Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

I’ve been on something of a quest to have someone run some kind of FATE game for me that I might enjoy. I’ve not yet really experienced the system in a way that left me with a positive impression, much like my endless frustrations with the Apocalypse World Engine.

This looks very much like a FATE game I might enjoy, if the right person ran it and the right folks played. It’s based on the highly acclaimed superhero novels by Marion G. Harmon – who, incidentally, is the lead writer and designer for the RPG as well.

Cape (plural capes): literally, a sleeveless garment hanging from the neck over the back and shoulders; figuratively, a superhuman who has chosen to act as a superhero. Synonyms: hero, mask, super, superhero. Connotations: ‘cape’ is used as both a familiar and derogatory term for superheroes, who often casually refer to themselves as capes but generally consider it a demeaning term when applied to them by the press.

Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans

What if the world changed?

Ten years ago, everything did. The world we knew ended with The Event and the appearance of hundreds, thousands of superhuman individuals—ordinary men and women empowered in the blink of an eye, between one breath and the next, transformed or given extraordinary gifts. With this gamebook, you can take on the roll of a superhuman—a breakthrough—who has chosen to “wear the cape” and become a superhero. Or at least come as close to one as you can in a world with legal institutions that are averse to the idea of super-powered vigilantes!

Wearing the Cape

In 2011, Marion G. Harmon indie-published Wearing the Cape, a superhero novel. WtC was enthusiastically received by fans looking for good superhero fiction, and it and its six sequels have consistently been ranked in the top of their genre category. The books have introduced Astra, Artemis, and other “capes” to a growing legion of fans. Many of these fans are also avid superhero RPG superhero gamers, who expressed a keen interest in seeing the world of the books given its own sourcebook or gamebook. And so…

Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game

Built on the FATE CORE system by Evil Hat Productions, Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game uses an open system of Aspects, Ratings, and Stunts to describe any conceivable character and superhuman power, as well as organizations, cities, regions, and any kind of environment the heroes may encounter. 220 pages of gamebook, with 30 dense pages of Post-Event World background to provide endless ideas for locations and threats, Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game is a gateway for anyone who wishes to adventure in the world of the novels, or who wishes to make a world of their own!

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!

There was N.E.W.: The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game, and now comes O.L.D. – same engine, entirely different areas of focus.

Stoic rangers track their prey across the unkempt wilderness. Shining knights with sword and lance charge heroically at their foes. Weathered watchmen investigate a murder in a scummy tavern. Masters of the dark arts bring the dead back to life. Ernest clerics turn back vampires in deep, unholy crypts. Mighty warriors battle ice dragons in the arctic wastes. Pale alchemists mix complex ingredients for their latest concoctions.

Play a brave knight, a cunning burglar, a serene warrior-monk, or a brilliant firemage. Are you a wild berserker, a deadly assassin, or a swashbuckling musketeer? Dozens of fantasy careers await you!

Features the innovative freeform magic system based on Elements of Magic – weave new and unique spells on the go by combining magical skills and secrets!

FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH N.E.W. THE SCIENCE FICTION ROLEPLAYING GAME!

This roleplaying game allows you to create and run adventures in a fantasy setting of your own creation!

*A selection of fantasy races, and over 40 careers which allow you to create any fantasy character with a fun intuitive life-path system.

*A wide array of medieval and fantasy equipment, including weapons, armor, herbs, mounts, magical items, tools, and more. Wield anything from a zweihänder to a musket; wear ringmail or Eastern lamellar armor; don a great helm or a pair of spiked gauntlets. 

*Full rules for running the game, including fast but tactical combat, environments, and extended alchemical and herbalism tasks.

*A flexible magic system which allows you to devise spells on the go, using a freeform verb-noun system able to accommodate any magical effect by spending Magic Points.

*Rules for wilderness travel, stronghold building, and warfare.

*Extensive guidelines for building a fantasy game setting, with detailed rules for creating races, careers, monsters, and more, along with discussion on genre, theme, and technology.

Whether you’re a fellowship sneaking into enemy terrain, watchmen protecting a rain-sodden town, hunting a mighty fire dragon, or exploring the dark depths of places best left alone, O.L.D. has you covered!

This is a What’s O.L.D. is N.E.W. core rulebook.

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!

The wizarding world of Harry Potter set off a phenomenon across pop culture and all forms of media, so it’s no wonder folks are offering you chances to play out your own “young wizard fantasies” at the tabletop.

I think the following exchange in the comments for the product may be relevant to your interests, if you’re exploring it –

“How does this campaign setting deal with players that do not want to play a spell caster, or say cleric type of casters?” – Potential Buyer

“Good question. Scarthey might be an Arcane University, but it has druidic roots and has expanded over time to cater to divine and psychic magic users too. Non-casters are less likely to study at the University – unless they’re studying arcane subjects – but can be found within the Rectors, an organisation of adventurers associated with Scarthey. To answer your question more specifically, the book suggests 3 campaign modes: Students Only, Rectors Only, and Mixed.” – Creator and Publisher Rodney Sloan

Shades of Ars Magica!

