Saturday, May 9, 2015

d-Infinity Volume #7: Holidays & Celebrations From Skirmisher Publishing

Grab It Right Over 

This is a pretty well put together magazine issue that covers a wide gamuit of articles about Holidays and Celebrations. I can honestly see using this magazine as a jump off point for my own researches into holidays as adventure jump off points. Almost the entire issue here is one huge homage to festivals and holidays. There has always been an element of celebration as adventure stepping stone in old and new school gaming. According to the Drivethrurpg blurb: 
In the real lives of most people, holidays and celebrations of various sorts often provide them with their greatest experiences, and positive and negative events alike tend to be significantly more memorable when viewed through the lenses of festivities. While most game masters and storytellers certainly understand how festivals, holidays, and celebrations can be used to accentuate the action of their scenarios, however, such events are used surprisingly rarely in this way. Several of the features in this volume of d-Infinity are designed to be of use to game designers and authors who want to use holidays and celebrations to a greater extent in their stories. 
d- Infinity has always been a mixed bag of material catering to a wide variety of tastes and the contents can vary from author to author depending upon the totality of what the magazine goes for game wise. The theme here is set for a solid mix of articles.
d-Infinity Volume #7 Contents

Editorial: “Holidays & Festivals”This editorial sets the tone for the entire magazine and covers most of the basics of the whole holiday as jump off point for adventure or campaign idea. The flavor seems very OGL or Pathfinder with a ton of ideas thrown into a blender and set on campaign. Not a bad way to start off. There are a ton of ideas lurking in the background here and some of them need to be padded out. 

Fiction: “Introduction to the World of Kos”
A fiction piece for the peusdo ancient world setting for Skirmisher's in house campaign. Not too badly done at all and if your a fan or new to the world of Kos this is a place to start. Kos is marching its way towards more Pathfinder or D&D 3.5 in my mind. The article is pretty solid. 

LARP/Prop Room: “Swords & Sorcery in the World of Kos”Larping in the world of Kos, there seems to be a shift on Skirmisher's part and an expansion of the Kos line into the Larping scene. Not a bad little article on expanding your Kos game into the live action. Not really for me at all as a table top gamer. 

Digital Dice: “Black Hat Magic”
An article about certain trends in gaming that are well thought out and there's some interesting material here.
100 Oddities: “Random Holiday Treats”This is one of those weirdly useful  100 Oddities lists that have a wide variety of uses at the gaming table not badly done at all and this list can easily be used in any old or new school rpg campaigns where the jump off point is that magical time of year whatever that may be. This is a solidly done and highly useful article across the board. 
Basic System/Mutant Future: “Mutant Plant Monsters” When it comes to Mutant Future this is really the meat and  potatoes of monsters, a solid article for the post apocalytic madness that is Mutant Future. One can never have to many mutant monsters. And this drops in some much needed plant like horrors. 

Basic System/Labyrinth Lord: “Six Festive Spells”Finally we get into a bit of Goblinoid games Labyrinth Lord magick and spells perfectly suited to that magical time of year. These are highly useful and a nice addition to the retroclone scene. I was hoping for more then a mere six spells. 
Pathfinder System: “Festivals & High Holy Days”Pathfinder gets a nice little system of “Festivals & High Holy Days” for your campaign. The article is well done and actually useful. Not too badly done. 

Pathfinder System/Insults & Injuries: “Alcohol & Other Intoxicants”
A whole mini system of Pathfinder drunkenness and drug use for the game something that goes hand in hand with this holiday issue. This is actually a pretty damn useful article for Pathfinder or 3.5 or any D20 style game. 
5th Edition: “Bard Background: Thespian”With the popularity of 5th edition I was expecting a bit more material then simply a Bardic background that could be simply slapped into the background of a PC. As a piece for a PC's build this isn't a bad little add on to the bard class. 
Cards & Quests: “Monsters of Kos”New game options for the Kos setting. Not badly done but there needed to be more then simply the one article, this one needed more expansion in a few places. 
Chevauchee: “A Cold Day in Hel!” An expansion into the Skirmisher war game with additional rules and scenarios. The material here is well done and pretty solid.

d- Infinity is the house internal magazine for Skirmisher publishing and it emulates the formula of some of the  Dragon magazine's style but does it in such a way that it  covers a wide variety of games. The magazine does a good solid job of covering the holiday them but the effort is aimed more at the 3.5 and Pathfinder crowd. There is a showing of OSR material but there needs to be a bit more. All in all this is a solid mixed bag of material wrapped in a well produced package. Its nice to see that Kos is getting more airtime and the push for more articles is starting to pay off. Is it worth downloading? If you are doing a holiday theme for your adventures or campaigns that I would say its a definite yes. 

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