Friday, 22 August 2014

RPG A Day - Day Twenty Two - Best Secondhand RPG Purchase - Blue Planet complete set


In the last ten years, I find increasingly that I don’t head over to the big stands at conventions to pick up the latest shiny thing, instead I find myself drawn to the Bring and Buy sections of the trade hall.  I’m not sure why this is to be honest, it could be because so many new games these days are so very expensive and part of my Gamer DNA remembers being poor and scrabbling for so many years.  I can’t afford to risk eighty quid on something I’m not absolutely sure that I’m going to like, whereas at the bring and buy, there’s a whole bunch of things that are available that I know are good and being second hand, are mostly cheap…

Case in point was a small bookstore in Wakefield, England, in a building with twenty other places that had a similar indie vibe to them, from a tattoo parlour to a skateboard shop and the bookstore, which was clearly run because the person behind the counted wanted to spend their whole life surrounded by books.  The sort where you bring a book to the counter and you half wonder if they’re going to let you buy it because you’re diminishing the volume of book in the shop…


In this case however, I shouldn’t have worried, because these weren’t “Real” books, these were those shiny A4 size “Game” books, and he’d bundled them together because he wanted to get rid of all of them and get more dusty books back in there, so he was selling them as all or nothing and wanted a whole fiver for them…

Blue Planet V2, every book in pristine condition.

Now at the time, I only needed the moderators guide to make the set, but when you get something like this presenting itself, there’s no question whatsoever in what you’re going to do…

Blue Planet is one of those games that you may not use the system for, but the books are roleplay gold for anything that involves anything like the environment that’s in them.  There’s a lot of research gone into how the world is presented, and it’s that wealth of information that makes this such a brilliant game.

Set upon the world of Poseidon (Well, if you found a world that was mostly water, you would, wouldn’t you?), Blue Planet is Firefly on water, with all the fun that that entails.  Frontier Justice is a normal thing, and there’s constantly people out there on the take, trying to make things better for themselves and caught up between them and the law (working either side as they need to) are the players.  The thing about Blue Planet is that it presents very much the feel of an isolated place, there’s a few places where man and his kind are welcome, and the rest of it is a largely inhospitable mass of water and what lies beneath.  For games where you’re out on the edge with little to no backup, making the rules as you go along and trying to keep a track of your own sense of self, it’s an excellent game with few equals.

That and the fact that Killer Whales are a player character race option…

So I got all the following…


Moderators Guide  - Well, you need one of those to run it, but this book also goes into why you should want to play Blue Planet, as well as suggested ways in which to run it and how to cultivate the proper feel of the world.


Players Guide – Killer, Killer, Killer, Killer, Killer, Killer Whales....And of course everything else J


First colony – A guide to the city of Haven and Argos Island, but not just that, also a guide to the political and social machinations and several adventures to give players a straight run at the world without even getting as far as the Oceans. 


Frontier Justice – The guide to Law and disorder in the world, together with a variety of adventures to get the players into scenarios where they could encounter the same, both for and against Justice.

Fluid Mechanics – The Tech of Blue Planet, from the hard tech of the warsuits and vehicles, to the cybernetics and biotech enhancements that are commonly available, want to swim with the fishes (and actually swim...?), this is the book that can make it happen.


And finally, Natural Selection – The guide to the Ecology of Poseidon, not just a regular monster manual as the cover would suggest, it’s a real guide to the world, why things come about, how certain lifeforms have evolved to be as dominant as they are.  From the various natural phenomena, both under the waves and over, to the evolution of algae that floats in gigantic iceberg like clusters, eating their way over everything that they come across.

Blue Planet remains amongst my favourite settings of all time, there’s a yahoo group running for it at the moment and the discussion is still active despite nothing having come out for the game in some time.  So come on...


You’re not afraid to go back into the water are you?

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