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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

RPG Review Digest: WoD, Pathfinder Dice, 4E Revisited, Castle Zagyg, Alpha Omega

by Ken Newquist / September 17, 2008

Last week's surge of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition reviews has abated, but there's a few new ones out there. What I find interesting about the reviews that are coming out now is that folks have had a chance to digest and (more importantly) play the game. As a result, people are getting past the surface reactions to 4E ("oh my god! it's a paper MMORPG!", "oh my god, it's so much better than sliced bread it's like it went back in time, and became sliced bread!!!") and starting to get into actual play issues.

Venger Satanis's review at RPG Net expresses an unexpected weariness with 4E, as things begin to settle into an all-too-familiar routine. I'm not surprised to see such sentiments popping up; while 4E does have a certain degree of customization available to it, the game's in desperate need of a supplemental rulebook or three.

My own review of D&D 4th Edition on Nuketown tries to pull together the results of our summer-long 4E playtest campaign. It's a long one, but I think it does a good job of capturing our summer-long playtest, and talking about the issues we encountered, both at the table, and in contemplating a possible conversion of our regular campaign.

Related to 4E is A Hero Twice a Month's look at Ander00's Power Cards at En World. Ander00's recreated every D&D 4E power using the free Magic Set Editor; this review looks at how useful they are. I still don't get why Wizards hasn't released "class decks" of powers; I bet they'd sell like hot cakes.

Elsewhere, Geek Gazette has a quick review of Monte Cook's World of Darkness. I contemplated getting this book at GenCon 2007, but ultimately felt I didn't need one more d20 variant. Geek Gazette's review is positive, as it likes the game's d20 rule-set and power level.

Purple Pawn has a brief look of the new Pathfinder Dice from Q-Workshop; these dice feature runes for envy, greed, lust, wrath, sloth, pride, and gluttony taken from Paizo's new Pathfinder campaign setting.

At RPG net, Will Mistretta reviews Gary Gygax's Castle Zagyg: The Upper Works from Troll Lord Games. He likes what he sees, and compares it to the classic dungeons of yesteryear. I'd consider picking this up -- as this is basically Castle Greyhawk by another name -- but the chances of me running it in the next 2-3 years are slim to none.

Bill Perman at Gaming Report has a review of Alpha Omega, a post-apocolyptic/scifi RPG released earlier this year. He loves the publication values and likes the game's core mechanic, but is concerned about the book's landscape format.

Comments

With the exception of 4e products I haven't been buying much in the way of rpg products. I've still got about 6 more quick reviews left to do but I'm running out of stuff. Unless I go back and review Rifts, 2e and 3e products.

I say bring on the retro reviews! I'm planning on doing a column on my five favorite 3E books once I get through all this NukemCon prep. :)

Nice. It's really a no-brainer on their part, and I think it would speed up combat considerably. Of course some folks will hate the idea of "dealing" their character his powers for the day, but they probably aren't playing 4E in the first place.