Friday, 7 January 2022

Review Time

Alas my bedside reading pile is huge and my novel pile has 2 years of dust now (Heiro's Journey). Three graphic novel comps: Hawkeye one that inspired tv show and two vols of Conan (which I find quite cringy and I wish everyone would wear armour and haircuts). Slowly going through my RPG books. I do find it easier to go through hardcopies and I send hardcopies to people when I want reviews and I have received some physical copies. It's easier to review a book than a PDF but yes I appreciate them too. When I was poor and homeless and I read more PDFs now I like to read books as a way to not be on the computer especially before bed as screens make insomnia worse than books.

I realised over last year that online gaming matters I'm not just a bit of a Luddite but once again gaming with real people is really what I like about gaming and it gets me away from tools and projects and computers. Possibly with some babysitting, I could change my mind. People were offering to rent my dming out and manage some of this stuff but it felt odd.

So I am gonna try this month to finish outstanding reviews and one writing project I have been stumped about for a long time because I don't have a blank check to write and am unclear about what I can write from feedback.

Zine #4 about to drop on Patreon
MurderHobo revision slowed 90% of text ok and some spot writing and art.
Having a zine I work on and a book project I can go slow on and update working well.
Am doing a big write up of my spell lists after my psionics project which is fun but slow as I have to check for duplication and consistency. Probably have a players book and a spellbook separate projects for 2022. 

Players have requested elemental mutations so despite mutation table writing broke me a few years ago and put me off book comps for a while I will have a go. As I have a wizard war featuring elementalism I may need this and was always on the cards.

Working on some of these cuts into blogging time too but I have been working more on aquariums so fiddling with and animal care has become a priority but it also keeps me getting out of the house for food and hardware and makes me eat more veggies as I get them to feed the food of my pets. I quite enjoy hearing water and crickets and some greenery and extra walks. But I'm not here to proselytise about the benefits of frogs. But yes a frog book coming.

On Downtime and Demesnes
Artifices, Deceptions and Dilemmas

By Courtny C Campbell Hack & Slash Publishing (On Drivethrough)
I got both in print one softback and one hardback. They look beautiful and covers amazing. I would recommend hardcover option and I might still get the softback as a hardback and gift it to someone. Both are works I guess taken from blogs and well illustrated with simple minimal uncluttered layouts. 

On Downtime and Demesnes
is the older and to be open I wrote two d100 tables in it that a reviewer specifically cited as dehumanising. Actually, I enjoyed re-reading them and hope to use in some games as they are DM character fun or adventure hooks or distractions and I did a table about nice villagers and ppl said it was more creepy. Anyway, I obviously love it because of pages 18-47 but I was pleasantly surprised at the utility and unbiased awesomeness of the other 220+ pages. Basically, it is about things to do in between adventures and covers in a basic usable way how to spend time outside the dungeon. Stuff on things to do, hiring npcs, markets, crime, mining, lots of shopping lists, boats, magic crafting and more for simpler old-school games. It is a very useful help for sandbox games that lean to domain building and noble status. I am a big fan of this playstyle and anything that helps DnD get more like Pendragon is good. Simpler and more functional than finding sections in a certain rambling big fat dm book.

Artifices, Deceptions and Dilemmas is the more recent volume and deals with dungeons. What I like is that you could get some Dyson maps or Cartographers guild ones and with this book help improvise a dungeon. If you like 
The Glass Harmonica: A Lexicon of the Fantastical
by Barbara Ninde Byfield 
which influenced the DMG you may well like this book. The first section deals with rooms you can put in a dungeon with some descriptions and lots of illustrations you can drop on a basic map to start an adlibbed dungeon off. The later section includes hazards like the classic traps, triggers, weird doors, things in rooms, peepholes and other inspiring stuff. As I will be running some dungeons again I look forward to using this and more. 

Some of Courtney's little zine formats booklets with rules additions from his Patreon are interesting and I left some around for my players to play with.

Dog Daze for Mutant Epoch
A big fat solo adventure book. Actually, many of their adventures read like a choose your own adventure more than a traditional sandbox. It's kind of a feature that can replay and the GM can run some NPCs along with the party and enjoy the stuff with the players. This one is more explicitly solo. It features lots of dogs and exploring underground passages. It has some new relics and extra dog mutations but is not so useful as a sourcebook you can grab bits from. It does have lots of ideas and illustrations. I almost wish I could play it on my phone alone. 240 pages and got to me at good speed POD in Australia in 4 days without international shipping so yay. I did feel I was in a loop in early sections but it's still a pretty amazing book. It clearly has lots of effort. I have everything for this game and there is a lot in it. I do think I'd like to see more campaign setting books or some book of adventures compiling more open location adventures to drop in a game anywhere like the short digital-only one day digs pdf. 

The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
Fizban's Treasury of Dragons
for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Ed

So I tried D&D5 and struggled a bit and have not played for a year. I struggle with learning new systems and none of the almost all furry games I played really impressed me and I should try again. I have thought a pile of books for the game and find many attractive with nice art. A few DND books I got because they had pictures of super happy people and I am a sucker for that and cant remember many super happy people in older books. 

Fizban's is basically so much dragon lore you wont live long enough to use it all probably. I was suckered by the Dragonborn ranger with his happy pet lizard. I was not super into dragonborn but the stuff in here makes them feel more fleshed out and now I'm sold. Has class and race extras I liked, dragon goals based on lifespans, campaigns, lairs with lots of maps to drop all over your world which I may need this game. There are lair treasures and abilities, gem dragons, draconian the best thing in DL after Kitiara, dragon followers and more. Loads of nice art. As I'm about to have lots of dragon stuff in my campaign I will use some of this and found this inspirational reading more so than other contemporary lore stuff and easier to use ideas from it. 

WItchlight is a massive adventure with a short extra character section and a faerie world. Many admirable things here and attempts to decolonise dnd. Good goblins and lots of alternate alignments. Lots of npc faerie folk to play as a DM if voices and acting are your schticks. Having a violence-free option to play through is awesome too. You could have some good sessions with lots of dialogue and no fighting. As I have struggled to write some adventures subverting hack and slack plundering this is a notable and interesting direction. You could probably play with kids or adults quite well. Mostly the adventure is meeting various beings and helping them. Lots of characters and encounters you could steal and insert in other adventures like the Magic Faraway Tree to add more weirdo faerie dnd stuff. I like the possibility of turning world against you if you resort to violence and affects the mood of everything around you. I like weird faerie stuff and this book surprised me with how much I liked it.   

Will try to catch up on the 3 PDF ones next post

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love and welcome feedback but not spambots
Good feedback and suggestions inspire me to write more