Monday, September 29, 2014

Tripping the Rift is pretty rift trippy

     Hello one and all and welcome back to another installment of the Shadow knows. This month seems to be one of those months of yuck for your old pal the Shadow true believers. It is my hope once I have another vehicle that things will get back to normal and I will be able to start posting again on Thursday with more regularity. So then what does the Shadow know today kiddies? Well this little nugget comes straight off the warning labels of car window sunscreens everywhere. Apparently when you put your sunscreen up you are not suppose to drive your vehicle. I mean really, why not? It would after all block out all that horrible sun and help keep your car cool. I mean do we really need to see where we are going? Isn't that a noble trade-off for such a great device. The world may never know and when the small minded discover the answer they may well be lucky to get away with that info with their necks intact. I am afraid though they will not learn from it. Alas poor Yoric, I knew him well Horatio... So any who onto the How I Geek show on kiddies. This last Sunday we finally talked TV, well transformers TV. Do you talk TV? I sure do, don't touch that dial and now the news. By gum he sure do and we will fix up your smashed up friend like new with 90 day warranty. So anyway why don't you come check it out. It is I believe more then meets the eyes.

     So now to the topic and last game system of the month and what is that you ask? Why that grand old outdated Palladium system of course. Founded in Detroit, Michigan in April of 1981, by Kevin Siembieda Palladium started out as a fantasy setting. Kevin created this system while playing D&D in the late 70's, but this was not to be the first actual book to be published using his unique gaming system. That honor falls to the Mechanoid Invasion. The story around this games was that the Mechanoids, a malevolent race of aliens come to invade the planet Gideon E colonized by humans. It was originally released as 3 comic book sized source books. I can't really give you many facts about it other then it exists. I am afraid that out of all of the games run on this system this is one I have had the littlest experience with. After his success with this release Siembieda finally released Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game. This game is like most fantasy setting RPGs with the same types of races and beasties to fight. Next up Kevin came up with his own super hero universe game called Heroes Unlimited. With all the big comic companies out there holding the licenses tightly for their individual characters Kevin had to come up with ideas of his own. This must have come naturally to him since his dream was to be a comic book artist. This game and story arc is very unique to itself and I had had quite a bit of fun fighting super villains before there were any games of this type really (Marvel and DC each put out their own RPGs with limited success). There were other worlds crafted and created each with their own uniqueness and flair like the TMNT setting and Robotech which I will touch base on a little later. The world series that I loved the most through Palladium though was Rifts. Rifts is a post apocalyptic setting in which magic tears a hole in the fabric of space, time, and reality. This of course destroys the old world and from the ashes a new world is formed. It kinda has a Thundarr the Barbarian feel to it, with all kinds of other elements thrown in together from all across reality. I always had fun playing games in this setting and would love to get another game in sometime in the future.

     So yeah I know I mentioned Robotech not that long ago and here we go with that. In 1986 Palladium books made a deal with Harmony Gold to license an RPG based on the Palladium system. This was quite a feat considering the reputation that Harmony Gold has had when it comes to the licensing of their products. The game was a success and spread far and wide much to the delight of fans everywhere. In it's time it was fun to play and kicking the butts of everything from the Zentradi to the Invid was a blast. So when I discovered that Palladium was going to release a miniatures game based on the RPG with Ninja Division I jumped right onto the band wagon. That my friends was waaaaaay back in March of 2013 with a release date of December of 2013. Here it is September of 2014 and no product have I received in my grubby little hands. They are finally receiving containers and are suppose to be shipping to backers by the end of this week beginning of next. I know, I know plenty of Kickstarters never reach their intended release dates due to underestimating the size a kickstarter can explode into. My issue here is the fact that information to the backers has never been what you would call very forth right or forth coming. When updates would finally come with any sense of regularity they would be filled with inconsistencies and felt untruthful. We would get told one thing and then the next post something completely different. I for one am still jazzed about the game and I can't wait for it to hit the shelves. I just hope that with the way this thing has gone Kevin has not cut his own throat with this game. I guess we will see and only time will tell.

     So now let us talk a little bit about the rule set. This system of course is way different from that of D&D or really any other RPG out there then or today. The one good thing about the system is it is straight forward once a character has been generated (for the most part). Alas that is the trick isn't it? To really get a game going right away you need to make your characters up in advance. This is of course something every gamer does right... wrong. This can really dig into your game time and quite frankly sucks. Why you may ask? Because to generate a character using the Palladium system is quite time consuming and is rather involved. The process takes up lots of valuable gaming time and character generation can be very confusing to those who are just starting out with the game. I believe that this game is really in need of a massive overhaul to streamline a lot of unnecessary things and make character generation much faster and efficient. Then there is the fact that once you start to gain experience and level up you really don't get anything for your trouble and characters can become really stale to play. On the other hand once you get used to playing it does become easier, but in this world where nobody wants complicated games anymore I believe Palladium is stubbornly hanging onto outdated concepts that will cause them to lose their share of the market. Listen to me sounding all smart and stuff.

     Well folks that is all I really have to say on the matter of Palladium at this time. So what do you Shadow fans think? Has Palladium Books gone past it's prime and need to retire to an old retired gamers community? If you play their system do you have a favorite world you prefer? Has anyone played the Mechanoid Invasion and if so how was it? Is it possible for Kevin Siembieda to stop pissing off his fans? Does anybody know what she does after she comes around the mountain and why does she choose come around the mountain? Why not go over or under? These are those big hard hitting questions I hit you all with each week true believers. Well that is it and I am outta here, peace out, and I will see you from the shadows.

 Update: well today I got wave one, well will wonders never cease. I am going through the booty and I have to say I don't care for the over complexity of the models. I will continue to go through the game and see what is what. To be honest I am more excited about the Shadows of Brimstone I am getting tomorrow... FIN 11/11/2014

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