In celebrating Monica Valentinelli Week, we must take a look at the wonderful fiction she’s written for various RPG universes. Pinnacle’s most excellent Pinebox/East Texas University setting – modern-day Texas in a world where things go more than bump in the night – is rich with exceptional storytelling potential. Monica is one of the many great voices in this collection of tales from a place where the Friday Night Lights meet Saturday Night Frights.

People often say that there are no such things as monsters. They are wrong. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other unnamable horrors co-exist with us. Watching us. Using us. Preying upon us.

Welcome to Pinebox, a sleepy little East Texas town with a lot more than its share of trouble. Whether it’s the haunted diner luring weary travelers, the unexplained ‘alligator attacks”, or the crone who just might be hexing neighborhood kids, trouble always seems to be hidden just below the surface. Buried, but not forgotten.

Join Editor Matt M. McElroy and unearth these tales of rural horror from a dozen voices of the macabre:

  • Jason L Blair
  • Preston P. DuBose
  • Trey Gorden
  • Derek Gunn
  • Jess Hartley
  • Shane Lacy Hensley
  • Charles Rice
  • Monica Valentinelli
  • David Wellington
  • Ed Wetterman
  • J.D. Wiker
  • Filamena Young

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

(Totally missed yesterday due to illness, so catching up with a double-play today).

Welcome to Monica Valentinelli Week here at the SPOD! Monica has a very prolific and storied career in both gaming and fiction, and she’s one of my favorite people in the world, to boot. An advocate for inclusivity, the power of art, and just being excellent to each other, Monica brings style and substance in equal measure to everything she does.

This is one of her most recent releases, an extraordinary collection of materials and ideas stemming from her grand Make Art Not War Challenge project. This is highly relevant to gamers (she is one, of course), because anything we do at the table is readily identifiable as art in its own right. Game Masters and aspiring writers and designers will find extra value in this work, trust me.

Why take the Make Art Not War Challenge?

When times are tough, the feeling that artists are not necessary tends to permeate. Art is viewed as frivolous or a luxury since we don’t produce food, clothing, or housing. The exact opposite is true, however, because in charged political climates artists document and represent our humanity and all our struggles be they violent or peaceful for present day and future generations. Often, propaganda posters, victory songs, and other forms of art are specifically commissioned as well. Art is omnipresent, it is always political, and the choices we make affect our audiences and everyone around us.
 
For some artists, making art is an act of resistance; for others, making art is a way of life and a career. Even if your goal is to avoid politics altogether, remember that people turn to stories, games, and comics to find hope, to be inspired, to reach inside themselves and discover their own courage. Those emotions, even if they provide a temporary reprieve from whatever they’re facing, are powerful motivators to live and fight another day.

This eBook includes:

* Customizable Make Art Not War Challenge Rules
* Essays to help empower artists and deal with blockages
* 31 Creative Prompts to unlock an artist’s creativity

Monica Valentinelli, author and game developer, created this challenge to help encourage artists and writers to tap into their voice and tell their stories. While she is best known for her work related to the Firefly TV by Joss Whedon, she has worked with dozens of publishers including Apex Book Company, Pelgrane Press, Prime Books, Titan Books, Onyx Path Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, and many others.

Remember, one story can change someone’s life. The problem is, we have no idea which story that will be, when it will be told, or in what medium. It’s up to us to find it — by making art!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

We finish up Winter is Coming Week with this ice-cold tale of Halloween Horror in the eldritch terror-filled world of Call of Cthulhu.

It’s Halloween in an election year. New Yorkers prepare to celebrate with masked revels and parades, while the city’s powerful hold fund raisers and give speeches. Business as usual in the Modern Gomorrah, but when someone or something hunts New York’s streets, eviscerating stray animals, slaying the homeless where they huddle, and stealing women from shelters – it threatens a councilwoman’s reelection bid.

Dangerous occult texts missing from the massive 5th Avenue Public Library, mad politicians hiding in their posh Park Avenue apartments and a new Egyptian exhibit premiering at the Metropolitan Museum this Halloween embroil the investigators in a secret war for access to the halls of power. From New York’s high society to her mean streets, stalked beneath Times Square’s busy lights by Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, the investigators must swiftly unravel a bloody skein of occult clues and confront the power behind the killings – or this Halloween may prove their last.