Admissions Now Open, Enroll Today

From J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts to Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University, magic schools and universities abound with fantastic adventures. Now you can join the adventure and enroll at Scarthey, University of the Arcane. Live and breathe the magic, wander the halls alongside wise wizards, discover hidden secrets, and battle fearsome foes.

Welcome to Scarthey — University of the Arcane is the ultimate student’s guide to the University of Scarthey, including everything you need for fantastic adventures in the exciting and unpredictable world of magical studies. Compatible with the Fifth Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game, this 66 page book includes:

  • An exploration of the tumultuous history of the University of Scarthey.
  • An introduction to the staff and faculties of the University.
  • A look at the four Houses of Scarthey, including campaign traits for each House.
  • A map of the University and descriptions of all the major locations around Scarthey’s campus.
  • A guide to the surrounding town of Scartheyton.
  • A practical guide to the gruesome sport of cackleball and the competitive sport of dragon boat racing.
  • Both a Single Page Spread PDF and a Double Page Spread PDF, stunningly illustrated, for your viewing pleasure.

Get that Degree in the Arcane Arts! Enroll Today!

Are you a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game player? Grab the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible version of this product here.

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!

While you’re reading this, Chupacabracon is underway and I am thrilled to be there. Figured a recent Savage Worlds Pick is appropriate, considering the Gathering of Savages we have at the show (Shane Hensley, Clint & Jodi BlackEd Wetterman & Preston DuBose of 12 to MidnightRoss Watson, and Yours Truly, among a lot of other licensee folks). This is the most recent release for the Accursed setting, which Ross brought to life with John Dunn and Jason Marker.

You know the one, right? Where you basically play as “Universal Monsters” in a world beset by the classic witches of lore?

Strained Allegiance

In an unusual turn of events, the Gorgon has chosen to enlist mortal agents in her feud with the Dark Queen. The full reasons for her request remain a mystery, but the information she shares is earnest and her offer to cooperate is sincere. Melusine wishes to see Hecate removed from  Morden. She is willing to make concessions to the region’s mortal inhabitants—including Accursed belonging to the Order of the Penitent—if they assist her. This alliance of convenience could lead to a tremendous opportunity for the Order, but it is not without risk.

Strained Allegiance is a short scenario that focuses on the adventures of a band of Witchmarked heroes in the Accursed game setting. It is intended for experienced characters, of Veteran level or higher. The adventure may be played as a standalone, or it may be used with the Plot Point Campaign included in Accursed. The adventure features brief scene descriptions, with necessary game mechanics and opportunity for tasks that can be resolved in a variety of ways. 

Accursed provides additional details about the setting used in this scenario, and is required to fully make use of the game mechanics presented. Savage Worlds and the Savage Worlds Horror Companion are also required.

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!

Shadowrun Fifth Edition players and GMs will greatly appreciate this expansion on the magic system. Building on the basics, this is the pathway to make sure your arcane practitioner stands out both in style and substance – and never forget how both are important in the life of a Shadowrunner.

Ride the Crashing Wave

Magic is wild. Magic is undisciplined. You can try to impose order and understanding on it, but that’s just surface. Underneath is chaos, an erratic heart beating to a staggering rhythm. You don’t control it, any more than a surfer controls twenty-meter-tall wave; you don’t direct the wave, you ride it, capture a piece of its power, and hope to survive. If you do it right, though, you catch a portion of unimaginable power—power those who control the Sixth World don’t want you to have. All the more reason to push past their boundaries and grab it.

Forbidden Arcana offers dozens of different ways for Awakened characters in Shadowrun to harness that power and make themselves a mana-slinger like no other. From new ways to distinguish spellcasters of different traditions to more chaotic methods for summoning spirits to options for Awakened characters who have mastered their craft, Forbidden Arcana shows players how to break out of conventional molds, use mana in new ways, and become true street legends riding the growing wave of Sixth World mana.

Forbidden Arcana is an advanced magic rulebook for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition; magic concepts from the book can be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy, though mechanics for that game are not included.

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!

A little something different, particularly helpful to Savage Worlds fans, but also pretty cool for fans of playing cards and fantasy art.

Squint no more myopic or aging Savage!

From the Just Insert Imagination laboratory comes this scientifically engineered Action Deck just for you with large suits and numbers. That’s not all. This fantasy themed 54 cards deck comes fully illustrated and with a tuck box that will make you the envy of all your friends.

Behold! The Fantasy Action Deck!

