marcus 2013

The Watch (again)

I've now seen all eight episodes of The Watch and on the whole I quite enjoyed it. It's not really the Discworld as I'd imagined it, but it's good fun and makes enough use of the same ideas that it kept my attention.

The ending is, of course, a bit of a cliff-hanger, and given the fairly low audience ratings shown in Wikipedia (0.274 million for episode 1, declining to 0.130 million for episode 8) I suspect that there won't be a second season, which is a shame, although BBC America apparently say early next year so I may be being unduly pessimistic. Since I've read the books I've an idea how it turns out anyway...

Meanwhile we apparently have Good Omens 2 and Anansi Boys to look forward to at some point, probably next year. I sincerely hope that they will be more faithful to their original sources, but given Gaiman's involvement that's probably a given. Also The Sandman, of course.

All this is well and good, but as [personal profile] coth pointed out to me on Friday, there are other fantasy and SF authors out there, and it might be nice to see more of them getting onto TV, rather than a Gaiman monoculture. I'd LOVE to see Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw, for example, though that would probably have to be animated, given that the characters are dragons!

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2236909.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Warlock

This is apparently an "old school" RPG taking its inspiration from the original Warhammer fantasy system but streamlining and improving aspects of the rules. It hasn't been offered in one of these bundles before, as far as I know:
Collapse )

On the whole this isn't something I feel I can't live without, but if you're nostalgic for this sort of RPG it might be worth a look.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2236479.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Fate Worlds and Toolkits

Lots of stuff for the Fate RPG system with a load of campaigns and games derived from it:

Collapse )
Fate is a highly-regarded game system, and you're getting a huge range of stuff for it - if you've any interest in it it's well worth a look.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2236233.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

Another two RPG bundle offers - Fragged

Two bundles for the RPG Fragged, originally a space setting which has diversified into fantasy and other genres. One is a repeat from 2019, the other all new.

Collapse )



When I saw the previous Fragged offer I said "it looks to be well presented, but there is a strong emphasis on combat which may not be to everyone's taste. The first 33 pages of the rules are on the web site, mostly a couple of stories and other information to give a feel for the future setting. As usual with these bundles you seem to be getting a lot for your money, whether you need it is a matter of personal taste." I think that this is still true. I should add that there are some very interesting settings in these bundles - I can't easily think of anything else like Aeternum, for example, so even if you don't like the system it might be worth getting the settings to modify to your preferred game.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2236108.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

And another RPG Bundle Offer - Lone Wolf

A repeat offer from 2019 - the Lone Wolf Adventure Game, apparently the last time it will be offered since Cubicle 7 are going to cease production:

Collapse )

Last time I said "I'll be honest, I won't be downloading this - I lost interest in this sort of generic fantasy adventure setting many years ago, and was never a huge fan of the gamebooks. Having said that, it's a fairly playable system, presentation is excellent (not surprising considering the publisher), and you get a lot for your money. If this is the sort of thing you're looking for, it's a reasonable deal."  I don't see any reason to change this.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2235718.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Zobeck 5E

This one's a campaign setting and associated material for 5th edition D&D rules. It seems to be a fantasy / steampunk hybrid setting.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/5EZobeck

Zobeck Gazetteer for Fifth Edition"This all-new Zobeck 5E Bundle presents recent third-party sourcebooks and adventures from Kobold Press for D&D Fifth Edition. Though easily transportable to any FRPG setting, these supplements are set in the Kobold campaign world of Midgard, a land of deep magic inspired by the myths and folklore of Eastern and Central Europe. In particular, this offer explores the beating heart of Midgard: the Crossroads region and the Free City of Zobeck.

Born in the fires of revolution, Zobeck -- a protectorate of Rava, the Clockwork Goddess -- shares borders with the dwarven Ironcrag cantons, the undead-ruled Blood Kingdom of Morgau, the human kingdom of the Magdar, and the Duchy of Perun's Daughter -- and, belowground, the dark and hungry Ghoul Imperium. Famous throughout Midgard for its alchemy, clockwork magics, steamworks, its magnificent Arcane Collegium, and its egalitarianism, Zobeck is a bustling trade hub of active marketplaces and dark, deadly alleyways.