Snows of an Early Winter is a stand-alone Call of Cthulhu adventure set in modern day New York City. It contains everything a group needs for two or three evenings of investigation and horror, including the scenario, pre-generated characters, and hand outs. It is the latest in the innovative line of officially licensed Call of Cthulhu scenarios and supplements from Super Genius Games.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today’s Winter Is Coming Week Pick is a nod to the many fans of Dungeon Crawl Classics – a callback to the old Hammer horror films in classic fantasy gaming style.

Transylvanian Adventures is a supplement for Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics. It is heavily influenced by Gothic Horror and the Hammer Films of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

“The Winter Home” is an introductory adventure designed for the 5 pre-generated characters included in the back. The characters in The Winter Home include 5 of the 8 new classes from  Transylvanian Adventures: the Valiant, Exotic, Half-Breed, Hunter and Reaver.

The adventure is also suitable for a party of 3rd or 4th level Dungeon Crawl Classics characters.

Running this adventure will require a copy of Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics Roleplaying Game. It is assumed the reader is familiar with DCC’s rules and conventions.

Today, we get savage with our Winter Is Coming Week Pick – the Savage Worlds setting of Hellfrost from Triple Ace Games. There’s an entire line of products for the setting (including the “spinoff” line, Land of Fire), giving GMs and players an enormously rich world to explore and tell epic tales within.

An endless winter is coming…

500 years ago: From the frozen far north, beyond the civilized lands with their rolling hills and forests, arose a mighty army of frost giants, ice devils, Hellfrost dragons, and fearsome orcs, servants all of the ice god Thrym. So began the terrible Blizzard War and the downfall of the mighty empires of man

Today: The races of the southern lands may have won the war, but they suffer its legacy still. For five centuries the winters have grown steadily longer and colder. Huge swathes of the land of Rassilon are permanently covered in ice and snow, and even the temperate lands are not spared the misery of failed harvests, deadly winters, and the dreaded Hellfrost wind.

But winter is not the only danger. A mere 30 years ago, magic, once the civilized races’ most potent weapon, suddenly began to fail. The Siphoning, an effect of unknown origin, has made magic an unpredictable ally.

Welcome to the world of Rassilon. Welcome to the Hellfrost!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

(Note – I missed yesterday due to a number of things, so this is the “make-up” Pick for that).

Pathfinder fans get their own journey into frozen wastelands and wintery adventure with the Into the Wintery Gale series of products from AAW Games. This is the core product, a mega-adventure that pits the heroes against the legendary Jotunn of Norse mythology.

The 200 page mega-adventure as seen on Kickstarter!

Other products in the Into the Wintery Gale Saga available here

The arrival of the celestial event known as the Ohjaslange heralds the return of the dreaded Jötunn—skeletal ice giants—and with them a curse of endless winter.

The adventurers have unwittingly stepped into the role of saviors to the Vikmordere people as the curse descends around Serpent Lake. Summoned by an ancient goddess, the adventurers join forces with the tribes of the Vikmordere to uncover lost artifacts necessary to triumph in this classic battle of good versus evil.

A war must be waged against the mighty Jötunn as they march down from their great stronghold on the towering peak of Ighdenholm. If the adventurers are not up to the challenge, then winter may forever reign in the valley.

This adventure is designed to accommodate five to six PCs of levels 9–10 and advance them through 15th level.

This massive mega-adventure book includes:

  • 5 full-sized dungeon adventures including top-down and isometric cartography
  • A highly-detailed overworld, including over 30 ready-to-run encounters
  • Hundreds of prepared read-aloud descriptions
  • Optional rules for handling hypothermia and frostbite
  • Detailed Vikmordere culture information, including new gear and equipment
  • Rules for magical runepainting, including new feats and skills. Comes with a runepainter’s record sheet
  • A new spell, Arurún’s Durable Dwelling
  • 10 new magic items including: the hero’s receptacle, the legendary sword Vlfberht, the ancient aegis known as Skjold Rustning, and the Wintyrsyrd
  • New detailed traps and hazards including “The Growling Lake” and deadly “Ice Fog”
  • Dozens of complex puzzles to challenge both players and player characters
  • Nordic-style hauntings, including “Sounding of the Jötunn,” “Brimnar’s Haunt,” and “The Wrathful Witch”
  • A dozen all new monsters, including ice maidens and skeletal ice giant berserkers, as well as villains like the Ice Queen of Meyla Isle and the dreaded Jötunn King, Krumma

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

With it snowing to beat the band `round these parts (Denver, CO), I figured I’d tap into that fandom that folks seem so excited about and declare this Winter is Coming Week at the SPOD. Naturally, we have to start such a week with the very source. Note that Green Ronin is still strongly supporting this line, so be sure to check out the entire catalog of Song of Ice and Fire RPG materials.

