Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

This Fantastic New Future Week Pick is one my friends have been playing during our Monday Night Savages gathering at the local game store/event space, Total Escape Games (great store, great people!). Based on the highly popular and innovative Blades in the Dark game, Scum and Villainy is just what it sounds like – Firefly and Edge of the Empire got together over drinks and…

Unwise deals.
Blaster fights.
High adventure among the stars.
Welcome to the world of SCUM AND VILLAINY

Scum and Villainy is a Forged in the Dark game about a spaceship crew trying to make ends meet under the iron-fisted rule of the Galactic Hegemony.

Work with the members of your crew to thrive despite powerful criminal syndicates, warring noble families, dangerous aliens, and strange mystics. Explore the ruins of lost civilizations for fun and profit. Can your motley crew hold it together long enough to strike it big and insure your fame across the sector?

Scum and Villainy is a stand-alone RPG based on the Forged in the Dark game engine. In this book, you’ll find:

  • A clear gameplay structure that puts the focus on the criminal undertakings of the crew. A session of play consists of a job followed by recovery, downtime projects, and advancement.
  • Ship “character sheets” that allow for XP spends, upgrades, and leveling up alongside your characters.
  • Crew advancement opportunities to reflect the change from a ragtag group barely flying in the black to a reputed crew that has built a name across the sector.
  • Forged in the Dark tools to help keep the focus on the action of the job rather than the extensive planning needed to make it happen.
  • Character and ship types to help create a unique and interesting crew at light speed.

MAY YOUR SHIP FLY TRUE, AND YOUR BLASTERS NEVER JAM.

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!

Last week’s New and Fantastic Week was a hit, and with the release of Titan Effect for Savage Worlds, now we’ll do a Fantastic New Future Week, featuring the latest science-fiction releases in the RPG world. This one features post-modern espionage with superpowers. I think this piece of the sales text really tells you everything – “Imagine Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men.

An espionage/science fiction RPG!

The world is not what it seems. Ordinary people haven’t realized how strange and dangerous it has become, but things are about to change…

Titan Effect RPG is a licensed campaign setting for Savage Worlds.

Take on the role of a trained operative gifted with psychic abilities and fight against genetically enhanced soldiers, and shadowy organizations in a secret war in which the future of human evolution is at stake.

Titan Effect RPG combines biopunk, spy thriller, and superhero elements. Imagine Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men. Titan Effect plunges you into a world filled with conspiracies, secret organizations, dangerous bioengineered creatures and psychic phenomena. A world where the boundary between “good” and “evil” is blurred…

Titan Effect RPG requires the Savage Worlds core rules and the Super Powers Companion (2nd edition) to play.

Titan Effect RPG features:

  • New Edges, Hindrances, and Powers;
  • New Setting Rules, including background and rules to play psychics with the Super Powers Companion;
  • New gear, gadgets, and weapons, compatible with other modern settings, with a new Equipment Point System to easily and dynamically handle the “gear-up phase” of your teams before each mission;
  • Alternative timeline with historical events that shaped Titan Effect’s universe, including 5 major enemy organizations and how to use them in your campaign;
  • Adventure hooks and a Mission Generator to help you quickly build exciting adventures;
  • 40+ NPCs and creatures;
  • And more!

You think you can make a difference? Find out now!

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 an established fact that I am no fan of dark fantasy, and there’s no more grimdark a place than the world of Warhammer FantasyYet it is also inescapable that WH is a definitive game and setting, and this fourth edition from Cubicle 7 takes you back to the Old World in ways both familiar and new. Updated rules reflecting the newest ideas, yet the game recalls the Old School charm of the original 1st Edition.

“Can’t put it down, can you? You know what’s in here. You’ve seen them. The twisted ones, the arrogant ones, the lost ones. Oh, you’d like to walk away and life be all cake and daisies, but you know you’re going here instead. You’ll try to convince yourself it’s because you’re greedy for the loot, or can’t resist a fight, but we all know the truth. So ready your sword, clean your pistol, and watch out for that dog – he might be small but he’s unreasonably vicious.”

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay takes you back to the Old World. Get the gang together, create your (anti)heroes, and set off to make your way through the vile corruption, scheming plotters and terrifying creatures intent on destruction.

The Fourth Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook contains everything you need for grim and perilous roleplaying adventures in the Old World.

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 am actually surprised I missed The Witcher when it first came out, considering it’s the first new product from venerable and beloved publisher R. Talsorian Games in a very, very long time. They’ve been pretty heads-down with the Cyberpunk 2077 computer game project, but here at last is this well-received adaptation of the fantasy digital game (itself based on a series of short stories and novels). A most excellent addition to New and Fantastic Week.

