31 December 2010
30 December 2010
Iron Crown Fans:
First, an apology – For too long, resources have been woefully short to fully meet product and service quality as promised to you, our faithful and patient customers. It’s not that our licensee, Mjolnir LLC, run by Bruce and Heike, didn’t have the best of intentions – they did. But they were beset by difficult market conditions in the gaming industry which I’m sure you are all aware of, and combined with the lack of resources, Mjolnir were unable to fully meet your needs. While it is not our place to manage this situation and we are limited in doing so under the license agreement with Mjolnir, we did provide extreme flexibility in terms of foregoing a substantial amount of royalties which provided cash support for Mjolnir LLC to correct this situation, to no avail.
When Aurigas Aldebaron LLC first acquired Iron Crown Enterprises from bankruptcy, it was with the sole intention of supporting a product loved by many, a contender to rival D&D in the 1980’s, a game company known for its exciting criticals and its “true to art” creation of the first Middle Earth -based role playing games. Sure, I hoped to make a little money on it, but really I just wanted, like all role players at one time or another, to write/work/own a game company. I figured it would eventually provide the perfect outlet for retirement from my day job.
We have worked with Mjolnir since that time, and though there were ups and downs, we appreciate the contribution they made to the further development of ICE products.
It is time, however, for a new chapter to begin.
As such, I am pleased to announce some changes at Iron Crown Enterprises. Firstly, Aurigas Aldebaron and its representatives will manage the website and forums. In addition, we plan to manage more actively the sales and marketing of our products, as well as more closely oversee execution of product development and quality, and product deliverability by our licensees. Yes, all products will still be licensed out to creative organizations and as such, we will still only have limited control over the development of the systems and settings (and that’s a good thing to as we are not game creation and development professionals). But the terms of our agreement with our licensees will ensure better performance, and we think that with the freelancing methods’ fully variable cost structure to be employed by Guild Companion, we solve a critical problem plaguing our business – lack of resources – and instead increase the amount of resources brought to bear on the whole of product creation, production and delivery.
You will find that the ICE website will continue to be a central hub for all things Iron Crown. You will find links on the ICE website directing you to our licensee sites and to where you can purchase ICE items in PDF or print-on-demand physical copies. ICE will no longer operate its own store. You will be able to find announcements and product advertisements for all ICE products on the central ICE website.
We also expect there will be some growing pains and we will make some mistakes along the way – please forgive us and we hope we will get things corrected quickly. At the same time, since this is a new way of operating, we look forward to your suggestions.
As you can see, a lot of things are changing, but many things will stay the same. You shouldn't expect a complete overhaul of the website, or major changes to the forum rules, but we do hope you eventually see some big improvements in product releases, product quality and deliverability.
In fact, we really view this as the next generation of game company management. We are attempting to cut out the middlemen, or as many of the layers as possible in getting the creative aspect of the game to the people that play it. We want to eliminate central management and distribution as much as possible. If ICE can support game developers through some marketing and web-support, these developers can do what they do best, manage their own small expenses and sell via pdf and print-on-demand, eliminating upfront and fixed costs, which lowers risk and allows for more game product creation. It also ensures that if people work on a product, they get paid from the source upon a sale.
We are also pleased to announce that Guild Companion Publications will be the licensee for our HARP, Rolemaster, Spacemaster and Cyberspace game systems, and, as they do now, be the licensee of the Shadow World background This includes the re-involvement of Terry Amthor, the creator of Shadow World, so we expect big things! . In addition, they will take over management of Cyradon setting as well.
ICEVerse as a project is expected to continue, which means RM and HARP fans will have access to a virtual table top program, and hopefully into full-fledged computer games.
We are currently in discussions on Bladestorm and the Silent Death game system license Combat Express, However nothing is finalized and we are looking for interest on this license by other parties.
We are in discussion with third parties with some of our properties and are currently seeking interested parties to manage the pirates-based Run out the Guns! and Guild Companion will be looking for help on the Cyberspace systems as well.
We plan to hold an online Q&A session in the near future and will advise you on the details of this in the near future.
That’s all for now. Thanks in advance for your continued patience and support.
The Aurigas Aldebaron Team
28 December 2010
This post (from December 18) notes that Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2 will include:
· All new Hero generation system, including Talents
· Revised combat system including Armour
· Wizardry, Sorcery and Minor Magic spells
· A brand new reworking of Priests
· and a whole lot more.....
Also, there is an interesting thread on this game over at RPG.net here.
