Friday, September 25, 2009

Fantasy just got Crafty

Fantasy Craft
Alex Flagg, Scott Gearin, Patrick Kapera


Disclosure: Review copy provided via Atomic Array, carnival details follow the main body of this article.

With the latest offering from the makers of Spycraft 2.0 the universe of the Open Gaming License just got a bit more empowered. Not only that, but Crafty Games sets the expectation for the line right on the back of the book, and I quote, "Your Dungeon, Your Dragon, Your Way."

As that back-cover maxim suggests, nay commands, Fantasy Craft is all about customization and, if you'll forgiven a further pun, crafting the best fantasy experience that fits the desires of those involved in a campaign, in front of or behind the screen. With 12 races, some made more varied by Species feats, and 12 base classes, it's easy to see how Fantasy Craft offers the ability for gamemasters and players to customize their experiences.

If you're the type of gamer that wants the crunchy skeleton to hang the meaty world upon, to have generic rules to power the fantasy world in which they play, then Fantasy Craft is definitely a good purpose for you. From cover to cover there is help for creating characters (player and non-player), evocative creations of magical milieu, and world building assistance for helping out the nascent person behind the screen and hone the sharpened edge of an expert.

In addition to the ability to use race specific feats to customize your character, Fantasy Craft also has variations on classes, too, with the base class, expert class, and master class feature. While players can stay within a base class for the whole of the PC's career, they can also option into the expert classes and, eventually, a master class. It's up to the players and their Game Master to decide where they want things to go and how.

While Fantasy Craft is based off of the OGL variant that Spycraft uses, it also tweaks things into what Crafty Games is calling Master Craft, a rules set that they will be using to power other settings and show between game-line compatibility, however they also have the Powered By license, which allows for folks to use the Fantasy Craft and Spycraft systems to power their own creations. Thus, the Open Gaming movement is quite obviously still alive, as we've seen with other companies, but also strong enough to power other innovative branches of the OGL family.

Overall, Fantasy Craft is an excellent addition to any bookshelf and is an excellent system for players and gamemasters who enjoy deep customization and variation of player characters and systems, as well as for those who seek a generic rules set to empower their own flavorful creations and worlds. I know that Fantasy Craft is an excellent addition to my own electronic bookshelf and, soon, to my hardcopy bookshelf, as well.

Want to learn more about Fantasy Craft? Read on...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Strike Force 7; now with RuneQuest or Savage Worlds

Strike Force 7 - Savaged! or (RuneQuest) Strike Force 7
Caias Ward and R. Hyrum Savage


At the end of 2008 I did a review of Strike Force 7, which can be read here, which brings us today, where Strike Force 7 is being brought to us using RuneQuest and Savage Worlds systems, from Mongoose Press and Pinnacle Entertainment group, respectively.

While I could talk alot about the individual PDFs and their price points, I feel that it's better to talk about the most important aspect of this offering; Strike Force 7 is offered in three different systems. How cool is that?

Like a lot of folks, I'm use to getting setting material that is often tailored to one specific system or game, but as I've grown older, physically at least, I've grown to like having options. Sure, it can be nice when the background and setting of a game are all tied to a system, but, better still, having a game tied to the setting, yet flexible in what rules set is used, is pretty damn cool.

Fans can be fairly entrenched in a system, just as they can be staunch in their support of a particular designer or developer, and it can sometimes be a shame when those two facts can end up opposed to one and other. But, what if they didn't?

OtherWorld Creations has bypassed that possibility by adding additional systems of support for their Strike Force 7 offering, an adventure game that could easily be attached to common genre trope touchstones like G.I. Joe, The Man from U.N.C.L.E and S.H.I.E.L.D.. Superheroic armed service personnel fighting a global terrorist organization that is bent on world domination and freedom endangering activities.

Whether SF7 fans use the Spycraft variant of the OGL, PEG's Savage Worlds, or the latest version of RuneQuest, they will still have the flavor of Strike Force 7 and it's fight againstSkorpian in the system of choice for those around the table. How about that?

OWC has made an interesting choice, on that some might be noticing around the industry, where independent publishers are starting to support multiple systems, as opposed to uniting behind one system. Systemless, or perhaps system-ful, seems to be an excellent model for independent publishers to follow, right up there with some of the better aspects of the patronage model, in that it puts more options in the hands of customers, instead of restricting them.

