Category: GM’s Pick of the Day

(In missing yesterday – due to travel back from Con on the Cob – I’m “backdating” this Pick to make up for it.)

Gotta admit, I did not see this coming. Steve Jackson Games’ GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System) is actually up on DriveThruRPG! In celebration of this surprise shift in my universe, I’m declaring this Get Your GURPS Week!

Naturally, I think opening up with the core book is the right move here – GURPS Basic Set: Characters.

GURPS is the most flexible roleplaying system ever created. With just this book, you can adventure in any world you can imagine. Use all types of weapons from clubs to lasers . . . magic and martial arts . . . psionics and superpowers.

Create exactly the character you want to play . . . your favorite fictional hero, or your own invention. Choose from over 400 advantages and disadvantages, over 350 skills, spells, and techniques. Customize your character with individual perks and quirks, and you’re ready to go.

No more switching game systems when you change campaigns! GURPS gives you one set of clear, comprehensive rules to cover any background. This new Fourth Edition is based on 16 years of gamer feedback from the Third Edition, and is faster and easier to play than ever before.

GURPS makes the Game Master’s job easy and fun. All rules are carefully organized, indexed, and cross-referenced. Charts and tables are clear and legible. And to help you introduce new players to the system, there’s a “Quick Start” section which covers the basics in a few pages.

This is Book 1 of the two-volume Basic Set. Only this book is necessary to play. Game Masters, and players wanting more detail, will find Book 2 valuable.

GURPS Characters is the companion book to GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns. The two provide everything you need to play or run a GURPS campaign.

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!

Closing out Oddly Wonderful Week with a … Superhero? Mythical? Detective Noir? Y’know, it’s kind of all of that, and kind of a lot more. I’m kind of reminded of that quirky Dark City movie, but there’s a lot more going on here. The art alone drags you into this place where nothing is at it seems and everyone… is legendary.

THE CORE BOOK FOR THE AWARD-WINNING COMIC-BOOK NOIR RPG SET IN A CITY OF ORDINARY PEOPLE AND LEGENDARY POWERS

Hit the rainy streets of an enigmatic metropolis as a modern-day legend in search for the truth. Investigate unsolved cases, uncover the stories of the city residents, and confront the hidden forces pulling the strings from beyond the veil of the Mist. Make hard calls about which aspect of your life to promote and which to neglect; then suffer the consequences. And when it all falls apart, stop holding back and become the unstoppable incarnation of your Mythos…

The City of Mist Core Book contains everything you need to create and run City of Mist stories: rules for creating your own characters and crew, a comprehensive explanation of the roll+tags system, the Mythos & Logos character development rules, and a complete guide for the MC (aka Game Master) including tips on how to orchestrate the drama as well as guidelines and examples for creating cases, characters, locations, and story arcs.

The rulebook design is a homage to super-powered noir graphic novels with six comic strips, full-spread chapter covers, and staggering character and location art back to back.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK?

  • Chapter 1: The Lowdown has the inside scoop on the life of a Rift (a player character) and the process of awakening, and describes some of the main City districts, locations, and local Rifts.
  • Chapter 2: Who Are You? is a guide to the Exposition Session, in which you create your series as a group. It includes the complete character creation system using themebooks (questionnaires), quick character creation with Character Tropes, a system of crew relationships reflected in Help & Hurt points, sample crew themes, and a crew themebook.
  • Chapter 3: Working the Case is a comprehensive set of player rules, detailing the rules of the conversation, defining the use of tags and statuses as well as resources such as Clues and Juice, expanding on all eight core moves, as well as on four cinematic moves: Voiceover Monologue, Flashback, Montage, and Geek Out During Credits.
  • Chapter 4: Moments of Truth describes the game’s character and crew development system, including Mystery and Identity rules, Moments of Evolution, Nemeses, expanded Avatar and Sleeper (“Denying the Beyond”) rules, and three extra theme types: Ally, Base of Operations, and Ride.
  • Chapter 5: Behind the Scenes is a detailed breakdown of the MC’s roles, a step-by-step guide on how to run sessions including a variety of tools to help make your game cinematic, and an in-depth walkthrough for creating your own cases and designing your series based on the Iceberg model.
  • Chapter 6: This is MY City! is a comprehensive guide to Avatars and their operations and includes Avatar profiles, rules for creating and handling Dangers with a Danger Profile directory containing ready-to-use Dangers, and a special section on creating and using custom moves with templates and ready-to-use moves.
  • Throughout the book: a host of colorful examples for every rule and a range of optional rules to allow you to adjust the game to your group’s needs, with a specific emphasis on controlling the challenge level of 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!

Today’s Oddly Wonderful Week Pick is a special kind of horror game that I remain baffled how to explain, exactly, but I know it’s something very, very special. An Apocalypse World Engine game crafted by an all-women team to present a strange, horrific mystery based on the classic macabre legend of Bluebeard’s Bride. Each player represents an aspect of the Bride, and it all leads to what is behind that fateful door…

WILL YOU OPEN THE FINAL DOOR?

