Monthly Archives: June 2018

Arguably the best thing Scott ever created, Gestalt: The Hero Within is a super-powered universe with a very powerful and defining premise you’ve likely not seen expressed quite so well in any other setting. I had the pleasure of playing in this setting with Scott and a bunch of other great folks back when I lived in L.A. in the 90s (you’ll see a reference to Special Agent Arthur Cromwell AKA Paladin in the book; that was me), and while I admit to being a bit thrown by the premise at first, it didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with it and realize just how brilliant a creator and storyteller Scott is. In the Gestalt universe, you’re not just playing people with mythic and legendary abilities – you are literally playing myths and legends, either as a human that connects to the concept or as the concept made manifest spontaneously. Either way, your powers derive from the collective consciousness of the planet’s sapient species.

The heart and soul of Scott’s creativity lives in this world, making it a perfect capstone to Scott Bennie Week. The Mutants & Masterminds version is featured, but there is also the original Champions/Hero System version.

Where Men Become Myth – and Myths Become Men

“Gestalt” is Scott Bennie’s unique world of superhuman archetypes. Superhero comic books contain worlds of Archetypes, individuals who represent important symbols. They are populated by characters who represent concepts such as Heroism, Strength, Speed, Cleverness, The Elements, Kindness, Cruelty, and Ambition. All fiction deals in archetypes or symbols, but comic books apply them more consciously than most fictional forms.

The Gestalt campaign takes the idea of “character as Archetype” one step further. In this campaign world, Gestalt-Earth, the characters are the symbols. A physically powerful superhero might not just be a strong guy – he could be an embodiment of Strength. A Gestalt martial arts master isn’t just a superb fighter – he’s also a human representation of his chosen art. The master lives its philosophy at all times, getting into situations where he demonstrates his art and its virtues, championing those who follow the art, and using the art to advance his or her personal fortunes.

While characters in the Gestalt-Earth setting look and act like superheroes, in many ways they fulfill the role of mythological gods, becoming the champion of concepts and portfolios.

“Gestalt: The Hero Within” uses M&M Second Edition.

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

For most fans of his work, Scott Bennie Week cannot be celebrated without a major nod to his work on Championsespecially the 4th Edition era. One of his most standout books is Viper, a complete presentation of the most impactful super-criminal organization in the entire setting. Not only does he do a brilliant job detailing and designing the various elements, he gives us all a book that serves as a blueprint for how to run a massive organization with world-domination in mind and incredible tech with which to achieve it.

Viper is the complete sourcebook for the most powerful villainous organization in the Champions Universe. Only the Viper source-book give you background on everything necessary to the exhaustive history of Viper. Also including new agent types, new weapons, new vehicles. And even New supervillains! Featuring a revision of the classic Viper’s Nest campaign.

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

Much of our celebration of Scott Bennie Week consists of superhero products, because that’s what Scott is best known for among many gaming fans. He and I share a love of the genre, and he adds both heart and expertise to every endeavor in this field. A patriotic Canadian, Scott ensures the Atlas of Earth-Prime: Canada is true and representative of his home country. Regardless of what system you’re running, there’s a ton of inspirational material that you can import into your own superhero game.

Visit a world not our own, but strangely familiar, a world of heroes and villains, of wonders and dangers, and limitless adventure! The Atlas of Earth-Prime is a trip around the world of the Freedom City and Emerald City settings for the Mutants & Masterminds Superhero RPG, looking at different regions and their heroes, villains, features, and opportunities, giving you a whole world to explore for your game. All for less than the cost of a new comic book!

The Atlas of Earth-Prime goes north, where the Cathedral of Pain haunts the streets of Quebec and Dominion City hovers high in the air. Learn the secrets of the Centurion’s Sanctum, the mysterious Aerie of the Avians, and the torments of Project Inferno, and go up against the decidedly im-polite Team Canada, who are looking for a good fight, and maybe a chance to be heroes, too. All this and the menace that is…the Mad Maple!

