Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New stuff!

Could this be the thing that finally replaces my Arduin crit charts?And in the nick of time, too! Over a week ago I placed my first ever order with Paizo. I was in a big hurry to get the GameMastery Critical Hit Deck before my next Beyond Vinland session. I can't wait to try these cards out tonight! I'm a sucker for trying new card-based antics in my D&D games. My only concern about this product is that, as written, these cards replace the 2x/3x/4x damage result of a normal critical, rather than supplementing the normal multiplier. I know some players will be nervous about using this unknown system in place of the tried and true double damage rules. Of course we all agree that those players are big whimps. Just kidding. I totally understand the concern.

I also ordered a copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics #4, Bloody Jack's Gold. I've been wanting this one for a while, simply because Pirate Treasure plus Otus Cover equals Distilled Awesome. It'll probably take a *little* tweaking to make a Caribbean pirates adventure work in my pre-Columbian Viking/Conan game set near the Great Lakes. We'll start by casting theOtus is the man. Ancient Atlanteans as Spaniards, I think. And maybe swap out muskets for laser beams, if blackpowder weapons appear in the module. 'Cause nothing says 'viking' like sci-fi energy weapons. I really need to get the other Otus-covered DCC modules. And pretty much the whole dang line. I haven't found one yet that doesn't suit me.

The nice people at Paizo also included two nifty freebies in the box. One was a great color catalog of their products. How long has it been since I've seen a color catalog devoted to RPG stuff? Was it the last BattleTech boxed set I bought from FASA in the late eighties? The other item they threw in was a booster for their GameMastery Item Cards line. This product line flew under my radar somehow, and it looks like it just might be right up my alley. The booster contains 11 cards. The front of each card looks something like this:


Other items in the little pack I received include a staff, a scroll, a couple weapons, some bracers, etc. The flip side of the card is like this:

A sharp DM could put some alphanumeric designation in the small "Item Code" field, which references some hidden chart describing the true nature of the item. The players could then use the Notes section to keep track of what they know about the item.

The crazy thing is that in my current campaign I'm already handing out magic items in card form. One of the big challenges I set myself for Beyond Vinland was to make magic items less dull. So I bought a pad of index cards that I've been slowly filling with unique magic items. When the players find the item I hand them the card. I've even been putting little illustrations on each card. But the art on these Paizo-made cards might be worth spending a few bucks on boosters. And I find that handing the player something tangible and saying "Here's your treasure" really enhances the play experience, because now the player is getting a goody as well as the PC. And I get to feel like Santa Claus.