Category: Big Irish Thoughts

For so many reasons that mean a lot to me, this will be Celebrating Diversity Week at the SPOD, wherein I wish shine the light upon fantastic creators who bring their unique experiences and powerful voices into the chorus of tabletop RPG writing and design. I am proud to know all but one of these amazing people, and humbled that I have some way in which I can uplift their work and remind us all how important it is to welcome everyone to the table, so long as they are welcoming themselves.

The one creator I’ve chosen that I do not know is Misha Bushyager, but I’d very much like to. She’s a writer and editor for New Agenda Publishing, as well as their Marketing Manager. She’s also one of the many talenter authors of SAVE: The Eternal Society, today’s Pick, and you’ll also find her work in Misspent Youth: Sell Out with Me and the Quick Start preview for New Agenda’s ORUN.

SAVE is the heroic organization that gathers those who’ve experienced the supernatural and unites them in defending humanity from monsters and horror. This is one of the things I always loved about Chillin that as hard as things are in this dark and terrifying world, there is hope found in unity against evil. Unity against evil, by the way, is why we need to celebrate diversity!

The truth is that no manifesto can save the world, no set of laws will save us from the clawing, lurking hands of the Unknown that surround us. At the end of the night, our envoys fight alone against the darkness. When the world stands at the brink of destruction, only those who are ready and able to defend it can say just how far they need to go to ensure our survival.

When everything has gone wrong, our envoys will stand and make their choices free of any rules, and we will pray they make the right ones.

—Hayat Nejem, “How to SAVE the World”

SAVE: The Eternal Society is a sourcebook for Chill Third Edition. It looks at the type of people who join the Societas Argenti Viae Eternitata. It examines the history of the organization and the rise of Hayat Nejem’s cell-based approach to fighting the Unknown, and provides and expanded system for building a SAVE HQ for your Chill stories. In addition, this book provides four new cases for SAVE envoys to experience, and 10 new creatures to bedevil and terrify them.

Anyone can join the Society. All that’s required is the will to face the Unknown. Do you have it? 

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!

(Note – the linked article has some harsh language).

I was tagged by someone I interact frequently with in regards to the issues we have in the tabletop/adventure gaming community. As much as I love to talk about my gaming family and community – how awesome they are, how supportive – I often get called out for not seeing “the other, ugly side” of it all.

We are now having those conversations, and as someone with a voice in the larger community, it’s long past time I help this conversation happen.

This article strike home harder than it might seem it should. What does hiking long distances have to do with gaming? Very little, certainly.

But the concept of culture, community, and conflict within is almost identically the same in any sub-culture that supposedly welcomes all… yet fails utterly to do so.

I challenge you to read this. Substitute the hiking elements with the concepts of going to gaming conventions and stores, and the rest slides directly and accurately into place.

This is us, folks. Not all of us… but enough of us to warrant some serious consideration and house-cleaning.

Why I Got Off the Pacific Crest Trail After 454 Miles Instead of Walking All the Way to Canada

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!

Last night, it was time for me to return to the Game Master’s Seat at Monday Night Savages (at our excellent FLGS, Total Escape Games). I’d been promising a return to my Danger International* setting, but I wanted to shift away from the amazing Feng Shui 2 rules to something that worked a bit better for the specifics I was engaged with (mainly, easily customizable to creating famous action heroes of the 80s and 90s).

Just as he did for my quest for superhero gamingLeonard Pimentel struck again with a rather perfect system for exactly what I wanted – action cinema gaming with a decidedly 80s-90s feel. I mean, seriously, it’s right in the description!

A tabletop roleplaying game about action movies, especially those of the 80s and early 90s…

Folks, I’d read the book. I’d never run the game. My friends had never played the game, and most of them barely saw the rules (if at all).

What a rush!

We started pretty late – I think around 6:30pm – and by the time we set up a Big Cliffhanger at 9:15pm, they’d blown through a casino full of Deadites, met up and roleplayed figuring out what was going on, did a huge car chase**, and arrived just outside of Witch Mountain. They then concocted a plan to get inside the base, executed said plan, and all wound up in different, interesting places right before the Siphon showed up to make things even more interesting…

I’ve Picked the game before, but it really deserves extra mention today, because we had an amazing time, and once again, I am blown away by the genius of my friend, Len. This is an approach to the AWE-style of gaming that I grok and love!

