Download like a Buccaneer

I made pretty extensive use of the Talk Like a Pirate sale at Drivethrurpg although I did not come across nor hunt for all the treasure chests. I was fairly focused in my approach to perusing the site and subsequently purchasing particular items. I had a three day holiday in which to slowly assess what I wanted to try and then – sit through all the downloads. While I do not appreciate .pdf as a reading format in the least, and would have much preferred to have gotten actual print copies of all of these games, it is sadly just not practical for me anymore – unless I wanted to build a fort out of books in the middle of my living room.

As I am currently in the midst of rediscovering Battletech and planning a campaign for it, I of course picked up a lot of products in that line:

  • Total War
  • Tactical Operations
  • Strategic Operations
  • Technical Readout 3039
  • TechManual
  • Field Report: Mercenaries (the original and the revised edition)
  • Classic Battletech RPG (Mechwarrior 3rd Ed.)
  • Time of War (Mechwarrior 4th Ed.)

I am comparing both editions of the RPG right now to determine which I will use in my campaign design. When I have made my final decision, I will let you know~

As my impression of Catalyst’s work on Battletech was positive, I also decided to check out their 4th Edition of Shadowrun, and the basic expansions for it. I have played all editions of the game but this one, and while I love the look of the books, and feel much has been preserved, the very act of streamlining the systems and trying to unite everything into as few mechanical approaches as possible may have actually done the atmosphere and mood of the game a disservice. Until I play it, I can’t be certain – but I suspect that while this is technically an improvement, I will prefer to run 3rd Edition with a heavy dose of 2nd. We’ll see~

Long ago, when the dews of creation were still wet upon the Earth, I was working on a game of my own. While deep in the design process, I took a stroll down to my Friendly Local Game Store to decompress, and pick up my monthly game order. As I was waiting for my stuff to be wrapped I saw a new game, with the Chaosium logo on it, sitting in the racks. I bought it, went home, and celebrated no longer needing to worry about creating my game… someone had already done it for me. I had no idea at that time if it was better than what I was working on or not, but one thing was for certain: it was time to move on to another project. The game in question? Nephilim.

Seeing titles for that difficult little game available for download, I availed myself of them – most of which I had not gotten a chance to see when they were new. From my quick previews of each title after download, it looks like they eventually figured out how to solve  most of the awkward problems which plagued easy understanding of and immersion into the game, and greatly enhanced the setting. I am looking forward to running it someday.

That run on nostalgia lane had me do a quick search for another old favorite that no one else in my game group but me liked when it was new: SLA Industries. You already know by the way this post has gone so far what I did next: I downloaded the core rules, and several sourcebooks. Nostalgia is as compellingly sweet as the image of rain-shrouded Mort’s steel and shadow streets.

These searches all led me across various small releases for different things, some free and some not, which I snatched up to evaluate and use later. These range from promos and previews to game supplements or aids I intend to repurpose for other things, but also include getting a copy of Stormbringer 4th Edition more for the sake of completeness than anything else – as much as I love the game.

Once the spectre of completion was raised, I found myself looking for Aces&Eights titles and Serenity titles, but showed some restraint here. I was not impressed by MWP’s Out in the Black (although I did appreciate the faro rules) so I have been reluctant to consider subsequent supplements. Production values were still quite good, but the content of the scenario was disappointing. Regardless, I picked up 2 e-books for the Serenity game line.

The Six-Shooters and Spaceships source book seems to deliver what it promises, as does Big Damn Heroes, so I am both relieved and satisfied. I have not had a chance to look at the Players Guidebook for Aces and Eights yet.

The highlight of my searches would have to be considered a tie between two games I came across completely by accident:

Both games are right up my alley – as a player, not a GM. If anything were to edge one of these two great games ahead in the tie it would be that I am fairly sure I can run a decent game of All for One from the GMs chair, but I doubt that I have what it takes to bring the world of the Psychobilly Retropocalypse to life for other people. These are both games I was made to play.

Ah… so many games, so few gaming opportunities.

Other games of note are Suzerain, and Bill Coffin’s Septimus, but at the moment these intriguing game options will have to wait until I can quench my thirst for swashbuckling, sorcerous adventures in a France that never was, finish my Battletech campaign design, finish my Icons campaign design, and find a way to squeeze an 8th day out of the week.  (I am so close!).

Recommendations:

Get 45 Psychobilly Retropocalypse fromPostmortem Studios if you are even a mild fan of B Movies, psychobilly music, punk or neo-rockabilly, old rock’n roll, or pin-up girls. You just cannot go wrong~  This elegant little game captures it all in style.

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