Category: Pick of the Day

More and more, Onyx Path is becoming a house dedicated to much more than the World of Darkness, and this brilliant (and very successfully Kickstarted) celebration of sword-and-planet science-fantasy inspires this week’s Of Swords and Lasers theme. Cavaliers of Mars is a clear homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter, as well as the works of Alex Raymond, Ralph Milne Farley (aka Roger Hoar), Gustave LeRouge, Robert E. Howard, Gardner Fox, and others.

Created by Rose Bailey and written by her and an all-star cast, this book hits all of the classic tropes and fun bits while employing modern game design to combine character motivations and swashbuckling action.

Also – don’t miss out on the trick-or-treat fun of DriveThruRPG’s Halloween Sale!

Return now to dying Mars in its last age of glory. A world of flashing swords and choking sands, of winking courtesans and lantern-lit canal cities. Mars, where romance and heartbreak are two sides of the same obsidian chit.

Where lost cities are buried in the dunes, and dry oceans stretch out between the last daring bastions of civilization. Where the First Martians, the monument-builders, are but a faded memory. And the Red Martians have become decadent and capricious in their last days. 

Find yourself digging for someone else’s treasure in the lost tombs of Chiaro, or spitting defiance at the Roundhead priests of wild Ziggur, or dashing across the towered crypts of Vance with your long-lost lover. Lock steel with the Princess Invincible, even as your hand reaches towards your flintlaser for insurance.

Cavaliers of Mars includes:

  • A vibrant setting with cultures, careers, characters, and dozens of locations, all organized to get you right into the world of Mars!
  • An all-new system combining your character’s motivations, history, and beliefs with strategic swashbuckling action!
  • Astrology, crafting, psychic powers, and much more!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

We’re closing out Something Happened Week with a supers RPG based entirely on the premise of “The Event” –

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.

This is the world of Wearing the Cape – a Fate-driven RPG based on the superhero novel by Marion G. HarmonBarlow’s Guide to Superhumans is the recently-released first supplement for this well-loved setting. Check out that cover!

Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans is the first sourcebook for WtC: The Roleplaying Game. It includes: 20 additional pages of pure world background, providing Post-Event history for Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, with a look at how superhumans wear the cape in different places; 15 additional pages of background covering Post-Event organizations and places; a new rules chapter exploring the uses of Aspects in superhero games (the Aspect Power-System) and a new way of factoring power scale; 120 pages of expanded Power Templates and fully worked up cape-files, including new Power Templates (Dreamweaver-Types and Jumper-Types), more characters from the top-rated supehero series, and dozens of original characters.

For Fate players looking to expand on Fate Core in a superhero campaign, WtC:BGS provides:

  • An examination of the Power Aspect System introduced in WtC:RPG, usable in any superhero campaign.
  • Expanded use of Aspects for powered and non-powered characters.
  • Dozens of Power Stunts.

Come and play in the Post-Event World of Wearing the Cape.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today’s Something Happened Week Pick deals with something happening in a town that leaves the kids alone and with superpowers. The premise is set up to make it seem “really cool”… until it’s not anymore. The electricity shuts down, monsters come out, and the kids suddenly have to build forts, band together, and deal with what’s really happening.

Another key element that makes Lights Out important is Nightingale Publishing‘s commitment to diverse voices and greater representation within the gaming and storytelling space. This is a game for all kids of all walks of life, and designed so they might all see themselves within its fantastic world.

Also, with the Halloween Sale going on until October 31st, this and a lot of other titles can be had for 31% off!

No school.  No parents. No rules.

The children of Applewood woke one morning and discovered that all the adults have disappeared and better yet, they all have superpowers!  With no one to tell them to comb their hair or brush their teeth, the kids could do whatever they wanted.  All was great until that same night when the electricity shut off and monsters started stalking the streets.  Now the children must band together in order to survive the night.

Grab your friends, built a clubhouse, thwart bullies and defeat the horrors that go bump in the dark.  Do you think you have what it takes to survive in a world without grown-ups?  Find out in “Lights Out – The Roleplaying Game” which is based upon the “Lights Out” children chapter series.

This game is recommended for kids ages 7 and up with assistance from an adult storyteller, or for ages 10+ without an adult.  Build a legacy of gaming with your children.  This book contains everything you need in order for you to create endless adventures.  It uses 2d6 and a single deck of playing cards for players to share.

This book is compatible with “Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond” and “Mortal Intrusion”! 

This game is printed in the OpenDyslexic font for easy reading.  