The contents of this PDF are also available in a compilation of all our Atlas of Earth-Prime material

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

Here’s the thing – I am not a religious person. Scott Bennie is, and he’s a living, breathing example of everything my momma taught me a Christian should be. Walks the walk, loves all, does not pass judgment, just wants a good world that is safe and loving for all. He knows his stuff, too, as this rather remarkable product attests to. As we continue to celebrate Scott Bennie Week, I wanted to point out Testament as a product that truly gives you the tools to bring the Christian Bible’s stories and legends to the table – whether you’re a believer or not, there’s a ton of amazing stuff here that can bring a whole new flavor to your fantasy or historical gaming experience.

Yeah, it’s 3.0 (not 3.5), but easily converted to 5e use.

You’ve Read The Book, Now Play The Game!

There were giants in the Earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in onto the daughters of men and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. –The Book of Genesis

The world of the Bible comes to life in this campaign setting for 3rd Era rules. Play a wandering Babylonian magus, a sorcerer in the service of Pharaoh, a Canaanite maker of idols, or a prophet of the God of Israel. Walk the streets of ancient Jerusalem, stand beside King David as one of his Mighty Men, smite Philistines, ponder the mysteries of gargantuan tombs, look upon the dwellings of the gods, and battle demons, dragons, plagues, and the legendary beasts of Babylon. Testament gives you everything you need to immerse yourself in the Biblical Era, including:

  • A dozen new core and prestige classes, including the Levite Priest, the Egyptian Khery-heb wizard, and the Desert Hermit.
  • Over 30 new monsters, including Nephilim, Tempter Devils, and Zebub-Spawn.
  • Over 50 new feats and over 100 new spells.
  • Rules for barter, curses, piety.
  • Guidelines for leading a small tribe through the hazards of the Bronze and Iron Age world.
  • The Biblical Battlefield Resolution System, a new way to fight epic combats.
  • Full cultural details on ancient Israel, Canaan, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, including history, beliefs, holy days, architecture, and more.
  • Dozens of new magic items and artifacts.

Part history, part mythology, Testament is the 3rd Era setting that’s both instantly familiar and yet unlike any game world you have ever experienced.

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

Scott Bennie is a friend of mine, who I’ve seen far too little of in recent years. He’s also a veteran writer and designer in the tabletop RPG and computer game industries, one of the very best of us in terms of both talent and character. This week, I want to celebrate just a handful of his many great products, and introduce you all to a human being who made our hobby better in so many ways.

Scott had a hand in a whole slew of D&D products in the 80s and early 90s, including the (in)famous* Castle Greyhawk. His work on this product is part of what established him as a fun-loving creator and much sought-after freelancer.

(*) – Played for laughs throughout, many thought this product was meant to “spite” Gary Gygax’s original creation. However, the interest in playing up the “fun factor” of dungeon delving, puntastic riddles, and odd puzzle solving was the goal of this all-star cast of creators.

Deep beneath the keep of Castle Greyhawk, a really nasty device is creating mutated, unpleasant monsters that are running wild throughout the castle and the twelve-level dungeon beneath. The call has gone out for heroic, fearless, and perhaps foolish adventures to out-hack, out-slash, and sometimes even out-think hordes of doughmen, headless mice, manic bee queens, really bad dead things, burgermen, crazed chefs, and movie moguls. If they survive these and much odder obstacles, the characters still have to find the nasty monster creator and put it out of business.

Castle Greyhawkcontains 13 detailed levels for adventuring and exploration. Each is a separate adventure written by different author and each has its own unique brand of baffling weirdness. Some levels involve solving puzzles and some require good old hacking and slashing. The adventure can be played separately or all together as a grand quest to free Castle Greyhawk from the evil, rotten hordes that are plaguing it. The common theme of this dungeon is that no joke is so old, no pun so bad, and no schtick so obvious that it can’t be used to confuse and trip up PCs!

13 Adventures for Character Levels 0 to 25.

*****

Product History [Excerpts]

WG7: Castle Greyhawk (1988) was theoretically the seventh adventure in the World of Greyhawk series and (theoretically) depicted the infamous Castle Greyhawk. It was written by a huge collection of authors and released in January 1988.

An Adventure Anthology. Though Castle Greyhawk presents a single dungeon, it’s actually an adventure anthology, with each level written by a different designer. The first D&D adventure of this sort was B9: “Castle Caldwell and Beyond” (1985), but it was a singular experiment at the time. For some reason, TSR suddenly became very fond of anthologies in 1988, with other releases including DL15: “Mists of Krynn” (1988) and OP1: Tales of the Outer Planes (1988).

