Google+ The Geeks Menagerie: February 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Robotech - New Generation Sourcebook

Yes its true, im actually doing a full review of this book, mainly because it is one of the best books Palladium has put out for the Robotech line. I will start by saying that Palladium was the first non D&D system I had ever played and it was because of Robotech (on local morning cartoons) that hooked me. Who wouldn't want to fly a jet fighter that transformed into a robot! 

The first thing I want to point out is that Palladium finally went back to its original 8.5 X 11 format. Which makes it a lot easier to read and take notes while making a character, plus they fit better on the book shelf next to the rest of the palladium books. The other nice thing about this book is that it doesn't replace the original Invid Invasion book, it adds more to the setting. Giving players more options and a more in depth look at the earth after the Invid Invasion.
Lets get started, first off as most people know, character creation can be a long process. Like the other new Robotech books, the optional Quick Character Creation section starts off the book and I recommend everyone go through this section and use some if not all of the tables for your character generation. You can play as a Human, Zentraedi, Tirolian or an Invid character, even a Human/Zentraedi or Human/Tirolian Hybrid. There is also a section of random tables that lets you roll on a characters feelings toward aliens. The nice thing about the New Generation setting is that it lets players use characters from any and all of the Robotech eras.

New Generation O.C.C.s (Occupational Character Class)
Freedom Fighter
    M.O.S. (Military Operational Specialty) Special Training unique to the Freedom Fighter
     - Cell Leader
     - Covert Ops
     - Mechanized Combat Specialist
     - Medic
     - Optional : Special O.C.C Skills "Alternative"
     - Special O.C.C Abilities of the Urchin
Wasteland Rider
     - Special O.C.C Skills
Invid Genetics Experiment
     - Invid Experiment Side Effects Table
     - Protoculture  Experiment Mutation Table
Invid Cybernetics Experiment (Invid Cyborg O.C.C)
     - Invid Experiment Side Effects Table
     - Invid Cybernetics Experiment Table

All of the O.C.C.s do a fine job of giving you all the skills and bonuses you need to build a wicked character. Along with these new classes you can use the existing O.C.C.s from the Shadow Chronicles(UEEF Military), Masters Saga Source book and Macross Saga Source Book. This system has always done a great job of building a solid base for Role Playing a character and not just a battle heavy campaign.

The next section that I love about this book is the Improvised Mecha Units (IMUs) aka "FrankenMecha". Lets face it, if you are on an occupied world your not going to have a brand new Veritech to climb into after an Invid shreds your ride. The next best thing is to scavenge parts off of Downed Battloids and/or Veritechs to rebuild and get back into battle. This chapter gives you details on how to add or change Sensor/Weapon Modifications and Limb Replacements, along with a sweet Malfunction Table. Because you cant patch something together with out it failing from time to time. Here is a list of the common "Frankenmecha" listed in the book:
               VFH-10G "ARES" - Ajax/Defender
               VRM-32 "Typhoon" Hover Cyclone - M-32 Hover Cycle/VR-50 Series Cyclone
               VHR-2S Myrmidon "Widowmaker" - Myrmidon/Spartas Hover Tank

Random Military Salvage Recovery Tables - Here is another very cool feature they added to this book, there are two tables - crash site and military facility, these give you a great cross section of items to randomly roll on. They consist of personal weapons/gear, mecha and mecha armaments. This gives the GM another great RP possibility for the players to discover equipment they may need to help them survive.
             UEEF Crash Site Random Salvage Table
             Army of the Southern Cross(ASC) Military Facility Random Salvage Table

The rest of the book gives you details on the Invid high caste, the flower of life and Protoculture . Including Hive layouts and other details to help GMs create a fun and exciting Robotech adventure. The NPC resistance fighters from the cartoon have been included in the book minus Scott Bernard. I'm guessing they excluded him because this book is geared more toward earths resistance fighters not the military. 

