Monday, September 18, 2006

Runequest (Mongoose Version)

At first blush I am hugely disappointed with this book it looks like a miss on an open goal. However with a bit of consideration I am starting to think that I might not be the target audience for this. After all I have both the Avalon Hill edition of Runequest and the GW extracted rulebook.
However the truth is that the GW hardback version of the book covers nearly identical ground to the the Mongoose book but does so far more concisely and cheaply.
For 15 pounds the content in the Mongoose Edition seems postively stingy and seems strategically designed to make the next rulebook, the "Companion", a necessary purchase.
Personally I am going to wait to see if the Second Age material is any good before I commit to buying any more of the rulebooks in this line.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ptolus

Well the huge sourcebook arrived and it as monsterous and as attractive as can be hoped. The art is full colour even in the sidebars and certainly from an eye candy point of view there is no denying that this is the most deluxe RPG product there has been to date.

Now I just need to find the time to read some of the 700 page monster.

White Dwarf No. 319

I don't know why I bought this (well actually it was to have a look at the summer campaign) but it is a sad testament to the decline in the current incarnation of the magazine. Even the battle reports, which used to be reliably entertaining are now excessively summerized and lacking in any narrative pizzaz.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sons of Gruumsh

This a solid little Forgotten Realms scenario that offers a dungeon crawl and a mystery to be solved. The investigation is straightforward and almost cursory and the bulk of the scenario deals with the description of a reoccupied orc fortress. The occupants are varied and have sufficient backstory to keep things interesting. However there is an element of the set piece being frozen at a particular moment in time until the PCs roll up. There's no particular advice on how to use the centrepiece of the scenario in a campaign.

As you might expect from Wizards the production values are all very slick and all the crunchy stats are provided and can be used outside the booklet to provide orc groups capable of providing a challenge to a wide variety of groups.

The final analysis for me is that this is a pretty good example of a middle of the road D&D scenario. If you are looking for a conventional bash for a a few nights entertainment then you are going to be happy. I liked a lot of the ideas about having an orc stronghold and I think a lot of the material can be used outside the scenario but a lot is going to depend on how well you stomach D&D in the first place.