Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press.

Adventures in Middle-Earth 5e Play Review – The Second Journey, An Unexpected TPK

Last week, I reviewed our first Journey of the game. It went stupidly well. This week, I’ll continue the story of the first session and our second Journey. It goes stupidly. Again, I’ll discuss the mechanics of the system a bit and this time some battle numbers.

At the end I mention Cubicle 7’s January sale – 25% off Adventures in Middle-earth™ Player’s Guide and Loremaster’s Guide Bundle.

[Trigger Warning: Violence against D&D wolves. Not real animals, but in-game violence.]

 

***

In case you want to catch up on my prior Adventures in Middle-earth 5e Play Review articles:

***

Our Loremaster is Mike and our fellowship consists of:

 

***

Gwynnestri’s elven friend, Adabeuond, takes the fellowship to meet with King Thranduil of the Mirkwood Elves. Our goal is to gain his permission to travel north through his woods. After our great rolls for the first Journey, Gwynnestri obtains permission for all of us, even the dwarf, to pass through his kingdom and, in exchange, she agrees to report back what she learns.

The fellowship gets to stay the night at the King’s Hall and partake in their merrymaking. That night, Kort plays an ocarina (a haunting melody).

“Why an ocarina, cousin? Why not an oboe?”

“Because it doesn’t require a tongue, you twit, it’ll hurt more!”

(You see, Kort doesn’t have a tongue and it’s a whole thing.)

Our Loremaster, Mike, declares that a new Journey begins. We keep the same Journey roles as the first time around:

  • Kort, the Hushed, a Slayer, was assigned the Hunter position.
  • Gwynnestri of Mirkwood, Treasure Hunter, ended up as our Scout.
  • Robgud Clarfield, a Hobbit Scholar, ended up as the Guide.
  • Finn of Gondor, a 17-year-old human, took the Look-out assignment.

We lead with a roll for the Embarkation Table. The guide (me) rolls a d12 plus modifiers and the result was a 7: Feasts Fit for the Kings of Ancient Times. This was not a bad result as it gave the entire fellowship a +1 to all Skill Checks for the duration of this Journey.

Next, it’s the Journey Events Table and, I mean, how bad could that be? A second d12 roll (plus bonuses) for 12. Journey Events Table = Many Meetings? Fly you Fools! That led to a call for the Look-out to make a WIS (Perception) roll, which John failed.

Bookkeeping complete, the next morning (in-game) we continue walking along the side of the river. That night, the Many Meetings? Fly you Fools! and that failed Perception roll… ay, gawd… Yeah, that resulted in Finn spotting a 12’ wolf across the river, as you do in Mirkwood. His Nature check (17) confirmed it’s not a worg or a natural wolf of any kind. Finn, the 17-year-old human, points out the monstrosity and Gwynnestri, the elven Treasure Hunter, does a Shadow-lore check (13) to realize it’s The Werewolf of Mirkwood, an agent of The Necromancer, a spirit in wolf form, a foe far greater than the party could handle (as 1st level characters).

[NOTE: For Many Meetings? Fly you Fools!, the rulebook states that low-level parties should encounter enemies equal to their station… The Werewolf of Mirkwood is *not* equal to our station since it’s CR 6… but that is how Mike runs games sometimes.]

By now, the whole fellowship has an idea of what we’re facing so Kort, the Hushed, the dwarven Slayer, decides to wade across the river and confront it. Gwynnestri runs after Kort and talks him down from chasing down the werewolf.

From its position across the water, the werewolf summons 12 wolves (each CR 1/2). They split into two groups of 6 each with one group fording the river in front of us to attack while the other heads down river to cross. To get Robgud out of danger and let him use his bow, Kort tosses the Hobbit Scholar up a tree. Following suit, the human and elf climb trees as well. There is a campfire on the ground. This leaves Kort on the ground so he charges at the half dozen wolves that crossed the ford as we shoot.

The setup is: Trees with Robgud, Gwynnestri, and Finn in them, the campfire (for light), Kort, the 6 wolves, the river, and then the Werewolf of Mirkwood on the far side.

