Week Two of doing the Picks of the Day over on the ENN News Network, then doing a weekly roundup of them here. I’d really like to know what you fine readers think of the change, so please comment away. For a lot of you, it probably doesn’t matter, because you see these on Facebook or G+, regardless, so I am guessing it’s fine either way. If there’s enough of you for whom the actual Sean’s Pick of the Day site is important, I might have to consider going back to the original way. So… let me know!
This one jumped out at me today, as it fills a niche I find exceptionally useful for Game Masters everywhere. Adventure generators are a lifesaver for those with the drive to run but the crunches against time that Life provides. You may have a great campaign going, but this last week you had to work 20 hours of overtime, one of the kids got sick, and there was that great thing on TV you got caught up binging. So now you’re in desperate need of adventure so you don’t have to cancel tonight’s session…
As a GM or a story creator, you can often find yourself stuck for ideas. Especially after your players decide to go off carefully beaten track you designed. Or you forgot your notes and need to come up with at least the outline for an adventure in a few moments.
The Adventure Outline Maker is for just those kinds of moments. Using a series of d100 tables it creates an adventure outline, with contact type, your quest/mission, where it is, and what complication there is, or what help you may get, even a suggested reward. This outline is then used to help you come up with a full adventure or side quest.
Each aspect table has 100 entries, with some duplication to reflect the more common entries.
There are also two examples outlines included, showing how the process works and taking you through it step by step. You will need to flesh out the details yourself, but that is not a hard thing to do and Ennead Games can help with that as well, with our numerous generators for backgrounds, names and more.
- 2 example outlines, showing how the system can be used to quickly
- 8 d100 tables that can be combined in a high number of ways to produce an outline in a simple and easy way.
These tables are:
- Contact – Personality & Contact – Profession tells you about who gave you the quest/primary point of contact.
- Quest – Action & Quest – Target – These two together tell you what is needed and what the target is
- Location tells you where you should go
- Complication – If something can go wrong, this table tells you what it is.
- Help & Opposition – Do you get aid from others or are there active groups out to hinder you
- Reward – What have you been promised as a reward for your endeavours.
Seriously, Ennead is great at this kind of thing, and the price is ridiculously low for the value.
Remember that Ultramodern5 thing I’ve been talking about? Honestly, I’d be seriously surprised if you’ve not already encountered it – it’s the current top-choice for anyone wanting to take the 5e rules and use them for post-swords-and-sorcery gaming. Dias Ex Machina Games is already expanding on the core, using this new release to add superpowers and related abilities to your campaign idea.
History once spoke of individuals able to accomplish miracles, eventually eradicated or bred out by a population too frightened of what they didn’t understand. As science filled in the void left by absent gods, these gifted individual decreased until they became all but extinct. But they never completely vanished. Each generation, such a rare being appeared with abilities subtle to extreme. However, despite their desire to reveal themselves, forces continually prevent them from doing so.
To many of those who know them, they’re of an inferior class. To others, including themselves, they are considered an improvement on the design of man, an upper echelon.
Apex is a module for DEM’s Ultramodern5, a plug-in rather than a full setting: a set of rules and ideas to allow any number of homebrew settings to work within it. There is a basic background involving people who gain unnatural powers, but don’t let that limit you if you wish to use it as a jumping off point.
Apex includes the following:
–Tier-based talent acquisition. Over 180 upgradable super-powered talents, totalling over 950 different variations.
–New sacrifice rules to trade penalties for new talents.
–Eleven new backgrounds and apex-themed life events.
–Eleven new ladders to focus your superpowers.
–New adversary templates and monsters.
You’re going to need both the core 5e D&D rules and Ultramodern5 to use this.
Louis Porter Jr. is arguably one of the hardest working folks in RPGs. The sheer volume of material coming out of LPJ Design is kind of mind-boggling, and he’s definitely a Pathfinder powerhouse. Now you can get into his Infinite Dungeon, which he started up on his Patreon and is now offering up via DriveThruRPG.
Built on the lip of the mountainous crater that surrounds the Halls of the Eternal Moment, Cusp caters almost exclusively to adventurers. Heroes, travellers and thrill-seekers alike come and go from the town all the time – and since Cusp is the last place to spend time, or coin, before one enters the Halls in the crater below, they do their best to extract as much of it from passers by as they can. Of course, as people do occasionally come back out of the dungeon, Cusp also offers adventurers a chance to sell their hard-won spoils to a wide variety of art collectors, historians and eccentric wizards who call the City at the Edge of Eternity.
