Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

Not only was Darren Watt’s Golden Age Champions one of my Judges Spotlight selections, it also won the Gamer’s Choice poll, making it the top superhero product of 2017 for BAMFsies Week. As as I said in my Spotlight text –

“No one brings the combination of loving enthusiasm and faithful research and rendition to an idea like Darren Watts, making his Golden Age Champions sourcebook an invaluable resource for anyone who has an interest in the early days of superhero comics. Gamers and comics fans alike will find tons to love, whether they’re Hero System fans or not.”

SMASH THE AXIS!

The Golden Age of Superheroes began in 1938, when a new kind of hero emerged from the pages of comicbooks in full color for a dime! Now you can experience high-flying adventure set in the days before, during, and after the Second World War, fighting for justice and freedom while armies march and cities burn!

Darren Watts’s Golden Age Champions 6th Edition expands the Champions Universe back to the earliest days of the Modern Age of Heroes, and includes:

• a thorough examination of the Golden Age as a genre, with discussions of the types of stories, themes and characters appropriate to the period (and how and why to break those rules when you need to!)

• a detailed history and description of the world of the Golden Age, including a monthly timeline spanning from 1938 to 1949 covering Politics & War, Science & Technology, Arts & Entertainment, Life & Times, Crime & Weirdness, and the history of the Champions Universe!

• an extensive section on creating Golden Age characters, including a thorough discussion of archetypes, seventeen character templates, and information on Skills, Talents and Perks for the era.

• twenty-seven heroes and thirty-seven villains, from all sides of the war and every corner of the world (and a few other worlds besides!), along with information about the activities of characters from the modern Champions Universe during the period.

• the guns, vehicles and gear of the Golden Age, both real-world and madly scientific!

• advice on how to run long-term campaigns set in the Golden Age, from a GM who has run several that lasted for years!

So buy some war bonds, plant your Victory Gardens, and Keep ‘Em Flying, Heroes!

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!

Today is the last Judges Choice award for BAMFsies Week, and this one is by Chris Rutkowski. Here’s what he had to share regarding Save the Day Advanced Rulebook – 

“I originally picked Save the Day because I liked the way the system did a “Race and Class” style approach to character creation, but did so in a way that fit the genre conventions of superheroes, instead calling them Origin and Class.  A character is built by combining two halves of a sheet, making many combos possible and generating a hero very quickly. Powers and abilities can come from your origin as well as your class. So two characters with the same power set might be very different from one another. The cartoony art design was also a nice touch.” For more of his review, click here.

For use with Save the Day RPG

This book is an attempt to expand the options available and let you create a character without the limits of Origin and Class. 

This book also provides a system of tweaking existing powers to make them more individual and unique. Characters can be fine-tuned with Tweaks that broaden the powers available to players and GMs. 

Rules are presented to help create consistent Gear and Vehicles as well as robots and hidden bases. Real-world examples are also described in game terms to help players and GMs better imagine the scale and range of the items described in the game system. This may contradict some of the examples available in the Basic Rulebook so use the Advanced Rules and the upcoming Gear books as a guide as they are more accurate. A discussion of Gear items as plot devices wraps up the Gear chapter.

Finally, guidelines for running more free-form “theatre of the mind” campaigns are presented to help you transcend the game table with only the power of your imagination to drive your story.

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!

 

As we roll on through BAMFsies Week, today we focus on one my Judges Choice selections, the Sentinel Comics RPG Starter Kit. This is what I had to say about it on the BAMFsies site –

“Based on the insanely popular cooperative card game, Sentinels of the Multiverse, this is one that’s been long-awaited by fans dying to know more about the world and stories promised in the flavor text of those cards. It’s a very interesting game design, and this “starter kit” is a good idea all the way around. Traditional superhero RPG fans may or may not take to the rather different approach the designers took here, so having a way to get the sense of it without going “all-in” is the right move. Fans of SotM will recognize not only all of the characters, but how the RPG mechanics directly reflect the way those characters play in the card game.”