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 properties screaming for a reboot in fandom is the immensely powerful Robotech giant transforming robot anime. Although the rights remain tangled in a web of Japan-to-America legal webbing that may never be fully resolved, the one company ever able to untangle that web enough to do some fun stuff with the property is Palladium, and now one of the more popular sourcebooks from the Robotech RPG line is available on DriveThruRPG. Fans of the game and fans of the series will want this one.

Robotech® Ghost Ship Adventure Sourcebook, 1988 Edition

Explore the ruins of a Zentraedi Salan Scout ship, but is it an abandoned ship – a “ghost ship” – or is it a trap? Find out.

An RDF Reconnaissance team must stealthily penetrate a seemingly derelict Zentraedi warship that is suspected to be a base for Zentraedi terrorists. The adventure takes place aboard the alien vessel. Floor plans and stats of the Salan Scout offer a platform for future battles and adventures. Macross or Southern Cross setting.

  • The Zentraedi Salan Scout Ship floor plans and stats.
  • Ghost Ship adventure outline.
  • Additional Zentraedi items and adventure ideas.
  • RDF in space! And working with the Southern Cross.
  • Space pirates 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!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the wilderness of the 9th World…

(Seriously, I look at some of this and I think to myself the following exchange must have occurred between Bruce Cordell and the art team – “You guys just go nuts, come up with whatever your imagination can dream, and I’ll give it some stats!”)

The Ninth World teems with life—and most of it is hungry!

The Ninth World is unlike any other fantasy setting: weird, imaginative, dangerous, and often a bit creepy. The creatures of Numenera are no different—and the Ninth World Bestiary 2 gives you over 160 new ones to populate your campaign. Creatures undreamt of by even the most experienced pursuer of the numenera: the huge, burrowing mimus; the six-mouthed jreet; the mirror-faced cyclic raider; and many, many more.

This book includes:

  • Over 160 new creatures to populate your campaign.
  • An extensive index of all creatures from products across the Numenera game line.
  • Random encounter tables for creatures from this book, the Ninth World Bestiary, and the Numenera corebook.
  • Random tables to generate new creatures on the fly.
  • Useful insights on the behaviors, beliefs, and relationships of Ninth World creatures.

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!

A flashback to some sci-fi goodness of the past as Precis Intermedia continues their march to bring Shatterzone back into the spotlight. A very solid sci-fi-with-cyberpunk elements setting I had the pleasure of doing some work for back in the day. Definitely stuff worth mining for your own science fiction gaming, no matter what system.

Use the Consortium of Worlds’ most deadly arm in your Shatterzone campaign. A monolith of power and a force for destruction all rolled into one gamemaster tool, Fleet can be the ultimate motivating factor for any campaign.

This book explains how the powerful, dangerous, and enigmatic Fleet can be utilized without completely disrupting a normal campaign. It also illustrates how a completely normal campaign can be blown to hell… if that is what the gamemaster is looking to do.

This classic scanned reprint of Fleet™ requires the Shatterzone™ core rules (either the original boxed set or classic reprint).

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!

Straight up – I am on the Board of Directors for the Roleplaying Game Creators Relief FundIn great part, we’re there to try and help fellow creators of RPGs get through medical and other disasters that others have insurance to manage. The amazing folks at Onyx Path have decided to launch a rather amazing Bundle of Holding, featuring lots of stuff for their Vampire 20th Anniversary line, that directly supports the RCRF, for which we are all very grateful.

And, if you are a V20 fan, you will be too – considering all the amazing stuff you can get for a rather mesmerizing price.

Neonate! The Camarilla returns to bring you the Vampire 20th Anniversary Bundle, featuring the massive 20th Anniversary Edition (2011) that celebrates the 1991 publication of White Wolf Game Studio’s original tabletop roleplaying game of personal horror, Vampire: the Masquerade. Longtime Vampire fans love this gorgeous full-color 535-page compendium and update of the Storyteller system and the Classic World of Darkness setting. Now get V20 and many recent supplements and adventures in this bargain-priced collection.

For just US$14.95 you get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $54) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete V20 core rulebook (retail value $30), the V20 Storyteller’s Screen (retail $2) and Companion (retail $10), the adventure Dust to Dust (retail $7), and the newly added V20 Ready-Made Characters (retail $5) with 13 ready-to-play vampires from all the Clans.

And if you pay more than the threshold price of $26.29, you’ll rise in Discipline and also get our entire Storyteller’s Collection with four more titles worth an additional $61:

  • Anarchs Unbound (retail $15): A revisitation of the old Anarch Cookbook that makes these revolutionaries capable and terrifying.
  • Dread Names, Red List (retail $15): The throughly updated Kindred Most Wanted Red List of the Camarilla’s deadliest enemies.
  • Children of the Revolution (retail $15): Biographies of 18 Kindred who were Embraced in difficult times.
  • The Hunters Hunted II (retail $16): Revised and updated for V20, this seminal World of Darkness book looks at the mortals around the world who hunt or study the Kindred.

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!