The variants of Strike Force 7 can be found following the links above or by visiting RPGNow andDriveThruRPG; both PDF offerings are normally priced at $8.99, however, at the time of this posting, the Savage Worlds variant is selling for $6.99 and the RuneQuest version is at $8.49.

Want to learn more about Strike Force 7? Read on...

Uncle Bear: Impressions
allgeektout: Hiding in Plain Sight
Atomic Array: Free Mini-Mission

Drop by OtherWorld Creations today!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The problem with System Fundamentalists...

Although I play only a handful of systems regularly, I'd never say that there is one system that I feel is the best, nor would I down one system over another, which is probably why system fundamentalists bother me. I feel that they're a disservice to the hobby, especially when they're elitist and insulting about their disdain of one system over another.

I'm sure we've all heard the phrase about being a "role-player, not a roll-player," with the implied insult toward players of one system that the speaker doesn't approve of. It's a stereotype, that everyone who players D&D is a hack-n-slash gamer, just like it's a stereotype that everyone who plays a narrative game is an drama king or queen. While there are always examples of stereotypes, thus lending some level of reinforcement, these are normally just anecdotal evidence, at best, and full of more holes than a strainer.

Whether a game come from a major publisher or through one of the independents, it is up to the folk who play it, from either side of the screen, about whether the tone of the game is good or bad. There isn't anything wrong with talking in character for a whole session, without the resolution mechanic ever being touched, just like there isn't anything wrong with a whole session of dice-throwing...if that, in both cases, is what those involved in the game want.

Regardless of the publisher's desires, once the game is purchased and falls into the hands of others, once the folk who will play the game have purchased it, the intended purpose of the system ended at the point of sale. It is those who play the game, those who gather around a table, or even over the Internet these days, who set the ton of a game and that's just the fact of it.

In my nearly thirty years of gaming, I've seen a large variety of game systems and styles and not once, ever, did a specific system force me to play one way or another. Some of the best in-character role-playing I've ever had was in a homebrew D&D campaign that used a modified 2nd Edition system with a Dragonbone Chair series wrapper on it and it was awesome. In contrast, one of the most bloody, epic carnage and power-play games was an early World of Darkness game I played in when I was in college, it had a mix of Mage, Werewolf, and Vampire and it was very over the top.

But, each time, it was those who played in the games, as well as those who ran it, that determined the tone of the games, not the systems. Maybe I've just been lucky, guilty of my own anecdotal evidence taking precedence, but I've never had a game style forced on me, nor have I had my role in a game reduced to just rolling dice and letting someone else narrate my character's actions.

My advice to folk out there, think about whether you're being a system fundamentalist or not and if you feel you are one, please think about how you're coming across to others. Passion is a good thing, but sometimes if you're overly passionate about something, to the point of being push or rude, even insulting, then you're doing more harm to folks opinions of your system than you are improving it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Review - Open Design Podcast

Whether you're interested in the art of design and development of role-playing games as a gamemaster or professional, I think that the Open Design Podcast is going to be just the podcast that you're looking for. Our hosts are Wolfgang Baur, Ed Healy, and Rone Barton, with Monte Cook and Skip Williams slated as regular features verbalizing their Kobold Quarterly columns, respectively Game Theories and Ask the Kobold. Thus we have the vanguard of the patronage movement for the design and development of role-playing games, the hosts of Atomic Array and RPG Countdown, amongst other things, and two of the lead folks of 3rd Edition, one of whom is an OGL pioneer, himself.

How's that for potential and that's just the hosts and monthly featured folks.

Open Design 001: Kobold Ecologies, the initial offering from the Open Design Podcast comes out guns blazing with Jeff Grubb and his authoritative thoughts on design and development, as well as his experience with the patronage movement. The next offering is Brandon Hodge, senior patron and contributor to Halls of the Mountain King, an Open Design patronage, as well as the proprietor of Big Top Candy Shop and Monkey See, Monkey Do, both of Austin Texas. Hodge talks about his experience with Open Design and patronage. Last, but not least, we have Clinton J. Boomer, RPG Superstar finalist and all around interesting character who talks about his own path to monster design, as well as his current projects.

Of course, during all of this are have the feature contributors, Monte Cook and Skip Williams, respectively talking about contrasting differences between fiction and game writing and sage'd advice about the rules for occupying a five foot space in an OGL game.

Clocking in at just under an hour, Open Design 001 covers a lot of subjects in a pleasant format that imparts a fair amount of information in a modest amount of time, entertainingly so, with time passing by rather quickly. While it would be easy to associate the Open Design Podcast with d20 mechanics and the Open Game License movement, there is plenty of information that could easily be used, independent of system, by the listener.

