Monthly Archives: June 2016

Let’s open the week with some cool new Pathfinder stuff from the very creative folks over at Dreamscarred Press. They’re very well known for the work they do with the psionics part of the system, but they’ve got some new magic item stuff to show you. Step right this way…

Items both magical and mundane have a long and storied history in adventuring. Everything from the humble steel mirror to great and terrible mystical artifacts have been used on the fields of battle and in deadly dungeons. With Steelforge, Dreamscarred Press brings a new arsenal of useful tools and wondrous treasures, to add greater variety to your choices of items as a player and to your campaign world as a GM.
 
Steelforge: Book 1 is a 16-page supplement that includes:
  • New magic and psionic items.
  • New versions of common magic items, allowing for greater flexibility when outfitting a character.
  • The unique Endeca’s gregarious gravity slimes and an associated prestige class that tames them, the Gravity Slime master.
  • A variant ruleset for handling items in your campaign, designed to help alleviate the Christmas Tree Effect

I cannot fathom the shock, pain, and utter gut-punch of learning your child is facing cancer. This year, I’ve had two dear friends face this challenge – first, Jamie Chambers and his daughter, Liz, and now the incredibly talented Jacob Burgess and his Mighty Taylor. The Burgess family is one of the most inspiring I’ve ever met, so there’s zero question that I will do all I can to help them. Please join me.

And good on Jacob’s cousin, Sean Case, for setting this up for them!

I am the youngest of 20 cousins.  I have a twin cousin that is 7 days older (he reminds me all the time) and is the closest thing I have to a brother.  His 7 year old daughter Taylor has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  I cannot even fathom what this little girl and her whole family must be going through during this time. 

As they live in Colorado, there isn’t much I can do for him and his family aside from being a sounding board.  However, knowing they will be spending every waking minute at the hospital by Taylor’s side, getting everything else life needs covered will be a challenge.  Your donations will help cover any medical expenses and provide them the ability to take extended time away from work. 

Jacob and his family would never ask for a donation, so I am.  By raising money for their family, it will give them the most valuable thing they need; more time with their baby girl.  Your donations will allow that and help relieve any financial pressure that comes from it.

As a parent, nothing gets me fired up more than a spunky young child having to endure such a thing.  My goal is to relieve just a little bit of that stress.  Any donations given will provide a little piece of mind that my twin cousin and his family needs right now.

As Ravenloft once again enters prominence in the 5th Edition era of D&D, IDW brings back the beloved Minsc (and Boo!) in a new comic series that takes readers into this infamous setting, full of horror and action in equal measure. Gaming inspirations galore. Shadows of the Vampire #1 is part of the much larger collection of D&D and other media comics from IDW.

MINSC AND BOO ARE BACK!

And things have never looked more dire, as mysterious forces draw the legendary ranger and his crew of adventurers to RAVENLOFT, the Realm of Terror… where they find themselves face to face with undead horrors in the land of eternal night!

From my friend, Mari Brighe, who is a shining voice for queer and trans folks and issues – “I have a ‘pick of the day’ suggestion. Me!

Or rather, my GoFundMe to pay for some expensive travel to do professional advocate thing at two really important conferences, the Philly Trans Health Conference and World Professional Association for Trans Health Symposium. I’m doing a lot of chronically un- or underfunded work, and I’ve hit a personal rough patch.”

Hi Everyone. 

My name is Mari Brighe, and I’m a professional writer, speaker, and advocate. 

For the last few years, I’ve been working really hard to cover queer and transgender issues in the media, and to advocate for trans community through speaking and panelist appearances. So far, all of my travel has been completely self-funded. 

This summer, I’ve been invited to be a panelist at two very prestigious conferences. In early June, I will be giving at a panel at the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, and later that month, I will be giving at a panel at the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Scientific Symposium in Amsterdam. In Philadelphia, I will be discussing writing as both therapy and advocacy for trans people, and in Amsterdam, I will be presenting on the ways that trans research is misappropriated by many factions to attack trans people.

Unfortunately, being a freelance writer is not a terribly well-paying gig, and I’m currently in the middle of a stressful divorce that’s left me extraordinarily strapped for cash. I’m also physically disabled with a difficult chronic health condition that limits the kind of work I can do. As well, that kind of travel tends to wipe me out for a bit, so it limits how much work I can get done around these conferences. 

I’m primarily seeking funding for my hotel and travel expenses to Philadelphia next month, and anything I raise above that (about $800) will be used to help pay my incidental expenses while in Amsterdam, and to help me stay above water on my personal finances until I start school in August. 