This isn’t just about gaming…

Lights Out is dedicated to bringing female central characters to the forefront of every story.  Did you know that according to Hanice McCabe who reviewed nearly 6,000 children’s books from 1900-2000 that only 31% had female centric characters? 

Also, Lights Out wants to ensure that minorities are firmly represented, not only in a positive light, but as strong role models.  The NIU review by Melanie Koss in 2012 found that only 21% of children’s books featured a secondary culture.  Furthermore, of the 455 sampled works, 75% of human main characters were white, 15% were black and 6% were all other cultures combined. 

Rudine Sims Bishop published an article in 1990 titled, “Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors”.  She stated, “When children cannot find themselves reflected in books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.”

In a survey of 2,000 schools, 90% of educators believed that children would become more enthusiastic readers if they had books reflecting their lives.  (Weneeddiversebooks.org)

It is also true that 2/3rds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare (National Assessment of Adult Literacy) and 85% of juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. (Begintoread.com)

Can “Lights Out – The Roleplaying Game” or the chapter series fix the problems that are currently plaguing our society? Probably not, but it is a step in the right direction. 

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

As we make our way through the aftermath(s) of Something Happened Week, here’s a 2d6 (Xd6)-driven game from Michael Brown that lets the GM stew up their favorite “end of the world” scenario and launch a campaign around it. Whatever brought on the end, Afterday: 2d6 Adventure After the Apocalypse is about the beginning of a group’s adventures in the World That Comes After.

The end of the world has held a morbid fascination since time immemorial. Stories concerning it can be found in the myths and oral traditions of many ancient cultures. In many of these stories, the world is destroyed (often as a byproduct of a war between deities or other supernatural entities) but remade anew or is returned to a chaotic or primordial state. The modern expression of post-apocalyptic fiction can be traced to the early 19th century and the works of Mary Shelley, Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville, and Edgar Allan Poe. Of course, the advent of film, television, and the Internet has made such stories ubiquitous and introduced many commonly associated tropes, such as vast wastelands; predatory raiders (often mutated), and devices from the previous civilization held up as objects of desire and awe.

Now players using the 2D6 system can survive humanity’s worst day and perhaps help rebuild what has been destroyed. Afterday is based on the Mongoose 1st Edition 2D6 OGL system (which is itself based on The Original Science-Fiction Roleplaying Game first published in the late 1970s) and designed to create heroes struggling to survive and the strange new world around them. The rules include:

  • A variety of adventuring careers using an easy yet familiar lifepath and skill-acquisition system
  • An overview of ways to implement the destruction of human civilization
  • Tables to allow the referee to customize the odd cultures that may arise after the fall
  • A good selection of equipment, weapons, and armor, as well as a system to quickly create minor artifacts
  • New critters to kill (or be killed by) your heroes, including the terrifying zombie
  • A discussion of creating mutants and other posthumans
  • and to top it all off, a system for creating settlements, the last bastions of civilization and survival.

Afterday. It’s the end of everything…and the beginning of adventure.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Many mythologies and legends tell of a time when one or more “rogue” deities decide to uplift the masses, going against “the natural order” or the will of their peers. Overlight: A Fantasy Roleplaying Game of Kaleidoscopic Journeys takes that idea and blows it up into an expansive and deep setting. The experience is founded on a custom engine that serves the very specific elements of the setting, and the sheer poetry and cosmic beauty of it is intriguing. This is a non-typical Something Happened Week Pick; while apocalyptic in nature, the event in this case is far more mythical than your typical Armageddon.

The Story

Since the beginning of time, a race of serpentine, celestial beings have been the caretakers and observers of the cosmos. At some point in Earth’s past, probably around 1,000 B.C.E., a small contingent of these celestials argued that humanity was ready to learn the secrets behind the making of the world. That the Homo sapiens species had achieved such a level of cultural growth and spiritual awareness that they deserved to be shown all the wonders of the universe, to be given the literal Keys of Creation.  

This small group of celestials was overruled by the will of the majority. Humankind was not yet ready. Defying this judgment, one individual fled to Earth with the Keys, and gifted them to humanity with one warning, “Do not use the Black Key”. Humanity did not listen.  

All of reality was turned inside out. The burning heart of the world was now the bright white, unending sky, and the unknowable depths of space now a vast star-filled sea beneath. Entire continents float in the space between, without a moon or sun to guide them.  

The Game

Welcome to Overlight, a roleplaying game of kaleidoscopic fantasy among the shards of a broken world. It’s a world in which seven great continents hang in the sky, stacked almost vertically far above an unending sparkling sea. And shining down upon it all is a limitless light, emanating not from a great sun or moon, but from the sky itself: the hallowed Overlight. 