26 December 2010
25 December 2010
23 December 2010
Knockspell Magazine: Will be switching to a non-OGL format and re-focusing more toward AD&D than OD&D. Issue #5 will be a transition, since most of what I have for that issue is still OD&D. I'm doing the layout myself, so it will be rougher in appearance than before. Doing the layout myself is also making it go more slowly.
A bit more information is obviously in order on the Knockspell changes:
The main reasons for a shift to AD&D is that Fight On! is already doing a great job on OD&D. Not exactly how I would do it (witness different editorial styles in the magazines), but still excellent. The most difficult task for Knockspell has been assembling enough material, largely (I think) because Fight On! draws more of it. That's especially true after the long gap between issues.
Swords & Wizardry will still have a strong presence in the magazine, but by drawing in AD&D as well, there is a better potential to bring in general articles about gaming as well as articles that are purely resource. This will make it easier for me to put together the magazine.
The other option, which would be to make Knockspell purely for S&W, would make it effectively into a "house organ" magazine, which is what killed the quality of White Dwarf. In the long run, I think that would be devastating for the magazine's reach and quality, plus making it more difficult rather than less difficult for me to bring in a full magazine's worth of articles.
Based on the comments here, I might back water on some of those proposed changes. I can still retreat from the plan at this point, since Issue#5 is effectively all S&W. However, I don't want it to become just a "house" magazine, and it definitely needs to use up less of my energy or I'd be doing nothing but Knockspell all the time. That's what collapsed me on it in the first place.
Based on the feedback from this thread, I think I'm going to keep Knockspell as an OGL publication. The various comments make sense, and I suppose the benefit of getting more authors from calling it "AD&D" wouldn't offset the downside of having open game content.
As to the increased focus on (what will now be called OSRIC and/or "First Edition" because of the above), that's still in play with the understanding that it DOESN'T mean S&W won't be in there, it means that I will include material in an OSRIC format if that's what the author wrote or wants, rather than treating S&W as if it's a universal format. A lesson of time is that people for the most part simply don't accept the idea that any sort of format is universal. Or at least, if they do, there is still a much stronger preference than I had thought for having one's particular set of stats used.
If I were to switch Knockspell to a purely S&W format, I'm certain that it would lead to a smaller page count, and when you're selling on lulu you get a worse and worse value as page count decreases. Most of the built-in cost is from their setup fee, not from adding additional pages. I could do a smaller magazine if I were willing to print a digest-sized little 'zine and mail it out myself, but I never handle money or commit to shipping things because those are both areas where my disorders can cause me to drop the ball in a big, big way.
17 December 2010
14 December 2010
11 December 2010
09 December 2010
Another fine OpenQuest product from Newt Newport, with another great cover by Jon Hodgson, is now available!
'Geordie Racer' has a brief but helpful review here.
I have the PDF of Life & Death, and the print version is in the mail. Based on a quick skim, it looks very cool -- much more of a 'sandbox' than Newt's earlier OpenQuest adventure setting, The Savage North (which I think is also very good). I'll try to post more thoughts once I have a chance to give Life & Death a proper read (which, sadly, will not be for at least a few weeks, as I presently am overwhelmed with end-of-term grading responsibilities).
08 December 2010
Lots of good stuff for only 1 Euro (1.34 USD) each. I especially recommend Death Frost Doom. The sale ends on the 12th.
More info here.
The actual sale is here.
07 December 2010
I still own the game, and think about running it again, from time to time. Having lived in Ireland for three years (2005-2008), I would especially be interested in running The Shattered Isle, as it pits Hibernian rebels against the oppressive forces of the malevolent Granbretan Empire (of course, there's more to it than that!). It would be fun to draw on my real life knowledge of the isle (and photographs) to run such a fantasy campaign.
As for Moorcock's character 'Hawkmoon,' I find him to be rather shallow and uninteresting. Instead, I much prefer Corum. Indeed, I find the Corum tales to be superior to those featuring either Elric or Hawkmoon (especially compelling, in my judgement, is the way in which Moorcock draws on Celtic mythology in the second Corum trilogy). Nonetheless, the 'Tragic Millennium' is a great setting: it is familiar yet exotic, and provides ample opportunity for adventure. Moreover, unlike the 'Young Kingdoms,' the players can adventure in the world of Hawkmoon without the knowledge that the whole place is going to be destroyed in a few years hanging over them! Indeed, this difference was the main reason why I picked up Hawkmoon instead of Stormbringer 22 years ago.
