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Author Topic: Review Episode #2: Origins Awards Lightning Round  (Read 11492 times)
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Meg
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« on: May 26, 2008, 11:03:48 AM »

In this episode we quickly discuss and review the books nominated for the 34th Annual Origins Awards in the categories Publication, Non-Fiction and Best RPG.

The nominees are...

PUBLICATION, NON-FICTION

40 Years of Gen Con
Published by Atlas Games
Written by Robin D. Laws

Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the Dungeons & Dragons Game Published by Wizards of the Coast
Written by Shelly Mazzanoble

Grand History of the Realms
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Written by Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood

Hobby Games: The 100 Best
Published by Green Ronin
Edited by James Lowder

No Quarter Magazine
Published by Privateer Press
Nathan Letsinger, editor-in-chief; Eric Cagle, editor; Josh Manderville, art director

ROLEPLAYING GAME

Grimm
Published by Fantasy Flight Games
Written by Robert Vaughn and Christian T. Petersen

The Savage World of Solomon Kane
Published by Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Written by Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams (with Shane Lacy Hensley)

CthulhuTech
Published by Mongoose Publishing
Written by Matthew Grau and Fraser McKay

Battlestar Galactica
Published by Margaret Weis Productions
Written by Jamie Chambers

Faery’s Tale Deluxe
Published by Firefly Games
Written by Patrick Sweeney, Sandy Antunes, Christina Stiles, and Robin D. Laws

Aces & Eights
Published by Kenzer & Co.
Written by Jolly R. Blackburn, Brian Jelke, Steve Johansson, Dave Kenzer, Jennifer Kenzer and Mark Plemmons
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Kai
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2008, 07:03:50 PM »

Grimm sounds really interesting, so I'm really looking forward to the full review. Though I highly doubt I'd be able to get either of my gaming groups interested.

And just as an aside on the conversation about Ed Greenwood and his appreciation of the feminine form, Meg said something to the effect of 'I've met Ed Greenwood several times and he's never looked me in the face.' To be fair, I've spent some time with Meg and I think I'd have a much better shot at guessing her cup size than telling you what color eyes she has...  Flirt
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2008, 08:35:31 PM »

If No Quarter deserves an ugly, White Dwarf deserves a hideously misshapen mutant.
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ImperiousLeader
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008, 11:45:08 PM »

Grimm sounds intriguing, I'd play that on a lark.
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Josh
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2008, 11:50:22 PM »

White Dwarf was not nominated. 

And let me preface this statement by saying I have not seen white dwarf in years but this is what I remember:

40 pages of Ads, 1 article 2 pages, 40 pages of ads, pictures of painted minis 2 pages, 40 pages of ads.   

If they gave the magazine away I would consider it a deal.  Considering you pay for it, not so much.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 08:33:18 AM »

I listened to this show almost entirely to hear your reasons for putting No Quarter into "Ugly."  I'm glad your entire complaint is based around it being shoved into the wrong category.  No Quarter is actually a decent publication, Privateer Press has put out fun miniature's game based on a fun Steampunk setting, and their 3PP OGL product is really fun and IMO better balanced than 3.x core.

Then again, I might be biased, as I've sunk almost $1500 into PP's stuff  Love
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Meg
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 08:50:22 AM »

I listened to this show almost entirely to hear your reasons for putting No Quarter into "Ugly." 

[Mr. Burns Voice] Exceeelllllent [/voice]

I decided to put up where we ranked everything hoping that maybe "anger" alone would make some people listen Smile
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 08:56:33 AM »

 it's regrettable that there are not enough choices out there to make a periodical category viable. I have only seen two issues of no quarter, but it seemed like a well thought out publication. Maybe the category should be nonfiction or periodical. This might eliminate the need to have Ed Greenwood have anything to do with it.
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 09:12:02 AM »

No Quarter's largest glaring flaw is that it is a bi-monthly small publication that tries to support every aspect of Privateer Press' catalog.  If you are only interested in one of their many games, you end up with rather little content directed at you.

Overall, great show.  Got my interested in Grimm when I was ready to pass it off as another poor attempt at fantasy.  I'm looking forward to more review shows.
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2008, 04:29:18 PM »

This episode made me very very angry.  And hungry.  But mostly angry.  I noticed it was only half an hour long.  While I do agree with some wit out there who said something along the lines of 'say what you need to then shut up', I would like to say that I enjoy hearing BG's thoughts and such enough that I felt like wanting my other half hour.  More stuff please.  And pie.  I like pie.
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Meg
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2008, 04:38:58 PM »

When we add in the reviews that go along with this, it will all together be a few hours, so we wanted to keep this short.  My goal for shows in general is about 45 minutes.  We've gone way over a couple of times (had to upgrade our friggin hosting just to get episode 13 up!), but this is great to know that 30 min may just be too short.

As for the pie.  Cake my friend. It's all about the cake. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2008, 04:41:30 PM »

Best quote thus far (PS:  Please make hour long reviews of stuff and I'll get you some cake when we eventually meet.  I'm a fat guy so I knows good cake.) was:

"From an adult point of view, kids are stupid."  (Was that Zeke?  Heck, I have a 50/50 chance here).

