Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Lookback aka "Not in the Face!"

2012 was a year that put a lot of challenges to me.

For one, my job kicked into overtime. There were bits that I could have done better but I've tried to run the show as a guy who keeps things moving as opposed to smashing one particular group over another because the blow back for such deeds is usually not worth it.

I initially wanted to pull back and do less in terms of the amount of hours I worked. Turns out this year I've worked more hours than I ever did in the past. Working seven days a week was not an unusual thing. Wasn't necessarily a bad thing either but I did fool myself into thinking I was making more than I was. Damn you taxes! Anyway, that cut seriously into my 'me' time.

This meant less reading, less gaming, less painting, less watching movies, less going out, less socialization, and well, more being a sarcastic crab ass just when I thought I'd reached the pinnacle of my skills in that field.

I don't know what 2013 will bring in those regards but I'm going to try and achieve a finer balance in the home life and work life.

Another problem with the dreaded mom. She visited my sister for a few months and neither one of them is used to the other. This lead to some interesting situations and while I tried to give my sister some advice, it was too couched in my smart ass ways for her to take it as seriously as she could have.

And then there are other complications with my mother's health right know which I'm not going to delve too deeply into but suffice it to say it's been stressful for both my sister and I, and I'm sure much worse for my mother herself.

Thankfully, my boss has been very supportive in terms of allowing me to move my time around. Mind you, as it's only recently been an issue and I've been doing a LOT of overtime, we'll see how that scales in 2013. Hopefully things continue going well in the field at least.

Fiction wise, while I enjoyed several books, none really 'broke' out for me. I can name some characters and some bits, but for the most part, it's mostly a blur of 'grimdark' or pseudo grimdark where the author didn't really have the stones to push it to that next level.

Not that they necessarily need to. Even the most harsh of novels and deeds and characters can just get boring after a while. You have to wonder why not one just goes, "Really? Really?"

In terms of gaming it's been a bad year. I've hung out with my friends on numerous occassions and played in the Shackled City. One of my friends has had a few near TPKs and some interesting times with it but again, it's not his DMing style or skills that have kept me from the game, it's been work.

One of the things that's odd, is that the guys I play with went from 4e to Pathfinder without missing a beat. It was like returning to visit a really cool old friend. Turned out some interesting learning experiences for me with the cleric and wizard I played as they were different enough from their 3.5 versions that there were some, "Oh that's cool".

In terms of 5th edition or Dungeons and Dragons Next... no habla. I've thought WoTC has done a terrible job with the mantle of D&D for a while now and well, I figure I'll just let the new edition surprise me.

In terms of new games or games outside my range... didn't happen. There were a ton of games I wanted to check out and play like Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics. No time. I even have the Adventurer Conquror King first book and will soon have the companion. Again, no time.

Strangely enough, that hasn't stopped my supporting of the Kickstarter model. For me, it's a preorder system. I know some people have pointed to KS itself and their words of wisdom that it's not a preorder system despite the fact that KS itself says you HAVE to deliver the goods or pay the money back. So it's not a preorder system but you have to deliver something? Yeah, we'll see how that plays out.

I initially thought that RPGs were money went to die in terms of the KS model. Still do. Way too many projects absurdly late on these things. So late that if these were people you know, you'd be wondering why they're walking across the street pretending they don't hear you.

But now I'm starting to think most niche things, like miniatures as well, are going to have further problems. While Coominiornot has done some good things with Zombicide, their second project is late. Will their third and fourth be late? Reputation is going to start being a HUGE thing on KS, especially if you switch backers and partners to try and look like you're now 'professional' while still not delivering on the previous KS. It'll be interesting to observe while I can.

For miniature games, one of the people I know from my friend's old store, Black Sun Games, has been a machine. Me? I've gotten like two games of Song of Blades and Heroes in. Over the course of the year. Can you say pitiful? What's worse is the amount of money I keep spending on the hobby like I'm really going to delve into Warhammer with my Elves or Deepwars with the Dark Mariners or any of the other games I'm painting or backing.

For painting? Again, time not there. I bought an air brush and while I love using it to lay down base coats, I haven't had enough time to do anything else with it. No time to practice and no time to try out different techniques. I'm happy if I can do three layers and a wash or two.