26 November 2010
THIRD PRINT EDITION – November 25, 2010.
Fewer Rules, More Imagination!
18 November 2010
If you look under the ‘Classic D&D links’ on the right side of this blog, you will see a link to a company called ‘Northwind Adventures.’ This company has only one product available so far, ‘The Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent’ (a very fine adventure, as I note here). However, it seems that their rules and setting book, “Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea,” will be available in early 2011.
Over at the RPGsite, a preview of the contents of AS&SH is provided in this thread. I’ve reproduced this preview here:
Originally Posted by Ghul
What is Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea?
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is a role-playing game designed by Jeffrey Talanian and illustrated by Ian Baggley. The rules are derived from the works of Gary Gygax and David Arneson. The setting is inspired by the pulp fiction of Robert Ervin Howard, Howard Phillip Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and others.
AS&SH might be classified as a “simulacrum” or “retro-clone” game, but it does not “clone” any specific rules system. While some retro-clones seek to emulate specific traditional systems as closely as possible, AS&SH takes its inspiration from a variety of 0e and 1e related sources; also it is interwoven with its own alternative procedures.
Hyperborea the campaign setting is brimming with locations filled with adventure, conflict, weird horror, and intrigue. It comprises environs, cities, men, and monsters inspired by pulp fiction and mythological resources, but also a mix of traditional RPG monsters hand-picked to best fit the milieu; consequently, describing Hyperborea as “pastiche” might not be inaccurate.
Here follows a brief overview of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea:
Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma. These attributes are generated using one of five different methods. While attributes can modify a character’s capabilities, these are handled on a flat progression curve. Example: A 16 strength provides +1 “to hit” and +1 damage, 17 strength provides +1/+2, and 18 strength provides +2/+2. On the whole, AS&SH takes a minimalistic approach for handling modifiers to rolls.
Classes: There are four principal character classes.
• Fighter: a swordsman, bowman, or other warrior type.
• Magician: a sorcerer who studies magical tomes and casts spells.
• Cleric: an armed and armoured fighting sorcerer of mystical nature.
• Thief: a nimble swordsman possessed of numerous specialty skills.
Subclasses: There are eighteen subclasses.
• Barbarian: an outland warrior possessed of feral reflexes and instincts.
• Berserker: a rampaging shock trooper renowned for his unbridled battle rage.
• Cataphract (Knight): a mail clad horseman and warrior elite.
• Paladin: a champion who crusades for Law.
• Ranger: a righteous borderland fighter and wilderness warrior.
• Warlock: a mail clad fighter who wields steel and sorcery interchangeably.
• Illusionist: a sorcerer who manipulates light and evokes illusions and phantasms.
• Necromancer: a sorcerer who practices black magic and communicates with the dead.
• Pyromancer: a sorcerer who manipulates the elemental power of fire.
• Witch: a sorceress who brews potions, divines portents, and lays curses.
• Druid: a mystic sorcerer empowered by ancestral, elemental, and animistic spirits.
• Monk: a warrior-priest who strives for physical and mental mastery.
• Priest: a chaplain mystic sorcerer of enhanced spell casting capacity.
• Shaman (Witch Doctor): a primal sorcerer who divines portents and confers with spirits.
• Assassin: a thief who specializes in murder and intrigue.
• Bard (Skald): a versatile warrior, scholar, sorcerer and word weaver.
• Legerdemainist: an adept thief who also commands the power of sorcery.
• Scout: a lightly armed explorer, intelligence gatherer, and stealth master.
Alignment: Alignment is governed by the opposing forces of Law (Civilization) and Chaos (Barbarism). Law and Chaos are subdivided by the ethos of Good and Evil. Thus the four alignments of Lawful Good, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Good, and Chaotic Evil define the world view of most intelligent beings, whilst Neutrality forms a nexus of behavioural indifference.
Weapon Skills: Any AS&SH character can use any weapon. However, several classes begin with a favoured weapon list. Learning a weapon that is not on the favoured list may occur at specific level gains. For instance, your low level magician may begin play with dagger, dart, and quarterstaff familiarity, but should he wish to take up the long sword in the future, he may well do so. Fighters and fighter subclasses have weapon mastery, which means they enjoy a +1 “to hit” and +1 damage bonus with player chosen weapons, and also an increased rate of attack.
