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Review: Fight On! #10

November 1, 2010

Found a copy in my trick-or-treat bag, egged the house that gave it to me instead of KitKat or Starburst.  Might as well read it.  Ah, it’s entirely Raggi, Maliszewski & Conley-free… we’re off to a strong start.  Articles include:

‘Fast Company’ – Useless: if your players’ creative abilities reach their limit during chargen, get new players.

‘Wear & Tear’ – Useless: pointless busy-work with no payoff, for DMs or players.

‘Catwomen & Lion-Men’ – Useless: Furries might find value, you get a picture of a cat-slut with tig ol’ bitties.

‘The Time-Displaced’ – New Mutant Future character class, good idea but poorly executed. The ability buffs and combat mods are not well thought out, and some random equipment lists would be nice.

‘Cult Leader’ – Good stuff. Terrible as a PC class, but allows a convenient template to build an NPC cult leader along with minions.

‘Grognard’s Grimoire’ – Stupid spells you’ll never use.

‘The Familiar Spirit’ – Generating familiars for magic-users, a good idea that needs refinement. Some seriously heavy bonuses come with most of these critters, resulting in 1st level OD&D dudes with the power portfolio of 4E characters. Tone down the powers, make them develop over time, or toss in some potential for a misfire.

‘Knights & Knaves’ – Stupid NPCs you’ll never use.

‘Khosura: Part II’ – Big undercity adventure setting. Some really good stuff here, but needs a lot of DM prep time to be rendered useful. Positives: underworld setting that feels real and alive, good mix of combat & puzzles to keep players interested, maps are evocative. Negatives: Egyptian-Persian mishmash that’s been done to death, maps are confusing and need to be completely redrawn to attain even cursory usefulness.

‘Killing Monsters You Can’t Kill’ – Intro frames it as advice for DMs, then it’s written to the players. Eh, nothing new here but it’s inoffensive and only takes five minutes to read.

‘Creepies & Crawlies’ – Stupid monsters you’ll never use.

‘The Godzillas Will Breath On You’ Encounter Critical mini-scenario. Do you play Encounter Critical? I didn’t think so…

‘Futa-kuchi-onna’ – Stupid Bushido monster you’ll never use.

‘Doxy, Urgent Care Cleric’ and ‘Education of a Magic-User’ – Unfunny comics, a staple of gaming magazines for thirty years. Can we get magazine publishers to sign on to some sort of ‘RPG Comic Non-Proliferation Agreement’ to finally put these things out of their misery? The only thing keeping these dumb pieces of shit around seems to be some misplaced sense of obligation…

4 x One Page Dungeons – The troll one is good, the river one is okay, the tea one is terrible, and Mullen’s is useless.

‘Special Properties of Gemstones’ – The table from the DMG already covered this.

‘The Coinage of Ilthar’ – Coin minutiae, a time-waster.

‘Lost Dragonia’ – A few good ideas, lost amid a lot of tedious crap… the author’s career in a nutshell. Mishler renames all the dinosaurs into a bunch of nonsense native-inspired names that all sound alike, so good luck keeping track of those. The artwork is a complete mismatch in tone for the material, almost distractingly so. Crummy map.

A bunch of random tables – Not entirely useless.

‘Dungeon Modules’ – Stupid, railroad-y adventure location you’ll never use.

‘Hobgoblin Halls’ – Stupid village you’ll never use.

‘The Shrine that Glittered’ – Man, someone blew their formatting nut all over this adventure. Little icons explain ‘combat level 5+’ and ‘many spellcasting monsters’ and ‘secret areas’ (woohoo!), banners proclaim compatibility, and the stat blocks are bloated and cumbersome. At the end you fight some Medusae that have Bic lighters.

‘Moulin Rouge 1955’ – I didn’t even read this one because I can’t figure out what the fuck it’s supposed to be for.

‘Random’s Assortment’ – Stupid traps that you’ll never use.

‘The Darkness Beneath’ – Any Carcosa adventure that doesn’t include a sorcerer running around doing crazy shit is a waste of my time. On the plus side, a couple random tables make for fine pilfering. Fucked up maps.

Reviews – This review of Arduin Eternal is almost longer than the 822 page book. ‘Characters in Arduin Eternal are not unlike multifaceted gems.’ Hahaha, yeeeeaaah… Savage Swords of Athanor and Tower of the Stargazer (not quite Raggi-free, after all!) also reviewed, does anyone care?

Tom Moldvay stuff – Appropriately weepy.

‘One-Off Con Adventures’ – Tim Kask reminds everyone he played D&D with Gary.

‘Dougal Must Die’ – Fuck, another comic. Stabbed self in eyes.

‘Dungeon Geomorphs’ – More filler from the Internet.

