RPG A Day 29: My Last Second-Hand RPG Purchase

I am a sucker for stationery type deals.  Notebooks and unique style folders get me every time.  I spotted a thing on eBay recently that was for the Cypher System.  It was a nice organiser with a play mat, experience deck, Cypher system dice and the Gods of the Fall sourcebook.  It piqued my interest for a few reasons.

second-hand cypher system package
This is what I received

Second-Hand Goodies

As I mentioned above, what I was really keen on was the organiser included in this.  The only reason I was entertaining the idea is that I have been reading some Cypher System rules again of late.  I was considering that I may mess around with it soon.  Everything that arrived was in really good condition too, so I was pretty happy.  The thing is that I got it off of eBay.  eBay is now not so much a bidding site.  Most people use it for online stores and the like.  This is not the eBay I like or remember.  Because of that, this was a $50 buy it now purchases with about $14 postage.  I am not terribly rich so that sort of money is something I have to pause on.  Especially for something that I “may” use in the future.

Inside of cypher system organiser
This thing is a beautiful organiser and came with character sheets and a laminated reference card

The Tipping Point

eBay handily reminded me that I had looked at this about a week later.  It was inside its last 24 hours.  I looked at it again and my yearning for the organiser continued.  I decided that if the supplement, Gods of the Fall, had reviewed well then I would buy it.  Players taking the role of Gods is interesting.  I have not found anyone that has done it right though.  Mythic Adventures and the Wrath of the Righteous for Pathfinder is a hotbed of broken rules.  Exalted seems so very cool the way that Fern Kali writes it up on her blog Ballgowns and Battleskirts.  I bought a couple of the books off eBay for that but the setting just bores me.  The closest to young Gods that works well is Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, but it is hard to get a game of that for me!

The Review

So I searched the interwebs and found a review.  It was full of praise for the book but there was one thing that sold me on the book.  It was this paragraph;

This might be the single most beautiful RPG book I’ve ever owned. Every piece of art in the game is brimming with beauty, evocation and talent. Seriously. I just flipped through the book looking at what might be the most amazing fantasy art I’ve ever seen compiled in a single RPG rulebook.

I love me some good art.  The other stuff was very positive but that paragraph sold it.  I pressed the “Buy Now” button and paid straight away.

Gods of the Fall Cypher System supplement
The Gods of the Fall

Reality

I picked the package up on Monday and ripped into the packaging as I was 15 minutes early for work.  I went straight to the book.  Surely it was overflowing with brilliant art and would be the most beautiful RPG book I owned.  Horrible reality soon dawned on me.  There is really a sparse amount of art in this book.  There are places where you will find many pages in a row uninterrupted by art.  And the art that is in it is slightly above average.  Nowhere near brimming with evocative talent as I had been promised.  I felt pretty gutted, to tell the truth.  But, everything is in brilliant condition.  A great second-hand haul.  The organiser is totally beautiful.  the dice are even nice, a bit on the light side though.

What about the content?

I have started to read the book and I will do a fuller review at a later date.  I have to set the internet straight about the art at least.  From what I have read, which is the first two chapters, it is a warped clone of Exalted.  Sure, there are differences but the Gods have fallen.  There is a woman trying to control the lands that remain.  She has organised a group to hunt out those that worship the old gods or claim to be new ones and eliminate them.  If you are at all familiar with Exalted, this is very similar.  Sure, in this game she still exists and the setting is a lot weirder.  In fact, I am reading it with a lot more interest than I was with Exalted.  I am waiting to see how they apply the Cypher System for the godlike powers.  That could be very exciting.

Overall?

I am happy with the purchase.  The mat is brilliant, the dice great, the organiser perfect.  The experience cards seem like a good idea but just feel tacky and we will wait for my final decision on the book.  I still have a gnawing sickness when I look at the book and compare it to the words in the review that was quoted.  Maybe we will play this version of the game or one of my making – time will tell.  Let me know about your last second-hand purchase in the comments and if it lived up to expectations.  Until next time keep rolling!

3 Comments


  1. That does sound interesting – very similar to Exalted, but that gives lots of scope for different stories all the same

    Reply

    1. The setting almost looks like they based it on Exalted but then said “How can we weird it up?” There is a section of the world that lives in perpetual darkness because when heaven fell a new moon appeared to permanently eclipse the sun in certain areas. Those areas are now extremely dangerous and have currency in suffering and slavery. The moon paradoxically is the land of dreams which excites me somewhat. Also when I say heaven fell, I mean literally. There is a big tempest where it fell and shattered to pieces and is surrounded by the sea.

      Reply

      1. That is cool. There’s a shattered island in Exalted that we’ve spent some time on, now, and there are Shadowlands, but I don’t really know their history or mythology as yet.

        Reply

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