Not a Steamy Summer
Last summer I wrote a blog post called "Letting Off Steam." Essentially it was a commentary on my drifting away from electronic gaming and towards tabletop gaming. I listed the few games I picked up, keeping myself to $15, and all of the promising tabletop games that I wanted to play. I also discussed my lack of time to knock out multiple video games, since I was running so many RPG's. Well another year, and another Steam Sale has come and gone with me spending just under $15…
… shame on all of you who can't control your Steam spending… SHAME!
While some of you were filling your virtual carts with new PC titles during the mid-June sales on Steam and GOG.com, I went out and grabbed a few tabletop titles that caught my eye…
Two Friday's ago, just before our family left for a big vacation in scenic Delaware, I received word of Melior Via's impending Kickstarter for The Thin Blue Line. After checking out the website for this Detroit Cop meets modern horror RPG, the first thing I thought of was Robocop. But the second thing I thought of was a cross-over with East Texas University, a Savage Worlds campaign setting released back in 2014. I'd love to run that kind of game (probably with some of my typical sick twists) but I had a serious problem…
… I didn't own ETU!
During the drive to Delaware I purchased the PDF for ETU's campaign guide. I read the book cover to cover, and with visions of Community meets True Blood dancing in my head, purchased the hardback, the Degree's of Horror Plot Point Campaign, the GM's screen & adventure, and a couple of maps. I imagine I could've purchased quite a few computer games for the same price. Expect a review on Living 4 Crits - Late Knights next week! My wife got a kick out of the concept, so I also plan on bringing this setting to my Saturday night live players.
You may note that I've included pictures of my brand spanking new hardbacks for The Last Parsec, another phenomenal campaign setting by Pinnacle Entertainment Group for Savage Worlds. Although we've run several adventures for TLP over the last nine months, its all been via the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion and the PDF that released immediately after the successful Kickstarter. Imagine my insane delight upon coming home from vacation on Sunday to find the ETU books waiting, and then on Monday getting some extreme, space-faring goodness in the mail!
So technically this isn't part of my Steamless Summer, but I'm proud of these books, and this Kickstarter, and they deserve some respect.
If you're interested in seeing what we did with The Last Parsec, check out our Disney Inspired tales here!
Lamentations of the Flame Princess (Mature Audiences Only)
What better way to follow up after a Disney related comment than mention that I took the Lamentations of the Flame Princess plunge! As you may know, I'm a bit of an OSR aficionado, and I'm always on the lookout for a good old-school inspired title. I considered Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord, but since I already own a ton of Basic Fantasy RPG stuff, I didn't think there was enough of a difference. Perhaps the same is true for LotFP, but I was intrigued by two things: the Specialist class and the art.
If you are unfamiliar with LotFP, the Specialist is James Raggi's response to the Thief or Rogue in other RPG's. The Specialist's skill system uses six-sided dice instead of percentile dice, and gives the players "choice" in how they want to focus the points they are assigned. Perhaps they max out bushcraft and act more like a ranger, or focus on stealth and lock picking to be the perfect burglar. The LotFP Specialist is a class I would play, whereas I've never felt interested in OD&D thieves.
The art… oh the art of LotFP. If you are over eighteen just "Google" it, and you'll see what I mean. It's certainly like nothing I've seen before in an RPG, so it belongs on my shelf…
… you know… on that shelf really high up, where the kids can't find it of course.
In addition to the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rulebook, I put an order in for Zak S.'s A Red & Pleasant Land. The book's Alice in Wonderland'ish theme reminds me of "American McGee's Alice," a game I enjoyed back in the early 2000's. I'll probably talk more about this book when it comes in the mail, but I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for it to arrive!
Maybe the wife and I will play it when we are at Disney World… without the kids!
What about the $15?
So I did end up making a purchase on Steam's Summer Sale… one single purchase:
After a only few hours of play I have many ways to describe this terribly awesome (as in "terrible & awesome") experience:
- It feels like Ravenloft with a sick and twisted DM.
- It feels like what I expect Lamentations of the Flame Princess to feel like.
- It feels like Accursed without bennies.
- It feels like a realistic simulation of what Castlevania would be like for everyday people.
Great game, go out and buy it, even if its not on sale.
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I bet I wasn't the only person making tabletop purchases during the Steam Summer Sale. What games did you pick up?