Dec 26, 2012

Christmas Haul

A brief list of games I either purchased or found free, legal copies of in the past couple of days:

Free:
Heroes Against Darkness
Make a Fantasy Sandbox
Delving Deeper
Adventures on Gothic Earth
Pars Fortuna
Ambitions and Avarice (Beta)
Backswords and Bucklers
Blood, Guts and Glory
The No-Art Grindhouse Edition of Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Bought:
A physical copy of Heroes Against Darkness
Polychrome for Stars Without Number
Darkness Visible for Stars Without Number
Red Tide
Fiasco and the Fiasco Companion
Vornheim
The Dungeon Alphabet
De Profundis

So expect reviews of a lot of this stuff as soon as I get the time. I'm basically putting Kevin Crawford's kids through college, so far as I can figure. My choices for purchase differ pretty significantly from my choices to freely download, as I'm sure anyone will notice. In general, for buying stuff, I look for innovative game structures that I can learn from (Fiasco, De Profundis), or procedural generators that I think I can use and reuse (anything by Crawford), and works that will teach me how to design better game artifacts for play (Vornheim, Fiasco). All my purchases were from Drivethrurpg due to Lulu logging me out at the last minute, but I find that those are the only two platforms I'm willing to go through. I want to turn my credit card info over to as few vendors as possible, so I tend to avoid company websites unless absolutely necessary. In general, anything that I intended to study but not necessarily play, I was content to pick up a PDF of, but anything that I expected to play with at the table, I wanted a print copy of.

In general, I would say that the least attractive products for me, other than those tokens, counters, pictures and other bric-a-brac type pieces, are OSR rules systems. I have somewhere around 30 very slightly different takes on old school D&D. I'm well saturated. And to be honest, very few have much to recommend them over the already existing Swords and Wizardry Complete, Microlite74, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Dark Dungeons (and even that's really more than I personally want or need). Really, what we need are more products like Adventures on Gothic Earth / Tales of the Dungeonesque and Grotesque, the Arcane Abecediary, and Kellri's Encounters Reference - things that genuinely extend the already existing systems in new and interesting ways or that systematise and catalogue information in a useful way. It's crazy that we have such a large number of core systems, and not a single catalogue of all the possible ways to make a drop die table.