Monthly Archives: August 2017

As Uplifting Games Week continues on (in hopes of lifting spirits and elevating us as a community, especially in light of all the troubles we face and the challenges those in Texas and the Gulf area are dealing with), here’s a very heartwarming and uplifting game from my dear friend, Eddy Webb. Originally a loving joke inspired by the lovable Murraypug, it’s become one of the most inspiring and elevating games of recent times.

The epigraph says it all –

Be a good dog. Protect your home. Be loyal to those who are true. These are the words of the Code of Man.”

— Sister Picassa Collie, Shepherd of the Church of Man

Dogs have inherited the world, building the kingdom of Pugmire untold centuries after the Ages of Man are over. These dogs have been uplifted to use tools and language, and they seek to rediscover the ruins of the Old Ones. Some have learned to use the leftover technology of humanity, but they believe it to be magic handed to them by their lost gods. Others seek to create an ideal civilization, using a Code of Man compiled from ancient, fragmentary lore left behind by humanity. The world is dangerous and mysterious, but good dogs will persevere.

Some highlights of Pugmire include:

  • An evocative and mysterious setting that’s both family friendly and deep enough to create compelling stories.
  • A traditional fantasy rules system redesigned for streamlined play and easy creation of heroic dogs, with an emphasis on cooperation and action over competition and violence.
  • A variety of callings and breeds that give access to several fun and interesting tricks.
  • Rival species to interact with, like cats and badgers, along with terrifying and dangerous monsters that roam the landscape.

Will you be a good dog?

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

An all-star cast (Jeremy Crawford, Steve Kenson, Jack Norris, Chris Pramas, John Snead), a beautiful premise, and a fine game engine* makes this a great entry for my Uplifting Games Week. As the Storm Called Harvey comes back in for a second pass across Texas (and I once again point out these exceptional options for you to help folks as you will), I want to focus on games and things that lift us up and bring us hope and light in a dark time. Everything about Blue Rose is about exactly that.

(*) – Matt Nattress kindly ran an AGE game for me at Gen Con and I discovered just how elegant and wonderful it is. There’s a couple of tweaks I’d make, but it is a good system.

A decade ago Blue Rose shook up the RPG scene with its vision of romantic fantasy and inclusive gaming. Now the world of Aldea returns in a new edition using the Adventure Game Engine (AGE), the popular rules that power the Fantasy AGE and Dragon Age RPGs. This beautiful, full-color book contains everything needed to create and tell stories of heroic envoys of the Sovereign’s Finest as they protect their homeland of Aldis from threats like the shadowy Kingdom of Kern and the fanatical Theocracy of Jarzon, as well as monsters and artifacts from the cruel reign of the Sorcerer Kings. Aided by the rhydan—their psychic animal allies—the champions of the Kingdom of the Blue Rose safeguard the light of the world against the power of Shadow.

Will you answer the Sovereign’s call?

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

With the disaster befalling much of Texas and the Gulf Coast, I am declaring the rest of this week Uplifting Games Week. Let us look at the games and material that urges us to greatness and just being better heroes.

Yes, this is a recent Pick, but I cannot think of a more uplifting setting than Star Trek, and we need the light of Roddenberry’s vision for our future more than ever.

Welcome to your new assignment, Captain. Your continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before…

Star Trek Adventures takes you to the Final Frontier of the Galaxy, where new discoveries await keen explorers of Starfleet. Your duties may take you to the edges of known space, or to Federation colonies in need, to the borders of neighbouring galactic powers or into the eye of interstellar phenomena. Your ship and your crew epitomise the best Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets has to offer, and you are needed more than ever.

A new threat looms from across the Gamma Quadrant, as it is confirmed by Commander Sisko and his crew that the Dominion, led by the Founders, represent a significant threat to the Alpha Quadrant. Tension is already high in the region of Bajor and Deep Space 9, as the Maquis continue to act against the Cardassian-Federation peace treaty, with Captain Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager preparing for their mission in the Badlands. It is a volatile time for the Federation and new crews have never been in higher demand.

• Create your own Star Trek stories of discovery and adventure on the Final Frontier with 368 pages of content. Full colour PDF. 

• Complete 2d20 game system from Modiphius Entertainment adapted for Star Trek Adventures, used in Mutant Chronicles, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, John Carter of Mars and the Infinity RPG.

• An extensive exploration of the United Federation of Planets and its galactic neighbours in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma Quadrants.

