Monthly Archives: May 2016

There’s a lot of folks making stuff for 5e these days. The Dungeon Master’s Guild opened up the floodgates of creativity for pros and fans alike, and this is a good thing. Still, folks tend to want to grab the best versions of things when they can. Today, let me help you with that – looking for an Alchemist class for your D&D Next game? Let’s look at what some folks have said about Rich Howard‘s version:

  • “Brilliant and with tremendous [roleplaying] potential.”
  • “Rich Howard knocks it out of the park with this one.”
  • “If you are only going to use the PHB and one supplement, use this one!”
  • “Rich Howard has created a new class deserving of the title.”
  • “… the content is simply amazing…not only makes alchemists both a playable class and a whole lot of fun, but also provides 7 different traditions…”
  • “…does an especially great job of littering the text with helpful tips and suggestions to customize the various aspects of being an Alchemist to create a richer character, story, and gaming experience.”
  • “Grab this supplement as soon as you can, and get it onto your table.”

The Science of Magic!

The ALCHEMIST Class offers a new full class to your players that crosses the boundaries between science and magic. In addition to the new core class, this supplement provides 7 alchemical traditions that emulate archetypes from Dr. Jekyll to Dr. Frankenstein.

Product Information

This product provides players with a new 20 level Intelligence-based caster class that allows players to share alchemical effects with their allies, 6 traditions updated with playtest material and feedback from the readers at Tribality.com, and a new tradition not seen anywhere else.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Artificer: Create technological devices and master a range of alchemical formulas.
  • Irezumi: Infuse ink with alchemical and mystical qualities to skin-stain your allies, or mark them with long-lasting power.
  • Metamorph: Mutate yourself into a beast of terrifying power.
  • Poisoner: Create and manipulate unique toxins.
  • Pyromancer: Twist magical effects into weapons that terrify or amaze.
  • Re-Animator: Circumvent the whims of the gods and bend the dead to your will.
  • Herbwarden: Draw power from plants and herbs, and call the natural world to your aid.

These materials were designed for use with 5th edition rules and can be played directly in your 5th edition campaign.

Someone out there just wants to bake things and sell them, and we can help her get the proper paperwork and necessary accouterments to keep doing just that.

I am well known for my wonderful Banana, Pumpkin and Zucchini Breads and everyone knows about my Carmel Chocolate Chip Cookies (from my Fuzzball and the Cookie Tree children’s book).  I have been given the opportunity to sell these delicious Cottage Foods at the Manitou Springs Community Market.  All the ingredients needed can be purchased.  I have completed the Food Handler Training Course and received my certificate as required by law and the Colorado Health Department.  However, I need two things to make this work.  disposable plastic  gloves and liability Insurance by April.  

So help me buy the gloves and pay for the insurance so I can make a few extra bucks at this years Manitou Springs Community Market. This will give me extra money to buy Non-Grocery items (laundry soap, shampoo, etc) and save for a car. I will be extremely grateful for any help you can give me.

[Recent Update]

Thanks to the donations. I have all the equipment I need. All the pans of every kind and shape. I have all my licences. All I need is the insurance. There must be someone out there that’s willing to help me!

LARP games are a whole different kettle of fish for many roleplayers, but they can be some truly amazing experiences for all involved. A high degree of immersion, usually mixed with a larger player base than the typical tabletop session, means a very involved, often emotionally affecting time for every participant.

This one is by two of the most respected LARP designers in the world today – Secretly Mike Young and Nathan D. Paoletta.

A scenario-driven live action roleplaying game of disaster movie drama. You can’t stop the disaster, but you can decide who survives!

A Grandiose Disaster is a live action roleplaying game where you play out your own character-centric disaster/horror movie! Using a set of structured scenarios, anywhere from 6 to 12 players play archetypical characters run through the wringer of the disaster. Who will you try to save? What choices do you make to survive?

Who lives, and who dies?

