Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

Third Party Spotlight Week marches on with a Pathfinder sourcebook of great (and dark) power. The folks at Necromancers of the Northwest are artisans in a workshop, producing an extraordinary volume of quality content for this beloved game system, and here’s everything awesome they did last year.

Animate Your Game Today!

A Necromancer’s Almanac: 2016 is a compilation of all the material produced in 2015 for Necromancers of the Northwest’s popular article lines Best in Class, Magic Market, and Exotic Encounters, and Top Ten. With over 180 pages of gaming content, it’s not hard to believe that this book was a full year in the making.

Somehow, we’ve managed to pack nearly 40 combined archetypes, bloodlines, spirits, and other class features, as well as  five new base classes tied to specific monstrous races, nearly 120 brand new magic items, plus 25 monsters from CR 1 to 25, six new templates, 25 monster feats, and 5 new player races, plus 40 articles with flavorful content on a variety of topics, all in one single, massive tome of exciting new content for your Pathfinder game. With A Necromancer’s Almanac: 2016, you’ll have all the options to make exactly the character you want.

And what’s more, you don’t have to search through dozens of articles to find it. Everything has been collected, archived, and gathered in an organized fashion. Even better, the digital version boasts not only extensive bookmarking, but also hyperlinked tables and spell lists, allowing you to jump straight to an item, monster, or spell with a single click.

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!

Third Party Spotlight Week continues with a book put out by my friends at Encoded DesignsChris Sniezak and John Arcadian decided to tackle one of the most infamous monsters in all of D&D history, the freakin’ tarrasque! Considered by many over the years to be a kind of joke monster (never intended for actual use), while many others simply saw it as their ultimate “time to end the campaign” challenge, Chris and John decided to delve into the matter and make it a very real, usable world-threatening entity that you can build an entire campaign around facing.

Are You Ready For The World Ender?

The Tarrasque, the unkillable challenge of Dungeons and Dragons. Do you have what it takes to fight the monster? Do you have what it takes to run the tarrasque? How do you begin to tackle something so epic, so incredible? What do you do if your players are ready for it?

With The Book of the Tarrasque, you have all the help and information you need to throw an epic and fun challenge at your players that will be talked about for years!

What’s In The Book?

Advice

  • A fully fleshed out advice section guided by real world experiences.
  • New 5e rules that restore elements from previous editions (like regeneration and trample attacks) and add new options to challenge any group, no matter how powerful or prepared.
  • An in-depth look at multiple tactics brought to the table, as well as an in-depth look at the utility of many magic items.

History

  • The most complete history anywhere of the tarrasque in mythology, D&D history, other game systems, and even where it has been used as an easter egg in other mediums.
  • A foreword by Ed Greenwood.

Resources

  • A robust set of handouts, recompiled stat sheets, paper miniatures, game logs, and large format scaled maps.
  • Interactive handouts for logging games, using optional rules, creating your own miniatures, and more.

Adventure

  • Plot hooks and advice for incorporating the tarrasque into your game.
  • A complete adventure to challenge 15th through 20th level characters and bring them against the tarrasque. Written by ENnie award winning writer Chris Sniezak (Misdirected Mark, Gnome Stew, Dracula Dossier).

What People Are Saying

Thank the gods that a great designer has souped-up gaming’s most famous kaiju. The lore and crunch contained within this tome redefine this sack of hit points as a being to build entire campaigns around.
– James Introcaso, Don’t Split The Podcast Network

Want to have a lot of fun with a tarrasque? Read this book!
– Ed Greenwood, Forgotten Realms

Wow, that history is impressively complete.
– Shannon Appelcline, Designers and Dragons

On using the tarrasque: I never did because I wasn’t sure how the frack to use it, really. I read it and went oh my god that thing is just death on wheels, holy cow it’s just a mindless horrible killing machine…
After perusing the overview Encoded Designs gave me, I want to run a ********* Tarrasque game.
– Brett Bloczyinski, Gaming and BS episode 125


This book is the best, and easiest, way to fight the often discussed, but rarely used Tarrasque.
Simply put, you need this book!
— Neal Powell, Dungeon Master’s Block Podcast

Whether you’re fighting the Tarrasque, fleeing it, or maniacally laughing as you reveal it from behind your GM screen, buy The Book of the Tarrasque. Author John Arcadian has finally crafted a tome worthy of the beast’s terrible countenance.
– J.M. Perkins – Author of the Salt in Wounds Campaign Setting

