Thursday, March 1, 2012

GM's Day Sale at DriveThruRPG - What I'm Getting

I'm as big a fan of made-up holidays as the next guy, especially when they give me a day off from work. While GM's Day doesn't quite carry the magnitude of Labor Day (even though we might put more effort and stress into planning our games than doing our day jobs), a close runner-up to having the day off from work is having a big old sale of things I love.

And that brings us to GM's day. Thanks to Gary, we have a date - March 4th -  to celebrate the hard work our GM's put into providing weekly, monthly, annually, or whatever-ly gaming entertainment. While I'm not sure what kind of celebrating actually happens (if I had a game store, I would whore the hell out of GM's Day - just saying), there's one thing that comes up like clockwork every year now since GM's Day started - the annual DriveThruRPG sale in honor of the new holiday!

I freaking love me some gaming pdf's. They're great for a lot of reasons, and not the least is that a site like drivethrurpg can easily through huge sales up which I can benefit from immediately upon purchase. Go check the link above for the general sale page. There are over 8,000 products up for sale. This is pure insanity. Virtually everything they have is for sale from Margaret Weis Productions to Savage Worlds books to Legend of the 5 Rings to tons of World of Darkness books. Well it's easy to get lost for hours searching through all 8,000+ products, I've grabbed some books that I'm excited to pick up at just the right price. Keep reading below for my top five picks of the sale (or at least five products I'm going to have a very, very difficult time not shelling out cash for in the next week)!

If you're like me, you're obsessive about L5R 4th Edition. AEG is hitting a perfect record with every single book they've released for 4th Edition. Production quality is insanely high, art is gorgeous, and everything is jammed full of useful/cool stuff.

If you're also like me, you sadly missed out on the limited window in which you could buy the Game Master Screen and Adventure directly from AEG. Nowadays, it's extremely difficult to find a copy of the GM screen, and sadly for me, it means it's the only thing I don't own for 4th Edition.

While part of my attraction to this product is the completionist in me, I'm also really intrigued to see how a pdf of a GM's screen actually works. This particular one seems like a win-win since it also has what looks to be a pretty adventure included, so even if the GM screen isn't super handy, at least I'll have an adventure to read and potentially run that is up to the same caliber as the rest of the game line.

While there are a ton of cool Savage Worlds settings available in the sale, Rippers stands out for a couple of reasons. First off is the fact that it's essentially impossible to find. As a book, it exemplifies what makes pdf products so awesome - you can bypass high collector prices altogether in favor of a low-cost pdf that gets you the same information in the end. Rippers is incredibly difficult to find and expensive when you do find it. Fifteen bucks for this sale is a huge discount.

The other reason it's attractive is because it's pretty unique as far as settings go. It's one of the few settings outside of the World of Darkness that really lets you play monstrous characters, but even cooler is that it's got a lot of depth and grounding in historical fictional and non-fictional characters and events. I'd imagine it being just perfect for a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen style game for the Victorian Era. It's got tons of great reviews, and I'll admit that I haven't had the chance to get a copy for myself quite yet, but that may have to change this week...

While I have a hard time identifying with most anime, I grew into my nerdiness thanks to a steady diet of many, many different series of Gundam starting in middle school and throughout most of high school. What could be considered my first role-playing experience was an old play-by-post set of forums in which some local high school friends and others around the internet played every week and plotted massive attacks insurmountable fortresses, and conniving backstabbing on the forums and secretly (evily!) over AOL Instant Messenger.

I've always wanted to recapture those days, and I think a big part of it might come across through running a new mecha game. I didn't know it then, but we were doing diceless role-playing mashed up with something like Paizo's Kingmaker adventure path. We were GM-less, largely mechanic-less, and free to bullshit our way through fights based on our collective experiences of watching Gundam Wing.

As much as I'd love to try to just pick that up again and make it work, I'm thinking a little more structure might be in order, and that's where Mekton Zeta comes into play. This is supposed to be the game to run a Gundam campaign. No matter what, I think it'll be useful to generate some ideas or just get warm fuzzies over years gone past.

While I know next to nothing about the universe and haven't read a single book in the novel series, you just have to sit up and pay attention to a book just released last year on a pretty major fantasy license from a company like Crafty Games that's on sale for just $11.24. Oh yeah, and it's a freaking 563 page pdf at that. Just crazy. I don't think there's anything else out of the 8,200 sale items that comes close to packing that much value. It was something I was willing to pass on before, but at that price, I just feel stupid for ignoring it, so I won't.

Ok, this one just makes me plain mad. I was all set to wait for the deluxe edition of the Age of Apocalypse version of this game which may be out by Gencon (but hopefully for sure out by Christmas if not then), and now this comes up. How am I supposed to avoid picking this up at this price? I want to join in all the excitement that's being generated over this game. I want to do some play-by-post gaming of this. I want to run my own game. I want to look at all the art they've included. I want, I want, I want... this stupid book for this stupid price. It's a great price. If you're at all interested in super role-playing, this is the "it" game to be in on at the moment (and probably for the foreseeable future as well).

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