From above, we have Advantage on shooting so it’s a round of hits with damage like: Gwynnestri (11 damage to slay a wolf), Finn (6 damage), and Robgud (5 damage). The wolves lock with Kort. He strikes one with his mattock for 9 damage (killing the wolf). Many of the wolves miss Kort, but one hits. As a Bonus Action, Kort activates his Battle-fury (think Barbarian Rage).

From the trees, we continue to shoot the wolves that are not engaged with Kort. Gywnn does 15 damage (another death), Robgud does 8 damage, but Finn misses. Kort attacks doing 17 damage killing that wolf.

Throughout the fight, the Werewolf of Mirkwood has observed without becoming involved. This has been critical to our success since, you know, he’d tear through us like Hobbits at a buffet if he joined in.

For thematic purposes, the Loremaster gives Kort another combat action as Kort throws (NAT 20 + 5) the freshly killed wolf carcass at the giant werewolf. It hits the beast to no effect (because if he dove in, that’d end us) and combat continues. Gwynnestri shots the last wolf for 7 (Finn and Robgud miss). The last wolf attacks Kort for 4 damage but Kort kills it (15 damage).

Combat over, we survived and really didn’t take a terrible beating. From across the river, the Werewolf of Mirkwood glares at Kort. Kort flings the corpses of the wolves at the Werewolf of Mirkwood leading to a growl-off at each other. Intimidation checks of 16 to 14 leaves Kort slightly ahead. Everything seems good though there was not enough time for a Short Rest. Instead, Finn looks to the south to see more wolves coming (6 more). Only this time, the wolves were coming up our backside so the setup changed:

The 6 wolves, the trees with Robgud, Gwynnestri, and Finn in them, the campfire (which is too far from the wolves to provide light ending our Advantage), Kort, the river, and then the Werewolf of Mirkwood on the far side.

Add to that, Kort is so involved with the Werewolf of Mirkwood that he has Disadvantage on his Perception to even realize the wolves are coming up behind him. He rolls a 1 and a 1 because of the Disadvantage, so he takes a 1, totally oblivious.

We go with the same strategy. Between Finn and Robgud, they kill an incoming wolf. Gwynn kills one on her own (14 damage). Kort, completely distracted, gets hit by the incoming wolves (for 9 damage and 12 damage). Despite the Battle-fury reducing his damage and having some high starting Hit Points, he’s down to 3 HP. Still, he counterattacks and does 14 damage, killing another wolf.

With Kort on his last leg, Finn and Gwynnestri decide to climb down from the tree and attempt to distract the wolves and aid Kort. However, neither is successful in attacking or distracting the wolves. Instead, the wolves knock Kort below 0 HP, another hits Finn for 9 damage (so he’s just barely standing), and yet another hits Gwynn for 9 damage knocking her below 0 HP. There are 4 wolves left (2 fine, 2 wounded) versus Robgud and Finn. Finn flees for a tree while Robgud shoots a wounded one for 8 damage, slaying it. The last 3 wolves fail a homebrew morale check and flee.

On the ground, Robgud instructs Finn on how to save Kort with the Athelas while Robgud uses his one application of Hands of the Healer to restore Gwynn to 6 HP. Kort, just barely up after this encounter, glares at the Werewolf across the river. In a small bit of deference over a well-fought battle, the Werewolf of Mirkwood leaves back into the night.

For those keeping track at home, the Werewolf of Mirkwood (CR 6) and 12 wolves (CR 1/2 each) gave a CR total of 12, or 6, depending on how you count. Any encounter calculator will rank that encounter as “Deadly”. Had those wolves not retreated, we would have had at least two party members die during the first session. Had the Werewolf of Mirkwood joined in directly, I’d be telling you about rolling up a new character. However, it didn’t and the fellowship survived.

As well, this encounter should have resulted in 2 Shadow Points and a level of Exhaustion for each character, and a -1 to the Arrival Roll for the fellowship. However, since the encounter itself was so brutal, Mike let us skip all of the additional negatives. Instead, we got 200 XP each and could call it a night… [Until next Friday.]

 

***

Cubicle 7 is taking pre-orders for Adventures in Middle-earth – Bree-land Region Guide + PDF on there site (here). As soon as you order, you get the PDF.