In the simplest form, the Infinite Dungeon is a daily Patreon-sponsored megadungeon, that has dozens of explorable rooms and levels. The idea of the Infinite Dungeon was inspired by the online series, Dungeon-A-Day created by Monte Cook (co-designer of 3rd Edition D&D). It’s usable, in whole or in part, in any campaign setting. Although it may appear to start out like a conventional dungeon, as you get deeper the full scope of the adventure, and the unique challenges presented, become more and more apparent. This first Infinite Dungeon is called the Halls of the Eternal Moment.
I highly encourage you take a look through the rather enormous library of stuff LPJ Design has up. There’s some real creativity mixed with fine graphic design and other presentation, and you’ll not want for content for quite some time.
The RPG community has no more well-read, prodigious, or fascinating sage than Ken Hite. He’s brought his expertise and propensity for exceptional research as it applies to gaming to the subject of one of the most famous entities in all of fiction – Dracula. Whether you wish to bring the famous Prince of Darkness to your setting directly, or use the lessons of his story to craft your own master villain in the shadows, Ken’s work here is indispensable and a fine read, to boot.
In THE THRILL OF DRACULA, Kenneth Hite takes apart Dracula — the novel, the movies, the myth, even the history — into his component pieces: characters, tropes, symbols, story beats, effects. With those pieces, Ken shows you how to build new yet mythic stories about the King of the Vampires or about your own creatures of the night, tuned for thriller adventure, cosmic horror, or even intense personal drama. This standalone book suitable for all fans of games, storytelling, and Dracula will be delivered in PDF, Kindle, and ePub formats.
From the first medieval atrocity stories about Vlad the Impaler to Bram Stoker’s immortal novel to the most recent Universal blockbusters,The Thrill of Dracula zooms through centuries of blood, bats, and – ballet? — to bring you the most complete look at the Count’s story ever!
See Dracula take on not just Van Helsing but Batman, Blade, Buffy, Billy the Kid — and Abbott and Costello!
Read the occult mysteries behind Nosferatu,and untangle the shifting time and space of the Hammer Dracula series!
Follow Dracula into space, and into Spanish!
The Thrill of Dracula includes:
- The first Dracula legends, from dancing dead men to the garden of the hanged
- The foundation pieces of the novel and the myth: characters, settings, tropes and story beats
- Plots and reviews of 40 movies, including every Dracula film from Universal and Hammer Films – and how they too have added to the Dracula mythology
Geniuses from Orson Welles to Werner Herzog have remade Dracula – now you can, too! Hite gives you their tools, tools you can use to build new yet mythic stories about the King of the Vampires or about your own creatures of the night, tuned for thriller adventure, cosmic horror, or even intense personal drama. Kenneth Hite takes you on a tour through the cinema de Dracula, from the classic NOSFERATU to the, um, less than immortal DRACULA 3000. Hit the Hammer highlights, the Lugosi limelights, and more — with advice on adapting any or all of them for your own vampire games such as Night’s Black Agents.
So sharpen your stakes and prepare for the thrill of your Un–Lifetime — The Thrill of Dracula!
Today’s Pick is from my own publishing house, Evil Beagle Games – so, yes, definite bias here. Still, I feel strongly about sharing anything from the Michael Subrook Presents line because he does such top-notch work and immense research into everything he does. This one brings you a solid piece of science-fiction real cosmic real estate to drop into any space-centered campaign you’re running, in any system.
Into the Void
Beyond the anti-spinward edges of Earth’s territory in the galaxy lies the Void. A roughly spherical section of space approximately one hundred parsecs in diameter, the Void is a place spacers avoid—and with good reason—there are no stars to be found there. The Void is so full of dust, gas, and debris that it effectively blocks any starlight from passing through, making it a dark circle in the night sky of many worlds. Within the Void are dozens of shattered solar systems, each made up of burned and blasted planets slowly orbiting the remains of now-dead stars. These brown dwarfs are compacted and frozen cinders—all that’s left of once life-giving suns—with most of their mass having been ejected into space as some unknown event consumed them.
The Void is a mini-setting for science-fiction gaming, meant to be easily dropped into any RPG setting dealing with space travel and the dangers thereof. It’s system-agnostic, and while there’s a great deal of excellent, well-researched material here, plenty is left readily open to the Game Master’s imagination and capacity for customization.
This is another in a series of products Evil Beagle Games is proud to bring you, from the creative and prolific mind and talents of Michael Surbrook. Edited by Leigh Anne Reger. Layout by Ross Watson.
PS – I also want to take a moment to point out the efforts of the Low Fantasy Gaming folks, who have some fun (and free) Old School Gaming swords-and-sorcery stuff happening. Check out this Down Under gem!