Category: Pick of the Day

Today’s Pick for Blessed Are the Healers Week is this gorgeous fantasy RPG that focuses not on wizards and warriors, but artisans, craftspeople, and those who work hard to make their world a better place. This line from the product description really says it all –

Some people colloquially call it “Hayao Miyazaki’s Oregon Trail“, because of its heartwarming (in Japanese “honobono“) feel of family anime, and its focus on traveling and wonder over combat and treasure.

Ryuutama is an RPG developed in Japan by designer Atsuhiro Okada. It is set in a world where the “NPCs” of the village–the bakers, farmers, shopkeepers and healers–set off on a wonderful adventure exploring a fantasy world together. Some people colloquially call it “Hayao Miyazaki’s Oregon Trail“, because of its heartwarming (in Japanese “honobono“) feel of family anime, and its focus on traveling and wonder over combat and treasure.

The characters are travelers in a world without classical fantasy wizards and warriors. Instead, the characters are minstrels, merchants, healers, hunters, artisans, farmers and nobles who decide (or were fated) to leave their towns and explore the world. Using a light rules system based on polyhedral dice where the randomness in results leads to more story development, Ryuutama provides a framework for travel-focused stories fun for adults and enjoyable for all ages. 

The game master also creates a special character with its own unique character sheet, called the “Ryuujin“. The half-dragon Ryuujin remains “offscreen” most of the time, but watches over the other characters, and can provide limited spells and abilies to support them. The GM provides advertisy that the players have to overcome, but at the same time they protect and nurture the characters.

  • Experience is gained in Ryuutama primarily by making difficult journeys to new places, far more than monster slaying.
  • Magic is based on seasonal essenses, and focuses on the classic creative use of magic to overcome problems, over combat-themed spells.
  • Combat is simple and fun, featuring a classic console style “Front/Back Line Battle Mat”
  • The players at the table have a hand in creating the towns that their characters visit together, so that everyone has an interest in the next leg of the journel!
  • Critical fumbles (rolling 1s on both dice) hurt, but all the characters at the table get a bonus to a future roll in return.

The game was produced as a flagship project in Japan to easily get people into playing and GMing RPGs; to that end there’s a lot of advice for brand new GMs, including scenario creation. There are lots of sheets and templates to help brand new or novice GMs develop great Ryuutama-worthy scenarios.

The game has been out in Japan for years, and is widely loved by the people who play it. Even today long campaigns and short stories are being played in homes and cafes around the country. It has finally arrived in English to a new audience, and remade in full color by layout artist and game designer Daniel Solis!

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!

Conflict and action-driven as gaming tends to be, I may have set a difficult challenge for myself this week. However, with the death and destruction of many hurricanes and earthquakes in recent days, and the unmitigated horror of the news out of Las Vegas, NV this morning, I am declaring this Blessed Are the Healers Week. I dedicate this week’s SPOD entries to healers, peacemakers, and those who help rather than harm.

The most important heroes of all, really.

We open with Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, a game focused on young, kind, enthusiastic young monks and travelers who simply seek to help people in need and have a bit of adventure. The linked version is for the iteration based on its own original system. There’s also a FATE-driven version.

Per creator Daniel Solis – “You tell the story of young travelers who mean well, but spend most of their time getting into trouble. You use your creativity and strategy to create a humorous coming of age story. It’s like a comedic crossover between Avatar: the Last Airbenderthe Little Prince and Kino’s Journey.”

The Universe is full of big troubles. When people need a hand, they write letters to the Temple asking for help from the pilgrims — young travelers with good intentions, the ability to fly, and not much else! The pilgrims come to help, but they get into a lot of trouble along the way. Growing up is crazy!

Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is a slapstick fantasy storytelling game. This book contains the complete rules for play. Together with a notebook, pencils, a small pouch, two handfuls of stones, and your friends, you’ll be ready to answer letters, help people, and make trouble.

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 am closing out my weeklong tribute to my colleague and friend, Satyros Phil Brucato, with one of his most proud accomplishments. This revival of one of the most intriguing and perplexing games ever crafted for the Storyteller system gave Satyros a chance to really put his mark on things, and once again his mastercraft abilities with all things modern/urban fantasy shines through. I know my Belovedest, Carinn Seabolt, cannot say enough wonderful things about this game – probably her favorite gaming experience of all time, actually.

I tell you this: We are Divinity. 

Reality is ours to bend. To subvert. To command. 
We have that power – all of us. 

Not everyone knows what to do with it, or uses it well. 
Most of us never realize just what it is we are or how much we can do. 

Those of us who do well, some of us are monsters. 
Manipulators. Parasites. Tyrants. Fanatics. 