The best part for me is that it’s co-written by Lisa Pondsmith and Cody Pondsmith, the latter who I remember meeting as a baby! And now he’s a fellow game designer! This is one dynasty I am thrilled to see develop!

In the midst of the 3rd Nilfgaardian War Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf, scours the Continent for traces of his lost love! But this is not the only tale. A million other stories play out across the vast continent and you are right in the middle of one of them!

The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG allows you to tell your own story in the world of The Witcher! Adventure across the Continent, interacting with living legends and influencing the politics of the land! Fight in the brutal and horrific Third Nilfgaardian War. Or play out your own adventure as you avoid death and dismemberment!

Featuring

  • 9 Unique Classes: Play as Bards, Craftsmen, Criminals, Doctors, Mages, Men Art Arms, Merchants. Priests, & Witchers.
  • A Bestiary of Vicious Monsters: Traverse the wild and hunt everything from the troublesome nekker to the hulking, hypnotic fiend.
  • Numerous Spells & Invocations: Call upon the chaotic magic of the Witcher world to summon tornadoes, leave hidden messages, and more. 
  • A Visceral Combat System: Skill & tactics rule the day and a wrong move can mean ruptured organs or 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!

Today, as we continue New and Fantastic Week and celebrate the latest fantasy-themed products, the spotlight shines on Manastorm: World of Shin’ar for the Pathfinder RPG. 16 new races and a world surrounded by a bubble of “strange radiation” are the core elements of this 500+ page tome meant to give you a whole new setting for your PF gaming.

Journey to the planet of Shin’ar where the inhabitants have learned to control an atmospheric bubble of radiation that surrounds them they call the Manasphere. This high magic world of epic fantasy will introduce the players to 16 new playable races each with their own unique racial hybrid class. Most of the races found themselves deposited on the planet during one of the turbulent times of chaotic magic known as Lunar Quickenings. In addition, the Manastorm: World of Shin’ar campaign setting boasts 10 expansive regions to explore, new deities, spells, skills, feats, prestige classes, and more! Enter a word where clockwork airships fly and the gods walk among their faithful. Come see if you can survive a Manastorm!

Manastorm: World of Shin’ar is a full-color, 530 page, Campaign Setting compatible for the Pathfinder Role Playing game!

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!

50 exotic weapons for your D&D 5e campaign, plus 50 enchanted versions of those weapons. All illustrated. Yeah, this is some serious hot newness to go along with our New and Fantastic Week. Check out the latest Kickstarted specialty product from Sinopa Publishing, The Steel Road.

The Steel Road 

Follow the journey of Hadj Yosef Khan as he travels the known world and beyond, discovering the weapons of far flung countries.  Embrace exotic weapons from Africa, Eastern Europe, India, China, Japan and the Islands of the Pacific.  

This book contains 50 illustrated exotic weapons, and 50 illustrated enchanted versions of those weapons.  Yes, 100 weapon illustrations done in sketchbook style, to give this book the feeling of a log book handed down from our narrator.  Each weapon description comes with stats for use with the 5th edition game mechanics, as well as narrative text that describes the adventures and struggles faced by Yosef.  Each enchanted weapon is a unique creation, suitable for questing for.  The narrative content provides an abundance of source material to draw from. 

This the color edition:  color edition contains b/w sketch art and a color, faux-parchment background.  

The Black and white editions contain b/w sketch art and no background.

Art by: Zachary Viola

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!

Welcome to New and Fantastic Week, a celebration of the latest fantasy RPG releases. This one starts off with its inspiring product, the Unity RPG from Zensara Studios. I had the pleasure of consulting with them early on as they put their Kickstarter together, and I was very kindly rewarded by having my “eternal hero,” Nick Silverwolf, cast as a character in the setting (complete with awesome art piece). This is a new game, top to bottom, with its own core rules and a deep, involved setting that fits within what I like to call “arcanotech fantasy,” where it’s not really steampunk, but you wind up with guns and some other aesthetics from that space in an otherwise decidedly epic fantasy milieu.

The art, frankly, was the first thing that brought me into this one, and it’s something truly special.

Punished, forsaken and left for dead by the very hand that created them, four races must come together and unite against the grim horrors of a world set on fire.

Unity is an epic fantasy tabletop RPG. The unique setting blends high fantasy with a flavourful dose of arcane-infused technology. Unity focuses on telling spectacular stories while emphasizing teamwork with a combat engine that allows players to combine their powers and develop interesting synergies for a deep and fulfilling tactical experience. 

Explore the forgotten remnants of a once Golden Age when mortals rose to challenge gods. Rediscover long forgotten ancient technologies that blur the lines between reality and wonder. Stride atop colossal mechanized machines of war from a bygone era. Embrace the discovery of new and exciting cultures in a scarred landscape full of secrets and hidden beauty.  
  
