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.
When we were starting our Star Wars campaign and were kicking around where we wanted it to fall within the Knights of the Old Republic timeline, we struck up on the idea of the Mandalorian Interlude.
We knew we want to start the campaign in the Restoration Period -- a relatively quiet, calm time after the Great Sith Wars -- but at some point we'd enter the Mandalorian Wars, followed by the Jedi Civil War.
What we didn't want to do was slog through every era. The idea was to skip the campaign forward every few levels, allowing us to hit the high points of each era, but not get bogged down in none of them. At the same time though, we thought simply skipping forward 3-4 levels and five years would feel disjointed without some sort of transition.
Enter the Mandalorian Interlude.
For 6-8 self-contained adventures we're going to trade in our regular characters for Mandalorians from Clan Olan. They're old school, individualist Mandalorians who aren't sure what to make of the neocrusaders who are trying to establish order and conformity throughout the clans. The interlude gets everyone -- casual and diehard Star Wars fans -- up to speed on the Mandalorians and their culture while simultaneously showing everyone exactly what it is the Mandos are fighting for.
Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars license expires in May, and their web site is going away in August, so they're posting as much of their unpublished content as possible to the web. There's so much, in fact, that I can't include it all in one round up -- look for another edition later this month.
My review of Scavenger’s Guide to Droids is up on GameCryer.com. Scavenger’s Guide to Droids is the definitive droid sourcebook for Star Wars: Saga Edition, introducing a new chassis-based system for creating droids, a new streamlined "protocol" format that lets players run droids as equipment rather than NPCs, new droid manufacturing traits and personality quirks and a 96-page codex containing dozens of droids.
When I ran my Dungeons & Dragons/World of Greyhawk campaign, I constantly spawned new subplots, new NPCs, and new locations. It was intentional; my goal was to throw a wide net of possible plotlines, and let the players choose which ones to follow. By campaign's end we probably had hundreds of unresolved storylines, but it wasn't a problem because the important storylines – the defeat of the giants in the Grand Duchy of Geoff, the defeat of the orcish overlord Turrosh Mak, the liberation of Obsidian Bay – did reach their climatic ends.
Without a doubt, the big news Star Wars this month is the announcement that Wizards of the Coast is not renewing its Star Wars license and is ending the Star Wars: Saga Edition RPG and Star Wars Miniatures product lines. It's a sad day for Star Wars gamers but I suspect that the game will continue to have a small but fierce following in coming years, just like West End's d6 Star Wars does.
In happier news, Galaxy of Intrigue was released in late January, and we have one more source book -- The Unknown Regions -- before the end of the line
Some suspected it, but now it's official: Wizards of the Coast is dropping the Star Wars license, and with it, the Star Wars: Saga Edition role-playing game and its counterpart, the Star Wars Miniatures Game.
After two years, Wizards of the Coast's Dawn of the Defiance RPGA campaign has concluded with Episode #10: Jaws of the Sarlacc. In this week's Star Wars roundup I've got a link to the module as well as Rodney Thompson's retrospective on the campaign.