Logo taken from Bundle of Holding’s Adventures in Middle-Earth for D&D 5e offering.

 

On Cubicle 7’s website, they have their “January Sale Offer!

25% off Adventures in Middle-earth™ Player’s Guide and Loremaster’s Guide Bundle for a limited time only. This bundle gets you both the Player’s Guide and the Loremaster’s Guide, with free PDFs of both.”

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliated links to DriveThruRPG’s affiliate program and/or Humble Bundle’s Humble Partner program. 

PRESS RELEASE – Coriolis: Emissary Lost – Solve the mystery before it is too late

​Coriolis: Emissary Lost – Solve the mystery before it is too late

Free League Publishing –

Who is hunting the mystics of Coriolis? And why? Street reporters call it The Mysticides. Scores of mystics have been found dead or disappeared without a trace. When a friend of yours disappears, it becomes personal. Can you solve the mystery before it is too late?

Coriolis: Emissary Lost is the long-awaited expansion to the award-winning tabletop Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG. The epic space saga is set for release the 31st of January and will change the Third Horizon forever.

Watch the Coriolis: Emissary Lost trailer

Read more about the Coriolis expansion

The space adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG was awarded the ENnies Judges’ Spotlight 2017. Designed by Free League Publishing – the same team that made the Tales from the Loop RPG(winner of five Gold ENnies 2017, winner of three Golden Geek awards 2018).

“The game’s authors describe it as ‘Arabian Nights in space’ and it fulfills that brief marvelously. Style 5/5, Substance 5/5.” – RPG NET Review

Coriolis: Emissary Lost trailer

Follow us

About Free League Publishing

Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published several award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds. Our first game, the post-apo…Visit the newsroom »

PRESS RELEASE – Urgent – Critical Core needs you!

Ready for the Adventure?

Our Kickstarter is close to launch! Our campaign page is coming together and manufacturing is ready to go.

But before we go live we need more subscribers, so our campaign will be featured by the Kickstarter team.

We need your help – together we can make this adventure come to life!


 

Activate Your Network!

By encouraging your friends to sign up, we can launch our Kickstarter faster! Please spread the word about Critical Core and get your friends to support the project:  https://www.criticalcore.org


 

Like and Share our Facebook Page!

If you haven’t already, please like and share the Critical Core Facebook page to get regular updates on the project.


 

Advocacy

From the start, Critical Core has been developed with input from adult advocates, kids on the spectrum, their parents and occupational therapists.

If you or someone you know is an adult on the spectrum and would like to join our advocacy group, please email advocates@gametogrow.org and tell us about your interest and experience with RPGs and Critical Core.


 

Kickstarter Update

Here’s a sneak peek of our in-progress box artwork.

Sneak peek of in-progress box artwork. Subject to change!

 

Once again, you have made all the difference in bringing Critical Core to life, thank you!

The Critical Core Team


Copyright ©2019 Game to Grow

PRESS RELEASE – Awaken: The Liborian Saga – Logos, Cover, and Artwork

Studio 2 Publishing Inc. and The Games Collective celebrate 2019 announcing a new project for Awaken, the dark fantasy role-playing game published in 2016 through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

All the fans will be happy to know that on January 22nd a new crowdfunding campaing will start with the aim to fund a new expansion book for Awaken, The Liborian Saga, in which players can finally discover more about one of the most mysterious and fascinating part of Salvora, the islands of Liboria, with a detailed lore description of the cities and new contents for their adventures like new antagonists and monsters, new Gifts, Weapons and Items, and expanded rules.

More details about the book and the Kickstarter rewards will be announced soon.

About Awaken. Developed by the croatian team The Games Collective, Awaken is a dark fantasy role-playing game that takes place in a war-ravaged world, heavily influenced by Slavic and Mediterranean folklore. The Alliance of the Great Cities is slowly fading out, and the Vargans, monstrous creatures who once caused a war that nearly devastated the continent, still hide in the shadows of the underground, ready to come out. The only hope for the people of Salvora are the Vasalli, powerful humans gifted with abilities capable of changing the course of history: will they bear the burden of being the protectors of humanity, or will they allow themselves to be corrupted by power and succumb to the darkness that delves in every heart?

