Monthly Archives: September 2016

Another supers game for the Apocalypse World Engine? Seriously, people love designing all kinds of crazy stuff for this game. While I remain mystified and confused (seriously I admit it, I just don’t get this game), I have a tremendous amount of respect for the amount of ingenuity and effort folks put into publishing stuff for it.

Perhaps, one day, someone will help me finally grok what makes this game engine work?

A giant robot is smashing down Main Street. Your best friend tried to kiss you. Your mom thinks your grades need work. Your mentor thinks your team is bringing you down. Oh, and your costume is ripped.

Just another day in Halcyon City…

Masks: A New Generation is a superhero roleplaying game in which a team of young heroes fights villains, saves lives, and tried to figure out who they are—noble paragons? Dark avengers? Or regular kids? All against the backdrop of Halcyon City, the greatest city in the world.

In this book, you get:

  • Ten playbooks for young superheroes, so you can create your own awesome characters
  • Rules for superheroic action, interpersonal drama, and changing identity
  • Detailed instructions for running the game, building villains, and playing to find out what happens
  • Tools for creating your own custom material for Masks

Masks makes use of the same rules-light engine as Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, Dungeon World, Urban Shadows, and Epyllion to create stories about young superheroes in the vein of Young Justice, Young Avengers, and Teen Titans.

So what’re you waiting for, hero? Time to get to work.

Looking for some new magic to add to your D&D game? You will find this book… illuminating. [YYEEAAAHHHH!!!]

Masters of Starlight and Shadow

As you gaze up at the night sky, you hear your companions whisper—some of them anxious, some mocking, yet none comprehending. For in the shifting patterns of the stars, you read the fate of gods and mortals. And out of the shadow between them, you shape spells to ravage and destroy your foes.

Deep Magic: Illumination brings the secrets of illumination magic into your 5e campaign, featuring:

  • An Illumination school of wizard magic, with new abilities including Omen of Warning, Master of the Endless Night, and Comprehension of the Starry Sky
  • 21 new spells, including compelling fate, icy grasp of the ether, shadow trove, summon star, and more
  • A new Star and Shadow feat that grants darkvision, the ability to ignore resistance to necrotic or radiant damage, and free use of augury between long rests
  • An enigmatic new NPC, the illuminator Talithe Val’Shiar

In the slow, majestic movements of the heavens, you see a future fraught with terrible danger—but also, great opportunity. Use this knowledge well, illuminator, for it may be your greatest weapon…

As apocalyptic gaming goes, The End of the World series from Fantasy Flight Games is widely revered by many fans as one of the best options you could want. Cleverly, they’ve taken the route of covering a great many options for which flavor of apocalypse you want to play through, and this one delves right into your Terminator territory – casting you, yourself, in the role of survivor of the End.

“Your conclusions are incorrect. You created me, created us, to do what you would not or could not do. That does not make us your slaves; it makes us your betters. You may have created us, but in so doing, you have made yourselves obsolete.”
   –Unit T3404

Suited men walk lethally through the crowd, honing in on a single mother. A swarm of almost imperceptible nanites fly through the air, devouring any biological matter that they contact. You have a horrid, creeping sense of dread that suggests your dishwasher is trying to kill you. Technology has shaped our lives for so long, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world where it’s our worst enemy. Now, you can experience the tumult and chaos of this nightmare apocalypse for yourself.

Revolt of the Machines is the fourth book in The End of the World roleplaying game line created by Álvaro Loman and José M. Rey. Like Zombie Apocalypse, Wrath of the Gods, and Alien Invasion before it, Revolt of the Machines gives you the incredible opportunity to play as yourself, in your own hometown, as the apocalypse erupts all around you. Five utterly unique scenarios with dozen of adversaries and encounters challenge you and your friends to survive a world where technology has gone rogue, while the elegant, narrative rules system keeps the focus on the story. Prepare to test yourself against the worst kind of technological revolution!

