Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Long Time, No See...

It's been a while since I've made a post.  After the group broke up due to a move, I didn't much feel like devoting time to thinking or writing about a hobby I may not get to partake of for a while, so I devoted free-time to wiping out a backlog of video games.  While playing Red Dead, Assassin's Creed II, and others was a fun distraction, my mind has wandered back to unplugged gaming again.  As the talk of Gen Con starting ramping up in June and July, I found myself yearning to chug dice with friends again.  In lieu of finding a game with my hectic schedule of mowing lawns, changing diapers, and all other things that keeps a husband and father from his preferred ways of wasting time, I've turned my eye back to creation. 

I snagged a copy of ICONS.  It's a super-hero RPG from Steve Kenson, the brilliant mind that brought us Mutants and Masterminds and DC Adventures (not to mention a ton of other really great RPG material).  ICONS has a light (MUCH lighter than M&M) feel that is reminiscent of the old Marvel Super Heroes game of the 80's and 90's mixed in with the FATE system's Aspect tagging.  I like FATE, but Aspect tagging felt like it was weighing the system down needlessly.  Really that's my only complaint about ICONS.  It's a superb game, go pick it up if you want a great, easy-to-run supers system. 

I've been converting MSH characters to ICONS a lot lately.  The conversion is a breeze.  However, as I churned out character after character I found myself wanting to play MSH more than ICONS.  However, my biggest complaint with MSH is the damned color chart.  It's easy to deal with, but it's there when simple die mechanics should totally make it unnecessary.  The thought of replacing the mechanics of MSH with that of ICONS took root in my head.  It would be easy.  I could totally tweak the vast amount of MSH powers to the ICONS system with little to no problem, and end up with a supers-game that was both robust and easy to run.  So that's become my primary project of late.

In other arenas I got a lot of new boardgame material for my birthday and anniversary.  I got All Things Zombies and the Hero Pack and Survival of the Fittest expansions for Last Night on Earth.  I haven't gotten around to trying them out yet, but ATZ looks like it would be ripe and easy for expansion with the addition of Left 4 Dead style super zombies and the like. 

I'm trading some games and books that aren't seeing any use to Noble Knight Games (NKG is a great company and I highly recommend them).  There are a few things that have caught my eye of late and what better way to add to the collection, but to get rid of stuff that just isn't that great in the first place?  I definitely want to get the Hero Pack and Something Wicked expansions for A Touch of Evil.  The new Castle Ravenloft board game has been getting some great press and has my curiosity piqued.  Flying Frog has another horror genre game coming out in the fall called Invaders from Outer Space that I think my wife is looking forward to even more than I am.  There is the new edition of Dungeonquest and other boardgames like Claustrophobia and Cadwallon: City of Thieves that I really want to get my hands on. 

On the RPG front, I'd love to pick up Alpha Omega and the Encounters book.  Eclipse Phase sounds interesting as well.  However, I don't know if I'd ever get to play them and I tend to like my Sci-Fi systems to be more generic anyway. 

The big thing on the horizon is that I've talked my wife into going to Gen Con next year.  We're thinking of take a week and going to Chicago for a couple of days to see some cousins there and take our son to the aquarium and then head into Bloomington, just south of Indy to stay with some other cousins and have that as our "home base" for excursions into GC.  It'll be my first GC and I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another Month, another post

This is getting to be a bad habit.  I'll try to change that. 

Anyway, there have been some things going on.  I've gotten to partake in a little gaming (well, of the face-to-face variety, LOTS of video gaming, but I digress) and various projects are in the works, which seems to be par for the course for most gaming aficionados.  So let's jump into it shall we?

We had another Game Day with the old group 3 weeks ago.  We played Warhammer Quest and got soundly pummeled after a roll of 1 on the Power Die yielded two stinking minotaurs to appear on top of the goblins and spiders we were already dealing with.  However, we then played Last Night on Earth after that, which went much better (for the living that is).  We were playing the rescue scenario and weren't having any luck finding survivors until the last 4-5 rounds when we FINALLY uncovered the last 3 we needed.  It was close, but the living won the day.  All in all, it was a good time and even though my wife was enamored with WQ ("the game won, that sucks") her love affair with LNoE gives me hope that I can turn her into a total gaming geek in time. 

We're having another Game Day tomorrow.  Probably no board games since we'll be playing at our house this time with our 20 month old son, who has to get into everything, running about.  We're going to hearken back to the olden days of the mid-90's where we'd spend hours upon hours playing Mario Kart 64 and the like.  We'll be breaking out the PS3 to play some Rock Band, SEGA All-Stars Racing, and likely some Super Street Fighter IV and Soul Calibur IV.  Plus, since it's supposed to be a really great day tomorrow, we may actually partake in a few rounds of washers.  Sadly, this may be the last Game Day with the old group.  Time is growing short and my dear friends, Mike and Cynthia will be moving away.  I'm sure we'll get together upon occasion, but a 6 hour (give or take) will separate us rather than a mere 1 and a half hour drive. 

Why have I not been around much lately?  Well, there's not real good reason.  I've been frantically trying to beat several games that have been taunting me for some time now.  I finally got through Ratchet and Clank Future Tools of Destruction and was trying to complete Resistance: Fall of Man (I'm so close).  However, then I picked up my pre-order of Red Dead Redemption, the newest offering from Rockstar Games, the near-infamous developer of the Grand Theft Auto series. 

How is Red Dead?  Simply fan-freaking-tastic!  Westerns don't nearly get the play they should, and the blending of the Wild West with the sandbox style of gaming that the Grand Theft Auto series help perfect is a stroke of genius.  Granted, GUN did it first, and while GUN was a great game, RDR is a billion times better in every way.  The single player mode is engaging with plenty to do, but not so much that you totally forget that you do have a job to do.  The multi-player mode has been the real meat of the game for me though.  It's a blend of the single-player game, a massive online game, and the typical shooter match play.  You've got it all, levels, lots of ways to display yourself (however, the character models are pre-set and you have to level up to unlock more models/horses/titles), death-matches, etc. or you can roam the world hunting bandits or bears and completing various missions ranging from hunting to picking flowers.  Yes, picking flowers.  Plus, it plays great.  It's rare that I have any connection issues at all.  AND it is gorgeous!  If you have a current-gen console, pick it up.  You can thank me later. 

