Sean’s Picks of the Week (1031-1104)

Trying something new this week, friends. I am posting the actual Picks of the Day over on the ENN News Network, and then doing a weekly roundup of them here on this site. There’s a lot of reasons for it, but the main ones are a larger initial audience for the Picks on their release, which means better revenue potential for me. I’ve never tried to hide that, in addition to sharing what I think is cool stuff for you, I need to make this a working financial proposition for myself, so we’ll see how this goes. As always, thanks for your continuing support and patronage!

Welcome to the first day of Sean’s Pick of the Day premiering here on ENN. Naturally, I went with something that fits the Halloween theme, and it’s a great setting that wonderfully mashes up magic, horror, and noir. This is the Third Edition, featuring Precis Intermedia’s genreDiversion rules. A fun way to have some spooky adventure time at the table this Halloween.

BLOODSHADOWS

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.

“Think Harry Dresden, Cast a Deadly Spell, and The Shadow rolled into one exquisite mix, and you’re playing Bloodshadows…”

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.

Sorry for the late post; I was off donating platelets, getting new glasses, and a handful of other things that needed doing today. I did want to make sure you knew about the latest release for the epic high fantasy setting, Shaintar. It’s one of a huge line of books that will make the life of anyone running or playing fantasy inSavage Worlds a lot easier and more fun. This particular book talks about one of the most well-hated sources of villainy in the setting. Mix one part Cardinal Richelieu, one part Inquisition at its height, and one part Nazi party, and you have the Prelacy of Camon.

SHAINTAR GUIDEBOOK: THE PRELACY OF CAMON

The Prelacy!

The Church of Archanon is in complete control and that’s just how they want it! Any who criticize or complain are punished or made to disappear. They’ve had generations in power and the populace genuinely believes Archanon favors them and is their God. There may be whispered rumors of a time when there was a King who balanced the Church’s excesses, along with the Cavaliers who protected the nobles. Those days are gone and the rulers of the Church like it just fine this way.

In this book, you’ll learn about the Prelacy, how it came to power and why. There’s a great deal of history in this land and Camon has had a remarkable ability to surprise the southern kingdoms each time it has tried to convert the rest of Shaintar to the Church – at swordpoint. The time is coming when it will be Camon who is surprised. Their lie has been hidden for too long.

There’s some new secrets revealed and you’ll learn about the Paladins, each of the Cardinals and the Nobles they rule. We’ve also included a bunch of new gear, edges, powers, and other cool stuff to help you get the feel of Camon within a character or NPC. You’ll also find some new information about the Cavaliers, they may play a significant role in the future of the country.

Our friends in Poland are at it again as GRAmel wades into the “hardboiled supernatural noir” space (some would say side-by-side with Deadlands Noir, Trail of Cthulhu and Bloodshadows) with their latest release, Imago Mortis. Syle and substance come together in a very nice-looking and well-executed package as GRAmel continues to hone its collective craft to a fine edge.

IMAGO MORTIS

Old world’s metropolis are getting wicked, night after night. There is more corruption, more violence, more madness than usual, and the criminals are becoming crueler.

In the meantime, in the corners of reality, someone is starting to see weird things: phantoms, paranormal activities, hauntings…

And a few people think there is a common pattern in that.

Prophecies and investigations point to the same direction, signs and clues are both used to solve cases, Spiritists and Private Eyes are starting to co-operate.

And there is something Inhuman rising from the Underworld…

Imago Mortis is a hardboiled horror Savage Setting, focused on the classic ingredients of noir and crime fiction, mixed with ghastly and paranormal elements.

This is a mix of genres that Savage Worlds handles exceedingly well, especially if you’re keen to have a healthy dose of action with your detective stories.

It would seem Halloween clings to our collective conscious this week, as Pelgrane Press releases the second edition of its game about personal horror and alien terror. This time around, the GUMSHOE system is used to delve into non-Lovecraftian madness – or does it? Cthulhu’s never mentioned, but it’s hard not to see the influence.

