Monthly Archives: October 2015

Still in northern Ohio today (Con on the Cob was an exceptional experience, as always), so while Carinn is lovingly figuring out the load-out for us, I’m getting a Pick up while I can. Today, I’m showcasing how Troll Lord is joining the ranks of companies getting 5th Edition D&D material out to the fans, starting with this introductory module, The Rising Knight.

Complete with customized anchored hyperlinks! Click on the map for locations in the Rising Knight!

This is an introductory adventure for those playing the 5th Edition of the world’s best known and oldest RPG. The module has been designed to allow for the players and Game Master alike to begin play immediately. 

The Drunderry River runs narrow and fast through much of its course, before tumbling into the lowlands beneath the Fallow Hills, in the shadows of the Blacktooth Ridge. From there, the river spreads out across fertile plains, laboring slowly to the south before emptying into the Elmarsh Lake. Until recently this area was unsettled, but a writ of the King’s has brought many people to the area. The village of Malforten, nesteld along the banks fo the Drunderry River, near the Fallow Hills, is just such a place. 

A quiet village with simple people, they learned the hard way the Blacktooth Ridge casts a deep and dark shadow. Seeing rich prizes in cattle and grain, people and other movables, Gritznak the Gnoll has come down from the Blacktooth with loot on his mind. 

All they’ve done to drive him off have failed, at their wits end the villagers turn to others, more experienced in combatting evil. They look to a rising knight to save them . . . .

Playable in the world of Aihrde, available here!

Today’s Pick does double-duty, as it’s a fairly exotic action-fantasy game which incorporates special custom cards, and it’s also featured on the all-too-cool sister site to DriveThruRPG, which is DriveThruCards. You should absolutely check out all the amazing things available there for download-to-print and print-on-demand.

Betrayal. Hubris. Punishment. Revenge. Subjugation. Salvation. Cataclysm. Perseverance. Hope.

This is Narosia — a world where cosmic forces vie for control and mortal beings struggle to reclaim past glories, hordes of Fel creatures threaten to escape Deepland prisons, and demonic Voidspawn stalk the world’s wilds and ruins. Those who venture forth seek fame and fortune, courting death, honoring the profession of adventurer, and ultimately bringing hope to those without.

Action Fantasy Roleplaying

Narosia adventures focus on competent characters overcoming larger than life obstacles with a backdrop of magic, monsters, and gods. You control your every move without getting lost in a sea of repetition, using a comprehensive action and combat system to enable over-the-top action, with called shots, grappling, and dynamic defenses.

Players Control The Gods To Influence The Plot

The gods meddle, and the players have a set of cards that allow them to say how a specific god influences the story — if they can explain the god’s motivation.

An Entire World Of Adventure Awaits

Narosia:  Sea of Tears is a roleplaying game for two to eight players. Through a blend of imagination and rules the players will create the story of their heroes as they move through this world, having fun in the process.

  • Distinct magic systems for divine and arcane powers
  • Detailed cultures and races integrated into the story of the world
  • Setting-specific martial arts
  • Comprehensive skills and abilities to define any character
  • Battle-tested system that scales from commoner to demi-god
  • Bestiary that expands on the 300+ creatures from HERO System Bestiary
  • Over 30 years of HERO System material to draw from (180+ sourcebooks)
  • Ready to print GM Screen panels

Whatever your interest — dungeon delving, intrigue, or exploration — Narosia provides a rich background for the legends you forge.

In honor of Con on the Cob, at which Carinn and I are Special Guests, today’s Pick features the “beautifully twisted art” (Carinn’s quote) and utterly odd design and writing of CotC’s crazed head honcho, Andy Hopp. Low Life is a Savage Worlds like no other. In fact, it stands as one of the most original ideas ever published for gaming. Where else can you play a Cremefillian?

GAZILLIONS of years have passed since the Time of the Flush and the extinction of the vaunted Hoomanrace. Now, After the Wipe, the descendants of cockroaches, snack cakes, worms, and even lowlier things rule the Oith!

