Monday, June 11, 2012

Zak is at it again

Alternate classes for old school D&D

Zak over at Playing D&D with Porn Stars is taking a stab at fiddling with classes and I like what I see.

The fighter is more organic and unique than the usual stately progression and that makes for more unique fighters without relying on feats. Mix in the simple fact that you cant really metagame a random creation system and you solve the "spreadsheeting the character" issue I have with post 2000 D&D.

The thief is much more a scoundrel than some sort of bizarre backstab engine or the font of useless skills.

A ranger that isnt like every SINGLE other ranger, or a certain Dark Elf or a certain wanderer destined to be a king? Awesome

I can not wait until he gets bored enough to do clerics, as this may become my new class system for OSR games

Friday, June 1, 2012

Psuedo-Quasi-Intellectual review of Black Crusade

Psuedo-Quasi-Intellectual review of Black Crusade

Black Crusade is Fantasy Flight's 4th RPG for the Warhammer 40k Universe and the first to not be told from an Imperial point of View. Playing as Chaos Renegades of various stripes the game could be played as an exploration of what happens when a group of alpha personalities is forced together by circumstances beyond their control. Sadly I have a feeling it will be more of an orgy of dark one-upmanship, but more on that later.
The Good Black Crusade carries on with the lovely d100 based system that all FFG 40k RPGs use, allowing for intermixing of characters. That alone is awesome, as a character from any previous game line that was made an npc for being evil or corrupted can show up. Secondly characters generated for Black Crusade can be used as Big-Bad-Evil-Guys in other 40k games. Instead of generic villians they can be as rich and detailed as the players, mechanically. Thirdly, with some player buy-in you could tell a rich story of the fall and damnation of a character with Black Crusade - an excellent story idea to me.
But wait there's more coolness. Rather than artificially tie murderous reavers and fell sorcerors to penny pinching accountants FFG created a renown mechanic that allows you to bully, bribe or con npcs into providing you with equipment. What better way to emphasize "might makes right, take what you will" mentality, without having a combat every shopping trip? Another great mechanic is how characters align themselves with one of the four great Chaos powers, or struggle to go it alone. Rather than arbitrarily declaring your allegiance you shift as the various abilities you gain are keyed to the powers. Take enough Nurgle keyed traits and you're his servant, and that's how the fiction describes it.

The Bad The bad really isn't that bad. The key things I wish were there are a better explanation of what a campaign would be like and some discussion of how to handle a characters fall into darkness. Here's hoping they're covered in a supplement.

Its ALIVE!!!

Well Ive been alternatingly busy and lazy so the blog has fallen by the wayside. Hopefully my idea of "Quasi-Pseudo Intellectual Reviews" of some of the games I have picked up in the down time will start at least a trickle of content again. Coupled with D&D Next (if I can talk some people into play) playtest thoughts and I might have something worth reading. Keep your eyes open