FEAR ITSELF 2ND EDITION

The Roleplaying Game of Personal Horror

Fear Itself 2nd Edition plunges ordinary people into a disturbing contemporary world of madness and violence —and inexorably draws them into confrontation with creatures of the Outer Dark, a realm of alien menace. GMs can re-create all the shudders and shocks of the horror genre at their table, whether they use the game’s distinctive mythology or one of their own choosing.

Powered by the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system, Fear Itself 2nd Edition is ideal for one-shot horror games (where few, if any, of the protagonists are expected to survive), or ongoing campaigns in which the characters gradually discover more about the disturbing supernatural reality that hides in the shadows of the ordinary world. Will they learn how to combat the darkness? Or spiral tragically into insanity and death?

This edition features:

Support for multiple different types of play, from bloody one-shots to mini-series and extended investigative campaigns

  • Extensive advice for GMs on designing and running mystery games
  • Revised psychic powers
  • More monsters, plus detailed monster design rules
  • Updated rules that draw from more than ten years of GUMSHOE development and play experience, to deliver the ultimate in personal horror roleplaying.

Fear Itself 2nd Edition also includes three sample scenarios—a one-night adventure, a mini-series, and a full campaign:

  • The Circle: An experimental drug trial goes horribly wrong when one of your fellow participants disappears. Figure out what happened to him, or you’re next.
  • Glass Beach Summer: The storm changed everything. We went home, one by one. And then we started to see them. We saw the monsters. At first, we thought the storm had brought them. It was only later that we learned the truth. The storm changed only us. The monsters were always there.
  • The Dispatchers: No backup. No assistance. Just a voice on the radio in the night, asking you for help. In this campaign, unlikely monster hunters are drawn together by the mysterious signal. Can they survive their missions long enough to save themselves?

For those looking for a solid foundation for their post-medieval, non-fantasy 5th Edition creations, Dias Ex Machina Games has a highly popular and very effective option. The release of this OGL/SRD iteration of their Ultramodern5 product means you’ve got a single toolkit ready-at-hand to start creating your setting and adventure ideas in the latest version of D&D rules.

ULTRAMODERN5 – SRD/OGL

SUPPORTING DEM
Ultramodern5 is presented as an SRD under the OGL to both support 5th Edition and to encourage more alternative games using the system. We are hoping that this SRD will be used in the spirit it is offered.

All new rules presented in this file are considered open content. As there is no artwork, characters, or maps included in this edition, they are not open content. This file is only offered for the purposes of reference, and as such does not include a contents page, an index, artwork, maps, adventures, or setting ideas.

Ultramodern5-SRD/OGL is offered as a “Pay What You Want” if fans wish to support Dias Ex Machina in producing original content. Alternately, you could purchase the official Ultramodern5 book, which does include everything removed from this SRD.

Ultramodern5 is the follow-up of the popular Ultramodern4

The mission of U5 is to present 5th EDITION rules for use in non-fantasy settings. These include pre-modern settings, contemporary settings, and those that are far flung fantastic and futuristic. U5 presents modern and science fiction rules in a game usually reserved for fantasy. There is no established setting in U5.

It presents classes, gear, and scenarios that can be inserted into any campaign.

You may explore the rules in whatever context you wish. Rules are generalized, encouraging homebrew settings and the rebranding of elements.

Create a pure science fiction setting, or insert these rules into your own fantasy world to offer a unique spin.

THIS SOURCEBOOK INCLUDES:

A revised “ladder” system, offering more adjustability with character creation. Modify your class with one of seven ladders.

Revamped rules around being human.

A new lifepath system incorporating backgrounds (with eleven new ones) into an adjustable life history where characters can select every aspect of their character’s history, from family and friends to past love affairs.

Ten new classes including the infiltrator, medic, sniper, and techie.

Twenty-four archetypes

All new weapons including traditional firearms, rocket launchers, and laser rifles

New armor including powered combat suits.

Purchase and modify vehicles

Over forty new monsters including giant robots.

By the way, for those who’ve been wondering – “OGL” means it falls under the Open Gaming License, while “SRD” means it’s a System Reference Document. That means “very technical in presentation, no frills.”

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