(*) – The Cast: V.I. Warshawski, Hannibal Smith, Lara Croft, John Steed, Chiun, Ash, Walker

(**) – Five black operative sedans, two black operative SUVs, and a super turbo-charged, heavily armored “boss SUV” chasing a “crotch rocket” (Lara), an Aston Martin (John, V.I.), a massive pick-up (Walker, Chiun), and an ’73 Oldsmobile Delta 88 (Ash, Hannibal).

Full Disclosure – I hacked the rules to add extra oomph to the heroes. Possibly too much, but they had a great time, so I just need to “oomph” the bad guys a bit more. If you’re interested in the hack, let me know. If you’ve bought the game, I will happily share the hack.

“I was a 98 pound weakling who used to get sand kicked in my face at the beach. At least, that was until Magnum Fury came along!”   ~Nobody Ever Said This

MAGNUM (n): a really big bullet or gun that is awesome and in no way intended to compensate for any unspecified size-related deficiency.

FURY (n): the kind of anger that makes you an unstoppable juggernaut of ass-kickery who can perform heroic feats normal wimps couldn’t even dream of.

MAGNUM FURY

A tabletop roleplaying game about action movies, especially those of the 80s and early 90s, Magnum Fury is designed to play the kind of fast combat and intense action scenes action movies are known for. Magnum Fury was heavily inspired by—and pokes a lot of fun at—the action movies and action comedies of the 80s and early 90s, but it can be used to play any kind of action adventure from any genre. It uses a simple set of rules that focus on the heroes and allow you and your friends to imitate your favorite action movies or make up your own. You can create your very own badass action hero in less than a minute, and game prep requires nothing more than a few ideas about how you plan to abuse the heroes.

If you’re looking for someone to blame for Magnum Fury, look no farther than 48 Hours and Another 48 Hours, Above the Law, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Aliens, The Beastmaster, Beverly Hills Cop and Beverly Hills Cop 2, Big Trouble in Little China, Bloodsport, Commando, Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, The Crow, The Delta Force, Demolition Man, Die Hard, Escape from New York, First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Flash Gordon, The Golden Child, Hawk the Slayer, Hard to Kill, Highlander, Invasion U.S.A., Kickboxer, The Last Dragon, Lethal Weapon (all of them), Marked for Death, Predator and Predator 2, Raw Deal, Red Sonja, The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Roadhouse, Robocop and Robocop 2, Running Man, Tango and Cash, Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, They Live, Timecop, Total Recall, True Lies, and Under Siege.

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 lot of folks have expressed growing interest in my Freedom Squadron project – a Savage Worlds driven love letter to “G.I. Joe.” This entire project came about thanks to my meeting the great guys at Spyglass Games, playing their remarkable deck-building, cooperative board game and falling in love with it in every way. Not only is the game – designed by Michael Knight and Jeff Arbough – a brilliant concept that combines many different elements in ways I’ve not seen at the table before, it’s a gorgeous presentation of a world clearly inspired by the coolest stuff from our childhood, yet with modern sensibilities that excite our more sophisticated inner children.

Every single person who’s played this game has loved it. You really should get a copy while you still can…

VENOM Assault is a cooperative game for 1-5 players. In VENOM Assault, players are tasked by the United Nations to thwart a global terrorist group on the edge of taking over the world, known only as VENOM. After discovering VENOM’s evil plan, the U.N. has called for the most elite soldiers of the world to gather together, work as a squadron, and stop their evil plans. As the U.N.’s greatest tacticians, players assemble their squadrons from the soldiers and vehicles that arrive from around the world in order to strengthen their forces!

Players must be careful, as VENOM has already assembled their forces against the world. There is no time to waste, and your squadrons must act quickly and decisively in order to gain the upper hand. The members of Freedom Squadron will have to take on many strategically placed villains if they hope to have a chance to stop evil in its tracks!

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!

Overconfident and even shameless in my public persona, I assure you I am never unaware of how fortunate I am. I spend every day doing things that countless fellow gamers would dearly love to pursue, and I am permitted to call this my vocation (and my avocation).

