Thanks to my FLGS, Rogue’s Gallery, for participating in Free RPG Day! I got two items – it was one per person, but my daughter was with me, so we were two! (And it worked out well for them, because she successfully wheedled me into getting a cute plush Cthulhu doll for her. This led to a later argument about whether Cthulhu pees and poos or not – she insists yes, but I think no.)
Anyway, the first thing I got was the thing I was specifically wanting, the Pathfinder module Master of the Fallen Fortress. They’ll be putting up the PDF for free later so don’t weep too bad if you didn’t get one of these.
It’s a super short level 1 dungeon crawl (arguably 10 pages of adventure in the 16 page piece), glossy full color with Paizo’s standard high production values. The more notable part of it was the full page writeups of the new iconics representing classes from the upcoming Advanced Player’s Guide – Damiel the elven alchemist, Alain the cavalier, Imrijka the half-orc inquisitor, Alhazra the blind oracle, Balazar the gnomish summoner, and Feiya the witch (who is smoking hot by the way). These give good insight into the new classes – although I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have any personality or background writeup at all. They all seem very interesting and a little additional personality would make them valuable NPCs/better convention or fast-play PCs. So in the end, it’s near and VERY pretty, but I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of it – even as an “here let me introduce you to Pathfinder” adventure, it would last about an hour. But – it’s free!
There were a lot of choices for item #2. I considered the Goodman Games Cthulhu adventure, but finally went with the Deathwatch: Final Sanction, and intro to Space Marine roleplaying in the Warhammer 40k universe. It’s fat – 36 real pages – and full color. You get 4 pregen Space Marines, one from each major chapter (Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, and Ultramarines). Because their stats aren’t all that complicated, they actually have a brief history and demeanour section in addition to the numbers in their one-page writeups. Then there’s six pages of quickstart rules that don’t differ in any immediately obvious way from the other WH40k RPGs. Next is two pages of “Horde” rules, which adds a bit of the “3:16 – Carnage Among The Stars” aspect to this – a horde is a mass of attackers you get to mow down en masse. They also talk about the Demeanours, which aren’t just role-playing – you can leverage them by triggering them via roleplaying, but they then give you the effects of a Fate Point. Nice!
Next is weapons and gear, and then a 17 page adventure, complete with location writeups and NPCs. It’s quite a value for $0 – hell, people try to sell something of this size nowadays for $10 or more!
I never played any Warhammer 40k. I got their first RPG, Dark Heresy, about Inquisitors, it was vaguely amusing but not moving. I didn’t get Rogue Trader because it seems lame to me. But even being a WH40k noob I know about space marines and orks. There’s a lack of good space marine games. Bughunters was good and is REALLY old, Aliens was not, Starship Troopers was OK, and 3:16 is good but all indie and super rules light and all. If you want to shoot the shit out of hordes of aliens, this seems like a good bet!