A Grandiose Disaster is written and designed by Mike Young and published by Nathan D. Paoletta

“Mike Young’s been at the cutting edge of larp for over a quarter century. With A Grandiose Disaster he takes lessons from theater-style, Parlor, boffer, freeform larp, and tabletop games and in the process cuts several Gordian knots of larp design. What we get is a pick-up and play larp that works as a campaign series, cuts straight to the action and distributes the “plot” to give everyone their moment in the sun. And on top of that, it’s different every time you play. Bravo!” – Emily Care Boss, Black & Green Games

There’s more info about the game itself (on the kickstarter page) – but we also have a preview of the rules available in our first backer-only update. Pledge any amount (even $1) and you can check it out and decide what you think!

Let’s open up this week with a return to the Ninth World. This will be an invaluable tool for any Numenera GM, and probably very useful for just about any Cypher-driven game.

One Hundred New Artifacts in a Convenient Deck

In the Ninth World, artifacts are items of ancient mystery and power. Compared to cyphers, they’re relatively permanent and often have straightforward applications. But their workings are incomprehensible—a device powered by transdimensional siphons using nanotechnology to rewrite reality on the subatomic level often appears more magic than machine.

The Numenera Artifact Deck contains 100 new artifacts that haven’t appeared in any previous publication. Just draw a card, and you’ve got a fully described artifact ready to go. One side of the card contains all the stats and information for the artifact, while the reverse features and image. You can even hand the card to the player who found the artifact—much quicker and easier than having them copy the text out of a book.

Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration as you prep for your game, or need to come up with a artifact on the fly during play, the Numenera Artifact Deck has you covered with just the draw of a card.

If you’re getting an “80’s Teen Dramedy Meets Buffy Meets Harry Potter Meets Arkham” vibe… yeah, me too.

From the author of Inverse World Accelerated and Retrocausality!

In the Weird Age of the late 21st century, the newly-discovered occult sciences are changing the world. If you want to learn them, Occultar Academy is the place to go. In this secluded island school, talented students from all over the world can learn sorcery and occultech under the Foundation’s watchful eye.

But they won’t tell you everything.

Occult science is great, but there are risks. Behind the scenes, in the Foundation labs beneath the school, they’re researching the dangerous secrets of outer science. The Forbidden Sections beneath the library hide secrets once lost to history, from forgotten occultech to the existence of the Ancient Ones. If the wrong person finds them, it could mean the end of the world.

Breakfast Cult is a Fate Accelerated game about mystery, cosmic horror, and high school drama. Play students at the world’s best occult school as they solve mysteries, uncover the terrible secrets of the Ancient Ones, and try to find which of their classmates is conspiring against them before it’s too late!

As long as I am reduxing Picks today, here’s another one I wish to give a second shout out to. They are precariously close to their goal, and this is a very worthy effort from Green Ronin that is near and dear to my heart. You all know how much I love my paladins!

We are bringing our classic divine sourcebook The Book of the Righteous back for Fifth Edition as a beautiful, full color hardback.

We teamed up with Wizards of the Coast to bring you Out of the Abyss and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Now Green Ronin wants to bring you a divine sourcebook for Fifth Edition like no other.

“As the editor and developer of the 1E Deities & Demigods, I’m pulling hard for your Book of the Righteous Kickstarter. I backed it, and I encourage every other dedicated 5E player to do the same!” – Lawrence Schick

Return of a Classic

In 2002 Green Ronin published The Book of the Righteous, a massive tome for the Third Edition rules describing an entire pantheon of gods, as well as their churches, worshipers, and defenders. It was a big hit for us and became one of the most critically-acclaimed books of the d20 era. Now we are bringing it back for the Fifth Edition rules as a beautiful, full-color hardback book. Even better, the new rules material will be designed by Robert J. Schwalb, one of the designers of Fifth Edition!

Update #1: D&D Fifth Edition and Lords of Waterdeep designer Rodney Thompson has also joined the design team!

Update #2: There will now be a Fantasy Grounds version of The Book of the Righteous. There are three new tiers you can choose from covering this option. Fantasy Grounds is a virtual tabletop (VTT) app that lets you game online with your friends anywhere in the world. See below for more info.

