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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 Roundup: Asus Tablet PC, Astral Sea, Kingmaker, Droid Scavenging

by Ken Newquist / April 22, 2010

The first iPad showed up at my gaming table two weeks ago, and I have to say -- it was pretty damn cool. It's got a bright, clean screen, and while my friend didn't have a native PDF viewer on the device, I can definitely see the potential there. Comic books looked beautiful, and surfing with it was a breeze. That said, not everyone's sold on the iPad, and I haven't seen any reviews of it up on RPG blogs -- if you've done one, please let me now in the comments.

That said, there are other tablet computers out there, and Chaos Crenade looks at one with A Tabletop Gamer Look: ASUS T91 Tablet PC. It's a netbook-style computer running Windows XP, and the reviewer takes a look at how well common RPG tooks like the D&D Character Builder and Hero Lab work on the device.

Wizards of the Coast has been busy with D&D 4E since the last time I did a reviews round up. The first of the big 2010 releases is Player's Handbook 3, which includes the bedrock psionics character classes needed to power the Dark Sun Campaign Setting being released in August. Critical Hits reviewed the book and liked what they saw. This lengthy review offers an overview (and thoughts on) all of the new races, classes and skill powers.

Critical Hits also reviewed The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea, which they found disorganized, but ultimately chockfull of cool story and setting ideas.

The other big book released this spring was Underdark, which details the expansive world that lies beneath our feat. Neuroglyph Games has a review of the book. They appreciated how the book was able to fold 30+ years of D&D history into one tome, while simultaneously updating things for the new edition.

Paizo hasn't been resting on their laurels. They've just launched a new Adventure Path -- Kingmaker -- which offers sandbox-style play tied to a larger stoyline. RPG Brouhaha reviews the free Kingmaker Player's Guide for the adventure path.

In non-fantasty gaming we've got Game Cryer's review of Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies, which is a game inspired by the likes of The Three Musketeers and The Princess Bride but set in a real of floating island nations and skyships that play the reaches between them. Also on Game Cryer is my review of Scavenger's Guide to Droids, a source book for the Star Wars: Saga Edition RPG that introduces new rules for creating droid characters, a new protocol format that lets player character's use personal droids more like equipment, and less like NPCs, and a hefty index of droid threats for use in your game.