Although this is only the first episode of this podcast, it's my opinion that anyone interesting in being better behind the screen, learning to design and develop their own works or works for others, could do a lot worse for themselves than listening to this podcast. Not only does the Open Design Podcast have over three-quarters of a century of role-playing industry experience in its core offering, but it has the potential of hitting the century mark with any given episode, simply based on the wide-ranging potential of guests.

Also, if you're more of an auditory learner, or someone whose always got an MP3 player plugged into your head, than this should definitely be in your rotation, as you're bound to learn something, each offering.

So do yourself a favor, however you wish to listen or subscribe to it, and give the Open Design Podcast a listen and see if it's for you; I think you'll be quite pleased with the results.

Open Design 001: Kobold Ecologies

Shared via

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Evolving Experience with Rite Publishing...

Since my piece about Patronage and the RPG Industry I have had a growing relationship with Rite Publishing, one that has grown on several levels, both personal and professional, and I think that is a sign of one of the aspects of New Media. Initially my relationship with Rite Publishing was as a customer and reviewer, as not only did I join the Heroes of the Jade Oath patronage project, but I had also bought Rite Publishing products previously, as I am a fan of Monte Cook'sArcana Evolved.

But, as is increasingly more common with the patronage movement within the role-playing game industry, my relationship with Rite Publishing has grown more complex, yet easily segmented. Not only am I a patron on several projects, such as the aforementioned Heroes of the Jade Oath, but I am also a member of the design and development team for one, the recently fast trackedLitorians. Plus, I am involved in writing the "What Has Gone Before..." pieces for the Rituals of Choice adventure path, where a synopsis handout is provided to players who may have missed the previous adventure. This part of the series appears for the first time in To Kill or Not to Kill, which is the second entry in this adventure path.

It is this potential in the patronage movement that is so tempting, so possible for change, in that a member of a patronage project can easily transit from customer to talent, simply because of the intimate nature of such projects. Due to an increase of exposure, both of the patron and the publisher, there is more chance to impress one and other, which allows the interaction to move to another level. It happens on various patronage projects, where in one you see folk as members, yet in the next you see them as talent, all of which, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting things about patron projects.

As an example, my experience with Rite Publishing has transitioned several times, in different ways and manners, from purchase reviews to supplemented ones to membership participation to talent participation, which is one heck of a sexy thing, when you think about it. Most gamers fantasize about being a designer or a developer, maybe even a publisher, and patronage projects, such as those done by Rite Publishing, are an exciting venue to try their hand at what it takes do just that.

Hopefully, if sharing my experiences has helped with making the choice to join a patronage project, be it the aforementioned Rite Publishing or someone else, then it is my hope that sometime that that story can be shared with someone else and help them to make the choice, too.

Want to learn more about Rite Publishing? Read on...
Jade Oath Preview: The Demon Hunter
Stungeon Studios: Jade Oath Artwork
Apath Blogs: Pride and Patronage
Drop by Rite Publishing and become a patron today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Behind the Screen Tradecraft - Improvisation

There are many things that I've had standout to me about a solid gaming experience as a player, as I've been quite fortunately to have some rather solid folk behind many of the screens I played before, but one of the top things I've appreciated has been someone's ability to be improvisational. Consistency of rules, in and of its self, is important, however the ability for the voice behind the screen to adapt to unexpected twists and turns of the players is paramount.

Anyone can regurgitate, verbatim, what is written in a published adventure, however the ability of someone to take what is written and manipulate it, on the fly, can make for some memorable gaming experiences. 

One of the best ways to do this, I think, is look more at the emotional content and context of a given encounter or moment and focus less on what is directly written. Sure, the foes in the encounter, especially if it's a combat encounter, matter, but the verbage only matters if it fits the campaign that is being ran, otherwise it is optional. By focusing on the emotional content of the moment, instead of trying to repeat what was written, the flow of any scene is more organic, seemingly more true.

Watch a good improv comic, ones who feed off of the audience that they talk to, as opposed to the ones who talk at the audience, and you will see what I mean. Monte Cook, who happens to be an excellent game designer and developer, talks on his blog about taking an improv class, which just adds to the talk of his excellent tradecraft behind the screen. After all, running a game is helping guide the core narrative to the game, a narrative that the players are also helping to craft, which turns most any role-playing game into a shared story, if those involved so wish it.

