Well then, today I was sent a link of a near final draft of the much talked-up bloggers anthology. After skimming it over, and gettin cozy with it, I have formed a few distinct impressions I would like to share with you.
As a Disclaimer: I chipped in a little money to help get this thing rolling, this was even AFTER my submission was rejected : ) No dickery here, I promise!
Since I can't get into too many specifics, I am going to break this down into a couple of categories.
ART- 4 out of 5 stars - The art was an interesting mix of silly characitures(?) and filler pieces, with a truly awesome full page center piece. While it may not appeal to the newest generation of gamers who expect everything to look like a WoW screenshot, I found that the overall effect was one of retro-cool. Besides, nbody buys a gaming sourcebook of any kind JUST for the art.
In addition, the pieces were all relevant to their articles, and while different in styles, never clashed with one another. My only gripe, and the reason for the lack of a fifth star was the sheer quantity of it. After a while, some of the pieces just felt like padding. A forgiveable offense : )
CONTENT - 4 out of 5 stars - Even without my brilliance, the rest of the RPGBloggers community really stepped up with some decent content. All of our "luminaries" are present (you know who you are) and the subject matter is top notch.
My only criticism here, well both of my criticisms anyway : ) First off, this hobby, and presumably the book itself is supposedly a PG type of atmosphere. We can argue all day about this, but the fact of the matter is there are no other published supplements out there with the word FUCK in them. After years and years of official publications, maybe it's just me being a prude, but still... My other issue was more with the timing of the submissions. 4E had barely gotten it's legs under it when the call went out, and you can definitely tell by the content. Otherwise excellent, hence an equivalent 4 of 5.
LAYOUT - 4 out of 5 stars - Let me be up front on this. I couldn't format my way out of a 10 X 10 room. As such, it doesn't take much to impress me. However with a B&W book as dense in text as this one is, a clearer seperation between chapters would have been helpful. Especially from the perspective of someone who (once again) was raised on official publications wherein the chapters usually include a full page artwork with a small text lead in. Maybe i'm just spoiled.
RELEVANCY - 5 out of 5 stars - Wizards of the Coast has become something other than what it was, that is, they seem to have forgotten that their way is not the only way. This attitude is not unique. White wolf and games workshop beat them to the punch long ago in the "deaf to all external noise" department.
This book, and what it represents is the independent voices that belong to everyone not sitting in a corporate boardroom, discussing percentages and dividends. This is how we ACTUALLY play the game that they make a living telling us how to play. This is the fixed rules we have trial and errored together. This is the cool concept we put together for our best friend as a favor.
In my humble, near-irrelevant, and totally untrained opinion, this anthology - and the ones that follow it represent a new perspective on everything from what we think a missing class should look like, to how to build a good gaming group. This is the stuff we had to learn ourselves, the hard way. This book is pure gold, and if you do not get a piece of the first run then yes, we will all laugh at you.
My humble opinion has been given. Do with it what you will : )
More information can be found here