About The Games Collective. The team was founded by Marko Matijević Sekul and Zoltan Lečei, two avid readers, lifelong game enthusiasts, and storytelling fanatics that want to share their vision and experience with every reader, player, and explorer out there.

About Studio 2 Publishing Inc.. Thanks to their extensive production and distribution experience, Studio 2 published many games from different companies, including Pinnacle Entertainment, Exile Game Studio, Crafty Games, Engine Publishing, Hunters Books, Paradigm Concepts, TerrorBull Games, Reality Blurs, Third Eye Games, Alderac Entertainment, Dwarven Forge, Calliope Games, and Kuznia Gier.

More info about Awaken: http://www.awakenrpg.net

PRESS RELEASE – Get Your Gen Con 2019 Badges Now, and Check Out New Shows on Gen Con TV This Week

Gen Con Returns to Indianapolis
August 1-4, 2019!

Badge Registration Now Open

Badges for Gen Con 2019 are now available! Head over to gencon.com to create your account if you’re joining us for the first time, or to update your information if you’re a Gen Con veteran. Information about badge pricing and other details can be found here.

Skip the lines! Select USPS Priority Mail during check out to have your items mailed to you. Already bought your badge but forgot shipping? Never fear! You can update this setting on your My Profile page until June 16th.

If you have any questions or run into any trouble,  first check out the Account Information page, and if you still have questions, shoot us an email at customerservice@gencon.com and we’ll get you sorted!

Buy your badge today and secure your spot at The Best Four Days in Gaming! 
Check Out Gen Con TV This Week

Just bought your badge and can’t wait for Gen Con? We can’t either! Four days of gaming and fun just wasn’t enough for us, so we’re bringing a little bit of Gen Con to you throughout the year on Gen Con TV! Below, you’ll find two new shows we’re launching this week that we think you’ll love.

TableTakes Presented by Gen Con
TableTakes is a weekly tabletop news show, streamed live from our studio! Gather ’round the table with our hosts to catch up on the news and geek out with us about all the latest in the world of tabletop gaming! Catch the show weekly on Fridays at 11 am (Pacific) / 2 pm (Eastern) on twitch.tv/gencontv and the recording later that day on our YouTube channel.
Game Night with The Brothers Murph
You know them, you love them, or if not, you’re certainly about to. The Brothers Murph live up to their name in that they’re actually brothers, and on top of that, they make you feel like you’re part of the family. We’ve partnered with them to bring you a great variety gaming show filled with laughter, fun, and giveaways! You’ll find them playing the latest in new releases, and some good ol’ favorites. Tune in every other Monday starting next Monday, January 14 at 5 pm (Pacific) / 8 pm (Eastern) on twitch.tv/gencontv.Live Stream Schedule:
Mondays (bi-weekly) 5 pm (Pac) / 8 pm (Est): Game Night with The Brothers Murph
Tuesdays 4 pm (Pac) / 7 pm (Est): Welcome to the Table – Magic: The Gathering Arena with Kristen
Fridays 11 am (Pac) / 2 pm (Est): TableTakes Presented by Gen Con

We will continue to bring you even more content throughout the year, so follow Gen Con TV on Twitch to get notified of when we’re live!

New Badge Wallet from OffWorld
Give your badge a good home with one of these fantastic badge wallets on sale now at the Gen Con Store from OffWorld Designs! Keep your badge out and easily recognized by our Indiana Convention Center staff and store a few small, but important items in these handy badge wallets.Order yours today!

PRESS RELEASE – Awaken, The Liborian Saga Coming Soon to Kickstarter

Studio 2 Publishing Inc. and The Games Collective celebrate 2019 announcing a new project for Awaken, the dark fantasy role-playing game published in 2016 through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

All the fans will be happy to know that later this month a new crowdfunding campaign will start with the aim to fund a new expansion book for Awaken, The Liborian Saga, in which players can finally discover more about one of the most mysterious and fascinating part of Salvora, the islands of Liboria, with a detailed lore description of the cities and new contents for their adventures like new antagonists and monsters, new Gifts, Weapons and Items, and expanded rules.

More details about the book and the Kickstarter rewards will be announced soon.