And the rest of us never see that monster in our own mirror, only in the reflections of those folks who are not “us.” 

Here’s the truth, though: We are ALL “us.” We are ALL gifted, 

We can ALL change the world. Most of us remain asleep. 

A blessed few Awaken. Fewer still use that power wisely. 
And none without consequences. 

And so, reality is up for grabs. Where do you stand?

And will you Fall… or Ascend? 

What’s in it?

• Updated profiles of the Council of Nine Traditions, the Technocratic Union, and the Disparate Crafts… with many unexpected developments. 

• An epic history of magick and its factions.  

• A compilation and clarification of essential and optional rules, including martial arts, vehicles, hazards, cybernetics, the Otherworlds, and far more besides. 

• Overviews of paradigms, practices and tools – the focus of your Art. 

• Detailed explorations of the epic concepts involved in Mage. 

• Chilling looks at the Nephandi and Marauders. 

• The Nine Spheres, plus their Technocratic variants. 

• Old favorites and new faces from among the Awakened Ones. 

• Reality Zones, Paradox, Quiet, the “coincidental vs. vulgar magick” debate, and far, far more…  

• New full color original art by Michael William Kaluta, Echo Chernik, Steve Prescott, Christopher Shy, Larry MacDougall, and other classic Mage artists, as well as classic B&W pieces carefully chosen from the earlier editions.

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 of the first things Satyros Phil Brucato put out with his new Quiet Thunder Productions company was this system-agnostic* gem. It’s strange, eldritch mercantilism saturated with magical story and overflowing with adventure. It’s mysterious arcanery as only Satyros can do it.

(*) – Yes, it was originally crafted for Deliria, but it’s wide-open for use in any fantasy or urban fantasy setting.

Come Buy! Come Buy! 

The midnight market is ins town, and everyone seems to have something to sell. Lost toys? Magic potions? Albums that shouldn’t exist, yet do? Look around, dear friend. I’m sure we’ll find what you’re looking for somewhere…

In a world where commerce is magical, what’s the cost of desire? Explore Qwest-Mart, Wicked Jerry’s, Shae Bal Marah, and other strange places. Maybe you’ll find out – if you can meet the price! 

A setting, character, story and rule supplement for fantasy gaming sagas, Goblin Markets: The Glitter Trade features mysterious markets, uncanny merchants, magical treasures, and far, far more. 

Don’t be shy. Come inside…

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!

We continue with Satyros Phil Brucato Week at the SPOD with a callback to one of the most popular and influential books ever produced for the original World of Darkness setting. Along with such stellar folks as Nicky Rea, Jackie Cassada, Justin Achilli, Richard E. Dansky,
Ian Lemke,
 and Ethan Skemp, Phil helped create a world-within-a-world as the East entered the global game played by the Kindred. Combining exceptional history lessons with fascinating new mythology, this book took Vampire games in whole new directions.

 

May You Gain the Notice of Those in High Places
For centuries the exotic realm of Asia has defied the Kindred’s incursions. Those few Children of Caine dwelling in Asia whisper of the monstrous Cathayans–the shadowy vampires native to the East. For too long the Cathayans have lain like sleeping dragons, allowing the Kindred a facade of omnipotence. Now, the new Age is at hand; Yin-daggers tremble in the talons of the Resplendent Cranes, and the Devil-Tigers howl for souls in the dark. 

May You Live in Interesting Times
Kindred of the East is a giant hardcover sourcebook describing the unique and deadly vampires of the East. This mammoth volume includes new character creation rules, new powers, descriptions of the Eastern spirit worlds (plus rules for traveling there), and two chapters full of setting and cultural information.

Note: Due to the heavy use of textures and images behind the text, text recognition was not able to be applied to most 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!

We continue the celebration of my friend, Satyros Phil Brucato, with this gem from Savage Mojo for Savage Worlds fans – Caladon Falls. One of the many fascinating realms that comprise the Suzerain Continuum, this epic fantasy setting includes the writing and design talents of Satyros alongside folks like Vickey A. Beaver, Steve Dean, Curtis and Sarah Lyon, John Wick, and Dan McGirt. The entire premise is a world at war, and you must brave through being on the losing side and figure out a way to survive… and to win.

They came out of nowhere and started ripping the world apart, one city at a time. Using power on a scale never before seen, Warlocks, godlike leaders of the Wild army, are rampaging on Austeria with one goal: raise armies and annihilate the entire continent. Set in the fantasy realm of Relic, this book looks at warfare through the eyes of everyday people turned soldiers – soldiers whose side is losing the war.

