Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

As the horde swarms forward for Positively Barbaric! Week, it crashes through the savage lands of Primeval Thule. Written and designed by WotC alumni Richard BakerDavid Noonan, and Stephen Schubert, this one has serious pedigree, and it brings both sword-and-sorcery barbarism and strange eldritch horror and magic together in a particularly well-crafted way. This is the 5e iteration; there’s one for 13th AgePathfinder, and Savage Worlds (which me and Ross Watson helped with).

Primeval Thule 5e is a sword-and-sorcery campaign setting redesigned for 5e (For other game systems, go back to our publisher page and select the version you want.)

Welcome to Thule, a primordial land of fierce barbarians, elder horrors, and savage wilderness. In this ancient age, humankind is a young race, newly arisen on a monster-haunted Earth. Cities of cruel spledor lie scattered across the great lands of the north like a handful of gems strewn from a dead thief’s hand.

This is a doomed age, a time of great deeds and inhuman terror destined to be lost and forgotten beneath the numbing cloak of endless winter. But for one glittering moment, Thule lives—and it is a fierce, cruel, splendid, and marvelous moment indeed.

This 272-page tome provides you everything you need to introduce the world of Thule to your 5e game. Inside, you will find:

  • A new character race, the Atlanteans;
  • 19 heroic narratives such as free blade, ice reaver, and star-lore adept;
  • Over 40 new beasts, monsters, and villains to challenge your players;
  • 3 ready-to-play adventures to begin your campaign;
  • A detailed description of Quodeth, City of Thieves, the perfect home for bold heroes;
  • A separate PDF of Player Reference Cards to get your players up to speed on characters in Thule;
  • And a whole continent of savage adventure to explore! 
  • The digital download includes a full poster map in PDF format!*

Also check out the 5e Thule GM CompanionPlayer’s Companion, and Adventure Anthology, all also available in full-color softcovers!

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!

It seems Savage Worlds is just a great system for uncivilized gaming (must be the name, yeah?), so here’s another Savage pick for Positively Barbaric! Week. This one is from my Polish friends at GRAmel, and it’s pretty much the definitive swords-and-sorcery setting line for the SW crowd.

Welcome to the dangerous Dread Sea Dominions, a place where mighty barbarians do battle with hideous monsters, dark warlocks whisper terrible sorceries in forgotten temples and noble amazons duel in the sun-scorched arenas of Faberterra, capital of a decadent empire!
In this book, you will find a full-fledged Sword and Sorcery setting for Savage Worlds, complete with history, timeline and a detailed gazetteer full of adventure hooks.
Ruleswise, you’ll find:
+Rules for Heroic Incapacitation, After the Adventure rules (to squander your loot and handle downtime activities and events)
+An adventure generator specifically tailored for Sword and Sorcery to create a great plot in no time
+Abstract navigation rules to handle mapless dungeons
+More than seventy new creatures
+A full adventure…
+ …and much, much more!
What are you waiting for? Gird your loins, ready your broadsword and prepare to face the threats of Beasts and Barbarians, the new Sword and Sorcery setting from GRAmel!
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!

It’s Positively Barbaric! Week here at the Pick, with a gaming stuff that focuses heavily on sword-and-sorcery flavor and a decidedly pre- (or post-) civilization aspect to the worldbuilding. Today’s Pick actually does some different things with this idea, including a strong steampunk aesthetic and influence, and the latter idea of a world that had plenty of civilization until that One Terrible Day. Be sure to take a look at the extensive product support they’ve crafted for this line across multiple systems.

PS – My good friend Mark Swafford is one of the creators for this setting.

An Epic World of Steam and Darkness

In Aden, a thousand-year Golden Age of prosperity gave rise to an unprecedented development: the fusion of magic and technology into a unique discipline called mechamagic. Arcane power, steam power, and gunpowder changed the world almost overnight. The Golden Age ended, and the Age of Thunder began. It seemed that there would be no limit to the industry and ingenuity of man.

Until the Darkfall.

A supernatural cataclysm of unknown origin, the Darkfall plunged the world into darkness as the sun was blotted out for only a moment. In that moment, every nightmare and horror imagined by the people of Aden sprang into existence, and the world was thrown into chaos. Villages were wiped from the face of the world, entire cities burned, and tens of thousands perished in an instant. It seemed that the world would die in flames.

But Aden will not die so easily.

Now, ten years later, the people of Aden struggle to survive in the face of unrelenting assault by horrors beyond imagining. It is a world of magic, a world of industry, a world of horror.

It is the World of Aden.

Savage Thunderscape: the World of ADen is a setting and mechanics sourcebook compatibly with the Savage Worlds role-playing game. Within the pages of this book you will find the following:

  • Details on the different races of Aden, seven of which are new to this work!
  • New Edges of all types, including new Arcane Backgrounds!
  • New spells, new technology, and new equipment!
  • A sample bestiary of creatures from Aden!
  • And much, much 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!

