Tuesday, October 23, 2007

D&D 4E and a Must Read

Can you believe they're done with the 4th Edition Player's Handbook already? Anyway, if you've been in a "wait and see" regarding Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, a fan has created an excellent summary document containing what we know about 4E with various quotes from the designers. We actually know quite a bit if you scour the blogs and designer notes, which luckily other people have done for us. This document is like reading a summarized Enworld with nice formatting and artwork. Note that some of his release dates are now off. All three core books will now be released in June 2008.

If you fancy yourself a gamer or have always wanted to learn about iconic gamer games, pick up Hobby Games: The 100 Best, published by Green Ronin. This softcover book contains short reviews from top game designers who pick their favorite games, none of which they're associated with. Some of the picks are quite surprising, but what I found most interesting were the bios for the various authors, many of whom designed amazing games or founded well known companies, yet I've never heard of them.

You can tell by reading the short reviews that these games are truly loved, and since there's no profit motive, indeed, at least half or more are long out of print, there's no need to doubt the author's sincerity. Even when a game is in print, the authors are encouraged to pick particular versions that appealed to them. You can read why Gary Gygax likes Metamorphosis Alpha, why Martin Wallace considers Power Grid a classic, or why Alan Moon is a fan of dungeon crawls and likes Descent. Each mini review is a few pages long and is somewhat dense. This is a good thing if you like reading about game design or spend lots of time on boardgamegeek.com. I can read a couple of these a night and feel satisfied.

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