Thursday, December 04, 2008

Quick Impressions

I've been glancing through a lot of RPG stuff recently, but haven't had the time to go through any of it with the level of detail needed to do a full review. Instead I'm going to give a few comments here covering things I noticed so far and wanted to share.

King of the Trollhaunt Warrens: It's not set in the Nentir Vale, and doesn't make any effort to connect to the H series of adventures. I expected the H, P, E series of adventures to be more of a level 1-30 campaign, not a set of largely unconnected adventures that just happened to go from levels 1 to 30. There's at least a suggestion of what direction the setting lies from the Nentir Vale, but I think more could have been achieved here.

Martial Power: Rangers rock. I was already a big fan of the Archer ranger and they get some interesting new paragon paths, but the Beastmaster ranger is going to make my choice difficult if I ever get to actually play. The only drawback to this book is that by adding even further options for Defenders, Strikers, and Leaders, it makes the Controller role look even more straightjacketed. Hopefully the Arcane Power book will give Wizards at least a couple of new builds, if not a completely new Controller Class or two either there or in the PHB2.

High Guard: I open the book and the table of contents is for Mercenary. Come on guys! You were doing so well, don't pull a Mongoose and blow it. Your brand is rapidly becoming synonymous with poor quality control, whether it's in editing or production.

It's a shame, because the content seems pretty good (aside from a good deal of further errata). The deckplans for the capital ships are interesting and something that has been largely missing from Traveller, but why change canon unnecessarily? There's already an established set of plans for the PF Sloan, yet someone felt the need to completely alter the shape of the ship and create new ones.

It was nice to see the plans for a superfreighter included. Hopefully we'll see more of that if there's ever a Merchant book done.

Scum and Villainy: I think that Star Wars Saga Edition may be the most consistently good RPG product line out there right now. Although it got a slow start due to the resources being devoted to the launch of 4th Edition D&D, every release that has come out has had something for everyone, players and GMs alike. Even the weakest book, Threats of the Galaxy, still had a number of new talents, equipment and playable races scattered through the book. It may be a good thing that I'm not running a Star Wars campaign, because each book that comes out makes me want to run a campaign based on it. So far we've had the Knights of the Old Republic setting, the Dark Times setting in the Force Unleashed, and now the Fringe setting in Scum and Villiany.

I haven't had much time to actually read Scum and Villainy yet, but among other things it's got rules for smuggling, bounty hunting, equipment modifications and Jawas. I am so playing a Jawa if I ever get into a game.


BlackDiamond said...

I've got ranger lust myself right now, with hopes of one day playing an Eladrin ranger with an animal companion. They both can shift 5 squares each round.

I was sorry to hear Trollhaunt wasn't in the Nentir Vale. I'm running the path in my own campaign world and their setting hooks are easy to adjust for my world. Thunderspire Labyrinth continues to impress me.

Nobody mentioned the High Guard screw up to me. Funny that.

Fulminata said...

I still favor the archer simply because I've always wanted to play an effective archer and no RPG has ever really let you until now. One of my favorite new bits is the Legolas paragon path... they call it the "Sharpshooter" but the "Stab and Shoot" exploit is both cool and obviously stolen from the film version of the Battle of Helm's Deep.

I don't think you'll have much trouble fitting the Trollhaunt into your campaign. There are still hooks they just don't refer to the Nentir Vale or the H series adventures.

I think it's only an issue for those who weren't running in their own setting. It kind of forces them to flesh out the world some, which is often exactly what people are trying to avoid having to do when they use published settings.

The table of contents was really noticeable to me because I didn't follow the development of the supplement, and really had no idea what was going to be in it (other than spaceships obviously). So, first thing I did was turn to the table of contents to get an idea of what was there :-P

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