So Red Dead has been taking a lot of my time, but that's not the only thing.  My D&D Master rules project is still going, albeit at a snails pace.  I have just a little bit of work left, but I keep getting pulled in other directions.  Thanks to Red Dead, I've been hankering a good Western RPG, not that I'd ever get the chance to play, but I'm looking anyway.  Boot Hill 3rd edition was alright, but I keep hearing good things about Aces and Eights.  Too bad that one is hard to find.  Savage Worlds does a good job with westerns, but I'm more looking towards a system truly devoted to the genre.  Sadly, once again, that's tough to find. 

My other big project is finally putting together a "master set" of Warhammer Quest material.  WQ may be the extent of my gaming for a while, so I thought I'd finally get all of the material I've collected over the years from both the few official items I have to the great fan material found on the web.  The monster book is nearly done, and I haven't even started on the Character book yet.  There's a lot in my WQ folder.  This is going to take some time.  I do plan on collecting the various monster conversions I put together back in the 90's when I played WQ the most in the books as well. 

It looks like the upcoming Castle Ravenloft adventure game is going to have solo rules.  Since the game is going to be (at least loosely) based on D&D 4th edition, maybe I'll get some ideas on how to effectively build a WQ styled D&D 4E.  I still think that could be an excellent way to play 4E. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's been a while...

Yeesh, not an update since the 31st of March?  That simply will not do!  Anyway, just a quick update and some musings today.

My house ruled Basic D&D/Labyrinth Lord rules are pretty much done.  I still have a few touches left to add in the character section (mostly a few more races), but after that I should be done.  The first creature book is finished, however and ready for play.  171 pages of text covering much of Basic D&D product line all in one tome!  I'm already forming my conversion list for the second creature book.  I'm also looking at possibly adding in firearms rules as well, but that may wait for an update sometime in the future. 

I've also been formulating a plan to do a "Master" rulebook for Marvel Super Heroes, but I'm not so sure about that.  I never house-ruled the FASERIP system like I did D&D so there may not be much point.  I'm been reading through my old, beaten up copy of the Advanced Rules lately and want to play it again.  While I think that Mutants and Masterminds is a better, more robust system for playing super hero games, MSH is quicker to get into with new players.  That's really my only gripe with M&M, it's an absolute bitch to get new players into at first.  I can sit down and whip up a character in no time, but I'm well-versed in the system.  Players new to the game, especially those new to RPG's in general, no so much. 

However, it may be a moot point since what possibly may be my group's last game day is coming up in 3 weeks.  Hopefully, we'll be able to get one in in June, but it sounds like their house is going to sell and they'll be moving sooner rather than later.  Not sure what I'll do for a gaming fix then.  My wife will play boardgames, even games like Last Night on Earth and A Touch of Evil, but she's still leery of RPG's.  Even then, it's tough to run a good game with just two.  I guess I'll either just take a break for a while and work on my various "vanity" projects, or actually delve into finding a new group.  Le sigh...

Anyway, what will be on the menu for possibly the final Game Day?  Well, I've been itching to run Mutant Future, but the votes have been resoundingly in favor of something zombie flavored.  (Mmmmm, tastes like dessication!)  Instead of merely playing Last Night on Earth, I'm thinking a little Savage Worlds will be in order.  I wrote up some basic zombie rules for SW a while ago, which may let me (finally) get my wife into RPG's to see if she likes the idea or not, but still give the group the zombie apocalypse they are craving.  (They really are a twisted bunch.) 

Until next time....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Updates and Zombies

Work proceeds on my Basic D&D Rules Bible (for lack of a better word).  It's nearing 200 pages now.  Beyond the rules here's what is has in it:

Races and Classes
Amazon Warrior (from OD&Dities)
Barbarian (from OD&Dities)
Bards (from OD&Dities)
Beastmen (from the Hollow World boxed set)
Brute-Men (from the Hollow World boxed set)
Bugbears (from GAZ10)
Elves (with options for Warrior-Elves from Hollow World, and Shadow Elves and Shadow Elf Shamans from GAZ13)
Fighters (with the usual options of Paladins, Knights, and Avengers and a new option for Druidic Knights from OD&Dities)
Gnolls (from GAZ10)
Goblins (from GAZ10)
Hobgoblins (from GAZ10)
Hutaakans (from Hollow World)
Kobolds (from GAZ10)
Krugel Orcs (from Hollow World)
Lizard Men (these are the Malpheggi Lizard Men from Hollow World)
N'djatwa (from Dragon)
Necromancer (from OD&Dities, I believe)
Ogres (from GAZ10)
Orcs (from GAZ10)
Psionicists (from OD&Dities)
Rangers (from OD&Dities)
Shaman (from GAZ12? I can't remember right off hand)
Trolls (GAZ10)
Warlocks (a class I pulled off the Vaults of Pandius site)
Finally an option for Non-human Clerics and Magic-Users

All classes are full 36 level classes.  I tossed out Prime Requisite experience bonuses, minimum stat requirements for classes, and for now I'm not going to add the skill system at all.  Thieves and a couple other classes will be the skill monkeys with a couple races like Dwarfs and Elves able to do the searching they've always been able to. 

With all these classes, the Spells section has expanded quite a bit.  There is Elf Magic, Necromancy, Shaman Magic, Song Magic, etc.  Plus, I plan on adding a lot from PC1, 2, and 4 (3 will likely get left out since we don't tend to play any aquatic-based games), that's on top of the races from later editions I plan to add to the mix (Dragonborn, Warforged, Goliaths, etc) so there's still a lot to go.  After the mammoth rules and player's book is done, I start in on the monsters which will house a combination of those found in the Rules Cyclopedia, Creature Collection, various adventures, as well as a few choice conversions.  Lots of work ahead, but I can honestly say that I should be done with the rules/player's guide within a week or two. 

Sadly, this project has put a momentary halt on my Mutant Future, Alternity, Star Wars, and Dragon Range projects.  I honestly haven't had this much fun going through old rulebooks in a long time. 