In terms of buying locally from say, stores like Games Plus, man did that take a hit. I deliberately went then on their Thanksgiving Saturday bit to throw some money their way because I'd be spending so much on the whole KS model. Ouch. My wallet is still recovering.

I know I sound like I'm bitching a lot. On the other hand, I could afford to spend money on my hobbies. My mom is still kicking and while not doing well, is on the road to recovery. Her being sick has actually brought my sister and me a little closer. Work is busy but I'm glad to have a job where I can work overtime and still get paid for it. There are many good things about life and while I've had some challenges, I'm hoping to make life more to my liking in 2013. I hope everyone else has that opportunity as well.

Not onwards 2013 and remember, "Not in the face!"

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pre-January Kickstarter Updates

So it's almost January. I'm waiting on a few things to go on in my personal life so I have a little nervous energy to burn and some time to kill. Let's see what's what eh?

DeepWars - Guardians of the Abyss Mini-Kicker: No clue what's going on which is okay as I told the guy to hold my stuff. I received the goods from the last one on time and in great shape. Hell, I've even assembled a few of the pieces and will start to paint them soon (ish) hopefully.

28mm Demons & Devils - Center Stage Miniatures: I'm happy with the updates so far. They've got some time left. HOWEVER, it could just be me mind you, I'm disappointed when they post pictures to face book and their own website before giving the people who helped fund the miniatures some exclusive time. Boo to you.

1650's rulebook: Late. Few updates. Great looking stuff when it does update.

Assimilation Alien Host : Updates are slow but I'm actually more worried about the guy's 'real' bussiness if you will. Some other KS that I'm backing seem to have listed him as a constraint not in a he's being evil way but life is getting in the way thing. Hopefully when he gets his new help he'll be able to straighten that all out because too much success as a reason still only goes so far.

Blackwater Gulch - Gangfights in the Old West  and Blackwater Gulch: Rebels & Reinforcements  show that I am a moron. The material from the first one is late. To help compensate for these issues, the guy running it gets help. Looking at the other KS the company he got to help do it is NOT assuring as many of those projects are running late too. Ugh I say.

Imbrian Arts Miniatures is one of those other KS I've backed that I believe is using the Troll Forge material from the guy running Assimilation Alien Host. See why I might be worried about the constraint issue. If he can't fulfill the stuff NOW he is MORE work going to make that happen faster? Still, if the new help takes care of that it can easily work out. Depends on where the actual constraint is.

Kingdom Death : Monster is still running right now. I think I'm going to pass. I bought the Flower Knight because despite the stupid name, it is a massively intricate piece but I think they're simply a little too large for standard game play. It's also WAY off in the future. Like almost 2014 so another reason to wait it out.

Midgard RPG Miniatures : Tempted but have so many other miniatures I'm playing with right now... Still, I'll see where it comes along in the end. I think part of the problem is that Mike's been previewing some of the stuff for so long that there's no "ooooooos" and "aaaahhhs." We've seen the sculpts before, sometimes months ago.

Pirate Goblins Box Set: Late. Updates infrequently. Miniature painting requests not filled. M'eh? I didn't pop down a lot for this one but unless the guy really blows the doors off the hinges I'm not thinking that he'll be getting more funds.

Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures : Good updates, good community, funny videos.

Red Box Games' Fantasy Miniatures!!! Late. Updates semi-frequently. Hit big by the delays from the Assimilation bit. Mold errors, constraint issues, and hey, he's going to do another KS before shipping out all the orders from the first one. So we'll see how that goes. I hope to support it but until I as a customer feel confident that it's not going to only result in more delays... I mean logically, if Ed is having a hard time meeting demand now and has a ton of work from other vendors already coming in and his own work, how can giving Ed MORE work result in quicker turn around? Doesn't happen too often but as I've mentioned, he is getting help so again, we'll see.

Relic nights just did a mass number of updates. Coolminornot is fairly good with keeping people in the loop so I'm not actually too worried about it.

Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster : hit by the supplier bug of China. When you put things outside of your personal sphere of control, don't be surprised when... you have no control. I'm not saying you can't use such vendors or anything of that nature. Competition and costs will determine where you go but when you get hit by months of delays, remember to factor those costs into your savings.