A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. He invites her to explore the house…but one room is forbidden. Eventually, the young bride falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome display of former brides murdered…

Explore Bluebeard’s mansion and create your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale with Bluebeard’s Bride. Experience the nightmarish memories that haunt the rooms of this broken place and discover the truth of what happened here. But it is up to you and your friends to decide whether or not you are a faithful or disloyal bride.

In this book, you get:

  • Five playbooks, each representing a different aspect of the Brides personality
  • Detailed instructions for running the game and playing to find out what happens
  • Tools for creating your own custom servants, rooms, and horors for Bluebeard’s Bride
  • Tips and tricks for managing horror at your table, including safety mechanisms

Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror tabletop roleplaying game that makes use of the same rules-light engine as Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, and Urban Shadows to create stories of feminine horror in the vein of Crimson Peak, American Horror Story, and The Company of Wolves.

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!

So, you’re playing a supervillain. You have a demon that granted your powers, and that’s the thing that drives you. A bit different, but not really all that odd, right?

Wait.

The demon? That’s played by the player next to you. Also, you’re playing the demon of the player over on the other side of you.

Now that is Wonderfully Odd, doncha thing?

A demon gave you superpowers and it demands EEEEVIL!

In Better Angels, you play a supervillain trying to control the demon that gives you amazing powers—and you play the demon for the player next to you, pushing that player’s supervillain to greater and greater acts of supervillainy.

Do too much evil and the demon might take control. Too little, and—well, it’s a demon. It will find ways to punish you.

Better Angels focuses directly on characters’ moral stances. Is your villain Insightful or Devious? Cunning or Patient? Is your Courage as great as your Cruelty? Those characteristics drive your superpowers. They shape your relationship with your demon. And they are shaped by it in every scene.

Prepare yourself. There are diabolical inventions to create. Enemies and rivals to thwart.

AN ENTIRE WORLD TO CONQUER!

All it will cost is your soul.

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 seems to fit my Oddly Wonderful Week just fine – a tortoise-based playable race for 5e players, direct from Wizards of the Coast. Better still, all proceeds go directly to the official D&D Extra Life Teams efforts.

The Snout of Omgar is a geographical region described briefly in Tomb of Annihilation.

Not much is revealed about the location or its inhabitants in that adventure, however. The Tortle Package is written for Dungeon Masters who want to know more about the Snout of Omgar.

This supplement also introduces a new playable character race, the tortle, and a new adventure location: Dangwaru, the Typhoon Palace. All of this is permissible for play within the D&D Adventurers League.

All proceeds from this product are to be contributed to ExtraLife. You can head to the D&D page on Extra Life to find out more.

About Extra Life:

Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids. Sign up today and dedicate a day of play for kids in your community!

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!

As we get ready to head off to the always-amazing Con on the Cob, I am inspired to name this Oddly Wonderful Week in honor of the convention’s owner and organizer, Andy Hopp. Naturally, we’ll open up with his bizarre world of post-apocalyptic nuttery, for which he has published a ton of extraordinarily-illustrated works. Andy’s truly stand-out art style combines with his savant-like crasp of science and strangeness to create one of the most original gaming experiences you’ll ever know.

GAZILLIONS of years have passed since the Time of the Flush and the extinction of the vaunted Hoomanrace. Now, After the Wipe, the descendants of cockroaches, snack cakes, worms, and even lowlier things rule the Oith!

Waggle the arcane zazz of hocus pokery, dementalism, smellcasting, holy rolling, danged wrangling, and contanimation! Battle hideous things that want to eat you, risen from the rubble of ancient civilizations. Enjoy a light lunch at the Primordial Soup Kitchen…

Audacious times are upon us! Lost lands and forgotten civilizations await discovery. Terrible monsters and grand treasures lurk behind every rock. There are hoards to nab, foes to stab, and tales to blab. These are the days of Low adventure, where destiny is shaped not by circumstance of birth, but by strength of snazz, zazz, and jazz. It’s a bold world for bold peeps, where life is relatively inexpensive and even the lowliest werm can become a king by his own mop.

Are you croach enough to follow your destiny? Do you have the nuggets to take your rightful place among Oith’s most valiant heroes?

If so, strap on your esophagator hide shield, pick up your battle spork, mount your slog, whisper a prayer to Jelvis, kiss your larvae goodbye, and open the goosin’ book. The muck-riddled road to LOW ADVENTURE stands before you…

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 is no discussing Pathfinder and Starfinder support lines without bringing Owen KC Stephens’ Rogue Genius Games. Dude has an inside track, to be sure, and most fans look at everything RGG publishes as official as anything from Paizo. Today’s Finders Keepers Week Pick focuses on one of the many series of books they do for PF fans – New Pathfinder Classes.

