Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Join the Patrol!

A few of my friends know that I am what one might call an avid gamer. I like tabletop RPG's for not just enjoyable stories that you can help craft with your actions (and dice that betray you constantly...) but also for the social aspect of spending an afternoon with friends or with people that you meet for the first time that at least share a common love.

I also love Sci-Fi. Especially if its the almost pulpy-retro era sci-fi from the 40's and 50's. In fact one of the better Christmas gifts I received last year was from my friend Matt: The TSR Buck Rodgers RPG box set (out of print and it was in perfect condition). I've been wanting to play Buck for sometime with a certain group of metal heads that I know that dwell to the south of where I live. But a major stumbling block for me was the rule set used. Its based off the 2nd Ed D&D rules that I cannot wrap my head around anymore.

Enter Cosmic Patrol from Catalyst Game Labs. Which, I will add, I completely MISSED at GenCon 2011 when there. I swear to Cthulhu that it looked like a sci-fi novel rather than a rule book. But it is. Its a really REALLY simple story-based gaming system where there isn't a dedicated GM but everyone gets a turn to lead the team of intrepid Patrolmen on an exploration mission onto the polar caps of Mars, or a rescue mission to save the President of Lunar Colony 1 from the evil clutches of the bio droid robot menace. Yes, that was all off the top of my head. And yes its almost that simple to play from what I understand.

Hell the rules remind me more of Toon or the Viscount's perennial favorite rules fore IOU. Its fast, simple, still you roll dice but its storytelling. And storytelling in a way that White Wolf couldn't figure out how to do correctly. I like what I've seen. I will read my little book of 135 pages in paperback book size. I will love it because it has sparked some interesting stories to tell about space patrolmen with laser pistols and glass domed space helmets saving a red skinned amazon princess from the clutches of some evil mad scientist from the 3rd moon of Jupiter.

I also like that you can buy the PDF format for about $5 bucks from places like Drive Thru RPG or even Catalysts own store (Battleshop). And for the REALLY cheap bastards its done under creative commons license. Which means if you obtain it for free somehow online they won't try to sue you but ask politely to purchase it if you like it.

Which brings me back to my copy of the book. Apparently Jess wanted to show me this (because she KNEW I would adore this) at GenCon and she never got my attention away from the other stuff at Catalyst to show me. So when I found out it was a game and went looking it was out of print from the con with only a PDF available. I can't read PDF's for long periods. I stare at a computer screen at work all day and I just can't do it at home.  So she tracked one down through Ebay for the list price from the con. She is such a wonderful wife for doing this. Because when they do re-issue the physical book....it won't be as cool as mine. Cause my baby tracked mine down for me and mine says 'GenCon 2011 Special Edition'.

 Buck Rodgers.....here I come!