Just time to get a short entry done and posted before the midnight deadline for Thursday 18th (British summer time).
I've been fairly busy on the rpg front lately. Alane's player came round Tuesday and we did some work on a HERO character he'd been wanting to make up. Also, the usual roleplayers' fish stories apart, we discussed what we are going to do to get some action going in the superhero world in which we started sharing GMing when we first got to know each other as roleplayers. We've got some ideas to which we're both looking forward.
We also both paid a visit to our FLGS, where he got himself a Reaper mini representing what will probably turn out to be a somewhat more advanced version of Alane than he is currently playing. I, of course, lashed out on some HERO product, this time getting my hands on a copy of The Ultimate Mystic, by Dean Shomshak, which should prove timely since the superhero said player is running is a technomage.
The Ultimate Mystic is too big and dense (224 pages of closely spaced text) for me to have more than a vague impression of its contents in such a short space of time, but as ever with recent HERO product, I am impressed with the thoroughness of the work done, if not entirely persuaded by the underlying approach of the overall package.
One thing I do immediately like about HERO:UM is that it doesn't recapitulate the magic section from Steve Long's monumental Fantasy HERO (a book that should be bought and read by any and every fantasy roleplayer, be they GM or PC, no matter which system and/or setting you are playing). What we are given instead is an account of the place of the magical, the mystical and the supernatural in the realms of reality, mythology and fiction, with a welter of tips on how to handle this background material using the HERO system.
So what are my caveats? Hmm, that's hard to explain. I think it's probably that there is something just a little too generic about this stuff, a perception that has been heightened by the cleverness of the way that the OWB was put together for WFRP2. That's all I can say at the moment.
Apart from all of that, I am very pleased to read "The Pipes of the Old World", on a blog called 'TheUruguayanGamer' by one RPGpundit. This is something... Well, just read for yourself (NB. check for the 18th August entry). This is a nice wee piece of work, and one which I'm sure my pipesmoking dwarf will come to appreciate at least as much as myself. Nice stuff.