A Game of Thrones Edition is the new core rulebook for A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. Based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying gives you everything you need to play and run games in the Seven Kingdoms using an easy to learn system specifically designed to evoke the atmosphere of the best-selling novels and hit TV show. This edition includes the entire contents of the original rulebook, revised and updated, plus the full length adventure Peril at King’s Landing and a gorgeous new cover by fan favorite Michael Komarck. You and your fellow players take on the roles of key members of a noble house navigating the perilous waters of Westerosi politics and intrigue. Now is your chance to play the Game of Thrones with Green Ronin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Talkers, Runners, Doers, Fighters“. That’s the initiative system for this final Pick for Blessed Are the Healers Week, and it’s what makes this action adventure RPG based on a popular media property stand out. The initiative system reflects the aesthetic and ethics of the series, where those willing to talk things out are given precedence, and those who choose to do something other than punch or shoot to resolve a conflict are greatly valued. Sure, there are times when there simply is no other choice… but how nice to see that a game can be fun and exciting with all the other options given such value.

The Doctor is in.

Imagine you could go anywhere. This world or countless others, encountering strange alien races, new cultures or hostile environments. Now imagine you could travel to any time. Meet Robin Hood (and duel him with a spoon!), discover what terrible monster lives under your bed, journey inside a Dalek or travel to the end of time itself. Where would you go?

With Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who Roleplaying Game, the power is in your hands! You can go anywhere or anywhen in the universe. It’s not going to be easy. It’ll probably be dangerous. The universe is a hostile place, full of Daleks, Zygons, Sontarans, the Boneless, Cybermen, Clockwork Robots, Silurians and worse. There will be fear, heartbreak and excitement, but above all, it’ll be the trip of a lifetime.

The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game is a set in the universe of the world’s longest running science fiction show on TV – the BBC’s Doctor Who. This new edition of the rulebook, fully updated with imagery from the Twelfth Doctor’s adventures, presents all the rules and background you need to have your own adventures in time and space in a single volume, including:

  • A complete set of rules for playing the game.
  • Rules for creating your own characters, gadgets and more.
  • A guide to creating your own adventures, as well as two new adventures.
  • Ready-made character sheets for the Twelfth Doctor and his companions, including Clara Oswald, Danny Pink, Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax.
  • Rules and background for some of the Doctor’s most infamous enemies – including Missy!
  • All-new imagery from the Twelfth Doctor’s adventures.
  • And much more besides!

The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game has been written to appeal to both the experienced and first-time gamer. The game is suitable for 2 or more players aged 10 to 2000.

The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game is the new name for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. 

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

It would be hard to do a Blessed Are the Healers Week and not do at least one Pick centered on the classic healers of gaming – the clerics. This particularly keen selection from Rogue Genius takes the Pathfinder cleric in all kinds of new and interesting directions, and there are definitely options for those for whom the task of healing and comfort in the face of tragedy and danger are the chosen paths.

Some other products in this vein that caught my attention are:

Know That I am a Servant of the Gods!

Clerics are an iconic part of fantasy roleplaying games and, as agents of the divine, serve an important role in telling interesting stories and creating interesting worlds. Unfortunately, despite the many and varied different gods in most campaigns, clerics end up being disappointingly similar. Each selects two domains, but otherwise has access to the same spells, weapons, armor, and abilities as every other cleric. For characters devoted to divine beings that are spectacularly diverse, clerics have very little flexibility. But now with The Genius Guide to the Talented Cleric, it’s possible to build any kind of cleric. Warrior priests and crusaders can focus on divine domains and blessings, choosing to forgo the power to channel energy, or even reducing their dependence on spells. Clerics of gods focusing on animals can gain trusted mounts or improved familiars. Clerics of gods of knowledge can focus on secret lore and esoteric studies. Maintaining the core concept of a supernaturally-empowered agent of the gods, the Talented Cleric can now be as customized and unique as the god she worships.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Over one hundred products. Over $500 in value. Only $25, and all for the folks in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean recovering from the utter destruction of their homes, businesses, and lives.

Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria a few short weeks ago, and is in dire need of humanitarian assistance and relief. We’ve organized this bundle to provide what help we can. The proceeds for this bundle will be going entirely to GlobalGiving’s Puerto Rico and Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!