In other news, AMC is going forward with a TV series based on the Image Comic: The Walking Dead that (primarily) follows a sheriff who wakes up from a coma to a world where the dead have taken over.  It's an excellent series that once again shows that comics aren't just kids stuff.  It's well worth the read.  I have my doubts that AMC can capture the brutality and insanity of a world filled with undead since they do edit out violence in some movies (TWD can be VERY brutal at times, just a word of warning to the squeamish), but with Frank Darabont (director of The Mist and The Shawshank Redemption) at the helm it ought to be good even if it still misses the mark.  Johnny Miller (Hackers) is the front-runner to play sheriff Rick Grimes, which is an alright pick, but it's still early in the process so there's not much else to say.   I am looking forward to this series, even though I feel HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, or Starz would have been a better home for this series. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back to Basics

I haven't written much this last week.  Too many things going on a work, home, etc...  The only gaming I've done of late is playing through the Dragon Age Awakenings expansion pack.  It's a little light on content (most play-throughs have been around 15-20 hours, so I'm likely nearing the end since I'm at 12 hours) for the $40 price tag, so if you're on the fence you might want to wait for a price drop.  All in all, its a good expansion though.  The story takes the Darkspawn to the next level, the party members are pretty interesting (even if I do miss Shale and Morrigan) and their in party talk is pretty amusing. 

In the case for Awakenings, there was a card with the bloody dragon mascot for the line with the date "2.01.2011."  Sounds like a release date for Dragon Age II!  I can't wait.  If you haven't picked it up, definitely give Dragon Age a try.  It's the best fantasy CRPG put out in a long time. 

On other fronts, I've started slowly collecting my various Basic D&D houserules into one tome.  It will eventually be my D&D bible.  I'm changing a few things here and there like removing ability requisites for playing certain classes/races, using the rules for all classes to reach level 36, adding some new classes and races, and so forth.  It's going slowly, but it's getting there.

In sports news, my NCAA bracket is busted into a million pieces.  KU's loss destroyed what was already a pretty shot group of selections.  Even though I'm going to lose my $3 (yeah, big money) in the office pool, this has hands down been the most exciting tournament I've seen in a long time, if not ever.  Lots of great, close games.  This is why I like college basketball. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Game Day

We just got back from a Game Day/Family Day.  Didn't get to run Mutant Future like I hoped because one member of the group wasn't going to get back until late.  That got pushed back to the next game day next month.  Instead, we tried out "A Touch of Evil" from Flying Frog Productions, which I picked up last week.  It's a pretty fun game. 

The premise of AToE is that it's the late 18th century and the players are trying to protect the town of Shadowbrook from supernatural evil in the form of a Vampire, a Spectral Horseman, a Scarecrow, or a Werewolf.  Each boss monster has minions and nasty tricks up their sleeves.  You have 20 rounds (to start with) to amass allies and items to allow you to take out the monster.  You can play either as co-op or trying to be the first to take out the monster.  We played co-op each time. 

The first game we (my friend, Mike, my wife, and myself) took on the Spectral Horseman.  It came down to the last round, but we were victorious.  With only my outlaw, Katarina, left standing (barely) at the end of the fight. 

The second fight was against the Werewolf.  There were 5 of us playing this time around: Mike, my wife, Mike's wife Cynthia, and my cousin Danielle.  Holy crap, it was a bloodbath.  It came down to the last round again (poor decision on our part), only this time we got slaughtered.  Three of the city elders turned evil on us and joined forces with the Werewolf.  Plus, since we were playing co-op, the Werewolf was extremely tough (29 hit points and 7 attack die that hit on a 4+).  My wife and I were both slaughtered handily in one round.  Mike never got into the fight to begin with.  Cynthia and my brother Dan (who took over for Danielle after she had to leave) lasted two round before getting slaughtered.  In the end the Werewolf took over Shadowbrook having only lost 10 hit points and the three evil town elders.  Ouch. 

All in all, everyone enjoyed the game and it's going to be a staple of our game nights along side games like Last Night on Earth (another Flying Frog game), Trivial Pursuit, and Runebound.  Check it out if you're looking for a great boardgame to add to the mix. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've been fighting a case of sinusitis for the last few days, which has sapped much of my desire to do much of anything.  I have added background information for several species on the Space Lords wiki.  There is now info about the Bhruu, Deepfallen, Eldar, Kroot, Riglia, Tau, and Xe'reen. 

Getting the finishing touches and tweaks on Saturday's Mutant Future trial run.  We'll likely also play a round of A Touch of Evil from Flying Frog, who also make the extremely well done Last Night on Earth boardgame.  If AToE is half as good as LNoE, it'll become a staple of game nights with my wife (she LOVES LNoE!).  I was also looking at picking up a copy of Claustraphobia from Asmodee which looks interesting.  We'll see.  With the group breaking up, I'm looking more at boardgames for the time being.  I'll still work on my Space Lords and Dragon Ranges settings...just in case. 

Until next time...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Alpha and Omega

I'm going to run my first session of Mutant Future next week.  I may only get to run it one other time.  I found out today that the couple my wife and I play games with is moving away due to some crap that I'm not going to get into here.  We're going to try and get together once a month at least between now and the end of May, but it looks like the campaign is going to end before it really even gets off the ground.  It a bummer for my tabletop gaming time, but a much bigger bummer to have to see two close friends leave the area. 

Sorry, just a little bummed out tonight. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Just a Quick Update

Work on Space Lords is progressing, albeit at a snail's pace.  I've posted some basic information about mutants and their place in human society.  Some basic info about humans and a full write-up on the Fraal. 

In other news, I still need to get the two random creatures I rolled up the other night completed and posted, so look for that soon (hopefully).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Return of Alternity

For some reason, I've been on a big "get back to my roots" slash "find lighter systems" kick.  I've gotten sucked into Mutant Future.  I'm working with Dungeonslayers to see if that will be a good fit for lighter fantasy games. However, light sci-fi just never feels right.  Star Wars Saga is a great system, but it does suffer from the game issues as most D20 system based games: bloat.  Even just sticking to the core rules, there can be a lot to keep track of.  Compared to games like 3E D&D and D20 Modern, Saga is much lighter, but there's also the issue that it's so tied to Star Wars that it's tough to separate the system from the setting.  Well, it's not tough, just more work than I care to do.  I'd much rather focus on writing setting material or the occasional stats. 

That brings me to Alternity.  Alternity was a great sci-fi game put out by TSR in their dying days.  It had and interesting die mechanic of rolling a control die (d20) and a situational die (which was anything from 1d4 to 3d20).  It played pretty quick once you got the hang of it, although damage was a little funky.  It was my RPG of choice for several years until I fell into the D20 craze. 

