Monthly Archives: June 2016

From one of the leading talents at Paizo – Owen K.C. Stephens – where Pathfinder design and development is concerned, here’s an incredible chance to get everything for an insanely low price. Folks, here’s your “summer reading dump” for 2016… and beyond.

“Hey Owen, haven’t you written a LOT of pdfs for Rogue Genius Games?”

Yep. Nearly 200 of them.

“I’d love to get all of those, but I can’t afford to pick them all up piecemeal… “

How about this: Buy ALL of them, and I’ll sell them for 95% off.

That’s $600!! of pdfs… for $30.

For a VERY limited time!

My buddy Eloy Lasanta is still cranking out tons of support for all his game lines, including one of the more interesting superhero games to come along in a while. AMP: Year Two continues the ongoing story of what happens when supers emerge in the world, and here’s the latest faction book that fleshes out the very dangerous world.

Affiliation Guide: Typhoon

From the beginning of the AMP phenomenon, the elusive Matriarch and her organization, Typhoon, have ruled the criminal underground with an iron fist. While most know about the contractors and gangs who rule the streets in the name of Typhoon, few know about the true inner workings of the group. Affiliation Guide: Typhoon sheds light on what has been so carefully hidden. 

Includes: 

  • A look at what it means to be in the higher ranks of Typhoon
  • New Character: Kickstarter
  • New Gifts, Drawbacks and even a new Drug: Chillax
  • New Power: Juicer
  • Complete adventure: Due South

The Cypher System is the new “universal playground system” on the block, with a lot more setting-oriented stuff coming out to really support that concept. This one feels like Exalted and Scion got together and had an exciting baby. I’ve got only a little experience with Cypher, but stuff like this makes me want to explore the system more.

The Gods are Dead—Now It’s Your Turn

There was a time when gods walked the world. Their magic pervaded the earth and the sky. From their mystical realm of Elanehtar, they brought plenty and pestilence. They judged the living and the dead. Their rule was absolute.

Then Elanehtar fell to earth like a vengeful star, sparking cataclysm and plunging the world into a dark age. The gods are gone, but their works remain—scattered and broken. The world struggles under the yoke of murder, slavery, and corruption. Dark things have squirmed free of their divine prisons, and even the afterlife has become a realm of nightmares.

But a power has awoken against the darkness. A divine spark struck in the hearts of new gods-in-the-making. You have this spark—the seed of godhood within you. Can you restore what was broken before the world vanishes forever into darkness? Can you claim a place for yourself in the heavens?

This book includes:

  • A complete, ready-to-play fantasy game world for the Cypher System, with a detailed history, new races, dozens of unique locations, and an array of celestial powers to choose from.
  • New creatures and NPCs, including the monstrous Hellmaw, guardian of the afterlife; seraphs, metallic servants of the divine; and ravers, the reanimated husks of dead gods.
  • Rules for growing your character from adventurer to god. Find your spark, choose your dominion, face divine challenges and labors, and fulfill prophecy to create a new pantheon.

Gods of the Fall is a complete campaign setting for the Cypher System. You need the Cypher System Rulebook to play Gods of the Fall.

There are days when it almost breaks my heart to consider the extraordinary art form that RPGs represent, and I realize how few in the world truly experience and understand this. John Scott Tynes’ Puppetland represents one of those landmark games that takes you places you never thought roleplaying could go.

THE SKIES ARE DIM ALWAYS SINCE THE MAKER DIED

In one golden hour, you and your friends shall weave a tale none will soon forget: a tale of good-hearted puppets in a bad-hearted world. You shall rise up against the savagery of Punch the Maker-Killer with his army of Nutcrackers and his terrible Boys, sewn from the flesh of the Maker of all puppets. You shall be steadfast and true. You shall likely die trying.