Waggle the arcane zazz of hocus pokery, dementalism, smellcasting, holy rolling, danged wrangling, and contanimation! Battle hideous things that want to eat you, risen from the rubble of ancient civilizations. Enjoy a light lunch at the Primordial Soup Kitchen…

Audacious times are upon us! Lost lands and forgotten civilizations await discovery. Terrible monsters and grand treasures lurk behind every rock. There are hoards to nab, foes to stab, and tales to blab. these are the days of Low adventure, where destiny is shaped not by circumstance of birth, but by strength of snazz, zazz, and jazz. It’s a bold world for bold peeps, where life is relatively inexpensive and even the lowliest werm can become a king by his own mop.

Are you croach enough to follow your destiny? Do you have the nuggets to take your rightful place among Oith’s most valiant heroes?

If so, strap on your esophagator hide shield, pick up your battle spork, mount your slog, whisper a prayer to Jelvis, kiss your larvae goodbye, and open the goosin’ book. The muck-riddled road to LOW ADVENTURE stands before you…

This one is really late today, folks, for which I apologize. Just getting settled into the hotel room at this year’s Con on the Cob, and while Carinn helps the con staff with early set-up, I am finally getting online to share today’s Pick. It looks like steampunk is going nowhere but onward to history, and here’s one of the more beautiful and intriguing entries into the genre, with a strong fan base.

Long requested, now available: the Tephra Playing Guide in PDF!
Tephra: the Steampunk RPG needs only a single book to be played: your Playing Guide. This 288-page book is gorgeous, with the award-winning Clockwork Roleplaying System and a ton of lore and art that makes Tephra a fan-favorite setting.
This book includes everything you need to play, from our rapid-fire character creation system to a full chapter on narrating and everything in-between. You’re going to get our line-up of unique races, crazy characters options, and the most in-depth and complete crafting system you’ll find anywhere. This book has everything you need for the most intoxicatingly exciting steampunk adventures you can dream up.
Inside, you’ll get:
  • The complete Clockwork Adventuring System, which uses only a single D12 to play
  • Freeform character creation is surprisingly easy but has near infinite options
  • 5 New Races unlike anything you’ve played before
  • A complete and robust crafting system, letting you build and customize your own firearms, gases, explosives, automatons, jetpacks, and more
  • Chapter on Lore and Narrating will get you into the action quick

Today, I’m reaching into the “Games You Should Know About But Probably Don’t” bag and pointing you at one of the many Network-driven games from Bedrock. This one’s an alt-history Roman Empire with all kinds of interesting variations.

This is the original Servants of Gaius rulebook, a game of Roman intrigue and adventure with a curious twist.

Unravel sacred mysteries and explore the empire in this unique alternate Roman history setting where a mad emperor is savior of the world. 

As Neptune’s armies threaten the empire, Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (“Caligula”) creates a secret order to root them out.

The Servants of Gaius come from all the ranks of the Empire, chosen by the divine emperor himself. In their quest to save Rome they face dark cults, backstabbing politicians and  even the gods themselves.

Servants of Gaius is game of intrigue and investigation. It comes with a complete alternate history setting but is perfect for any Roman campaign.


  • A complete section of historical NPCs brought to life, including the Emperors Caligula and Claudius
  • A map of the Roman Empire inspired by Pomponius Mela
  • A complete list of Roman titles with descriptions
  • Three different character sheets for alternate styles of play
  • Monsters and Threats for a supernatural take on Rome
  • A chapter on Roman culture, history and government

We step into the Wayback Machine today, for the cause of Doctors Without Borders (who receive all of the author proceeds). Marcus L. Rowland, a writer and designer with a very impressive list of accomplishments (especially in the vein of Victorian-era content across many systems), brought the 1884 fantasy/satire Flatland to gaming life with The Original Flatland Role Playing Game, and he’s now hoping you’ll take another look, both for the fun and brain-twisting aspects of the game, as well as to support one of the best (and, very recently, beleaguered) charities in the world.

