Category: Pick of the Day

And here we are on the eponymous Friday of Black Friday Big Picks Week, with the latest release for the grand-daddy of all fantasy adventure settings, playable in the grand-daddy of all RPG systems, tearing up the sales charts and waiting for you to dive right in for Tolkien-esque adventuring! Adventures in Middle Earth – Mirkwood Campaign takes you to one of the most famous – and dangerous – places the Professor ever imagined.

The Necromancer may have been cast out of Dol Guldur, but a lingering darkness remains over Mirkwood, a shadow that will grow ever longer as the years draw on – unless a fellowship of heroes step forward and hold back the gloom.

The Mirkwood Campaign™ for Adventures in Middle-earth™ includes enough adventure material to keep you playing for months or even years, and includes new rules that give your heroes a real stake in what happens to the world around them.

The Mirkwood Campaign provides unique campaign framework penned by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Francesco Nepitello for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, converted to Adventures in Middle-earth by Jacob Rodgers.

Visit the Parliament of Spiders, do battle with the Nazgûl, meddle in the affairs of Wizards and enter the Halls of King Thranduil. Stand firm against the Shadow and maybe the Darkening can be averted. Falter for even a moment and all that you know and love will be lost.

What is the Mirkwood Campaign?
The Mirkwood Campaign began life as The Darkening of Mirkwood for The One Ring. We’ve now converted it to be fully compatible with Adventures in Middle-earth, using the 5th Edition OGL ruleset. It’s a campaign framework that guides your game through 30 years of in-game adventures.

The Mirkwood Campaign covers 30 years from Gollum first passing through Mirkwood in 2947 to the sad death of King Bard.

The supplement breaks these decades into four sections and then further details each year, giving you the major events that happen in an unfolding story. These events cover both the wider world with its unfolding epic as the events of Lord of the Rings draw ever closer, as well as the more personal fate of the Woodmen and the rise of Dol Guldur, into which events the Player-heroes are thrust.

(There’s a lot more to this – hit the link to read it all.)

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 big thing to be thankful for on this particular day is freedom, and nothing says freedom like Freedom City for Mutants & Masterminds (Third Edition). This is my shout-out to the awesome Green Ronin folks, as well as pointing out a major choice for Black Friday Big Picks Week!

With the Mutants & Masterminds RPG you have the power to become a hero. Freedom City gives you the world’s most renowned city of heroes to rescue from the forces of evil! Called “the greatest superhero setting ever,” the award-winning Freedom City is a fully realized and detailed metropolis that can serve as a home base for your heroes or just one of the many places they visit while saving the world of Earth-Prime from disaster. Your heroes can fight the forces of SHADOW, puzzle out the schemes of the Labyrinth, and defeat the alien invaders Syzygy and the Meta-Grue. With dozens of foes and hundreds of locations, Freedom City gives you everything you need to run an exciting Mutants & Masterminds campaign. Use it on its own or in conjunction with Emerald City and the Atlas of Earth-Prime for world-spanning action!

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!

When I think of top-selling games that gain a lot of attention, one described as dedicated to “economic horror” doesn’t immediately jump to mind. Nonetheless, Red Markets makes the Black Friday Big Picks Week because a whole lot of folks serious dig the strange mix of post-apocalypse/zombie survival horror and the intricacies of acquisitions and trade this game thrives upon.

Red Markets is a tabletop RPG about economic horror. 

In Red Markets, characters risk their lives trading between the massive quarantine zones containing a zombie outbreak and the remains of civilization. They are Takers: mercenary entrepreneurs unwilling to accept their abandonment. Bound together into competing crews, each seeks to profit from mankind’s near-extinction before it claims them. They must hustle, scheme, and scam as hard as they fight if they hope to survive the competing factions and undead hordes the GM throws at them.

Takers that are quick, clever, or brutal enough might live to see retirement in a safe zone, but many discover too late that the cycle of poverty proves harder to escape than the hordes of undead. Red Markets uses the traditional zombie genre to tell a story about surviving on the wrong end of the economy. It’s cut-throat capitalism with its knife on your neck.

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 Black Friday Big Picks Week selection features yet another big-ticket item in the insanely popular Delta Green series. This is technothriller/modern-day presentation of the Cthulhu mythos that brings all that cosmic horror in line with how you already see a dark and stormy world.