If you are going high level in 5th Edition, you owe it to yourself to GO COMPLETELY EPIC with The Book of the Tarrasque.
— Wolfgang Baur, Kobold Press

These guys have finally given the Tarrasque some teeth!
– Mike Shea, Sly Flourish

John Arcadian’s The Book Of The Tarrasque looks fabulous!
– Bruce Cordell, D&D Designer, The Strange

The Tarrasque is one of my favorite monsters that I’ve never used in a game. I like the story elements it brings, but managing the mechanics is daunting. The Book of the Tarrasque delivers more than just practical advice. It delivers confidence, which is one of the most important things a GM needs.
– The Caleb G, The RPG Academy

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!

Looks like I’ve hit upon another Theme Week – Third Party Spotlight, supplements for core, popular systems from third parties you might be missing out on. I’ve pointed at Fat Goblin Games a few times here on the PotW, and it’s time to remind you again that they’ve got a lot of talent and experience in providing great material for some of your favorite games (Pathfinder, Castle Falkenstein, OGL), and now they’ve delved into the 5e market with a whole line of support. A friend of mine recently opined “You know what we need more of? Gnolls! Love me some dog boys!” Well, here you go.

Best-selling DMSGuild author Tony Petrecca (Journey Through the Center of the Underdark Volumes 1 and 2!) is at it again with another book in our popular 5th Edition Races line! This time out… Gnolls!

Gnolls are a horrific predatory race of hyena-like humanoids bent on pillage and destruction. They prey on the weak, using overwhelming odds and fiendish fury to wreak havoc where they may.

Explore the world of 5th Edition Fantasy Gnolls and find out all you need to know to bring these popular brutes out of the bestiary and on to your game table as a playable race.

What does this book have to offer?

– Subraces like the Abyssal Gnoll, Clan Gnoll, and the FLIND!

– New Weapons such as the flind bar!

– Two new magical items, the Howling Flail and Blood Fangs!

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!

Yes, it’s spelled that way (and I am not entirely sure why, but it does stand out, so that may be a bit of clever marketing there). There aren’t that many third-party adventures for Numenera, and this one has a great deal of buzz surrounding it for a few reasons – excellent work, fully campaign-length experiences, and most importantly – directly challenging the players to consider the consequences of being adventurers in a world that’s trying to build a civilization upon the ruins of countless others that came before.

The Ninth World is full of wonders and dangers. Just how far will your heroes go to explore them all? How many traps will they disarm, how many ancient tombs unearth? And while doing so, will they ever stop and think about the consequences of their actions? How many bridges will they burn to get treasures, knowledge and glory?

This campaign consists of 5 linked scenarios that can be also played separately. They are designed for Tier 3 characters and offer a variety of challenges: a grand ball and mingling with nobles, investigation, exploration of a strange fortress and finally – battling a powerful monster and its minions to save a city.

The campaign provides 25-30 hours of play, but can be easily expanded and built upon for even more fun! It takes place in the city of Uxphon, which featured in “The Devil’s Spine,” and serves as an excellent follow-up set of new adventures. But fret not, knowledge of “The Spine” is not required!

Includes never-before seen art to inspire your imagination. And yeah – it is gorgeous.

This is an adventure module for Game Masters and requires the Numenera Corebook from Monte Cook Games.

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!

“Eastern Fantasy Noir Steampunk?” Yeah, I think this one is a fitting finale to my Interesting and Different Week. I’ll let the cover and the sales text do the rest of the talking (while I see if I can find someone to run this for me).

Almost two centuries ago the lightning-powered ships of Ceramia pierced the skies of Soburin heralding an age of oppression that still marks the lands with the resources stripped from the countryside. Ripped away from a long age of peace and broken by soldiers wielding scientifically advanced weaponry, the warriors of the prefectures were drafted into a distant conflict across the edge of the world and ancient traditions of violence have reawakened a thirst for blood in those few that survive in the decaying world. Emperor Hitoshi’s rebellion a decade ago threw down foreign rule but an ancient danger has reappeared to push society to the brink of collapse: the Mists of Akuma.