Not Expanding Greyhawk. Gary Gygax may have created the Castle Greyhawk dungeons as early as 1972. He promised publication as early as 1980, but only got as far as publishing adventures based on “demiplanes” that were connected to Castle Greyhawk. In the end, there were three: EX1: “Dungeonland” (1983), EX2: “The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror” (1983), and WG6: “Isle of the Ape” (1985).

Parody & Humor. Though it wasn’t the original Castle Greyhawk, this Castle Greyhawk was enjoyed by some for its parody and its humor, which included references to Star Trek, the Marvel Heroes, the Three Stooges and much more. Some parodies and other D&D humor had appeared in April issues of Dragon previously, but as a fairly humorous supplement, Castle Greyhawk was pretty unprecedented.

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

 

Well, the massive Pathfinder sale is already over today, which kind of caught me by surprise, but we’re still going to close out Pathways to Adventure Week appropriately with a major support product for the new Starfinder game. Rogue Genius is an Owen K.C. Stephens joint, and since he’s the man behind Starfinder, you might imagine anything his house puts out is solid for the game. The Starfarer’s Companion gives you more races, classes, feats, spells, and tons more to expand your space-faring fantasy game.

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, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today, as we continue on our Pathways to Adventure Week (and the attendant sale this week), we delve into Dreamscarred Press‘ amazing Pathfinder-driven series of products meant to put psionics either front-and-center in your campaign, or integrate them alongside the other sources of magic and power that may exist. The Ultimate Psionics June Mega Bundle includes seven books in total, for nearly 60% off the regular prices, so a great deal on some great books by some great people.

IMPORTANT EDIT – The bundle got shut down faster than I expected, so it’s no longer available. The link is now to the Pathfinder section of Dreamscarred Press, where all the items within are found. Sorry about that.

The bundle includes the all-encompassing Ultimate Psionics manual –

Ultimate Psionics is just that—the ultimate book on psionics, combining nearly all of the material in Psionics Unleashed and Psionics Expanded into a single [pdf] book. But not only does Ultimate Psionics contain existing content, over seventy pages of brand new material has been added (separately released as Psionics Augmented for those who already have Psionics Unleashed and Psionics Expanded), giving more character options, advice for game masters on using psionics, and even an example of completely altering the theme of psionics from the power of the mind to runic magic, to help you understand how easy it is to change the feel of psionics without changing the system so that it can easily fit into any campaign.

Ultimate Psionics is 450 page book that includes:

  • Ten psionic races, including the brand new forgeborn and noral, with racial archetypes, advanced racial options, and more
  • Ten psionic classes from the psion and soulknife to the aegis and vitalist, giving everything you need to have an all-psionic party
  • Psionic skills and feats, including over forty brand new psionic feats such as Assassin’s Venom, Deep Focus, and Telepathic Link
  • Over 100 pages of psionic powers, including 0th level psionic talents new powers like T’Nail’s Ardent Legion
  • Nineteen psionic prestige classes, including the brand new Dark Tempest prestige class
  • More psionic items than could ever be found in any treasure horde, including legendary items like the Heartstaff and the Dancing Robes of Sharatwan and over 10 pages of brand new psionic items like the greater psicrystal staff, the tactician’s chessboard, and more.
  • An entire section for advice and tips for game masters on introducing and using psionics, including the most commonly encountered rules mistakes, how to handle transparency, and variant themes if you don’t want mental power and prefer psionics to be a form of magic.
  • And much more!

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

As the massive Pathfinder sale continues, so we continue with Pathways to Adventure Week, and today we zero in on Interface Zero (Pathfinder Edition). This is David Jarvis‘ masterwork cyberpunk setting, with complete and satisfying rules for bringing the fullness of posthumanism, cyber-warfare, and dystopian future storytelling into your Pathfinder world.