In fact, as with improvisation, shared story telling is a choice, as is role-playing, and it's not about the system, but the folks involved with the game. Any group of players, who love character development, can turn the most dry, mechanical game into a role-playing festival, just as any group of folks who just wanna kill, loot, and move on can turn even the most verbose system into a hack and slash event to end all events.

In the end, it is your game, do with it as you like and have a blast.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Interview with Steven D. Russell

Today on Emerson's Bookshelf we're talking with Steven D. Russell, the wordsmith of record for A Witch's Choice, which is the point of the spear for Rite Publishing's new adventure path, The Rituals of Choice, an ambitious undertaking of enjoyable proportions that uses Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. Welcome, Steven, and thank you for taking part in this interview. I'm pretty excited to talk about A Witch's Choice, and share it with those who've not had a chance to see its development.


So, an adventure path for Arcana Evolved? 
The design actually functions in three different ways. One as standalone episodes, two as campaign arcs of 5 adventures each, and finally you have the adventure path as a whole, 1
st to 25th level.  The adventures all embrace the tropes and themes (Oaths, Ceremonies, Choice, Contrast, Opposition, Complex Races/Classes, Evolution, DM Empowerment and Tailor Made Characters) that make Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved such a great variant OGL system, though one of the patrons is working on a 3.5 conversion document.  


What started that fire under you?

What really set the house on fire was Wolfgang Baur's Open Design Seminar at Gencon where Bill Collins and I got to talking about how Open Design worked (he had been working on Empire of the Ghouls and 6 Arabian Nights.)  After that Bill Collins became the developer of the Jade Oath Patronage Project, and I set about work on The Rituals of Choice Adventure Path starting with our first adventure “A Witch's Choice”.

What was the easiest part of the project for you?
Working with the patrons, "A Witch's Choice" is my best work to date. I would not have been able to reach such a high level of quality in design and production without their feedback.

The hardest?
Knowing when to stop tweaking, when I had crossed the line between designing and fiddling, here again the patrons, a really great editor (Perry Grosshans), and the play testing really made all the difference.

What are you most proud of in A Witch's Choice?
Its quality, from how the patrons pushed my design skills to a greater height, to the glorious full color cartography Jonathan Roberts created, to the evocative cover art by Ryan Barger, and finally the wonderful full color interior artwork of Eric Lofgren and Richard Biggs Jr. A small PDF and PoD company like Rite Publishing could never have attained this level of quality without the patronage business model.

Is there anything that was a last minute addition to the project or promotion that was new or interesting? 

A number of things, the to scale battle maps available at and Jonathan Roberts created a to scale Pdf map packs for the patrons so they could print the maps themselves. A suggestion led to a handout that displays the benefits the PCs acquire picking their groups hook, and finally a member even created promotional video for us.

Now you jumped on the patronage bandwagon, a movement near and dear to my heart, how's it treated you?

Amazingly, I had Bill Collins to fall back on when I had questions about the process. In practice I set up my outline for the entire path and allowed patrons to change anything that did not change that outline, and this led to an entirely new patron designed encounter "The Mire of Lost Souls" by Jesse Butler, along with an accompanying map by Jonathan Roberts. 

What do you think of it, overall, for both the Rituals of Choice line and for Lands of the Jade oath?

Well almost every future project we do will be a Patronage Project, it has worked that well.

I am very proud of the fact that for each individual adventure in the Rituals of Choice standard patronage only costs $10.00, compared to the standard $30.00 of any other patronage project out there.

 Jade Oath is a very different animal and the project would not have even been possible without this business model. There is the breath taking Wayne Anthony Reynold’s cover, the density of Frank Carr's material, and the quality of Bill Collins development and editing.  Plus as art director I get to enjoy the wonderful interior artwork Kurt Taylor, Jeff Ward, and Amanda Webb are creating for Jade Oath.  

Now patronage is opened up for the next adventure in the series, To Kill, or Not To Kill, right?

Yes, we are 95% toward our threshold goal as of this writing. To Kill or Not To Kill is a monster hunt/murder mystery; I have already posted the general outline, the summery, and the first two encounters for the patrons who have already signed up.  



I did something a little different this time though if you join as a Senior Patron you will get access to both "A Witch's Choice" and "To Kill or Not To Kill" Then we created a Path Patronage that gives you access to the outline of the adventure path, and its development plus a discount on future patronage in the series. 

