Monthly Archives: June 2015

As you may have surmised by the subject line, Sean’s still out of town. I get to choose today’s pick again. Time for some core book love…

Savage Worlds is a Fast! Furious! and Fun! rules system for any genre of roleplaying game. Create your own setting, convert an existing one, or pick up one of our amazing worlds like Deadlands, Slipstream, or Weird War II.The rules give players plenty of depth to create their characters and keep bookkeeping to a minimum for the game master. If you’re looking for a game that’s fast and easy to set up, run, and play, Savage Worlds is for you!

Savage Worlds Deluxe is the newest edition, providing an update to the third printing of Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition. It includes rules updates, new rules material, new art, more examples, an expanded Setting Rules section, Designer Notes to give you an insight into the development, and much more. It does not, however, invalidate prior printings of the rules, which you can continue enjoy.

Savage Worlds Deluxe

Sean is out of town (and away from his computer) for today, so it’s my turn to play at doing a Pick of the Day. Since I’m posting this right before heading out the door for my every-other-Monday-night game, I thought it appropriate to pick the game I’m about to play.  Though tempted to post the Verbena Tradition book, I decided to be fair to the rest of the Traditions and opt for the game as a whole instead. Enjoy and, where this game is concerned, may you only roll tens!

 

Reality Overthrown!

Their heritage is magic, their quest truth. Every culture has nurtured or condemned them. They lead humanity to the far horizon and beyond. They are mages, the inventors of sorcery, science and faith. For centuries they have battled to define existence and lead humanity to an enlightened age. Now, in an age when technology is humanitys magic, the magicians of yesteryears mystic Traditions fight for survival and the key to the cosmos itself Ascension.

Choose Your Truth

The heroes of Mage: The Ascension, revised in the tradition of Vampire: The Masquerade, have lost their war for reality but the struggle continues in this quintessential volume. All of the Traditions are updated and elaborated, along with the history of mages in the World of Darkness.

Explore the revised rules of the Spheres, Resonance and Paradox. See the devastating changes that signal the end for the Ascension War, and learn how modern mages survive 2000s Year of Revelations.

Mage: The Ascension (Revised)

We round out this week’s Picks with a mythically-charged FATE product from Evil Hat themselves.

The world is young and majestic, and humans eke out a living and dream of civilization.

But you are not like them: you are a god. A primal creature, your soul a blazing font of power, your body an expression of your nature. The more extreme your behavior the greater the power you can wield—but it is easy to become lost in a single facet of your existence and cross the line from god to monster.

Perform mythic acts, skirmish with rival pantheons, and walk the line between power and control in this Fate World of Adventure by Chris Longhurst.

Gods and Monsters requires Fate Core or Fate Accelerated to play. This 50-page supplement contains:

  • A new campaign structure that separates play into tales, allowing for gameplay to affect the world at large
  • World creation ideas, with basic structures for sub-regions and communities
  • Character creation systems for gods, including divine mantles, intention, and epic stunts
  • A sliding scale of opposing approaches allows characters to change during gameplay
  • A variety of introductory tales to get you started

Gods and Monsters. What will your legacy be?

Yeah, this is another “it’s my page, gonna pimp my stuff” kind of thing. However, it’s also a very worthy pick, because Scott Corum is a fantastic author who deserves your attention. I really want to see him write even more excellent fiction.

Chanz Drake Abendroth, a swordsman of noble birth willing to risk his life on the smallest chance he might gain justice for his murdered family. 

Brum Lander von Lander and Lisette “Zette” Stahlfaust – combat sorcerer and gifted rogue – are Chanz’s dearest friends. They, too, risk all simply because that friendship is precious to them.

Vika De’Lear, the Midnight Dominus, vampire lord of the city, who hunts as a way not just to feed, but to endure his existence with some sense of that which he gave away – life.

Their collective story entertwines in a most exciting and most surprising way. A dance of blade and spell, life and death, honor and destiny. Blood will spill and paths will change.

In a land given over completely to Darkness, ruled by monsters, there are places and times where honor and loyalty still mean something.

In fact, such things can mean everything.

Hunt of the Midnight Dominus, written by the very gifted Scott Corum (Victory System, Dakkar Unlimited, profiled in the documentary “The Dungeon Masters”), is the second of a series of novellas set in the epic high fantasy world of Shaintar (created by Sean Patrick Fannon for the Savage Worlds system).