Puppetland is a storytelling game. You play a valiant puppet who speaks aloud every word you say. You speak for your puppet and the Puppetmaster says the rest. You surprise each other at every turn, collaborating moment by inspired moment to unlock your own creativity and find the puppet within. This lavishly illustrated edition of Puppetland has been significantly revised and expanded. It includes a grim storybook fable of the Maker’s foul murder; the true story of the creator’s life in Puppetland; and new Tales ready to be played, written by a brilliant collection of authors:

  • “Boys at Play” by John Scott Tynes
  • “The Great Sage OF, the Mountain!” by Arnold Cassel
  • “The Missing Peace” by Fred Hicks
  • “Overtime in the Factory” by Ross Payton
  • “Punch and the Beanstalk” by John Scott Tynes
  • “Punch Dammed It!” by Arnold Cassel
  • “Punch Village” by Jason Morningstar
  • “Puppet Masters” by Matt Forbeck
  • “The Rhyming Ritual” by Ross Payton
  • “The Terrible Fire” by John Scott Tynes
  • “Vada Wolley Rex” by Kenneth Hite
  • “Visions of Sugar Plums” by James Wallis
  • “The Lost Giant” by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
  • “Pretty Polly” by Arinn Dembo
  • “The Box” by Arinn Dembo
  • “The Bottler” by Arinn Dembo

Your puppets are ready to take the stage. But speak softly, lest the Nutcrackers hear — and come to call with a sharp rap-rap-rapping at the door.

Light of the Universe, at long, long last I can replace one of the most important and beloved books I ever had in my gaming collection!

Folks, I cannot say enough about how amazing this book – written and designed by the amazing Richard Baker – is, or how important it was to my early career as a game designer and a world builder. I am not even a little bit hesitant to declare that my own Shaintar setting would be nowhere near as complete and detailed and effective without the vital tools and information I got from this book.

In short, the World Builder’s Guidebook was, by far, the single most important and beloved D&D book I ever owned. If you don’t add this to your digital library, there will always be a terrible hole where it’s missing. Game Masters and would-be world designers especially take heed!

Admit it. . . you’ve always wanted to design your own fantasy world. But the job was just too big and complicated, so you either quit in frustration or didn’t start at all.

Get out your pencils and markers, because it’s time to make that dream come true! From the first steps of picking a campaign book to the final details of crafting a kingdom or city, World Builder’s Guidebook leads you stage by stage through the process of creating your own, unique campaign world. Build a world modeled after your favorite movies or books, detail a portion of an existing world, or create your own fantasy world from scratch!

Some of the features you’ll find in the World Builder’s Guidebook include:

  • An introduction to the art of world building
  • Guidelines and random tables for creating continents, kingdoms, societies, local areas, towns and cities, ecologies, pantheons, histories, and sites of interest
  • A pad of 32 copyable forms, mapping paper, and hex sheets?an indispensable set of tools for your world-building efforts!

You’re the master architect of an entire world. What are you going to build?

Product History

“World Builder’s Guidebook” (1996), by Richard Baker, is a GM’s book on creating fantasy worlds. It was published in October 1996.

Origins (I): The Generic Books. The AD&D 2e (1989-2000) era was all about TSR’s many settings. However, TSR also published the occasional setting-generic book; by the mid ’90s they were marking this line with a black-bordered cover.

In 1994, a new line of generic books appeared intended to help GMs fill out their worlds. “City Sites” (1994) and its successors featured fully detailed location for use in any world. “World Builder’s Guidebook” took the next step by allowing GMs to actually create whole worlds.

Origins (II): Building Worlds. TSR encouraged building worlds from its earliest days. In fact, they didn’t produce their own setting until the release of The World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting (1980) because they figured people would want to create their own. Meanwhile, TSR was publishing books like the “Dungeon Geomorphs” (1976-1977, 1981) and the “Monster and Treasure Assortments” (1977-1978, 1980) to encourage the creativity of their players.

Prior to the release of the “World Builder’s Guidebook” (1996), TSR’s most notable creative release was the “Dungeon Master’s Design Kit” (1988), but that focused on encounters and adventures. World building had to wait for the “World Builder’s Guidebook” eight years later. The result was unlike most other GM’s advice books for fantasy games. With its focus on the creation of a physically-correct, holistic world, the “World Builder’s Guidebook” had more in common with science-fiction world building releases like GDW’s World Builder’s Handbook (1989) and World Tamer’s Handbook (1993) for their Traveller RPG (1977+). This offered an interesting new twist on fantasy world design.

Exploring a New Setting. “World Builder’s Guidebook” doesn’t explore any existing D&D world; it instead gives GMs the opportunity to create something new. And that might be something very new: the options it offers allow for the creation of worlds quite unlike the official D&D worlds of the ’90s.