Overall impressions: This is a very solid RPG source book, it has a nice lay out which makes it easy to navigate through. It is a very content heavy book which is great for GMs who want to add as much detail to their game as they can. The character art is a bit lacking, previous versions of the Robotech franchise did a much better job of depicting Veritechs and characters but it doesn't detract from the over all content.  I would highly recommend this book to any fan of Robotech or the Palladium game system in general. So go to your local game store or directly to Palladium Books web store and check out all they have to offer.

Rating: 4 out of 5

For more information on Robotech or Palladium Books check out the links below:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


As I scanned the interwebs for interesting comic news, I came across a pre- order for an upcoming book on Ramona Fradon. I look forward to reading this book, I dont think women get enough credit for their work in the industry.

Cover by Ramona Fradon

Check out all the details on this book over at DYNAMIC FORCES web site. (Sorry Having issues withe the blog tonight.)

I encourage everyone to go out and investigate the many diverse female creators that are out there. Follow this link over to Wikipedia and take some time looking over the huge list collected there.

Let me know what you think

Mike Perkins on Astonishing X-men!

Fan favorite comics artist Mike Perkins gets Astonishing X-men run! I know I'm sure everyone else knew about this but me, lol. Look for it on March 28th! here are a few character sketchs from

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1st edition D&D Reprinted!

This is so cool!

1st Edition Premium Player's Handbook
Gary Gygax
In 1974, the world changed forever when Gary Gygax introduced the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The legacy of his innovative ideas and the extensive reach of his powerful influence can be seen in virtually every facet of gaming today.
To help honor his work and his memory, we created limited-edition reprints of the original 1st Edition core rulebooks: the Monster ManualPlayer's Handbook, andDungeon Master's Guide. These premium versions of the original AD&D rulebooks have been lovingly reprinted with the original art and content, but feature an attractive new cover design commemorating this re-release. Available in limited quantities as a hobby channel exclusive in North America.
Your purchase of this monumental book helps support the Gygax Memorial Fund—established to immortalize the “Father of Roleplaying Games” with a memorial statue in Lake Geneva, WI.
Item Details
Item Code: 02410000
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 112
Price: $34.95
ISBN: 978-0-7869-6243-3 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


IDW, in cooperation with MARVEL Comics, proudly presents WALTER SIMONSON’S THE MIGHTY THOR: ARTIST”S EDITION, collecting seven complete issues of Simonson’s Transcendent run on The Mighty Thor, including the groundbreaking first arc that introduced Beta Ray Bill. Each page is scanned from the original art, same size as drawn, and in full color (in insure the best possible reproduction).

Brought to you by the same team responsible for the Eisner Award-winning The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures Deluxe Edition.



While appearing to be in black and white, each page was scanned in color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art—for instance, corrections and blue pencils. Each page is printed the same size as drawn, and the paper selected is as close as possible to the original art board. 

This book is worth every penny, its breath taking. I love collecting original art and have always wanted some of Walt Simonsons pages but i knew i could never afford them. So finding this huge hard cover edition made me drool! The publishers description above details what the book consists of so i wont go over it again, but I will say you have to find a copy for yourself. Here are a couple interior page shots to give you an idea of whats inside.


John Romita's The Amazing Spider-Man: Artist's Edition

This is a must have if you love comic art! Especially John Romita! I own the Walt Simonson Thor Artist Edition and it is beyond amazing.

John Romita's The Amazing Spider-Man: Artist's Edition collects six issues of classic Romita Spider-Man art, nearly all shot from the actual original art (there are three pages that are printed from black and white copies but every other page is from the originals) and printed at the same size it was drawn. What I love about the Artist's Edition series is that it enables readers to really get a sense of what an artist's actual original art is like, up close and personal - you can see the little idiosyncrasies that make art unique. Many of us, especially the way comic art prices are escalating, ever get a chance to hold and and touch John Romita (or Wally Wood or Will Eisner) original art - this series allows you to experience that thrill without spending ten of thousands of dollars in the process!
- Scott Dunbier, Editor Special Projects