About Awaken. Developed by the croatian team The Games Collective, Awaken is a dark fantasy role-playing game that takes place in a war-ravaged world, heavily influenced by Slavic and Mediterranean folklore. The Alliance of the Great Cities is slowly fading out, and the Vargans, monstrous creatures who once caused a war that nearly devastated the continent, still hide in the shadows of the underground, ready to come out. The only hope for the people of Salvora are the Vasalli, powerful humans gifted with abilities capable of changing the course of history: will they bear the burden of being the protectors of humanity, or will they allow themselves to be corrupted by power and succumb to the darkness that delves in every heart?

About The Games Collective. The team was founded by Marko Matijević Sekul and Zoltan Lečei, two avid readers, lifelong game enthusiasts, and storytelling fanatics that want to share their vision and experience with every reader, player, and explorer out there.

About Studio 2 Publishing Inc. Thanks to their extensive production and distribution experience, Studio 2 published many games from different companies, including Pinnacle Entertainment, Exile Game Studio, Crafty Games, Engine Publishing, Hunters Books, Paradigm Concepts, TerrorBull Games, Reality Blurs, Third Eye Games, Alderac Entertainment, Dwarven Forge, Calliope Games, and Kuznia Gier.

More info about Awaken: http://www.awakenrpg.net

Adventures in Middle-Earth 5e Play Review – The First Journey

The point of this series – a play review for Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle-earth for 5e – has been covered here, making my character, a Hobbit Scholar, has been discussed here, the character backstories ran here, and John McGuire shares the backstory for his character, Finn of Gondor, here, so with this column let’s get into the first meeting, the first job, and the first Journey where I discuss some of the Journey mechanics that AiME adds to the existing Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition system (labeled “FIRST JOURNEY” if you wish to skip ahead).

Our Loremaster is Mike and our fellowship consists of:

  • Gwynnestri of Mirkwood (often shortened to Gwynn). An elven Treasure Hunter (read, Rogue). Player: Rebecca
  • Kort, the Hushed, son of Korith, son of Hoin. A mute dwarven Slayer (read, Barbarian). Player: Stephen
  • Finn of Gondor. A 17-year-old human Wanderer (read, Ranger) with several possible backstories. Player: John McGuire (Tessera Guild)
  • Robgud Clarfield (often shortened to Rob). A Hobbit Scholar (read, Cleric). Player: Egg Embry (Tessera Guild)

Despite using this image, the journey we’re on is from the mind of our Loremaster, Mike, and not taken from Cubicle 7’s work.

 

***

FIRST MEETING

The story opens five years after the Battle of the Five Armies with our characters, largely unknown to each other, arrived in Esgaroth (Lake-town) for various reasons when Mike (Loremaster/DM) has Gwynn enter the inn. The cliche start to any campaign.

To understand the dynamic of this scene let me share that we’re playing online via Google Hangouts. Upon entering the busy serving room, Gwynnestri spots Kort, the mute dwarf that saved her life. She goes over to “speak” to him when the challenge of playing a mute character online comes up. If you’ve ever had a speech delayed, or mute, individual in your life, you know that communication is paying attention to subtle, and not so subtle, body language. To Stephen’s credit, he worked to create Kort in that space. However, what would be easy to bounce off of and react to if we were playing around a table becomes a concentration challenge online. Until you click on his window at the bottom of the screen, Hangouts cycles around to whoever is talking, which is not the mute character. If you don’t have his screen up, you lose the nuance of his performance and small moments when his character is “speaking”. However, keeping his window up all of the time means you lose out on the visuals of the other players and, especially, the Loremaster who screen shares maps to help with visualizing the settings. It’s a minor issue, but an impact to our play.

If you’ve roleplayed or written a novel/script before, you know that first scene, that first interaction, really sets the tone of your character. Rebecca decided to play Gwynnestri like no elf in Tolkien’s world, instead playing a take-no-guff heavy in the vain of a non-evil version of Marton Csokas’ Quinn from Into the Badlands (a show she’s never seen), or Stephen Amell’s season one Green Arrow from Arrow (not the Oliver character, but the violence-is-solution Arrow). Why did she go that route? Stick with me on this, my dice rolls for D&D combat can be summed up in the term, “apocalyptic”. As I’ve hinted, if my character had an oar, he’d miss water in the ocean. Prior to this campaign, every time Rebecca played a D&D character, it was a butcher. Lowest result? 19 with max damage. You know that player, they don’t participate in group combat, instead they lead the slaughter of wings of great wyrms while the rest of the party stays out of their way. My rolls are bad, but her rolls are the counter, they’re amazing. As such, she can play the violent hero because the dice let her stand tall.