(It's easy to locate the Crossroads and Zobeck on this cool Midgard zoomable map on the Kobold Press website.)

The Bundle of Holding visited Zobeck early in our history, with the Pathfinder and d20 supplements in our July 2013 Bundle of Zobeck -- our fifth offer ever. (This new Zobeck 5E offer is #530 or so.) Kobold Press has kept the Free City current, with 5E conversions of the main sources and a steady stream of new expansions, crowdfunded through Kobold's Warlock magazine Patreon and campaigns such as the May 2019 Empire of the Ghouls Kickstarter. This new offer presents Empire and other recent Zobeckian adventures, along with the popular Underworld Player's Guide and Eldritch Lairs.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

Kobold Press Empire of the Ghouls for Fifth EditionThe total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$111. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all three 5E titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $35) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the 5E versions of the Zobeck Gazetteer (retail $15) and Streets of Zobeck (retail price $10), along with Eldritch Lairs (retail $10). (Note: We presented Pathfinder versions of Streets and the Gazetteer in our July 2013 Bundle of Zobeck. These are the conversions for D&D Fifth Edition.)

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more 5E titles worth an additional $76, including Empire of the Ghouls (retail $35) and its Map Pack (retail $10); the Underworld Player's Guide (retail $16) with rules for eight subterranean player character races; and the first Warlock Grimoire (retail price $15), compiling material drawn from the magazine made possible by Kobold's long-running Warlock Patreon campaign.






I'm not really into fantasy settings any more, so won't be investigating this in depth. It's nicely presented and you're getting quite a lot for your money, so it's probably worth taking a look if you're into 5E settings.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2235616.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

The Watch

 Saw the first two episodes of The Watch last night.

It's a weird interpretation of Pratchett but it sort of works if you think of it as a more modern world where magic has replaced a lot of technology then everything has gone horribly wrong. The main problem I have with it, I think, is the big divide between my expectations for Discworld and the version I'm seeing. It's definitely aimed at the yooth market, but that isn't necessarily all bad.

Things I quite liked included the effects, which were pretty good, the actress playing the Patrician (who is always addressed as Sir or by his titles), and that the actors do seem to be taking their roles seriously. DEATH definitely does talk IN CAPITALS ALL THE TIME though I think that's as much down to sound processing as to the actor, and Vimes and Lady Sybil are excellent.

Things I didn't like included one early and fairly gratuitous character death, and the relatively small size of the watch - so far there's only Carrot, Angnua, Vimes, Detritus and Cheery Longbottom, no Nobby etc. And the sound could stand to be a LOT clearer!

I'll probably watch more.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2235328.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Yellow King

Not a lot to say here - this is RPG of the novel The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (an annotated version is included if you pay for the "scholar collection", so shares a lot with Call of Cthulhu and other horror RPG settings. It's based on the Gumshoe system:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/YellowKing

The Yellow King Roleplaying Game"This new Yellow King RPG Bundle presents the surreal supernatural RPG from Pelgrane Press, The Yellow King Roleplaying Game. Designed by Robin D. Laws (Cthulhu Confidential, The Esoterrorists) and funded in a June 2017 Kickstarter campaign, the brain-bending YKRPG uses the fast-playing "Quickshock" GUMSHOE system. Investigate the malign influence of Carcosa in mysteries of reality-changing horror across four different timelines inspired by the famous horror stories of Robert W. Chambers collected in The King in Yellow.

Trail of Cthulhu, Night's Black Agents, TimeWatch, Mutant City Blues -- to sort out the many flavors of GUMSHOE, Pelgrane Press staff writer Gareth Hanrahan wrote a blog post, "What's Your GUMSHOE size?," that includes an excellent precis for The Yellow King RPG: "The game is divided into four sequences. Each sequence has a different setting and a new group of player characters, but there are thematic and personal links between each part of the campaign, and each one builds on decisions made in the previous sequences. In the first sequence, Paris, the players play American art students in Bohemian 1890s Paris. In The Wars they're doomed soldiers in the absurdist meat-grinder of the Continental War that's engulfed Europe. In the present day of Aftermath the characters are freedom fighters in an alternate America, trying to rebuild society after their successful overthrow of the tyrannical Castaigne regime. Finally, in This Is Normal Now, the players are ordinary people in a world that looks just like our present reality -- except....

