Three Things for Thursday

Taking a break from posting “heavy” stuff. I wanted to ruminate on a few things that I’ve been up to/messing with this week:

1. Heroes of Neverwinter (Fb game)
2. Cosmic Patrol from Catalyst Game Labs
3. Basic Roleplaying from Chaosium

Heroes of Neverwinter
I swore I’d never be the type to play Facebook games. This game has made a liar of me. My girlfriend and I started playing the other night and we had a blast. I love the Active Spectator mode that lets you “lend a hand” when you watch an adventure your character is involved in. The game play is fun, and, the energy restriction issues keep me from just playing for, like, 3 days straight. It’s a blast and I encourage everyone to check it out. Secret to being awesome? Play a cleric.

Cosmic Patrol
I admit it. When the Buck Rogers series from the 80s came out on DVD, it was the first thing on my Christmas list for potential present buyers. I love me some campy, pulpy, sci-fi. As much as I wanted to root for Woody, it’s just too hard not to love Buzz Lightyear. But seriously, I wanted this game. From the moment I heard it was coming out — I wanted this game. So I bought the $5 pdf version and sat down and gave it a read…

And it’s really not for me. The system is incredibly light — which is a pretty good thing — but whereas a game like Barbarians of Lemuria really stripped down the genre of Sword and Sorcery into a fun, fast, rules-light frame that also works really well as an RPG… Cosmic Patrol basically made a super-light version of a FATE-like fiasco that just won’t scratch any gaming itch for me. I’m sorry Catalyst… I love your work on Shadowrun and Battletech and you have become the true stewards of two great gaming franchises. But Cosmic Patrol is now a cheap PDF regret for me.

If you enjoy rules-light, tag-heavy games — give it a try. I will be steering away though.

I often think, secretly and only to myself, that I grew up with the wrong gamers. I’m a big fan of the Chaosium system. I love the Call of Cthulhu and Elric systems (even though I’m not really interested in gaming in the Young Kingdoms) and I think that BRP would probably be right up my alley. The problem is, I grew up with D&D players and they weren’t really interested in learning something else. So as much as I love D&D (ish) fantasy, I’ve always wondered what might have been…

That said, Chaosium’s prices on their PDFs are too high. It’s that simple. Why would I buy a PDF of BRP for ~$26 (ish) when I can get the hardcover from Amazon for barely any more? I’ve considered this purchase for almost a year now. And if they had a $10-$12 pdf, I would probably have already bought it, then realized I wanted the actual book and bought that too… but instead I keep staring at it and I just can’t pull the trigger…

But someday I’m going to get this game. And I’m going to find people to play it with. And it’s going to be awesome!

Thanks for reading — and if anyone out there is using BRP, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.


3 responses

  1. I hear you. From the perspective of being a consumer, the price of BRP pdf products gives me pause as well. I am sure they have legitimate reasons for their pricing structure, but I find that I really have to hunt around on the Chaosium site to find ones with a price that feels right emotionally – especially if you are just looking to get a digital copy of a book you already have in print. That said, I have managed to get reasonably priced copies of Nephilim, Stormbringer, Dark Ages Cthulhu, classic CoC campaigns like Masks of Nyarlathotep, and useful supplements like Fearful Passages.

    The Cthulhu one-shot I ran this weekend pushed me over the edge so that the 6th Ed Core Book pdf finally seemed worth the outlay (I have two print copies of it here), and the fun we had has prevented buyer’s remorse, but… everything is priced just that little bit higher than makes purchasing a pure pleasure.

    I have to admit, running Call of Cthulhu this weekend did not detract from my enjoyment of the two other systems I regularly run these days (A Time of War, and Ubiquity), but the simplicity of its design, and the resulting narrative freedom it allows was a very strong dose of fun; and not just because it was laced to the gills with nostalgia.

  2. It is really tempting — because I know I’ll like it. I know I will.

    I suppose for me the difference is the immediate gratification of the PDF (already lost since I’ve put it off for so long) vs. spending two more dollars and waiting two more days to get it from Amazon.

    Ah well.

  3. Did you notice that Chaosium dropped their PDF prices on DrivethruRPG?

    I finally shelled out for BRP, more for the sake of completeness than any real need.

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