Overall: Not worth the price of admission, particularly when compared to previous issues. Standards seem to be slipping. Cover is murky to the point of impenetrability, interior art (particularly the ads) suffers the same problem. Typos appearing with increased frequency. Quality control suffering: in ‘The Shrine that Glittered’, stat blocks reference AC instead of the usual DC – why not just drop the pretense and use AC across the board? Art is getting worse. Inferior submissions and shit regurgitated from online sources are crowding out the legit pieces.

I like Fight On! but four a year at 120+ pages is proving to be too ambitious for a hobbyist project. The publishers need to quit their days jobs, get some additional qualified help, or scale back.  They also need to start saying “No” to some submissions.

Final Rating for Google Keyword-Stuffing Purposes: 2 Teens Who Committed Suicide Because of D&D (out of 5)

Go buy it here if you think I’m full of shit, I don’t give a fuck…

http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/fight-on-%2310-summerfall-2010—pdf-version/13041746

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/fight-on-%2310-summerfall-2010/13041706

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack Colby permalink
    November 1, 2010 9:25 am

    I bought the PDF of this because there was a sale on. It was my first issue of Fight On! ever, and I was not impressed. One or two things I could use… your review is pretty accurate. Bushido articles, really? I can’t see myself buying another one, yet I see from your review this one was below average.

    Note to publishers: every issue of your magazine is going to be someone’s first. Make them all good.

  2. Kent permalink
    November 1, 2010 12:59 pm

    I was wondering why this review wasn’t funny until I came to your startlingly earnest advice to the publishers of Fight On! Are you now aching for credibility? Did you mistake notoriety for respect?

    You’re like some nut living beneath a storm drain who, when he fails to grasp the ankles of someone passing by, shouts out a judicious recommendation for Italian leather shoes. Frasier with Tourette’s fallen on hard times.

  3. November 1, 2010 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the review, I think! Sorry you didn’t like a lot of the issue.

    I actually agree with you that we bit off more than we could chew with this one. It was a little too big. I am going to be more of a hard-ass on the 88 pages from here on out – yeah, I’ve said it before, but still. The 88 page issues make for better reading even when the extra stuff is just as good, I think.

    On the other hand I like a lot of the stuff you say sucked, but that’s predictable. Glad that at least some of it was useful for you!

  4. November 2, 2010 2:57 am

    You really maky me laughty!

    You no suck you a ninja! a jet-eye!

    Damn them all Ha HA! My mom lets me run down the hall all by myself with my bookbag!
    I can go to the bathroom bymyself and I don’t poo poo my britches!

    I bet yur not a big boy like I am.

    I am gonna go play with my barbies NOW NOW NOW NOW NWO WNOPW W

    • nunya permalink
      November 2, 2010 3:33 am

      Sure, some of this stuff might be fun…but what I’m really dying to know is:

      IS IT BALANCED?!

      😛

  5. Tedankhamen permalink
    November 2, 2010 5:36 am

    I feel like I’ve just read a bit of Rorscharch’s journal for RPGs. “All these men in tights, Raggi, Malwikki, Rents, trying to hold the OSR together. Possibly homosexual. Must remember to investigate further…”

  6. November 2, 2010 9:11 am

    Hey yourdungeonissuck I just shit in your pants! That’s okay because your mom ate it all up!

    There are three kinds of people! Those who can count and those who cannot!

    Hey whatz yur reel name anywayz?

    I bet yur a female that got dogged by Raggi, Malwikki, Rents or a gay guy that got turned down by Raggi, Malwikki, Rents or a person that cleaned the toilets of Raggi, Malwikki, Rents and they left it too dirty for you and you got fired!

    You can’t even do a janitor’s job you dildo! So what is the deal doh?

    I am Pookey defender of the OSR and you have just been OWNED!!!

    • FASERIP permalink
      November 2, 2010 9:10 pm

      Joesky called.

      He wants his shtick back.

  7. Grumbling Grognard permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:43 am

    Yeah, I fucked up and bought it too. At least I can use it to wipe my…..oh, crap, I bought the PDF. 😦

  8. Sykirobme permalink
    November 10, 2010 7:55 pm

    You have to do an entry about this:

    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=46209

    One fucking great business plan: rely on the sycophants to do all your shit for free!

    Kask and Mentzer are shameless, but that’s ex-hippies for you.

  9. David Howarth permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:17 pm

    @Sykirobme – Jesus, nothing says, “We’re really serious about this,” like initiating a new business venture by begging for free labor. What a jackass. Given that Kask thinks everything published since Supplement II “is suck” one wonders why he’s even involved in this obviously doomed endeavor to begin with. These guys give fatbeards a bad name.

    @Yourdungeonissuck – Thanks for the review. I find it hilarious that it’s basically the same review Jamie Mal posted, without the prevarication. No, I am not insinuating that your are Maliszewski.

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