What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook - 3rd Printing

Monday, November 21, 2016

Adventurers Backpack - Final 24 Hours in Kickstarter!

Wow!  After last night's post, pledges have climbed and that combination flipbook which contains the full Players Handbook for Castles & Crusades and the complete contents of the Adventurers Backpack has been UNLOCKED.  Everybody at the $59 level and above will get a copy of this along with the rest of their goodies!

At the time this is being written, the kickstarter is $104 from some Jokers added to the deck of cards and then just another $1k to realize a full deck.

The next two goals are a bit further off -- they are two more adventure modules in the ever growing and popular C-Series that Troll Lord Games has been putting out.

So, in the last 24 hours, are these goals even possible?  Well, in the past 24 hours, the campaign managed to raise $2600 so ANYTHING is possible.

Check it out:



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kickstart This: C&C Adventurers Backpack

Ending in under three days is the latest project being crowdfunded on Kickarter, the Adventurers Backpack for the Castles & Crusades RPG. But before I talk about this new book, I want to talk about an old classic -- the Unearthed Arcana for AD&D.

The Unearthed Arcana always held a special place on my gaming bookshelf, and given how I got started into AD&D, I've always viewed it as a great and special book. When I started gaming, I came a bit late to the party. TSR had just released second edition so the first books I cut my teeth on were the newer PHB and DMG.  A friend of mine had some D&D boxed sets so we mixed and mashed as necessary. The thing is that, this other book I saw had a class called the cavalier and another for the barbarian.  These were fantastic classes and why they weren't available in my copy of the Players Handbook was just weird and sadly disappointed.  In that single moment of discovery, the Unearthed Arcana became very important to me and my game.

Looking back now and knowing a bit how the Unearthed Arcana came about, I also understand why many first edition gamers took kindly to this book as well -- new classes, spells, and a few oddities.  It was just so much more material that, in one fell swoop, brought in a breath of fresh air to a game that had seen countless hours of adventure!

This is what the Adventurers Backpack could very well end up being for Castles & Crusades.

The first iteration of the Castles & Crusades game came out over ten years ago.  It was a white boxed set and contained three booklets. This was quickly followed by full length gaming books, a multitude of adventures and accessories, and small but dedicated and ever-growing fan base. Along with the Castle Keepers Guide that had been talked about for years but took at least five to finally materialize, the Adventurers Backpack was a project that had been talked about for what seems just as long.

A brief preview was released as a booklet in the Black Collector's Box set released at GenCon 2014 and it previewed 4 new classes, some new spells, and a selection of 'pre-packed' backpack lists to quickly equip characters.  The Kickstarter is funding a much larger book that builds upon this preview.  There are 13 new classes in all which are, class variants and complements to the current 13 core classes in the Players Handbook.  There will be, for instance, a Thief class which will have some different skills to make it standout from the Rogue class we already know and love.  There will be a different sort of ranger suited for a more 'urban' environment (the name of which is still being finalized).  Some new spells and non-derivative ones at that ... totally new spells which also build up and expand as the character advances in level.  Pre-generated equipment lists (aka 'backpacks') for all the classes, as well as some oddities and advice.  Due to special request, I would be fully prepared to see a section devoted to Pole-Arms too ... much like the Unearthed Arcana had.

Of course, being a Kickstarter, there is a bunch of other goals and loot to be had!

The book itself will be a full-colour hardcover in other to best complement the current, existing corebooks and Codex of Aihrde for Castles & Crusades.  At over 150 pages, it should make for a nice book to add to the gaming bookshelf.  Along with this, there are plans for a deck of Equipment Cards for reference and, upon reaching a particular strech-goal, this deck will be expanded up to 52 cards and double up as a deck of playing cards.  Poker anyone?? There are also bookmarks, additional free books and adventure modules (some already achieved and others being just around the corner) as well.