• Guidelines for Gamemasters old and new, on how to run an adventure of exploration and discovery for the crew of a Federation starship.

• A full catalogue of aliens and antagonists including Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, the Borg and the Dominion.

• Brought to you by a team of expert Star Trek writers including writers from previous editions of Star Trek roleplaying games and other gaming talent.

• Personal logs and intercepted communications by Starfleet Intelligence provide a new perspective on Star Trek and its events. 

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today, in the wake of the terrible disaster that struck Texas and the Gulf Coast and continues to plague the citizens of Houston and many surrounding communities, I want to point out options for folks to contribute to aid and relief efforts.

Some helpful links, both on DriveThruRPG and elsewhere:

Feeding America

The American Red Cross*

Family Business Beer Company & Random Acts Special Relief Fund (the Supernatural folks are involved with this).

Disaster Relief List compiled by KTLA 5 (news station out of Los Angeles).

Disaster Relief List compiled by Vox.com.

(*) – Yes, I know some folks have issues with them. Today is not the day to get into it, OK? There are lots of other options listed here, so go with what you prefer.

– Sean

Rogue Genius Games is the House that Owen Built, so we’re going back there to close out Owen K.C. Stephens Week. The Genius Guide series covers every square inch of territory related to expanding your gaming experience with Pathfinder. Along with The Genius Guide to More Ranger Talents, the following marks one of Owen’s most popular offerings in this series.

With the popular and proven edge and talent system that has already been applied to many other classes in the Talented Class line of books from Rogue Genius Games, we’ve built a new talented ranger class that can take a wide range of specialties from favored enemies and terrain to bonding to a weapon, gaining a pack of animal companions, and even becoming an ally of magic itself. While these most certainly include a number of things that could be considered forms of woodsman, they also allow for rangers as prowlers of big cities, warriors with a touch of arcane magic, and supernatural hunters who expose the secrets of the demons they hunt.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

As we’ve been rolling through Owen K.C. Stephens Week here at the Pick, I’ve noticed a lot of folks comment that they own more books featuring his work than that of any other writer or designer in RPGs. It’s impressive as hell, but not hard to believe – if there’s a more prolific creator in RPGs, I don’t know who it is.

Take this Pick for example – from Legendary Games, a book dedicated to taking your Pathfinder games from heroic to legendary to absolutely mythic, and there’s no way they would have tried such a thing without Owen being on board. There’s also a lot of other amazing creators, which is also no surprise; Owen is a master collaborator, among his many talents.

Heroes Ready to Make History!

The Mythic Hero’s Handbook brings you an incredible array of expansions for the mythic rules for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! You’ll find exciting and innovative ideas for existing rules alongside a wealth of all-new material from the authors that know mythic like nobody else. You’ll find options galore to suit any character build and inspiration for new heroic directions to take on your path to immortality, whether your character is a holy hierophant or treacherous trickster, an indomitable champion or inventive genius, a steadfast guardian of others or a steely-eyed stranger ready to launch a roaring rampage of revenge!
These rules elements can be incorporated into a traditional Pathfinder campaign as well as one using the full mythic rules! While this book is an encyclopedic expansion to the mythic rules, many elements are easily slipped into a standard campaign in the form of lost lore, secret mysteries, and the training techniques of revered and ancient masters. The lost relics of an ancient civilization or the peculiar traditions of distant empires can all be modeled with the mythic rules. Even better, since the mythic rules function like a template overlaid upon a standard character, mythic power can easily be given through divine blessing, mysterious ritual, or the hand of destiny, and then withdrawn after the climactic crisis has passed.

The Mythic Hero’s Handbook includes:

– Over 120 new path abilities for the archmage, champion, guardian, hierophant, and trickster mythic paths and universal path abilities for every mythic character!

– Four brand-new mythic paths – the geniusliving saint, overmind, and the vengeful stranger – with over 150 path abilities exclusively for them!

– Mythic class features for over 30 character classes for levels 1 to 20, including every core and base class in the core rules plus 11 more classes from Kobold Press and Rogue Genius Games like the battle scion, dragonrider, time thief, and white necromancer!

– Over 1000 mythic feats, including mythic versions of every feat in the core rules, plus hundreds more from official companion products and the official campaign setting and more!

– An entire chapter devoted to mythic psionics by the experts at Dreamscarred Press, including a new mythic path and 60 psionic path abilities, plus dozens of mythic psionic feats and over 100 mythic psionic powers!