"Investigate the malign influence of Carcosa as it infects and warps reality. Battle against alien monsters and corrupted human servitors. Discover the nature of the King, his court, and his daughters. Some sequences also have specialized mechanics for aspects of play; The Wars covers battlefield hazards, giant war machines, and alien weapons, Aftermath has mechanics for political manipulation and furthering agendas. [There are] about 40 Investigative Abilities in total, but each sequence uses a much smaller subset. About 15 General Abilities, again customized to the sequence. Character generation uses a template system; note also that The Yellow King uses the QuickShock system for quicker combat resolution.

"Play The Yellow King if you want to explore the surreal horror of Carcosa; you want to shake up your campaign regularly, switching up settings and relationships; you like improvised weirdness, cryptic villains, and metafictional horror."

This bargain-priced offer presents the complete Yellow King RPG and a congeries of Carcosan creations. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) and each music track in MP3 format. Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, CARE International. CARE International is a global humanitarian organization dedicated to saving lives and ending poverty.

Absinthe in Carcosa for The Yellow King Roleplaying GameThe total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$116. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get our King Collection with all four .PDF volumes of The Yellow King RPG (retail price $55), along with all six .MP3 music tracks in James Semple's The Yellow King Suite (retail $5 when sold separately).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $27.95 to start, also get our entire Scholar Collection with four more titles worth an additional $56, including a big compendium of stunning YKRPG handouts, Absinthe in Carcosa (retail $21); Kenneth Hite's erudite edition of the original Robert W. Chambers novel, The King in Yellow: Annotated Edition (retail $25); and two volumes of fiction by YKRPG designer Robin D. Laws: the alternate-history novel The Missing and the Lost (retail $6) and -- previously presented way back in the Bundle of Holding 3 (June 2013!) -- the story collection New Tales of the Yellow Sign (retail $4).





As I've said before, I managed to get a little burnt out on horror after writing and playing way too much Call of Cthulhu in the eighties and nineties. I'm also not a huge fan of the gumshoe system - I'm not entirely sure why, I think it's simply that I'm more comfortable with other systems and really like some of their mechanisms, e.g. the sanity rules of Call of Cthulhu. But if you're into horror and/or the Gumshoe system this is probably for you.


Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2235081.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

marcus 2013

Another two RPG bundle offers - Flying Buffalo Games

Another two bundles for fantasy RPGs from Flying Buffalo Games - one is all new, for the classic Tunnels and Trolls RPG, the other is a repeat from 2017 for the "system neutral" Catalyst RPG modules.

Tunnels & Trolls 2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/MoreTunnels

Isle of Darksmoke solitaire adventure for Tunnels and Trolls

This standalone sequel to our September 2018 Tunnels & Trolls Bundle presents adventures for Ken St. Andre's venerable FRPG Tunnels & Trolls. Since its 1975 debut -- the second fantasy RPG ever published! -- the simple, high-spirited, and streamlined Tunnels & Trolls has stayed in print continuously from the same publisher in multiple editions by the same designer -- an unequalled record of longevity. This bargain-priced offer includes the T&T rulebook and a wide range of adventures from the 1980s and '90s, many of them new to .PDF. And exclusive to this new offer and not yet available anywhere else, we present the brand-new 2021 Second Edition of Ken St. Andre's standalone T&T spinoff RPG, Monsters! Monsters!

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

The older titles in this offer are good-quality .PDF image scans of the original 1980s and '90s hardcopies. Text is clear but not usually copiable; OCR hasn't been applied. The hobby owes thanks for these scans to Flying Buffalo's Steve Crompton, who has worked hard to bring the Buffalo backlist to .PDF after founder Rick Loomis passed in 2019. "It is my honor to be able to scan and restore (and even enhance in some cases) these books, many of which are lost classics that have been out of print for decades," says Steve. "Even after all this time, they still stand up and can sparkle for a whole new generation of players and collectors."

