Monthly Archives: December 2017

OK, I just fell completely in love with this the moment I saw it. My Belovedest, Carinn, is a huge fan of “decks of cards that help me run a game” products, and I suspect this will fit the bill nicely for anyone like her who runs fantasy (or, you know, anything). Completely system-less cards of folks you can encounter, with roleplaying hooks and cues, as well as gorgeous portraits for an instant “this is what they look like” moment. I’d love to see more of these for all kinds of settings.

50 unique NPC cards

Each card has a vivid portrait on one side to show your players and fire their imagination.

The other side contains information to bring the character to life as well as plot hooks to kick-start amazing and unexpected  adventures. 

The deck uses a simple ‘fan’ system that lets you make random draws based on the character’s Race, Job, Gender, or Morality.

Made to enhance your gaming experience, adding richness and variety, whilst reducing your workload.
 
Usable with any fantasy role-playing system.

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!

Many who know me know there are certain kinds of games and settings that just aren’t my cup of tea. Extremely low magic, grim-and-gritty fantasy settings fall firmly into that space, but doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate excellent work when I see it. At the same time, I know there are lots of you who love that kind of thing, and Midlands fits that bill to a “T.”

Though it’s designed around Low Fantasy Gaming’s d20-driven house system, the entire book is intended fully to work as a setting-first product that can be used for any game you might be running. This makes it a fine addition to Rules Don’t Matter Week.

THE MIDLANDS

The Midlands PDF is 365 pages of low magic, low prep, customisable sandbox, in a “points of light” medieval fantasy realm. The setting is written for the Low Fantasy Gaming RPG system (free PDF at the LFG site), a d20 variant under the OGL, but is easily adapted to any fantasy RPG.

The Midlands is half setting, half DIY toolkit (per the Contents in the preview); filled with tables and tools to assist the GM to run an improvised sandbox, including fifty Adventure Frameworks to sprinkle around the region (mini adventures with enough meat to kickstart an adventure, but enough flexibility to expand/adapt to player choices).

The Midlands’ main themes include:

Grim Cities

Humanity shelters behind six isolated, walled cities, struggling for opportunity.

Deadly Outlands

One hundred leagues of trackless wilderness, plagued by skorn, thuels, & monstrous beasts.

Dangerous Magic

Sorcery was not meant for mortals; magic is rare, dark, & inherently dangerous.

Silent Gods

Deities are ineffably distant; offering no miracles, nor intervening in the world in any obvious way.

Ancient Mysteries

Despite the dangers, the wilds beckon with crumbling ruins, lost treasures, & forgotten secrets.

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!

Here we are on Wednesday of Rules Don’t Matter Week, and I get to make a callback to one of the most influential books Palladium Books ever published. The Compendium of Weapons, Armour & Castles became one of the must-have for any game master or designer to keep within easy reach. Thoroughly researched and impressively illustrated, every kind of weapon, form of personal protection, and style of castle or fortress you could hope to see is in this thing. While everything is presented in Palladium System stats, there’s gob-tons of information to make this an invaluable resource to use for any game you want to run… or design.

This huge collection contains over 700 different weapons, each and every one illustrated, over 40 types of armour, and several dozen real castles and floor plans. This is not simply a reprint of the material found in Palladium’s Weapons & Armour, Weapons & Castles, European Castles, and Exotic Weapons. It is a much improved edition with tons of fabulous new art by Kevin Long. Much of the artwork is new, often presented as detailed, full page depictions and clearly annotated, with close-ups and cutaways. The weapons and armour sections are especially enlarged with a wealth of information, many new weapons and new armour.

The Compendium of Weapons, Armour & Castles is unique in all of adventure gaming, because it is a sourcebook which is compatible with the Palladium Megaverse and ALL other game systems! All the items are real, thoroughly researched, and historically accurate.

Highlights Include:

  • Complete compatibility with ALL other game systems.
  • Over 700 different ancient weapons.
  • Over 45 types of armour with a look at the many different style variations.
  • Siege weapons and techniques.
  • Castle illustrations, histories and floor plans.
  • 224 pages.

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!

Ennead Games is one of those companies I’ve come to rely on whenever I need quick, easy, utterly useful lists of things or other GM-aid or player-assisting bits and bobs to make whatever game I’m running better. They are one of the definitive sources for system-agnostic support material, making them a perfect choice for Rules Don’t Matter Week.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this very week, they’ve launched a bundle that (as far as I can tell) contains everything they’ve ever published. It’s valued at – brace yourself – $445.53!!! Due to a major crisis for their team (computer failure, massive need to recover), they are selling this bundle until Dec. 25th for $35.49!

