Category: Game Pro News

I will post no links here. If you know, you know, and you’ve found and read everything. If not, and you are curious, simply type Zak S into your Google and you’ll be on your way down the very dark rabbit hole.

That’s why there are no Picks this week. I do not wish to engage in any celebration of products right now. Instead, I am taking this week to reflect on my own history and how I’ve worked hard to be better, and to be a better example.

We can be mighty, and we often are.

We can, however, be better. We can make our spaces safer. We can include everyone deserving of inclusion, and make our community unwelcome to those who do harm with words and deeds.

I am committed to continuing my efforts in these directions, and this week, I hope you will all reflect on how you can do and be better, as well.

Thank you,

Sean Patrick Fannon

Another day, another Pick from the top sellers on RPGNow as we say Goodbye RPGNow Week. A company like Zozer Games will miss the site, as they may not get the same time in the top spot landscape. I will have to make sure I do what I can to help offset that, because Zenobia represents the kind of game that folks should get a chance to see among the more dominant product lines. Fallen Rome, desert clans, mythical monsters, intrigue, and so much more, all driven by a streamlined 2d6 system.

Where Rome meets the desert –

Rome crumbles, and here in the Desert Kingdoms  there are tribes, cults, kings and queens that all want their piece.  It is a lawless frontier, a world where the deserts are home to fierce Saracen tribes, lost cities, sphinx and scorpion-men. And where the cities teem with scheming princes, bandit kings and sinister cults. Opportunity and adventure are everywhere!

ZENOBIA is the fantasy roleplaying game of adventure and magic in the ancient world.

A complete game using a fast and easy-to-use 2d6 mechanic. With rules for gladiatorial fights, sailing, traps, wilderness travel, combat, magic, cults and ancient religions. 

  • Quick-play character archetypes.
  • Gritty combat results that depend on player decision, not dice rolling.
  • Cults, temples and divine intervention
  • Monsters and magical items.
  • An adventure tool-kit – how to build your fantasy scenario.
  • Campaigns – gladiators, sailors, legionaries, mercenaries … you choose!
  • Useful advice on scenario and campaign construction. 
  • Sailing, trading and sea combat rules.
  • Mass battle rules – fight the Battle of Gaugamela in 5 minutes!
  • Solo Zenobia – rules to support playing Zenobia campaigns completely on your own.
  • Detailed maps and copious colour and line art.
  • Expansive notes on the cultures and kingdoms of the Desert Kingdoms. 

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!

One of the most important voices for inclusivity in gaming today is Monica Valentinelli, which is why she is a right and proper choice for Celebrating Diversity Week. Along with such luminaries as Nicole LindroosShanna Germain, and others, Monica advocates strongly for the voices of women and minorities to be heard in all art forms. She’s also an incredibly prolific writer and creator, involved in such projects as Prince ValiantV20D&D 5eKOBOLD Guides, and Conan, as well as the current Torg Eternity series of adventures.

Rising Storm is the first of a series of adventures designed to enhance any Torg Eternity campaign. Each of the eleven adventures inside is suitable for an evening of play, and may dropped into an existing story or played on its own. These dangerous missions add opportunities and complications to the Storm Knights’ lives.

These adventures are for Alpha Clearance Storm Knights, and take place within the first year of the Possibility Wars. They were written by a host of top talent, including original creators Greg Gorden and Bill Slavicsek! Other returning authors include Ed Stark, Miranda Horner, and John Terra. Industry names like John Wick, Steve Kenson, Robert Schwalb, Monica Valentinelli and Living Land Sourcebook writer Ross Watson join the fun!

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 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!

It’s the D&D setting that propelled Keith Baker to international prominence as a writer and designer, the first winner of Wizards of the Coast‘s first fantasy setting search, and it exemplifies Mashup Madness Week perfectly. All the keystone elements of Dungeons & Dragons are here, but with dark, post-global warfare themes, pulp adventure overtones, and techno-magic steam-esque elements like trains and firearms and arcane robots, Eberron shook up the table and reset the board.

The Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron introduces the setting to 5e fans, and it also heralds the launch of Eberron on the Dungeon Masters Guild, where you can create and share your own stuff for the setting.

Eberron was born in 2002 when Wizards of the Coast launched a worldwide search for a new campaign setting. 

Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron brings the eponymous campaign setting to the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This 175 page book gives you everything you need to create an Eberron story or character, exploring the core themes of the setting and the rules to implement them in fifth edition. It includes an overview of Khorvaire and the fantastic city of Sharn, along with a host of background ideas and story hooks.

Playtest material includes the unique races of Eberron, the mystical dragonmarks (including greater dragonmarks and aberrant dragonmarks), and new magic items; this is a living document, and this content will evolve and be updated in response to feedback.

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 was sad to learn yesterday of the passing of industry giant Loren Wiseman. One of the founders of the trailblazing company, Game Designers Workshop and a co-creator of the definitive sci-fi RPG, Traveller, Loren was a friend, mentor, and inspiration to multiple generations of gamers and, especially, game designers.

I knew Loren and we spoke frequently during the early days of my getting into this industry. He was very encouraging, and his wisdom helped me become a better game designer and (for me, more importantly) better at making myself known to the marketplace. He had a quick wit and a big heart.

You can be sure glasses will be raised to his memory at many conventions this 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.


Big Irish AKA Sean Patrick Fannon

Heya, folks! Something I am getting involved with here in the Rocky Mountain area that I wanted to share with you all – The Big Show, and it’s related channels, the Big Show Cosplay Channel and the Big Show Games and Tech Toys Channel. They want to become a network and media outlet for all things geeky in the Rocky Mountain area, which is one of the geekiest places I’ve every known (and, as most of you know, where I live now).

Check out the interview I did with them while at Tacticon this weekend!

I’ve met and been hanging out with some great folks, including Super Dave Raines, Jeremy Broadwell, and the stunning and enticing High Priestess of Nerd (AKA Bobbi Forester), and I am looking forward to helping them develop this into some serious fun and informative and entertaining stuff!