What's next for you? For Rite Publishing? Exciting new projects or avenues?


Patrons willing, I will be hard at work on The Rituals of Choice for quite some time,  Rite Publishing will be releasing more in its Monsters Evolved and Items Evolved series of small Pdfs, and work will continue to go forward toward Jade Oath’s release before Gencon.


We have two new projects on the horizon one is a Litorian racial patronage project by Clay Fleischer (6 Arabian Nights), Soren Thustrup (Vault of the Iron Overlord, Circle of Rites), Bill Collins (Tales of Zobeck), Hans Cummings (Atala's Tale), and hopefully Robert Emerson that we are looking at launching around May 1st. This one will be wide open to patron pitches and input more so than any other project we have done, as the only thing we are limited by is Clay Fleischer’s original outline. For those who don’t know Litorians are a race introduced in both Arcana Evolved and later in Ptolus, we will be focusing on their life on the Plains where the Rituals of Choice take place so you can use them with the adventures or as a standalone product.


I have another patronage project that Rite Publishing is planning that will be Pathfinder Compatible, but if you want to know more about that you will have to listen to the Atomic Array Podcast on May 22nd.



Friday, April 10, 2009

Monte Cook Groks Right with Dungeon-A-Day

Monte Cook just gets it.

Shortly after d20 hit the world, with it's Open Gaming License, one of the co-authors of Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons started his own d20 company, Malhavoc Press, and Monte and Sue Cook haven't disappointed us, yet. Various books of might, adventures and source books, as well as the epic magnum opus known as Ptolus, have been bought by fans, raved by critics, and garnered awards, which is just fine by me.

Then, after Ptolus, Monte Cook announced his desire to work in other creative venues, taking time off from game design and development, yet he still produced products that customers craved. We're okay with this, since it makes for a energized author who isn't burnout, creatively. Plus, if it makes Monte happy, we'll be happy on the back end.

Speaking of products still being developed, recently, Monte returned from his creative sojourn, where he focused on other venues and projects, to bring us Dungeon-A-Day, a name that pretty much says it all. With prices schema ranging from $8-10 a month, depending on if you subscribe on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, Dungeon-A-Day will provide you with targeted blogs in design and execution, encounters, maps, new monsters, and so much more.

Whether you're running a game and need quick additions to your campaign or you're just interested in design and development, Dungeon-A-Day is a cost-efficient and useful site. With the primary rules system focus being that of the 3.5 edition of the d20 OGL, Monte continues development within the open design movement, as well as stated that if the demand is there that rules support for other systems, like Pathfinder and Arcana Evolved, will be there, too.

See, Monte Cook just gets it. 

The Open Source movement is best when it is open, full of options, and provides the customers with what they want. It is this same movement that brought us Paizo, who, along with Dwarven Forge, Reaper Miniatures, and The Hypertext d20 SRD are one of the sponsors of Dungeon-A-Day. The d20 System is an open ended development of rules with a wide-variance in its options, yet a rule set that, at its core, will not go away. If that is something you like in your role-playing game, something that you would like to see, as needed, then you should definitely checkout Dungeon-A-Day and see what Monte Cook brings your way, daily and weekly, I know I will.

Want to learn more about Dungeon A Day? Read on...

Drop by Dungeon A Day today!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Paizo has new media concepts down pat...

I've decided to take a brief moment to make mention of one of the larger companies who has the common sense, in my opinion, to use a new media concept in the right fashion; thank you, Paizo, for not being a dinosaur.

As a fair chunk of the role-playing gamer community is hearing tonight, evoking some solid nerd-rage in response, Wizards of the Coast is pulling their PDFs while totally failing on the communication front with its customers. Heck, even stout WotC apologists are at a loss for words, except for a handful, fervent few who seem to see no wrong in WotC's actions.

But, well, screw WotC for the moment, as I wanna thank Paizo for not only having a solid, as well as internal, PDF source, but also attaching a PDF copy to all direct hardcopy sales. See, if you look at my account, when I post on Paizo's boards, it calls me a Pathfinder Charter Superscriber, which refers to the fact that I've been a subscriber since they started the service to everything in the Pathfinder and Gamemastery lines. Heck, I was doing that even while dreadfully unemployed and working on a very tight budget. Yes, I know, irresponsible, but I'm only responsible for me, so it worked out fine.

