After some test plays of the new Star Wars Starship Battles game, I’ve decided that it’s just a little too simple for my tastes. There’s very little motivation to actually maneuver the capital ships, and the fighters, while fun, play out like a fairly routine chess game.
I’ve decided to transfer the game to a free-standing (that is, normal) minis game, with measured distances, playable on any old surface.
Modified rules and stats in the extended. Opinions welcomed from interested parties (e.g. folks on whom I’m going to inflict this).
Thomas T. on RPGnet has an excellent idea about an economy based on that immortal D&D critter, the tarrasque.
“Once apon a time a nation decided to end the threat of the tarrasque once and for all. An army was assembled, led by the greatest heroes of the age. Most importantly, a number of powerful magical weapons were created for the battle. The monster was lured into a tight canyon and the battle began.
“At terrible cost, the tarrasque was defeated. But not slain. It was impaled by fourteen Immovable Harpoons (like an immovable rod, but spikey), each attached to a thick adamantine chain sunk deep into the canyon walls by magic. The tarrasque was restrained.
“A fortress was built around the tarrasque, to watch over it. Every day its watchers hack away at the tarrasque with powerful magic weapons to keep it weakened in case of escape. Even so, there are casualties as they misjudge its reach, or as it’s angry thrashing causes rockfalls.
“Of course, being a powerful magical crearture, the tarrasque’s blood, flesh and other body parts have certain useful properties. A side effect of keeping the tarrasque imprisoned like this was a neverending supply of powerful magical components. A city grew up around the fortress to house the various wizards, scholars and alchemists that came to exploit the tarrasque’s bounty. Eventually, it was almost as if the neverending stream of tarrasque blood, flesh and bone was more important than imprisoning the beast itself.”
More in the extended. Here’s the original thread.
Over at Jeff’s Gameblog, Jeff Rients tells us How to Awesome-Up Your Players, including tips like:
“Always Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing”
“Your NPCs suck and they are all going to die”
Several years ago, I decided I wanted a copy of the D&D Cyclopedia, a sort of “all-in-one” book for basic Dungeons & Dragons that was released in 1990 or so. I was able to pick it up at a very sane price (around retail) from an online seller, which was itself a real step up over earlier years when I would have had to go hunting around used bookstores and game stores that stocked used or vintage merchandise.
More recently, game companies, especially roleplaying game companies, have turned to online sales of PDF versions of their books. You can, for example, buy digital copies of your favorite Steve Jackson Games books at their e23 store, or browse thousands of products at DriveThruRPG.com.
PDF versions of game books have a number of benefits. For consumers, they offer immediate access (click to buy it), the convenience of not cluttering your place or your backpack with books, and best of all, the opportunity to buy things that will never, ever see a reprint as a physical book. Similarly, companies can pick up sales from people who are hesitant to add another book to their shelves, can release direct-to-PDF products that would cost too much to distribute conventionally, and can convert their whole product catalog into a revenue stream.
From what I can see on DTR, both Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf have been aggressive in offering a substantial portion of their entire portfolio for sale in PDF. Always meant to run the classic Dragonlance adventures? You can buy them for $4.95 each. Wanted to check out the Planescape setting? $5.95. Try Vampire: the Masquerade, Revised or second edition, for $15 and $14, respectively.
Some people worry about pirating, but to paraphrase Bill Coffin, “Your stuff is being pirated already.” And given the option, people will happily buy material rather than torrent it.
For me, the most appealing aspect is having easy access to material that, as I said, will never see a physical reprint. There are just so many things that looked cool on the shelves through the years…