-Updated 4/30/2018 with Timing-
When I made this blog I had intended the sharing of ideas and experiences. When I came around to playing some new things, I decided it would be a good idea to review those things. Books about RPGs, games, systems, and more. Recently, and quite amazingly, I have contacted, been put in contact with, and been contacted by various publishers to take a look at their product. Some have been new projects and others have been related to upcoming projects. The opportunity for each and every one of those is beyond appreciated. However, I realize now that I need to set some guidelines for reviews, as much for myself as those who would like to see them.
How I Review
I review everything the same way I tell my friends about something new I have seen, which pretty much amounts to gushing about the best parts. Though I have tried to make sure I cover enough about the things I am reviewing, I still tend to focus on the strengths of whatever it is. That being said the products will not be immune to constructive criticisms. Those will be just that though. i will not tell you something is bad unless it is truly dreadful. I want publishers to be successful and I want new ones to pop up. I will tell you why I thought you were awesome, some of the troubles I encountered, and how I think they could be remedied or improved. I will aim to tell folks who would and would not enjoy the game because it is rules heavy or completely narrative. My goal is to give fair assessments and give the right people the right reasons to reach out to a new game or system.
What Will I Review
As of right now almost anything table top RPG related. Systems, source books, adventures, and supplements. That being said, some take a lot longer to go over than others. This is especially true of adventures or new systems that I want to really play test with our group at Untamed Dice. I cannot guarantee we will have time to play test, but I will also let you know that when we talk. Of course I am also open to reviewing a product, playing it when the time arises, and writing a post-play follow up review. I think that is only fair. So the following are lists of what I am currently considering, followed by a list of systems I have experience with (from most to least).
- New Systems (especially small/new publishers)
- Rules Supplements (races, classes, options)
- Campaign Worlds
- System-neutral Resources
- Game Tools & Aides (digital or physical)
- Magazines / Fanzines relating to TTRPGs
- Dungeons & Dragons (mainly 5th, significant 4th and 3rd, minor AD&D)
- Savage Worlds
- Fantasy Flight Game’s Star Wars system
- Powered By The Apocalypse
- Cypher System
- Other small & unique-ruled systems
What I Won’t Review
As of right now this list is small. If we are moving away from RPGs than I will not review it. I also have very little time for reading or listening to anything, even if they are TTRPG related. Please let me know about them and I will add them to my personal list of things to check out, but I can’t give them the proper review time. As for the formats of what I will review I will take hard copies are my favorite, I prefer them a thousand times over to digital at the table. I prefer PDF as a digital format. These are easy to hold on a flash drive and utilize at my desk or with my laptop is away for a game. I prefer being able to use my computer and zoom or enter page numbers more directly. For quick reference here is a list of what I don’t want.
- Things not TTRPG related (I don’t have time for the games I own)
- Comics, Podcasts, or Streams (give me a shout out, but no review requests)
- EPub, MOBI, etc (please provide PDF if not hard copy)
I feel the need to add a note on timing based on recent months. All reviews are added to my list on a first-come-first-serve basis. One review comes out every week provided that there are no hiccups or surprises in my every day life. On occasion I have had to push back reviews but in those cases a few things happen. First ALL reviews are pushed back by one week (or more if truly necessary). Second, this push back ends when I hit a product I have chosen to review myself and that review is pushed to the end of the line. I warn you, however, that there are other instances when reviews are moved to different times. If a review is of a very long game or core rule book, I may push it back a week to make sure I give it due course. In such cases I bring the next week’s review forward and no other reviews are affected. When I am asked to review for a Kickstarter I also make it a priority to attempt a review release during said Kickstarter to maximize the help I am trying to provide. In such cases reviews may get shifted back, but all those that do remain in the order they were originally.
I apologize to those who products have been reviewed later than intended or end up being later than intended. If you ever have a reason for a specifically timed review, please let me know ASAP and I will do my best to accommodate. This is true not just of Kickstarters but releases, supplement releases, and other promotions featuring your product. All that being said, I will do my best to be up front about review timing, why things are delayed, and regularly update the calendar and list of products on the line up.
You can always find me on Twitter, but if you wish to discuss a review the best way to get in touch is e-mail. Whether you have a request for something I look into on my own dime or you are looking for reviewers for your product there are two ways to reach me. The easiest is to fill out the form below which will send an e-mail to reviews AT thewanderingalchemist DOT com. I will then reply to that from either reviews or crowley AT thewanderingalchemist DOT com. If you wish to e-mail me directly either of those addresses also work and you can also reach me via jcrowley31042 AT gmail DOT com. For a list of what is already in the line-up just head over to this page. Thank you for everyone who has contacted me and I look forward to talking RPGs with the rest of you!