Ten percent of each purchase of these two Flying Buffalo offers (after gateway fees) goes to their pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

Monsters Monsters Second Edition rulebook 2021The total retail value of the titles in this Tunnels & Trolls 2 offer is US$126.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all nineteen titles in this offer's Solitaire Collection (retail value $77.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the new T&T Beginners Bundle (retail price $6) along with no less than 18 solitaire adventures. For the complete list, check the second book entry on this page.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Gamemaster Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $49, including the latest and greatest version of the rules, the complete 386-page Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls core rulebook from 2015 (retail $20), plus its Deluxe GM Screen (retail $1) -- both featured in several past offers -- along with five gamemastered adventures: Catacombs of the Bear Cult, Goblin Crag, Grimtooth's Tomb of the Warhammer, Isle of Darksmoke by Larry DiTillio (Masks of Nyarlathotep), and Ken St. Andre's Trollstone Caverns: Lair of the Silver Serpent. And this offer marks the debut of the new Second Edition of Ken's 1976 standalone T&T spinoff game, Monsters! Monsters! This new edition is currently available only in this offer and nowhere else.



Catalyst

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2021Catalyst

CityBook 1 Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker by Flying Buffalo

Revived (for a second time) and newly expanded from July 2017, this Catalyst Bundle presents almost the entire Catalyst line from Flying Buffalo: many Grimtooth's Traps collections of devious dungeon obstacles; books of maps, wilderness encounters, and treasures; and Buffalo's acclaimed CityBook series. Compatible with any fantasy RPG, the CityBooks present dozens of individual shops, establishments, and characters, generically written to be added smoothly to any urban fantasy setting. Originally published from 1982 to 1997, the CityBooks featured leading designers including Larry DiTillio, Liz Danforth, Mike Stackpole, Dave Arneson, Jennell Jaquays, Greg Gorden, and many more.

These .PDFs are good-quality image scans of the original 1980s and '90s hardcopies. Text is clear but not usually copiable; OCR hasn't been applied. The hobby owes thanks for these scans to Flying Buffalo's Steve Crompton, who has worked hard to bring the Buffalo backlist to .PDF after founder Rick Loomis passed in 2019. "It is my honor to be able to scan and restore (and even enhance in some cases) these books, many of which are lost classics that have been out of print for decades," says Steve. "Even after all this time, they still stand up and can sparkle for a whole new generation of players and collectors."

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Flying Buffalo offers' pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

Catalyst Wilderness Encounters supplement from Flying BuffaloThe total retail value of the titles in this expanded revival is US$105.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all nine titles in this revived offer's Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first three CityBooks (I: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, CityBook II: Port o' Call, and CityBook III: Deadly Nightside, retail price $5 apiece), the first two Grimtooth's books (Grimtooth's Traps and Grimtooth's Traps Too, retail $5 apiece), Treasure Vault (retail $5), the City of the Gods Map Pack (retail $4), and two additions new in this revival: Maps 1: Cities (retail $6) and Maps 2: Places of Legend (retail $7).

(All purchasers of this offer in its two previous runs also receive all of this revival's newly added books automatically on their Wizard's Cabinet download page and in their DriveThruRPG Library.)

Those who pay more than this revived offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get this revival's entire Bonus Collection with eleven more titles worth an additional $58.50:


Last time I said (of the Catalyst material) "OK - I might as well be honest, I don't have a lot of use for this stuff; I don't run fantasy campaigns, and I tend to do my own design work for my own settings. The Flying Buffalo stuff is fun but a little dated, unless you're running a really old school sort of game - I also own most of it in dead tree format and haven't looked at it in decades."

That's still more my opinion, and I think it applies to the Tunnels and Trolls material too, though I think there's less that I already own there - it's a little dated by modern standards. Having said that, it's still a fun and easy to use system, and if you want a game where you can get a character created and start playing quickly it's still a good choice.

Still annoyed that my favourite T&T adventure, Rat on a Stick, has never made it to these offers, but it was an independent production from Judges Guild and appears to be unavailable. The only dungeon-delving adventure where the first choice is whether to kill the inhabitants or start a fast-food franchise and sell "ratsonastick! They're luvverly" to the monsters... but I digress. If you're interested in the slightly jokey "everything is a trap or a monster" style of play and don't already own a lot of this stuff it's probably something worth considering, if you don't already own it all. And if you're a T&T player it's worth checking to see if these offers can fill gaps in your collection.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2234675.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.