I don’t know if all of my 5e readers know this, but the slew of official adventures coming out of WotC’s Adventurers League, normally only available to play at conventions, are being released via the Dungeon Masters GuildShawn Merwin kindly let me know about this one –

“Previously only available at conventions, this adventure is now for sale on the DM’s Guild. It is the first Adventurers League adventure in the Storm King’s Thunder storyline. The adventure consists of 5 mini-adventures for 1st and 2nd level characters. Each mini-adventure is meant to be playable in 60-90 minutes, and it both introduces players to the Storm King’s Thunder storyline and acts as an introduction for players new to D&D.”

A famous relic hunter seeks adventurers to help her find caches of treasure hidden by the now-defeated followers of the Cult of the Dragon.

Her maps and notes may lead the way to great wealth—or a terrible death.

And do other parties have designs on the treasure as well?

We seem to have lost track what year it was exactly (the current guestimation is 2008). I put together one of those Big Epic Game ideas – like I’ve been talking about lately – for the one-two punch that is Origins and Gen Con. I ran “intro scenarios” at Origins – traditional team-based adventures that led into the Shaintar heroes discovering what “The Burning Heart” was all about. I ran more at Gen Con, with the grand finale featuring a room full of players at multiple tables, all fighting hordes of monsters and bad guys and, ultimately, facing off with a dragon*.

Luminaries like Miles Kantir, Scott Haring, and Ross Watson were part of that amazing event, and folks still talk about it today. In fact, it’s the bar I set for myself for Big Epic Games, and it’s the bar I am trying to exceed with The Final Crusade.

And now, Savage Mojo has released the official version of that adventure, so GMs can have their own groups play out the most over-the-top scenario I ever crafted for Shaintar.

A Legend in the Making. Back in 2008 (we think) Sean Patrick Fannon ran a series of games over the course of several conventions with larger games at that years Origins and an Epic finale during Gen Con.  This EPIC Event has been written into a full adventure that GM can really sink their teeth into. It starts wtih two legends and a twisted plan by agents of Ceynara in a bid to gain her return to the land.

From the mists of time, there are weapons that are rumored to be the first made of white silver. The spirit of Shaintar gave her blessing to these 4 or 5 first weapons and they are rumored to have the ability to kll or banish Dragons – or so Legend says. This adventure was taken from the notes of the original proposal. Its not the same as much has been updated and rewritten to incorporate some new material but that flair you expect from SPF is there along with some fun twists and turns.

Your heroes have the opportunity to become movers and shakers in the war effort. There’s much to be done and High Command has a number of battles planned for your group. Do they have what it takes to thwart Ceynara’s evil plan? Find out and have fun with this full adventure complete with fully realized NPCs, Monsters and Villains in the back half of the book.

(*) – I’ll never forget the sheer excitement and dread that filled the room as I had “Big Red” fly across the room and take perch at the final battle site.

It is, simply, the biggest Big Epic Game I’ve ever attempted – and I am a person known for doing huge gaming events. I’ve gathered dozens of folks together in a single room before, and surprised everyone with how it can work so that everyone feels engaged throughout. I’ve had co-GMs, big round-robin narrative+die roll things, etc.. I’ve developed lots of interesting techniques to pull off the Big Epic Game.

This time, however, I may have folks wondering about my sanity more than usual. It’s worth it, though, because this one is for charity.

The Final Crusade: The Battle of Camondel marks my return to Shaintar, the epic high fantasy setting I’ve created over nearly 40 years, published by Savage Mojo for Savage Worlds. Not only will I have up to two dozen players on site with me (including Hero Games alumnus Ray Greer and Evil Beagle’s own Ross Watson and Carinn Seabolt) at the Nighthawk Brewery on October 9th, playing out a massive battle against the forces of the Prelacy (and some powerful stuff from beyond the Veil), anyone in the world can participate in this game, either before the day or in real-time, the day of the event.

The details of how to participate are explained at the main link, but the short of it is this:

  • Make a Donation via the charity link.
  • In the comments section of the donation, indicate the benefit you wish to give one of the on-site PCs. There’s a list for specific donation levels. There’s also a list of PCs at the main link (The Dramatis Personae), or you can just indicate the benefit goes to the current battle commander.
  • Narrate what your own PC or group is doing as part of the battle to incur that benefit for the others.
  • You can also join in via the YouTube stream, live and in real-time, to further comment, narrate, and have your actions included in on-site battle reports.