From the Creator of Forgotten Futures and Diana: Warrior Princess…

Imagine a world of two dimensions and plane geometry, in which the very idea of height is considered insanity and the darkest heresy. Where the only thing that matters is the straightness of your sides and the regularity of your angles. Where the slightest deviation from the norm can lead to arrest, imprisonment, execution (and consumption by your peers) or a lingering death by starvation.

Welcome to Flatland. Enjoy your stay . . .

The Original Flatland Role Playing Game includes complete rules for a setting where characters are supposed to be two dimensional, with three adventures and four adventure outlines, a Flatland wargame by Matthew Hartley (Tusk, Aeronef, etc.), full-colour cut out character figures, extensive background material including the novelFlatland by Edwin A. Abbott, and much more. Best of all, by buying it you’re supporting charity:

All of the author’s income from this game is donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)!

And be sure to check out The Forgotten Futures Compendium for a free Flatland adventure!


Been kind of an “Old School” week, between the themes of some games and the d20 aspect of others, so let’s close it out with one that takes the Apocalypse World Engine (aka Dungeon World) and calls back to the Classic Three books that launched all of this in the beginning. The Perilous Wilds gets down and funky with random tables that help your group build worlds to explore.

The Perilous Wilds combines Dungeon World‘s approach to collaborative world-building with the old-school RPG reliance on random tables to generate content on the fly, woven together by modifications to the original Dungeon World travel moves. The main differences between the use of tables in The Perilous Wilds and their use in older RPGs is an emphasis on exploration and discovery over combat encounters, and the baked-in methodology of using randomized results as prompts rather than facts, to be interpreted during play.

The book is 72 pages, digest-size book divided into the following sections:

  • Learn the Language: a glossary of terms
  • Draw the Map: guidelines for collaborative cartography 
  • Lead the Way: alternative rules for followers, by Jeremy Strandberg
  • See the World: new moves and guidelines for undertaking perilous journeys 
  • Weather the Storm: suggestions and moves for handling weather
  • Ask the Fates: a host of tables for generating wilderness adventure
  • Plumb the Depths: rules for creating dungeons on the fly
  • Live to Tell the Tale: five new compendium classes
  • Trust Your Gut: advice for improvising overland adventure 
  • Name Every Person: sample name lists for people, places, and mounts

The collaborative map-making guidelines and all of the tables are system-neutral (usable with any RPG rules). Although the tables are structured to tie directly into the rewritten travel moves, they can be used in any game in which a fantastical landscape is explored.  

The new follower rules are written by Jeremy Strandberg, and are intended to give NPC hirelings more substance without a significant increase in bookkeeping.

James Mishler has a storied history with the adventure games business, having worked in just about every capacity and with some of the biggest and best companies there are. He’s doing his own thing now, creating material compatible with Labyrinth Lord (which also makes it compatible with Old School, first edition D&D related games). His approach is minimalist graphics, extra-high focus on content, content, and more content. Just check out how much material you’re getting with this product, on sale for $6.66 through Halloween.

Ghosts – The Incorporeal Undead includes everything needed to develop and use ghosts in your Labyrinth Lord campaign.

Deadly Details on Fear Attacks and Life Draining Touch!

Eerie Information on the Incorporeal powers of ghosts and other Undead Special Abilities!

Full disclosure on the Sinister Sixth Sense, Scary Sensitives, and Mysterious Mediums!

Ten different base ghostly types, covering each hit die from 1 to 10 hit dice, with countless thousands of combinations of 75 different ghostly special abilities!

Secrets of the uses and dangers of Uncanny Ectoplasm!

An expose of Eerie Enchanted Items!

Scads of rulings on Spooky Spells, new and old!

And a (relatively complete) Creepy Appendix N!

