Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

Gonna try and stay with 5e products for my Adventures in D&D Week, and this one is an official joint from the Wizards of the Coast themselves. Set in one of the most well-known city regions in D&D history (thanks to some pretty great computer games), Murder in Baldur’s Gate comes from the era in which the Great Transition between 4th and 5th Editions occured. It features a lot of story-driven experiences and roleplay within the structure of the organized play module releases.

Duke Adrian Abdel is a living legend in the city of Baldur’s Gate, and much of the city has gathered to celebrate him and his accomplishments. On tis day of festivities, though, the dukes past will finally catch up with him, with dire consequences. Murder ha returned to Baldur’s Gate, and brave heroes are the city’s only hope to stop the violence.

This Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game adventure is designed to kick off the 2013 August-November season of the D&D Encounters official play program. The adventure comes with one full-color battle map, a short introductory scenario, information on the D&D Encounters program, and statistics to play the adventure using 3rd edition (v.3.5), 4th Edition, or the D&D Next playtest.

Includes the 32-page Adventure Guide, the 64-page Campaign Guide, and the DM Screen that were included in the original printed package, plus the three downloads: the 16-page Launch Guide, the 10-page Event Supplement, and the 24-page Monster Supplement.

Product History

“Murder in Baldur’s Gate” (2013), by Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, and Steve Winter, is the adventure for Season 15 of D&D Encounters. It was released for play in August 2013.

Continuing the Encounters. The fifteenth season of Encounters began on the weekend of August 17th with a special “launch weekend”. Participating stores got a 16-page adventure that contained an expanded version of the first week of play as well as player maps, NPC cards, and Bhaal d20s. Because the launch weekend coincided with Gen Con, Wizards was also able to run the event at the con, spotlighting the Encounters program at the world’s largest roleplaying convention.

The “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” module then went on sale on Tuesday, August 20th. This was another big change for the program. The previous seasons of Encounters had all been distributed as limited edition books that were given freely to participating GMs. Now, anyone could buy the Encounters adventures, but they had to buy them. Encounters GMs angrily declared that this new pay-for-play methodology would be the death of the Encounters program. (It wasn’t.)

Meanwhile, selling this season of Encounters also offered some benefits. First, it gave D&D some much needed attention on gaming store shelves during a year where Wizards’ schedule was otherwise filled with reprints of classic rule books and adventures. Second, it allowed Wizards to produce a much more comprehensive supplement. Instead of just producing an episodic adventure, Wizards published “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” as a folio that contained a 64-page setting book, a 32-page adventure book, and a four-panel Baldur’s Gate GM screen. Encounters GMs were saddened to see that cards and other accessories that had been common in previous Encounters adventures were absent, but of course the economics for mass-producing an adventure were very different from making it available on a limited basis.

Besides the core folio, Wizards also produced three additional “Murder” books: the 16-page “Launch Guide” was initially shipped to stores, but then made available as a PDF. In addition, a 10-page “Events Supplement” PDF provided more adventure and a 24-page “Monster Statistics” PDF gave GMs the stats they needed to play.

Though it was produced differently from previous seasons, “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” otherwise matched the traditional format for Encounters play. That meant that it was for levels 1-3 (after a few seasons that were a little higher in level). It also meant that individual sessions were designed for just 1-2 hours of play (though those sessions was much of a free-wheeling sandbox than before).

“Murder in Baldur’s Gate” was the Fall 2013 Encounters season, running for 12 weeks from August 21, 2013 to November 13, 2013. This followed a week of character generation on August 14 (and the special August 17-18 launch weekend)… (Hit the link for much more information).

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 I am launching Adventures in D&D Week with this new offering from Dias Ex Machina GamesChris Dias got on a lot of folks radars as someone who could make 4th Edition a lot more fun than some thought possible, and now he’s tackling 5e with the same enthusiasm, creativity, and talent. So as I am fond of saying in my sign-off on EN World – “The Adventure Continues!”

PS – Take a look at the “Publisher’s Note” at the bottom of the description. That kind of foresight and honesty is what makes for a good publisher. It’s also really smart, as it cuts off nitpickers at the pass.

If only there were real dragons…

The town of Miasto is not a destination. 

It won’t lead to an epic quest or forge long-standing relationships. 

It certainly won’t be a place to settle down in. 

But it could just be the right place at the right time for strangers to make difference. 

In a town absent of leadership, corrupt guilds have employed coercion, theft, and violence to increase power. 

Adventurers arrive amidst growing tension and meet a simple merchant with an equally simple task—return stolen property and perhaps avert a war in the streets.

