Monday, April 29, 2013

In defense of Mr Simbeidia.

So recently i dipped my foot into the whole Kickstarter thing. Being a gamer it's becoming almost a necessity for some things (DAMN YOU STEVE JACKSON WHEN CAN NON KICKSTARTERS BUY OGRE ALREADY!?!) Being also a huge fan of Robotech the godless otaku geek in me went straight for Robotech RPG Tactics, the newest game by Palladium books, and their first miniature release. It was funded in under 3 hours and has had quite the list of stretch goals which tend to be sent to me by email daily. It looks good. It looks real good. Not since Fasa illegally copied robotech designs have we had easy access to Tomahawks, of the VF-1S in miniature form. Yeah I am pretty giddy about this project, but some have said it looks great as long as he is not using that old ass palladium system as the basis.
As you can tell by the demo it is not. But it hit me why all the hate for a game system and creator that have been essentially the same for all this time? I can recall my first experiences with palladium (TMNT the RPG) the system was derivative of AD&D 1st edition with a lot of improvements, a fully fleshed out skill system, careers for classes, selfish alignments and SDC/Hit points to give characters both a better fighting chance at first level, and a more detailed idea of just how hurt they were. Is this system perfect? No, and when compared to modern RPG systems like Storyteller, Savage Worlds or M&M, it does look dated. Of course many things that are over 30 years old look dated. Which looks more modern, Sega Master System or the PS3, graphics and game play aside? Same with toys Look at the original He-man, and compare him to the new Masters of the Universe classics figures Mattel sells today. The new He-man does not look like he is constipated, and besides articulation, the figure simply looks better. Same here, it's unfair to judge palladium against newer games. The only way you could is if Palladium like so many game companies did massive upgrades such as AD&D, first edition had no skill system, and required the chart in the DM guide to determine to hit, 2nd ed gave you a basic formula to hit, and added "proficiencies" a somewhat broken skill system. 3rd ed reversed the order of Armor Class, added a more robust skill system, and feats, while 4th edition homogenized the classes simplified skills and introduced powers. My point is that while there is some similarity between 1st ed AD&D and what is now called D&D4, They aren't actually the same game. This is far more common in gaming than what Palladium does, and as often times it bites companies in the ass. D&D 4 was not the success 3rd edition was, and Same with Paranoia 3rd edition (named 5th edition for a joke), Cyberpunk 3rd edition was also a large failure for many reasons. Imagine if Monopoly did that, new monopoly had players using a movement system based on transit type and expenditure of money for fuel. you must enter an escrow phase to buy land, it might make the game more interesting, but is it still monopoly? I'm pretty sure my 1st edition Robotech rpg rule book is not completely out of sync with the new Shadow Chronicles rule book, because I know it's still the palladium system, They didn't change to an all d6, narative system, or an elaborate dice pool mechanism. so a few tweaks to make sure I am correct about my modifiers and I am good to go. It's kind of nice in a way. I know palladium gets a lot of guff for this, as well as copy pasting many parts of their games to speed up the workload, but in many ways this also makes for consistency. You aren't going to be surprised for better or worse.

As their first foray into miniatures gaming, I gotta admit it looks damn good, it is not the old paladium house system but looks to be fast and sleek while evoking the feel of the much loved and classic animated series, that has stood the test of time.

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