(What follows is only a small fraction of the total offerings in this crazy bundle!)

100 Adventure Names – Watermarked PDF
100 African-sounding names – Watermarked PDF
100 Amusing Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Amusing Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Angel Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Arabic Sounding Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Armenian Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Armenian Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Aztec Sounding names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Aztec Sounding names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Belgium Flemish – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Belgium Flemish Names – Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Chaos Effects – Watermarked PDF
100 Chinese Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Chinese Names – Male – Watermarked PDF

100 French Sounding Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 French Sounding Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Germanic Sounding Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Germanic Sounding Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Germanic Sounding Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Greek Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Greek Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Halfling Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Halfling Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Hawaiian Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Hawaiian Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Herb Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Hobbies – Modern – Watermarked PDF
100 Hungarian Sounding Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Hungarian Sounding Names – Male – Watermarked PDF

100 Ship Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Spanish Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Spanish Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Starship Weapons – Watermarked PDF
100 Sumerian Sounding Names – Watermarked PDF
100 Swedish Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Swedish Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Tinker Gnome Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Tinker Gnome Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
100 Welsh Names – Female – Watermarked PDF
100 Welsh Names – Male – Watermarked PDF
1000 Chaos Effects – Watermarked PDF
1000 Planet & Star Names – Watermarked PDF
1000 Street & Road Names – Watermarked PDF

Campaign Chunk – Volume 1 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 10 – Mysteries – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 11 – Locations – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 12 – Creatures – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 13 Flora – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 2 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 3 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 4 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 5 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 6 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 7 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 8 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunk – Volume 9 – Watermarked PDF
Campaign Chunks Compilation – Watermarked PDF
Character Connections – Watermarked PDF
Corporate Babble Generator – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 1 – Zombies – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 2 – Vampires – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 3 – Witches – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 4 – Lich – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 5 – Goblin – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 6 – Golem – Watermarked PDF
Creature Description Generator Volume 7 – Dwarf – Watermarked PDF

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!

Welcome to Rules Don’t Matter Week at the SPOD. While I don’t strictly adhere to that philosophy (for me, the rules are the language by which we communicate with the game and each other, and poor communication = poor gaming experience), in this case, the theme refers to Picks that have no rules associated with them. These are products that are designed specifically to grant GMs and players all kinds of useful and creative ideas to drop into any game you’re playing.

The Vara Chronicles is the latest release from Tricky Troll Games, described by author Nathan Carmen as “another systemless setting, this time inspired by fairy tales and folklore. A lot of these sort of settings tend to be gritty and dark like the Brother’s Grimm but we strove for something in between that and the modern fairy tales seen today. There’s a greater emphasis on brave heroes and daring adventures than there is on grit.” Sounds great to me!

A world of adventure awaits!

Long ago an enchanted mirror was shattered, unleashing its power upon the realm of Vara. The inhabitants now face monstrous creatures who represent the darkest parts of men’s souls. Only the Knights of Valor stand between the people and these wretched beasts, and only time will tell if good prevails!

The Vara Chronicles is a sytemless setting inspired by old fairy tales and folklore from a time when villains were despicable creatures, and heroes were true beacons of hope. Inside you’ll find…

14 Locations each with key features.

4 Types of human cultures in the form of City, Farm, Mountain, and Forest Folk.

11 Character Archetypes to spark the player’s imagination.

An Adventure and Village Generator.

A Bestiary containing 30 vile villains and creatures.

And 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!

We close out Cops & Robbers Week with a great Pathfinder support product from Adamant Entertainment crafted to help you design criminal organizations for your fantasy campaign world. It includes five fully-fleshed groups to drop right into the setting – to either lure your PCs into criminal activity or plague them with insidious antagonists.

Adamant Entertainment, the first Pathfinder support publisher, presents a system for creating criminal organizations in Pathfinder, as well as five sample organizations ready for use in any campaign.

From Original Sin to The Oldest Profession, people have been ignoring the moral constraints placed upon them since there have been people. For some it’s a conscious choice to display their freedom and individuality, while for others it springs from a moment of passion; still for others, it’s simply a means of survival. Some make flaunting the rules a habit and become very, very good at it, whether it’s murder, theft, blackmail, or providing banned substances. Even primitive cultures can deal with individuals like this, often resorting to shunning or banishing the offenders. But as societies become more complex and sophisticated, so do the criminals, many of whom see banding together as the best way to ensure their long-term survival.