The heroes of this world are called the Skyborn. These individuals are born to disparate folk and cultures the world over, and who on some deep genetic or spiritual level are driven to make the world a better place, knowing in their hearts that things are not as they should be. The Skyborn are able to consciously manipulate the Overlight, fracturing it into seven distinct colors and using it to power remarkable abilities called Chroma. 

While this game system is an RPG, this is just the beginning. This backbone can be used in future games and allow players to dive into this world through different entry points. While this book will cover the game mechanics to run this as an RPG, it can also be viewed as a source book for games to come. 

[There’s a lot more to read; hit the links to get the rest of the preview.]

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

This week, I am going with an interesting theme – Something Happened Week. The premise is… well… something happened. The world changed in some fundamental way, and the player characters in the setting are defined by that change in some way. Their experiences are driven by the altered world, and often they are trying to do something important that the changes to the world drive them to.

The first such experience for many of us who started playing RPGs in the beginning was the original Gamma WorldStrange, random mutations, looking for vaults full of neat toys, and dealing with insane monsters that belonged in a Thundarr the Barbarian cartoon was the order of the day, and it changed the sense of what was possible in gaming for many of us. There have been many other editions of the game, all modernizing the experience in one way or another, but this is the classic that started it all off.

Can you survive in a world gone mad? A world where civilization as we know it has been destroyed in a cataclysmic holocaust? What is left in this world? Find out and encounter such bizarre things as mutated plants and animals more terrible than you can imagine, radiation wastelands that stretch as far as the eye can see, and fearless machines gone uncontrollably berserk . . .

This is the setting for a GAMMA WORLD™ campaign, with players taking on the persona of an individual character somewhere in this forbidding locale. In a quest for survival and in search of a better future, the players adventure across the land, enduring hardships and encountering dangerous obstacles and mysterious foes – never knowing quite what to expect. The result is a game which can go in many directions, but which will be challenging and fascinating no matter what the outcome.

The GAMMA WORLD™ Set includes all the basics needed to set up your own “world”: game booklet (packed with terrible mutants, as well as guidelines for creating additional ones of your own), a large campaign map (designed to be easily modified by individual gamemasters), and a full set of polyhedra dice. The only other things necessary are a good imagination and a spirit of adventure! The GAMMA WORLD™ rules are also suitable for use with the ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONSTMrules.

The GAMMA WORLD challenge awaits you – are you ready?

This digital edition includes the PDF version of the book, and a ZIP file containing printable JPGs of the campaign map.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Though it’s an “all-in-one,” I am going ahead and including the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook in my Player’s Guides to Awesomeness Week thanks to its heavy focus on the player experience (and the fact that it’s just a really neat book). This is your gateway to taking Green Ronin‘s AGE System and using it to play modern action, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, and more.

Enter the Modern AGE!

Leap into exciting adventure in any era from the Industrial Revolution to the modern day and beyond. The Modern AGE roleplaying game allows you to shape the setting to suit your style—whether it’s gritty action or high adventure, urban fantasy or a dystopian future. With a new, classless character-building system, twenty levels of advancement, and optional rules for psychic and magic powers, you can create the heroes your world needs. Along with an innovative stunt system, rules for thrilling chases, and an introductory adventure, you’ll find all the action you’re after inside the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook.

The Modern AGE RPG features:

  • A classless implementation of the Adventure Game Engine. Develop characters based on their backgrounds and experiences across 20 levels of advancement.
  • Focuses, talents, and specializations like Investigator, Hacker, and Martial Artist let you customize your character.
  • Fast-paced combat featuring modern weapons and high-octane vehicle chases.
  • A game based around action, exploration, and social stunts. Roll doubles on three six-sided dice and something cool happens!
  • Arcane magic and psychic powers for modern era games.
  • Advice for first time and veteran Game Masters, including ways to customize the system for gritty stories, two-fisted pulp, and cinematic high adventure.
  • Sample antagonists and other non-player characters, and an introductory adventure: everything you need to start playing right away.

Use Modern AGE in the campaign setting of your choice, including the World of Lazarus, based on Greg Rucka’s creator-owned comic series of near-future feudalism, or use it to run adventures in the world you create. Grab three six-sided dice, and you’re ready to play in the Modern AGE!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today’s Pick for Player’s Guides to Awesomeness Week is the player-facing product for that most-praised gateway into modern eldritch horror, the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook. Everything a player needs to create a character, become as capable an agent as possible, and even engage with “the home front” so they can have a sense of what they are fighting/dying/going insane for is right here in this award-winning and critically acclaimed tome.

