Fate Reforged Brews, pt. 8 – Return of the Blue Devotion

Cloudform seems innocuous enough. A 2/2 protected flier for 3. Not really constructed playable, I guess. Unless, of course, you want the devotion. Maybe in some situations, it would be good to have a Master of Waves with hexproof, although in that case you don’t get the tokens, of course, but if another Master brought in the tokens, this one could keep them alive.

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My not-so-favorable view on Hollow Earth Expedition character creation

I stumbled on an internet forum to a thread about Indiana Jones type roleplaying, and noticed that Hollow Earth Expedition is a very popular choice. For the life of me, I cannot understand why. OK, there are good things in it, but more on those later. The first thing I always do when I try to decide if a new RPG system is worth my while, is to begin reading on character creation. After about five minutes of reading it I notice the first warning sign. Attributes and Skills are first bought on one-to-one basis, but later they get a scaling cost. This is a classic White Wolf mistake. Perhaps it has been around before WW, but if it is, I have no idea where that idiocy sprang from.

I steel myself and venture further into the mechanics. Then I notice: six attributes that start from zero, and you add 15 points to them, but there must be at least 1 in all of them. Why not say: “every attribute starts at 1 and you add 9 points into them”, because that’s what it really means!? OK, a rookie design mistake (again)… Let’s see what it looks like when the system is played with optimization in mind.

Derived attributes have way more mentions on Dexterity, Body and Intelligence than on any other attributes. Strength and Willpower get mentioned once each. It is obvious that low character intelligence almost never gets any real hindrance in games, it is “just” roleplaying stuff, so I decide to “dump” it. I toyed with the system for a while, and the “ideal” character is: Body 5, Dexterity 5, Strength 1, Charisma 1, Intelligence 2 and Willpower 1. Of course Dexterity is related to shooting at things, like in almost every game. So now my guy has the maximum “hit points”, maximum shootyness, maximum defense, good initiative score and sometimes even notices stuff happening. Otherwise it is very lackluster, but who cares about those other types of thingies anyway?!

Obviously that is not the most ideal character, there never is, and definitely not very enjoyable to play. It is just so easily maximized to most of the things that happen in RPGs, outside of player-GM narrative (i.e. within the mechanics of the game). Note that I could, if I wanted to, start this guy with 5 points in Diplomacy and Investigation each, for example, and rock pretty well in those departments too.

To clarify, I am most definitely a role-player, not roll-player, but this kind of thoughtlessness in character creation mechanics just makes me mad, and makes me not want to play your game. At least not under your rules, that is.

I promised to write something positive about this so here goes. Setting is innovative and exciting, as is the dice-mechanic. This setting would be great with some other RPG system, and if polished, or rather reconstructed from basics up, the dice mechanic could be really cool.

The Binding of Isaac Review

Note: This is abouth the original, not the Rebirth, which I haven’t played.

This is a game that was taken down by Nintendo for having “questionable religious content”. Since Steam doesn’t have the same restrictions, it now has a new life.

The religious content? Well, remember the story where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son? That’s known as Binding of Isaac. This game has the same starting point: Isaac’s Mom is asked by God to kill Isaac. Isaac, however, escapes through a hatch and fights back through the basement.

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Fate Reforged Brews, pt. 5 – Monored

Admittedly, Temur Battle Rage sort of speaks to me, but I don’t think its that good. Especially not for pushing damage through. For that, Titan’s Strength is going to be better most of the time. Its cheaper and does three fairly reliably. It also works well with Prophetic Flamespeaker. So, Battle Rage might work as some sort of poor fifth Titan’s Strength, but not much more than that.

I did, however, find some other cards I might be interested in using.

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