In the Sentinel Comics Roleplaying Game, you and your friends play as comic-book heroes – either from the pages of Sentinel Comics or from your own imagination! Join forces against terrible villains and fight in dangerous environments, all in a tabletop roleplaying game!

The Sentinel Comics Roleplaying Game Starter Kit comes with everything you need to play your first entire super-heroic campaign! This starter kit comes with a ton of information and gameplay content across thirteen booklets.


CONTENTS

1 Gameplay Guide
6 Adventure Booklet
5 Freedom Five Character Booklets
1 Unity Character Booklet

You are the heroes of Sentinel Comics!

In these six exciting adventures from the pages of Sentinel Comics, you play as the Freedom Five and their former intern Unity in the timeline gap between the end of the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game and Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game. Each hero has their own booklet, detailing who they are, how their character sheet works, and what they can do. All this, plus the Gameplay Guide, add up to a total of 13 booklets included in this Starter Kit!

Heroes, you must help rebuild Megalopolis and reunite the hero teams of the world, all while staving off attacks from the villains who threaten us all! Can you uncover who is behind these attacks before it’s too late?

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!

Today features Crystal Frasier’s choice as we celebrate BAMFsies Week! It’s a straight-up adventure (with that classic “module” feel from the 80s) for Mutants & Masterminds. Here’s what Crystal has to say about Instant Circus Is Going to Get You!

“It’s a classic, silver-age-minded adventure built around the classic “evil circus” trope that was everywhere in comics back in the age when they had an official cap on the number of gorillas you could use every month. Also, you get to fight an elephant! That’s classic superhero action.”

The circus has come to town, but it’s not the kind anyone should attend! A troop of super-powered villains have been hired to put on a show as a cover to test a powerful new crowd-control product. Unfortunately, the citizens of the fair city are the unwitting guineas pigs. Even some members of the local police force have fallen prey to these criminals. Can a team of costumed vigilantes to any better?

Which leads to the question: Will this instant circus get you too?!

Heroic Havoc #1: Instant Circus Is Going to Get You!™ is a scenario for Mutants & Masterminds™ characters of Power Level 10 to 11. This module includes write-ups of the villains (with drawings and backgrounds), a map of the encounter areas, introductory material to assist getting the heroes into the encounter, and suggestions for follow-up adventures.

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!

DriveThruRPG is currently celebrating the BAMFsies Awards, of which I was proud to once again be a part. Myself, Steve Kenson, Chris Rutkowsky, and Crystal Frasier were all judges this year, so I’ve selected the Judge’s Choice from each, plus the Gamer’s Choice Award for the year, to spotlight. Time to dive into the best of the superheroic gaming action of 2017!

This one is Steve Kenson’s choice, so I’ll let his words take the stage – “2017 was once again a great year to be a superhero gamer, and it was hard to choose just one product, but ultimately, The Mighty Protectors won out for me. You see, the classic Villains & Vigilantes was the first superhero RPG I ever bought and played back in the 1980s, and The Mighty Protectors is the latest incarnation of that system, by its creators, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, featuring Dee’s art, both classic and modern.” Click here for more of what he had to say.

You can combat the forces of evil! Find their hidden enclaves with your super-senses, and bust your way in with powerful fists! Use your incredible agility or invulnerability to ward off their attacks as you blast away with energy bolts, or confront them with your martial arts or weapon skills! Drag them squirming and cursing to prison, to be brought to justice! Become a champion of truth and an idol of millions!

Villains and VigilantesTM – the world’s first complete superhero role-playing game – is back again. V&V 3.0 Mighty Protectors® features dynamic random & point-balanced character creation, accessible fast-paced rules, brand new powers, streamlined mechanics, all-new illustrations, and an imaginative, far-ranging campaign setting – The Mighty Protectors® Multiverse – created by Jack Herman and Jeff Dee!