Jolly Blackburn (Kenzer & Co) and Kevin Siembieda (Palladium Books) have *the* character talk. Used with permission from Jolly.

 

INTERLUDE

Rebecca and I played a D&D Adventure League game at Momo Con 2018. We were both 1st level but half of the group (8ish players) were 4th level and the encounters were a bit heavier for us. I, of course, missed everything. Rebecca was playing a 1st level halfling rogue. Her rogue killed… half or three-quarters of the monsters we encountered by herself. The 4th level characters had to defer to her. My session was: “Hey, this is my third CRIT failure in a row… I’m out of weapons to break or drop…” Her session was: “… and you rolled *another* NAT 20! With max damage! That’s another dead lizardfolk! There’s only a dozen left, do you want to charge by yourself or wait for the other players to join the fight? You’ll charge on ahead? Ok. Oh, another NAT 20. Should we just roll damage for fun?”

END INTERLUDE (Hopefully the relevance of the above Jolly/Kevin meme is clear.)

 

Back to surly Gwynnestri meeting mute Kort. It was the first scene of the campaign and one character is meant to be angry, the other quiet, and the scene was dying like casting Tyler Mane’s Sabertooth as Hamlet talking to Teller (of Penn &…) as Yorick. To save it, Mike interjected Robgud Clarfield, Hobbit, who I’d decided to assign a terrible English drawl. The accent I’m affecting is like someone based their English-English on the early punk singing voice of Billie Joe Armstrong when he was influenced by Brit punk but still from California. Shortest individual in the room, I play Rob as the sun rising in the morning on a world of good possibilities. While my counterparts… do not. So there’s a third Shakespearean character and it’s like English Pee Wee Herman. It turns out, that combination of characters was not meant to have deep philosophical talks so the deus ex machina… er, nobleman’s agent enters to offer us a chance to apply for a job.

 

NOTE: I should have stated this earlier, this is an original campaign and NOT a pre-made module. This is all from the head of our Loremaster, Mike. So, despite using the Mirkwood Campaign image above, this is not taken from that (so far as I know. I haven’t read the campaign book so I can approach this fresh).

 

FIRST JOB

We arrive at the noble home of Lord Haldeer. During the job offer we meet, and are paired with, Finn of Gondor, John’s character, a quiet 17-year-old done up in armor. The lord asks us to travel to Sadaphsan to search his ancestral family castle for heirlooms so he might learn more of his family’s history and why they moved from there to Lake-town hundreds of years gone by. We’re offered 1,000 silver pennies (is that a lot in AiME? I cannot say… yet) each for a trek of 150 to 175 miles. In terms of hooks, it’s not as hokey as finding a map leading to a dungeon and treasure, but it’s close. We pack a month-and-a-half’s worth of supplies and head out from Esgaroth along the river into Mirkwood.

FIRST JOURNEY

Our first Journey is from Lake-town to the Hall of the Elven King of Mirkwood to gain said King’s permission to travel through the whole of said realm to the foothills to the north. If you’ve read the Adventures in Middle-earth rules, you’ll know that a big difference between Dungeons & Dragons 5e and AiME is the Journey System. Unlike 5e, AiME has a specific set of phases for travel. These phases, and a change to the Long Rest system that we’ll cover in another post, create a palatable difference between 5e and AiME. In a Journey, there are four jobs that must be done during travel – Guide, Hunter, Look-out, and Scout – that have to be filled and rolled for at different points during the trip. We assigned the roles as follows:

  • Kort, the Hushed, a Slayer, was assigned the Hunter position.
  • Gwynnestri of Mirkwood, Treasure Hunter, ended up as our Scout.
  • Robgud Clarfield, a Hobbit Scholar, ended up as the Guide.
  • Finn of Gondor, a 17-year-old human, took the Look-out assignment.