After I started brainstorming on making a more generic setting using the Saga rules, I opened up my old Alternity Player's Handbook on a lark.  I had forgotten just how much I liked the system.  It has everything I'm looking for: cybernetics, psionics, robots, and aliens.  Space Lords is switching gears and moving into Alternity mode!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Space Lords Update

After toying with the idea of moving the Space Lords (and Dragon Ranges) Wikis to another site and then figuring out why things weren't working right, I've started to slowly get some information posted.  So far, it's just a page for Species and a listing of the more populous species in the galaxy.  No information on them yet, but it's going to start appearing shortly. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Space Lords...or something like that...

I've started a new Wiki to deposit ideas for my "Star Wars without Star Wars" setting I was mulling over a couple posts ago.  It's at  No, I don't play to stick with "Space Lords" as a title, because, well, that's a bit too cheesy, but I'm tired and it's the only thing that came to mind. 

I just created the wiki, so there's nothing there yet, but there will be soon.  I'll try to keep everyone updated here about anything exciting going on there.

Up Next: I rolled up two new random creatures (both are actually kinda gross) that I'll get finalized and posted before pouring my free time into playing Heavy Rain on the PS3. 

The Boys of Summer are back...

For those of you that don't know, I'm a big baseball fan, hell, I'm a HUGE baseball fan.  Every winter in mid-February I start to feel reborn.  Spring Training is starting.  The season is full of promise (or in my favorite team's case, the Royals, the season is full of hopes ready to be dashed, but whatever).  I love it.  Then, every October, well early November nowadays, after the last out of the World Series I go dormant, waiting for the arrival of spring. 

A few years ago I picked up a copy of Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  This is a baseball game played with either dice and cards with charts depicting ballplayers, or in a computer game set-up.  While I own a copy of both ways to play the game, I vastly prefer chugging dice.  It's just a more visceral feeling.  It does an amazing job of simulating play.  Plus, you can easily play a full 9 inning game in about a half hour.  This is a game that many pro ballplayers have even played and credited to teaching them fundamental tactics. 

After getting the hang of the game, which doesn't take long at all, I ordered the special edition Hall of Fame so I could have cards of my favorite ballplayers like Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and my personal hero, the incomparable George Brett, without having to buy a bunch of team sets from seasons past.  Once I had that set in my hands, my brother, who is an even bigger baseball geek than myself, spent an entire day (starting around 10 AM and ending around 1AM) drafting 40 teams from across my sets to form my Super League.  After a break to sleep, we started in on playing through the schedule I had set up in an Excel spreadsheet. 

I got about a quarter of the way through the schedule when life got in way.  My wife was pregnant with our son, we were house hunting and then packing up and moving and then shortly after that our son was born.  With Donovan here, Stat-O, along with just about all gaming, took a back seat to feedings and changing diapers.  I haven't rolled up a game in about 2 years.  Wow.  It staggers me to see that typed out.  Now that my son is a precocious 16 month old, who is becoming more and more of his own person everyday, and he's FINALLY sleeping through the nights, I find myself in the position to roll up a game every now and then.  I had to refresh myself on the rules, but it was practically like riding a bike.  I've missed it so much. 

Strat-O holds a strong place in my heart not only for being a great baseball game, and an all-around awesome game as well, but it also was a way for my brothers and I to spend time together and bond.  My brothers and I all have divergent interests, but we all love baseball.  That's one thing we can always agree to spend time together on.  Whether it's rolling a game of Strat-O or going to game, baseball is the great equalizer.  We may argue about so-and-so being better in clutch situations or the what the Royals should do to get out of this monstrous funk they're in, but as long as we're talking about "the game" it's all good.  I've had a lot of fun sitting around the kitchen table rolling game after game with my brothers.  It's time that I'll always cherish and I look forward to bonding with my son over games of Strat-O in the coming years.  If for nothing else, that is why Strat-O will forever trump all other gaming as my favorite game. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Brainstorming: Star Wars without Star Wars

I finished my first playthrough of Mass Effect 2 the other night.  If you haven't checked it out, do so.  It's among one of the best CRPG's I've ever played.  Hell, it's one of the best video games I've ever played.  Period.  It's just simply brilliant.  It got me thinking about wanting to play a sci-fi game.  For those that haven't tried it out, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition is a spectactular system.  Not only is it a great Star Wars system, but it's also my favorite D20 system game as well.  Even though I love Star Wars and I love playing in the setting since I think it's a great place for games of a space opera/sci-fantasy bent, I've been wanting to play something that's not really tied to the Star Wars universe.  I still want the Force.  I still want some of the species.  I still want the feel.  I just don't want the baggage of it being a "long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away" because my players know what to expect.  There are certain pre-conceived notions that come with playing Star Wars based on the era the game is taking place in.  Even though there is enough leeway to be able to run any number of adventures in any era, players still come in knowing more about the setting than I've come to want them to know.  Plus, by using the Saga system there's every little I'd have to add to the game mechanically to get the proper feel I'm looking for. 
I've been batting around some ideas in my head, but haven't written anything down (until now).  I want to craft my own setting that still feels like Star Wars, but doesn't have all the Jedi/Sith stuff; travelling across the galaxy isn't as easy as simply having a hyperdrive; and never has there ever been a Jar-Jar Binks.  The Force is easily handled as psionics.  However, I don't want the distinctly Light vs Dark spilt that is a given in the SW universe.  There is simply this source of power, and while some may be more inherently good or evil the true distinction is how they are used by the individual.  I haven't decided how I will handle the Force powers that deal with specific lightsaber training.  There almost needs to be an order like the Jedi that is devoted to using the Force to weild a lightsaber to block blaster bolts, but I don't want anything as strict as the Jedi Order.  I want the Force/psionics to be looked upon as being feared and dangerous.  Those that weild this power are looked up with fear in most cases.  I just haven't figured out how to do it yet. 
As far as space travel goes, I think I'm going to go with something akin to Mass Effect Relays.  These will allow nearly instantaneous travel to other relays in the galaxy, and possibly beyond, but while there are many of them found in the galaxy, and like many more yet to be found, there is still vast areas of the galaxy that can take long periods of time to get to.  However, Mass Effect Drives allow travel faster than the speed of light, but they are nowhere close to instantaneous.  Travel from a system that is home to a Relay to a nearby system using a Mass Effect drive can take days or even a month or more.  The Star Wars universe has always hand-waved the travel requirements in lieu of telling a great pulpy story.  However, it's made the SW setting feel much smaller than I've come to like for a somewhat "harder" sci-fi setting. 
As far as species go, I'll likely use the massive tome of species I mentioned in an earlier post.  However, I'll give the players a list of the major species that can easily be found throughout the galaxy.  They can still play as a really strange and rare species of creature, but if they want something that is going to be more easily found they'll have the list.  Plus, I want mutations.  There are several sources for mutations in the various D20 system games.  Those found in Darwin's World will likely fit the bill pretty well, and likely won't take too much change to fit them into the Saga system.  Beyond that, most everything else that players will need to create their character are already a part of the Saga rules from bionics to cybernetics. 
That's it for now.  Future posting will get into more of the details like organizations and threats. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Absence due to video game fever