The corrupting fog transforms those within it into bloodthirsty adeddo-oni, monsters that seek only the rending of flesh and the taste of living meat. Nobles have retreated to the cities dotting the countryside leaving the common folk to face the supernatural haze alone, adding to the undead horde. Nature itself has been perilously wounded and the technology that might save the prefectures is shunned and feared by the Masuto Dynasty and Emperor Hitoshi’s subjects.

Mists of Akuma is an eastern fantasy noir steampunk campaign setting for use with the newest edition of the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game. Using new mechanics steeped in eastern lore, the book focuses on providing in-depth urban settings and a diverse array of character options to make truly unique parties of adventurers perfectly suited to survive the decay and desperation in Soburin. Bengoshi (governmental agents) empowered to deputize individuals in service of the Masuto Dynasty are attempting to hold the apocalypse at bay but intrigue and graft are as common and deadly as the corrupting fog, and the ancient threat’s influence is spread all the further by the despair of Emperor Hitoshi’s subjects.

In the 275 page Mists of Akuma rulebook you’ll find…

  • An overview of the recent history of Soburin and basic information about the world including the dangerous Mists of Akuma, rules for traveling the prefectures, and what rigors maddened explorers must overcome to visit the apocalypse that has become of the other continents.
  • Over 100 NPCs and monsters ranging from foreign generals to eastern dragons, powerful bengoshi and underlings from each of the 24 unique clans, and more than two dozen kami, oni, and tsukumogami!
  • Cultural practices and traditions for Soburin inspired by and drawn from eastern lore.
  • Gorgeous cover artwork by Claudio Pozas, interior scene illustrations by Indi Martin and Sara Shijo, and character illustrations by Jacob Blackmon and Nathanael Batchelor!
  • A chapter each detailing three different cities: the capital of the Imperial Prefecture, Sanbaoshi, the advanced mechanical metropolis of Kyofu, and the traditionalist magic-steeped settlement of Nagabuki.
  • Short stories with gorgeous half page illustrations at the start of each chapter to firmly posit the desperation and diversity inherent to adventuring in Soburin!
  • Details on each of the two dozen clans of the prefectures, including the bengoshi that negotiate on the behalf of each ruling family’s lady or lord and how the Kengen Occupation affected each region of Soburin.
  • 7 new character backgrounds and guidelines for adapting existing character backgrounds when playing in Soburin as well as new conditions, the Culture skill, and 6 maps for the continent and its settlements by cartographers Michael McCarthy, Mike Myler, and Tommi Salama!
  • 19 different archetypes that provide exciting theme-appropriate character options for every class! Take the paladin samurai oath or the fell pact of the warlock wu-jen, grab some ninja rogue levels, or even become a bardic gun priest!
  • 14 new races to breathe life into Soburin, making it an exotic and unique world that is eager to shrug off the shackles of western imperialism: a trio of human subraces, bakemono goblins, ape folk enjin. 11 different kinds of hengeyokai, kappa turtle folk, gigantic mutants, undead necroji, corrupted oni-touched, psionic psonorous, frog-like pyon, hobgoblin shikome, automaton steametics, wily tanuki, soaring tengu, and the umibo water people!
  • 32 new character feats, over 10 pages of equipment that ranges from new armor and weapons to steampunk prostheses and vehicles, and 22 new eastern-themed spells!
  • Revenge of the Pale Master, an epic 25 page mystery adventure set in the industrialized city of Kizaki beneath the shadow of an ancient, evil necromancer that has the settlement firmly within his ethereal grasp.

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!

 

Continuing with the Interesting and Different theme of the week, we now look to the Tesla-inspired “electrotech” fantasy gaming material from Radiance House. While the core Players Guide is just straight-up free, they’ve come out with this major expansion that’s got a lot of fans very excited. They’re calling it “d20-lite,” which means it’s meant to run on the D&D engine via OGL. There’s a focus on late 19th and early 20th Century, but the material is meant to expand to multiple genres… and today’s Pick is especially driven by that goal.

Blast off to new adventures!

This supplement for Radiance RPG is a trove of options for any age: ancient, medieval, industrial, or science fantasy. Play a batfolk dragoon, cyborg spriggan, elan technomancer, ghost samurai, sha’ir magus, or vodron rocketeer. New classes, races, and themes yield over 8,000 options.