Depending on the pledge level, you can just go in at $1 and pick and choose a variety of add-ons providing a great chance to pick up a few things you may not already have.  There is a $20 PDF only level and a $40 level which gives the physical book and PDF.  The most popular is the $59 level.  At this level, you get the main book in physical and digital format, a deck of equipment cards, a nice dice pouch, and eligibility to a bunch of stretch goals (currently bookmarks and two modules).  Presently, the campaign is less than $1,800 for the next stretch goal which is a perfect bound copy of a book that combines the full PHB and Adventurers Backback in one volume!  There are a couple pledge levels higher though it is significantly more in comparison.  But, by pledging at $150 you get everything mentioned in the $59 level plus a nice, heavy duty canvas back pack, lapel pin, t-shirt, water bottle, and a digest version of the book as well.  That backpack looks GREAT!!

If you also like the TLG leather copies of their books, you have an option to get it hear as well, either as part of the highest tier or as a separate $50 add-on which is a pretty good deal IMO.

In any event, if your curious to know more, head on over HERE and check it out.  There is about 48 hours left to go and a few more stretch goals that would be nice to hit.  It is shaping up to be a great resource for fans of Castles & Crusades and with other projects constantly being wrapped up, this is looking like a great buy-in.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Mail Call: Good Things Come In Three's

Last Thursday, I was very happy to receive my package from Italy.  I posted here about it shortly after midnight.  A day later, another package was waiting for me and, after a busy weekend, a another delivery of two small packages!

Three packages in almost as many days.

Classic Fantasy is what was waiting for me on Friday and, fortunately for me, no one else walked off with the package when the UPS guy decided to leave it on the floor of my building lobby!!!  I have fallen in love with this book.  While technically not a stand alone book, it roots to the BRP system and RuneQuest run very deep.  Right now I'm running some 7E Call of Cthulhu and have always had a soft spot for the system and was thinking about doing a fantasy game using the same system (thanks in part to the Dark Ages sourcebook with bits from the BRP Rulebook book to help.  This books goes a step further and give me a way to get a D&D experience with a BRP ruleset.  By doing so, it has just armed me with so much stuff from D&D that I can terrorize my Call of Cthulhu players (not that the game is lacking in that department).  Classic Fantasy is a sourcebook of Mythras which is RuneQuest 6 with the serial numbers filed off.  From what I have seen of it, I actually prefer it to RuneQuest.  So, despite the fact that I have been slimming down my gaming collection the past few years, I'll be acquiring Mythras for the books shelf at some point.

Next up was these four miniatures from Antediluvian Miniatures.  When I saw this familiar looking group, I knew I *had* to have them.  And if they don't seem familiar to you, I suggest it's time to load up and watch the Princess Bride!  We have Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, Vizzini, and Westley (the Dread Pirate Roberts) of course.  Due to the scale of the miniatures, Fezzik isn't as imposing as he should be compared to one of the D&D mini's slightly bigger 'heroic scale' but will look impressive enough against 28mm Reaper mini's!

And last, but not least... some dice!  In this case... small dice!  16mm dice (if I'm not mistaken) and I only have a black set (someplace).  It was a great way to test and try out Massdrop.  Besides, you can never have too many dice!  ;)

I'm expecting at least one other package in the days ahead but beyond that, I don't think I'll have many other surprises between now and the holidays.  I'll be sure to give a much more in-depth analysis of Classic Fantasy as well as a better look at the latest edition of Call of Cthulhu having now run a few sessions.  The short version, I like it a lot but there are still a couple little things that could use a bit more thought and tweaking.  More to come!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Mail Call and Signs of Life

What happened to September... the rest of August... and what do you mean we're almost halfway through October!?

Things have been busy around here.  I certainly lost track of time though.  I am doing a bit of work on some projects as well as continuing to 3D print and paint here and there.  At least when I can manage it.  More significantly, I have been subjected to more dental surgury in the form of a significant bonegraft.  Rest assured, I draw breath still.  ;)

But things are still coming in -- be it books or miniatures.  Today this came in the mail for me:

Inspired by 'Stranger Things', that Netflix series veryone was (and still are) talking about, I was happy to find the 'infamous' demogorgon. Mirliton Fantasy now owns some of the old Grenadier molds and happened to have this particular model in stock but between the diversion from the Euro, the shipping from Italy, and the minimum order amount, it wasn't cheap.  Still too cool to pass up though.  Since there was a minimum purchase amount, demogorgon was accompanied by a friend -- a rather small Cthulhu!