Seeing this floating in the Hot List on DriveThruRPG inspired my theme for the week – Positively Barbaric! It would seem the RPG zeitgeist has once again embraced the savage wonder of sword-and-sorcery, with barbaric, mighty-thewed heroes facing unspeakable horrors and terrible sorcery. Let’s spend a week looking at games that cast off the trappings of civilization and embrace savagery in the name of survival… and glory!

ASTONISHING SWORDSMEN & SORCERERS of HYPERBOREA is sword-and-sorcery role-playing at its pinnacle. Play an Amazon fighter, Atlantean magician, Esquimaux shaman, Hyperborean warlock, Ixian necromancer, Keltic barbarian, Kimmerian cataphract, Pictish thief, Viking berserker, or one of many other possibilities.

The heroes of a HYPERBOREA campaign delve the mazes and labyrinths of vast dungeons filled with horrifying monsters, lethal traps, and bewildering puzzles. They explore savage frontiers, breach hostile borderlands, probe ancient ruins, and investigate cursed tombs. They plunder for treasure and magic in a decaying world inhabited by bloodthirsty beasts and weird, otherworldly beings.

Now in its second edition, AS&SH™ has been expanded to include new classes, news spells, new monsters, new magic items, and more! It also includes a new, full colour map, an introductory town and adventure, as well as hundreds of new illustrations! This new edition is backwards-compatible with the original edition of the game. 

Explore endless challenges and infinite realms of imagination with this complete sword-and-sorcery role-playing game!

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!

I’m closing out Heroes Will Rise Week with something I’ve not talked about for a while. Shaintar is the fantasy world I started building many, many years ago (beginning in 1977) as a place for heroes. I didn’t like the idea of things being “open-ended,” where you could play mercenaries, murder hobos, and outright bad guys as readily as you could play good guys. I get that games should be about whatever folks want to be, overall, but I wanted to craft a place where being heroes – determined, capable, and ultimately legendary heroes – was the entire point.

It took a very long time to finally pull everything together, and discovering the Savage Worlds was the final piece to lock it down. A system designed to recreate the pulp/cinema action style I craved for the world.

Life transpired in a way that it became important for me to pass the torch and let others carry on the legacy of Shaintar (“It’s like Die Hard meets Lord of the Rings“), and it’s now in the hands of Savage Mojo and guided by the passionate talents of Darren Pearce and others. This book, however, remains one of the things I will always be most proud of – a gateway into an expansive world where the choice to be a hero is meaningful and fulfilling; where the concepts of good and evil, Light and Darkness, Life and Flame are tangible and impactful; and where the words “legendary” and “epic” are truly understood.

This is the full book, complete with all Player and Game Master information for Novice to Veteran play!

Sean Patrick Fannon’s vision of Epic High Fantasy comes to life for Savage Worlds in this all new iteration brought to you by Evil Beagle Games.

“The heart of any lasting and memorable roleplaying campaign is the setting. Is it vivid? Alluring? Full of mysteries, as well as straight-ahead challenges?

If the answer is “Yes” to all of these, you are in good hands.

SHAINTAR is deep in “good hands” territory.

Just paging through the Players Guide makes you want to play, and it’s genuinely hard to create a boring character using this book; everything works together to make your Hero interesting. And that’s even before you get to the four detailed Major Enemies lurking in Shaintar. Or the rules for alchemy, or the tantalizing glimpses we get of the Black Lantern and Grayson’s Grey Rangers . . .

A winner. Get this book.” — Ed Greenwood, creator of The Forgotten Realms®

Savage Worlds fans will find a lot to love about Shaintar: Legends Arise:

  • Eleven distinctive Races with many specialized Racial Edges for each.
  • Over 60 new Edges, including Professional, Combat, and Power Edges.
  • Expanded options for magic, including Applications for Sorcery, Extended Casting, and more.
  • New and expanded rules for Alchemists and Artificers, as well as personalized magic items.
  • Setting rules like All Out Move, the Deep Magic, and Lead from the Front.
  • Information about the many nations and factions that drive the stories of Shaintar.
  • A complete Timeline featuring thousands of years of Shaintar’s history.
  • Denizens section with many dozens of characters and monsters, as well as five new Monstrous Templates and templates for changing almost any Denizen to any of the eleven Races.
  • An expanded Weapons, Armor, and Gear list for epic fantasy gaming, as well as a Resource system to replace “counting coins” for wealth management.
  • Extensive advice about Game Mastering an Epic High Fantasy setting.
  • Three Legendary Tales, “Countering the Terror,” “Red Store Rising,” and “Return to Honor, Return to Glory.”

Anyone seeking Epic High Fantasy adventure will enjoy this book, as will anyone wishing to add lots of great new material to their Savage 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!