Armour and Weapons: Includes 10 armour types that are broadly classified in groups of light, medium, and heavy. Medium and heavy armour types provide damage reduction. There are 35 melee weapons and 12 missile weapons from which to choose. Each melee weapon is assigned a “weapon class” which may determine first strike when melee is first engaged; e.g. a long spear wielder (WC 5) will beat short sword wielder (WC 1) when two such combatants first clash.
Sorcery: AS&SH features over 400 spells presented in six spell levels. There are six spell casting schools, including magician, cleric, druid, illusionist, necromancer, pyromancer, and witch. Other spell casting types draw from these lists. For example, the bard draws from the druid and illusionist lists.
Task Resolution: Many character classes have special class abilities that are resolved, for example, by using a d6, a d12, or some other resolution method. For actions not specifically covered by the rules, two different resolution methods are presented: a d6 method in which the referee determines a probability of success (1:6, 2:6, etc.); and an attribute check method in which the attempted action is associated with a specific attribute: 3d6 for a moderate difficulty check, 4d6 for a heroic check, 5d6 for a super-heroic check in which the player must roll at or under the associated attribute.
Time and Movement: Rounds = 10 seconds. Turns = 10 minutes. Movement rules are included for land and sea travel.
Combat: An attack matrix is referenced to determine what AC the modified d20 attack roll hits. The combat sequence features an innovative 5-step phase sequence that covers movement, melee attacks, missile attacks, and magic. At each phase, each side in the battle takes turns, though combat movement is simultaneous, which is to say two respective closing sides will meet in the middle before engaging one another.
There are 21 different combat actions presented. A few require mastery in a specific weapon, some are available only to fighter types, though most others can be attempted by any character. Combat actions include arrow setting, charging throw, disarm, dodge, double arrow shot, firing march, indirect fire, off-hand weapon parry, parry & block, pike hedge, pommel strike, ready shooter, reckless fighting/conservative fighting, recumbent fire, running dodge, saddle fire, shield bind, shield cover for ally, shield wall, spear charge, and two-weapon fighting.
An optional critical hit system presented. It is simple and intuitive. It does not, for example, allow a magician to “crit” as well as the fighter can; i.e. fighters, upon rolling a natural 20 have a greater probability of delivering a larger amount of bonus damage.
Saving Throws: There are five different saving throw categories. Each character has a base saving throw determined by character level. Each character class (fighter, magician, etc.) has modifiers to two of the five saving throw categories. Attributes can also modify some saving throws. For example, Death is a saving throw category that includes death ray, death magic, paralysis, poison, and radiation. A high constitution score can provide a bonus to poison and radiation saves, but not all death saves, per se.
Other Combat: Other combat types include aerial combat, underwater combat, naval combat, and warfare & siege.
The Hyperborea Campaign Setting: The setting is treated in full, though brevity is paramount; this intended to provide the referee with digestible chunks of information and leaving plenty of room for individual development. That is to say, it is my belief that a campaign setting should not be the game designer’s attempt to satisfy the urge to write a fantasy novel. The Hyperborea setting includes a brief history, calendar, physical geography, position in the heavens, climate & seasons, and population examination.
Hyperborea is a hexagonal shaped flat-earth campaign setting with a diameter of about 3,200 miles. It is hemmed in by the boreas (North Wind) beyond which lies the illimitable Black Gulf (space). The map for Hyperborea is a large, hex based (each hex = 24 miles) affair developed by cartographer Andreas Claren.
There are nine races of men. These are Common (men of mixed ancestry), Amazon, Atlantean, Esquimaux, Hyperborean, Ixian, Kelt, Kimmerian, Pict, and Viking.
The deities of Hyperborea are a non-pantheon mix of otherworldly beings that include Apep, Apollo, Artemis, Aurorus, Boreas, Helios, Kraken, Krimmr, Kthulhu, Lunnaqqua, Mordezzan, Rel, Thaumagorga, Tlakk-Nakka, Ullr, Xathhoqqua, Yikkorth, Ymir, Yoon’Deh, Ythaqqa, and Yug.
Bestiary: Nearly 200 monsters are included, these inspired by the pulp fiction creations of noted authors as well as a liberal selection of traditional RPG monsters hand-picked to best fit this sword-and-sorcery milieu.
Magic & Treasure: A listing of magic weapons and items that might be found in the course of adventuring, including some displaced high-tech items such as ray guns, etc.
