Category: 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!

We started with fantasy, and we will end with fantasy as we close out Guiding the Players Week. As OSR (Old School Revolution) games go, Castles & Crusades is one of the early front-runners and remains a highly popular iteration. The Troll Lord gang (seriously nice bunch of people!) have hit their 7th Printing of the game, with all the fine-tuning that comes with it. This is one of those “all you need to play” players guides, with the necessary focus on character creation and player experience to qualify it for the theme this week.

Castles & Crusades Players Handbook, 7th Printing

We’ve moved to the 7th printing of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook. A pillar of the table top RPG industry, Castles & Crusades embodies the spirit of the old-school gamer with the easy to use modern mechanics. The Players Handbook has all you need to get started in a wild ride of adventure!

It’s easy to learn attribute-based rules system allows players to choose among 13 archetypal character classes and 7 races to create their characters. Spells, equipment, fast-paced combat rules, and all essential information needed to play a game of Castles & Crusades is in this book.

Dice and Monsters & Treasure sold separately.

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 most popular Lovecraftian-themed settings has one of the most popular player-facing guides there is, which is the focus of today’s entry in our Guiding the Players Week. The Delta Green: Agent’s Handbook does all the things you might hope for in such a guide – guide you in making the character you want; teach you about the setting and your likely place in it; explain to you how key rules and systems work so you can get the most out of the experience.

At the same time, it does all this with the clean, sharp, evocative award-winning writing that the Delta Green line has always been known for.

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.

Further terrors can be found in the forthcoming core rulebook of Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, which will include everything from the AGENT’S HANDBOOK and massive resources just for the Handler.

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 through Guiding the Players Week, it’s time to see what your Shadowrunners might need to enhance their experience. Oh, look – the Runner’s Companion is exactly what I am talking about! This companion is specifically for the 4th Edition/20th Anniversary fans, but there are similar books for fans of every iteration. More player options, more lifestyle ideas, more everything to expand your character-building and character-enhancement options. That’s what players love!

MASTER THE SHADOWS

Life in the shadows has never been as dangerous, and runners need every edge they can get. Runner’s Companion opens up a world of expanded options for Shadowrun players with dozens of New Qualities, Advanced Contact and Lifestyle Rules, and handy tips on running, travelling and smuggling, and operating in a surveillance society.

This core book for Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition also introduces Metavariants, Changelings, and the Infected as player character options, and expands the scope of the game to include unique non-metahuman characters such as Shapeshifters, Free Spirits, and a new generation of AIs among others.

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 Guiding the Players Week Pick is a dramatic departure from yesterday’s high fantasy choice. Flowers of Hell is the players guide for those wanting to play demons in the World of Darkness (Demon: the Descent). Like many player-oriented guides, this one dramatically expands the material for character creation found in the core book. In this case, you also need the core Chronicles of Darkness book.

I want to be human, sometimes. 

I think about what they have and how simple it all must be. 

Even if they aren’t sure of their identities, at least for them the question is multiple choice. 

A human can only be so many different things. 

But to really survive after the Fall, you have to let go of everything, including identity. 

It has to be constantly changing. 

That’s the only way you can stay hidden – never give the Machine something to zero in on. 

-Comrade West

Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide expands on the material presented in Demon: The Descent, with additional information on the Agendas, the Unchained condition and mindset, and how the reason for the Fall – the catalyst – affects game play and character development. You’ll also find rules for suborning Infrastructure and what kinds of risks and rewards it brings. 

The book also includes a plethora of new Embeds, Exploits, demonic form abilities, and Merits, as well as an entire chapter on Gadgets and how they can make your demon’s Descent easier…or at least, much more interesting.

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 the Thundering Skies Player’s Guide for Shaintar marks the start of what I am calling Guiding the Players Week here at the SPOD. These are books specifically crafted and edited to serve the players of a given game or setting; they cut out all the material that’s meant primarily for GMs and serve to specifically give players what they need to get their characters put together and ready to play. They also provide the kind of world and related information a player should immerse within in order to understand and engage with the game.

This guide specifically introduces the Thundering Skies Plot Point Campaign into the epic fantasy setting of Shaintar for Savage Worlds fans. This marks the major turning point at which Shaintar becomes enmeshed in the rest of the Suzerain Continuum that Savage Mojo crafted.

The Tempest is Coming!

     Violent, unexplained storms batter the coast of Shaintar, Smashing into towns with incredible ferocity. It is the start of the Tempest, and there’s nothing natural about the extreme weather descending on the realm.

     Tell the story of heroes battling the greatest of evils in Thundering Skies, the first published campaign setting for Shaintar. The stakes have never been higher – or more dangerous – for the Tempest represents a terrible foe that seems unstoppable. Even Ceynara, the Queen of Hell, casts a wary eye upon the forces of the Tempest.

Be prepared, for the skies are Thundering!

     In this book, you’ll find plenty of new player options and enough campaign background to create any hero you want in this turbulent time. The Thundering Skies Player’s Guide is an extract of the full Thundering Skies campaign book.

Writing: Darren Pearce; Rules: Howard Brandon, Brett Smith; Edits: Gayle Reick, Miles Kantir; Art: Alida Saxon, Bien Flores, Carl Holden; Layout: Alida Saxon

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!