The last few months in Korea I had limited internet access. Unwilling to spend money for an internet hook-up for just a few months (and just a few hours – or just one hour – a day) I used the local free Wi-Fi connections. So updates have been lacking….
But what I did get plenty of time to do was sit down and go through my RPG collections. Thanks to the E-Book and pdf explosion in the market, I didn’t lack content to go through. Along the way, I reached some conclusions (i.e. opinions – likely not in agreement with some but what the heck, it’s an OPINION!):
Star Wars: The Saga Edition RPG sucks.
- I have firmly come down in the camp that believes SWSE is a skirmish game masquerading as an RPG. Sure, I have kept buying the sourcebooks but more because I am a Star Wars fanboy than a SWSE fanboy. Then there is the whole WoTC pdf prohibition fiasco. ‘Nuff said.
Mongoose Traveller is too expensive.
- Just look at their pricing model. $40 for a hardback; around $30 for a softcover or pdf. What do you get? Poorly edited copy on pages with so much wasted/empty space you could almost fit another entire book in there. The only edition that feels right is the Pocket Handbook; but even that lacks all the footnotes/tables/ “x” signs (how annoying… “6d6 x 10” being rendered as “6d6 10.” Is it really that hard to put an “x” in there???).
- Pricing aside, Mongoose has shown use what a generic system can do, but maybe shouldn’t. Using Mongoose Traveller for the Babylon 5 setting was nice, but the real gem is the Hammer’s Slammers sourcebook. But then again, both these seem to show me the greed of Mongoose; they are leveraging success but the settings are almost too generic. Hammer’s Slammers would have been a great chance to do a Striker-ese product for the Mongoose Traveller system complete with a more detailed combat model but that didn’t happen. I am even still not sure if you really need Mercenary to play Hammer’s Slammers or not.
Battlestar Galactica – The RPG really needs more support; the same can be said about Rocketship Empires: 1936
- BSG is based on the outstanding CORTEX system. The game is eminently playable but there have been NO official products since the Referee’s Screen. Margaret Weiss Productions suffered a hacker in late 2008 and went over six months without a web presence. THAT MEANS DOOM IN TODAYS WIRED WORLD! Web presence doesn’t have to be fancy (just look at Marc Miller and farfuture.net) but it is needed to keep the fanbase loyal.
- Rocketship Empires started out so well. A system-less setting that was so interesting if for nothing more than all the diverse fictional genres it incorporated (i.e. “tubepunk”). OK, times have been tough but this one all but dropped off the face of the earth. Too bad.
Mouse Guard should of won more awards
- It took an Enie for Best Interior Art but one look at the Mouse Guard rulebook tells you this is something special. So special I bought a hardcopy AFTER I had the e-book. It is truly a thing of beauty to hold in your hands. The game system itself is very interesting; not your normal rpg (turns? In an rpg? Heresy you say!) but it WORKS.
GURPS Traveller has some of the best sourcebooks available. Interstellar Wars is just incredible!
Thousand Suns is nearly the best system out there.
I just recently acquired Savage Worlds and I find the system eminently playable. Looks like it will be good for the kids too!
My RPG system rankings:
- 12 Degrees (Thousand Suns)
- CORTEX (Battlestar Galactica)
- Burning Wheel Lite (Mouse Guard)
- Classic Traveller
- Savage Worlds
- Mongoose Traveller
- Traveller 5
- d20v4(-) (Star Wars: Saga Edition)
- GDW House System A (Twilight:2000 v1 and Traveller: 2300 v1)
- GDW House System B (Twilight: 2000 2nd Ed and 2300AD)
- d20 Modern
- Action! System