Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kickstarter and other non-related topics

As Rognar mentioned in the comments of his last post, the gaming world has been rather calm for the last while and there doesn't seem to be much to discuss. Pathfinder has taken a bit of backseat to other interests lately (although I swear, I thought our last gaming session was Saturday, not Friday). I've been doing tons of reading and have started playing Civ5 again.

We're in the middle of a campaign that I can't see ending for 6-12 months, I like my active character and I have a back-up decided upon and ready to go. I don't see any reason to spend hour messing around around with HeroLab since Paizo hasn't released any new splat books with any notable amount of Crunch lately. The Prestige class book had some great concepts but most of the classes were either mechanically weak or insufficiently different from things that already exist. I still flip through it from time to time looking for something that really appeals to me but nothing has so far.

Even Paizo's AP haven't really made me enthusiastic lately. I love pirates but Skulls and Shackles was a bit disappointing for me. I liked the first part but the rest just seemed a bit cliched. Cliches can be fun but you have to put unique twists on them and throw in some surprises. Most of the adventures seemed a bit too paint by number.

The current AP, Shattered Star seems a bit bland as well. The AP is about recovering the 6 pieces of an artifact. Each one is hidden in a different dungeon and each piece leads to the next. Now I have to admit that I haven't read this AP in great detail. I usually skim them to try to get a feel for the story and sometimes an Adventure Path's potential greatness fails to shine through unless you really dig into and think about how you can work the story and make it better. Maybe this is one of those. Maybe you just really have to like doing dungeons.

Over last summer a number of Kickstarter projects came up that interested me. The first was Slumbering Tsar by Frog God games. This is massive tome contains a site based adventure in 3 parts: the wilderness surrounding the city, the haunted City of Tsar itself, and lastly the huge temple of Orcus (basically a megadungeon). There is something of a meta plot but it unravels so slowly it is unlike the PCs could ever follow it but it really doesn't matter anyway. Each section gets progressively harder and is filled with nasty traps and some truly interesting monsters/encounters.

Next I threw too many bucks in for Rappan Athuk. Another megadungeons, this book chronicles the megadungeon and some of the wilderness around it. It has a very old school feel to it as encounter danger can vary quite a bit and PCs will have to wary they don't mess with something way beyond what they can handle.

Lastly I bought into the Reaper Kickstarter. At some point in the next couple months I have more minis coming to me than I will ever be able to paint. They were just so many, so cool, and so cheap I could not help myself but load up. perhaps Derobane and I will hold a painting party one day and everyone can come and share in my bounty.

There have been a couple notable Kickstarters lately as well. The first is the Pathfinder MMO. While I am something of a computergame junky and have played lots of MMORPGs in the past this one just doesn't appeal to me. MMOs rarely hold my attention for more than a few months (just like any other computer game) and since this game will not even be open to the beta testers for a couple years I just can't find any enthusiasm for it. I guess it comes down to the fact that I believe Paizo can make great RPG stuff and I support them. I haven't seen anything to make me think this game is going to be anything special and I don't see any reason to support it. Just because it is set in Golarion doesn't make that big of a deal to me and it just doesn't seem like a good deal. For Slumbering Tsar, I got a giant book and some swag. With Rappan Athuk, I got a giant book, lots of soft cover add-on dungeon levels and swag. And Reaper, I'm getting a metric crap ton of plastic minatures, some of which are freaking huge! What do I get for $100 with Pathfinder Online? 3 free months playing the beta and then I would have to pay. What? Pay for beta testing? I have beta tested many games and I've never once paid to Beta Test (ok, once for Star Wars Galaxy, but I'm still bitter about that and will pretend it didn't happen). I wish them well with this kickstarter (although it doesn't look like it is going to get funded) but it is just not for me.

The other kickstarter I've been following is Razor Coast. Now this is a book I've been following for years. I thought I'd done a post about it years ago but after digging through the archives, I can't seem to find it. The book itself has an interesting history. The author Nicolas Logue wrote great adventures, came up with osme great ideas on his own and decided to self publish. He posted a bunch of sneak previews, some great art, and started taking pre-orders. Then he vanished. The book sat in purgatory for a few years until some other authors got involved got what existed of the manuscript and continued its development. Now after more time has passed, Logue has reappeared and been forgiven, the book is now finished and is going to be published by Frog God Games (same publishers as Rappan Athuk and Slumbering Tsar). I have read the previews and  there it looks like there is lots of goodness here. I just wish the timing was different. Things are always a bit tighter in January but I love me a good adventure book and Logue is known for his awesome twisted adventures. I will probably bit the bullet and pledge closer to the end. The PDFs are nice (and cheaper) but they are harder to read in bed and its tough to beat the tactile experience of a real book, even if I just read it a couple times and then add it to my RPG bookshelf.

Wow, long post.


Rognar said...

So the Pathfinder MMO reached its goal with hours to spare. I can't see myself playing an online game, but I hope it all works out. I'd hate to see Paizo get deep-sixed if this thing turns into a money pit.

Obiri said...

They are separate companies so one is unlikely to sink the other. I'm happy to see they made it but I don't have much interest either.

They had an impressive surge at the end. Some of it was people upping their pledges but a surprising amount were new.