Take the challenge. Roleplay in a fantasy world where hairless dwarves walk through stone, magic is commonplace, and the spirit world doesn’t always stay in check. Focus on a daily life and death struggle where the enemy is cruel, powerful, and around every corner. Take the challenge, and let your adventurers become…

…mankind’s only hope.

Inside the covers you’ll find:
* Heaps of world detail you’ll need to run games in Suzerain’s Relic realm during the War of the Wild.
* Over 50 new Edges, Hindrances, and Powers, including three new playable races.
* Stats for dozens of heroes and villains alike, plus an assortment of soldiers and monsters from the war.
* A finely-tuned setting in which to take your characters from Novices to Heroes.
* 30 scenarios including a full plot-point campaign covering the arrival of the Warlocks and the fight for survival in the Caladon Kingdom.

This is a high art product and a large download. 

A copy of Savage Suzerain is recommended to get the most enjoyment from this book.

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 release of this long-awaited magnum opus by my amazing and soulful friend makes it Satyros Phil Brucato Week here at the SPOD! No one grocks urban fantasy with more understanding and passion than Satyros, and this book is his paean to the night world of music and madness that he’s inhabited for so long. Keep an eye out for other masterpieces by this Bard of Dice and Dreams.

ROCK FOREVER! 

There’s no such thing as “easy” in the music world. Every gig’s a battle, and the folks who dream big and live large are the only ones left standing when the morning comes. 

But for the these kings and queens of the nighttime world, music is Divinity – a cruel yet irresistable god whose touch drives artists gleefully mad. To feel that blessing, you’ll push yourself and everyone around you to the edge… then over it… into bliss, ruin, and each sensation in between. 

From the creator behind Mage 20, Deliria: Faerie Tales for a New Millennium, Mage: The Ascension, The Sorcerers Crusade and more, Powerchords takes you and your friends into the wild realm of mystical musicianship. An “open system” rulebook for story-telling games, this tome of rock ‘n’ roll roleplay riffs on the adventures of real-life music culture, then cranks up the volume with life-thieves, demons, earth angels and wild beasts. Head, heart, guts and groin, this book rocks like nothing else around. 

Venues! Concerts! Groupies! Instruments! Weird bands, fae folk, bargains at the crossroads, and so much more…

PARENTAL
ADVISORY
EXPLICIT CONTENT

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!

Pretty much everyone should have seen this one coming, as it’s the last day of Positively Barbaric! Week here at the SPOD. This expansion for the Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed of line deals with the particularly barbaric lands of the north of Conan’s world – including his own Cimmeria. For a swords-and-sorcery game that was already steeped in savagery and a kick-in-the-seat for civilization, this book delves into the very heart of what it means to survive and thrive where the old saying about “what is best in life” goes –

To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.

“BARBARISM IS THE NATURAL STATE OF MANKIND,” THE BORDERER SAID, STILL STARING SOMBERLY AT THE CIMMERIAN.

“CIVILIZATION IS UNNATURAL. IT IS A WHIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE. AND BARBARISM MUST ALWAYS ULTIMATELY TRIUMPH.”

Conan the Barbarian features the countries of the north: Asgard, Vanaheim, Hyperborea, and Conan’s own homeland of Cimmeria. These rough lands stand in stark contrast to their more civilized neighbors in the south, and the folk of these countries possess a savage vitality that has long been lost elsewhere. 

These lands and people survived the great Cataclysm, yet barbarism is still the dominant way of life. Many people in the Hyborian kingdoms think these northern lands near mythical, but contained in these pages is a hoard of legend, lore, and facts for the gamemaster and players alike, to explore and adventure within these harsh and unforgiving kingdoms.

So sharpen your axe-blade and keep your shield held high, for it is a time of barbaric glory! 

  • New archetypes, talents, backgrounds, and equipment allowing you to create your own unique barbarian characters, born to the warlike and savage north.
  • A gazetteer covering the region Conan came from, bleak lands shrouded in snow and ice, and wreathed in fog. Detailed guides to the walled fortress cities of Hyperborea, the unruly clans of Cimmeria, and the warring tribes of Nordheim, the Æsir and Vanir.
  • A raid system, allowing the gamemaster to create and run raids, defining their loot, and determining the consequences.
  • Guides to running barbaric-themed games, with barbaric carousing rules, head-taking, shield-walls, berserkers, bardic abilities, and other features unique to the lands of the north.
  • Stunning art and maps, produced by worldrenowned Conan artists.
  • Developed with leading Conan scholars, this is the barbaric north of the Hyborian Age, just as Howard created it!

This book requires the Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of corebook to use.

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 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!