Update #3: D&D Fifth Edition lead designer Jeremy Crawford is going to write a foreword for the new edition of The Book of the Righteous! 

So what is The Book of the Righteous? Simply put, one of the most comprehensive pantheons ever seen in roleplaying games. It presents more than 20 pick-up-and-play churches corresponding to gods that feature in most fantasy campaigns (god of war, god of justice, etc.). Each church features lavish detail, including in-depth information on its clerics, holy orders, dogma, prayers, and rituals. These churches can be used in any campaign to bring a whole new level of detail to the religious characters. Plus, for those who don’t have a complete cosmology in their setting, the Book of the Righteous provides a comprehensive mythology that unifies all of the gods in the book. That mythology, and its corresponding cosmology, is not tied to an existing campaign setting, making it as portable and useful as our long running Freeport series. If you want in-depth religions for your campaign, The Book of the Righteous is for you.

If you’d like to see a sample of The Book of the Righteous, you can read a complete chapter of the original book here. It details the church of Urian, the Sky King. 

Their latest Update –

Hello all,

Great news to announce today: D&D Fifth Edition lead designer Jeremy Crawford will be writing a foreword for the new edition of The Book of the Righteous! As you may recall from ourinterview with author Aaron Loeb, Jeremy played in Aaron’s campaign in the Third Edition era and so is well-familiar with the gods and cosmology of The Book of the Righteous. He was also one of the creators of our Blue Rose RPG, which is coming back in a new edition in August. We’re excited to have him aboard for this project. Thank you, Jeremy! 

In other news, today Nicole and I will be appearing on the Hyper RPG channel on Twitch to talk about Book of the Righteous. We’ll be on their Rabbit Stew show, which airs at 2:15 pm Pacific Time. 

And I was writing this update, we topped $20,000! We’ve got one week to go on The Book of the Righteous and only 5K to go to get funded. One good push and we’ll be there! Tell your friends: The Book of the Righteous for Fifth Edition is coming and it’s going to be glorious!

Chris Pramas

Green Ronin

Everyone once in awhile, I need to re-Pick something because of new insight and experience with it. This is one of those times. I’ve been in love with the idea of Feng Shui since I heard about the very first version, many years ago. I knew enough about the 2nd Edition to know it was awesome, but now (at long last, thanks to Mark Carroll) I’ve gotten to play a Feng Shui 2 game.

Holy gonzo amaze-nards!

Robin D. Laws and Cam Banks, you magnificent bastards! I’ve read your book! And played it! And am totally in love with it! I may need counseling!

My Monday Night Savages group should expect to see this at the table soon.

Ancient sorcerers. Slick conspirators. Control freak monks. Cyborg apes.

Armed with the secrets of Feng Shui, all aim to conquer the past, present, and future.

Only you have the guts, guns, and flying feet to stop them!

It’s back in all its explodey, chi-blasting glory — Feng Shui, the classic game of Hong Kong–inspired cinematic action — refurbished with a fresh bag full of ammo for a new roleplaying generation! Original designer Robin D. Laws rushes your way on a bullet-riddled gurney to serve up the thrills fans remember, furiouser and faster than ever.

  • Choose between 36 action flick archetypes. Be an icy-cool killer, a determined martial artist, a maverick cop, a crusty old master, a clanking cyborg, a highway ronin, or a melancholy ghost.
  • Fight with free-flowing bravura! Take out mooks, foes and bosses with guns, fu, magic, creature powers or the genetic mutations of a blasted future. Deploy smarts and skill to find your next fight!
  • Bolster your abilities by capturing special sites of power, the key to the Chi War that secretly commands history’s course.
  • Journey through time portals from contemporary Hong Kong to the Tang Dynasty, from the rebellion-soaked Opium Wars era to scorched, post-apocalyptic roadways.

Loaded with Game Master advice, easier to run than ever, and including a fully fleshed, mayhem-rich introductory adventure, Feng Shui 2 is more than ready for you.

Are you ready for it?

