Thursday, April 29, 2010

Help Me Out Here

Tell me that I what I think is happening here isn't really happening:

Because it sure as hell looks like an elf is about to shoot a terrier point-blank in the face with an arrow. "Drop the hammer or the dog gets it!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Farewell To a 4end

Running Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for the past few months made me realize something: I don't like Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.

Actually, that's not exactly right. I had some fun with 4E and I won't say I never will again. But it doesn't do the kind of fantasy game that really appeals to me. As I've said before, 4E is a game of high-powered, ass-kicking heroes that carry so many magic items their teeth glow. That's fun - for a while, at least - but it quickly gets old for me. I like my fantasy games to be a bit grittier, and by "a bit", I mean a lot.

I spent nearly a year playing 4E, and most of that time was eaten up by running fights. I know there are people out there who swear 4E combat runs faster than any other edition, but that certainly wasn't the case for us. Fights took hours. They always felt fun at first, but I got bored with them in short order, whether I was running them or participating as a player. In fact, when I think about memorable fights I've played in the past couple of years, only one of them happened in 4E, and it was one where the DM was handwaving a lot of things. The fights that stick out in my memory happened in games like WFRP and Rolemaster (which suggests I really need to play more games that have detailed crit charts, but that's a subject for another time).

There are a lot of things to like about 4E. I like the way they evened the playing field between magic-using and fighting classes. I like the way they simplified skills. I like the concept of the Feywild. I like the idea of ritual magic (though in play, we practically never used them). There are a lot of changes that 4E made that I thought were good ones. But when the system is built entirely around combat, and I find combat boring, that's a problem.

(Plus, a lot of the artwork is terrible. It's actually a step back from the previous edition's artwork, which is just weird. I mean, look at the pic I posted up top. I know art's not everything, but dammit, it is important to me. I need visual aids to help me imagine the action, and when those aids look like half-assed comic art from the 90s, well... that's not good.)

Anyway, the point is this: I sold my "non-core" D&D 4E books not long after we stopped playing last year. Today I sold the rest of them.

But hey, the good news is that RuneQuest II is pretty damned good.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Street Fight

I ran Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay tonight, largely by the seat of my pants, and it went pretty well. We're nearing the final stretch of Terror In Talabheim scenario. I'm deviating massively from the adventure as written at this point and loving it.

Really, though, I just wanted to show off the awesome homemade street scenery we were able to use for the big fight against Clan Skryre's elite Stormvermin troops (along with a Warpfire Thrower team), thanks to the artistic efforts of one Kent Bonifield. Too bad Rick's character lost a leg, but hey, it's not a WFRP adventure until somebody gets horribly maimed. Right?