pages of new character options), Gate 22 (a 119 page adventure) and Machine of War (164 pages of new tech).
Improbable Tales: Tokyo Kaiju Chaos
The superhero game, ICONS, came out a couple of years ago to much acclaim for its light system. Since then support for the game is still going strong. This adventure for the system is one of the latest offerings. It features giant monsters, giant robots and ninjas; sounds like a fun night of superhero action.
Settings have multiple uses. The obvious one is that a person can use them as a pre-made campaign setting with little to no work. However, they are also good for those times the players go off your own map into the unexplored regions; good for gathering interesting ideas for your own homemade setting; good for what’s on the other side of that magic portal; good for throwing something different at the players; good for sci-fi settings when you need another world. This week we have two generic settings that could be of use:
Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting
This supplement brings forth a setting in broad strokes. Instead of focusing on the minutia, it presents multiple regions, races and cultures. It then throws in multiple maps and a liberal sprinkling of adventure hooks; it even includes a starting adventure for the setting.
The Gazetteer of Durine
This setting goes big at 105 pages. It lists the regions of a large island continent (islands tend to be easier to add into a homemade setting). At this size it’s sure to include enough information to sustain a campaign for a long time. It also comes with a full color map of the area.
Spotlight: Most Interesting PDF of the Week
Champions is the trendsetting rule set that first introduced the point buy character generation system to rpgs. It is also billed as the ultimate superhero game that allows for the most powers and flexibility in choosing them. It is a venerable system first introduced in 1981 and it has stood the time very well; it is still the go-to superhero system for many gamers around the world. Over the years its system morphed into the Hero system and Champions became a genre book for the Hero rules. However, this PDF features a Champions that is complete; there are no other rule books needed to play this version of Champions. Champions is one of those rule books that should be on every serious gamers bookshelf and now you can get it in PDF form for a much lower price than the print version.
The ultimate super roleplaying game returns to reclaim its crown in Champions Complete! All the legendary flexibility and power of the renowned HERO System rules engine, plus all the superhero goodness Champions has been famous for over 30 years, now in one pulse-pounding, senses -shattering, heroic handbook of superpowered action!
At 240 pages, Champions Complete includes everything superhero gamers need, and nothing they don't. New players will love the unmatched freedom of Champions that allows them to create and play exactly the hero they imagine. Longtime fans will appreciate the tight, concise new approach, presenting the full game system in a fraction of its former length.
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Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
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Really like this column. Keep them coming!
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