FENG SHUI 2: KICK BUTT • BLOW THINGS UP • SAVE THE WORLD

Just got back from Chupacabracon (what a fantastic game con in Austin, TX!), and still digging out after about a week away. We’re going to the Dungeon Masters Guild site for our Pick today, a callback to an important release in D&D history. The Battlesystem brought things full-circle, opening the way for D&D groups to go even more tactical for some encounters, and go really epic with full-scale battles in their D&D campaigns.

Excerpts from the product page –

This book, a full-scale revision and expansion of the rules in the original Battlesystem Fantasy Combat Supplement, gives you all the information you need to set up and play battles with miniature figures.

These rules can be used without the AD&D game books, but you can also convert characters and creatures from an AD&D game campaign and use them in Battlesystem scenarios.

Lavishly illustrated in full color, this book is an attractive addition to any gaming library.

Product History

Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (1989), by Douglas Niles, is the second edition of the Battlesystem mass-combat system for AD&D. It was published in November 1989.

About the Title. The original Battlesystem (1985) was meant to be played with or without miniatures, and so came in a box full of fold-up figures and lots (and lots) of army counters. That changed with the second edition Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (1989), which put the word “miniatures” front and center.

Origins (I): Four Years Later. The original Battlesystem was an oddly positioned AD&D product. It came in a big box, full of expensive components — in an era before TSR regularly produced overly-stuffed boxed sets. It was clearly meant to be a big, showpiece item for TSR. And, it could have been very successful in selling TSR’s D&D miniatures if (1) the boxed set weren’t designed to be used without miniatures and (2) TSR hadn’t shut down its miniatures production just as Battlesystem appeared.

Four years on, the advent of AD&D 2e (1989) offered the obvious opportunity for TSR to revamp their Battlesystem game. This time, they produced a much smaller product: a 128-page paperback supplement. Fans of fantasy mass-combat were still being served, but the new Battlesystem was obviously no longer intended to be a cornerstone of TSR’s production.

 

Expanding D&D. The new version of Battlesystem is no longer dependent on the AD&D rules. It also includes far fewer AD&D magic spells than the original did. With that said, it still contains full conversion rules and can still be used as the mass-combat system for AD&D.

Revising Battlesystem. TSR didn’t just revamp (and simplify) the Battlesystem product; they also massively revamped (and simplified) the Battlesystem mechanics. As Niles says, the new edition has “some resemblance to the original [rules]”.

A few of the biggest simplifications:

  • In 1e Battlesystem units had very extensive stats, usually laid out in a quarter-page of text. In 2e Battlesystem, that was condensed down to a single line of text — reminiscent of the simple stats of old-school D&D.
  • In 1e Battlesystem, combat required players to do addition, subtraction, and even multiplication — all while consulting a complex combat results table. In 2e Battlesystem, each individual figure instead throws its own die, with the results revealing both if they hit and how well. The defenders then get to throw a huge pool of dice in return.
  • In 1e Battlesystem, counters could represent between 2 and 10 individuals. In 2e Battlesystem, they always represent 10.

Overall, 1e Battlesystem was a more simulationist and more complex gaming system that hewed closer to roleplaying’s wargaming roots. 2e Battlesystem instead moves toward the sort of streamlined gaming systems that would become more common in the roleplaying fields of the ’90s and ’00s. It was an understandable change given the overall evolution of roleplaying games … but it was a surprise to see this simplification while the game was simultaneously positioning itself as a standalone miniatures system.

A very good friend, Michael Satran, is also one of the great Bearers of the Torch for the Hero System. He has a special understanding of both the game system and the unique take on the various genres that Hero Games fans have come to love. If you’ve a yearning for supers-pulp greatness, this is for you.

Take heroes to underground worlds filled with mystery! A supplement for Champions Complete, Savage Worlds, and Mutants and Masterminds!

Jules Verne. The Lost World of the Warlord. Doc Savage. The Challengers of the Unknown. The Fantastic Four! The Savage Land! As long as there have been stories about explorers and superbeings, there have been stories of strange underground lands and societies at Earth’s Center. This campaign supplement for Champions by veteran game author Michael Satran fits easily into any campaign world – and in glorious full color! It addresses a variety of differing power levels, with many options for adjustment and expansion.

