White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying
Yep, I did it. Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens got me in the mood for some good old fashioned SF roleplaying. Never mind the fact that I own WEG Star Wars (1st and 2nd edition as well as a pdf copy of REUP), Traveller, BASH! Sci Fi Edition, Thousand Suns, Tales of the Space Princess, Stars Without Number, Rogue Space, Cosmic Patrol, HardNova 2 and Star Ace. Plus more generic games such as D6 Space and Mini Six, amongst other, even more generic games. Nope, I needed a new game and what do you know, DriveThru was having a gm's day sale. I've given it a read-thru and I like what I see. It is definitely old-school with its class based, Vancian magic d20 system. However it is open and flexible in that way that I like. The classes have been tweaked to fit SF. Various SF sub-genres are covered briefly with suggestions on how to modify it to better fit each sub-genre, including what classes to leave out. It appeals to me in the same way the B/X does. Simple, yet with many possibilities.
Blood & Bronze
Oh, I was excited about this one. An RPG set in a fantasy bronze age version of Mesopotamia. So, cool! I have been thinking about getting Valley of the Pharaohs but haven't pulled the trigger yet. And I thought this would be cooler. Well, I'm disappointed. The book has evocative art but let me down in other ways. First, the way the material was presented seemed a illogical and confusing to me. Concepts were referred to but not explained until later and then sometimes not very clearly. The system itself seems ok. It relies on d6s, count successes, for combat and skill checks and a d20 for saving throws. It also has a simple skill system with each skilled based on one of the six attributes, which go no higher than 12 for most characters. It has a setting section that was interesting but seemed really sparse to me. And no included adventures. Overall, where White Star sparked my imagination, Blood & Bronze just let my sit there listlessly. Which is a shame for an ancient history guy like me because I was so looking forward to a pseudo-historical game tailored specifically for the Bronze Age.