Well, crap, second edition of the Friday FFA here and I’m already a day late. I’m going to blame Friday the 13th, the Full Moon, and Mercury in Retrograde like everybody else does. Anyways, the ramblings this week seem to have a percentile-system based theme. Roll out some double-naughts and feel free to leave comments!
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Wizards of the Coast’s announcement that Basic D&D will be a Free PDF probably got some of its competitors scrambling to compete with ease of point of entry. I’m not sure if that was the motivation behind RuneQuest Essentials, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. It’s a free, distilled version of the RQ6 rules — significant rules, magic system, monsters and setting details have been omitted. Still, it’s a hefty two hundred page PDF that includes a pretty solid foundation of character creation, combat mechanics, and bestiary.
I’ve never actually played or read any edition of RuneQuest, but I’m aware of its influence on the industry. I have played Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu and I also own a few PDFs of Mongoose’s Legend, which I believe is derivative of RuneQuest second edition. Either way, this is my first foray into reading any official RQ book, and I have to say at first breeze-through the “Essentials” feels like a solid game to itself. The artwork and layout are pretty stellar, and the book seems full of ideas and guidelines for scaling the game. Even knowing a chunk of the magic system is missing, what’s presented here feels more than enough for anyone who’s spent entire campaigns in other games just using core rule books. If you’re wanting some detailed fantasy but sick of twenty siders, this is definitely worth the look.
Sigil & Shadow Playtest
I had our first full-session play test for Sigil & Shadow last weekend. We only got midway through the adventure, but it feels like everyone had a good time. Character creation was relatively painless, although there were a few hiccups in trying to explain the skill development progress. There were some other minor issues that have already inspired some quick revisions and editing, so hopefully those won’t be a big deal anymore. Monday I plan on sending out emails to select folks who have shown interest in play testing and feedback for the game.
Erinbour & Barebones Fantasy: Dynasty
I want to bring some attention to the guys at Heroic Journey Publishing. They are developing an interesting new fantasy setting called Erinbour, and I’m really excited to see where they take it. Mark Reed has been posting a lot of historical and background information, as well as details on the magic and religion and how it operates within their world. A couple interesting design decisions that have grabbed my attention is that they are co-developing the rules for both Pathfinder and BareBones Fantasy. I think this is stellar because not only does that broaden their audience market, but it helps expose BareBones Fantasy to more players as well.
The other interesting tidbit is that this is also to be the official setting for their BareBones Fantasy: Dynasty game book! Dynasty is supposed to be bringing epic campaigns in the lieu of settings like Birthright to the d00lite rules. I’m excited to see their take on the style, and to potentially have politically-heavy domain-based games using the BBF rules.
That’s All I Got.
Let’s hope next week I can stay on schedule. If you have any news or game promotions you want me to plug, leave me a line in the comments. Also, feel free to stalk me on Google Plus.