To start with, much like those Traveller supplements, “World Builder’s Guidebook” begins with a polyhedral world map, giving GMs the ability to lay out an entire globe. This was almost unknown for D&D’s fantasy worlds, with the exception of Basic D&D’s Known World. The “World Builder’s Guidebook” also includes some very nuts & bolts game systems for determining populations, geographies, and even climates. This was more simulationistic than most of the D&D worlds — though The World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983) offered a rare weather system that was comparable.

However, one final element of the “World Builder’s Guidebook” was more in tune with D&D’s worlds of the ’90s. The “Guidebook” suggests starting creation with unusual setting ideas and also encourages twisting standard elements like the traditional D&D races. Here, one can see the influence of settings like Dark Sun (1991), one of the most twisted and unique settings during the generally innovative setting design of the ’90s.

Future History. The “Dungeon Builder’s Guidebook” (1998) was an explicit sequel to this book.

About the Creators. Baker had been writing for TSR since 1992, focusing on the Dark Sun and Birthright lines. This was one of his last books for D&D until the ’00s, because he was about to dive into the Alternity (1997, 1998) line.


My own delving into the fun and flavor of 80s/90s action cinema makes me giddily open to really cool stuff like this.

I mean, “Man, I can seriously dig it!”

Take back the streets in this action-packed “rules-lite” tabletop RPG inspired by everyone’s favorite 1970s crime TV shows!

When Joe Sharkey woke up, it was to a world turned black and stifling hot. There was something over his head. A pillowcase, maybe? His mind raced to make sense of his surroundings. He was lying on a floor, cold, rough concrete underneath him. Thick ropes were knotted tightly around his wrists and ankles. Wherever he was, it was obvious he wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon…if at all.

As the pounding in his ears lessened, he could hear low whispers nearby. He wasn’t alone. Sharkey cleared his throat. “Somebody wanna get this thing off me?” he rasped.

The sound of heels on concrete. A blinding light as the covering was yanked from his face. Even before his eyes adjusted, he knew it was her; the smell of her perfume was unmistakable.

“Well, well, Detective Sharkey,” Jasmine Kinkaid all but purred. “You don’t look so hot.”

He was in a warehouse. Jasmine, as severe as she was beautiful, towered over him, a handful of hired goons nearby, ready to rush to their boss’s side if needed. Sharkey ignored them and focused on Jasmine. He laughed. “A guy can’t be expected to look his best after getting worked over by your thugs, Jasmine. Y’know, if you wanted to get me alone, you could’ve just asked.” 

“Those diamonds are mine, Sharkey. You should’ve stayed away from this case.”

“My captain’s probably gonna say the same thing at my funeral.” Play for time, he thought to himself. Just play for time and wait for backup.

 As if reading his thoughts, Jasmine sighed audibly. “Your partner isn’t coming for you. My boys have already taken care of Detective Carter.” Her “boys” smiled at one another, nodding their mutual appreciation for one another’s handiwork.

Just then, Brock Carter’s metallic blue Challenger crashed through the warehouse’s corrugated metal doors amid a cacophony of twisted steel and squealing tires.

“Yeah, I don’t know about that,” Sharkey said, grinning.

URBAN KNIGHTS is a roleplaying game set in an action-packed world inspired by 1970s cop and detective television shows. It’s a “rules lite” game, which means that it has very few mechanics to master. URBAN KNIGHTS is a stripped-down, minimalist RPG designed to capture the gonzo action and bad one-liners of a very distinctive genre, and the mechanics of the game are as simple as the pleasures of the genre itself, engineered to facilitate over-the-top action with a minimum of muss and fuss. All you need to play are these rules, a handful of six-sided dice, poker chips or other counters, and a few friends (the game plays best with 2-4 players and a GM). A classic funk playlist is probably a good idea, too.

Now, to be totally honest, URBAN KNIGHTS isn’t a 100% “accurate” emulation of 1970s crime shows. Instead, it emulates how we remember such shows—how we still picture them in our imaginations—and how cool they could’ve been had they not been hampered by tight shooting schedules, limited budgets, and network censors. URBAN KNIGHTS is an awestruck kid’s perception of these shows filtered through years of memory and translated into a tabletop roleplaying game. The game certainly evokes the style of 1970s crime shows, but in the game, the action is bigger and bolder, the stunts more frequent and more fantastic, and the one-liners…well OK, the one-liners are pretty much the same.