Criminal organizations in a fantasy world can be especially tricky. Not only do they have access to spells and devices to aid them in disguise, stealth, and escape, but some are also able to call upon deadly magics and truly powerful otherworldly beings. 

The Five Families presents a system for creating criminal organizations in a way that they can be treated just like a character — with ability scores, skills, feats, and hit points — ranging in scope from a back-alley gang found in a single city, to a secret society spanning the entire world.

In addition, five sample organizations are presented:

  • The House of Nath:  A crime family that controls all criminal activity within the capital city, and has outposts in most of the major towns in the kingdom.  Woe to the outsider rogue who starts thieving without the House’s blessing…
  • The Carnival of the Air:  A magical troupe of confidence tricksters and swindlers who operate out of a travelling carnival run by the mysterious Lord of Misrule.
  • The Daughters of Repose: A devout sisterhood, devoted servants of the Goddess of Fate and Death, for whom assassination is the ultimate act of religious duty.
  • The Minders: A cabal of scholars and agents who gather intelligence on behalf of those who can pay, or to extort money from wealthy victims.
  • The Skrinn: When the city was built on top of the warrens of the ratfolk, they stayed — and now offer their own particular brand of alchemy to the citizens of the surface world, trading in poisons and illicit drugs.

Each sample organization is detailed with fully-statted example personnel and NPCs, magic items, strongholds and adventure seeds. 

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!

The last couple of Picks for Cops & Robbers Week were pretty focused on the law-and-order side of things, so today we take a look at a game that is entirely about being the Robbers… and Thieves, Assassins, Cutpurses, etc…. Blades in the Dark is a multi-award-winning and critically-acclaimed game that really drills down into concepts and game play elements specifically oriented on putting a crew together and playing out schemes and capers while struggling to survive against rival operations.

Blades in the Dark is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. There are heists, chases, occult mysteries, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, and, above all, riches to be had — if you’re bold enough to seize them.

You and your fledgling crew must thrive amidst the threats of rival gangs, powerful noble families, vengeful ghosts, the Bluecoats of the city watch, and the siren song of your scoundrel’s own vices. Will you rise to power in the criminal underworld? What are you willing to do to get to the top?

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

  • Rules to create your scoundrel using the following character archetypes: the Cutter, the Hound, the Leech, the Lurk, the Slide, the Spider, or the Whisper.
  • Rules to create your crew, built from types like AssassinsBravos, a CultHawkersShadows, or Smugglers.
  • A robust core mechanic which puts the fiction first—the strength of a character’s position (desperate, risky, or controlled) matters just as much as the character’s ability scores.
  • A lightning-fast mechanic for planning criminal operations to cut through the usual slog of planning at the game table.
  • Rules for alchemical experiments, gadget tinkering, and weird occult powers—including rules for playing Ghosts and other strange beings.
  • A setting guide to the haunted city of Doskvol, with all the maps, factions, NPCs, schemes, and opportunities you need to run an exciting sandbox game.

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!

Here we are in the middle of Cops & Robbers Week with another excellent look at being a police officer in extraordinary circumstances. Featuring the investigation-oriented GUMSHOE system, Mutant City Blues puts the players in the roles of cops attached to a special unit that deals with criminals who have extraordinary powers. It’s crime-solving and takedowns in a world turned just a bit upside-down.

This one is highly-rated and well-respected:

“I loved the way that this linked in with the esoterrorist system. The quade diagram and the ability to create great drama with the system WITHOUT depending on the players getting the clues…..just asking the right questions. When I set it in Detroit with all the google earth maps the setting seemed to really materialize for my players and what they were doing. Great system!”

Steve Kyer, RPGNow.com 5/5 Stars.

“This game was my first exposure to the GUMSHOE system and it made me fall in love with it! This game is extremely fun. I really love how all the mutant powers are related to each other on a diagram, giving more plausibility to super-powers and how they would develop. The world is rich and full of color and interesting ideas. I highly recommend this game.”

Devon Kelley, RPGNow.com Featured Reviewer 5/5 Stars.

A stand-alone GUMSHOE game of contemporary super powers

Ten years ago, 1% of the population gained mutant powers.

1% of the citizens means 1% of the criminals!