Tectonic Craft Studios New Line of War Games Terrain : Late. I've ordered some material from the website just to get a feel for it. It's okay. I can complain about Games Workshop as loudly as anyone but man, looking over their Storms of Magic terrain and I think Tectonic is going to have some problems. His pieces are on par with those of Games Workshop in terms of cost and I've used the Games Workshop stuff. It looks better, is easier to assemble and easier to paint. I'm not saying Tectonic doesn't have a place at the gaming table, but man, if people are buying his stuff to avoid GW as opposed to actually looking at the pricing.... Mind you not every piece is on par and GW is more expensive then Tectonic on several pieces but they are not crazy with the fantasy terrain like they are with the 40K stuff.

Tentacles & Eyeballs: An RPG Horror Miniatures Set got hit by Wizards of the Coast. At Gen Con, I saw Gale Force 9 with some of their licensed miniatures. Anyone who wasn't expecting something like this could happen was living in a pleasant dream world. He's made up a lot of ground and already sent out goods to the lower level pledges. I'll be curious to see what he comes up with for the larger ones.

A Gallery of Rogues is a NPC collection. I'll probably be backing that one before it ends. I like Jim and I like the artist he picked here.

Dwimmermount: An Old School Fantasy RPG Megadungeon : So late it in and of itself isn't worth smacking around any more. But the latest update notes that the guy doing the calculations forgot to take the holidays into account. What? Really man? For reals?

It Came from the Stars: Bringing the Weird to Pathfinder RPG is another one I'm just like, "whatever." It's fun to read the updates that are rare though. Take this one from the comments section from Oct 27th, "I'll be starting layout of the GM section next week!" and then the update section, "from December 15th,  "I'm expecting the GM's section to be finished within the next couple days.". Wow. Again, "really?" At this point, I can't imagine what this book would need to do in order for me to back any future projects by this company/individual.

King for a Day: Jim has learned a few lessons here. The first is starting a new kickstarter when you haven't fulfilled your previous one will lead to some upset customers. The second is even if it's just a page layout sample or art sample or bit of writing from the book, people want updates. Looking forward to seeing the final PDF and eventually the book.

Midgard Tales: 13 Pathfinder Adventures is one I haven't been paying attention to because the guy doing it has done this before Kickstarter was even around with the patron system. When I do look, hey, looks like a three month delay. Ugh. I hope the extras are worth it because I feel that patrons are paying a premium for the 'experience' of playtesting, getting contact with authors, etc... and I've mentioned before, I just want the finished product. The rest is nice for those who are involved with the gaming community, but at this point of social interaction, a lot of that is already happening without the cost. Very disappointed. Mind you, I'm disappointed not because KS has shown itself to be a timely way to get product or anything but because I expected better. Maybe the final product will be fantastic and the 'freebies' make up for the quarter delay.

Player's Companion for the Adventurer Conqueror King RPG another one so late I'm not going to bash it. It has fans and I did get the core book as I ordered the higher end package so that I'd have it in preparation for the companion. I've already forgotten most about it as I haven't played it and only read it so on the shelf the companion will go when it does arrive.

Steampunk Musha: Victoriental Adventures: Late. Last update over a month ago. Needs to update more frequently.

Razor Coast: Let me do a copy and paste from old the Rappan Atthuk thing pissed me off as it was late but it was being sold at Gen Con with no option for pick up. And their other KS is late too I believe. I'm a Paizo subscriber so I'd get a discount and the PDF if I ordered through them. Plus xx off shipping. The charging people for shipping a while before actually you know, shipping it also feed into the being pissed bit. "We're charging you s&h but won't actually ship it for... months?"

Having said that, it looks like it's going from 150 for the player's guide and source book to 225 for 'signed' editions with an exclusive module. Where's the mid point where they don't sign it? $75 bones for me is way too rich for something like a 36 page adventure. I'll wait and see if anything 'essential' comes unlocked but it would have to be MUCH more promising than RA. The May timeline... Too early for Gen Con but if it follows the previous ones and is a few months late...

Okay, I think that's it for me. Rant mode off!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Honor Among Thieves: Book Three of the Ancient Blades Triology

David Chandler wraps up the Ancient Blade trilogy with Honor Among Thieves. I have to say, I'm no art critic but this is a terrible cover. The whole angle of the main character is way off for some reason. Colors aren't doing it any favors either. The dark nature of the previous covers were solid in contrast to the colors. This to me, is muted and awkward.

