Category: Pick of the Day

A couple of years ago, Modiphius released an ENnie-award winning posthuman sci-fi RPG called Mindjammer. Using the Fate Core rules, it blew people away with its depth and its excellent treatment of the concepts. For those wanting a more classic, crunchy RPG system in which to play with this fascinating setting, now they’ve released it using the Traveller rules.

The Ennie Award-winning transhuman science-fiction RPG setting returns, in a brand new edition for use with the TRAVELLER roleplaying game!  

This brand new 384-page hardback book includes: 

• full rules for starships, organisations, and culture operations; 

• detailed character cultures, genotypes, and new careers—play a sentient starship! 

• new and innovative systems for describing planets, star systems, and alien life; 

• deep setting material on the New Commonality of Humankind; 

• rules for the Mindscape and virtual worlds; 

• starmaps and planet descriptions, histories and background. 

THE UNIVERSE AWAITS!

Never has there been a greater time of opportunity. The universe is in flux, and for the first time in ten thousand years no one knows what the future will bring. Charge your blaster, thoughtcast your orders to the starship sentience, and fire up the planing engines. Come and defend the light of humanity’s greatest civilisation as it spreads to the stars! 

Requires the use of the TravellerTM Core Rulebook, available from Mongoose Publishing. High Guard and the Central Supply Catalogue, available from Mongoose Publishing, are also recommended.

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!

Looks like we may have another theme week going, as today’s Pick also deals with gods and a strange future. In Olympus, Inc., you’ve got awakened divinities, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, all wrapped up with a post-modern spy thriller package and using Savage Worlds. This one’s from Fabled Environments, the folks who bring you those amazing floor plans for buildings linked to cool adventure possibilities. Their attention to detail means this book has something special going for it.

So…been through a lot have you? Motor vehicle accident, total humiliation, family murdered? No? Ah…a bunch of guys tried to kill you. I figured it was something like that or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. 

Was there a moment where every cell in your body cried out and you felt every emotion at the same time? Did you feel like you could do anything and were one with the universe for a split second? That is what we call the Awakening. Congratulations, today is your birthday. Today you are no longer asleep. Instead, you have Awakened. You are a demigod. 

For the most part, things are exactly as you knew before you experienced the Awakening. Let’s start with the basics. This is stuff you probably already knew or at least suspected. Twelve massive corporations control most of the world’s commercial, medical, scientific, and industrial production via a plethora of subsidiaries. To some extent, governments still hold megacorporations in check and the media is a mixed bag.

What you don’t know is that you’re now knee deep in a war for the survival of our world. Good Luck!

Welcome to the world of Olympus, Inc where modern-day demigods and mythical creatures battle in the shadows for the future of our world.

Olympus, Inc  combines the vibe of the cyberpunk genre with modern espionage and urban fantasy.

In the book you will find

  • Several New Edges and Hindrances
  • Details On Six Of The Olympians Gods And Their Corporations
  • Three Types Of Demigods
  • List of Powers For Each Demigod Bloodline
  • Amazing Adventure Generator
  • So much more!!

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!

Shadow of the Demon Lord is something of a phenomenon – a dark fantasy game in a sea of dark fantasy games that somehow manages to stand out dramatically in the eyes of fans and experts. Robert Schwalb knocked it out of the park, not just with the base game, but with the tremendous support line he’s published for the thing.

Now he’s gone and done something even more twisted and daring, this time taking the entire rules and structure of SotDL and setting it up to run an Earth-based post-apocalyptic campaign based on the same foundations of his original masterwork. In other words, now you can transform our own world into one where the Demon Lord invaded and won the day, with all the Mad Max insanity you can imagine… and then some.

Drown in Fire and Blood!

After the Cataclysm sundered our world, reducing cities to ruins and bringing nations to their knees, a new threat unfurled its wings to cast a shadow upon our reality. In this spreading gloom caper demons, warped creatures, and horrifying monsters, all of which tear down what’s left of the world in preparation for the coming of their dark master, the dreaded Demon Lord.

     Godless is a new setting expansion for Shadow of the Demon Lord, giving you all the tools you need to transform our own planet into the World of Fire and Blood. This book contains:

  • Guidance for using Shadow’s ancestries in this new setting, plus a new take on the clockwork: the transcendent!
  • More interesting things, training elements for novice paths, and strange new religions
  • New expert paths such as the preacher and road warrior
  • An assortment of spells useful for surviving in such a bleak setting
  • New weapons, armor, gear, and vehicles
  • New rules for building items from salvage, using automatic weapons, and handling desperate battles fought from speeding vehicles
  • Extensive advice for transforming our planet into your very own World of Fire and Blood
  • New relics such as the Boomstick and new creatures such as the steel skeleton and the unseen

With Godless, you have everything you need to adapt Shadow of the Demon Lord for play in a post-apocalyptic environment, letting the players create characters who scavenge the landscape for parts, food, and fuel, while fighting off hideous mutants, invaders from other realities, and, of course, demons. With this book, you’ll be able to explore a brand new world in the grip of the dreaded Demon Lord!