This is JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.

This softcover campaign supplement for Champions Complete using Hero System 6th Edition rules runs approximately 280 pages, including art and maps. All backers at the $20.00 or more level will also receive a zip file containing not only the PDF of the book, but additional PDFs character sheets and information for Savage Worlds and Mutants & Masterminds as well.  

WHY YOU NEED THIS BOOK

Sinister sorcerers, Reptile Men, underground supervillains, hidden temples, evil cultists, and awesome archmages! This one’s got it all!

Meet the King of the Reptile Men, and find out why he wants to go to war with the surface world!

Face The Oligarch, guardian of the laws of magic, and learn his hidden agenda! To many on the surface world he is a sinister villain! To others, a bold leader!

Face cybernetic mole men, explore the underground, deal with earthquakes, lava, and hidden civilizations!

Additional information about underground environments and combat.

Tons of ideas for your superhero game even if you don’t play Champions, Savage Worlds, or Mutants & Masterminds!

Maps of the Center of the Earth, including a typical city, key areas of the Reptile Empire and the Oligarch’s Dark Spire!

Learn secret objectives of the Cult of the Ebon Flame!

See how other criminal organizations and governments deal with the Center of the Earth!

Rules for how much knowledge the characters should have in different types of campaigns!

Unique flora, fauna, and cultures!

Over 30 new characters to bedevil, confront, and aid your heroes!

Hundreds of plot seeds, ideas, and ways to mix things up to make your game unique!

This one is getting a great deal of attention from me and my of my game design colleagues.

Murders & Acquisitions is a tabletop RPG of espionage, subterfuge, intrigue, theft, and murder in an absurd corporate world.

Murders & Acquisitions is a tabletop RPG of subterfuge, espionage, intrigue, theft, and murder in an absurd corporate world. Everything you need to play will be contained in a single game book. A variety of PDF support materials will also be provided.

The players portray corporate go-getters who are willing to climb the corporate ladder by any means necessary. You might sabotage a rival’s pet project, steal his secrets, destroy him socially, or simply kill him and cover it up. Lie, kill, steal – it’s all fair game in a cut-throat corporate world. You can create a character in a matter of minutes. Resources in the book allow a GM to craft an adventure quickly and fill in the blanks as the group plays.

Murders & Acquisitions utilizes a simple, dice-based system for task resolution. Skills are rated with a die type, from d4 to d12. You roll that skill die plus a d6, add the results, and compare the total to a target number. There are ways to bump the die types up or down based on circumstances, as well as ways to gain additional dice to roll. Each action is resolved with one die roll. Both success/failure as well as degree of success/failure are resolved with one roll.

The core game is set in an alternate version of our own real world. Stretch goals will add a series of optional, modular add-on rules that bring a variety of fantastical elements to the game. These add-on rules can be mixed and matched to create a more complex, unique version of the Murders & Acquisitions game for everyone to enjoy.

“I wasn’t sure what I was going to get when Craig sent me Murders & Acquisitions, but I can happily report it’s a fun little game perfect for roleplaying through the madness and murkiness of corporate America. The game engine looks fast-paced and dice rolling features several neat tricks to make task resolution more than just pass-fail. Recommended.”

Rob Schwalb, Schwalb Entertainment

“I think everyone can relate to the dread of having to wake up to go to the office on Monday and the occasional urge to strangle a coworker. Murders & Acquisitions is a little slice of revenge against corporate culture, a way to find some relief without having to look for a new job afterwards. Just don’t invite your boss to play.”

Jason Bulmahn, Paizo Publishing

“Murders & Acquisitions is set in a world that I’ve never seen before, but is at the same time immediately recognizable. I’ve never had more fun looking at a resume/character sheet and pretending to go to the office. Then again, if going to the office was this exciting, I’d be paying them.”

David A. Lupo, New World Alchemy