Now there are some companies who have a solid softcopy presence out there, such as e32 over at SJ Games, as well as the known folks of OBS/DriveThru/RPGNow, but Paizo is damn solid about selling both a PDF and a hard copy in a direct sale and bonding that with your Paizo account and that's just awesome.

See, WotC, Paizo can do something smart, something customers appreciate, and they communicate quite well and post things in advanced, too. Hey, maybe they'll host a seminar for industry folks who wanna better appreciate and provide services for their customer. Maybe you should e-mail them, after the fact, and see if you can attend. ;)

Feh. I know, snarky, but it's my blog and I am a bit known as a mouthy bastich. ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

PaizoCon 2009

You'd think that with as long as I've been gaming that I would have been to a gaming convention by now, but you'd be wrong. However, that's about to change this coming June 12-14, as I'm going to be in Seattle, Washington attending PaizoCon, an intimate convention with a 250 person attendance cap, that is an unofficial convention turned official by the folks from Paizo.

What was previously a fan-created event, thrown together through the Paizo forums, is now an official event, by Paizo, with an impressive guest list of Paizo employees, associates, contributors, and some honored guests with as impressive credentials to their name.  We're talking Monte and Sue Cook, from Malhavoc Press, as well as Eva Widermann, Wolfgang Baur, and more veterans than you can shake a stick at.

Needless to say, I'm excited, both for Paizo and for myself, as I finally get to meet some of these folk face to face, as opposed to through a monitor. While I'm mostly going to be there as a fan, I am going to try and get some time in where I'll make a few posts, tell some anecdotes, and share any cool Paizo-centric information that I can from the convention. It seems that the hotel has free wifi, so I'm gonna use it, like crazy, and maybe get some solid content out of it.

Who knows, if I do enough solid business this year, as a reviewer and journalist, I can turn pro. *chuckles* Yeah, I know, I couldn't keep a straight face, either.

Anyhow, if you're there, see you at PaizoCon. :D

In June!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Atomic Array Podcast

Now it is an odd thing, especially considering my level of gamer joy, love of Internet radio streams, and technocratic initiation, but I have never been one for podcasts. But, that has changed now with the addition of Atomic Array to my iTunes subscription for upload to my iPhone. As of late, whenever I drive, my choice is either my eclectic music tastes or the latest upload from Atomic Array.

First off, I enjoy the hosts and their sense of humor. I mean, not only are they gamers, but Ed Healy and Rone Barton are designers and developers, too. I would go into more detail, but when I think about their ages and my age, as well as their level of varied success....well, it is too early in the day for a double of my fine Glenfiddich single malt.

Although, it is quite good scotch.

But, regardless of my neurosis of the moment, the tone, humor, and obvious joy at doing their gig has made the hosts of Atomic Array an excellent draw. It is quite easy, I think, for a podcast with a good idea and steady guests and subjects to lose their audience simply due to a lackluster ensemble of hosts. Mumbling introverts need not apply, folks, but boisterous blathering folk are damn fine additions to a show.

Not only are the hosts solid, but they are obviously gamers, first and foremost, with an enjoyment for the variance in the industry that lends for an in depth discovery of new games from a trusted source. Another reason for the podcast, as I doubt that they would mark out or shill themselves for a mediocre or bad game, Ed and Rone both come across quite ethical, too. Odd and eccentric, but honest.

Next up are the guests, who are fairly consistently fun to listen to, in that you get a solid presentation on their products, while Ed and Rone ask solid questions, interspersed with humor and mini-skits, such as Cthulhu calling in to ask for tech support. It is the interviews, which are the bulk of the shows, that are the best resource since they give an excellent breadth of coverage of the game topics at hand. Between the hosts and the guests, you should have a solid feel of whether you would like to buy the aforementioned game or not.

In addition to the excellent interviews, you have some segments that I will call editorials, but they are more like focused skits, rants, or raves by either Ed or Rone. These little bits are quite good and offer solid breaks from the normal cadence of the interview.

Last, but certainly not least, are the giveaway and contests that Atomic Array have, which you have to listen to the podcasts, in order to know how to participate, and that is all I am going to say about that. They are cool and fun, I think, and make for some interesting listening, too.

When you think about your gamer life, if you see yourself as more of a widely read gamer, who prefers learning about any and all systems, then Atomic Array is for you. But, if you are a gamer who is loyal to one system or another, maybe more, then Atomic Array is still for you, you just have to pick and choose. 

My advice; subscribe to Atomic Array with whatever podcast device and system you prefer, as I think you could a lot worse than Ed and Rone.