The Year is 2090. The Tendril Access Processor—or TAP—connects humanity to the Global DataNet, allowing interaction with Hyper Reality and all the Global DataNet has to offer, for better or worse. Malware, viruses, and hackers are as much of a threat as they ever were, and now your personal computer is woven into your cerebrum. The human genome is an open book to science, one that can be rewritten to order if you can afford it. If transgenics aren’t to your liking, then chrome yourself with the latest cyberware and let technology improve upon the original model. The geopolitical landscape has been fractured and reformed by revolutions, nuclear exchanges, and economic collapse engineered by a rogue AI. This world is filled with new, wondrous people.

Bioroids are on their second (or third, perhaps fourth) body, their dubbed consciousness uploaded into new flesh fresh from the vat. Cyborgs have done away with the flesh, and are more machine than human. Then there are hybrids, whose genes are enhanced with animal DNA. Choose from these or four other featured races. Then pick a class and be the most desired freelancer in the sprawl. Cybermonks combine martial training with cybernetic augmentation, pushing their chrome beyond the limits. Gunners bring the muscle as bounty hunters, mercenaries, or sector cops. Hackers are masters of manipulating computers and data, even the ones in people’s heads. The medic keeps the team patched up and provides stims to boost performance. Pick from these or five other featured classes.

Equip your character with a variety of modern arms, armor, high tech gear, and cybernetic upgrades. The book features modern vehicles, drones, and robots. New and modified combat rules, skills, feats and drawbacks, and character traits facilitate play. The world chapter details the history and current state of the planet, providing a rich selection of areas for play. The threats section offers twenty technological and biological horrors, as well as a gallery of dozens of NPCs for the GM to use to challenge the players and flesh out the world.

Interface Zero: providing comprehensive rules and an evolved setting for full metal cyberpunk adventure!

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

I remain eternally perplexed by the unceasing popularity of the bizarre horror world conceived by H.P. Lovecraft. He was a terrible human being, but a genius writer and creator by the accounts of possibly millions of fans. His mythos of eldritch, mind-bending horror dominates the tabletop gaming world, and few grok it so well as Sandy Petersen, who worked with a team of experts to bring you the Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder. It’s all part of Pathways to Adventure Week, inspired by the huge sale going on at DriveThruRPG.

I don’t get it, but I know many of you do, so hold onto your sanity as you weave the Great Old Ones and their unyielding horror into your Pathfinder campaigns…

Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos is the most comprehensive guide to including Lovecraftian elements in your Pathfinder Roleplaying game, written by the author of the groundbreaking Call of Cthulhu RPG, and developed primarily by James Jacobs (creative director of Paizo) and David N. Ross.

This massive 512 page tome contains over 100 monster stat blocks, dozens of which are Cthulhu Mythos monsters that have never been described for Pathfinder – including new rules for interacting with 25 different Great Old Ones and Outer Gods (they are much more than a simple encounter!).

This tome is much more than a mere bestiary, however. Inside you will find new rules for Insanity and Dreams; 40 new spells and 30 Rituals – a new magic ruleset; dozens of mythos items and artifacts; dozens of Mythos cults detailed; and four new player races from Lovecraft’s universe – Dreamlands Cats, Mythos Ghouls, Gnorri, and Zoogs – as well as new character options, professions, feats, and race options for them.

If you like Cthulhu, Pathfinder, Monsters, and Madness, you need this book!

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

DriveThruRPG has a huge Pathfinder sale going on this week, so we’re gonna celebrate it with a Pathways to Adventure WeekMidgard is one of the most popular settings outside of anything Paizo is doing, and this amazing bundle – valued at over $100 – is everything you need to dive into a fully-realized, rich campaign.

Yes, a new version of Pathfinder is coming, and that goes a long way towards explaining why a huge sale is underway on stuff designed for the existing iteration. However, you can bet all this stuff will be easily converted to the new version, and I suspect a lot of you will simply stick with the game you know and love, anyway.

IMPORTANT EDIT – The bundle got shut down faster than I expected, so it’s no longer available. The link is now to the Midgard section of Kobold Press, where all the items within are found. Sorry about that.

Midgard brings to life a world of dark fantasy drawn from the great European traditions. You’ll find ley lines and deep magic; the Western Waste’s giant, shambling horrors and magic-blasted landscapes; and the schemes of immortal Baba Yaga. 

In this bundle, get five of the bestselling Midgard books published for PFRPG. 

Bundle includes:

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