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Monday, September 25, 2006

Meanwhile...

As ever, no prizes to regular readers who know where I've been the past couple of weeks. Bitter and twisted as I am upon emerging from yet another slough of despond- and this one without any gaming at all to raise my spirits- I feel the need to vent my spleen in a pointless rant or two at some hapless non-moving targets. So I'll start with...

The turning of the season...
Autumn's definitely upon us here in Glasgow: the nights are drawing in (as we say), with darkness now descending by 7pm. The clocks will go back to gorram GMT before we know it and we'll have to endure those long months of mid-afternoon dusks. Gah, but I hate those long dark nights! Seasonal Affective tendencies aside, it's a bit of an age thing I think: when I was a youngster I used to find delights in autumn and winter; then, about 10 years ago, I realised I just hated the long months with too little daylight. I realised I was getting old.

Spires of Altdorf? Gah!
Since the diversion that was The Madness of Father Ranulf, and after the Serenity interlude, I've been thinking about how to get my PC's back onto the Paths of the Damned. Spires of Altdorf looks like a worthy sequel to Ashes of Middenheim, and I'm looking forward to getting it rolling.

But SoA is a very different adventure from AoM. In particular, it features a large cast of NPC's with whom the PC's must interact. These are fully detailed as you'd expect from BI's WFRP scenarios, with the key NPC's including lots of information that should prove very useful to the would-be GM. All well and good then. So what's my beef?

It's simply that those key NPC's are so well detailed that the information as presented in the book strikes me as being too cumbersome for easy use during play. What a GM (this one at least!) really needs with NPC's like these is to have each one available on handy reference sheets; large postcards would be ideal, but A5 at a pinch. Unfortunately, not content with the NPC's as laid out in the book requiring irritating page-flipping to get at; with the information often split across different pages, the layout is also such that you couldn't even photocopy the relevant pages to construct your NPC reference sheets.

In this ICT day-and-age, it would've been the easiest thing in the world for BI to have produced PDF's alongside their print books. With a bit of copying and pasting to a handy WP package it would then've been the easiest thing in the world to compile the much-needed references. But BI, in their infinite wisdom, have so far declined to join the rest of the rpg industry in producing PDF's of their line.

So there's nothing for it to resort to a serious session at the scanner before I can get to work on compiling those references without which I won't feel comfortable trying to deal with the complexities of SoA's interesting looking plot. Gah! And again- gah!
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