Saturday, 12 September 2020

Some Standout Gaming Stuff



The other day someone asked which rpg books had the best design and art and writing. And I replied very few do all well and not many Id show to non-gamers. Well, I got a copy of Luka Rejecs ultraviolet grasslands proving me wrong next day. Here is my non-gamer pal yaz reading and enjoying this book. Very awesome stuff and pretty compatible with my own Planet Psychon book. Sadly hard to find in Australia on shelves - i got from game dealer on ebay from Melb who had a few copies. I look forward to the movie. This Anomalous Subsurface Environment and Planet Psychon could all be used together possibly Hills Canton could too.

I will do a better review later buy Yaz read for several hours which gamebooks seldom impress my artist/film maker friends so much. 

Strangely im reading 3 awesome purple hardback gaming books including UVG. Goodman games "Lost City" vol 4 of of their remastered classics and the fancy cover of Wizards DnD5 Saltmarsh. Funnily I wanted a goodman games treatment of original but this is a very good book. Im a life long hater of Wizards of the Coast for Everwhay RPG (new age and appropriation crimes - think kids gateway to Golden Dawn magic yawn). Recently I got mad mage dungeon, Theros and now new Saltmarsh. As they are doing better by me I'm giving them a go in hopes they do more betterer stuff. The main key for me is nice maps I can read that don't look like videogame cheat sheet maps. Theros and Saltmarsh have stuff I could use in other campaigns. Saltmarsh is better written than the Mad Mage (I'm sure they mean angry not an unqualified mental health diagnosis). Mad mage is my go-to sleep time book vs other books I can't put down but as I'm trying to sleep properly, this is perfect. Theros and Saltmarsh have good spacing with spot art, maps and tables breaking up text. It's gone back to boxed text but not overwritten. Ship deck plans look useful. I loved the original 1st saltmarsh book but the other two were harder to use. Dunwater always seemed odd as you kill monsters to discover your wrong and pay them compensation to get them onside. Pretty depressing unheroic stuff I'm surprised to see it here but I think the episode could have not had a map even unless you have to help fight an evil lizard faction to get them onside and spot which is which. That's what I would do to fix. A bit like Secret of Bone Hill - If you don't want murder hobos to wipe out village and castle don't stat them up and detail like a combat dungeon. If they try everyone runs away screaming you murder lots and everyone thinks your notorious serial killers now in only a few sentences of play. Bone Hill promised us the village would be featured in the sequel and it barley mentions content in the first volume. Anyway, I'm not super into Saltmarsh yet but I'm pretty pleased with the direction. 

Probably my biggest turn off from playing dnd5 is
1) half races described in terms of cliches I got taught in archaeology to not use 30 years ago that made some of my students cry
2) furries and lack of humans in most games. Even I want to play Kenku, lizardfolk and lionfolk. It seems like a feature of the game but it makes the whole thing a bit less real
3) pedants on forums and in games who love and care about rules vs older eds loosey-goosey no-2-games-the-same and ok to homebrew spirit of older games
4) man they nerfed spells and lore - feel like my 40 years of fandom wasted over trivial changes. Succubi, not demons. Drow not into drugs and porn but consensual bondage is evil. Bloodwars. Lots of stuff. Like I just don't care about dc/marvel/starwars/drwho lore now since they all quit their decades of continuity pretty much the same year and also nerf stuff and rewrite history. Sometimes they get it better but often changes seem like those of a new boss who comes in with changes to flex their muscles and ignores staff who have been around decades and know these changes will wreck the joint.

I'm fine with moral shifts like race and gender diversity and asking "are we the baddies?" when killing goblins. I appreciate the effort even If they get It not quite right (and might not age well).

Got scifi and factory terrain crate too and some big prepainted fuel tanks and an industrial ruin pack too so I'm terrain up. Im only using jumbo dice now. Puny tiny dice not scary enough.

Anyway, UVG is best product 2020 and in my top 10 rpg books ever.
I might write up some of my lists as ppl asked.
Also had a request to share my Mesopotamian bookshelf with ppl so will soon.

Hoping if your near a fire stay safe, Australia went through this already (and will have again where forests left). Main lessons I have for you is the smoke will affect your health for months and a double whammy if in COVID lockdown. Murdoch press and anti-science loonies blamed fires on green party policy and left arsonists etc and even if disproved ppl got more anti-environment if you can believe it. Not helping ppl get global warming aware as some might hope. They will just double down deny.  Sorry, its really boiling frog bullshit.

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