Friday, 1 July 2011

Goodies from Mr Postman

Since Facebook is moving like a brick-laden dog this evening, I'm going to babble into the blog.

My relationship with Mister Postman is positive again.  He's brought me gifts and even agreed to send things to Canada.  Some of you may know that I've been selling a few Fighting Fantasy gamebooks through Ebay.  Two separate Canadian buyers really opened my eyes to the power of a labour strike.  Industrial action by postal workers in Canada, meant that our own humble Royal Mail / Post Office Counters (UK) would not even accept parcels to send to Canada (it's easier to send stuff to war-torn corners of Africa!).  Parcel Force took one parcel off me at a 10 times the original price of postage.  Even at that price there was still no guarantee that the post would arrive.  My sympathies goes out to all Canadians waiting for post, it takes tough character to put up with nearly a month of disruption. (Happy Canada Day, by the way).  I'm hoping now that the packages will arrive, and that my ebay feedback is positive.

I am shocked at the power ebay feedback holds over me, it turns me into a sickening fawn!

Lulu came through.  I had a bad experience the first time I ordered from Lulu, but in retrospect all of the evidence points to a package getting lost by the DPD couriers, and then I had some of those infamous "printer marks" on the books, which I have since found are not typical.

Todays Christmas size haul contained:

  • OSRIC- neo-AD&D goodness in shiny hardback form
  • Morgansfort - the Western Lands Campaign (for the Basic Fantasy RPG by Chris Gonnerman)
  • Ruins & Ronin - oriental S&W from Sword +1 Productions
    ... and the flavour of the moment ...
  • Epées & Sorcelerie by Nicolas Dessaux trans/ed. David Macauley
    -which is much nicer in soft bound form than my print-out.

20% off books - Enter code JULYBOOKS11 - Save up to $25 - Offer ends 7/31/11

So in terms of retro-clones, I'm pretty loved-up today.

Incidentally, I had a scan to share of a E&S character which I'd rolled up in a notebook and preceded to doodle over the character stats, in a way that would have probably got be banned from a gaming table for not paying attention to the DM - but DropBox is telling me that I failed to upload it on the computer across town.  It was a type of Templar Knight using the Priest class - I was letting him use a sword on the proviso that he wouldn't be allowed to use missile weapons unless they were blessed with powers relating to fighting evil or the vanquising the undead. Like a religious thing, not a phobia thing, an awkward Cleric thing, y'know?

I may have already typed this, but I was thinking about drafting a sort of Thief class but since the skill checks in E&S are linked to level, there seemed little point to start listing different Thief skills per level.  Also the high-Dexterity-in-place-of-armour-class rule naturally encourages agile warriors to travel light, a definite plus for the Conan types and appropriate for Elvish rogues.  Suddenly I'm reminded of the way I play the rangers in Baldur's Gate - stripping down from plate to leather so that they can go scouting in the undergrowth with the thief.  For a Thief class in E&S (should it be needed) perhaps just some guidelines written for managing thief skills are needed.  The experience / hit dice / attack bonus could be estimated from the Priest table.  Musings aside.

It was very therapeutic to roll up a character so quickly, and with 2d6 for each ability makes you double-take slightly - a value of "8" is an average-to-good score. :o

It's a shame that I won't get to play this game in the near future (group play is just not in the schedule atm), because I suspect that with all really simple systems the true positives and limitations are only revealed in play.  Tunnels and Trolls pretty much survives though (despite the MR vs. stats divide).  Definitely for a DM  E&S an less than daunting game to prepare adventures for, whilst for the players the simplicity might be be liberating, especially for beginner players (if you overlook the high probability of instant death which is common and apt in an old-school simulacrum ... Perhaps with very new players one could substitute Constitution for HP which ever is higher - remember that Constitution is only a range of 2-12 mostly superseded at 2nd level as a Warrior, 2d6+2 HD, for example...?).  I'm also very fond of games which would adapt well to solo text based play (in the absense of group play, I can fantasise about returning to authorship... long story).

I'll add that character sheet as soon as I re-acquire the file or the notebook. :)

EDIT 4.7.11 *inserts scan of E&S character*

More shopping...!

I actually bought a rulebook from a real shop in a high street yesterday.  I know!  There was a small corner devoted to RPG's and boardgames (in Forbidden Planet, Leicester).  D&D mainly, but there was also a shelf given over to Munchkin.  For the moment I'm avoiding Munchkin because I know I'll probably love it and I'll have to buy all of the expansion packs.  The one non-D&D rulebook was a slim volume of Savage Worlds: Explorer's Edition. 

Since I've only seen this (or a primer) as a PDF and have a new-found curiosity for Savage Worlds, I decided that this was a sign sent by the Gods of Hobby, and made the purchase.  Part of my offering to the same said gods was to buy some more dice (sets of black and white, poly, opaques).

A man can never have too many dice.


  1. Enjoy Savage Worlds; it's one of my favourite systems!

  2. It certainly has a rough and ready dynamism. :)

    There's something wonderfully tangible about having stats which are actually dice. Roll this! No translation required. :)

    I was about to moan that there's not any sample characters or character sheets (but it's a tiny tome, I guess) I then I realised that the these things may differ from one setting to the next.

    Then I found all the extra free downloads on the Pinnacle site: (d'oh!)

  3. Yes, I think the upcoming Deluxe Edition will have sample characters, adventures and so on included. The Explorer's is just the engine, no fancy bits.