Thus begins the first Journey. The Loremaster determines the Journey’s Peril Rating based on how difficult the terrain should be. Then the Guide (my character) rolls a d12 plus modifiers against the Embarkation Table. I rolled the maximum, which was a red letter day for me! We got Auspicious Beginnings, which made the journey easy. As well, we received a bonus on our next roll for the Journey Events Table, and Advantage on our first roll once we encountered something related to said table.

For the Journey Events Table, the Loremaster rolls a d12 and adds modifiers. In this case, we reached the middle result, The Wonders of Middle-earth, which gave us a chance to remove a level or Exhaustion or gain one. However, since the journey had been light, this had no impact on us. That said, we rolled well and gained a +1 to our Guide’s Arrival Roll.

For our encounter, we ran into an elven guard. Gwynn, being the elf, was put forward to talk to him. She did and then rolled her Persuasion with Advantage. The result was high and the elven guard turned out to be Adabeuond, who was Gwynnestri’s friend, and he guided us right in where we saw the majesty of the elven realm. No exhaustion, no problems.

For the Arrival Roll… well, we did not get to the Arrival Roll. Why did we skip the Arrival Roll? Learning a new system can cause that kind of challenge, you just miss certain rules.

Regardless, our first Journey was complete. Using AiME’s Journey rules was a smashing success to the point that we had no idea what we were in for with the second Journey. Just none at all… [Next Friday]

 

***

Cubicle 7 is taking pre-orders for Adventures in Middle-earth – Bree-land Region Guide + PDF on there site (here). As soon as you order, you get the PDF.

Logo taken from Bundle of Holding’s Adventures in Middle-Earth for D&D 5e offering.

 

***

Read my anti-clickbait clickbait article: “Everything We Know About the LORD OF THE RINGS Prequel So Far“! Guaranteed to be clickbait-tastic!

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliated links to DriveThruRPG’s affiliate program and/or Humble Bundle’s Humble Partner program. 

Everything We Know About the LORD OF THE RINGS Prequel So Far

By Egg Embry | September 21, 1937 | Honest!

 

Amazon has let it be known that its forthcoming Tolkien series will be a prequel to JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. While looking for information about this prequel, reporters at the Tessera Guild unearthed a treasure trove of information when they contacted the Tolkien estate, who directed us to a prequel novelization.

While we cannot be assured of the name of the Amazon series, the novel is titled, The Hobbit. Based on the book, some of the characters in the story will be familiar to fans of The Lord of the Rings as it features a younger version of Gandalf who recruits one of the minor characters from LotRs, Bilbo Baggins (Frodo Baggins’ uncle), to thieve. There are dwarves. A mountain described as “lonely”. A dragon, which sounds like they’re already desperate to capture the Game of Thrones audience. After reading the novel, it is quite an unexpected journey.

The only thing that would be more unexpected is a clickbait article purporting to know anything about a series that has yet to be screenplayed. Yet, I’ve seen a variety that do just that.

Writer’s Note: “Screenplayed” is not a word. Which is ok, because this is not an article full of affiliate links to Amazon… er… well, it is that. Speculative clickbait articles that use the term “know” in the title imply factual knowledge instead of the specious fanboy wish fulfillment that they always turn out to be. As a site, if you’re desperate to write an article about something new and Tolkien, might I recommend interviewing publisher Cubicle 7 about their tabletop roleplaying game, Adventures in Middle-earth RPG for Dungeons & Dragons 5e. It’s new and Tolkien and excellent!

 

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliated links to Amazon’s affiliate program.

*UPDATED 2019-01-18* Help Jeremy Tangman, Get Free Games!

Gamer, writer, and publisher, Jeremy Tangman, is experiencing some medical challenges and working to cover the additional expenses. To make up the difference, Jeremy has setup a donation page on Facebook (here). To help him out, several tabletop RPG companies have come together to offer a few small perks to motivate fans and publishers to assist Jeremy in his time of need.