What more can you ask for?

How about protection from the Terrifying Table of Contents of…

  Fear Attack
     Fear Effects Table
     Spawn Ghost
     Powerless in Sunlight
     Weapon Immunity
  Life Draining Touch
     Spawn Ghost
  Undead Special Abilities Package
     Poison Immunity
     Silent as the Grave
     Susceptible to Turning
  Other Special Abilities
     Special Ability Notation
  Incorporeal Undead Summary Table

  Presence (1 HD Lesser Ghost)
  Apparition (2 HD Lesser Ghost)
  Lost Soul (3 HD Lesser Ghost)
  Wraith (4 HD Greater Ghost)
  Haunt (5 HD Greater Ghost)
  Spectre (6 HD Greater Ghost)
  Spirit (7 HD Greater Ghost)
  Wyrd (8 HD Greater Ghost)
  Phantom (9 HD Greater Ghost)
  Geist (10 HD Greater Ghost)

  Ghostly Special Abilities
  Uncanny Ectoplasm
  Eerie Enchanted Items
  Spooky Spells
  Creepy Appendix N

Own – and run – a piece of D&D Next history.

Candlekeep is under siege, and it needs adventurers to help protect it! Heed the call to defend the legendary monastery and stand against the tide of evil.

Product History

Confrontation at Candlekeep” (2013), by Teos Abadia, Greg Bilsland, and Shawn Merwin, is an RPGA Dungeon Delve that was used as a playtest for D&D 5e (2014). It was released to RPGA Dungeon Masters in August 2013, but only made available to the general public in October 2015.

Introducing D&D Next. D&D 5e had a long, public history as D&D Next before its official publication. Playtest packets were released beginning in May 2012, then D&D Encounters started offering 5e options with “Against the Cult of Chaos” (2013) in February 2013. However, the 5e playtest really hit the mainstream during the summer of 2013: on June 15 the 5e adventure “Vault of the Dracolich” was run at D&D Game Day (2013). An even bigger preview of 5e followed at Gen Con Indy 2013 with the release of the adventure “Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle” (2013) exactly a month later, on August 15.

Because “Dragonspear Castle” was a big public release that included playtest rules, it got the most attention. However, two other 5e playtest adventures also appeared at that Gen Con. The second was the fifteenth Encounters adventure, “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” (2013), which went on sale on August 20th following its August 17th launch weekend. The third is now the least-known. That’s because it was only released to Dungeon Masters at the time and has been mostly unavailable since.

That isn’t to say that “Confrontation at Candlekeep” wasn’t a big deal. It was the other half of Wizards of the Coast’s Gen Con 2013 plan, intended to draw players into D&D 5e without the benefit of a traditional booth. On the one hand Gale Force Nine was selling “Dragonspear Castle” to long lines of fan. On the other hand, Wizards reserved much of Hall D at the Indiana Convention Center so that the RPGA could run “Confrontation at Candlekeep”.

And, run they did! The two-hour adventure was scheduled for 28 separate sessions, the first running from 8am to 10am on Thursday, August 15th and the last running from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, August 18th. Each session could seat up to 176 players, which meant that Wizards had the capability to run almost 5,000 players through the D&D 5e adventure — enough to generate a great seed of interest when those players brought word of the new edition home to their own gaming groups.

Last year, Dread Unicorn Games released the first Sun Below adventure for the Numenera setting, City on the Edge. Fans are clearly excited to see the next one out at last, Sleeping Lady.

A banished power fights to return to the Ninth World.

A fallen moon of The Sun Below begins to stir.

The Knocker at the Door begins to awake.

A Numenera adventure for all tiers.

49 page adventure for all tiers, 16 page bestiary, new numenera, dozens of GM Intrusions, and player handouts.

Who is the Sleeping Lady? What’s in the numenera mines? What is knock, knock, knocking at the door? Hang onto your minds and bodies, because secrets of Orb Mountain are about to be revealed!