Oh my

Mongoose Publishing: Babylon 5 RPG, due to hit local shops any day now.
I’m only surprised it took this long for someone to get this license. I’m not surprised it’s d20.

All the previews are up on the web site. Tidbits include a sneak peek at the rules for Telepathy and a few of the major characters on board Babylon 5 — including Sinclair and Ivanova.
Fiery Trial, the first story arc, will be shipping to distributors this week.

I’m of two minds about this. First: cool. Mongoose is going the way of the licensed BESM products: half game-book, half sourcebook, so that there’s lots of good stuff even if you’re ‘just’ a fan of the show with no interest in the game. They repeat a number of times in the production blurbs that the book is ‘more detailed than anything you’ve ever seen from yadda yadda yadda’, so that’s good.
Second: this is Mongoose. Mongoose is a mixed bag for me — on one hand, I like their stuff, but on the other, they have a REAL tendency to come up with REALLY COOL IDEAS that are in no way balanced within the d20 system.
Emphasis: Often really cool. Often not balanced.
For an example, I present the Quintessential Monk book — the ‘varied paths’ that they came up with for monks, coming up with ‘substitution sets’ of alternate feats for the free stuff that monks get as they progress to give you a dozen ‘variant’ monks that are nicely balanced… that’s beautiful.
The prestige classes from the same book? An abomination before man and GM. Wow. Absolute crap. Cool concepts? Absolutely. But game busters? Wow.
So you’ll have to understand my trepidation — do I think they’re going to come up with some great ways of handling the deep, intriguing bits of the B5 setting. I think they will be fantastic at that… Story they understand.
Game balance? Well, we’ll see.


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