Eloy Lasanta and Third Eye Games have carved a serious niche out for themselves over the years with quirky, interesting, straight-up fun games and settings. One of the first to really connect with fans was the tongue-in-cheek monster-fighting API, which is now out in its 2nd Edition. This is a great time to jump in and cancel the apocalypse.

Join the fight to protect Earth by enlisting in API, a worldwide company whose only mission is to stop anyone or anything who wants to harm our world. Humanity doesn’t fight this battle alone, as monsters and demons have given up their lurking to serve the alongside the company. This is their home too!

Each API agent (20 playable races) is armed with the tools for the job. Some become adepts, followers of traditions teach 18 Paths of customizable magic. Some go under the knife to enhance their body with one of over 30 Cyberware implants. Some master combat training from one of 10 types of Fighting Styles. Most agents wade the waters between these three extremes, taking advantage of the almost limitless combinations of powers at their disposal.

Powered by the the Dynamic Gaming System 2.0 (DGS2.0), every mission is filled with excitement and drama, and every battle is immersive! All you need is 1d20 and an imagination to jump into the action. Includes plenty of character creation options, antagonists to battle and an in-depth view of our modern world through the eyes of Apocalypse Prevention, Inc.

Near the end of May, huge portions of Texas were deluged with terrible storms and severe, unplanned-for flooding. The toll was catastrophic, and folks are still digging out and trying to reclaim their lives – those that survived.

As always, the RPG industry steps up in times of disaster and need. Check out the amazing products in this charity bundle organized by Fainting Goat Games. Here’s just some of the great products –

  • Seven Ronin for the Watchguard Universe (Xion Studios)
  • The Accursed Players Guide (Melior Via)
  • BASH Fantasy Edition (Basic Action Games)
  • ETU Class Ring (Pinnacle Entertainment)
  • ICONS Great Power (Ad Infinitum Adventures)
  • Fantasy Hero Complete (Hero Games)
  • Lots of the Super Powered Bestiary (Rogue Genius Games)
  • Welcome to Stark City (Fainting Goat Games)

Tons, tons more! This whole thing is only $20 (and contains over $150 in product). A great deal, a good cause.

Thank you.

The Grand-Daddy of All Sci-Fi Roleplaying hits it’s fifth edition with a whopping 759 pages of gaming content! Brought to you by Marc Miller, one of the original Traveller designers and the man carrying that first torch decades later, this is the definitive iteration.

The Traveller Science-Fiction Role-Playing Game System, Fifth Edition

The Core Rules for the fabled 5th edition of the Traveller science-fiction role-playing game. The best-selling kickstarter project from Marc Miller, replete with Character Generation for 13 careers, plus rules for non-human aliens (we call them sophonts), clones, chimeras, androids, robots, synthetics, and more.

Core game mechanics for Tasks and Skills.

Starship rules for construction, operation, and combat.

World rules for star systems, habitable, and uninhabitable, worlds, terrain, world surface travel, and more.

Maker Systems that allow fast, easy creation of guns, armor, weapons, and even Things– much easier and more usable than the old Fire, Fusion, and Steel.

Trade and Commerce rules detail how (with hard work) characters can make a living travelling betweem the stars.

759 page PDF including 19-page index.

Some love them, some hate them. Such is the controversy of the Gunslinger in a predominantly fantasy-oriented rules set. Let’s see what you make of them with this very inexpensive set of stuff to expand their options. While you’re at it, you should probably take a look at the entire suite of Fantastic Feats books.

Fantastic Feats Volume 39 – Gunslinger

This edition of “Fantastic Feats” – a series of feats based around a certain theme or subject – is about the Gunslinger, the wielder of the strange and wonderful weapons known as guns.