But in a town full of charlatans, murderers and thieves, who does one trust?

A 5E adventure intended for 4-6 characters of 4th level, this adventure employs more stealth and trickery than direct combat. 

Expect anything. 

Believe no one.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Although being listed at 62 pages, this adventure intentionally repeats monster entries for each encounter, repeating again with the appendix.  As such, this adventure is closer to 50 pages.  

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!

Those who’ve been following me a while know one of my favorite people is Tom Tullis and one of my favorite companies is Fat Dragon Games. It should be no surprise, then, that I close out Maps Are a Treasure Week with this set of both 2D and 3D maps and terrain tiles for you to use for your sci-fi games. Tom’s got a ton of support for various genres, and has recently gotten into the 3D printing market as well. Check out the Star Tiles bundle and look around at all the other amazing stuff the portly drake has in store.

STAR TILES add a new dimension to boring miniature tiles…literally. We’ve combined 2D tiles with 3D props, allowing you to create a visually stunning tabletop for your players quickly and easily. This set includes 26 large 1″ (25-28mm) scale 8″x8″ tiles and enough 3D props to stock your starship or space station. All props are designed for the novice card modeler and can be built in minutes. All prop art is created by award winning artists and is 300dpi for maximum detail.

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 are times when you really want to make your own maps – especially in the style of the old Greyhawk maps we all fell in love with way, way back when! If you are looking for an easy-to-use, easy-to-customize tool set to craft your own RPG and fictional world maps, the Hex Kit Desktop App is where you want to start. Be sure to check out all the customizable and color options to add in.

This is another Pick for Maps Are a Treasure Week.

Hex Kit is a desktop application for building hex maps to be used with table top role playing games. Rather than being bogged down by features and complications, Hex Kit is built to be intuitive and quick to use with an emphasis on art.

Features:

  • Multi Platform: Hex Kit runs native on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Simple to Use: It has just the right tools you need to quickly put together a detailed map, as well as a few tools for displaying your map at the table.
  • Detail Variation: No need to hand pick each tile as you build your map; pick a hex style and the software randomizes the selection as you click and drag across the canvas. Tiles can be rotated and flipped with just a few mouse clicks as well. If you find the painting too broad, you can also select individual tiles.
  • Player Facing Display: Hex Kit has a display mode that shows your map in a separate window; drag it to a second screen or show it on a projector. You can hide parts of the map with fog of war and reveal the map as needed. Changes made in paint mode update in the display window in real time. Did your players burn that village down? Delete it from the map, and it’s gone.
  • Store Information: You can store a label with a description for each hex directly in the map.
  • Custom Tiles: Hex Kit comes with a small selection of old school themed, black & white tiles that you can use to get started. You can create and import your own tiles, or even install more hand illustrated tiles from Cecil Howe.
  • Export: Hex Kit will export your map as a PNG file that you can print or even use with a virtual table top.
  • Random Maps: If you’re in a hurry, or just want to goof off, you can generate a random map and then edit it to fit your needs.
More Tiles: Hex Kit comes packed with classic, black & white tiles out of the box. Additional, full color hand illustrated tiles can be purchased downloaded here in our DTRPG store.

NOTE: The Hex Kit desktop application only comes with black and white tiles; full color tiles are additional purchases.

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!

DramaScape is another master player in the map-making game for RPGs, making them a must-see for Maps Are a Treasure Week. This particular selection is for all the sci-fi fans, with a special nod to those who backed or are buying Pinnacle‘s Flash Gordon setting (the full setting book is coming soon to DriveThruRPG).

The Space Ships Bundle is a rather impressive collection of ship interiors useful for your tabletop or your VTT (virtual table top) gaming.

(The following description is from the SciFi Rocketship, pictured above) –

This product is a full-color, map of a SciFi Rocketship , with Hex, Square and No Overlays. The Zip file contains the VTT (Virtual Table Top Images for online play).

 “All we know is that the sky has suddenly turned black on the horizon. You need to leave now and find out what is going on in the skies of the eastern continent. Prepare for launch! “—Captain Kurtis

 SciFi Rocketship includes a single interior and three different exterior paint jobs of a rocket ship.

 SciFi Rocketship is intended for use in near future science fiction games. It could also be used as a high-tech rocket ship in modern games.

 Adventure hook for use with this map:

 Unnatural Eclipse: When the eastern sky is blotted out by black shapes and dust, Captain Kurtis sends the group to investigate the situation in a rocket ship as a scout and report back.

 When the group gets to the eastern skies, they see them covered with winged insectoids flying over a massive crashed meteor filled with large honeycombs.