(From The Opportunist, one of many such books in the series -)

The Opportunist is a new hybrid class of the barbarian and rogue designed for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. It is a melee combat class that draws upon unerring accuracy and almost preternatural foresight to capitalize on your opponents’ wrong moves, and deal catastrophic damage.

Take advantage of dozens of new talents, feats, archetypes, and spells including: Give a little to get a little, tireless overload, and bareknuckle master.

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!

Kobold Press (originally Open Design) is one of those houses that just consistently does impressive, high-quality stuff featuring the talents of the best in the industry. Wolfgang Baur has a lot to be proud of, and that definitely includes the entire line of Pathfinder products his house has created. That’s why he’s got today’s spot for Finders Keepers Week.

From their Wikipedia page –

Wolfgang Baur launched Open Design in 2006. Open Design funded projects using a crowdfunding model dubbed “patronage,” with the resulting products available exclusively to backers through PDF releases and limited print runs. The first product published by Open Design was Steam & Brass (2006), a steampunk-themed adventure module using the d20 System. Steam & Brass was also the first product set in Baur’s setting of Zobeck, later known as Midgard.

In 2007, Baur launched Kobold Quarterly through Open Design, which filled in the gap in the role-playing industry left by the end of Paizo Publishing‘s run on the magazines Dragon and Dungeon. Unlike previous projects from the company, Kobold Quarterly was available to the public. Kobold Quarterly ran for 23 issues, with the final issue produced in October 2012.

Open Design began to shift away from a focus on the “patronage” model in 2008, releasing titles such as the Zobeck Gazetteer (2008) to the public, and began publishing products entirely outside the “patronage” model in 2011, including a series of game design guidebooks. In 2012, Open Design began producing books under the imprint “Kobold Press”; by the end of the year, the company had ceased publishing as Open Design and exclusively published products as Kobold Press.

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 Starfinder setting and support series Legendary Planet (by the appropriately-monikered Legendary Games) makes a fine addition to this week’s Finders Keepers list. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this much support material for a newly-released game since the original advent of the OGL.

(From the Legendary Games website, discussing the initial launch of the product line) –

Launch day is here for the newest sci-fi sensation, the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, and Legendary Games is right here for you! First and foremost, you can kick off the amazing Legendary Planet adventure saga, To Worlds Unknown for Starfinder! From an interplanetary prison break and race against time, you land on a crossroads world and a corrupt city-state where rival gangs, powerful factions, and deadly alien scientists surround you on every side and your next mistake in whom to trust could be your last! You can grab this 100-page adventure book, including new monsters, magic items, technology, detailed gazetteer and bonus campaign setting material, and an ongoing fiction saga by award-winning author Chris A. Jackson…

This initial adventure will take your Starfinder characters from 1st through 5th level, and the sequel is already nearly ready for you in The Scavenged Codex (Starfinder), when your heroes start their search for a way home first by brokering a deal with inhuman interplanetary gangsters before plunging into an apocalyptic world of blasted deserts dotted with seductive oases, all in search of ancient alien wisdom that can restore the stargates of old!

Next week also will bring the Legendary Planet Player’s Guide (Starfinder), featuring four brand-new playable races for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, with the towering four-armed tretharri, the cybernetic auttaine, the clever winged zvaar, and the green-touched chlorvians, as well as information on classes, races, religion, and unique campaign traits! Even players and GMs not using the Legendary Planet saga will find great information here they can use in their own spacefaring campaigns.

Likewise, our line of ready-to-play planets for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game kicks off later this month with the Legendary Worlds series, each one with a detailed history, geography, and society of a brand-new world, as well as new creatures, feats, spells, equipment, and more! From the slag-seas of the foundry planet of Volretz to the tainted oceans of Melefoni where the aquatic natives war in their supermersibles against the survivors of a fallen colony ship, and many more following in rapid succession!

Farther down the road, you’ll find new technology in the Treasury of the Machine, awesome adventure and plummeting peril aboard a long-range explorer ship hiding a horrifying menace in Starfall, android bounty hunters and mutant cultists in the radioactive ruins of a crashed starship in Scorpions of Perdition, and so much more.

Starfinder is here, and you know we will help Make Your Game Legendary Starfinder-style!

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!

Nothing is more terrifying that a TPK, so it felt right to feature Total Party Kill Games for today’s Finders Keepers Week selection. TPK Games has a rather extensive line of Pathfinder support products, and they are considered by many fans to have some of the consistently best 3rd party stuff for the system you’ll find anywhere. This includes adventures, new class options, gear packages, and pretty much anything and everything you could want for enhancing and expanding your PF campaigns.

Who are TPK Games?

Total Party Kill Games are publishers of tabletop roleplaying and card games.  We publish thrilling dark fantasy sourcebooks and adventures for the Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and Savage Worlds RPGs along with publishing our own popular party card games and unofficial expansions for Cards Against Humanity.

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!