I haven't posted much in the last week, obvoiusly.  It's not because of work or family concerns, but because I've been knee-deep into Mass Effect 2.  I'm just about ready for the final fight, but I'm going to scour the galaxy for every scrap of adventure I can find.  Not out of some need to be the most powerful guy in the galaxy, but because the game is just that damn good.  Bioware has been putting out great games for a long time now.  I tore through the classic Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games in the late 90's, loved Neverwinter Nights (but wasn't as crazy about NWN 2, even though it was still a decent game), and have been eating up the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games.  Plus, they've already announced the next chapters in both franchises for early next year, not to mention the expansion for Dragon Age coming out next month.
Bioware epitomizes what I love about western CRPG's: choice.  Both Mass Effect games and Dragon Age have a dizzying array of ways to craft your own story beyond just playing the game as a good guy or a bad guy.  The interactions between your character and your party are nothing short of amazing.  The characters have depth not really seen in most eastern-influenced RPG's.  The mark of a great game is after you've beaten it, you want to start it back up again with a different character (or in the case of Mass Effect a different style of the main character).  Dragon Age was that way for me.  I played through each of the background storylines before I selected the character I was going to go through my first play through of the game with.  Once I was done, I went back and continued with another character.  As long as Bioware keeps this trend up, I'll happily be their lapdog. 
I didn't get much done this last weekend.  My wife and I went out Saturday night to catch a movie and go out to eat, and her folks were in town.  However, I did find time to beat Bayonetta and then do some wheelin' and dealin' down at Gamestop.  First off, let me say that Bayonetta is a fun game.  Everything about it is slick, polished, and oozing with style.  If you enjoyed the Devil May Cry series, you'll likely enjoy Bayonetta.  That said, there were a few reasons why I traded it off as soon as I finished it.  The first is that the story was goofy.  It's not a matter of poor translation of themes from east to west.  There aren't any themes that are obscure to western audiences.  The story wasn't cohesive at all.  It jumped around all over the place.  It really took away from my enjoyment of the game.  Plus, about three-quarters of the way through the game, the style of the game shifts away from the button mashing combo-builder to wild car chases and even air combat style game.  It really threw off the pace and feel of the game.  By the time I got into the last 3 or 4 stages, I was sick of the cut scenes even.  Even with these gripes, I still enjoyed the game.  I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend picking it up, but I'd certainly either rent it or pick it up once it drops in price. 
Along with Bayonetta, I traded in my PSP and the games.  I simply didn't turn it on anymore and figured I'd turn it into some credit towards other games that I'd end up enjoying more.  I came home with the Classic Rock Track Pack for Rock Band, LEGO Star Wars the Complete Series (which is the 3rd time I've picked up a SW LEGO game, once for the PS2, once for the 360 and then now), Brutal Legend, Darksiders, Resistance 2 all for the PS3 and then got my pre-orders for both Heavy Rain (PS3) and Dragon Age: Awakenings paid in full.  Not too bad of a haul. 
I played the Heavy Rain demo before deciding to pre-order it.  If you have a PS3, I HIGHLY recommend downloading it and giving it a shot.  The control scheme takes some getting used to, but before long you'll have the hang of it.  It's gorgeous.  The character animations are among the best I've every seen.  For those who don't know, it's a mystery game played from the vantage point of four different characters: an old private eye, a reporter, a father trying to save his kidnapped son, and an FBI agent.  It's got that dirty/gritty look found in movies like Seven.  It boasts a storyline that with change with your choices, and if a main character dies, the game continues on without him/her.  I'm really looking forward to it.
As I look at the calender, there's a ton of games that have piqued my curiosity on the horizon and on into next year: Final Fantay XIII (even though I won't be picking it up at launch after all, I know I'll pick it up in time), God of War III, Metro 2033 (I wish the English translation of this book would hit before the game), Splinter Cell: Conviction, Super Street Fighter IV, Red Dead Redemption, Lost Planet 2, Neir, Modnation Racers (the beta is fun, but they still need to add some polish to the game to make it a great kart racer), Max Payne 3, Dead Rising 2, Gran Turismo 5, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Batman: Arkham Asylum II, Crysis 2, Dead Space II, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, and of course, Diablo III and Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Even though the down economy is forcing fewer games to be released and to be spaced further apart, which is pushing some games back to way later in the year, the future still looks pretty damn good on the video game front for quite some time to come. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Random Creature!

This is something that I hope will become a regular occurrence (time permitting), I'm going to roll up a totally random creature for use with Mutant Future/Labyrinth Lord.  I'm using the Random Esoteric Creature Generator from Goodman Games to generate the creature.  (I highly recommend this book if you want to throw something really different at your players.)  The first entry in this series is: The Porcupocalypse!!!!

