Planet Mercenary is a tabletop role-playing game based on the universe of Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler. As a comic running for 17 years now, an RPG based on the setting is unusual but not inconceivable – Tayler’s space opera has introduced several exciting locations and races. Additionally, Howard Tayler’s cartooning history includes illustrating XDM: X-treme Dungeon Mastery, and, as he mentioned in conversations I had with him a few years back, has had a fair amount of experience in tabletop RPG’s. While not my usual fare(I’m more of a fantasy guy than sci-fi), I’ve been reading Schlock Mercenary almost exactly as long as I’ve been playing tabletop RPG’s(I began reading it at my first DM’s recommendation), so the union of the two felt completely natural to me.
It’s no secret that tabletop role-playing games are a niche hobby, but I for one can’t imagine the world in which I don’t play them. My involvement in the hobby started during the Spring of 2009, a little before the passing of Dave Arneson and a little after the death of Gary Gygax. Little did I know how profound of an effect on my life the duo would have posthumously.
Empire of Imagination, by Michael Witwer, is a biography of Gary Gygax and ultimately an account of the origins of Dungeons & Dragons. Witwer has written a compelling account of Gygax’s childhood, meteoric rise to an unexpectedly rock and roll lifestyle, and fall from grace through corporate politics at TSR. I received the book as a present sometime last winter but felt compelled to write this review this week as I went to Lake Geneva to see some small pieces of D&D history for myself. Continue reading “Empire of Imagination Review”
Tome of Beasts, by Kobold Press, is a bestiary containing a wide array of monsters, from Cactids, Salt Golems, and Algoriths to clockwork monsters, dinosaurs, and, of course, plenty of new dragons. The book was produced through a Kickstarter in October of 2015 with contributions totaling to nearly ten times its funding goal. I received the PDF of the book in July of 2016, and the physical book in August, which, aside from an adventure written by Goodman Games, was the first of the third-party 5e books I’ve purchased or backed.
Book of the Righteous by Green Ronin Publishing is a supplement originally designed for Third Edition. In May 2016, Green Ronin completed a Kickstarter to republish Book of the Righteous and its content for Fifth Edition, replacing its “Alternative Paladin” Holy Warrior class with a diverse range of archetypes for Fifth Edition classes to reflect devout adventurers from different backgrounds. Green Ronin is an interesting publisher in that it works both on its products and regularly with Wizards of the Coast, such as the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Out of the Abyss. At the beginning of July, I received the PDF of Book of the Righteous as a Kickstarter backer, having eagerly awaited it for quite some time.