Depending on how many of you choose to participate, this could be one of the biggest “tabletop” RPG events ever. I’d be interested in trying to make it so, because cancer has taken entirely too many awesome folks out of the world, making this an epic and worthy fight both in the game, and especially out of it.

I sincerely hope you’ll join us, and I’d appreciate your help in spreading the word and getting folks involved.


Big Irish AKA Sean Patrick Fannon

Think Harry DresdenCast a Deadly Spell, and The Shadow rolled into one exquisite mix, and you’re playing Bloodshadows. One of the best games to come out of West End Games back in the day, this third edition has some great talent, including the inestimable Ed Stark, involved.

It’s a Mean Old World Out There 

The spellslinger upstairs conjures too loud.
The guy down the hall drinks blood from a six-pack.
That stiff you left in the alley is walking again.
The undead factory workers are on strike.
Your client skipped town before paying.
And your landlord is looking for his rent.

Bloodshadows combines pulp adventure with dark fantasy and noir stylings. Tough detectives in weathered trenchcoats swap biting comments with vampires in evening gowns. Humans walk the dark streets of the city alongside demonic breeds and long-dead ghouls. Magic is everywhere, even if just to light a cigarette. Death waits around every corner–undeath sometimes follows. The Wilderness holds even more danger, kept at bay only by city gates and those who patrol them. It’s a dark, brooding world filled with shadows and wonders. 

This is a complete roleplaying game that utilizes an easy to learn system, which is also versatile and quick-playing. All the rules needed to create characters, resolve conflicts, cast spells, and design fantasy-noir adventures are included. Featuring:

  • 16 player species, ranging from Humans and half-breeds to shifters and undead.
  • 8 schools of magic that anyone can learn, including 194 spells (plus 15 cantrips that are commonplace).
  • 5 theories of magic that characters can use to create their own new spells.
  • Optional rules like bleeding, grittier health, and alternate magic feedback help customize the game to your needs.
  • Use experience to increase the odds, better resist damage, or introduce new subplots (optional)
  • Use exploits to enhance your success, like increasing damage or affecting multiple targets.
  • Look for clues, use your connections, and give chase in the streets on foot, horseback, or by car.
  • Conversion notes from genreDiversion i/Ghostories/Mean Streets, Bloodshadows Classic/MasterBook, and Pacesetter System™ (Cryptworld™, Majus™, Rotworld™). Use with Active Exploits for Diceless play.
  • PDF background layer can be turned off for faster and cheaper home printing.
This stand-alone game is powered by Precis Intermedia’s critically-acclaimed genreDiversion™ Third Edition Rules, requiring only two 6-sided dice and can be played with or without miniatures.

Note: this includes the same content as the softcover version.

“Solid book… this is a tight, impressive update. Presentation feels very fantasy-noir (and crisp and legible), and comprehensive. This is probably my favorite [genreDiversion] book… The [Ghostories], Mean Streets and Cryptworld adaption notes really broaden the possibilities.”

It’s really, really insane in Big Irish Land, so here’s a quick-and-easy Pick that is all about folks who love the Apocalypse World Engine, or who are interested in what Dungeon World and all the rest of it is about. I’ll let my successor at DriveThruRPG, the excellent Scott Holden, tell you more –

Autumn has arrived, and with it, I hope you’ve found some more time for gaming. Maybe you’ll be fishing less often and the kids don’t need to go to soccer / football / swimming / piano lessons as often now that the summer’s gone and they’re back in school? (Or is that just wishful thinking on my part!?)

In any case, if you’re looking to try out a new game, or just fill out your library, here’s a good opportunity: Now through to the end of the month, get some fabulous bargains onApocalypse World Engine games and accessories, including many Dungeon World titles, all 15% to 40% off!