It will mean the world to me if you can contribute or share this fundraiser. It’s been an extremely hard year for me, and these conferences are very big opportunities for me that would really hurt to have to cancel on.

Things are dark in gaming. They have been for a while. Not dark as in “what a lousy time to be a gaming fan,” but in terms of theme and story. Hence the Dark Urban Fantasy sale at DriveThru Pick, and this particular Kickstarter that a number of friends and colleagues pointed my way. While I readily admit that “dark” isn’t my jam, it certainly appeals to a great many gamers, and it looks like Hellywood is just the destination a lot of you are looking for.

There is no winning in Heaven Harbor, a city consumed by corruption, greed… & demons. There is only surviving for as long as you can.

Primary Hellywood game designer Emmanuel Gharbi declares Hellywood to be his “love cry” to the noir genre. And it shows. The most important character in the game is the city of Heaven Harbor itself. Nicknamed Hellywood, this city is full corruption, greed and violence.

There is no winning in Heaven Harbor. There is only surviving for as long as you can.

Survival is a prospect made even more difficult for inhabitants of Heaven Harbor following the “Day of Ashes” when ashes rained from the sky for an entire day. The city was changed, yet in at its heart remained the same when the “hornheads” emerged. Golem, succubi, seraphim, and the possessed now inhabitant the ghetto known as the Forbidden City, but they also walk the streets of Heaven Harbor. They don’t desires anything as prosaic as souls. Instead, these new inhabitants seek to tap the same appetites that lead so many humans astray in Hellywood: politics, gambling, temptations of the flesh, and more.

A detailed description of the city of Heaven Harbor in 1949 is the heart of Hellywood. Players assumed the role of a tough guy or girl living in the shadows of corruption and violence. These characters are left to fashion their own code for survival, to draw their own lines for moral action.

Despite the presence of the “hornheads”, the setting is all noir. The fantastic elements are added with a light touch in part to allow the stories of Heaven Harbor to tackle difficult topics like racism, bigotry, and addiction. This is to say that Hellywood stories can pack an emotional punch deftly as a hardboiled jab to the jaw.

Your guide to Heaven Harbor is cop and medium Terry Doyle. He describes every neighborhood in the city from Lucky Island to Crescent View and from Russian Hill to the Strangler Fields. Included is information about the district as well the important figures and details about current events.

Over 4500 products! That’s a lot of stuff for your noirish and darker fantasy gaming interests, friends, and it’s all on sale for at least 16% off. An interesting focus, genre-wise, and certainly hitting on a lot of cylinders for a lot of gamers. World of Darkness, Dresden Files, The Strange and a lot more going on here.

From Steve Kenson

“This is not exactly how I wanted to announce this. I was psyched when Allen Varney and I were finally able to set up a Bundle of Holding for Icons Superpowered Roleplaying, and I thought that Pride Month was the perfect time for it, as I knew the charity I wanted it to benefit: The Trevor Project for LGBTQIA youth, a very important cause to me, personally.

Little did I know of the terrible events that would occur this past weekend at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando during Pride. I considered cancelling the bundle entirely, but instead decided to go ahead because the need for awareness, support, and donations is greater than ever.

So, while I certainly hope you take a look at the Icons bundle and take the opportunity to get yourself a huge collection of superhero PDFs at a bargain price, more importantly, I hope you consider a donation—either through your purchase or directly—to LGBTQIA causes like the Trevor Project and to efforts to end gun violence. The bundle will be available for the next fifteen days and buying in early ensures you get any additional products added to it over the course of the sale at no additional cost! I greatly appreciate the opportunity to raise money to donate to this cause.

You’re all heroes in my book!

Most sincerely,

Steve Kenson

Ad Infinitum Adventures”

Hero! Our Fair City’s leading supergroup, The Phalanx, brings you the ICONS Bundle, featuring the fast-playing superpowered tabletop roleplaying game ICONS by Steve Kenson, designer of Mutants & Masterminds. With its quick character creation, simple mechanics, and classic Silver Age action, ICONS is a spiritual successor to Marvel Super Heroes by way of Fudge. This huge new collection presents everything you need for anything from a pick-up game to a complete four-color campaign.For just US$14.95 you get all eight titles in our Player’s Collection (retail value $67) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • ICONS: The Assembled Edtion (retail price $15): The complete, comprehensive 232-page full-color rulebook. Includes the Game Master’s Screen (retail $1) with helpful reference charts.
  • Great Power (retail $10): The super-powers sourcebook with new power options, dazzling devices, and ways to reskin existing powers.
  • Five Hero Packs (total retail $41): A total of 260 fully statted, ready-to-play characters.