Writing wise, the book continues to follow the previous established pattern. If you enjoyed the first two books, this one follows through in that manner. The material continues to expand the setting, has large scale conflicts, and some 'fantasy revolutions' in technology and portents for future material set in this series.

Again, perhaps because I read it prior to this one, I find myself doing some contrast to Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. In the third book of that series, the elves have their time and quickly wipe out most of the resistance. In Honor Amongst Thieves, the barbarians have free access to the lands and quickly decimate most of the opposition leaving only one city, the Free City of Ness, left to resist.

One of the problems with some campaigns is that they become like glass. You want to look at them and admire them. To insure that they're is a continuous flow of one thing to another. Authors know better. Smash the setting. Unleash the hounds of war. If you don't like the way it goes down, next campaign do another variation of the campaign. Mind you, that's easier to do with a new group as the old group, at least in my experience, is often interested in seeing how things 'went down'.

Another interesting aspect is the rise and fall of characters. Malden, who started off as a simple free lance rogue, gained membership, and in this volume, not only becomes the guild master, but then the 'mayor' of the free city. Mind you, at the end of the volume, he's back to being a freelance rogue but the shifting nature of power, especially social power, is made clear here.

Sir Croy, whose been fairly boring in some instances, by design I suspect, has his chance to shine through. He rises from being an exiled knight to becoming the regent of the kingdom. It's not what he wants mind you and his interest in it is slim compared to the longings of his heart, but he is a duty bound man who does not run from his responsibilities. At the end of the novel, while he has indeed lost his heart's goal, his political position and social status are higher than they were at the first novel save for one important thing that I'll mention later.

Cythera on the other hand, whose initial role was a ward against poisons and curses, comes into her own as much more than the rival love of the main male characters. Her mother, who laid the protections against curses on her, now trains her to be a witch. However, as her father was the most powerful of sorcerers, she's inherited that talent as well and winds us using a bit of that. Now in this setting, sorcerers are demon bound and their use of such magics mark them. In this instance, she gains some gray hair.

Open Ended. While the bulk of the story is resolved, there are many parts that are not. This is a good thing as it evolves organically from the story. The barbarian invasion force splits due to differences between brother and sister. This leaves the main invading force of barbarians defeated, but a goodly sized portion still in control of several fallen cities. This leaves the series open for future investigation as to what will happen with the mingling of different cultures there. This doesn't count the pass open from the destroyed mountain either. More barbarians could wander forth. More trade could be established.

More interestingly to me at least, is the fate of the ancient blades. The barbarian war chief, Morget, found some very potent dwarven weapons last volume. One of these, an axe, is apparently able to smash through the ancient blades themselves. This is fascinating. I'm always advocating that new methods and new techniques should be able to overcome things of the past. If the modern world ran like most fantasy stories, someone would unearth a copy of MS-DOS and destroy the modern Internet with it's ancient and archaic powers. On the other hand, those ancient blades were craft with magic for a specific purpose. With only one left at the end of the series, wielded by a rogue who doesn't know how to fight even, the author sets up a return of demons and sorcery for future volumes and the creation of new blades even.

Mind you, not all the loose ends are so interesting. Elves were introduced to the setting, or reintroduced to the setting, and not a peep out of them. Some of the elements, like the introduction of a canon by the dwarf Slag, may seem awesome at first and indeed, worthy of a player character doing, but with the nature of the setting showcasing so much that appears to take place in several different eras in terms of how it might be first introduced, still feels somewhat forced. Minor things for me but others might be more irate about it.

Honor Among Thieves is a good source of inspiration for role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons or Rolemaster where the character is the star of the story and not necessarily just the mechanics of the character.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thief in the Night by David Chandler

Thief in the Night is the second book in the Ancient Blade Trilogy by David Chandler. I see over on David's website that when I found the first book for $2.99, that was a temporary sale. Man, dude needs to update that blog some more or have some links to his more modern work or more complete work. Last updated on 2011? And I thought I was bad.

Anyway, Thief in the Night continues the tale of Malden and Croy and the woman who they both love as well as dwarfs, dungeon ruin exploration, barbarian introductions and all manner of other interesting bits that would feel right at home in most role playing games. I'll be talking about specific spoilers below so if you would rather avoid that, read no further.