I'm just imaging the talk with his son or daughter:

"You are stupid.  I love you, but frankly, you are dumb as a box of rocks."

That's awesome.  Not great positive reinforcement, but darned funny.
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Meg
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2008, 04:44:01 PM »

That was Josh who said kids are stupid.  Both Zeke and I have worked with young'uns in our past, so we just sort of sat there in shock when he said that.  It was too funny.

We're putting together a clip show... I'll make sure that one gets in there Smile
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008, 04:53:33 PM »

A clip show is a very good idea.  Sadly, I don't have the time to make a HC one but it is good to start collecting those clips near the beginning if you are going to make one yes.  Good thinking.

PS:  Good sound quality.
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2008, 11:08:34 PM »

The un-promised reply to your podcast wrt Cortex:

If you have to judge it purely mechanically; then yes, Cortex leaves more than a bit to be desired.  What it is though (I'm speaking purely for Serenity [I have no love for BSG... the show, or anything else]) is fun.  You can sit down with a bunch of folks, whip up some characters, and get going relatively quickly.  I think the fast and loose system fits the universe.  It does drive me up the wall to be so GM dependent, but I've played Paranoia, so it could be worse.  It does suck that I'm trying to digest the 4e rules while I'm learning enough of the Cortex system to be at least a competent member of the party, but it's not so bad.
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2008, 11:12:34 PM »

Now I have to listen to the rest of your podcasts though... luckily it's Sunday.
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008, 01:01:21 AM »

If you have to judge it purely mechanically; then yes, Cortex leaves more than a bit to be desired. 
Well, no need to read any further.  Given the fact that there are good games, there is no reason to play bad ones.

Also lets be clear, there are occasions when buying a setting book gives you valuable world info and insight.  This is not one of those times.  If they had bothered to do a good job there, I would recommend getting the book and just using another system.

Look at it from another angle.  Sit down and come up with a list of things that are interesting or important about Firefly/Serenity.  You will see things like interpersonal relationships, dealing with social issues, making choices between various bad choices and so forth.  Everything that is interesting or cool about serenity, other than shooting a gun, is not part of cortex.  And I have 50 better designed gun shooting games. 

Of course you are not GMing, so play the game and have fun with your friends.
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008, 11:26:37 AM »

Before we get off on you bringing up the mechanical shortcomings and me agreeing with you but continuing to play anyway.  Allow me to say yes, there are better mechanically designed games... we agree.  Since gaming occurs with gamers who are people in real life, there are always conditions and gray areas.  These conditions give modifiers to situations that might make one system more desirable than another.
If you have to judge it purely mechanically; then yes, Cortex leaves more than a bit to be desired. 
Well, no need to read any further.  Given the fact that there are good games, there is no reason to play bad ones.

{snip}

Of course you are not GMing, so play the game and have fun with your friends.
The first part of your statement is a value judgment and a false dichotomy.  If the rule system made it unplayable then yes, there would be no reason to play it.  The fact is that it's not unplayable (for my group), it is underdeveloped.  Now we're back to what works with the group, and for my group it works... and there is the truth in the end of your reply.

If I had to run it, I'd probably use the Shatterzone or SR4 with some number crunched space rules. 

The GM is in a rebellious mood because he feels constrained by the fact that most things in D&D have rules.  He likes to run off the cuff, so Cortex works great for him because he gets to plaster over all of the holes in the rules and he's happy.  I don't have to try to learn a lot of rules concurrent with D&D4e, so it works for me (and the other players).

Even though my writing style is not smiley, I have not developed a rhetorical vendetta against you.
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008, 07:48:34 PM »

I think that we have a sort of world view difference here. The three of us (especially myself and Josh) are of the opinion that a game is only as good as its mechanics and that even if you enjoyed a game with flawed mechanics, you would have enjoyed it more if the mechanics were tighter. I have to agree with Josh that I'd rather not play a game whose mechanics irritate me. I hope by now that you have listened to our media franchise episode which outlines our "in the spirit of"  philosophy.Don't worry about offending us, We here at B.G. embrace the motto "if you can't argue with your friends, what kind of friends do you have?"
 Also I noticed you have a Yankee cap in your avatar, and I wanted to let you know that there are now several good treatments available for that particular  psychiatric illness.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 07:57:05 PM by Zeke » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2008, 09:42:53 PM »

My favorite "treatment" for my Yankees ailment is viewing the treasure trove of World Series and ALCS hardware... holla back when y'all have a comparable total.

Disagree about the rules opinion.  The mechanic does not create the fun.  Matter of fact there are times where stupid mechanics add to my enjoyment of the game (Bad example, but "Trenchcoat effect" anyone; if not how about "Chunky salsa"?).  Is this the case with Cortex?  Couldn't tell you, we haven't played it enough yet.

Stop trying to sell me Burning Savageness.  I'm halfway through 'cast 11, and it's starting to sound like paid ad placement.  I'm glad y'all like it, but it's becoming your panacea... it's almost like your personal Cyrinishad.  I know how much you love Greenwood and his works (or things that might resemble him or his works), so take that as my commitment to giving effective criticism.
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