…and you’re the cops who clean up the mess.

EVER SINCE the Sudden Mutation Event, people have been able to fly. Phase through walls. Read minds. Shoot bolts of energy from their fingertips. Walk into dreams.

Police work will never be the same.

AS MEMBERS OF the elite Heightened Crime Investigation Unit, you and your fellow detectives solve crimes involving the city’s mutant community. When a mutant power is used to kill, you catch the case. When it’s a mutant victim in the chalk outline, you get the call. And when it comes time for a fight, you deploy your own extraordinary abilities to even the odds.

WITH NEW HUMAN CAPACITY has come new science. Your squad brings forensic science to bear on the solution of mutant crimes. Need to know if a suspect is the victim of mind control or dream observation? Perform an EMAT protocol to detect the telltale signs of external influence. Was your victim killed by a light blast? Use Energy Residue Analysis to match the unique wound pattern to the murderer, as surely as ballistic science links a bullet to a gun.

Does your crime scene yield trace evidence of two separate powers? Use your trusty copy of the Quade Diagram, the infallible map of genetic relationships between mutant powers, to tell if one suspect could have used both—or if you have two perps on your hands.

IF CHASES, INTERROGATIONS and mutant battles weren’t enough to handle, you also serve as a bridge between the authorities and your mutant brethren. To successfully close cases, you must navigate the difficult new politics of post-mutation society, and deal with your own personal issues and mutation-caused defects.

MUTANT CITY BLUES runs on GUMSHOE, the acclaimed investigative rules set powering the hit new game Trail Of Cthulhu. GUMSHOE offers a simple yet revolutionary method for writing, running and playing mystery scenarios. It ensures fast-flowing play, always giving you the informational puzzle pieces you need to propel your latest case toward its exciting final revelations.

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!

We continue to explore matters of crime and punishment with Cops & Robbers Week, today focusing on Melior Via‘s Thin Blue Line for Savage Worlds. Lovingly crafted by a man from the very streets he writes about, this setting deals with modern day supernatural horror and the realities of being a police officer in the oldest neighborhood of a Rust Belt iconic city.

“Watch your step rookie, or you’ll end up in Corktown.”

Calamity brews in Detroit. Paranormal activity is on the rise. An angry spirit, a dangerous creature, or a pack of desperate cultists hides under every sewer cover and within every abandoned building. The officers of Corktown Precinct are the only thing standing between the city and paranormal onslaught. Corktown has a secret, though. Its crew of supposed washouts are either psychics or have encountered the paranormal. These damaged, over-worked, and under-paid officers must keep paranormal activity in Detroit under wraps and out of sight. No mean feat in a city as old, large, and haunted as Detroit.

Corktown officers face constant threats from mundane crime, paranormal forces, as well as their inner demons and growing madness. Do they have what it takes? Can they stand against the growing threats, or will they be consumed, along with the city they guard?

The Thin Blue Line is a modern horror setting that requires the Savage Worlds Core Rulebook and the Savage Worlds Horror Companion for use.

This is the full setting for The Thin Blue Line – A Detroit Police Story. It includes detailed information on the setting’s NPCs, paranormal creatures, adventures and an adventure generator, and cursed items.

Buyers also receive PDF character sheets in Printer Friendly and Full color versions. These include standard and form-fillable variants.

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 recent release of CAPERS (Preview Edition), I am calling this Cops & Robbers Week at the SPOD – a week dedicated to playing either criminals or those who track them down and bring them to justice.

CAPERS is all about playing gangsters during the 1920s… but with superpowers! Then again, the coppers have `em, too!

NOTE – This is a preview edition meant to give you a taste of what’s coming via Kickstarter, and to give some feedback for the design. It’s a full game experience, though.

CAPERS is a superpowered RPG of 1920s gangsters. Players portray gangsters and bootleggers looking to make thieir fortunes in a wolrd of illegal alchohol, gambling, prostitution, and racketeering.

And you have superpowers. But so do the cops and feds.

This preview edition of the CAPERS game gives you everything you need to give the game a whirl. Full rules, some setting info, a smattering of powers, an introductory adventure, and some pre-generated characters. This version features simple layout and b/w artwork. The final version of the game will be much fancier and 150+ pages of full color super-powered gangster fun.

NerdBurger Games will be Kickstarting CAPERS on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 to fund final artwork, layout, and a few other things. So stay tuned!

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!