A few years ago I picked up Weird War II by Pinnacle Entertainment Group to supplement my The Day After Ragnarok book with World War II Savage Worlds rules. The rules were fine -- it helped with the demolitions skill and gave me access to an armory of guns and vehicles -- but just wasn't weird enough for my taste. The history of the weird war was pretty much the same as the history of our war; the weirdness was at the edges and never infected the larger narrative in the way that, say, Delta Green did.
My gaming group entered Book 4: Eternal Night of Paizo's Second Darkness adventure path this weekend, officially taking us past the midpoint of the campaign. All along the heroes have been battling the drow, including a massive fight to take back Celwynvian.
The release of the trailer for World War Z inspired me to read the book of the same name before the film's version could burn its way into my brain. It was well worth it; the book's a fantastic read that provides a wide-ranging, highly personal view of the Zombie Apocolypse. It also inspired me to see what the current state of Zombie RPGs is for a possible Knights of the Dinner Table column.
It was a good Christmas for my Pathfinder campaign, as I got two of the new game master-friendly books released by Paizo -- Ultimate Equipment and NPC Codex -- and one player-friendly book, the Advanced Players Guide.
It's been a good year for Star Wars fans. Disney bought Lucasfilm, and announced that a new trilogy -- with some of the original actors, but without George Lucas directing -- will kick off in 2015. We also saw the return of Star Wars gaming with a slew of new releases from Fantasy Flight Games: The Star Wars card game, expansions for the X Wing miniature combat game, and finally a new Star Wars role-playing game.
This month's RPG Blog Carnival topic is "Writing the Game", and it got me thinking about my own efforts to get return to "pen and paper" preparation. I say "return" because most of my game prep is digital; sure I have printed books I refer to before and during the game, but even those have PDF equivalents.
After 18 months of playing Second Darkness our heroes are finally ready to take the fight to the drow. They've skirmished with the dark elves before, but avoided the major battle at the end of Book 2 when they inadvertantly stumbled into the drow lair and had to retreat. The drow then escaped under the cover of night while sending a shadow demon to kill them.
The Unknown Regions is the final sourcebook for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars: Saga Edition Role-Playing Game. The book serves as a placeholder for all the books left unpublished, and promises to carry players to the unexplored corners of the Star Wars galaxy. It does this by venturing into The Unknown Regions to explore what fans know -- the Chiss, the Rakata and the Sorcerers of Rhand -- and plenty that they don't.
The Unknown Regions details eight worlds created just for the book, introduces a planet generator that game masters can use to make their own, and debuts creature generation rules to populate them. Since Scouts are essential to exploring these brave new worlds, they get a variety of feats and talents, and because no final frontier should be without its dangerous challenges, the book re-envisions "Hazards" as Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition-style threats that require a combination of brawn and skill to defeat. The end result is a tool kit that gives players everything they need to continue their adventures beyond the last book in the Star Wars Saga Editions line.
In the real world, our gaming group's seen numerous weddings (and will see yet another this fall), but in the game world our heroes never got hitched. Until tonight.
Skill challenges were the best thing to emerge from our Dungeons Dragons 4th Edition mini-campaign, and when we started playing Star Wars: Saga Edition, we pieced together our own version of the rules. We based them on 4E's examples, the skill DCs established in Scum and Villainy, and personal experience. The end result created some of the most memorable moments in our campaign, including the heroes' disastrous attempt to escape a proto-star nebula.
Galaxy of Intrigue formalizes these ad hoc rules by creating a Skill Challenge system for Saga Edition that improves the 4E iteration in every way. The source book introduces new feat and talent options for skillful characters, nine new species (including the Bith, Defel and Neimodian), an entire world dedicated to intrigue, eight mini-adventures, and the "The Perfect Storm" campaign.