My first thoughts on Goodman’s “Level Up” magazine

gmg9101coverlargeI have to admit that I haven’t heard about Goodman Games’ 4E magazine “Level Up” until a few minutes ago, when I noticed that criticalhits has twittered about it. Perhaps I’ve actually read something about it before, but today was the first time it grabbed my interest.
So I’ve checked out Goodman Games’ site and checked out the “Level Up” preview page. The cover for issue #1 is looking sweet. If you would secretly replace the text “Level Up” by “Dragon” it would look exactly like our former favorite gaming magazine. And I mean that in a good way. Of course I can’t comment on the contents but at least the exterior looks sweet.
And the price of $1,99 would be incentive enough for me to walk to the nearest gaming store and pick it up as soon as it’s out. BUT there are some problems with that:

  1. As far as I know the last FLGS in my vicinity closed a couple of months ago
  2. In the good old days it was sometimes hard enough to get your hands on a copy of DUNGEON or DRAGON, I am pretty sure almost no german store will sell Goodman’s magazine
  3. $1,99 at the store and $4 for subscribers (or the PDF variant)??? Are you kidding me? Usually the cost for subscribers should be lower than for the people who pick it up at the store, but perhaps just me. But perhaps the $1,99 is just a reduced price for the first issue. But nevertheless, bad move, Goodman Games.

I would love to check out a 3rd party 4th Edition magazine (especially for such a low price) if it was widely available or not horribly expensive for European gamers. But usually you pay enormous amounts for shipping and handling. A PDF variant could be interesting but not at double the normal price.

Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies

One of the RPG Blogs I’ve subscribed in Google Reader is the german blog Rollenspiel-Almanach. Today a post about Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies grabbed my attention. I actually haven’t heard of that game before but I immediately saw flying ships and sky pirates in my mind’s eye. The post linked to a post by Evil Hat Publishing’s Fred Hicks who is obviously working on the layout of this upcoming game where he showcases two fully layouted pages. 


So, what’s Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies about? Here’s an excerpt from the Atomic Sock Monkey website:

Skyships ply the 7 Skies, soaring from Cloud-Island to Cloud-Island for conquest, espionage, trade, and piracy. Kingdoms clash, cultures collide, and secrets abound. Heroes and villains roam Above the Blue, seeking action, intrigue, adventure, and style. Will you be one of them?

Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies
*Written by Chad Underkoffler
*Art by Greg Holkan & Scott Kane
*Layout by Fred Hicks

Wow, that sounds really intriguing! The game is driven by the Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) System Core Rules which reminded me a bit of FATE. I had to admit that I haven’t had the time to check the PDQ rules out completely but PDQ’s Qualities (or Fortes as they are called in PDQ#, the Swashbuckling version of PDQ) have a lot in common with FATE’s Aspects, but that’s perhaps just me. You can get both the PDQ and PDQ# rules as free PDF documents on the Atomic Sock Monkey website’s Freebies section.

A Roleplaying Games blog

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