Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back in service

First, a confession. I should have written this blog two weeks ago. After nearly three months of not-so-patient waiting, I received the first big shipment of books on December 11th, and the proceeded to do nothing about it.

That's not entirely acturate, but it feels like it. I've read all of two books of the 40+ that I received, and waited more than two weeks to mention it here.

My appologies. I'll pull the traditional holidays excuse, you know, because I can. Visiting in-laws, birthdays, christmas, graduation, it's been a busy month, but I'm down to business now.

So, what's happening at this point? Well, as of now I have almost everything that the other judges have. A couple little things seem to have gotten lot in the transition between one judge and anotherm, but not much, and I'll just replace those myself.

In the mean time I've just finished Emily Care Boss's Under my Skin, a game about playing through the uncomfortable issues that come up when people's romantic relationships get intertwined and messy. It's very well written, and very non-traditional, even far more so that her other game I've have some experience with, Breaking the Ice.

To be honest I'm going to have to let this one soke in a bit. I literaly just finished reading it before starting this post, and it's totally different than the other games I have experience with. I've played a lot of different games, even LARPs, and this is a different stage than what I've done before. There's a discussion in the book on using it to explore your own emotions and relationships, and it definately feels like that's exactly the kind of thing that would strengthen the experience. It's a touchy subject, and it's probably not for me, but it is very well done. It feels more like a well-guided roleplaying experience than a traditional roleplaying game.

On the other end of the spectrum I've also been reading Dark Heresy. It's the most complete system I've received thus far, so it'll be the first that I settle in to playtest. I received the core book, Inquisitor's Handbook, and the Purge the Unclean campaign book, so last night we put our Saturday game on hold to make characters, and we're going to play through the adventures in Purge the Unclean. I'm going to withold comment for right now, but I will say that I'm excited. The peritextual elements, the pictures, the font, the borders, all draw you in and really put you in the mood. Last time I was a judge Warhammer Fantasy hit me in much the same way, and I ended up filling out my collection even after the judging period was over, just for my own use. I'm interested to see if the 40k version can grab me as well.

So, I guess that's it for now. I'll check back in like I did last time, a couple times a week or so, now that I'm actually getting stuff done. Because of the earlier elections I'm still three months ahead od where I was at this point last time, so I'm going to take my time and really enjoy the books this time until more stuff starts pouring in.

As always, feel free to ask if you have questions or comments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The first arrival

So, it's been a month and the books that were already submitted to the other judges still haven't made their way to me yet, but I do have some good news.

Wraith Recon from Mongoose Publishing showed up at my door yesterday.

This is pretty exciting for a number of reasons. First of course is the fact that it's my first product this year. Fifty other products have been submitted, but I'm still waiting for Zach to get those to me. This one however I have in my hot little hands. Something about birds in a bush vs. birds in a hand seems appropriate here...

Second is that the book itself represents a new generation of products. There's no secret that third party support of DnD 4.0 has been pretty sparse. Compared to the simultaneous release, and nearly immediate deluge, of products that came out with 3.0, 4.0 has been a lot of hurry up and wait. Wraith Recon however was certainly among the first products announced for the new system, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how much it has been, or can, be tweaked. Mongoose has always been good about putting their own spin on existing games.

Maybe most importantly, I think this is Mongoose's first year participating in the ENnies, and that's always very cool. Nothing helps to make the awards better like competition, and I love to see someone who puts out the sheer variety of products that Mongoose produces throw their hat in the ring.

I can't wait to read it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Almost exactly a year

It's been almost exactly a year since I posted here.

Not that it has anything to do with anything, but I've been staring at the blank title space for like 10 minutes trying to decide what to write and how to do it, and I figured anything that got me typing was a good thing. It seems to have worked.

Yippy, my superpower "Can't stop typing, even when it's for the best" finally paid off.

Yeah, I'm beginning to think I'm the king of soapbox posts that are too long for anyone to read or take seriously.

Ok, enough procrastinating.

So, I'm posting here because I'm now an ENnies judge again. Yeah, it's about a month after they were announced and I wasn't one of them. I was, however the first alternate, so here I am.

Now, if you want to feel like a heel, accept a position that someone you like has just vacated. I don't regret the decision I made, and I'm glad for the opportunity, but it feels pretty weird. Every time someone says something nice to me or about me I feel a little guilty, like I don't really belong.

So, here I am. I'm doing it because I wanted to, because it is something that has the chance to benefit the community and the hobby I love, and because a lot of really great people believed that I do belong here enough to give me the votes to be the alternate. I really hope it doesn't come off as disrespectful to Zach, because his experience was not my experience, and though I don't know him well I really like what I know of him.

That said, I guess I'm back in the saddle, and I hope people can support my decision to do it. For my part I'll be back here doing just what I did before, speaking my mind, answering questions, and listening to what advice you have to offer.

In the mean time though I don't have a huge ammount to add right now. Obviously I have no products yet. I was just given the official word today. I do however have a list of what has been entered so far, and it looks like it's going to be an amazing year. Interestingly enough I only own two of the products on the list already which both delights and amazes me.

I'll post more when I actually have something worth saying, but for now I just wanted to open up the shop again.