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 come to the end of Steam & Steel Week with The Widening Gyre, written and designed by my friend and Evil Beagle Games partner, Bill “teh ebil bunneh” Keyes. While there’s also a Hero System version, the one that sings for most folks is this Savage Worlds iteration. Bill has an exceptional sense of storytelling-mixed-with-style, and he groks the steampunk genre in a way few others do; he gets that it’s about more than wearing brown stylishly and sticking some gears on your goggles*.

(*) – Don’t get me wrong – I love wearing brown and sticking gears on my goggles. Just saying the deeper aesthetic definitely permeates through Bill’s work here.

Welcome to The 19th Century That Never Was!

It is a world of wonder, of horror, of adventure, of magic, of strange technology and unprecedented cultural revolution. This is the age that nearly was, filled with radium-powered flying machines, clockwork automata, and steam-driven computers. It is an age of dark magic, sinister secrets, and unholy cults. It is a time in which the world teeters on the edge of disaster, where the enlightened scientific mind battled against ancient superstition and ignorance, in which the souls of all mankind hung in the balance.

The Widening Gyre presents an original steampunk campaign setting designed for use with the Savage Worlds rules. Recommended for experienced GMs and players looking to game in the Industrial Age As It Should Have Been, this worldbook includes…

A comprehensive and immersive campaign background detailing the fantastical Victorian world of The Widening Gyre.

-Character archetypes to play a wide variety of 19th century adventurers − Airship Pirates, Clockwork Men, Consulting Detectives, and more!

-Rules for wild steampunk technology and sorcery, including weapons, armor, vehicles, bizarre Victorian devices, and magic spells.

-Full stats for dozens of characters the heroes will encounter on their journeys, ranging from helpful allies to evil technologists to monstrous beasts from a darker era.

-New Skills, Edges, and Hindrances.

-A full bestiary with over 40 monsters and opponents.

-A fully detailed campaign, six full adventures, and four variant campaign ideas.

-Nearly twenty Savage Tales, a dozen one-sentence adventure ideas, plus an easy-to-use adventure generator to help put together quick adventures on the fly.

-Enter a world of adventuring daredevils and academics, occultist thrill-seekers and Savants both heroic and insane, in which a secretive organization of benevolent technologists seeks to prevent the dark monsters of humanity’s past from overwhelming its bright and burgeoning future.

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!

Today’s delve into Steam & Steel Week takes us Eastward and into a variant form of the steampunk genre that works wuxia into the mix. Jadepunk goes to some similar visual places as the movies The Man with the Iron Fists, Tai Chi 0, and Bunraku. More importantly, one of the key elements of steampunk outside of the visual aesthetic is the theme of the working class fighting oppression, and this setting goes there all the way.

Overthrow oppression in Jadepunk! You are the Jianghu – a loose society of likeminded, yet quarrelsome, individuals and organizations. Using powerful Jadetech devices and martial arts techniques, you stand against oppression and injustice. Though you are few, the Council fears you, for you have the most powerful weapon in Kausao City – the hearts and minds of the people. Unite them, and they will fight with you.

Jadepunk: Tales From Kausao City is a Fate Core roleplaying game about rebellious wuxia heroes in a fictional steampunk setting. Within its pages you will find:

  • An original setting that fuses the themes of Western steampunk and Asian wuxia.
  • The “Storytelling System” of creating character aspects that immerses them into the setting.
  • A comprehensive Asset system that lets you make any kind of device, martial arts technique, or companion you can imagine.
  • New dueling mechanics that use the contest system for fast and furious combat that won’t have the rest of your group sitting idly by.
  • Streamlined rules for gamemasters that give them the power to create scenes on the fly with the use of the “Scene Fractal”.
  • A new way of creating minor NPCs that takes no prep time. “Faces” give you everything you need to make an unimportant NPC feel alive and memorable.

What are you waiting for? The people call for warriors to champion them against the oppressive forces of the Council of Nine. Take up your Jadetech weapon, prime the engines on your airship, and lead the fight for justice!

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!

(Long day, sorry for the late posting.)