Today is one of those days when my cup overfloweth – not so much because of something I did specifically, but because of my good fortune to have collaborated with an all-star cast on something of great value and importance. Michael Surbrook did all the heavy lifting. Ross Watson oversaw the structure and the execution. Jason Waters took the necessary risks and made the project possible.

Today, we at Evil Beagle Games (along with High Rock Press) are celebrating Aaron Allston’s Strike Force, both for the reception of the BAMFSIES Gamers’ Choice Award and for the exceptionally grand review it received on EN World.

To have been a part of something like this is an honor, marking an important and cherished moment in my career. Thanks to everyone who supported it, and everyone who rightfully remembers Aaron’s work for the treasure that it is.

A superhero setting like no other. A role-playing game campaign book that includes techniques and lessons from over 22 years of play. A tribute to one of the greatest creators in the RPG industry, created using Champions 6th Edition.

In 1988, Aaron Allston released Strike Force, a supplement detailing the first eight years of his superhero campaign. Noted for its extensive and highly-influential advice to gamemasters on how to run a long-term campaign, Strike Force was a landmark RPG publication.

We have now released an updated version of this classic book for the 21st Century. Aaron himself was designing this new edition of Strike Force before his untimely death, and we wanted to bring his work to life as a monument to Aaron’s lasting influence on the RPG hobby. This  updated Strike Force sourcebook includes never-before-seen material detailing Aaron’s multiversal superhero setting, compelling characters and villains, and updated and expanded advice from Superhero RPG veterans like Steve Kenson and Sean Patrick Fannon for how to run a campaign using “the Strike Force method.”

The electronic portion of this product includes character write-ups for Mutants & Masterminds and ICONS.

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!

This game is very popular for many reasons. It speaks to folks in a lot of ways.

Today, it speaks to me.

“We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” —H.P. Lovecraft

Will you stand against the horrors of the night?

Whether learned professor, nosy journalist, or hard-hitting detective, investigators need all the help they can get. Let this book be your guide. The Investigator Handbook is an essential player’s aid for the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition roleplaying game

Written for those who will be playing the roles of investigators, the Investigator Handbook contains expanded rules for creating players characters, a wealth of over 100 occupations and skill descriptions, as well as guidance on getting the most from the game. What’s more, there’s a range of organizations for your investigator to belong to, detailed information about the classic 1920s setting, equipment and weapons for both the 1920s and modern day, and expert tips and advice for all budding investigators.

No self-respecting investigator of the Cthulhu Mythos should be without it!

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!

Hey, everyone!

I’m in Atlanta today, and will be up on Signal Mountain come Friday. I am visiting dear family and friends for the first time in a while, so Sean’s Pick of the Day is taking a week’s vacation while I enjoy this time away.

I do want to wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Solstice, and Fantastic Holidays! See you all again in the New Year!

This morning, I’d like to bring your attention to blog entries of note.

The first one is written by my friend and colleague, Steve Kenson, who understands the issue discussed in his latest blog post better than most of us. He gets into the difference between establishing equality in your game or setting and actually promoting inclusivity. An important and worthy read.

As well (and far less important, but hopefully fun and interesting, nonetheless), I’ve launched a new regular article over at the Stuffer Shack. It’s called Life of a Big Irish Gamer, and it’s pretty much what the title sells it to be. If you’d like to know more about the stuff I watch, do, and experience as a part of being a professional game writer, publisher, and GM, check it out and let me know what you think.

Happy reading, and have a great weekend!

~ Big Irish

I’m a Kickstarter Pledge Level again, this time running an exclusive premiere game event at Chupacabracon, May 12-14, 2017. If you’ve been trying to figure out which gaming convention to attend, look no further – me and many of my colleagues cannot recommend Chupa highly enough. They bring together an incredible all-star cast of writers, designers, artists, and publishers, and they set up a space and a schedule the likes of which every other game con can learn from. They’re exceptional people running an exceptional event, and I am proud to be going back yet again.

Even more proud to be a “pledge level” for them, and I can promise something new, fun, and exciting for those who pledge the Savage VIP Level (as of this writing, there are only three slots left)!

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.

Sincerely,

Big Irish AKA Sean Patrick Fannon