I am very pleased with these and, despite the expense, will likely to order a few more things in the future.  The only question now is how I am going to paint demogorgon.  I am a bit tempted to paint it in a style that is reminiscent of the series and keep it a but simple.  Guess we'll have to see.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mail Call: Warrior Dice!

Well, after months of waiting (a bit over a year), the three sets of Warrior Dice that I backed though Kickstarter are now in my hands!  The timing of their arrival also coincided with the launch of a new series of dice.  More on that later...

So... what are my impressions?

I really like them.  Now, having used the Crystal Caste, I'm already accustomed to using polyhedral dice for my gaming that weren't exactly the standard shape.  The d4 and d10's for example are mimic more the structure of a crystal than what some of us may be accustomed to seeing.  In some ways, most of the dice will roll in similar ways.

The Warrior Dice are themed by taking their design cues from various pieces of arms and equipment.  The d4 is a dagger, the d6 is a shortsword, and the d8 is a mace matching the damage dice for those same weapons in games like D&D.  The d10's are a pair of gauntlets, the d12 is a helm, and the d20 is a shield.  Honestly the d20 is a bit wonky but is balanced and was one of the reasons why the project took a bit longer to fulfill.  The first sample / model had issues so it got tweaked and altered to correct this problem.

The plastic itself feels a bit different than a lot of the dice I own though.  Each die still has a good weight about it but I suppose it's possible that the handles for the weapons could break in certain special circumstances. To be clear, I'm not talking about standard or heavy use but one were forceful or one of the weapon dice found it's way under the brutal heel of a heavy boot, something could snap.  Of course, I suspect a clean break would also be REALLY easy to fix without affecting how it rolls.

Because of the shape of the dice and nature of the material, the dice are NOT tumbled.  The means you will also be able to find the sprue marks on the dice if you look closely.  However, given how they roll, they will not interfere with the rolling at all.  If it bothers you, they are easy to eliminate as they are on game science dice and miniatures.

Are they worth the price tag of $25?

When I backed the project back in 2015, I pledged for 3 sets which set me back $64.  Shipping was free so it worked out to $21 and some and some change per set.  2 sets or more also came with a mini card game to use with the dice and each set was shipped in a heavy duty plastic case.  The plastic case itself is great and I'd by happy to buy more of these empty cases. They are great for cards or quite a bit of dice!  Each case has two compartments and each compartment will hold cards -- even if you use sleeve protectors for them.  Needless to say, those who backed the Kickstarter got a better deal.

At their regular price, $25 is still a decent price given the case that comes with them.  Shipping from PolyHero Dice is very reasonable as well.  You can find them HERE.

So, now that I have these sets in my possession, I am very comfortable at the idea of backing a couple of Wizard Dice sets through their second Kickstarter that started up today.  Much like the Warrior set, theme is everything and they are look great!  The d4 is a bolt, d6 is a fireball, the d8 is a scroll, the d10's are a pair of potions, the d12 is a wand (rod?), and the d20 is an orb.  As a kickstarter exclusive, there is also a d2 which is a book in this case.  They are also cheaper per set compared to the Warrior set but their is a very small worldwide shipping amount.  They are also NOT doing the heavy duty plastic cases which cuts down on shipping costs.  Three sets would set me back  $48 (after shipping) compared to the $64 I paid for the Warrior set.

If you missed out on the first Kickstarter and don't want to order directly, they will be offering up sets of the Warrior dice as part of the Pledge Manager phase once the campaign is over but you likely won't save much if anything by doing that.  Otherwise, you may just prefer wizards over warriors and just check out and pledge for this set instead (over HERE).

Happy Gaming!