Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Morning Assessment

Yesterday wasn't nearly as productive as I'd hoped it would is a constant surprise to me how distracting a beautiful baby can be, especially as I grow to love him more every day.

However, I got several more pages written (page count is now officially at 26 of 64), including much of the "gear" chapter (including all cybernetic enhancements and weapons) and a page of combat rules. Once I add the actual equipment and combat tables (currently residing in Excel format) the page count will probably spike another 2 or 3.

ALSO, finally figured out how I want full-auto fire to work in the game. Unlike the space opera game, resource management IS a small part of the new book, harkening back to it's D&D roots. However, I needed to make ammo counting as simple as possible.

In addition to writing, managed to FINALLY pick up a used copy of 1st edition Shadowrun down at Gary's...I now have 1st through 3rd edition. And you know what? The 1st edition book is more impressive than I remember. For a 1st edition game, it is surprisingly complete, well laid out, thoughtful, and (wow!) beautifully illustrated. It is also MUCH MORE "D&D cyberpunk" than the later books...really dark fantasy stuff. There's not a whole lot of attempt to shoehorn every metahuman critter as being a different strain of the HMHVV virus, for example. Ghouls are just ghouls, man!

It's still a bit more fiddly than I'd like, even as it tries to be generic. And it screws up its own math in the character archetypes. But all in all, this was an excellent game. I've written too much of my own not to finish it now (I, it's coming out pretty fast)...but as I said before, if you have the 1st edition rules and 1st edition Grimoire, Samurai Catalogue, and Sprawl Sites, you really have a fine game on your hands. Maybe the Seattle Source Book for flavor, though it's a little out-o-date (the Sonics are still playing here? Did the NBA award us a new franchise? What about the stupid, deep bore tunnel we're going to be payig off for 20 years?).

Oh, yeah...I also made it down to the Baranof where I played a round of 4th Edition Light in the form of the WotC board game Wrath of Ashadalorn (or something). For a board game it was pretty, "meh." In many ways it reminded me of the superior Siege of the Citadel, crossed with DungeonQuest; however, with everyone playing "against the board" it was a fairly one-sided (i.e. "too easy") game...I was trying to maneuver monsters to kill the other players just to spice the thing up, but with multiple "healing surges" (and healing abilities) there really wasn't a chance of "losing."

Mostly the game consisted of drawing cards in the correct order and following instructions. Hell, one could probably just write a D100 table for each card deck and roll percentile dice, in order, every round.

However, I will say the plastic figurines were fantastic...I wanted to pocket a cave bear and take it home for painting (I did not, though). And I REALLY wanted to see the otyugh or dragon come out of the monster deck (they did not). I was confused by the creature that looked like a Michael Moorcock "Hunting Dog of Dharzi;" what the heck was that supposed to be?

Luke assures me WoA bears only a passing similarity to 4E. Well, it bears a passing similarity to real D&D, too (otyughs and duergar)...however, it's pretty "meh." I'll stick with my own game, thank you...maybe try to get a set of the plastic figures off eBay or something.
; )


  1. If you just want the unpainted minis, go here;
    Great site with great service. As for the game itself the best parts of it are all the player created content on Board Game Geek. But of course since 4E isn't your cup of tea I'm not so sure it would matter anyway.
    As always top notch blog sir.

  2. I looked at the monster cards after the game and that dragon-lion looking thing is a "rage drake", which seems to be a not-quite-a-dragon reptilian predator thing.

  3. When you wrote:

    "the Sonics are still playing here?"

    I got really stoked because I thought it was about a reunion of The Sonics, the band, pioneers of proto-noise, proto-grunge in the PNW. Well, I think any Shadowrun game should include the original Sonics, either way.