The Porcupocalypse
No. Enc.:                     1 (thankfully)
Alignment:                    Chaotic
Movement:                  120' (40')
Armor Class:               -3
Hit Dice:                      17 (I kicked off this process by rolling a d20 to determine base HD)
Attacks:                       1 (Spines)
Damage:                      2d10
Save:                           L20
Morale:                       8
Hoard Class:               None

The dreaded Porcupocalypse is only talked about in hushed whispers across the wastelands. It is said to be a massive, 30' tall porcupine that walks on two legs. Its spines are said to be like massive spears that can skewer a man with but a swipe of its powerful arms. It supposedly feeds on the fear is causes. As it strides across the wastes, blood rains down on the ground from its body; fouling the air and marking its path. However, few ever seem to get a good look at the creature as its form is blurred as if it's not totally in sync with this reality. That may explain how it's able to vanish into the wastes after leaving a settlement trembling in fear or worse.
The Porcupocalypse is a terrifying foe with a dizzying array of mutations/abilities. First, for its size, it's quick. This gives the creature a +3 bonus to attack rolls. The blood that drips from the creature is corrosive, so with each successful hit, the target's AC is worsened by 1 point. Plus it deals an additional 1d6 points of damage on a critical hit. If that wasn't enough whenever a character is hit by an attack, he must make a save vs poison or contract a blood disease that will kill him in 2d10 days unless some cure is found (so far none has).

It's not fully part of this world, so the first attack against the creature always misses, but after that it fully enters the world and can be attacked normally. However, attacking the creature isn't a good idea. When it's hit, it splits into two versions of itself, each version with half the total hit point total (round down). Each time the creature is struck it splits.

As if all this isn't scary enough, the Porcupocalypse can forgo attacking in a round to focus its malice on a foe. That foe must make a save vs. stun or run away in fear for 1d4 rounds. The creature only takes half damage from acid.

The Porcupocalypse is cunning. It typically starts combat with a charge attack if there is not already a foe adjacent to it. This charge attack deals double damage if it hits (in addition to all the other horrible effects of a porcupocalypse attack). If it has its choice of targets, it will go after those that appear to be less armored in the group.

Mutations: aberrant form (xenomorphism), gigantism, special.

Wow.  That one was a doozy.  I was surprised that the rolls made sense.  It actually disappointed me a little.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Birth of a Campaign (hopefully) or How to K.I.S.S.

I mentioned that I've been working on getting a game of Mutant Future going.  This will be my wife's first real taste of RPG's.  The closest she's come so far is a session of old school Hero Quest.  She enjoyed it, but we didn't get to play a second dungeon and she was wanting to continue playing her elf.  She's always balked at playing in the past since she thinks "my games are too complicated".  That's why I'm going for Mutant Future.  It's pretty wild and crazy, nothing too serious, and it's easy to play.  I would really like to play some Star Wars Saga, but the Saga system, while easy to play and run for those that are old hat at this sort of thing, may be a little too much to throw her way.  I would like her to focus more on the game rather than having to add up modifiers and such. 

I have an idea for the game in mind.  It will start off in what's left of Marshall (or M'shall as it's called in the post apocalyptic future), the town were we're going to be.  It's a rarity in the wastelands in that it counts many species as citizens from pure humans, to replicants, to mutants.  All in all not a completely horrible place to live in the wastelands.  M'shall is in trouble.  Drought has set in on the one fertile land.  The food stores are drying up, people are getting sick, and to top it off slavers have picked up on this and have doubled their efforts to take the town down.  The players (my wife and 2 or maybe 3 others) are picked to go on a mission to find a G.E.C.K. (yeah, I'm ripping off Fallout), which will help to ensure the town's survival.  Supposedly, one was delivered to the vault in KayCee, far to the West, but no one knows if it was ever used or not. 

Not too shabby.  It's pretty basic stuff, but hopefully it will hook the players enough to go on the quest for the G.E.C.K. and lay the foundation for crazier stuff to come.  My main problem, which has been a problem since my days of playing AD&D, it that I'm trying hard to force myself to Keep It Simple, Stupid.  I tend to over-plan campaigns, detail stuff that my players will likely never encounter, and then almost get burned out on the game entirely before even sitting down to play.  I'm trying hard to just go in with a barebones approach like back when I first sat down with Hero Quest or Basic D&D back in the day.  I need to realize that the Devil is the details and just go in with a mind to focus on the fun.  I'm not writing some grand epic, I'm playing a game with those I love.  Keep it loose, keep it fun.  It is hard though.  I looked through some of my old Rifts and Darwin's World material and ideas are flowing, but I need to just let the game go where it will. 

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Death of the JRPG?

The first true computer RPG I played was Final Fantasy on the NES.  I guess The Legend of Zelda would count, but I consider it more of an action/puzzle game, but anyway.  I spend countless hours playing and leveling my characters until I beat the game.  That started me down the wild, and often times weird road of loving computer RPGS.  For the longest time, the only RPG's I could find were those made my Japanese companies.  Even now and then an Eye of the Beholder or the classic Gold Box D&D games would come out, and that was pretty much it for Western developers (at least that I got to see as a kid). 

Don't get me wrong.  The Gold Box games were good, but story wise they never matched up the epicness that was Final Fantasy II (IV in Japan) or Final Fantasy VII.  Japanese developers really knew how to put together a game that even though you had little control in the plot, you simply didn't care.  You wanted to see where things went.

That's where things went wrong. 

It wasn't until Final Fantasy 10 came out that I realized that somewhere, they lost me.  I still enjoyed the spectacle of the FF games (hell, I've had FFXIII on pre-order since November), but I almost wished they would just go ahead and make the games into movies.  Seriously, combat is simply the commercials to break up the movie.  There is really no exploration (FFXII did a little better at this, but it was still a railroad), and the only reason to level up is so that you can survive to the next beautifully rendered cutscene.  I, the guy who shelled out the money to buy the game isn't really getting much game to play.  I essentially just dropped $60 for a 4 hour movie that's going to take me 20-50 hours to watch.  That doesn't really excite me anymore. 

When the Baldur's Gate games came out, I had an epiphany of sorts.  Here's a game, that while still laid out a set of clear goals before me, A to B to C, had little extra stops along the way that didn't have to be done just because I was in the area.  I had a modicum of control over the story.  That got kicked up another notch when Planescape: Torment was released with its ambiguous moral issues and multiple endings based on what choices you made during the game. 

Fast forward to today and many games are wide open to the player to craft his or her own story.  I love reading and discussing Dragon Age: Origins because so far, nobody I've discussed with has had the same experience.  We've all made widely different choices at different parts of the game.  Even though the exact story is not our own, we're still reading the script presented to us, we're getting a level of control on the direction that we've never had before.  Those sandbox style games are all coming from Western developers. 