And if you pay more than the threshold price of $26.80, you’ll raise your Determination and also get our entire Game Master’s Collection of ten more titles (retail value $66):

  • ICONS A to Z (retail $10): Steve Kenson’s 26 essays on all things superheroic — from Aliens, Battles, and Cosmic through X-Factors, Youth, and Zombies — published biweekly in 2015 and newly collected.
  • The Villainomicon (retail $10): A rogues’ gallery of antagonists from Auntie Social and Beastman to Yama King and Zergo.
  • Rise of the Phalanx (total retail $26): These four linked adventures by Dan Houser (Flight of the Nova-1, Cold War Conundrum, The Nemesis Crisis, and The Metaskulk Invasion) kick off a new campaign or make great “special crossover events.”
  • Three four-color adventures (total retail $15): Scenarios in the Silver Age style by Steve Kenson: the introductory adventure The Sidereal Schemes of Dr. Zodiac, military battlesuit mayhem in The Skeletron Key, and the time-bending The RetConQuest.
  • NEW! Urban Jungle (retail $5): Garden-greenery supervillain mayhem in Silver Age style.

Learn more about our offers at our official blog, Beyond the Bundle.

Keep ’em flying, heroes!Ten percent of your payment (after payment gateway fees) goes to the charity selected by ICONS designer Steve Kenson, The Trevor Project.

Everything about this is fun and charming. Take the GUMSHOE system (arguably one of the best investigative-oriented game systems every developed) and translate it to the “Kid Detective” genre of fiction? Pretty brilliant if you ask me!

Then again, I may be biased – I thrived on books like this in my own youth.

Someone stole my kid brother’s bike…

Someone sabotaged the pep rally…

Someone destroyed the Homecoming queen’s reputation…

The world is full of mysteries. It’s up to your group of intrepid teen sleuths to solve them. In Bubblegumshoe, players step into the shoes of high-schoolers solving mysteries in a modern American small town. Discover clues, solve problems, and throw down with enemies in this streamlined RPG based on the GUMSHOE system.

In this stand-alone game, you’ll find:

  • Rules to create your Sleuth’s web of relationships and make the most of GUMSHOE’s resource-management
  • A simple setting system designed for large scale town creation all the way down to scene locations, plus extensive information on Drewsbury, a ready-to-go setting
  • A variety of short mystery starters, including a full introductory mystery: Hey! That’s My Bike!
  • Extensive support to help GMs create their own mysteries using pre-established characters and settings
  • Rules for social Throwdowns as well as physical altercations to reflect the drama of high school noir
  • A slimmed-down list of investigative abilities vs GUMSHOE’s default to make for faster decision making

Bubblegumshoe. The secrets will out.

The march to create quality 5e supplemental material continues, and the folks at Crit Games have something pretty special in Kickstarter that D&D Next fans will greatly appreciate.

Beautifully illustrated and functional Condition Cards and Combat Cards to enhance your 5E tabletop role-playing experience.

Your barbarian got poisoned? Your cleric was blinded?  Give players the corresponding condition card to use as a reference. Return the card when the condition is removed. These gorgeous full-color reference cards complement and enrich your 5E RPG experience. As a GM quickly and easily track fifth edition conditions for your own role-playing and tabletop adventure!

The deck of Condition Cards contains the standard 5E conditions (Appendix A: Conditions, page 105). All of the artwork is complete and card layout for both front and back is finished. We are ready to bring Condition Cards to your table!

This 52 card deck contains thirteen unique conditions for up to four players. Each deck has four copies of each condition to cover your party.

Contains four of each:

Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Frightened, Grappled, Incapacitated, Invisible, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Restrained, Stunned, Unconscious

A lot to be said for all-in-one packages that hook you up with great maps, a great adventure, and characters ready to go. Fabled Environments has this down to an artful science.

Allan’s roommate, Jeremy, came home from an energy drink launch party last night but this morning he is missing. His car keys and cellphone are still by his bed. Jeremy never leaves without them and this has Allan concerned.

Meanwhile, Barbara was very upset when her granddaughter’s college application was denied.  Strangers from out of town can get an education but not a local girl like Brittany. Suddenly, Barbara gives in to the temptation of using a strange recipe she found tucked in between the pages of a romance novel bought at the local bookstore.

What is going on and where is Jeremy?

A Cauldron Full Of Mischief drops you into a quirky mystery that is easily played in a single session or can be the springboard into a great campaign!

Included in the adventure are 5 pregenerated characters as well as two 8 1/2″ x 11″ size copies of locations from Fabled Environments.