Another “miniatures-to-RPG” translation, Iron Kingdoms is a multi-award-winning effort all its own and a fan-favorite for those who want a whole lot of “clank” in their steampunk. Interestingly, the rules are an expansion from the Warmachine and Hordes miniatures rules, which makes translating your favorite stuff from the latter to the roleplaying experience much easier.

Embark upon a journey of adventure and intrigue in a steam-powered world fueled by magic and contested with gunfire and steel. Armed with mechanika and accompanied by mighty steamjacks, explore the soot-covered cities of the Iron Kingdoms and the fell ruins of ancient powers.

This essential full-color guide to the award-winning Iron Kingdoms setting equips you with:

  • A robust, elegant rules system crafted especially for the world of the Iron Kingdoms. This system builds upon the rules foundation of the critically acclaimed WARMACHINE and HORDES miniatures games to meet the complex needs of a roleplaying game.
  • Rules for character creation and advancement that let you take on the role of iconic Iron Kingdoms characters like fell callers, field mechaniks, gun mages, warcasters, and more.
  • Details on diverse playable races: humans, gobbers, Iosans, Nyss, ogrun, Rhulfolk, and trollkin.
  • Crafting systems that enable you to explore the mysteries of mechanika and alchemy.
  • A comprehensive overview of life in the Iron Kingdoms and the history of western Immoren.

A WORLD OF ADVENTURE AWAITS IN THE IRON KINGDOMS

2013 ENnies Awards winner in 4 categories

Best Game (Gold)

Best Art, Cover (Gold)

Best Rules (Silver)

Best Production Values (Silver)

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 chug and clank along for Steam & Steel Week with this RPG adaptation of the popular minis-game world of Malifaux. Through the Breach is very notable for its use of a standard playing card deck instead of dice for task and challenge resolutions. The concept of Fate runs strong through the world via these mechanics. It’s a dark realm where fantasy crashes headlong into steampunk, and lots of folks just love it. My personal experience with the setting includes playing a fantasy-themed gunslinger blowing away demon trolls, and that was fun.

Control your destiny.

Journey back to the early 1900s, where a dimensional rift leading to the magical world of Malifaux has changed human history. Steam power and steel collide with magic and monsters in this dangerous and exciting roleplaying game. Are you brave enough to change your destiny?

This second edition rulebook has been designed to be backwards compatible with all first edition Through the Breach supplements and adventures.

The Core Rules contain all the information players need to begin adventuring in the world of Malifaux!

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’re launching Steam & Steel Week with a product I had a brief history with, which the good folks at FASA have parlayed into a miniatures game line and an RPG. This one leans heavily on the “alt-history’ part of steampunk, opening the way with the line 

This isn’t your great-great-grandfather’s London!

Welcome to 1879and discover the history that wasn’t.

Victoria and Albert rule over a steam-powered British Empire that spans two worlds. Thanks to the portal known as the Rabbit Hole, a train ride away from London lies the Grosvenor Land, a new world of fertile plains, towering mountains, giant insects, and Babylonians with weird science zombies. Seems they got there first, three thousand years ago, and they’re not exactly the welcoming sort. The Saurid tribes, lizard-like folk who ride theropods and pteranodons, complicate matters further. Back home on Earth, clockwork engineering has brought mechanical computing to the world, and micro-steam engines drive airships through the sky. Stranger things are afoot, too, as a bit of magic seems to have come into the world with the opening of the portal. People are changing. Secret societies are finding their ancient occult practices a bit more effective. Who knows what might be lurking in the forests these days, or in that shipment from China?

The 1879 Players Guide provides everything needed to play the game for characters in the Initiate, Novice, and Journeyman Tiers of advancement, from character generation to combat and from obscure magic to the latest in Victorian technology. An overview of the game world is included for player reference, along with multiple short fiction examples of the sorts of stories that can be told! From the heights of society to the depths of the criminal underworld, from the high street of London to the mountains of the Gruv, adventure is calling. There are worlds to explore, fortunes to be won, and battles to be fought. 

Onward!
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!