Sunday, June 21, 2009

Free RPG Day - What a Haul!

Still poring over my loot from yesterday. Wow! If any of you have played the full or freebie versions of any of these, please let me know. They all look pretty hip. A list of my loot and some quick thoughts, below...

  • Castles & Crusades - A Primer - Troll Lord Games - When C&C first came out a few years ago, kind of leading the charge to return to OAD&D now taken up by OSRIC and countless others, I was really intrigued. I never dived in though, despite the opportunity to play new Gygaxian materials, as it seemed like not all that much different from the red box I still have (albeit without the box). That said, the primer has tempted me to invest in the "fourth crusade" being released this summer. The rules seem a bit cleaner (or at least better explained) and the breadth of support materials now suggests to me more than just a rehash of rules - there's a real opportunity here, and I want to explore it.
  • Dragon Warriors - Introductory Book - Magnum Opus Press and Flaming Cobra/Mongoose Publishing - This is the one product I've reread a few times since grabbing it yesterday. WOW! This is British Fantasy RPGing from the late 70s early 80s at its finest - Runequest, Pendragon, and Warhammer FRPG all rolled into one. I have not seen the Dragon Warriors books at any of the FLGS I frequent, but I plan on ordering them. A simple rules set with Celtic fantasy threads down to the kings buried in barrows in the hills... Nice stuff... Some reading I did suggests an early edition came out in 86. Has anybody played this?
  • Dungeons and Dragons (4E) Khyber's Harvest - Wizards of the Coast - I thought I'd never want to play Eberron ever again after leading a party of munchkin high school kids through it at a series of games I ran at a local shop (sample dialogue between two of the players: "When are we going to fight a Tarrasque?" "Damn it, dude, it's a unique creature; there's only one Tarrasque." "Oh, sorry, when are we going to fight the Tarrasque?"). But, Keith Baker is a great designer - my generation's Ed Greenwood, perhaps (oh, let the flamewar begin) - and I'm routinely impressed with his ability to fuse Indiana Jones w/ D&D and make it work. Heck, maybe the rerelease of Eberron will be what saves 4E for me... And heck, it came with a free dungeon tile!
  • Corporation - Brutal and Flaming Cobra/Mongoose Publishing - I thought vaguely cyberpunk inspired games about big corporations ruling the world had died out, but then Enron happened and now they seem relevant again. Another freebie from the Flaming Cobra imprint of Mongoose Publishing, and one I plan on digging into a bit. Stephan and Gareth, if you're reading, this one totally looks up your alley.
  • Rogue Trader: Forsaken Bounty (Warhammer 40K Roleplaying) - Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop - This was the one everyone was practically drooling over yesterday, and I saw referenced as the must-have in a posting on a message board. VERY impressive design quality, and the ability to do more in the 40K multiverse - how to lose?
  • Pathfinder: Bonus Bestiary - Paizo - The Pathfinder RPG is trying to become the heir to the 3.5 throne, and appears to be winning hands down - and it's not even released yet. This freebie add on to their pending Bestiary, gives you the Shadow Mastiff, Huecuva, Lammasu, and more classic monsters for your 3.5e compatible RPG. Very cool renderings and I'm a fan of what Paizo's trying to do to keep what has become my second favorite edition of d&d alive.
  • Goodman Games two-fer - Hearts of Chaos (Amethyst Adventure), Hero's Handbook: Immortal Heroes - Goodman Games may be the thing that saves 4th edition. So far, the non-core WotC books (with the exception of the two FR books and the Eberron Player's book) have seemed really lackluster to me - better, but not much better, than the 3.5 splat books. Goodman's trying to do cool stuff with the rules to expand upon things, and the Immortal Heroes with its method for attaining divinity (akin, but far cooler, to the basic immortal set) and Amethyst, which essentially mixes d&d and twilight 2000, are pretty mindblowing...
  • Hollow Earth Expedition: Kidnapped in the Hollow Earth - Exile Games - I downloaded a bunch of the Pulp Adventure stuff when it came out - freebie stuff that was on - and there is a soft spot in my heart for 30s era pulp stuff. The derring do stuff, as well as the mystical Lost Horizon kind of stuff. If you haven't seen this game, check out Exile's website.
  • Geist: The Sin-Eaters (World of Darkness) - White Wolf Game Studio - For those of you who write off the Vampire/Changeling set as LARPing gone wrong, get this or any of the more recent World of Darkness edition starter kits (many available for free on and play them. Roleplaying done right, World of Darkness continues to amaze me with the quality of its products and the depth with which they consider the ways a player would want to play a character, rather than just coming up with more equipment and powers books like so many other game lines devolve into. Well done, folks. I look forward to playing this on some spooky fall evening.
What did you folks grab as your free swag from Free RPG Day? Any good stories? Good games you played?

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