Today’s Heroes Will Rise Week choice is from the wild-and-crazy anything-goes setting that is Rifts, and it’s one of the most popular dimension books Palladium ever published. Epic superheroes fighting to save their world from an alien invasion, and it all spills over onto Rifts Earth! Calling all heroes! Bring Boom Guns and big magic!

Epic super-hero adventure on an alien planet, as alien heroes fight to liberate their world from the tyranny of the world-conquering space aliens known as the Tarlok.

  • Invading Tarlok aliens, heroes and world information.
  • 20 new O.C.C.s and R.C.C.s for player characters.
  • 25 new weapons and vehicles.
  • New superpowers, aliens, equipment and villains.
  • For use with Rifts® and Heroes Unlimited™, 2nd Ed.

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 Week of Heroes Will Rise continues with a focus on the heroes we need to nurture and encourage. The Hero Kids line is a fantastic gateway to bring the youngest players into RPGs, and this bundle expands the fantasy adventure into space. It’s a great price, too – $10 for the whole set!

(From the Space Expansion – Hero Cards Set 1):

This expansion for Hero Kids includes ten space heroes for use with space adventures (although these heroes are 100% compatible with all other Hero Kids adventures):

  • Brute – The pandian’s strength and size makes him formidable in melee combat
  • Force-Binder – This alien Nadi can push enemies with his powerful magic
  • Merc – The merc’s armor protects her from all but the most powerful attacks
  • Nadic Healer – This Nadic binds the weave to heal her allies
  • Scoundrel (Female) – Trained in gunnery, the scoundel is a cunning combatant
  • Scoundrel (Male) – And expert pilot, this scoundrel is as slippery as they come
  • Sharpshooter – This alien’s ultra-spectral visor enhances his aim
  • Trooper – The trooper’s armor protects him while he lines up his enemies
  • Warrior (Female) – The alien warrior’s ion sword and quick feet get her in and out of trouble
  • Warrior (Male) – Years of training has honed the warrior’s skill with his blade

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!

Most who know me at all know I don’t do horror. Not movies, TV, and especially not gaming.

Chill was always the exception for me.

Why? Because Chill is predicated heavily upon the idea of heroes gathering together to do whatever they can to help innocents and save the world from evil. The “adventuring paradigm” of the setting says it all – an organization named SAVE. The motto is why I can play this game, and why I’ve always enjoyed it over all other horror games –

Investigate the Unknown.

Rescue the Innocent.

Kill the Monsters.

This makes it a perfect Pick for Heroes Will Rise Week.

A Horror Roleplaying Game

Every one of us is weak: mere ants against the stalking giants that have brought us to our knees. Even when we work together, the Unknown is bigger than us, better armed, and better prepared for what’s to come. We have no real advantage, and our greatest victories have been nothing but the monsters toying with us before they descend to feast. Our fight is hopeless.

This is how we’re going to win.

—Hayat Nejem, “How to SAVE the World”

The uneasy feeling that creeps up your spine as you walk down a darkened hallway. The way your footsteps echo oddly on a deserted street at night, as though there was someone walking somewhere behind you.  The shape you see out of the corner of your eye when you’re home alone.

The Unknown lurks in the dark.

We all know it. Luckily, some of us use that knowledge to fight. The odds may be against us, but we can win.

Investigate the Unknown.

Rescue the Innocent.

Kill the Monsters.

Will you stand with us? Remember — SAVE is on your side.

Chill 3rd Edition is an investigative horror roleplaying game about people who stand up against monsters, hunting down supernatural threats and protecting the world from the Unknown. You don’t have to be a superhero to be a member of SAVE; you just have to stand up and join us. 

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!

For so many reasons, I am declaring this Heroes Will Rise Week. So many tragedies, disasters… and remembrances, especially today.

Opening with my buddy Darren Watts‘ revision of this classic Champions product seems pretty much perfect. We could all hope for such strong and noble heroes facing the problems of our world, so why not embody them and indulge in the goodness and honesty of the Golden Age.


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!

(Note: Electronic version also contains character sheets for Savage Worlds and Mutants & Masterminds in a single Zip file!)

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!

Few games depend on Stuff & Things more than Shadowrun. You want access to all the guns, all the gear, all the tech… and this book is all about all of that.

Nothing Is Free

Guns and ammo cost nuyen. Mastering martial arts takes time. And learning how to use explosives without blowing yourself up takes patience and a steady hand. These weapons and more are out there, waiting for you. You have the chance to use them to become deadlier, faster, more dangerous than the next guy—and more dangerous than you were yesterday. You’ll have to pay the price to get what you want, but this is the Sixth World. Don’t you always?

Run & Gun is a combat core rulebook for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, containing more weapons, more armor, more modifications, and more game options such as martial arts and unit tactics. Break the book open and prepare to raise your game!

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!