Inside, you will discover 262 pages of crunchy goodness:  

  • Classic and strange races such as elans and woodlings.  
  • 21 new classes like the alchemist, chronomancer, and voidmage.  
  • Add impactful downtime between adventures with 48 1-level kits.  
  • Play an angel, devil, ghost, werewolf, or other immortal.  
  • 36 new themes from adept and assassin to totemist and voidmain.  
  • Occult spirit binding, mass combat, magic items, businesses, space-age magitech, and voidcraft.
  • 24 new deities, 100 townies, and more…

Radiance RPG blends the best of editions of the world’s most popular role-playing game. It lets you focus on a fantasia of the late-19th century. Yet it is meaty and flexible to support any campaign setting you may imagine.

This supplement requires the Radiance Players Guide, available for free here at DriveThruRPG.

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!

Continuing the theme of the week – the Interesting and Different – here’s the grand new release from that most excellent couple I am proud to call friends, Sean Tate Bircher and Robin English-Bircher. They go alt-history (complete with horror, fantasy, and magic), dealing with the 18th Century. Attention to historical detail and the social structure makes this one sing out pretty well, and it functions as a stand-alone adventure or the anchor point for an entire campaign.

In an 18th century that never was, the island nation of Malleus writhes under the thumb of an aristocracy of vampires. A coalition of secret societies fights from the shadows to drag theses oppressors burning into the light, but the alliance is young and in dire need of a weapon that can turn the tide against the vampires and their forces.

Word comes to a cabal of heroes that Lady Clarimonde yearns for freedom from the tyranny of her debauched and cruel father, the Baron Drachenholm. Thankfully for her, she possesses the means to pay for her freedom: the Sanguinem Maledicta, a cure for the curse of vampirism!

The heroes must dare the deadly labyrinth of Mallean high society to discretely win the lady her freedom – but can they trust Lady Clarimonde herself? She is, after all, no human gentlewoman but rather the child of mortal and undead – a DHAMPIR!

  • New Hindrances!
  • New Edges!
  • New Equipment!
  • A modular adventure that can be resolved in one session or expanded into a mini-campaign!

The King is Dead: DHAMPIR requires the Savage Worlds rules to play.

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, it’s another groundbreaking game that challenges the traditional tropes and conventions of tabletop RPGs. That’s not to say it challenges what fantasy means – not for those who truly understand what the fantasy genre means for storytelling. Inclusive, expansive, beautiful, Blue Rose brings romantic fantasy to life in ways few other games ever attempted. Now available in the highly-praised Adventure Game Engine (AGE), it’s time for a new generation to discover this gem.

A decade ago Blue Rose shook up the RPG scene with its vision of romantic fantasy and inclusive gaming. Now the world of Aldea returns in a new edition using the Adventure Game Engine (AGE), the popular rules that power the Fantasy AGE and Dragon Age RPGs. This beautiful, full-color book contains everything needed to create and tell stories of heroic envoys of the Sovereign’s Finest as they protect their homeland of Aldis from threats like the shadowy Kingdom of Kern and the fanatical Theocracy of Jarzon, as well as monsters and artifacts from the cruel reign of the Sorcerer Kings. Aided by the rhydan—their psychic animal allies—the champions of the Kingdom of the Blue Rose safeguard the light of the world against the power of Shadow.

Will you answer the Sovereign’s call?

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!

One of the truly groundbreaking games of our hobby, this is the third presentation of James Wallis’ masterpiece of narrative storytelling game development that many argue heralded many current trends in RPG design. GM-less gaming? Diceless? Player-driven narrative? All within.

Baron Munchausen’s tales of his extraordinary adventures are legendary: riding cannonballs through the air, sailing to the Moon, meeting gods, escaping from the Turkish Army on half a horse, and many others.

Can you outdo the Baron? You can try!

Challenge your friends to tell the most extraordinary tale, interrupt to correct their boasts, and share your own amazing exploits in this renowned game of wit, riposte, and repartee, written in high style by the Baron himself. Expect no dice, counters, or pencils while playing, just fine wine and great merriment. Time to charge your glass and begin your tale!

This third edition of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen is massively expanded with new and revised material. Contained within is the original game along with Arabian style rules from Sinbad the Sailor, a simpler version for younger (or inebriated) players, and rules for online games. One of the Baron’s own descendants has also added twelve new variants of the game, allowing for stories where villains concoct dastardly schemes, ancient gods return from watery depths, heroic adventurers fight evil empires in outer space, and more!

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!