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!

 

Is it “The Office” as an RPG? I am betting you could definitely go that route if you wanted to. Or someone could try Peter’s approach from “Office Space,” which could be a hoot all its own. Regardless, trade your sword for a stapler and your spells for a spreadsheet, and it’s for damn sure your interpersonal skills won’t be the “dump stat” here as you wage a war to climb the corporate ladder… or set it on fire, whatever works.

The Murders & Acquisitions Roleplaying Game puts you smack dab in the middle of a cut-throat corporation in an absurd, alternate version of our world where literally anything goes in terms of corporate advancement.

You portray an employee seeking power, prestige, and wealth…at any cost. You’ll sabotage your rivals’ pet projects, destroy them at social events, steal their secrets, or even kill them and cover it all up. In the process, you’ll rise up the ranks, make new enemies, and discover new goals.

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!

Back in the day, the Judges Guild was a huge part of our culture, providing one of the only outlets for creative folks to get their shared ideas for improving D&D, or providing home-crafted adventures, in front of gaming fans worldwide. They eventually grew into a very strong source of supplemental material, long before desktop publishing made it easy for everyone to do the same. Similarly, Haymaker and Adventurers Club were two early options to share and get lots of Hero System and Champions material outside of the published books.

I bring these up because (a) it’s always fun to point you folks at the important history of our hobby and our business, and (b) the days of the fanzine are far from over, as the folks at Shield of Faith Studios remind us with their Crawling Under a Broken Moon line for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Welcome to the 17th issue of Crawling Under A Broken Moon, a fanzine dedicated to bringing gonzo post apocalyptic content for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG from Goodman Games.

This issue contains:

  • The Necromancers of the Space Needle and the Land of the Reanimatronic Dead
  • NecroTech – wondrous items brought to you by cutting edge necromancy
  • The Wikinomicon – containing a pair of spells to die for
  • And a slew of new undead beasties to kill your players with

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!

If you’ve not been paying attention to Fat Goblin Games, and you’re a fan of fantasy adventure stuff for just about any of the popular systems, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of stuff. Whether it’s Pathfinder5e, or any other iteration of the D&D, these guys are all over it. Below is the Pathfinder version, but there’s also 5e version and a version for OSR fans.

The Buried Zikurat – An adventure for 3 to 7 characters level 6th through 8th and designed for use with most versions of the best-known fantasy roleplaying game. Optimized for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and for 5 level 7 characters.

Building upon the success of the Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil, Kevin Watson from Dark Naga Adventures brings you part 2 of the series! This can be played as part of the series or as a stand-alone adventure.

The clay mining operation at Caford has discovered a large step pyramid, or zikurat. This imposing structure was buried completely in the clay sheet they have been mining for decades to make brick and other ceramic products. The local miners see what they think is an obvious entrance, but cannot get past the slab of stone. A call for aid is sent to the capital city of Meawold, and the party is sent to investigate.

Could this be one of the Nexuses that traded goods from the subterranean Land of Night to the surface world?

Places where treasures of the subterranean kingdoms, like mithril weapons, were traded for surface goods. Bastions of trade that were lost during the fall of the First Age of Man. Why has it been dormant for almost two millennia? What lies within? Is it a threat to Caford, or the Kingdom of Meawold as a whole? If they can get inside, the party will have to navigate millennia old magic locks and security sentinels to find answers to these questions and more within The Buried Zikurat.

Featuring clever tricks and traps, and exciting new magic, all wrapped up in an elven mystery of the ages. The Buried Zikurat is sure to bring hours of enjoyment to your gaming table!

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!

Arguably one of the most popular ideas ever crafted for Pathfinder is the We Be Goblins franchise, wherein players are able to take on roles as members of the maniacal “lower race” and run amok. Anyone who’s been near a table at a con where someone’s running Kobolds Ate My Baby! (“All Hail King Torg!”) knows how much goofy fun folks have playing the small monster people you usually cleave through in fantasy games.

Now you’ve got your Savage Worlds version –

Fantasy games are filled with the magnificent exploits of mighty wizards, powerful warriors and god-fearing knights in armor.

Ours isn’t…

Dark Hold Goblin Adventures is dedicated to the small grovelling races which scratch out an existence in the dark catacombs through which other heroes stride like unto gods. Can you survive as one of a lost culture of Goblins living in the abandoned tombs of a long forgotten empire?