1. Racial Changes: I've mentioned before that in various settings, one way to make things stand out a bit is to change the 'core' fantasy races around.  In the Riyria series by Michael J. Sullivan, the elves were vastly powerful and held at bay only through honorable agreements with their ancient pacts. Here, the elves were wiped out. Well, apparently not all wiped out as Malden and his friends discover in this novel as the elves have changed to more suit an underground civilization. This includes breeding large beetles for meat, fungus farms, and using the 'ancient's, which appears to be a thing that resembles an old Shoggoth by a Erol Otus from the old Deities and Demigods book.
Yeah, all eyes, and teeth, and hands, and strange bits to it.

When the elves die, they 'feed' themselves to it and their knowledge is then absorbed by it. This allows the elves to draw forth on knowledge that is ancient and rare and powerful. And in the case here, to survive their imprisonment in these ancient dwarven halls.

The dwarfs continue to be fleshed out a piece at a time. Slag showcases his vulgarity with vast amounts of swearing. It's entertaining to a point mind you. He also illustrates how dwarfs have changed. They have taken to some human vices such as gambling and this has lead some, like Slag himself, to do things that lead to exile. Their numbers are also on the decline. So some of the same old same old and some new.

2. Historical Nonsense. Again, the Riyria series covered similar ground. The humans have told themselves some pretty lies about how the war against the elves went but as Malden and his comrades explore the ancient ruins, which no dwarf in modern times could ever recreate, they learn that the elves weren't beaten by the humans, but betrayed by their allies, the dwarfs at a time when they didn't necessarily want to even fight anymore in the first place. This taking huge chunks of history and reworking them can also work in a RPG but care needs to be taken so that it actually works. Here, Croy and Malden are young enough that they wouldn't know the truth. In RPGs some long lived races, like elves, or even some immortal races, would know would actually happened. Not necessarily a problem for all games, but as Dungeons and Dragons tries to throw more and more material against the wall to see what sticks, its not entirely unusual to see such a player character pop up.

3. Expanding Setting. The first volume dealt mainly with the free city of Ness. This volume, by its nature of exploration of a ruined dwarf city outside Ness, expands upon that some. We see for example, Morget, a barbarian from the opposite side of the mountains, is seeking out Croy because his destiny is to kill a demon that looks like a strange slithering thing of arms, eyes and teeth. Morget is also a wielder of one of the ancient blades, one that explodes with light. This light is painful to undead and would make a good substitute for a Mace of Disruption with an area effect were the GM wanting to incorporate something like it into their own game.

In many ways, this is a natural in role playing games. You first dungeon leads to your second dungeon. Your first exploration in the sandbox leads to the second exploration in the sandbox. Your first departure from Sigil or the Rock of Bral leads to further exploration. Don't try to cram the whole campaign into one setting. Let it develop from the actions of the players.

4. Big Changes. One of the things I've been guilty of myself, is trying to keep things, to a certain point, at a status quo. To not have any huge effects happen to the setting. David doesn't have that problem. By the end of the novel, the characters have collapsed the mountain on the elves. This leaves a pass open from Morget's people, barbarians who have a lot in common with say, vikings and crossbreed with Mongolians. So that opens up a whole new vista for them to say attack the kingdom.

5. Character Optimization: One of the things that role playing games tend to suffer from, especially when they get pregnant with rules, is that there are 'builds' and abilities that almost become mandatory to take. Malden, while perhaps one of the best 'thieves' in the setting, one of the most agile, one of the most able, is still a terrible fighter. In 3rd edition and 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, its almost impossible to play such a character as so much of the setting focuses on their tremendous back stab damage and 4th ed kicking that up even more of a notch with special abilities that put them right into the fighter's arena. 

The Game Master and player should have an understanding of what type of campaign is happening and the players should try to work with the Game Master to build characters that will thrive within it. In Malden, we have a character that is charismatic, works well with a party, and is a master thief. If the campaign requires only martial powered characters that can dish out damage, Malden would be useless. Check with the GM and hope you have one that's willing to work your abilities into the campaign.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Den of Thieves: The Ancient Blades Trilogy I

When I ordered the Riyria Revelations from the Science Fiction Book Club, I also ordered the Ancient Blades Trilogy. Or at least two of the three books. See, when I first looked around, the ebook from Amazon was less expensive then the physical hardcover so I bought that from Amazon. It's since gone up in price but still probably less expensive then the hardcover unless you get a good deal, which the Science Fiction Book Club has more than it's fair share.