Basically, URBAN KNIGHTS is completely awesome, and you know you want to play it.

THE BASIC MECHANICS

URBAN KNIGHTS is rules-lite, so it’s easy to learn and play. At the heart of the game’s mechanics is a simple task resolution system based on rolling a pool of six-sided dice and counting the number of fives and sixes rolled. Each five or six is a success; match or exceed the required number of successes, and your action succeeds. Roll too few successes, and your action fails. It’s as simple as that! There are some other variables to consider, of course–mostly situational modifiers–but those are the basics.

The dice do more than determine successes and failures. Along with every dice pool, players roll the Hassle die. If a one turns up on the Hassle die, it adds plot-thickening complications to the scenario! This can add nuance and depth to the players’ successes and additional challenges to their failures. 

Don’t think that players are totally at the mercy of the dice, though. They have pools of Luck they can use to front-load an action’s chances for success, or to take some control over the narrative. The game allows players a great deal of freedom in interpreting character traits during play, too, empowering creative players to stack bonuses to their advantage as long as they can justify it all in narrative terms.

The rules will feel intuitive and comfortably familiar to most veteran gamers, yet are simple enough to enable first-time roleplayers to dive right in with the vets and start bustin’ some perps.

BASH! is one of the more interesting game systems I’ve ever seen*, originally created (at least in part) to help younger gamers develop their multiplication skills. It’s remarkably robust for being a fairly light core mechanics engine, and it seems to be gaining some renewed interest in the hobby. Skirmisher just released this wonderful set of content for the fantasy iteration.

* (And Carinn and I are currently enjoying a BASH supers game with friends in our first major online tabletop game, thanks to Mark Carroll and Jennifer Baughman).

Men & Monsters of the Aegean is Skirmisher Publishing’s first title for the BASH Fantasy role-playing game system. It presents a dozen player character races and 30 types of monster, with multiple variants for many of them, all inspired by the myths and legends of the Classical world and each with an Adventure Hook and background information integrating it into the setting. 

New races include the hulking Antaeans, the Myrmidons who followed Achilles in the Trojan War, and the dog-head Cynocephalians. Monsters include everything from familiar creatures like the Cyclops, Manticore, Pegasus, and Sphinx to more exotic ones like the Drakon, Empusa, Hippalectryon, Ophiotaurus, and Sea Leopard.

This fully-illustrated manual also includes sections on using existing creatures in an Aegean campaign, encounter tables, and new items, powers, advantages, and disadvantages for the BASH system.

All of the monsters presented in this book are associated with the system-free Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting, a milieu is set in a re-imagined Mediterranean, and can be easily incorporated into games that use it or other settings altogether. Here, the Gods of Olympus reign, their heroes acting as agents of their will or exemplars of their glory. A century before, the Titans began a war that nearly destroyed the world and this Cataclysm changed everything, returning monsters to the earth, allowing the dead to roam, sinking islands, shattering cities, upsetting the cosmic balance. As the monsters returned, so too did the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Elementals, Giants, Dragons, Satyrs, Goblins, and Orcs, striding, creeping, skulking or marching back into the world from distant realms or deep fastness, rejoining the world they had left behind.

Both BASH and the Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting are fully supported with free bonus material at d-Infinity Online gaming magazine

Interface Zero is the lovingly crafted cyberpunk setting that put Gun Metal Games on the map, and now it’s available for Fate fans to enjoy!

Full Metal Cyberpunk action, now for the Fate game system!

You’re hanging from the summit of a mile-high skyscraper, your cybernetic claws holding you in place while gunfire shatters the windows around you and a computer virus burns its way through your brain. When your network link to the rest of your team goes offline, you’re sure of one thing:

You should have charged the client double for this mission.

Interface Zero: Fate Edition has all the rules you need for cyberpunk action and adventure in the megacities and wastelands of the 2090’s. Inside this book you’ll find hackers, drone pilots, cyborgs, androids, cybermonks, human/animal hybrids, psychics, cybernetic implants, guns, armor, vehicles, agile powered armor and massive war robots. Pre-built aspects, occupations, and archetypes jump-start your game, and a flexible wealth system lets you get rich or die trying. Whether you’re a sprawl-crawling scavenger or an elite hyperchrome soldier, your tools and tech are all here in Interface Zero.

