Exalted... a game of Japanese manga-style

Exalted UDON White Wolf

I’m not really sure what to say about Exalted, other than it seemed an intriguing niche market for White Wolf at the time of its creation and that is has launched a successful licensed Kickstarter recently.  The game itself, at least in the incarnation I played, was certainly the most contrived system since Earthdawn hit gaming store shelves in the early 90s. Still, the concept of the game drew me to it, as did the anime-style artwork that broke away from standard ‘Big Eyes, Small Mouths’ in that the story was original to the setting and not ripped from various...

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Taking a magic carpet ride to fantastic art

Al-Qadim Easley TSR

Al-Qadim… Arabian Adventures.  The name alone makes any gamer have to take notice and I have to admit that I’m even more moved by the tag line from the back cover which reads: Magic carpets, ghoulish vixens, genies rising from the sand in a whirlwind of smoke and fire – such wonders, spun into tales by fabled Scheherazade, enchanted a king for a thousand and one nights. When looking over this magnificent softcover campaign setting from 1992, two things keep coming to my mind.  The first is that Howard Andrew Jones, author of the middle-eastern setting fantasy novels Bones of...

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Taking on the art of the Juicers from Rifts

Palladium R.K. Post Rifts

In 1996 Palladium’s real bread and butter had stopped being Robotech and its fantasy RPG and turned into Rifts.  By the mid-90s the company had produced ten Rifts supplements in the line, the tenth being The Juicer Uprising and I have to say I was pretty taken with it.  Not necessarily because of the broken game mechanic that were Juicers, but the fact that the book itself was a very fine piece of artistic creation. Written by C.J Carella, the Juicer history involved in the supplement is strong, and even with the horrors that are inherent to the Palladium system...

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Entering the Honorable Art of L5R

Dornaus L5R

‘Say not that honor is the child of boldness, Nor believe that death alone can pay its price: It is not to a single action that honor is due, But to the life that enfolds it.  – Lady Doji Ah… what isn’t to like about the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, especially the 1st Edition circa 1998-99?  The above quote comes from The Way of the Crane, one of a half dozen spectacular supplements that dedicate themselves to the great clans of the L5R setting.  This particular one, written by Ree Soesbee, is a wonderful piece of gaming fiction...

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Looking through Dangerous Journeys is indeed dangerous!

Elmore GDW

I have to wonder what the minds of Frank Chadwick, Marc Miller, and Rich Banner thought when Gary Gygax agreed to put out a new RPG under the Game Designer’s Workshop banner?  I’m sure that was a great deal of ecstasy there, a feeling that after doing this job since 1973 that they ‘gold ticket’ had finally been found. Yet as any old school gamer knows, the release of Gygax’s Dangerous Journeys in 1992 was the incendiary fuel for the folding of the GDW just four years later, with the epitaph ‘Everybody was just really happy to move on’ being...

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