Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labor Day Weekend Review

Well, a decent chunk of this weekend could be titled "Getting Ready For Kid #2". That meant a LOT of cleaning. Fortunately, I still had plenty of time to get crackin' on several products that I really wanted to get a good (and in a couple of cases, second) look at:

-Campaign Coins. Wow. I tell you, I don't know what folks will think of the cost of the product, but for sheer coolness/rockingness, its way up there. I absolutely love new, well-considered gaming accessories, and Campaign Coins would fall right in there. It also may have the most interior packaging of any RPG product, ever. For those who haven't seen them yet, here's a pic from their website:

-Reaper's Goroloth mini is quite nicely done, but is going to take some extensive work before I have it in good shape. Here's Goroloth's yearbook pic, for the curious:

-Staying on Reaper for a minute, I was pretty excited when they announced a few months back their Legendary Encounters prepainted plastic minis line. Regrettably, the Minotaur I received for the purposes of judging is striking visually, but has a bit of trouble standing totally upright and balanced. It looks as if the base may have been bent/warped a bit in packaging. Bummer!

-Colonial Gothic by Rogue Games is one of the best ideas for an idea that I'd heard of in a good while. Upon further reading, though, I think there are some issues with the system that I really need to playtest, mainly in the area of skills. This RPG has some really cool concepts, but I'm just not sure how that'll weigh vs. the editing issues and rules questions I have.

-I'm reacquainting myself with BattleTech! There's a lot of product here to review, and I'm making sure I don't miss anything. Some products are such that you can just look at it and know an extra dose of work and consideration went into their completion. BattleTech's current line=that.

-As a long-time Palladium fan, that side of me was very much looking forward to Rifts Dimension Book 10: Hades. The book itself is chock full of concepts and great ideas for Rifts, Palladium Fantasy, and more, but the layout is standard Palladium Fantasy, somewhat disappointingly organized, and detracts from the overall product to a point. On the other hand, Carl Gleba provides really good bits in here, and really shows off his stuff as a writer (just really good writing throughout). So, a mixed bag, but one that was still a fun read.

I looked at a few other products this weekend, but more on those as I get a chance to look them further.


Stupid Ranger said...

I loved the Campaign Coins! I thought it was a great idea to make the game more interactive and fun. I can't imagine anything more entertaining than a pocket full of gold.

S. John said...

I've purchased other coin-prop products in the past, but this new one looks like one of the finest examples I've yet seen.

Zachary The First said...

I was unaware there were previous coin-props of this sort! I've seen cardstock ones, but not this...

S. John said...

From pretty early in the hobby, you could get white-metal fantasy coin sets from lead-miniatures companies (mold-casted using the same materials and methods used for the miniatures). These were sold in fat jingly bags in game-shops through the 80s and into the early 90s, though the manufacturer (and quality) varied.

In the 90s, I saw at least one set of fantasy coins struck from harder-metal blanks or sheet (kind of like videogame tokens) and that seems to be the approach used by Campaign Coins (judging solely by the photo, which is very tempting gamer-porn to me).

And of course, for the truly well-financed, you can also get fantasy coins struck like real coins from the proper metals, from a high-end source like joelscoins.com (actually, the ones made from the cheaper metals are very reasonably priced ... it's the genuine silver- and gold-pieces you need to sell the blood for) :)

S. John said...

Oh, for those confused by the real-coinage focus of joelscoins, the fantasy pages are:



... but his genuine-history wares rock, too (you can get 10 roman bronze coins for under $18, for example).

The guy that used to make the fantasy coinage no longer does so, alas, but Joel's still has some stock.

Hopefully those URLs won't clip. Blogger hates URLs :)

S. John said...

One more link - a different (?) - source of fantasy coin (or the same one that is or isn't existing to supply Joel's)?


Sorry for the flood. It's a topic that gets me jazzed :)

S. John said...

Absolute last part of this flood, I swear. Almost certainly. On my life!*

Looks like some miniatures companies are still doing it:


Use just the word "coin" in the search box, lots of choices. Pretty decent prices, too, so possibly a good alternative for gamers scared by the price of the Campaign Coins.

* Reserves the right to substitute random trinkets and/or stale corn chips for life.

Zachary The First said...

Fantastic! Thanks very much! I had no idea!

The Evil DM said...

Man, I must be way out of touch. the coin thing does nothing for me. I can appreciate the quality and all that, but it's not something I would spend real money on. but then I never dressed "in character" for a game either. I guess i'm just an old fuddy-duddy.

the very fact that I actually used the word fuddy-duddy proves my point.

Zachary The First said...

My friend, each Wednesday you prove to us youre no fuddy-duddy.

One thing I'm interested in is seeing how my players react to actually "spending" coin, as opposed to just orossing it off their sheet. Will the 10 gold tips for the barkeep dry up? Will the private room in the inn seem a little less desirable when it will take all but a few piddly coppers?

S. John said...

Man, I must be way out of touch.

There is the alarming possibility that you simply have different tastes.

So hard for some gamers to consider that, I know :)

Adam said...

Thanks for the kind words on the new BattleTech stuff -- we did, indeed, work hard to find new ways to present the material, with a special eye towards not just doing things "because that's the way they've always been done."

I look forward to hearing more of your reaction on the Classic BattleTech books and box set!

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I've purchased other coin-prop products in the past, but this new one looks like one of the finest examples I've yet seen.

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