 The insectoid creatures don’t take kindly to the presence of the group’s rocket ship and immediately swarm the ship! The black insectoids have large heads with two yellow compound eyes and antennae and thick mandibles, a thorax with two arms and two legs ending in four digit claws with two black wings, and an abdomen with two segmented yellow stingers protruding from its end. The insectoids have trouble with the metal armor of the rocket ship but soon start attacking the weaker glass on the cockpit…

 Can the group survive the swarm and retreat back to HQ to report the situation? Or will they dive right into the swarm, crash land the rocket ship, and fight their way into the meteorite hive without back up?

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!

Heroic Maps is doing exactly the kind of work that needs to be celebrated during Maps Are a Treasure Week here on the SPOD. Kennelfield Winter Castle is a prime example of their best – excellent, believable design; beautiful colors; clean, gamer-friendly layout; expansively huge areas to explore; and completely VTT (virtual table top) ready.

Kennelfield Winter Castle

Originally a small wooden tower, over the years successive generations of the Kennelfield family have improved the site, creating the present day structure. A huge square keep dominates the castle, with strong walls producing an inner ward. The castle includes a great hall, chapel, smith and stables, living rooms, cellars, kitchens and more.

A set of printable battlemaps compatible with any RPG/Dungeon-Crawl game. Use as a standalone gameboard, or combine with any same-scale tileset.
Contents: A multiple level map consisting of a 5 storey castle, spread across 5 30×30 battlemaps, each depicting a different floor of the fortress.
  • Cellar – includes kitchens, pantries, dungeon, stores, servant sleeping quarters.
  • Ground floor – courtyard, guard room, gates, great hall, chapel
  • 1st Floor – Lord’s hall, galleries, living areas, library
  • 2nd Floor –  Lord’s Solar, roof tops, battlements
  • Roof – pitched tiled rooftops
Also included are 300dpi full size jpgs, for poster printing or VTT. 
Also included are Roll20 VTT ready files, sized at 72dpi and 140x140px per square (all less than 10mb)
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!

With the immense popularity of this fantastic bundle from Alex Drummond and WarDrumRPG, I’m going with the theme of Maps Are a Treasure Week for the SPOD this week. The Epic Isometric Bundle is specifically designed for the ever-growing virtual tabletop community, but any GM is going to find extraordinarily useful stuff in a pack like this.

Just check out this sampler “poster.

This set is made possible by my kickstarter backers.

Everything you need for a great campaign.+ all seperated map elements.

13 Large themed isometric maps in .jpg format

Ancient Catacombs (multi level), Celestial Paths, Crypts Of Hatred, Dark Forest, Grasslands, Night Castle (multi level), The Dark Caves(Multi level), The Green Midlands, The undermarket + Wizards Tavern Interior, Wizards Quarter.

88 hero/monster Isometric icons in .png format.

112 items in .png card format for easy handouts.

22 spell effects you can use on the maps and in conjunction with the player icons in .png format

  • Maps and player icons hand drawn in a consistent isometric style that you can use to create your own adventures in digital tabletop software such as Roll20. 
  • Classic Core set includes huge maps, encounter areas, interior and exterior areas, player icons, monster icons, loot handouts, traps cards, and spell effects that can be placed on the maps and work with the icons.
  • Easy to import into your tabletop software of choice. 

Epic Isometric Advanced set. (332 piece set)

This set is made possible by my kickstarter backers. 

Create small encounter areas or massive multi level dungeon fortresses for your players to explore.

Everything you need to create epic isometric maps,dungeons,encounter areas.(Digital tabletop friendly formats) Set includes…

  • 332 Highly modular elements for Infinite layouts.
  • Themed seperated isometric map elements in .png format perfect for constructing large levels for digital tabletops, Or import directly into your digital tabletop.
  • Easy to import into your tabletop software of choice. I use roll20.
  • Easy to use in photo editing software. Highly compatible .png format.

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!

 

In the days of “The Last Jedi,” it seems somehow appropriate to both begin and end New Year, New Game Week with sci-fi Picks. This one is a gorgeous result of a highly-successful Kickstarter and an excellent example of the great RPG stuff coming out of Europe.

FAITH is an expansive setting and game that’s meant to bring you all kinds of sci-fi gaming options, ranging from cyberpunk to intergalactic warfare and everything else.

The Universe of FAITH is at the brink of collapse. Two powerful species have struggled to coexist for decades, and now a terrible menace is dawning on them from the edges of known space. Meanwhile, humans are a second-tier species, fighting for relevance in a changing cosmos.