– Over 30 mythic magic items from the blade-eating battleaxe to the midnight beacon, along with expanded rules for legendary items

– A comprehensive mythic skills system, alongside rules for mythic curses and traps, replacing magic items with inherent abilities, and an extensive discussion of the unique challenges of mythic play!

– Extensive hyperlinked referencing for ease of reference in the PDF version.

– and much Much MUCH MORE!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Owen K.C. Stephens Week continues with a Pick that goes to a different place and time (so to speak). Owen is perhaps the leading expert (certainly in the top five) on wrapping Pathfinder rules around just about anything; this is what made him the perfect choice for leading the Starfinder design.

Here, he tackles pulp-style derring-do for Pathfinder fans.

Prepare for Pulp Adventure!

Want two-fisted action? Dapper heroes with ESP, strong-jawed adventurers who run in, guns blazing, and sophisticated great detectives? Love the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but you’re looking for pulp adventure stories from the late 1700s to the 1940s? Then you want Anachronistic Adventures!

This pulp genre toolbox works seamlessly with the existing Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules, and presents:

  • Six new 20-level classes (Cogitator, Daredevil, Enforcer, Luminary, Sensitive, and Tough) representing iconic pulp heroes concepts!
  • More than a score of archetypes that let you fine tune unique modern age characters!
  • Rules for modern firearms, heroes without armor, low-magic campaigns, and everything else you need to run anachronistic adventures or create your own anachronistic campaign!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

A second Pick to make up for missing yesterday.

Being Owen K.C. Stephens Week here at the SPOD, let’s go with this gem from Green Ronin, featuring a cast of all-stars including Owen. Bringing the ever-popular pirate city of Freeport to the Pathfinder fans was a great idea, and this one gives them all the monsters and bad guys they need to endless adventures and swashbuckling action there.

The world of Freeport is a perilous one, as any swab can attest. Sailors face monsters like ocean wyrms and sail dragons, explorers must deal with ghost eaters and harpoon crabs, and city dwellers may be surprised by burnlings and flayed men. You’ll find all these creatures and many more in the Freeport Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

This 180-page full color sourcebook includes a wide variety of threats, from classic Freeport adversaries like serpentmen and fire spectres to new monsters like corsair drakes and witch beasts. It’s the perfect complement to Freeport: The City of Adventure and can be used to add spice to any Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Sorry I missed yesterday. I arrived home in the wee hours from Gen Con, totally wiped out. Here’s my makeup pick for Monday.

In honor of the unbelievable 6-hour sell-out of Paizo’s Starfinder core book on Thursday of the convention, I am dedicating this week to my good friend, Owen K.C. Stephens, one of the key architects behind this huge hit. Owen is good people, and I will always be grateful to him for helping me through a dark moment at this year’s show, and for just being a tremendous human being. In honor of him, this will be Owen K.C. Stephens Week here at the SPOD!

Starfarer’s Companion is the perfectly-timed release from Owen’s Rogue Genius Games in conjunction with Starfinder – a set of expanded options for that game from the house that has the official license to craft them!

A Companion to Adventure Across the Stars!

An expansion to the Starfinder Core Rulebook, adding both classic character concepts and brand new options to expand the variety in your fantastic galaxy!

  • Races – Aasimar, Catfolk, Deoxyians, Dhampirs, Grippli, Ifrit, Kitsune, Kobolds, Mechanoi, Nagaji, Oreads, Samsarans, Suli, Sylphs, Tengu, Tieflings, Undine, Vanaras, Vishkanya, and Wayangs!
  • Classes – Updated versions of the Bard, Cleric, Magus, Paladin, Ranger, and Wizard!
  • Companions – Paladins and rangers have lots of cool companion options.
  • Feats – Support feats for the new class options, plus fun possibilities for characters of any race or class!
  • Computers – New modules and upgrades, plus tons of pregenerated computers to save GMs and players both considerable effort!
  • Starships – More options, and lots of pregenerated Starships to drool over!
  • Spells – 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells, plus lots of old favorites brought into the Starfaring Age!

And More! All ready for any campaign, but including the flavor needed to integrate smoothly with RGG’s Blood Space setting, the background flavor in the Starfarer’s Companion can be a stand-alone adventure ground, or just Another Place in the Galaxy of Your Games.