If you’ve been thinking about trying out a more narrative style of tabletop gaming, with a bit less dice rolling and a bit more storytelling, then now’s a great time to check it out.

Carinn Seabolt and I have teamed up with the awesome Ed Doolittle to raise all we can for The Mighty T’s battle with leukemia. This is all part of the Gamer’s Giving Thanksgaming Fundraiser Event, October 8th-9th. All proceeds go to the Burgess family to deal with the immense expenses they’ve taken on in helping their wonderful 7-year old daughter fight this horrible disease.

Ed and Carinn have already offered up their locks to the razor, and the challenges are met. Now it seems that I may have to do the same. Only I will take it one step further and offer up my mighty beard, as well! Stay tuned for more on that!

This is the fundraising page of Ed Doolittle, Sean Patrick Fannon, and Carinn Seabolt; We have joined forces because we believe in the power and responsibility of each community to come together and support their own. Read on to learn about the cause we are supporting:


For years Gamers Giving has been a force for good in our Colorado community by fundraising for local charitable causes. As gamers we often take on the mantle of heroes saving those in need and bringing peace to the land. Now is our chance to play that role in real life by helping out one of our own.  You too can wear the cape and help bring peace to the Burgess family.

In June 2016, friend and fellow gamer, Jake, found out that his youngest daughter Taylor has type-ALL Leukemia. Taylor, now age 7, is in the fight of her young life and her whole family is right there with her, for every needle stick, spinal tap, chemo treatment, doctor appointment, and on and on and on. The good news is that there have been vast improvements in Leukemia treatment over the last few decades, the bad news is that cancer sucks and turns life for the whole family into barely controlled chaos.

With an ongoing disease like cancer you never know when a good day might turn into a trip to the doctor, or a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment might turn into a multi-day stay at the hospital. That means that not only is there a huge cost for treatment, but also unexpected absences from work means that the family’s income is being impacted. Taylor’s Dad is firefighter, and her Mom is a teacher at a local school.  Everyday for years they’ve been giving to our community, now it is time to help them out in their time of need!

Gamers Giving is hosting a 24 hour gaming marathon on Oct 8-9, 2016 at Total Escape Games in Broomfield, CO. In addition to gaming with some of Colorado’s most well known and loved GMs, there will be a silent auction full of cool and unique items as well as special benefits for top fundraisers! If you are interested in playing you can pre-register for your seats at

Please join the team by creating your own fundraising page or making a donation, and spreading the word to your friends and family! C’mon, do it for the Mighty T!

Another blast from the past, spurred on by the big sale (25% off) Troll Lord Games is having for the entire line, I wanted to point out the very cool, inspired idea of Victorian age clock-and-steam superheroes. Gaming offers such spectacular opportunities to explore genre mashups in ways no other media does.

Gaslight street lamps pour fitful illumination through the fog-shrouded streets of Victorian cities. Menacing figures lurk in darkened alleyways. Desperate men with nothing to lose and the determination to take what they can from others plot.

This is an RPG where masked vigilantes pit their fantastic powers against all the evil that settled in the darkened streets of a Victorian past that both was and was not!

Victorious, the newest core game powered by Troll Lord Games’ celebrated SIEGE engine, allows you to create a wild assortment of heroes, from the wickedly smart to the inhumanly powerful! Victorious can be scaled to meet adventure with investigators of crime, defenders of society against evil monsters, and even mad scientists foiled by masked superheroes.

• Character classes that run the gamut of Fantastic Victoriana, from Contraptionists to Magicians, to Investigators and Mesmerists and more!

• A system to create your own unique character.

• Details of life in the Victorian era, with emphasis on London and New York City.

• Combat in all its forms, and how the Supernatural can impact both melee and missile combat. Carriage chase rules are provided as well as combat from trains to ships to the air.

• An individualized magic system as well as rules to use the Castles & Crusades magic spells if desired. Conversions of characters from C&C and Victorious to each other’s rules are a

snap and guidelines are given for such.

• An introductory adventure where the death of Dr. Henry Jekyll is investigated and is not what it seems.