Anyway, Den of Thieves is Book One of the Ancient Blades Trilogy by David Chandler. It touches on a few points I enjoy. A 'free' city in a medieval style setting. Dwarves on the decline, but still in high demand for their high quality. Thieves. Knights. Magic swords with unique backgrounds. Broad over arching themes that tie into the current story. It does fall into my 'popcorn' reading bucket mind you, but I don't have a problem with such material.

I'll be discussing spoilers from the book below so if you have no interest in such, read no further. Know that Den of Thieves is a fun ride but not the 'serious' stuff of Wheel of Time or A Game of Thrones. Anyway...

In terms of city setting, much of the book takes place in the Free City of Ness, a place that while part of the 'dark ages' styling so common to fantasy, has its own freedoms. The city has a bit of personality tied into magic. In the long ago past, a powerful sorcerer used his magic to take the mind of one of the rulers and put it in a crown. This intelligent crown then takes control of the heirs and essentially makes them imbeciles who couldn't run the city without it. The idea of an eternal ruler passed down from heir to heir, each one becoming more and more stupid and less capable is an interesting one and could easily by yanked for a campaign.

The city also has it's own thieves guild run by one Cutbill. It is he who first brings in one of the heroes, Malden, and puts a heavy burden on the young man. The thieves guild doesn't get a lot of attention in terms of its characters, and I'm sure if A Gallery of Rogues gets funded and gets actually completed, it will be more useful in terms of gaming, but there are several thieves that come out named with their own personalities and traits. There is also an interesting use of children as beggar lookouts. Children as lookouts I'm used to but beggar children ready to swarm their enemies is a bit different.

For magic items, the series title itself, Ancient Blades, comes home. There are seven magic swords that are crafted to destroy demons. Turns out that many moons ago, sorcerers would summon a lot of demons. In some ways, it evokes imagery of how I'd imagine the price to be paid for sorcery in Dungeon Crawl Classics might work. Powerful stuff but not good for the caster. Regardless, these seven swords have long histories, are passed down, and each do a specific thing. In that aspect, they reminded me of Fed Saberhagen's Book of Swords.  I remember reading those as a teenager and thinking, "Damn, some of these are awesome." Ditto here although these swords aren't as powerful.

Den of Thieves also features a lot of traps, both mundane and magical. Reading through it should give any GM a few ideas on things that can be added to dungeons including illusions and floor traps among others.

In the end, the strongest thing I can say about Den of Thieves, in terms of gaming, is that David Chandler wrote a game that features characters in scenarios with items that wouldn't seem that out of place in an OSR game.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Liebster Awards

Recently the guys at Chicago Skrimish Wargames honored me with a nod to the Liebster Awards. Not something I'm even hip enough to know about but it's cool to have someone go, "check out this guy" bit.

I mention other blogs frequently. I have a massive blog roll to the old right side of the screen. They range from miniature and writing and anime and board games to mostly RPG material. So a few call outs. one good turn deserves another right? Felix was one of the guys I would see often at my old friend's gaming store. A miniature painter who does hundreds of the little bastards a year and is involved with the Privateer Press Games and the Chicago land community. I enjoy reading his battle reports. : Mark is one of the guys whose been doing gaming goods forever and a day. He actually has a company but I mainly know him from his online persona and of course his love of all things Games Plus and the various RPGs and miniatures they have there. : I'm a sucker for old school Warahmmer and some of the things associated with it.

But seriously, check out the blog roll to the right. Some very popular ones there that I'm sure most people know but probably more than a few that people are going to thank me for.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lamentation of the Flame Princes 50% off sale

Thanks to Tenkar's Tavern, I was reminded that James, who runs Lamentations of the Flame Princes, is running a 50% off sale for the PDFs and other venues. I picked up The Magnificent Joop van Ooms, The God that Crawls, and The Monolith from beyond Space and Time. I'm thinking about Carcosa as well but for now those will do.

Anyone pick up any of those adventures? Anyone running them? Pros and Cons? I'm a player right now in a Shackled City Campaign that's been diverted into Planescape and really haven't had the time or mental fortitude to run anything but I'm always hopeful that I'll be able to drag my dead ass back into the GM seat.