Thursday, December 15, 2011

Arms of Legend - a test for Mongoose

Mongoose has always been a bit of an enigma as far as gaming companies go. They have some great writing and truly creative game design, but they are often hobbled by some really spotty editing. One classic example of sloppy editing was the Arms & Equipment book for MRQII. Most consider it to be the worst of the MRQII books, although Necromantic Arts is a close second. Well, in January, Mongoose is coming out with Arms of Legend, which is obviously a re-release of Arms & Equipment, as it is written by Lawrence Whitaker, the original author of A&E and no longer employed at Mongoose. This represents a golden opportunity to make amends for past mistakes and do a proper job of editing. I am cautiously optimistic, although that optimism is tempered somewhat by the fact they repeatedly refer to the new release as "Arms & Equipment" on the website. It's a small thing, but that lack of attention to detail is troubling.


Traditional Xmas bloodletting at WotC

You have to be a real glutton for punishment to work for WotC. Every year around this time, the Christmas layoff notices get dropped off to undeserving game designers and their families. This year, it's longtime employees, Rich Baker and Steve Winter. I understand how business works and sometimes costs have to be cut, but guys like Baker and Winter bring something to the table that some nameless desk jockey in accounting never will, creativity. That's worth more than a few dollars on a spreadsheet. I suspect much of the decline in the quality of WotC's products results from the annual loss of talent and the inevitable drop in morale that follows.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Legend for a buck

I make no bones about it, I consider RuneQuest II by Mongoose to be the finest game design in the entire tabletop rpg industry. I know those who prefer a less simulationist style of game will rise in protest, but for my money, MRQII is the best. So now, with Mongoose cutting loose from Issaries and releasing its game engine under its new Legend brand, it's only fitting that they release the corebook with a splash. The pdf is being sold for $1 at DriveThruRPG. So, go get it! Now!

Special note to my group, at some point I will definitely run this game, even if it's just with my daughters and a few of their favourite plush toys. If you want in, now is the best time to own this game.