Dark Hold Goblin Adventures is a Savage Worlds compatible sourcebook allowing players and game masters to run a campaign revolving around low level goblin characters.

Inside you will find a detailed history of the Dark Hold campaign setting as well as new character classes and templates to use Goblins as player characters. There is also a short adventure to whet your whistle for the challenge of playing low level goblins in a world of high level dangers.

Are you up for it?

What’s Inside:

– A detailed history of the Dark Hold Campaign setting

– New character classes and templates to use Goblins as player characters

– New Edges

– New Creatures

– An exciting starting adventure… Goblin Faire!

– Crystal Smything

– 5 One Page adventures

…and much more!

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 case you missed it, the last of the Savage Rifts products are out for what we called Wave I. That includes the long-awaited (and totally free) Savaging Your Favorite Rifts Ideas supplement, as well as this latest adventure written by Ross Watson. And now, time to start working on Wave II…

Take your Tomorrow Legionnaires on a journey for a fabled artifact!

This 19 page adventure by Ross Watson sends your heroes chasing after a book said to contain spells of enormous power. It’s a sure bet if the Tomorrow Legion heard about it, others did too…

Requires the Savage Worlds core rules, Rifts®: The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide, and Rifts®: Game Master’s Handbook to play. Rifts® and Megaverse® are Registered Trademarks of Palladium Books, Inc. All character names and likenesses are copyright and trademarks owned by Palladium Books, Inc. and used under license.

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 best things about D&D 5e is how easily you can use material from just about any other edition (and any OGL-driven source, for that matter) with just a little effort in your 5e games. When it comes to a classic like the first boxed set for Ravenloft, created by the legendary Bruce Nesmith with Andria Hayday, this makes for a true gem mine to delve for incredible story and adventure in one of the most famous settings ever.

A New Realm of Horror Adventures

In the dead of night, as mists cloak the land, a traveler walks a country road. Footsteps echo behind him, in pace with his beating heart. Is it Death who follows? The man turns, and so turns the phantom. A flash of fang, a bloodcurdling howl, red eyes fueled by a passion from beyond the grave. The traveler discovers what others have learned before him: all roads lead to Ravenloft.

Ravenloft is a new realm of terror for AD&D adventures,rooted in the Gothic tradition. It is a demiplane of dread and desire, a world whose misty fingers can reach into any other campaign setting and draw unsuspecting heroes into its midst. Once it holds them in its icy embrace, it may never let them go…

What lurks beneath the covers of this box?

  • A 144-page book detailing a complete, terrifying new campaign world, which was inspired by the classic TSR adventure “Ravenloft.” You’ll find new twists on magic and the AD&D rules, tips for adding fear to your games, plus a portrait of over 30 new lands and the powerful lords who rule them – from vampires, ghosts, and werewolves to men who are even more monstrous.
  • 4 big, full-color maps, detailing deadly domains and shadowy settlements.
  • 24 full-color sheets, featuring haunted castles, horrid houses, and fiendish folk.

Product History [EXCERPTS]

Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990), by Bruce Nesmith with Andria Hayday, is the first boxed set for the Ravenloft campaign setting. It was published in June 1990.

Origins (I): Continuing the AD&D 2e Worlds. When TSR produced Spelljammer (1989) shortly after the release of AD&D 2e (1989), it seemed like a wonderful one-off — a new campaign world to complement the classic settings of Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and the Forgotten Realms. But when Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990) followed, it suddenly became apparent that TSR was pushing hard on settings for their new edition — and that their appearance might just be a yearly event. In fact, yearly releases of new settings is exactly what happened, and it would cause TSR big problems down the line as setting piled atop setting. But, for now, Ravenloft was just the fifth major world for AD&D.

Like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms, and Spelljammer, Ravenloft began with a box. Fans call Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990) the “black box” to differentiate it from the red-boxed Ravenloft Campaign Setting (1994) that followed several years later. However, that boxed format was Ravenloft’s only major similarity to the settings that came before it.

TSR’s three AD&D 1e campaign worlds walked the line between high fantasy and sword & sorcery, but that was changing with the new 2e worlds. Spelljammer started the trend by moving into a very different genre: science fantasy. Ravenloft similarly focused on something new: gothic horror. The idea of new settings featuring new genres was one that would continue through most of TSR’s campaign settings of the ’90s.

Origins (II): Continuing the Ravenloft Line. Ravenloft was, of course, not the first appearance of gothic horror in AD&D. It all began with I6: “Ravenloft” (1983), an adventure by Tracy and Laura Hickman that introduced Count Strahd von Zarovich and his dark land of Barovia. A few years later the Hickmans returned with I10: “Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill” (1986), which revived Strahd in the village of Mordentshire.

