It’s been a while since my last post; I’ve had a number of things going on (some of them all at once), so it’s been hard to keep up. But in short:
FFG released their beta version of Legend of the Five Rings RPG on DriveThruRPG.
Apparently, they’re rebooting the franchise (and introducing a new dice mechanic), and the initial material looks good, although I’m curious as to where they’re going to go with it. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m totally sold on the rebooting part, considering that I have the 4th edition core book and the Book of Fire, both of which I picked up on the cheap from a used bookshop about a year ago. Other than perusing the pages, I hadn’t had much of a chance to actually use it – and given that this game and era are of interest to me alone, I probably never will. Still, it kind of stinks that a newer version of the game is virtually on the stands before I can get any use out of the previous version. No word yet on whether the existing support material will be applicable to this new work, but my gut tells me that they won’t.
At least I didn’t go whole-hog on the 4th edition as I’d originally intended. Such is progress, I guess.
I did, however, finally manage to finish my collection of Thames & Hudson’s “Unofficial Handbooks,” one of which might prove very useful to this pending RPG release.
Admittedly, this series has been out for a while – at least ten years – but that hasn’t affected their value. These are great little books with a lot of information about their respective time periods. Each is authored by an expert in that area, and they’re presented in such a fashion to be . . . well, handbooks.
Each one addresses its topic at its height. For example, Knight is written from the perspective of one fighting in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War; Legionary is set at the beginning of the Roman Empire; Gladiator is mid-Imperial Rome, while Samurai is roughly 17th century Japan, and Viking is mid-9th century Scandinavia.
Thames & Hudson also put out a series of “travel guides” for historic places like Rome (in the age of Constantine), Florence (at the height of the Renaissance), and Constantinople (at the height of the Ottoman Empire). These are also older books, but they’re great for locations. They give you an idea of prices, travel times, occupations, and people. I’ve only managed to locate a couple in the series, but this gives me something to seek out, possibly this winter.
The O-scale railroad equipment I mentioned last time cleaned up pretty well. I ended up repainting the engine’s shell, and that came out okay. I haven’t run into many O-scale items since, but that’s fine, since it seems that what I’ve got is far longer (when assembled) than I’d anticipated. Because of work and Real Life™, the whole Dust thing is on hold, anyway. My new goal is to construct a universal table – maybe 4′ x 4′ where I could play not only Dust, but some of the other table-top games that have caught my eye.
Hopefully, I can start work on that this month.