A long time ago, Aaron Acevedo and I joined our journeys through the business of making games together. When I met him, he was a solid and very creative writer. Neither of us had any idea he was to become one of the most respected artists/art directors in this industry. Damn, I am proud of him!

Now look what he’s done – married superheroes and Cthulian-flavored eldritch horror through fiction and art in a way that will blow your minds. A roster of the best writers and artists in our hobby, folks – truly an all-star cast.

(And I can speak with some authority on the fact that this is just the beginning, and a certain Evil Beagle may be involved as the journey continues…)

Mighty heroes battle Lovecraftian horrors! Eight illustrated short stories and an epic 24-page color comic finale in one print volume.

STRANGE ARCANA: The Stars Are Right is a mind-bending collection of eldritch horror stories set in a weird, dangerous universe, where superheroes must face immensely powerful ancient beings, crazed doomsday cultists, and a dark secret they all share. 

STRANGE ARCANA: The Stars Are Right is an 6.75 x 10.25 inch, 128-page, color volume with a collection of eight original illustrated short stories and an epic 24-page comic finale.

Bonus materials include ebooks, a 54-card playing deck, a tee shirt, custom character illustrations from our award-winning art team, custom short prose stories by author Darren Pearce (Dr. Who, Lone Wolf), art prints suitable for framing, and more.

The writing team includes: Arnold T. BlumbergSatyros Phil BrucatoIan Eller, Dean GilbertShane Lacy Hensley, Dan McGirt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Aaron Rosenberg, and John Wick.

The art team includes: Aaron Acevedo, Matheus Calza, James Denton, Jason Engle, Bien Flores, Grosnez, Aaron Riley, Alida Saxon, Jonathan Taylor, Jeremy Wilson, and Cheyenne Wright.

Our contributors have won a wide range of awards for their previous work, including Hugo, ENnie, and Origins Awards.

You see the world in four colors— bright, primary comets that streak across the sky. They fling themselves at one another, punching with the force of a wrecking ball and blasting at each other with beams hot enough to turn sand into glass. These heroes, in their capes and their power armor, are beacons of light, no doubt. But everyone forgets that light casts shadows. I see into those shadows. I see the things that skulk in the darkness, waiting for a chance to pounce, while everyone is blinded by the light show. I know what the nightmares are, but what’s more is that I know who—no, what— the dreamers are that make the nightmares. What I have to tell you, you are not going to want to hear. You are not going to want to know what I know and you sure as hell are not going to want to see what I’ve seen. Here’s your chance to change your mind, to turn back toward the light and leave the shadows at your back. You can stay in your four colored world. I wouldn’t blame you. If I knew then what I know now, I might have done the same, but I can’t go back and neither can you once you step into the darkness with us. So? What are you going to do—keep punching badly dressed men with stupid nicknames, or face the real threat? 

The single largest RPG Kickstarter in history. Why? Because something about John Wick, fantasy swashbuckling, and Old World intrigue speaks to roleplaying enthusiasts all over the world. Now’s your chance to find out for yourself.

7th Sea is a tabletop roleplaying game of swashbuckling and intrigue, exploration and adventure, taking place on the continent of Theah, a land of magic and mystery inspired by our own Europe. Players take the roles of heroes thrown into global conspiracies and sinister plots, exploring ancient ruins of a race long vanished and protecting the rightful kings and queens of Theah from murderous villains.

Save the Queen of Avalon from treacherous blackmail!

Thwart a dastardly assassination attempt on the Cardinal of Castille!

Raid the villainous fleets of Vodacce Merchant Princes!

Free the Prince of the Sarmatian Commonwealth from a mysterious curse!

Make decisions that alter the very course of Thean history!

In 7th Sea, you are a Hero, an icon of Theah ready to live and die for causes that matter. You bravely take on a dozen thugs with swords, knives and guns all on your own. You are the trusted knight, a loyal bodyguard or even an adventuring queen herself.

In other words—you are d’Artagnan, Milady de Winter, the Dread Pirate Roberts, Jack Sparrow, Julie d’Aubigney, and the Scarlet Pimpernel all rolled up in one!

This is a game of high adventure, mystery and action. This is a game of intrigue and romance.

This is 7th Sea