Final Word: AS&SH draws close to completion, and should see publication by early 2011. The preceding information does not cover the entire scope of the rules and setting. I have tried to touch on some of the points that may be of interest to the reader. I am willing to answer questions on any of the above, including that which may have been excluded in this summary. As the final beta is soon to go out to my readers and idea contributors, some of the preceding may be altered before final publication. As I continue to gather printer quotes (admittedly, an exercise in frustration), the final physical format is not yet set in stone. I prefer a boxed set over a hardcover (with map insert), but there is much to consider. A final decision should be made by the end of 2010.
Although I’m not really in the market for yet another FRPG based on D&D/AD&D – I already own all of the original games, most of the ‘retro-clones,’ and, in any case, am feeling somewhat ‘burnt out’ with such systems these days – I have to say that this variant looks quite intriguing.
Far more intriguing, though, is the setting: author Jeff Talanian’s version of ‘Hyperborea.’
Talanian (a.k.a. ‘Ghul’) worked with Gary Gygax on the two best ‘Castle Zagyg’ products: Castle Zagyg: The East Mark Gazetteer, and Castle Zagyg: The Upper Works. So he certainly has excellent ‘old school’ credentials. I look forward to reading his vision of ‘swords & sorcery’ fantasy!
And the art by (fellow Torontonian) Ian Baggley looks simply stunning – as the picture at the top of this post attests.
25 October 2010
21 October 2010
I’ve been working my way through the core Clockwork and Chivalry book over the past couple of weeks, and I think that this is the best new setting for any RPG in years.
But don’t take my word for it. Read this review of the core book.
I can hardly wait until this guy makes an appearance in a C&C adventure:
17 October 2010
Alas, it would seem that the recent resurrection of the Classic D&D fanzine ODDITIES is to be short-lived. L
But it in its place we have Tales From the Dusty Vault, a blog with high-quality reviews of the products of the OSR. J
13 October 2010
Incredible as it may seem, one of the greatest scientific minds of the time, Dr John Wilkins, a founder of the Royal Society, was planning his own lunar mission four centuries ago around the time of the English Civil War.
It wasn’t hot air either. Inspired by the great voyages of discovery around the globe by Columbus, Drake and Magellan, Dr Wilkins imagined that it would just be another small step to reach the Moon.
Wilkins, who was a brother-in-law of Oliver Cromwell, explored the possibilities in two books. Records show he began exploring prototypes for spaceships, or flying chariots as he called them, to carry the astronauts.
The Jacobean space programme, as Oxford science historian Dr Allan Chapman calls it, flourished because this was a golden period for science. Huge discoveries had been made in geography, astronomy and anatomy. Seventeenth century scientists were riding a wave.
09 October 2010
08 October 2010
It includes the ranger from SR, the paladin, thief, druid, assassin - character classes from the supplements. Still no illusionist, though, which was disappointing, but the SR illusionist just couldn't legally be duplicated. The game still runs on the 0e rules, not 1e. It includes two optional alternative order of combat systems in addition to the standard one from the WhiteBox era: the one from the Holmes Blue Book and one that's based on the EW system. Those are the main differences, although there are little things like adding strength modifiers to the amount of weight that can be carried, ala Supplement 1, etc. Virtually all of the additions are in the player section, not the referee section. It's compatible with the Core Rules, and the Core Rules will stay in place as the archetypal "three class" system....One especially nice thing is that our Druid class description is written by Dennis Sustare (the original author who invented the druid character class - think, "Chariot of").
Here's the basic scoop, though I may have forgotten something:
Mass combat (already there)
Order of combat - splits movement and attacks, but very close to Core Rules
Holmes Basic order of combat as an option
Eldritch Wizardry order of battle method (revised) as an option (rotating initiative based on what characters are wearing and doing)
Core Rules order of combat as option
More descriptions of things like wolfsbane
Wilderness adventuring, including getting lost, and monster encounter tables
Dungeon encounter charts now have specific monsters instead of just a CL listing
Dungeon encounter charts can also be used to generate mixes of different monsters (the orcs have a pet gelatinous cube! Run!)
No more wild boards in the monster listing
Building strongholds - prices for walls and keeps and such
Original saving throw numbers are listed as a chart in a side-box in case people want to use those.
Can't remember what else.
07 October 2010
I’ve long been a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth (as evidenced by past posts like this one and this one). I’m also a (relatively new) fan of the d100 game OpenQuest (see, for instance, my comments here).
Recently I’ve been wondering about possibly using OpenQuest to run a Middle-earth campaign. However, it looks like I need not expend the effort of revising the OQ rules to do so, as Kristian Richards already has combined Middle-earth peanut butter with OpenQuest chocolate in his ‘The Age of Shadow.’