In a world that teeters on the brink of apocalypse, become the dim light of hope that shines among a sea of darkness or take advantage of the chaos in the world and make your own mark. Whatever flavour of adventure you choose, you will have to work together to achieve it. 

The Core Rulebook includes everything you need to play:

  • Full roleplaying rules for character creation, adventuring, and combat.
  • Full setting guide that explores the world of Unity and its rich history.
  • 4 Factions complete with cultural write-ups and short stories.
  • 9 Classes and hundreds of power combinations to master.
  • Mysterious and perilous locations to explore.
  • Deadly foes to fight.
  • Powerful treasures to acquire.
  • A Game Master’s Guide.
The Digital PDF comes fully bookmarked and all page references are hyperlinked.

Take a look at our 40+ PAGE FREE SAMPLER to get a deeper look at what Unity RPG is about!

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’m wrapping up Celebrating Diversity Week by shining the light on Cynthia Celeste Miller, the mastermind of Spectrum Games and one of the foundational voices of inclusion and diversity in our hobby and industry. Though we interact only ever from afar, I consider her a friend, and we are giddily fans of each others’ work. “Genre emulation” is a specialty of her house, and with products like Slasher FlickOn the AirStories from the Grave, and of course the ever-amazing Cartoon Action Hour, she’s proven time and again she knows how to make a game that “takes you there.”

Remember those bygone Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons spent in front of our television sets back in the ’80s? Remember how we watched the eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil unfold right before our young eyes as our heroes stopped at nothing to out the kibosh on the seemingly endless machinations of the villains? Remember how these wondrously cheesy shows drw us in and spoke to us on a personal level, all the while trying to sell us action figures?

We remember it too! 

Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 is the third edition of the game that was nominated for  “Best RPG” at the 2004 Origins Awards. The game faithfully and meticulously emulates the action-adventure cartoons of the 1980s, using “cartoon logic” as the basis for every aspect of the system. This is not just a universal game that just happens to be adorned with genre-appropriate art. Every single design decision was made with the purpose of bringing to life the retro-toons of yesteryear, right at your gaming table.

Everything you need to play Cartoon Action Hour is included in this full-color rulebook. Some of the features include:

Sleek and Exciting Game System: You roll a d12 and add one or two ratings to it. That’s the core of the system, making it extremely easy to jump right into the animated fray. Every nuance of the system (transformation, vehicles, playsets, etc.) utilize the same game mechanics as a whole. 

Action Scenes: In Cartoon Action Hour, there is no “combat system”. In its place is the “action scene” system, which covers far more than just a slugfest or a laser-filled shootout. Violence is de-emphasized and players are rewarded for making indirect attacks of a less overt nature (“I shoot the tree branch, so that it falls on top of the enemy!”). Characters can be given Setback Tokens, representing anything from physical damage to confusion and everything in between.

Series Creation: The GM and the players work together to construct the series via the series creation system, which includes character creation. Speaking of which, creating characters has never been this easy in previous versions of the game, as the bookkeeping is now very minimal indeed.

Sample Series: The book includes eight series seeds and one more detailed sample series.

26-Page Action Scene Example: This ultra-detailed example of an action scene answers any question you care to ask.

Preface by Flint Dille: The legendary cartoon writer offers up an insightful preface that discusses the way cartoons were created in the 1980s.

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!

A beautiful human being, inside and out, and one of the most respected and prolific creators in tabletop RPGs, Steve Kenson is a loud-and-proud voice in the LGBTQ community. His work is found extensively throughout the gaming industry, including Green Ronin’s Mutants & Masterminds, Blue RoseModern AGE, and the upcoming Expanse; his own Ad Infinitum Adventures imprint, where he continues publishing great stuff for his ICONS line; and the recently-released (on DriveThru; originally published in the late 90s) In Nomine line from Steve Jackson Games. Talented and kind, Steve is one of the Best of Us, period.

The Good Guys

Evil, beware! The Heavenly Host is here, terrifying and beautiful, and ready to play.

The Angelic Player’s Guide contains everything you ever wanted to know about angels — their history, their laws, the Choirs they belong to and the Superiors they serve . . . even the dark paths that can lead them to a Fall from Grace. In addition to expanded angel descriptions, it provides the players with four new campaign concepts and several ways to run them. Also included are special rules for playing Outcasts and relievers, and a chapter on angelic reproduction. The Angelic Player’s Guide even has a step-by-step “Angel Creation Guide” for quickly and easily generating unique angel characters. The Angelic Player’s Guide is a companion to the In Nomine roleplaying game.

Watch your step and don’t Fall.

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!