I would love to see some honest-to-goodness collaboration between developers like Square and Bioware to develop and RPG with the epic sense of scale and emotion that JRPG's convey with the player-driven storylines that are so prevalent in western RPG's.  THAT would make for one helluva game. 

So is the JRPG dying out?  From the looks of FFXIII, no, there's still life in it.  While I expect one helluva experience with the latest edition of the greatest CRPG franchise in history, I have my doubts that I'll either tear through it they way I did Dragon Age (or how I'm currently tearing through Mass Effect 2) or want to play it again once I beat it just like I did when I completed Dragon Age.  That's honestly the true measure of a video game: once you're done with it do you want to start all over again?  I haven't felt that way about any JRPG in a long, long time.  

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some random thoughts

I'm working on a few things right now.  The first is the ever constant work on building my book of species for Star Wars.  The book draws from not only Star Wars sources, but from Star Trek, Babylon 5, Farscape, Fading Suns, various D20 franchises (D&D, Iron Kingdoms, D20 Modern, etc...), Rifts, HERO, and so on.  I've got 804 species in the monster 272 page tome right now.  Why?  Mostly for the fun of it.  Star Wars for me is the perfect setting.  You can literally fit anything into it.  Plus, I don't tend to stick to canon in my SW games, so having a group of heroes consisting of a Twi'lek, High Elf, Turian, and a Vulcan is just simply cool to me.  Plus it's an interesting creative exercise as well, since I add a blurb with each species on how they fit into the SW universe.  Sadly, this book is going to stay just to my group since there's a LOT of unlicensed IP in it. 

I mentioned Dungeonslayers in my last post.  It's a free download fantasy game that tries to capture that old school dungeon crawling feel without rehashing old school dice mechanics.  The complete game is 10 pages long, but is easily added onto.  I've played a few test encounters just to get the feel of the game, and it's pretty slick.  I'm planning on trying it out with the group at our next game day.  Hopefully they'll like it as much as I do. 

The last game I'm working on that will headline our next game day (I tend to run most of the games) is Mutant Future, another free to download game.  It's essentially Gamma World 1E with all the IP filed off.  I really like it.  I started out with Gamma World with 3E, which was based on the color coded chart system featured in other games like Marvel Super Heroes.  Being a big fan of cartoons like Thundarr the Barbarian, and movies like The Road Warrior and The Omega Man, getting into Gamma World was a lock.  I only got a chance to play 1st edition Gamma World a couple times, which is based off the 1st edition AD&D rules.  Anyway, I'm hooked on Mutant Future and want to get a game going, so I'm working feverishly to get everything ready to roll for the next game day.  

Gamepro this month has an interesting article about the supposed downfall of Japanese style computer RPG's.  I haven't read the entire article yet, but I'll post my opinions when I'm done.  Being a long-time fan of games like the Final Fantasy series, Lost Odyssey, and Wild A.R.M.S., the subject matter is very intriguing to me. 

That's it for now, I'm going back to working on my Mutant Future game. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Love/Hate relationship with D&D.

My first taste of gaming was when my step-cousin got Heroquest for Christmas. He had no interest in it, but I did so I traded him a copy of Bases Loaded for the NES for it. It was the best trade I ever made (and I loved Bases Loaded, BTW). I devoured the rules and the system, played through all the dungeons, made my own, and so on. I was hooked on fantasy gaming, which lead me straight to Dungeons and Dragons' doorstep.

When I was getting into all of this, there was still a bit of the leftover hysteria in the media and various other afraid of their own shadow wingnuts that D&D was a satanic game that would drive people insane. My dad forbid me to play the game because of this hysteria. My dad isn't one of the stupid religious, hell, he's not even very religious at all. He just figured that if there were stories of D&D driving kids nuts all over the damn place, then why even take a chance? As kids are prone to do, especially me at that age, telling me that I can't do something only made me want it more. I snuck around and borrowed a copy of the Basic D&D rules from a friend's dad. Then I borrowed his copy of the 1st Edition AD&D Player's Handbook and cobbled together some rules between the two.

When my dad found out that my brother and I were playing D&D, at first he wasn't happy about it, but that quickly passed when he saw that we were still playing baseball, generally being ourselves, and going to Sunday School with grandma without the church bursting into flames. He didn't understand the attraction, but what the hell it really was just a harmless game.

As the years wore on I got into the 2nd Edition of D&D and it became my game of choice. However, I started to wonder at some of the silly things behind the system. All fighters were the same. Most rogues were identical. Why the hell couldn't a dwarf be a wizard and why bother with level limits? The rules started to feel stifling to me. Plus, my houserules folder was damn near as long as the PHB. Then I went to college and discovered other games that felt a lot less constraining and I left D&D in the dust. Vowing never to return. I had had enough.

I played several games in the time between my last days with 2E and the release of 3E, which would bring me back into the fold. Most were sci fi and post apocalyptic games like Rifts (what a horrible system attached to so much awesome setting material, it's a damn shame really), WEG's Star Wars, Gamma World (although I got my start with GW about the same time I got into D&D), Alternity (which was my favorite game for a few years), and so on. However, I still longed for a fantasy system that was fun.

It appeared that my prayers were answered with the release of D&D 3rd Edition. No level limits, no restrictions on what races can be what class, a simple, unified mechanic!!! I was in love. I jumped in headfirst. Not only was 3E a lot of what I wanted out of 2E, the Open Gaming License and the System Resource Document brought about a wave of new material (most of it just freaking awful, but there were still a lot of good nuggets) that I could plug into my games. It really felt like gaming Nirvana. Then around the time that 3.5 was released that feeling of longing for something else came back. High level play, hell mid-level play, can start to be a drag. The system made sense, it just wasn't fun anymore. I was restless. I felt like I spent more time worrying about not forgetting something or writing up new NPC's that I did actually playing the damn game.

Once again I moved on. I played mostly D20 games like Mutants and Masterminds, Star Wars, Revised Star Wars, D20 Modern, Star Wars Saga Edition, and so on. D20 Modern kept me occupied for a couple years, but it suffered from some of the same combat drag that D&D did, but I discovered Savage Worlds and fell in love with it. Star Wars Saga drew me in and hasn't let me go yet, but I still wanted a good fantasy system. That didn't take forever and a day to play.