The feats inside this volume:

  • Gritty Aim – Grit can make it easier to bypass some armor
  • Gritty Experience – Having grit now make you a bit more effective in many areas
  • Gritty Nimbleness – The gunslingers grit now makes it easier to dodge
  • Gritty Wisdom – Hard learned lessons add to the Gunslingers grit
  • Improved Damage – Minimum damage from your weapon is now increased
  • Improved Repair Costs – It’s now cheaper to repair that weapon of yours
  • Improved Targeting – Increase the odd of getting a good result when targeting

From the “In Case You Missed It” file comes the game that may finally bring my thus far never-ending search for a supers game I can just dive into, tinker to taste, and run (and, perhaps, release?) my supers settings. With my current massive, eat-all-my-brain project, it would be good to have a game that gets it done, and I am more and more convinced my friend, Len Pimentel, went at least most of the places I was headed with my own system ideas.

Prowlers & Paragons (or P&P) is a tabletop roleplaying game with a narration-driven, rules-light system designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. Let’s break that down so you can see what you’re getting yourself into.

P&P is a narration-driven system. The rules in this game are not effects driven. For the most part, they don’t tell you what happens. Instead, they tell you who gets to describe what happens. And that’s what it’s all about in P&P: describing what happens. Both the players and the gamemaster (GM) take turns narrating events in the game world. This makes P&P feel more like an exercise in collaborative storytelling than a typical roleplaying game. However, P&P isn’t totally freeform and open-ended either.*

P&P is rules light. It’s chock full of gross oversimplifications and blatant inaccuracies that mimic comic book tropes rather than real-world facts. This also makes P&P a simple game with a streamlined set of rules. Once you know what you’re doing, you should be able to play without ever opening the book.

Finally, P&P is designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. This game is about the heroic things the characters do and the heroic burdens they shoulder. Mundane matters get little attention. There aren’t any detailed rules for dealing with money and wealth, but there most definitely is a rule for smashing into a bank vault. Let’s be perfectly clear: This is not a deep and cerebral game. P&P was designed to let you play stories about super heroes who save the world and beat the snot out of villains who richly deserve it. Like so much of the genre, P&P is a gleefully unapologetic exercise in heroic wish fulfillment.

 

* – Emphasis is mine there, because I think it’s important to point out that P&P has a good combination of narrative, interactive fiction style for out of combat play, while using solid crunch for in-combat action.

The muse and bane at once for most Game Masters, prepping adventures is all the rage in your mind when you’re starting a new campaign. A few sessions in, with shopping to do, meals to plan, work deadlines to manage, kids to wrangle, and so much else dragging on our daily schedule, adventure prep becomes a real challenge – one that can actually kill campaigns prematurely.

Looks like ol’ Monte Cook has a cure for what ails ya.

A night of gaming that’s as easy to set up as a board game. Just add gamers!

What’s the hardest part of running an RPG? It has to be the preparation. Unlike a board game, you can’t just spontaneously decide to play—because someone has to have spent hours preparing an adventure first.

But what if running a great game didn’t require any more time for the game master than it does for the players? What if you could just say, “Let’s play an RPG,” pull a book off the shelf, and be playing five minutes later?

With Weird Discoveries, legendary RPG designer Monte Cook turns his eye to the venerable adventure, a format that hasn’t seen much innovation in four decades, to create something new that makes this all possible. Weird Discoveries makes prepping for an RPG no more difficult or time consuming than setting up a board game, while showcasing the wonder, mystery, and awe of the Ninth World.

These aren’t adventure seeds or sketchy ideas—they’re complete adventures in an innovative format that requires minimal prep. Run them as one-shots, or drop them into your ongoing campaign when you don’t have time to prep your own adventures. You can even string them together as a campaign for months of effortless play!

Weird Discoveries includes:

  • Ten weird and wondrous adventures, with maps, NPCs, and all the details you expect.
  • A whole new format for adventures that addresses the needs of GMs who don’t have time to read the whole thing before sitting down to play.
  • A Ninth World serial killer hunt, technological ruins to explore, machines rewriting organic life, ancient mysteries, and much, much more.
  • Great advice on running adventures with little or no prep.
  • Twenty beautiful, full-color Show ’Em illustrations, to reveal to players during the adventures.
  • Six pregenerated, illustrated characters, ready to play.
  • A rules cheat sheet to make things run even more smoothly.

Explore the ruins beneath the giant, hovering Black Pyramid. Face off against the Spider Knight. Discover the secret of the Mother Machine. Weird Discoveries is a must-have for beginning and veteran Numenera GMs, and anyone who’d like to play RPGs as easily and spontaneously as board games!