My Mystara Wishlist

The news that Classic D&D material was going to be reissued as PoD were one of my high points of the last year or two in the hobby. But the release schedule seems to be slow-ish. So I thought it might be worth for me to keep track of where we are at any given point.

Other people are monitoring the whole list (either Mystara titles or all titles), so I will limit myself to those titles I was planning to buy. The first section is all about the GAZ series, which is by far the highest priority for me. The second section are adventure modules that I am pretty sure to buy, and the third section is adventure modules that I am interested in and might buy just because they are classic and cool. In square brackets, I will add comments on why I want this stuff.

I will list them all, and then hyperlink them as soon as they become available. (Check this out for a general BECMI catalogue)

The GAZetteers Series

GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos 1987 9193
GAZ2 The Emirates of Ylaruam 1987 9194
GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri 1987 9208
GAZ4 The Kingdom of Ierendi 1987 9215
GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim 1988 9223
GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome 1988 9227
GAZ7 The Northern Reaches 1988 9230
GAZ8 The Five Shires 1988 9232
GAZ9 The Minrothad Guilds 1989 9236
GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar 1989 9241
GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin 1989 9250
GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar 1989 9246
GAZ13 The Shadow Elves 1990 9287
GAZ14 The Atruaghin Clans 1991 9306

Sure Buys

B2 The Keep on the Borderlands 1980 9034 [‘Nuff said!]

B10 Night’s Dark Terror 1986 9149 [The coolest take on Karameikos]

Dawn of the Emperors: Thyatis and Alphatia 1989 1037 [Complements GAZ titles]

Cool Stuff

RC Rules Cyclopedia 1991 1071 [I have one old battered copy already]                                     O2 (solo) Blade of Vengeance 1984 9108 [Love Jim Bambra]

X2 Castle Amber (Château d’ Amberville) 1981 9051 [First I ran, love Glantri]

X3 Curse of Xanathon 1982 9056 [I know… but I like it]

X4 Master of the Desert Nomads 1983 9068

X5 Temple of Death 1983 9069 [Classic pulpy two-part campaign]

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They Live

Ok people, after the promising launch of a PoD line of classic D&D titles, I do not know how to call these other news: Exciting? Uplifting? Magnificent? Well, judge by yourself: For the first time, three GURPS 4e supplements come back in print via CreateSpace, the PoD platform by Amazon!

A couple of years ago I was very lucky and managed to buy many of the old hardcovers from a former player at reasonable prices, a few others I bought on the aftermarket at sillier prices (High Tech and Thaumatology, I am thinking of you!). But for anybody willing to start playing GURPS these are superb news: it really changes everything. Not to mention the fact that these reprints incorporate all known errata (and man, in Magic and Ultra Tech there were a ton!). So anybody running the game should consider getting new copies for easier table use. Be nice: go buy them.

Sometimes They Come Back

As I have told you at the time, I once missed the opportunity to snatch a complete collection of the BECMI GAZ series for basically peanuts. As a consequence, I am pretty excited at these news: the Wizards are selling Print on Demand reissues of old titles via DriveThru RPG/RPG Now.

Obviously, the campaign was launched only a couple of weeks ago, and there is no guarantee that they ever get to reissue any titles belonging to the GAZ. I can also envision some practical difficulties in doing such a thing: those booklets came with poster sized maps, and some of them included stuff like wargame pawns, paper models of buildings etc. Frankly, I strongly hope that they get around these problems in the most radical way: just cut the maps in pieces, and ditch the extra gimmicks. If they do it well (i.e., do not butcher the maps) the end result would be marginally less pretty, but considerably cheaper and more practical than the originals themselves.

Presently, the prices seem very interesting and the quality (at the very least) acceptable, so any GAZ title that comes up is pretty much a no brainer for me. Dammit, this I really owe to my youth and the history of the hobby!

Three Fantasy Games

First of all, I guess a owe my readers an apology. This blog has gone through a long hiatus, and perhaps it does not make a whole lot of sense to revive it now. You know how these things go: life is a b*tch and all that jazz. Somehow, I lacked the energies for regular updates, months went by etc. But the truth is that I am still into RPGs, so it would not be right to just starve this blog to death. I will not promise regular updates but, say, less infrequent updates.

Last Summer and Fall, three new releases caught pretty much all of my attention. Today and in the next few posts, I will offer some personal impressions of these games. Since my finances are limited (ah! euphemism!), I only did manage to put my money on two of them.

First, this Summer saw a triumphant Kickstarter for Zweihander, better known as “That Warhammer Fantasy Role Play retroclone that should have been out by now”. I have been following the beta releases for the game for no less than two years, and I must say that this project deserved my money, if nothing else, for the exceptional love and care that so many people put in it. This game has been conceived, playtested, revised, perfected for years by many, many WFRP fans that wanted so hard a new edition of their favourite game to see the light. I gladly shelled out my 50 euro-bucks for a physical book that, I am sure, will be gorgeous. The fact that the sellers did not charge additional shipping costs was also instrumental in making me opt for the paper as opposed to the mere PDF (shipping costs for large books can be horrifying, at times). At the moment, I have only read selections from the mammoth-sized provisional PDF, but I will give you some impressions in the next days.

The second game is Mythras. As you might remember, I have been aware of RuneQuest 6e for a long time. The fact is that I never managed to get my hands on a copy because the book was just too expensive (even for these days of expensive hardcovers). The news that the game was about to be revised and reissued made me wait a bit longer. At the end of last Summer, the game was finally out and I was (I think) among the very first to buy it in Europe. (This also resulted in a few little inconveniences, which I will discuss in a future post.) The price was just great, not least because of the partnership of the publisher with the UK based company Aeon Games. Anyway, I was super happy to finally have the book in my hands and these days I count it among my selected few favourite systems around.

The third game is, in a way, not new. It is the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy boxset that was launched on a surpise Kickstarter in September. I did not expect it and, I must confess, I just could not afford to support it: after paying for the other two books, a further expense of circa 80 euros was just too much. It is a pity, because the attempt of bringing dead-tree GURPS back (well) from the dead struck me as a great idea, really. I was never the greatest fan of the DF line per se, but that was only because I found that the attention it was getting was disproportionate with respect to the system’s potential. But you know what? They win: people want more dungeon crawling in GURPS? Hell, I am all for that. I will try to get the PDF when it is out for the general public.

 

Mad Paladins Fighting Demons (in Verses)!

The person known as Blacky the Blackball is now a fellow WordPress blogger. The blog is home to Blacky’s outstanding retro games, which are distributed at cost price. Being the happy purchaser of Lulu printed copies of Dark Dungeons and Blood, Guts & Glory, I could go on for hours about how much I like them both.

Dark Dungeons is especially fun to me, for two very different reasons. First, it is a very faithful clone of the Rules Cyclopedia, which is in many ways my favourite official D&D core book. Second, the author did the smart choice of illustrate it with Gustave Doré‘s beautiful drawings. Beyond being beautiful, these pictures are also likely to trigger a somewhat funny association to any Italian high schooler. The reason is that most of them are scenes from revered classics Dante’s Divine Comedy and Ariosto’s Frenzy of Orlando. But mind you! The choice is not actually that extravagant. Ariosto’s epic poem is first class campaign material, and Dante himself led a pretty adventurous life, so why not?

 

[Ok, this one was just to let you now that the blog is not dead. Which, as the old joke goes, technically makes it undead…]