Yes, the setting is not ‘officially’ set in Middle-earth, but it clearly is inspired by that world, and especially the tales of its First Age, as detailed by the good Professor in The Silmarillion. (As an aside, I don’t see any reason why the rules could not be used for campaigns set in later ages of Middle-earth.)
So if you like Middle-earth and OpenQuest (or any other BRP/d100 game), check out The Age of Shadow! (Hat tip: Sorcerer Under Mountain.)
(Above is another amazing picture by the late, great Angus McBride. It depicts Celebrimbor forging a ring of power in the mid-Second Age.)
01 October 2010
The ‘Old School Renaissance’, at least with respect to D&D and AD&D, is a well known and (by now) a well-established phenomenon within our strange little hobby.
However, it seems that the gaming community is in the midst of another renaissance, namely, a renaissance of ‘Basic Role-playing’ (‘BRP’) or ‘d100’ games and settings.
BRP-based games never ceased being published altogether by (at least one) professional RPG company, unlike ‘classic’ D&D and AD&D (0e, Basic, and 1e). And even though Chaosium, like many other RPG companies, had a ‘near death’ experience during the 1990s, it never actually went under.
Impressively, Chaosium’s role-playing games always have been ‘powered’ by BRP, the essentials of which have remained largely unchanged for three decades now.
Things looked pretty grim for Chaosium and BRP early in the twenty-first century. As far as I know, the only BRP-based role-playing games still being published were Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer (5th edition). (Although I believe that Pendragon also saw sporadic support.) Stormbringer was barely supported. Only one supplement was produced for it during the 0s, namely, the superb Corum book from Darcsyde Productions. (Although Elric! supplements were fully compatible with Stormbringer 5e, those all had been produced during the 1990s.)
These days, though, things look dramatically improved for BRP!
Chaosium published a complete ‘core book’ for BRP in 2008. It includes the core BRP rules, as well as most of the optional rules found in various BRP games and supplements published by Chaosium over its long history.
Call of Cthulhu, of course, continues to be supported by Chaosium, as well as some other companies, such as Goodman Games.
Cubicle Seven has just come out with The Laundry RPG (as well as a few CoC books). I recently purchased The Laundry PDF, and my first impression of it is very favourable indeed. I’ve only read Charlie Stross’s first Laundry book, but I liked it very much, and plan to read the rest in the series. It strikes me as a great setting for a (not-fully-serious) CoC-flavoured game. (Alas, Yog-Sothoth only knows when I’ll be able to give the Laundry RPG a proper read…)
And although out of print, most of Chaosium’s back catalogue of Stormbringer (first and fourth editions), Elric!, and Hawkmoon materials are now available in PDF (thanks to an arrangement with Mongoose Games).
Then we have Mongoose Games’ RuneQuest II. My impression is that Mongoose’s first attempt to resurrect RuneQuest was something less than a ringing success. I know that I decided against purchasing anything for MRQ when I skimmed through the initial book. Subsequent reviews confirmed my early negative judgement. Moreover, Mongoose’s long record of poor editing and spotty quality control in their books made me decide against giving MRQ a shot.
However, based on some favourable initial reports, I decided to give Mongoose’s second effort at RuneQuest a shot. I’m very glad that I did, as the core book avoided the usual Mongoose missteps. Moreover, the system looks very, very well designed. I think that Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash did an excellent job! (Sadly, I suspect that MRQII is too ‘rules heavy’ for my regular players. But perhaps I might eventually convince them to give it a shot…)
Probably my favourite new BRP setting produced in recent years is Clockwork & Chivalry – a MRQII campaign book published by Cubicle 7 that describes an ‘alternative history’ version of 17th Century England. I drooled in anticipation over this setting in this post. Now that I’ve received the book and looked through it, I believe that my earlier enthusiasm has been entirely vindicated.
Last – but certainly not least! – there is RuneQuest’s ‘lighter’ and ‘simpler’ cousin OpenQuest, written and supported by a friend of this blog, Newt Newport. I’ve raved about OQ in past posts here, so I shall refrain from doing so again now. However, interested readers may want to look at my comparison of MRQII and OQ.
So, lots of cool things are available for BRP these days! Among them:
· The glorious golden BRP corebook from Chaosium
· The usual wide range of Call of Cthulhu material
· The brand new Laundry RPG
· Mongoose’s RuneQuest II
· The Clockwork & Chivalry Setting for MRQII
For such an old system, BRP looks to be in surprisingly good health! J
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