The cold war between civilizations heats up. Sabotage and espionage are part of the intergalactic tapestry. Religious wars proliferate in dangerous fashion. Someone, somewhere, is profiting from all of it. Will it be you?

Your options as a player are as vast as the cosmos itself: play a CYBERPUNK adventure in the Corvo megacapital of Tiantang; find the shortcomings of the SOCIAL UTOPIA of Al’ameen, the capital of the communal Iz’kal; discover SPACE-FEUDALISM in the frozen Heimis, home to the feral Raag; survive in the POST APOCALYPTIC environment of Earth, the mythical home planet of Humanity; join the Coalition and wage WAR against the Ravager; devout yourself to your God and become the world’s most powerful SOULBENDER.

IN THIS 2ND EDITION YOU’LL FIND:

> 300 pages of setting filled with adventure seeds.

> Full 2.0 rules of the revolutionary RPC Engine.

> Character creation for four different species.

> Rules to customize and play your own spacecraft.

> Introductory adventure to get you started.

> Over 120 NPCs and pieces of gear.

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!

New Year, New Game Week rolls on with on of the latest and greatest Cypher System supers game, Unmasked from Monte Cook Games themselves. It’s superheroes-meets-80s-era-teen-horror (the latter being the “current big thing” these days).

Superpowers and Horror in a Dark Eighties

 

Top Gun is in theaters. “Papa Don’t Preach” is on the radio. Halley’s Comet is in the sky, and Iran-Contra is in the news. The Soviets are in Afghanistan, and the Doomsday Clock is at 3 minutes until midnight. But there’s something else going on—something even bigger. At school, at the mall, down by the 7-Eleven, you’ve started noticing things. Is that troll doll really glowing? Is that cassette tape calling to you? Why doesn’t anyone else seem to notice?

 

And when you follow that strange compulsion to create a mask from these items, you become . . . someone else. Someone with capabilities the world has never seen and goals that may not be your own. The mask gives you unimaginable power, but can you resist its agenda? And there are others starting to show up, too, who may have embraced their masks’ dark sides. Maybe that Doomsday Clock matters after all . . .

 

This book includes:

  • A complete, ready-to-play campaign setting of superpowers and psychological horror for the Cypher System.
  • Four new types and a load of new foci—and a new approach to superpowers. In your mask form you might be a Metal Head Smasher who Lives on the Dark Side or a Show-O Changer who Flies by Night, but on school days you’re a regular teen dealing with bullies, grades, and New Wave fashion.
  • The complete, ready-to-use town of Boundary Bay, NY, as well as detailed information and guidance on creating your own small-town setting—or using your own town, circa 1986!
  • New creatures, NPCs, and threats.
  • A complete adventure set in Ocean View High School, plus a plethora of tools and advice for building your own adventures and campaigns based around the mystery of the masks.

Unmasked is a complete campaign setting for the Cypher System. You need the Cypher System Rulebook to play Unmasked.

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!

New Year, New Games Week continues with this fun new game from Ravendesk Games. It’s another in the many, many Savage Worlds settings now available, but it’s definitely something new to explore. Imagine a pulp-flavored alternate history where H.P. Lovecraft was trying to warn us (rather than just scare us), and he teamed up with Nikola Tesla and other brilliant, brave souls to protect the world from evils both terrestrial and from far beyond the stars! This is the world of Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla.

Welcome to the Roaring Twenties!

A decade filled with adventure and the spirit of invention.

This is the Jazz Age, the days of dangerous new technology, of cults, talismans, kidnappings, coded messages, mafia-controlled moonshine, mysterious transatlantic plane disappearances, stunning astronomical discoveries and breakthroughs in the burgeoning field of quantum physics. Underneath it all, a cabal of smiling villains pushes their plan to relegtate humanity to the ash heap of unrecorded history.

But there are those who do their part to keep the world safe from the unnatural invaders from beyond the stars. Yes, beyond! Unspeakable elder gods and Mythos creatures are arriving from far, far away, while other are awakening at last from deep below. 

This is where you come in. Welcome to the Mythos Resistance.

Science meets fiction in the Roaring Twenties.

This sourcebook greatly expands the Action Lab comic book series into a fully realized, officially licensed Savage Worlds setting.

New options for player characters include new Edges, new Hindrances, over 50 pregenerated ready-to-play historical characters, Tesla-tech weapons and inventions, dozens of 1920s vehicles, items, and NPCs, H.P.’s Mythos creature bestiary, detailed maps and location information for Providence, Arkham, Miskatonic University, and many of the other hot-spots around the world, One Sheets, adventures, plot-point campaigns, 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!