Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Traveller, Beta the Devil You Know, DTRPG Charity and Sales, White Star, TnT Deluxe and Inked Adventures goes sci-fi self-promotion slot

Savage September is still happening at DTRPG and RPGNow which means money off adventures, rules and supplements for the Savage World system.  Correction: "System" September - it seems to be for all sorts of different rules, inc. d20 titles. Or did Savage September become System September?  I'm not so sure now...  Also there's a charity drive for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (US).  > $25usd for $200usd value in titles RPG Bundle Here < (Edit: I took too long to type this and the link is no longer valid, d'oh)

Right, Traveller something old-school something something classic something science-fiction RPG, it's new, it's classic, it's rebooted, it's revised etc ...

Mongoose Publishing has
returned Traveller to us (again)
but it's an unfinished beta
playtest rules,
which you have to pay for.
If you're into sci-fi RPG pen and paper games and cut-price PDFs, you will not have failed to have noticed a current bestseller is the Traveller Core Rules Beta.  I enjoy reading Traveller rules for the original setting background (i.e. the Imperium cannon borne out of GDW's game of the late 70s).  For me, Marc Millers T4 Traveller, and to some extent Mongoose's earlier adaptation edition of "classic" Traveller  contextualise that setting in clear and concise terms, more so than the LBBs did.  To be fair my collection of for the original system is eclectic: a Starter Set, a bunch of LBB supplements, bits from the past, extras from Ebay, Judge's Guild guides, purchased PDFs, website wikis and a hankering to buy the complete collection from FFE.  What I'm saying is that I enjoy acquiring Traveller rules and modules, old and new, just for the love of the game and perhaps to "mine" material from all sources for the ultimate campaign using which system takes my fancy, however ...
With some many existing systems why would I want to pay for an incomplete "Beta"?  After typing the above, I realise, with irony, that maybe I'm the ideal market for Mongoose.

"Traveller Has Returned!"

No, wait, you did this before and never let it go away.

"The Beta Playtest Core Rulebook, laid out and ready to go! After many, many moons of writing and internal playtesting, this book is now ready to be seen (and commented upon!) by dedicated Traveller players. All that is missing from this PDF is a few pieces of artwork!"

I know community playtesting is a real thing, (and Oh God the secretive DnD5 playtest seemed to go on forever), but I'm still having trouble not seeing pre-release launches and community chartered kickstarters as lazy and cynical tickbox marketing, i.e. it's just how they do things now.  There's also some flaws in these approach.

Imagine, you pay for this system, a mere $20usd/£13gbp*.  Let's say you like the rules, you run a campaign, you know that you will get a reduction on the final publication (committing you to the first official print of this new edition).  But wait, there's feedback from the community as a whole, they don't like the rules you like and they are dropped some favourite content of yours from the final piece, leaving your campaign incompatible with new supplements.  But, surely, I hear you say, the final publication will not be that different, maybe they will be just a tinkering with the odd rule here and there?   Well, if that's the case, what's so very wrong with an old fashioned "errata sheet"?  Also, you must ask if Mongoose are pledging that they will support this line for as long as they have the license and won't be releasing a newer edition?

In Mongoose's defence, at least they are still selling their previous publications (I appreciate this brave new world where publishers embrace the past with pride, looking at you, Wizards').  So, is this a relaunch? Why and how is this greatly different from other systems which you can own whole volumes of at modest price?

I'm guessing that for the almost-oldies like me that this will be a curiosity purchase and maybe for new players it's a chance to start from scratch. Maybe it's a competitive response to the prolonged GDW Traveller 5 hardback kickstarter.  By the way, us non-backers of us can buy the PDF for that gem now as well ( T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book )

Maybe I expect betas to be free and faulty, not alphas claiming to be betas.  A programmer friend had to explain the terminology to me. I guess it's snappier than "work in progress, pre-publication preview".

*I'm so broke at the moment that I'd really have to justify this to myself so I haven't bought it, even out of curiosity, yet.

White Star is finally available in print. :)

If you didn't know, White Star -White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying is an old-style of D&D intersecting with Star Wars and other space operas. Simple, fast, familiar, with blasters.

I printed the rules as an A5 booklet but it didn't turn out too well, so I’m assuming the DTRPG POD versions will be superior.
Naturally, I'm broke this week/ month, but it looks so shiny.
I still have to pay off that freighter, not to mention those bounty hunters we ran into in Milton Keynes.

