Thursday, August 25, 2011

How I Discovered Cosmic Patrol

Fresh off of Gencon still, I always feel so invigorated to write for two or three months about all the new crazy cool stuff I picked up or saw. Today I wanted to touch on one of my top two picks from the show - Cosmic Patrol (CP). I hadn't heard of CP before randomly walking by Catalyst Game Labs' booth. You see, while I like sci-fi and the settings of Shadowrun, the days of buying big hard cover books are - mostly - beyond me at this point. The game needs to be either something I've really been anticipating, uses a setting I just can't avoid, or some combination of the two. The One Ring from Cubicly 7 would be a great example of what makes a great exception to that rule.

So, back to Catalyst. I had no real reason to walk by their booth outside of checking out Leviathans just to see how cool the airships looked in person. Rest assured, they looked very cool, but I was surprised to see a small red paperback book sitting in stacks and stacks next to the Leviathan display pieces. The Leviathan minis looked cool, and I don't mean to detract from them, but that little red book with the big honkin' rocket on the cover and those most dangerous of words "Gen Con 2011 Special Edition" completely distracted me from my original target.

I over heard the gentleman at the booth talking to a customer about how it's their new lite RPG which took a more indie angle on classic pulp science fiction gaming. Also, there was no GM but rather a shared narration. I don't know if the customer walked away happy to disappointed, but the guy on the other side of the table, who it turns out is the game's designer, Matt Heerdt, had me completely hooked on the thing. I picked a copy up for myself (and now, believe it or not, I wish I had picked up an extra copy just to collect as I'm already on my second read-through of the thing and see no end in sight) after talking to him for a few more moments.

Matt explained that CP is going to be a short, planned line of three or four small hardcover books giving players everything they could need to play in the universe of Cosmic Patrol. This has me very excited as the universe is relatable, yet complex. Reading the 24 pages to establish the setting set my mind reeling with tons of ideas for stories and campaigns. I like the option of sharing narration with the Lead Narrator (LN) role passing around to a new player each scene, although don't be scared off at all as it would very easily fit the mold of a classic gm-centered game as well (in fact, even with my love of Fiasco and other GM-less games, I may still run this as a GM).

I promise to have more about Cosmic Patrol in the future, including more discussion on the setting itself since it hits so many great pulp notes and scratches all those itches we're all going to be having next year to play a John Carter of Mars RPG. On a side note, Catalyst has done something which I view to be revolutionary. While I (gladly) paid $20.00 for my softcover version of the rules, Catalyst has thrown up the pdf for a mere five bucks. As blind purchases go, I can't recommend enough to pick up the pdf for this book. Alternatively, go order the book for the normal release date (at $25.00) and get the pdf for free while you wait. If you want to just find out more about the game, visit the official website to get a better idea. I've got a real good feeling about this game and think it's going to make a really big splash once people actually get a chance to hear about the thing. It may not be Fiasco-big, but I can't help but feel like that as well as Cosmic Patrol, with their small size, nice and low page count, and "complete" feel in one book are really the future of this hobby.

The Cosmos has a million ways to kill you...

Join the Patrol!

1 comment:

  1. I picked up the PDF yesterday and I'm giving it a look through now, it's pretty interesting so far! :)


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