Donnerstag, 12. September 2013

"CONTACT - Spielleiterschirm" Review

Earlier this week I received the Game Master Screen for the CONTACT role playing game as well as the "Schrecken der Tiefe" expansion for the same game in my mail. Let me share my first impression of  the Game Master Screen with you in this little blog entry:

The Game Master Screen folded up

 The booklet with additional information

These two quick snapshots I took hardly do this screen justice. The screen itself is one massive piece of full color cardboard. Folded up it is as thick as some other core rule books. Set up its four faces stands quite sturdy, providing the game master with just about any piece of information he will need to run tactical combat. To sum it up, this screen is entirely unlike any of the flimsy GM screens I have gotten to know from other games. The only thing that could arguable be better would be the illustrated front. A single image covering all four faces of the screen, instead of three individual images, could have been even more impressive. That is probably a matter of taste though.

As is common with game master screens these days it came with a small booklet of assorted additional information. Collected gear tables (that don't really belong on the inside of the actual screen, no matter if other games do just that!), exemplary names sorted by culture (not necessarily language!), an extensive section to generate random missions and the collected Errata for the core rule book make up this booklet. I have to note again, that the Errata takes up only a single page. The game is just that well written. To whet your appetite I gave the random mission generator a little test run. For this purpose I rolled 9d10 and looked the results up on the tables and expanded on the entries a bit. A quick mission done in about 15 minutes.

  • 4 : People have disappeared : And they have not been found yet. Their relatives are starting to worry.
  • 7 : Small Town : The people who disappeared are residents of a small town dominated by agriculture.
  • 4 : Early Morning : Most people are still busy with their breakfast when the team arrives. Especially the town's diners are well frequented.
  • 8 : The team is ambushed : Its a trap! The helpful Grey tries to play the local militia and the team against each other.
  • 1 : A mob of civilians : Soon after people started to disappear the townsfolk formed a militia to support the Sheriff who is in over his head. They are quite trigger happy and especially wary of foreigners.
  • 6 : A rogue Grey : A lone rogue Grey offers to support the team in their effort to uncover the reason for the disappearances. He seems to suspect that doppelgangers are active in the area.
  • 9 : The characters hit the wrong target : Mislead by the Grey the characters turn on the militia supposedly infiltrated by doppelgangers. This can seriously discredit Omega and/or the characters.
  • 7 : The mission leads to another locale, the desert : Once the team notices, that they have been had they have to hunt down the Grey. He has long since gotten away though, and is waiting for his ship to pick him up again in the desert beyond the irrigated fields surrounding the town.
  • 1 : Kid's Play : Neither the militia nor the single Grey are a real challenge for the team. The militia is ill equipped and often more than slightly drunk. The Grey on the other hand is more competent and better equipped, but seriously outnumbered.
A quick mission background ready after only a few dice rolls. Stat blocks from the core rule books can be used for any character the players might encounter on this short mission. It took me longer to type it up here than to flesh it out after rolling the dice. I just hope I got the translation about right. That is it for now. I might write another quick review on the expansion "Schreacken der Tiefe", but I get the impression I could not write a whole lot without providing a lot of spoilers as most of the book's content seems campaign relevant.

Dienstag, 3. September 2013

"CONTACT - Das Taktische UFO-Rollenspiel" - Fan Project

As I am still slightly annoyed with the "The Dark Eye" RPG I decided to distract myself with something different and picked up my copy of the CONTACT core rule book again. Although "The Dark Eye" is still my current favourite roleplaying game CONTACT is still a close second. In short order I was reading the book again, browsing the publishers site for Errata and free supplements. 

What I found pleased me greatly. The errata was only a single well formatted sheet and the offering of short free adventures or scenarios for the system had grown since I last checked. I had a look at the character calculator as well. While character creation in CONTACT is a lot simpler than say in DSA ("Das Schwarze Auge"/"The Dark Eye") I still found this little tool to be immensely helpfull. The only thing that made me raise an eyebrow is, that the tool is an Excel sheet. While Excel is a superb tool to calculate character math as in CONTACT I prefer proper stand alon software, like the Helden-Software for DSA.

Pondering the situation for a few moments I came to the conclusion that I could try to write a proper piece of Software for CONTACT character creation. To incite myself I resolved to try and make it look good as well. Although character creation in CONTACT is not as complicated as in some other RPGs this project certainly is ambitious enough and I have no idea yet, if I will be able to see it through to a good end. Here is a first work in progress snapshot anyway.