When D&D 4th Edition came out. I gave it a look. It was totally incompatible with the mountain of 3/3.5 material I had amassed since 2000, but sometimes a fresh start is good for the soul. The mechanics were interesting, but I'm just not satisfied. It doesn't feel right to me. It's a good game, and I'm up for playing it whenever, but I don't want to run it. It doesn't inspire me at all.

So here I am, looking at my unused D&D books in disgust. It's the big dog on the block and likely always will be, which means that what most people will want to play. I want to like it, I really do, but I just can't bring myself to giving a damn about it anymore. There was a time when I'd wait with baited breath for the next D&D release. I'd have my pre-order in months in advance. Now, releases go and go and I don't even notice it unless someone else is talking about it.

However, I do have to thank D&D for something. While Heroquest introduced me to the hobby, D&D kept me a part of it. I've had a lot of fun over the years playing RPG's. I've made some good friends and have memories that I'll cherish forever. I may never play D&D again, but thanks to D&D I'll be playing something. With the great new material coming out for older editions and games coming out that try to capture that old-school feel in easy to run systems, I may yet find that system that truly feels like home when it comes to fantasy gaming. Dungeonslayers is starting to look like a real contender, but that's a post for another time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bittersweet Rebirth

I've ignored this blog for a while, but I've been wanting to start writing my thoughts about games, gaming, and other forms of geekery. It just so happens that two big things came to my attention today about two franchises very dear to me: Star Wars and Gamma World.

First off, Wizards of the Coast announced today that they are going to cancel the Star Wars miniatures and RPG lines. There are still one more minis set and another book coming out in April, but they're done after that. This, well, sucks. The Star Wars minis have been getting better with each set as far as the variety of figures and species covered (the quality of the paint jobs and the sculpts have dropped off for both the SW and D&D minis of late, however). The Star Wars Saga Edition was simply the finest Star Wars RPG I've ever had the pleasure of playing (and I've played them all). It wasn't just a good Star Wars game, but the best derivative D20 system I've played. It's what D&D 4th Edition should have been. It's a damn shame to see the lines die.

I do want to send out a heartfelt thanks to the folks at WotC for their excellent work on SAGA. Thanks to Owen KC Stephens, Rodney Thompson, Christopher Perkins, and everyone else that helped bring the Star Wars universe to life in RPG form in the best way possible. I look forward to getting my hands on The Unknown Regions as soon as it comes out.

The second bit of news that got me excited and then got just as quickly destroyed was the announcement that Gamma World would be returning. For those that don't know, Gamma World came about back when D&D was owned by TSR. It was a wild and wacky game dealing with mutants and survivors in a post-apocalyptic setting. I first got into GW with the 3rd edition of the game back in college when I rolled up a mutant cactus gunslinger by the name of "Prickly Bill." GW was part Mad Max, part Island of Doctor Moreau, and part Thundarr the Barbarian. You had mutant raiders, survivors delving into ruins looking for lost technology on par with stuff seen in Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, and so on. It was a lot of fun.

Anyway, it was discovered on Amazon that a new edition of GW (which was being called the 5th edition, but 5th edition of GW was the one made for the Alternity system, but I digress) was coming out in October. Great! Even if it's just GW draped over the D&D 4th Edition system, it could still work. I'd at least give it a look. Surely it couldn't be worse than the abortion of the D20 edition of GW that was put out by Sword and Sorcery Studios (6th Edition).

Yes. It can.

Info came out today stating that (in a Tweet by Dave Chalker of "Gamma World. Uses D&D rules. Complete game experience in box. 160 rulebook included. Rooted in d&d. Chargen, how to GM, monsters. 10 encounters, poster map, tokens. New card mechanics. Character will be mutant. "part cockroach, part yeti" In GW starter box, item cards and mutation cards that come up randomly. Some powerful, some silly. GW will have booster cards for players. GW booster packs will be random, only found in hobby stores (not bookstore) Will also have game day."

They are turning Gamma World into a damn collectible card game. What the hell? Why? I know there's overlap in the RPG and CCG markets, but the two arenas only shared themes and customers, not system components. That just took the elation of having new Gamma World to read and play and shot it in the head. I'm not even going to touch on the "Character will be mutant." or the cockroach/yeti stuff. This sounds like a product aimed not at both the old guard of GW fans and possible new players, but solely at the damn Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh crowd.

I understand that WotC wants to get a product out there that will keep people coming back to buy more and more and not just once a month, like usually happens with D&D, but at any time. I get that, I really do. After the 5th and 6th editions of GW that didn't even attempt to get what GW was all about, they go into uncharted water into an arena sure as hellfire to piss off the RPG crowd: collectible RPG's. Sure, we bought into the damn plastic crack that is the minis lines, but those weren't necessary game components (unless you played the actual minis games, that is). I could just as easily play without the minis as I could with them. This sounds like if you want the really cool mutations, and that's all that GW was about: mutants (that was sarcasm, BTW), then you need to buy packs of power cards until you get that super uber L33T chromium Duality card! Bullshit.

I've avoided most of the collectible gaming hobby. I got into the minis because I wanted cheap (relatively) figures that I didn't have to spend a lot of time on assembling, priming, and painting when all I want to do is play. I wasn't after every rare or very rare figure, just something that accurately and adequately portrayed the characters and monsters that I fielded on the game table. I never got sucked into Magic: The Gathering or World of Warcraft (the care game at least) or Pokemon, or any of the other myriad of CCG's on the market, and I'm sure as shit am not getting sucked into it to play GW. I'll stick to the excellent Mutant Future rules instead.

To top it off I fear this is the kind of thing they wanted to do with D&D 4E. Now they're digging up the corpse of Gamma World and creating a monster to test the water. I don't wish any of the designers as WotC any ill will, and I hope this hybrid of RPG and CCG does well for them, but I'm not getting in. My interest level is in the negative on this one. Count me the hell out.

There you have it. Other than the occasional pack of minis, WotC has in the span of literally hours ensured that they won't be getting anymore of my money. While I still kinda like 4E, I'm burned out on it (more on that later), and haven't picked up anything since the Eberron Player's Guide. Star Wars and the odd minis pack was what was keeping me a WotC customer, but no more Star Wars, minis that aren't nearly as good as they were a couple years ago, and now this news about a Gamma World that once again doesn't even try to get it are forcing me out.

Adios, Wizards, at least you're saving me money.