Yesterday was my birthday and towards the end of the afternoon, I admit I was feeling a bit dejected. It was a good enough day and I basically chilled the entire day. I also was expecting several shipments of goodies which had yet to materialize. Somehow, I thought that at least one of these packages would show up. Part of this had to do that, while wandering briefly through my local game store, I spied a copy on the shelves of the 'Classic Monsters' book put out by TLG. Normally that would be great news, hadn't I already ordered a copy as part of the top level tier when they did their kickstarter for it towards the end of 2011. What made matters a bit worse was the store in question seemed to have had it since May 1st. Understandably, I was a bit pissed. The thing that actually annoyed me more? The gamestore actually had a copy in stock!
I buy very little from the store simply because they often don't bring in some of the items I'm interested in. They are also not very accommodating if a customer wants to order something from them. As a result, I order online... pay more because of the shipping (and because I live in Canada) and go into the store once in a while to check out their second hand section. Interestingly enough, I also spot a copy of the 'Isle of the Unknown' and the expanded edition of 'Carcosa'. These aren't exactly 'new' and were available since the end of 2011 but they were pricey if I considered the additional shipping when I initially checked online. It was particularly annoying to see them on shelves given that I had finally ordered the pair of books last week from Noble Knight Games. I got a better price from NKG but I end up paying about $15 in shipping so the pair ends up costing me $80. Given the prices and the taxes I would have paid from the store, and it's pretty much a break even proposition so I pretty much got lucky there.
Of course, I'm also waiting for my Gold Foil Edition of the DCC RPG... a hardback copy of Eldritch Tales (a Lovecraft Compilation)... a leather case for the new tablet (a tablet which may have not even shipped yet but I'm supposed to received during the day of May 10th)... and a copy of Mass Effect 2 (yes... I know ME3 is out and a lot of people dislike the ending). So, given that we are halfway through the week when most (if not all of these) goodies should show up, I was annoyed. ;)
But today, when I was sitting down to blog about more about Ballista, I had a knock on the door.
It was a package from Noble Knight games and it was one of the more recent orders I had placed. Opening the box, I gazed upon two books from Lamentations of the Flame Princess and they are gorgeous. I had seen a couple of pictures over the past few months and, I have to say that these do not do these books any justice at all. I had heard and read that Jim had gone the extra mile in putting these together and I wish that more of the small OSR publishers followed his example. Don't get me wrong, BHP has put out some great looking product as well and it just keeps getting better -- much like the earlier C&C work compared to the Trick on the Tain module AC has put out. But really, I think this is a new level as far as quality and standards are concerned and it approaches some of the concepts I have in my mind as far as looks are concerned when I consider the work I'm doing for the 'Ballista Rules Companion' -- though still different in many other ways. These two books have made my day today.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out the LotFP Hardcover & Adventures project detailed HERE. With 24 days left and $114 away from their main objective, the hardcover publication of the LotFP Rules & Magic rulebook is pretty much a certainty at this point. I only possess the LotFP RPG pdf but no physical copies (as of yet) but given the quality put into these two books I now have in my possession, at $30 (with shipping included) you'll get a pretty slick looking book. My problem? Do I want just the one book or do I want the Referee Group pack which includes 4 of these *plus* a whole lot more if stretch goals (pretty hefty goals) are met...