Delta Green Handler’s Guide is massive, full-color volume is filled with deep resources just for the Delta Green game master.

  • THE PAST: details on the world and history of Delta Green.
  • THE UNNATURAL: details on the Cthulhu Mythos, from monsters to hypergeometry to the Great Old Ones, including rules for creating new threats.
  • THE SCHISM: deep details on the Delta Green organization itself — or rather, two different Delta Green groups, not always working to the same ends.
  • THE OPERA: guidelines for creating scenarios, running campaigns, and customizing the setting.
  • APPENDICES: a ready-to-play scenario, “The Sentinels of Twilight,” a Handler-facing glossary, index, recommended media, sample NPCs to use in any game, rules variants, and more.

Further terrors can be found in the companion volume, the silver Ennie Award-winning AGENT’S HANDBOOK, and in the free quickstart rules, the gold Ennie Award-winning NEED TO KNOW.

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 Black Friday and Cyber Monday soon upon us, I decided this week’s theme is Black Friday Big Picks Week. I’ll be focusing on top releases that folks you love who game may well wish to receive as a nice gift.

Today, I’m opening up with the current top-seller on DriveThruRPG – Arms of the Chosen. It’s a powerful sourcebook for Exalted, signaling a new commitment from Onyx Path to maintain top-level support for their hyper-fantasy setting.

Take up the panoply of legendary heroes and lost ages, and awaken the world-shaking might of their Evocations. Before the dawn of time, the Exalted wielded god-metal blades to cast down the makers of the universe. In an ancient epoch of forgotten glories, Creationís greatest artificers forged unimaginable wonders and miracle-machines.

Now, in the Age of Sorrows, kingdoms go to war over potent artifacts, scavenger princes risk everything to uncover relics of the past, and the Exalted forge great arms and armor on the anvil of legend. These treasures are yours to master.  

Discover the mystical power of the five magical materials and the secrets of creating your own Evocations. Wield weapons of fabled might and don the armor of mythic heroes, making their puissance your own. Claim Creationís wonders: the miraculous tools of the Chosen, living automatons, flying machines, hearthstones, and more. And unleash the mighty warstriders, titanic god-engines of conquest and devastation, to once more shake Creation with their footfalls.

NOTE: This is the Advance PDF and we will be adjusting this based on errata from buyers and then creating the final PDF and PoD files. Purchasers of the Advance PDF will receive a coupon for the PoD so that their combined purchase amount will be the cost of buying the PDF/PoD combo.

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 Get Your GURPS Week with one of the many campaign-oriented books Steve Jackson Games publishes. Banestorm is a complete world book to get folks started with the fantasy-oriented aspects of the system. For other campaign-enhancing books, check out GURPS ZombiesGURPS Dragons, and GURPS Infinite Worlds. No doubt, a lot more of the SJG campaign books will start showing up on DriveThruRPG soon.

Welcome to the land of Yrth, a magical realm of incredibly varied races and monsters – including people snatched from our Earth and other worlds by the cataclysmic Banestorm!

Whole villages were transported – from such diverse locales as medieval England, France, Germany, and the Far East. Now humans struggle with dwarves, elves, and each other. The Crusades aren’t ancient history here – they’re current events!

Characters can journey from the windswept plains of the Nomad Lands – where fierce Nordic warriors seek a valiant death to earn a seat in Valhalla – to Megalos, the ancient empire where magic and political intrigue go hand in hand. Or trek south to the Muslim lands of al-Wazif and al-Haz to explore the forbidden city of Geb’al-Din.

This book provides GMs with a complete world background – history, religion, culture, politics, races, and a set of 16 detailed, full-color maps – everything needed to start a GURPS campaign. Phil Masters (GURPS Discworld and Hellboy RPG RPGs) and Jonathan Woodward (Hellboy RPG and GURPS Ogre) have added new peoples, places, and plots, as well as lots more on magic and mysticism, all of which conforms to the just-released GURPS Fantasy and GURPS Magic.

So prepare to make your own mark on Yrth. Plunder elven ruins while evading the desert natives. Play a peasant-born hero . . . an orcish pirate . . . a Muslim double agent commanded to infiltrate the Hospitallers.

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!

