Saturday, March 24, 2012

Scenes From a Ethnically Non-Specific Bookstore

My wife and I spend a lovely day together, the first time we've gotten to spend a lot of time together on a weekend in quite a while.  However, in between all of the places we got to go together, and all of that quality time, there was this little side trip to a certain bookstore, where there were these books, which ties into this blog, which is about gaming.

I posted last weekend about some of my internal monologue about Pathfinder and it's quirks and how I feel about the whole she-bang.  While I was at the bookstore, I looked through the Bestiary 3.  Oddly, I've not looked at it much at the FLGS.  Possibly because I don't want anyone to start in on the "hey, are you going to start buying Pathfinder books again after you sold off your copies?"

The answer would be no.  Rogue Trader is expansive enough, and right now, I don't have room in the limited space I have to store gaming material to host a massive physical library such as Pathfinder currently enjoys.  That having been said, I've still got my PDFs on my laptop.  Digression/explanation over for now.

Anyway, for anything else I might have been able to complain about Paizo before I gave up the Pathfinder GMing Ghost, I have to say, they really know story element style content better than the other guys in the FRPG market.  I didn't get a chance to look at stats too deeply, but the monsters all looked evocative.  None of the monsters looked like "we want to make an ogre again, but better," or "we want a monster that facilitates using a certain rule in an encounter."  These guys all look like myths, legends, and pop culture inspirations that would make for a good creature to show up in a story, first and foremost.

I can't vouch for any mechanics, but the critters themselves look like they want to be used in a story, and none of them have names like "Mega-Ogre" or "Spellwarped Phaseshifter Goblin."

I also looked at the compilations of IDW's Dungeons and Dragons comic book.  Nice hardcovers of the first two story arcs.  I had read most of the first arc when it came out, and John Rogers  (he of Leverage/Blue Beetle fame) does a really good job writing this crew.  He walks a really masterful line between taking the subject material a little too seriously, and lampooning said material.

These guys are adventurers, and adventurers are a known quantity in "D&D land."  Some level of weird stuff happening doesn't phase them and is great fodder for quips, but there is a level of weird, bad luck and bizarre happenings and creatures that becomes noteworthy.

It's really a great book and the characters are all likable and engaging.  If WOTC had this comic going at the start of 4e to illustrate their new setting and it's quirks, I think it might have worked wonders for people being able to "get" what they were shooting for.  I also think these comics make a really good introduction to what a general high fantasy adventurer based RPG setting is like for anyone that isn't familiar with the tropes.

I didn't get a chance to look at the Dark Sun comic that was also present in compilation form, but based on the Rogers D&D book, I really hope that the upcoming Pathfinder comic from Dynamite is up to the quality of Dungeons and Dragons.

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