At about 2:30 PST Richard Thomas sent out the link to the PDF for backers of the Pugmire Kickstarter. So by the time, this will have been published, I’ll have had it for about an hour and a half. This is not a review per se, but more of a look at what we have for the game now. Keep in mind that the file is named Pugmire_Core_Rulebook_(Beta).PDF and there might be some unfinished things.
EDIT: There is a forum on the Onyx Path site with errata and updates. The Backer PDF is unfinished and there are more great updates incoming and you can get the news as it happens there!
Starting off: you will notice that the game comes with files for the character sheets in various printer-friendly versions. These are the same as the quickstart rules character sheets. No surprises or changes to report, and to be honest, I’m a little bummed. Of course, that’s not what this PDF is about, and I can hope for an updated one down the line. My biggest concern was the lack of skills laid out on the character sheet, but the core book itself does list all the skills so I am quite thankful for that.
On to the PDF itself. The art is terrific. I especially love the character designs in the Breed and Calling sections. The layout is just as easy to read as the DMG for D&D and since this game uses the Open Game License, players will be able to easily read something familiar. There are a couple of missing art pieces, but the file is a beta so I’m sure we can expect those to be filled in once the book is ready for printing. We’ll probably also be able to expect an updated PDF.
Some things I wanted to point out: It’s going to be impossible to do certain D&D things without calling them the D&D name. For instance Advantage and Disadvantage. I’m happy to announce that they’ve changed the words from Edge and Handicap to Advantage and Disadvantage. They also changed the Aptitude bonus back to Proficiency bonus. They did decide to keep the Hit-Points as Stamina-Points, though.
Looking through the tricks, it seems that there aren’t any new options from the quick start. All of them are better written and more fleshed out but nothing is new. This isn’t where the game needed the most work so I’m not terribly surprised. The game really needed more monsters and magic as straight pulling from D&D seemed a little on the wonky side.
MAGIC AND MONSTERS. I’m quite excited to see all of this. First of all, that image of the giant slug is awesome. the way the Artisan and Shepherd spells are laid out are a little confusing. that is to say that it’s all a layout thing not an actual information thing. Magic tricks are interesting, and a dog who spends all their tricks on Magic can gain new spells at each level meaning at 3rd level a dog can theoretically cast a 6d6 fireball? I have to be reading that wrong. Someone correct me. I guess I’d only be able to cast that once or twice a day but that could potentially obliterate anything at 3rd level.
Regardless: We now have the full magic sheet through to level 5 (max?). So onto monsters:
One thing I really appreciate in any system is the inclusion of GM advice and monsters into the core books. I’m not above purchasing 3 books but not all three books have a tendency to drop all at once and I’d like to get started right away (obviously). In Pugmire, the Game Master is called the Guide. In the Guides section, there are some rules for magic items as well as monsters and I very much appreciate the inclusion. All the monsters are very well stated out to a max CR of 10 (I only saw one). and there’s something strange about the cats as enemies: There’s an assassin, a monk, and a necromancer. Is that a bit of a teaser to the possible callings for cats?
So after the first hour and a half of thumbing through the book, I’m super satisfied to have more info as the Guide to run a more effective campaign. Players will also be happy to see the full skill list and have access to a MUCH improved layout over the quickstart rules. I’ll be delving harder into the book as RPG day at the Gamerati events grows closer.
Happy gaming :)