Silver Ennie Award winner for Best Supplement, 2016.

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

Born of the U.S. government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green spent four decades opposing the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Stripped of sanction after a disastrous 1969 operation in Cambodia, Delta Green’s leaders made a secret pact: to continue their work without authority, without support, and without fear. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day—but often at a shattering personal cost.

In Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, you are one of those agents. You’re the one they call when unnatural horrors seep into the world. You fight to keep cosmic evil from claiming human lives and sanity. You conspire to cover it all up so no one else must see what you’ve seen—or learn the terrible truths you’ve discovered.

The AGENT’S HANDBOOK is a players-only rulebook for Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game. This new incarnation of the award-winning DELTA GREEN game line includes:

  • Rules for creating agents of all types.
  • Rules for tense, fluid investigations. Players who use their agents’ skills in clever ways have the best chance to succeed — and survive.
  • Nerve-wracking rules for combat, where random disasters can undo the most careful planning.
  • Mind-melting Sanity rules that see agents gradually deteriorate — and sometimes snap.
  • Rules for “home” scenes where players see what their agents are fighting for.
  • Quick, intuitive rules to determine equipment and assets.
  • Dossiers on the federal agencies most likely to be featured in play.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Of all the Player’s Guides for Savage Worlds products, this one is arguably the most game-changing* – Savage Rifts: The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide is arguably the most overpowered, elaborate expansion of the system to come along. There’s a ton of material in this book that not only bring Rifts to SW fans, but puts some powerful stuff into their hands to use in other games where mega-powered gameplay is desired. That makes it a solid choice for Player’s Guides to Awesomeness Week.

(*) – Full disclosure, I am the writer and designer for this product. Not only do I get affiliate income from you using the link, I get royalties from sales. Thank you!

A MEGAVERSE® GONE MAD!

Prepare yourself for a railgun-shredding, mega-powered magic flinging journey into a post-POST-apocalyptic world where supernatural horrors vie with technological empires for mastery of the world!

THIS IS THE WORLD OF RIFTS®

Unpredictable holes in the very fabric of space and time open the way to countless creatures, beings, and dangers. Whatever you imagine—whatever you fear—it’s somewhere on this war-and-chaos ravaged world.

THE TOMORROW LEGION IS READY
In the battle for survival the Tomorrow Legion brings together the greatest, the bravest, and the craziest to stand against an infinity of threats. They stand for a better future than the past they’ve known.

The Rifts® Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide contains everything you need to make and equip mega-powered characters for the Rifts® Earth setting. Iconic Frameworks load you up with options for well-known concepts (Glitter Boys, Juicers, Ley Line Walkers, Mind Melters), as well as the capacity to craft your own custom ideas. New Setting Rules bring home the gonzo, cranked-to-eleven nature of Rifts®, and the gear lists include everything from incredibly powerful weapons and armor to cybernetics to arcana-fueled Techno-Wizard items. New rules for Mega Powers bring magic and psionics to super-powered levels, and Hero’s Journey tables flesh out your characters in exciting and fun ways.

Savage Rifts® brings the incredibly popular world of Palladium Books’ Rifts® to the award-winning Savage Worlds system by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. It requires the Savage Worlds core rules to play.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Gonna be a short week, as I had a fairly life-changing meeting yesterday (stay tuned for more on that front), but let’s go with Player’s Guides to Awesomeness Week, focusing on products meant to give the players all they need to enjoy a game (without having to have the whole rules book the GM requires). The week is inspired by Monte Cook Games‘ Numenera Player’s Guidea low-cost option to give players all they need to dive in and play this groundbreaking game.

Create characters, explore the Ninth World, and learn the basic rules of the Numenera roleplaying game with this inexpensive player’s guide. It’s perfect for getting a taste of the game, having an extra reference on hand at the gaming table, and building new characters. The guide is an easy-to-access resource for anyone playing Numenera and a wonderful introduction and teaching tool for the game.

The Numenera Player’s Guide includes:

  • All the basic game rules for this fast-paced, story-based tabletop roleplaying game.
  • An intuitive, concept-driven character-generation system, with scores of options for building just the character you imagine.
  • An overview of the unique and wondrous Ninth World setting.

Your gaming group will also need at least one copy of Numenera Discovery and Numenera Destiny to play Numenera, but the Player’s Guide is an inexpensive option for having a second set of rules handy at the gaming table.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!