My sincerest apologies, everyone, for the long delay since the last Pick of the Day. Poor Carinn – who was planning to fill in for me – encountered a number of crises in my absence and simply didn’t have the spoons to pull Picks together on top of everything else. As you likely know, I was at Gen Con from Wednesday last week until Sunday, and yesterday, I was simply recovering from the exhaustion.
To make it up to you all, I am posting a series of Picks each day for at least a couple of days, all focused on those products that won ENnie Awards at Gen Con this year.
The Silver went to A Red & Pleasant Land (LotFP/d20)
A terrible Red King wars with an awful Queen, and together they battle into being a rigid, wrong world… and this book has everything you need to run it. (And any other place in your first, second, third, fourth or fifth edition game that might require intrigue, hidden gardens, inside-out-rooms, scheming monarchs, puzzles or beasts, liquid floors, labyrinths, growing, shrinking, duelling, broken time, Mome Raths, blasphemy, croquet, explanations for where players who missed sessions were, or the rotting arcades and parlors of a palace that was once the size of a nation.)
“It should be next to impossible to do anything original with Dracula or Alice, but Zak S demonstrates instead that it’s next to impossible for him to put out a bad game book. He trails his barbed artistic and gaming sensibilities through these two modern myths and emerges with something more than a mashup or a collage: it’s a necromantic restoration of a nightmare that never was.” — Kenneth Hite, designer of Qelong and Night’s Black Agents.
The Gold went to Horror on the Orient Express (Call of Cthuhlu)
A puzzling headline begins a front-page article found in the Times of London. Three men, all identical in identification, were found dead in the same room of the Chelsea Arms Hotel. All were dispatched in a similar manner stabbed through the heart.
Then the home of a valued friend burns to the ground, severely injuring him in the process. An odd summons, a surreptitious meeting, and a thousand-mile journey begins on the legendary rail service carrying the investigators to Constantinople, the Gateway of the Orient.
HORROR ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS contains a massive and legendary campaign, of up to nineteen adventures and more than 1100 pages, for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. Beginning in 1920s London, the investigators journey to Paris and thence to the ancient city of Constantinople. With luck, they also return home.
There are seven books and more: the Campaign Book, Through the Alps, Italy & Beyond, Constantinople & Consequences, Strangers on the Train, and The Traveler’s Companion. In addition, there is a book of handouts for the investigators, a European Route Map, three era-inspired luggage stickers, two era-inspired postcards, a matchbox, the Scroll of the Head, four U.S. passports, a bumper sticker, six pages of train plans that can be laid end-to-end, the Mims Sahis ceremonial knife, and fragments of the Sedefkar Simulacrum collected along the journey.
Best Electronic Book
The Silver went to Ken Writes About Stuff, Volume 2.
KWAS v2 is a collection of supplements written by master Lovecraftian writer and GUMSHOE guru Kenneth Hite. Discover hideous creatures, survive a Weird West horror campaign frame, or learn to command the powerful loa of voodoo in this collection of fear and fun!
- Tomb-Hounds of Egypt. “God! … If only I had not read so much Egyptology before coming to this land which is the fountain of all darkness and terror!” All you need to know to forge a Pulp archaeology campaign set in 1930s Egypt – for Trail of Cthulhu or just GUMSHOE Bullwhips & Baboon-Mummies!
- GUMSHOE Zoom: Goëtia. Bifrons. Glasya-Labolas. Marchosias. Names to conjure with – literally! This GUMSHOE Zoom takes you inside the pentacle and introduces you to the hierarchy of Hell. Historical European demon-summoning magic just got easier and more realistic. Um … yay?
- Hideous Creatures: Rat-Things. “Witnesses said it had long hair and the shape of a rat, but that its sharp-toothed, bearded face was evilly human while its paws were like tiny human hands.” Witch become rat, or thing become hyper-physicist? Familiar-ize yourself with Lovecraft’s creepiest creation.
- Vendetta Run. You’ve done worse things, but you’ve never done anything as dangerous as angering the Earps. Because now they’re coming to kill you. And they can’t be killed. Not permanent, anyhow. A survival-horror frame for Fear Itself set in the worst and weirdest West.
- Hideous Creatures: Byakhee. “Apart from the curiously repellent feeling of human flesh under my hands, and furred wings, I was not able to ascertain what these creatures were like.” Servants of Hastur or misperceived shantaks? Astral psychopomps or sidereal scavengers? Climb aboard the byakhee and find out!
- And a lot more!
Best Family Game
The Silver went to Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game
Action! Science! Robots! Punching! More Science!
Are you ready for some two-fisted science adventure? Then it’s time for the Atomic Robo RPG! Have you ever wanted to face down global conspiracy as an immortal atomic robot or Carl Sagan? The Atomic Robo RPG makes it possible.
The Atomic Robo RPG brings you the most explosive Fate Core System experience yet. This is action science like you’ve never seen it before, coming straight at you from the pages of the popular Atomic Robo comics by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. Play as an Action Scientist or immortal robot, super-spy or pulp adventurer—or something stranger still from the hidden corners of super-science!
This is multi-era, pick-up-and-play gaming at its best: get playing in ten minutes, or take your time and make the most of behind-the-scenes rules for added depth. Hop into your Tesladyne jet and travel the globe in one time period, or battle across the decades as a cast of scientifically talented adventurers. Face down demented dinosaurs, rogue government agents, and stolen Tesla-powered technologies!
Are you Action Scientist material? Grab your gear and get ready for full-contact, high-octane, explosive hypothesis testing!
Remain Calm. Trust in Science.
The Atomic Robo RPG is here!
More tomorrow friends!