Ray Greer of Hero Games fame told me the story of how he convinced Steve Jackson to push his deadlines and include guns in the original release of GURPS; Steve was just going to stick with fantasy-level support, since a lot of folks loved the core rules for just that (and its roots in the game-changing The Fantasy Trip didn’t hurt that impression, either). GURPS Fantasy establishes beyond question the strength of the system for the most popular genre of gaming in the world.

At the same time, there’s lots of other genre-support material for GURPS fans – GURPS Horror and GURPS Supers, as examples.

Fantasy – from ancient myths to popular films, stories of heroes and magic have captured the human imagination. Now GURPS offers roleplayers a comprehensive guide to the entire Fantasy genre. Building on the flexible, streamlined Fourth Edition rules, it helps you develop a campaign to explore the world of your favorite book or film – or create a new one from your own dreams. The main emphasis is on historical fantasy, in settings from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance, but the principles apply to any fantasy setting, from the prehistoric past to the remote future.

A complete campaign setting, Roma Arcana, is ready to use in your own campaign. It can stand on its own, or fit into the Infinite Worlds campaign framework from GURPS Fourth Edition. Send a band of adventurers on impossible missions in a magical Roman Empire, as they struggle to hold back the darkness from their native city and win honor.

You’ll find help in running your campaign in Roma Arcana or any other setting – advice on creating balanced parties, devising scenarios to challenge them, and using the game systems to achieve dramatic effects.

Take the most flexible, most consistent game rules system available, and use it to run the campaign of your dreams.

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 roll on with Get Your GURPS Week, let’s look at one of the most popular GURPS releases ever. How this system handles varying levels of technology is one of its strongest design foundations, and the various books that cover the many options for gear in the nigh-infinite number of games you can play is a huge selling point. Along with this one – GURPS High-Tech – there’s Low-TechUltra-Tech, and Bio-Tech, giving both players and GMs massive options for their campaigns and characters. The fact that immense research goes into these books makes them useful to any game, regardless of system (in fact, that’s why this one, in particular, is so beloved by gamers across the decades).

From the Industrial Revolution to the Digital Age, GURPS High-Tech lets you outfit adventurers of all stripes, be they a pioneer party just trying to survive or a SWAT team taking down bad guys. Its meticulously researched TL5-8 hardware includes:

  • Weapons. Descriptions and stats for hundreds of historical weapons – small arms (from muskets to assault rifles, plus oddities and prototypes), light artillery, explosives, and more – with new rules for guns, gunmen, and “Gun Fu.”
  • Armor. Head-to-toe protection for every budget.
  • Vehicles. An essential selection of rides. Cover ground by stagecoach, jeep, or tank . . . cruise the coasts by kayak, surfboard, or patrol boat . . . cross the skies by glider, plane, or helicopter . . . and more.
  • Tools. Complete tools of the trade for such specialists as detectives, divers, firemen, medics, spies, and thieves.
  • Electronics. From early telegraphs to modern computers, medical scanners, and surveillance devices . . . if it beeps or blinks, it’s covered.
  • Survival Gear. Camping equipment, first-aid kits, rations, and everything else explorers need.

GURPS High-Tech requires the GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition. The notes on real-world equipment will enhance any game set after 1730.

Bonus! Includes a free copy of GURPS High-Tech: Weapon Tables! No need to go through 256 pages of troublesome words when all you need is a Colt Python’s Bulk and Rate of Fire rating.

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!

(Another post today, getting us caught up from missing yesterday) – Get Your GURPS Week continues with the other half of the GURPS Basic Set duology, this one focused on all the campaign-oriented stuff you’ll need to do pretty much “all the things” in GURPS.

GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns.

With GURPS, you can be anyone you want – an elf hero fighting for the forces of good, a shadowy femme fatale on a deep-cover mission, a futuristic swashbuckler carving up foes with a force sword in his hand and a beautiful woman by his side . . . or literally anything else! GURPS has been the premiere universal roleplaying game for almost two decades. Fourth Edition makes it even better!

GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns combines information from the Third Edition GURPS Basic Set and GURPS Compendium II – plus our new core setting, with infinite possibilities for timeline-hopping adventure! (You don’t have to play in the core setting – there isn’t some game-altering metaplot – but it’s there if you want it.) This 240-page, full-color PDF contains everything a GM needs to create and run a GURPS Fourth Edition campaign.

GURPS Campaigns is the companion book to GURPS Basic Set: Characters. 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!

(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!