Sunday, December 20, 2009
Gamer Christmas List: Last Minute Shopping Ideas.
So I was sitting here trying to think of what kind of last-minute shopping options there are out there for gamer folk. Of course you could always raid your local friendly game store and pick up whatever's out there for that special gamer friend. What about Amazon? You can still order as of tomorrow to get your late, late shopping in, just don't forget to select two day shipping! So is there a better option? What if I hate braving the cold streets and busy parking lots? What if I'm a nervous wreck about stock running low for online options? Well, fear not, there is a third option, and better yet, you can do it right from your computer desk!
Of course I'm talking about pdf format or pdf-exclusive gaming products. Places like rpgnow (image borrowed from their website) and drivethruRPG (which, honestly might be the same website now that I look at them side by side - showing my ignorance here) are great last minute shopping options as you can purchase a pdf product as a gift and it gets sent directly to your friends email. It's a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of last minute brick and mortar shopping. Ok, so now you have a buying method that won't drive you crazy and definitely won't run out of stock, you're probably begging for some pdf-exclusive recommendations to really add bang to your Christmas-present-budget-bucks!
Portrait of a Villain: The Desire
This one's for the D&D 4th Edition fan in your life. I recently wrote a full review of this new indie supplement which you can check out on Eye of the Vortex. I go into a bunch of details on the review itself, but here's a quick summary. Basically it's an original city to be dropped into a D&D game. It comes with a central antagonist, "The Desire," the head of an underground brothel cartel that's got its hands deep in the pockets of every politician and underground group out there. You get stats on her, other NPC's of the city, lots of new generic monsters and henchmen, and three full sets of encounters. Lot's of value for this $9.95 pdf-only product.
Got a person who likes White Wolf games or in general likes modern urban fantasy? This is the supplement that's going to get that guy's juices flowing. Intended to be used in a Changeling: The Lost game, it can easily be transferred into any general World of Darkness game. The bonus is that it'll really throw your characters for a loop when they enter it. You can create your own goblin market and let your players explore it as appropriate to the game they're playing. Sure, it's awesome for a group of Changeling's to deal with a market, but think of the damage of a dedicated cell of Hunters could do to a goblin market, and more importantly how many new plot seeds it can create as countless goblins nurture a grudge against the group.
Sidenote: White Wolf has really embraced the pdf, direct-download format, and thus has a whole section dedicated to their pdf-only products. Good stuff!
Iron Kingdoms RPG
One awesome feature of the direct download pdf market for RPG's is the availability of out-of-print products. The best example of this I can think of (showing my Privateer Press bias, I'll admit) is the Iron Kingdoms RPG line. Designed to be a setting for D&D 3.5, these books have been out of print for a few years, and the prices for original copies have been sky rocketing on Ebay and Amazon. You'll get the big deal by reading the Character Guide, and then you'll just keep needing to get more and more until your collection is complete. Unlike the other two entries in this guide, this isn't exactly a budget buy, which can be a good thing when spending an appropriate amount of money is integral to the gift exchange, but fear not! They still are below the original retail price. For the quality of the writing and the amount packed in each book, it's a good investment.
Hope that helped, and good luck on your shopping and holiday-ing! We may not post much this next week, but I consider that healthy, darn it! Hopefully see you before the end of the year!