The Starfarer Companion is written by Alex Augunas and Matt Morris, with the assistance of Matt Banach and Owen K.C. Stephens.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Amidst the chaos and clamor of Gen Con 50 – where I am wandering the halls or rolling some dice as you read this – I am closing out my Super Games Week with a fantastic gem created by my dear friend and partner-in-crime, Leonard Pimentel. This is the first edition of his Prowlers & Paragons superhero game system, and it’s absolutely brilliant in its design and execution. He and I are even now preparing to release the Ultimate Edition, which will take this from a really fun superhero game to what I believe will become “the next Champions.”

Take a look, enjoy the simplicity and the excellent player-narrative elements mixed with elegant straightforward mechanics, and watch for the next iteration to absolutely knock your socks off!

(Then again, if you’d rather not wait and want to see it “in progress,” come check out my Patreon…)

Prowlers & Paragons (or P&P) is a tabletop roleplaying game with a narration-driven, rules-light system designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. Let’s break that down so you can see what you’re getting yourself into.

P&P is a tabletop roleplaying game. We’re going to assume you’ve got this one covered.

P&P is a narration-driven system. The rules in this game are not effects driven. For the most part, they don’t tell you what happens. Instead, they tell you who gets to describe what happens. And that’s what it’s all about in P&P: describing what happens. Both the players and the gamemaster (GM) take turns narrating events in the game world. This makes P&P feel more like an exercise in collaborative storytelling than a typical roleplaying game. However, P&P isn’t totally freeform and open-ended either. There are rules that help determine what characters can do and how they compare to one another, especially in combat! This prevents the game from devolving into a never-ending debate about what is and isn’t reasonable.

P&P is rules light. It’s chock full of gross oversimplifications and blatant inaccuracies that mimic comic book tropes rather than real-world facts. This also makes P&P a simple game with a streamlined set of rules. Once you know what you’re doing, you should be able to play without ever opening the book.

Finally, P&P is designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. This game is about the heroic things the characters do and the heroic burdens they shoulder. Mundane matters get little attention. There aren’t any detailed rules for dealing with money and wealth, but there most definitely is a rule for smashing into a bank vault. Let’s be perfectly clear: This is not a deep and cerebral game. P&P was designed to let you play stories about super heroes who save the world and beat the snot out of villains who richly deserve it. Like so much of the genre, P&P is a gleefully unapologetic exercise in heroic wish fulfillment.

Core Rules!

The core rules are finally here! 

Included here are 2 versions of the game, one in full beautiful color and one with crisp, black-and-white line art so that your printer won’t break up with you for printing it out. Both are 142 pages long and include:

Chapter 1: Introduction:  Um … it’s an introduction.  What did you expect?

Chapter 2: Action: This chapter include most of the rules you need to play the game, including rules for narrative task resolution and comic book slugfests!

Chapter 3: Characters: Here is where you learn how to make heroes!  We have full character creation rules that allow you to create street level prowlers, cosmic paragons, and everything in between.

Chapter 4: Heroism: This chapter explains the use of Resolve and Adversity, the narrative currency that players and gamemasters use to bend the rules of the game and even the game world itself in their favor.

Chapter 5: Wonderful Toys: You like gear?  Then this is the chapter for you.  This chapter includes weapons, armor, miscellaneous equipment, vehicles (and yes, vehicle combat rules), and even rules for creating your own makeshift items on the fly in the middle of a story.  What could possibly go wrong?

Chapter 6: Big Bad World: It’s a big world full of bad stuff that give heroes headaches.  Disasters, Diseases, Hazards … ther’re all in here.

Chapter 7: Friends & Foes: A veritable rogues gallery at your disposal. A host of mundane (and not so mundane) npcs, from Athletes to Zombies, a large number of animals from Bats to Zebras (yes, of course there are dinosaurs in there), and a collection of archetypal supers from the Acrobat to the Weather Controller that you can used as villains, or even as heroes if you’re in a rush.

Chapter 8: Playing the Game: This chapter provides both players and gamemasters (but mostly gamemasters) with tools, tips, and tricks for running the best super hero roleplaying game they can run.  We give you our thoughts about playing and running roleplaying games while desperately trying not to sound patronizing.

Chapter 9: From the Ashes: A light-hearted (and rather forgiving) introductory adventurefor a group of heroes of standard power level.

The world needs heroes.

Take a Stand!  Join the Fight!

BE A HERO!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!