A D&D Dragon Quest Game boxed set (TSR) thudded heavily onto my door mat last week.  This is a flashback to the missing years.  I didn't play D&D much in the early 1990s, I was playing mostly in the middle of the 80s. In the 90's AD&D went to 2nd edition and for the newbie players TSR brought out several introductory box sets.  Also Game Workshop (my Mecca, my dealer) by then had stopped importing RPGs.   Naturally, I've collected more games since, but one box missing from my collection was D&D Dragon Quest (not to be confused with DragonBall-Z or SPI's DragonQuest RPG). Any how, long story short, a chat in a facebook group led to me buying this shrink-wrapped gem for a song.  If you are fond of the B/X style game or want to introduce people to AD&D or AD&D2e this game is very accessible. Also it's a "complete" game system, much like boxed games such as Hero Quest, with some simplified and unlimited experience rules.  If you choose to keep playing with just this set using your own campaigns, you can.  I feel this is important to mention, since so many of the gateway boxes after BECMI (from TSR and Wizards') were deliberated hobbled to encourage purchase of the main products.  I think I had seen this set in the past and had ignored it, possibly confusing it with Dragon Strike which has that VHS tape and employs photos for PCs instead of art.  I will always will art over oily barbarian photos any day.  This is another reason to perhaps seek out D&D Dragon Quest, because it is an archive of TSR colour art, pulled together from cover and filler art from the different editions and iconic Dragonlance images.
Entry on BoardGameGeek  Review on Lost and the Damned nabble forum

The following item has but been long awaited but is now bookmarked on my shopping list:

Tunnels & Trolls Deluxe Edition is finally available as a PDF (outside of the Kickstarter) on DriveThruRPG. Currently it is $20 USD.  Like many I'm a fan of the 5th edition (plus WIZ/POW house rules), and slowly 7.5 has grown on me.  The nice thing about T&T at it's heart the same authors have kept to similar rules across the editions, but what they have done is expanded aspects and provided a wealth of background and campaign information. Curiously, it was the lack of "world" which made 5 appeal to me, which meant I could fully own the campaigns with my own creations, right down to the monsters, because of the easy to use monster rating system.  Being T&T, the bestiaries only ever resemble the Monster Manual in part and even the seasoned D&D player might not know what to expect from a T&T manticore with regards to how it's special attacks are implemented.  There's usually enough eccentricity in T&T to make a player think twice about where they actually are and what they are actually doing.  Being slightly reserved and rather serious about my tabletop fantasies I sometimes agree that some of the humour throughout the rules isn't necessary for the fun, and it's a mistake to dismiss T&T as silly and puerile, or just for solo games, in the same way that it is wrong to dismiss old D&D as TPK dungeon crawling.  In the right hands, compared with other systems, T&T has always been very powerful and fast moving imagination vehicle.  I am in no doubt that this will still be the case in T&T Deluxe.

T&T Deluxe, Flying Buffalo.
This is it! The new and improved, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. T&T is the second ever fantasy role playing game, and the easiest to use. This book contains everything you need to play the game solo (with the many solo adventures) or with a group of friends. Includes a lot of extra material and descriptions of the worlds played in by the designer and his friends back in the late 1970’s. 
The first 166 pages are the core rules, followed by the Elaborations section which has optional rules and systems you can pick and choose from to add to your T&T games. There is also a 16 page full color section which includes color maps of Trollworld, Khazan, Khosht and Knor along with other paintings and maps. There is a 50 page Trollworld section that includes descriptions of locations on every major continent and three cities, plus a detailed Trollworld timeline. The book also includes a solo adventure that gives you the chance to bring dead characters back to life and a GM adventure on the continent of Zorr, plus a detailed weapons glossary and much much more - over 380 pages of material. 
Note that this version of the rules does not yet have the internal links, BUT once we have that done, you will be able to download an updated copy of the PDF for no extra charge.

Inked Adventures - recent publications...

Rugged Explorer ATV
Having tried to justify this blog by typing about a selection of games which I can barely afford by different publishers, what now follows is shameless self-promotion in order for me to raise funds for this terrible affliction that many of us suffer from, the need to game and failing that, the need to procure and collect games.

As some of you may well know I draw maps and plans for Inked Adventures.  Okay, I sort of am Inked Adventures, but I like the idea of Inked Adventures as a sort of faceless megacorporation hell-bent of world domination, ... one hand drawn product at a time!

Hinged Dungeon Doors
My business plans usually reflect this.

My accountant said that I can't have the second helicopter, not until I sell at least three more pre-print copies Compact & Worn Starship Deck Plan 6x6 Tiles.

He says that I shouldn't be giving away the ATV for free and that no-one wants easy-to-assemble Hinged Dungeon Doors on their gaming table

Lord knows, he says, how many Map&Dice Playing Cards I need to fence, to pay for the marble lining in my office jacuzzi.  I swear that at this level of poverty the caviar will spoil!

From the Inked Adventures site, click for more photos and descriptions
Compact & Worn Starship Deck Plan 6×6 Tiles

Inked Adventures main site:
Store of DriveThruRPG:

Thanks for reading. :)
- Billiam B. Terran Date 20150923.2140