CONTACT - Character Tool - A fan project

This snapshot is in no way final. Indeed it is only a first concept. If you are interrested in seeing this tool published, let me know and I will approach the right holders to eventually make it publicly available. Eitehrway, until then I still need to invest a lot of effort and time into the project anyway.

CONTACT is a product (c) 2012 by Robert Hamberger, all rights reserved, and published by the Uhrwerk Verlag

Sonntag, 1. September 2013

Das Schwarze Auge - Neuigkeiten & Artefaktthesen 5

Once again I find myself writing a blog entry regarding the German RPG "Das Schwarze Auge". from Ulisses Spiele. For this reason the rest of this post will be in German again. If you are a fan of the english Version of this Tabletop RPG, called The Dark Eye let me know if you would like an English version of the blog posts contents. Be warned the first part of this post is not pleasant, although I tried to stay civil.

Nun, da hat Ulisses auf der RatCon 2013 eine schöne Bombe platzen lassen. Und ich muss sagen, dass ich weder mit dem Thema, der Art wie es kommuniziert wurde, noch der Herangehensweise des Verlages an die neue Aufgabe zufrieden bin. Ein neues Regelsystem. Das war so ziemlich das letzte was ich mir für Das Schwarze Auge gewünscht habe. Und ich habe meinen Unmut darüber auch über Kommentare in diversen anderen Blogs kommuniziert. Hier möchte ich aber nicht weiter darauf eingehen. Mit einer Ausnahme. Zu dieser verleitet mich die Reaktion mancher anderer Kommentatoren, die vorschlagen die Sache doch aus Sicht des Verlags zu sehen und zu verstehen, dass es aus kaufmännischer Sicht höchste Zeit für eine neue Regeledition war. Hier ganz allgemein meine Antwort auf dieses Argument: Ich arbeite nicht für den Verlag. Die Interessen des Verlags sind für mich hinter meinen Interessen als Kunde absolut zweitrangig. Erst wenn meine Interessen durch ein Produkt geweckt und/oder befriedigt werden bin ich bereit mich für die Interessen des Verlags zu interessieren, die mir dieser dann über den Preis seines Produktes kommunizieren kann. Ein neues Regelwerk bedient weder Interessen die ich derzeit habe, noch weckt es neue Interessen in mir. Tatsächlich handelt der Verlag indem er seine Kapazitäten auf neue Regelbücher konzentriert meinem Interesse an mehr neuen Spielinhalten zuwider. Für mich gibt es also absolut keinen Grund Verständnis für den Verlag zu zeigen und die Sache aus deren Perspektive zu sehen.
Soviel zu den Neuigkeiten, nun zum vergnüglicheren Teil diese Blog Eintrages. Während meiner kurzen Serie zu Artefaktthesen für Das Schwarze Auge habe ich bereits kurz erwähnt, dass ich auch eine Hexe als Charakter angedacht habe und welche Artefakte eine solche womöglich herstellen könnte. Ich habe mich dann zwar gegen dieses Charakterkonzept entschieden, aber hier ist nun trotzdem das erste Produkt dieser Überlegungen zu hexischen Artefakten:

Kranz der Herrlichkeit, Seite 1 von 2
Kranz der Herrlichkeit, Seite 2 von 2

Bis es weitere Einträge in dieser Serie gibt könnte noch eine Weile vergehen. Momentan bin ich schlicht und einfach nicht in der Stimmung mich in Sachen DSA auf irgendeine Weise kreativ zu betätigen.
Wie immer gilt, dass Kommentar und Feedback gerne gesehen und höchst willkommen sind. Wie bei den letzten Beiträgen der Artefakt Serie gilt, dass die obigen Grafiken, inklusive Text in Blender, einer 3d Modellierungssoftware entstanden sind.
Grafiken und Text stammen aus eigener Produktion, mit Ausnahme des Fanprojekt Logos aus dem Ulisses Fanpaket.
„DAS SCHWARZE AUGE, AVENTURIEN, DERE, MYRANOR, THARUN, UTHURIA und RIESLAND sind eingetragene Marken der Significant Fantasy Medienrechte GbR. Ohne vorherige schriftliche Genehmigung der Ulisses Medien und Spiel Distribution GmbH ist eine Verwendung der genannten Markenzeichen nicht gestattet.“