Over the last few days I have been giving RPGnow a fairly thorough once-over in an attempt to suss out the real gems in the PDF world. One of the items that I've had my eye on for a long time is the Mecha SRD Extreme, essentially a PDF re-work of the d20 Mecha material designed for BESM d20. At the regular price of $7.95 I thought this product was a bargain, especially seeing as how the d20 Mecha book is kinda buggy. And for a long time I've been wanting to do an anime-flavored rewrite of the BattleTech universe, a project I call Steel Dragons. Even better, Mecha SRD Extreme is currently on sale for only $2.95! I could be downloading this baby right now, but I'm not.
I guess there are two main reasons why I seem to be letting this opportunity pass me by. The first is my discovery that RPGnow has a minimum order size of $6.40. In other words, I would have to pick out another product to buy. I can't decide. There are several good ones out there. OGL-Fantasy Light seems to be geared towards the same kind of play as both Castles & Crusades and my own Adepts & Warriors idea. Its a chopped-down SRD for less rules-intense play. Considering that I may very well drop twenty bucks for the forthcoming C&C corebook, five bucks doesn't seem like much to purchase a chance to see someone else's take on the D&D-lite thing. The there's A Fistful of Plot Devices #1 by Bruce Baugh. Only $4.25 for supers GM advice from a supersmart guy like Mr. Baugh seems like a bargain to me, but I have no immediate plans to run a supers game. Traveller's Aide #1 - Personal Weapons of Charted Space is a fiver as well. I've had my eye on this since it came out. Basically, it's a gunbunny hardware book, aimed primarily at Traveller d20 players, but dualstatted for Classic Traveller as well. I figure that even if the T20 gun stats aren't compatible with BESM d20, I might still get some use out of this product in a future CT game. But that future CT game is way out there in the dim future, hidden behind that murky supers game for which I'll use Fistful. In other words maybe never. As far as immediate use goes, my best bet would be the Savage Worlds Adventure Deck, but at ten bucks it's more than I wanted to spend on this particular outing.
But the other big reason I haven't bought the Mecha SRD Extreme is that I'm afraid I won't actually use it. Between my general d20 neurosis and the fact that I'm looking at building a bunch of mechs all by myself, I get kind nervous about the whole project. Then you toss in the fact that today I had some potentially useable ideas for Savage Worlds mecha rules, and suddenly the this product doesn't look so necessary. I dunno. On one hand, I kinda wonder if it's unhealthy to pour every good idea into the same generic ruleset. On the other, Savage Worlds goes really far to enabling the kind of play that I like. I guess this is the exact same issue I'm having with the 6 Islands Campaign. Maybe it's just the jitters at marrying all my campaign ideas to one set of rules, even if they are good rules that I really enjoy. I went through a period in the early-to-mid nineties where I played the crap out of HERO. Now it doesn't look as shiny as it used to. That's partially because I can't crunch a system like I used to. I lack the time and the inclination. But it's also partially that I got glutted on the HERO thing. After doing endless amounts of Champions and Fantasy HERO and Star HERO and an espionage HERO game I just didn't want to play frickin' HERO any more. Admittedly SW is no HERO (and thank Grodd for that) but I still wonder: if I cotninue down this path will I find myself glancing at my SW corebook and turning away in disgust?
Geez, looking back up at what I just wrote is freaking me out. Could I be any angstier about blowing three bucks on a PDF? I'm going to go do something that isn't related to gaming.
In Print - I was finally able to get all of my RPG modules in print. For awhile lulu.com didn't do book less than 20 pages I think. These books were 15 and 16 pa...