Fast forward to the 2e era. I6: “Ravenloft” continued to be a very popular adventure, but at TSR adventures were out-of-favor and settings were in. So in 1989, Bruce Nesmith and Andria Hayday were asked to turn the Hickmans’ popular module into a full world of adventure.

Nesmith and Hayday soon decided that Strahd’s realm of Barovia wasn’t really suited for a campaign. It didn’t offer flexibility or variety. So, the creators opted instead to concentrate on the adventure’s atmosphere. The result was a “demiplane of dread” that included many horrific lands, including the lands of Barovia and Mordent from the two “Ravenloft” modules. Strahd’s backstory from the original “Ravenloft” was even incorporated into the story of how Ravenloft, the demiplane of dread, came to be.

Expanding D&D. Though Dragonlance required some minor changes to the D&D rules, particularly in its days without gods, Ravenloft was the first D&D setting that made major shifts to the D&D game — both through rules variations and through new rule systems. Many classes, spells, and magic items were revamped, either to create a feeling of horror or to account for the fact that Ravenloft was a demiplane.

Ravenloft also contained the game’s first major rules for psychological responses, with its fear checks and horror checks. This sort of “psychological saving throw” originated with Call of Cthulhu’s sanity checks and soon become de rigeur for the horror genre. Ravenloft would add one more check with the publication of Forbidden Lore (1992): the madness check.

As part of its focus on horror, Ravenloft also put more attention than ever on the idea of characters doing evil, outlining rules for what happened as characters started to slip over to the dark side. It was somewhat surprising given TSR’s general move away from controversial elements such as demons, devils, and assassins at the time. However, it wouldn’t be the last time that Ravenloft touched upon things that the rest of the D&D line wasn’t willing to.

Finally, Ravenloft also included rules for curses and for fortune-telling; both of these systems would be further expanded in Forbidden Lore as well.

About the Creators. Ravenloft was designed by Bruce Nesmith and developed by Andria Hayday. Nesmith had been writing for TSR since 1984, with much of his prior focus on Marvel Super Heroes. He would continue to work on the Ravenloft line through 1994. Hayday had also been working for TSR since the early ’80s (with a gap for her time at Pacesetter). As an editor and developer, she didn’t often receive top-line credit, but was nonetheless crucial to the creation of lines like Ravenloft and Al-Qadim (1992).

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 my new adventures in the coming year will be as a professional GM for the great folks at Total Escape Games here in the Denver area. Seriously, I never thought that was a possible, real thing, but here I am, studying up on a new game product and getting ready to run it as part of a program to support the sale of new RPGs in the brick-and-mortar venue. Having played and greatly enjoyed D&D 5th Edition, I am pretty keen about bringing the world of Middle-earth to life – albeit, with a heavy leaning to the cinematic style, as is my wont.

In Adventures in Middle-earth™ the greatest fantasy setting of all time comes to the world’s favourite roleplaying game rules! Take your gaming group to Middle-earth with this thematic and atmospheric, OGL-compatible setting guide.

Smaug has been defeated, the Battle of Five Armies has been won, and Bilbo has returned to the Shire. But much danger still remains, and from the Orc-holds of the mountains to the dark and corrupt depths of Mirkwood a darkness waits, recovering its strength, laying its plans, and slowly extending its shadow…

In Dale, King Bard sends out a call for brave adventurers to journey to Laketown and assist him in restoring the glory of the North.

Adventurers come from all the Free Peoples of Wilderland and beyond, all heeding the call to adventure. Spurred on by diverse callings – whether it be the lure of the road, the hunger for ancient lore, or the simple urge to defend hearth and kin, adventurers from across Wilderland are preparing to explore Middle-earth and to battle the rising threat of The Shadow wherever it may be found.

The Player’s Guide gives you the Middle-earth setting-specific rules and guidance to create your characters and adventure in the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings using the OGL 5e ruleset.

Character creation features Cultures and Classes designed for Middle-earth to help you get deep into the setting from the very start of your adventures. New rules add excitement to your journeys and encounters, and chart the corruption of the Shadow in the unwary or unwise.

The Quest begins with this lavishly illustrated, hardcover Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide, followed by the equally beautiful and useful Adventures in Middle-earth Loremaster’s Guide. You can start playing right away with this Player’s Guide, and the latest edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game rules.

Adventures in Middle-earth: Players Guide contains:
• 11 Middle-earth specific playable Cultures
• 6 New and unique Classes
• 13 New Backgrounds custom-made for Middle-earth
• Middle-earth appropriate arms and armour
• 
Unique Journey rules

• New rules for Corruption
• New Audience rules
• Rules for The Fellowship Phase
• Middle-earth maps (as the end papers) for Players and Loremasters

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!