Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Numenera, GenCon Swag, and Other Thoughts

Last weekend was excellent. Even though I was battling my first cold of the year (which does suck), my spirits were kept high by the receipt of two packages in the mail.

First, I got my Kickstarter pledge reward from the Numenera campaign. To begin with, the core rulebook is gorgeous. The cover is unusually bright and cheerful (lots of orange and yellow), and the layout of the book is well-conceived and executed. I like the artwork, though I understand that some people have bitched about it. Overall, the book itself is slick and beautiful. I have not had much chance this week to look at it, though, between work and feeling like crap. I will have a more thorough review of its content in a later post.

Special mention goes to my friend and compatriots +Wayne Snyder and +Harley Stroh, who gifted me with many fine things in the past week or so. Thanks a lot to both of you. You don't suck nearly as much as people say you do. (I kid, I kid!)

Wayne was my man on the scene at GenCon, and picked me up a bunch of swag at the Goodman Games booth. Two 'Con-only adventures (Well of the Worm and Tower of the Black Pearl), as well as the GG program (which also has adventures in it), a DCC button (Party like it's 1974), the gold foil edition of Harley's new adventure, Fate's Fell Hand, and--have mercy!--several books: Three Kane novels and on Morigu novel. I'm looking forward to those.

Harley, on the other hand, only sent me one thing, but it was... incredibly awesome: An early Doug Kovacs sketch of "The Band," the ever-changing group of adventurers depicted in Goodman Games' products. That sucker is getting framed as soon as payday comes, and going up on my wall.

I also got my copy of the Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions from +James Raggi's crowd-funded adventures campaign. +Zak Smith has already offered a review of the product, which seems like a pretty fair-minded read on it. It's a very pretty book, but one I'm not sure I will get a lot of use out of. However, it does provide content that could be adapted quite easily to our Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad DCC campaign. Wizards in that game need to be a little bit (okay, fine, a lotta bit) crazy. The seclusium generator provides a convenient starting place for making that happen. Crazy wizard towers? Check. I'll be thinking on this a bit before I try it out. If it happens, you'll hear about it here. +Vincent Baker has made a solid effort with the book, IMHO, and I'd like to see where I can take it. I can't wait to see Broodmother Sky Fortress, also from that crowdfunding campaign.

In other news, I already mentioned my intentions to go to GenCon next year. I'm also getting ready to crank up a bit of scholarship in preparation for that trip. I'm going to try for a two-fer: Work and play. The "work" part of it is under consideration right now. I'm already working on something related to hangout gaming and ConstantCon, about which you will be hearing more soon. However, I'm becoming more and more interested in the persistence and development of the OSR as a distinct cultural enclave with its own communities, products, debates and drama and petty high school bullshit, etc. I most likely will be attempting to interview members of the community on topics related to that research, and perhaps doing a bit of survey research as well. More on that later.