Who is Jeremy Tangman? In his own words:

“33 years ago I started gaming. I like RPGs, board games, card games and video games. My favorite game to play is Call of Cthulhu. I have always had a vast interest in fantasy and science fiction. Reading many authors such as Tolkien and Robert Jordan helped me find a gateway into this hobby.

Then I stumbled upon a game called Dungeons and Dragons by a company called TSR, then I was hooked, that segued into a variety of RPG and board games.

The thing I like the most is the camaraderie amongst fellow players, and the excitement of gameplay, of completing a task. So whether it’s Monopoly or Magic: The Gathering or Vampire: The Masquerade, I just love to have a fun time gaming.

I co-wrote and published Avenadia, a steampunk RPG in which the world has fought back against its inhabitants by contaminating everything on the planet.”

To help Jeremy out, Dark Naga Adventures (an imprint of Fat Goblin Games), Higher Grounds Publishing, Thunderegg Productions, Ley Lines Publishing, and myself are offering some options to fans and gaming publishers to incentive them to support Jeremy in his time of need.

With any your pledge, you’ll receive:

[UPDATED 2019-01-08 AT 10:30 AM EST]

  • From Ley Lines Publishing (Jeremy Tangman):
    • Avenadia (in PDF). A steampunk RPG described as:
      • “Before the Great War, Avenadia was a thriving world. Lush fields and forests grew in the countryside and bustling cities spread throughout many lands. Food was plentiful as was technology. The waters were clean and life was good. But that was then…
        Today, 20 years after the last battle of the 100 year war, the Great War, Avenadia is a very different place. Much of the land has been swallowed by contaminated water. The water that surrounds the Avenadian mainland is a treacherous thing. The contamination in the seas has made the few beasts that are able to survive quite ferocious. Some say even the sea itself is alive and angry.
        Come explore new lands, create new gadgets, develop your powers, and bask in the glory of nature gone awry.”
      • Interested in more details about Avenadia? Check out Dan Davenport’s 2019-01-10 #RandomWorlds Q&A with Jeremy Tangman here.

 

  • From Dark Naga Adventures (Kevin Watson). Read my interview with Kevin here.
    • The first three parts of the Haunting of Hastur series (all in PDF):
      • DNH1 – The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil – 5e, Pathfinder 1e, and OSR – An RPG adventure for 4-6 characters of level 4-6
        • The small town of Boldon, and its surrounding villages are afraid. Dozens of people are missing, some speculate lost to some nefarious purpose. A broken drunkard tells fantastic tales of an evil temple and the horrible things within. The rare few who know the legends and history of the region are beginning to think the dark times have returned; not seen since the fall of the first age of man. People are beginning to feel the icy fingers of fear closing in. The party becomes aware of these events and is inspired to investigate. This leads them to a broken man who tells them a story of a lost temple. Has it been rediscovered by men seduced by its forgotten evil? The drunkard’s tale leads to others who might help the party discover more before they face The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil.”
      • DNH2 – The Buried Zikurat – 5e, Pathfinder 1e, and OSR – An RPG adventure for 4-6 characters of level 6-8
        • 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!
      • DNH3 – The City of Talos – 5e and OSR – An RPG adventure for 4-6 characters of level 8-10
        • Talos, a city of legend, focus of tales dating back to the First Age of Man—exotic and forbidden. Buried deep in the Formene, this lone gem of the subterranean realms has legends as tall as the mountains under which it lies. Scholars and sages know more: it is the capital of the Elven race of the subterranean realms, sealed off from the surface world, supported by smaller towns, trading nexuses, and the wealth of knowledge accumulated by the Formene Elves who ward it.
          In this Land of Night, dozens of nations, formed from the Formene races, join the elves in a powerful confederation of trade, protection, and mining of the most valued metal—mithril.
          Recently, a trading nexus was uncovered and explored. The leaders of Meawold want to restore contact with the Formene Elves and access mithril, other rare Formene metals, and minerals for the first time in two millennia.
          The explorers of that trading nexus found letters and journals suggesting a vast, untapped wealth of gems, metal, and minerals, as well as forgotten cities full of treasure, some with magical wealth.
          What waits in the Formene? Both the city of Talos and the Formene wilds offer incredible opportunities for adventure and wealth.
          And also, incredible dangers.

 

  • From Thunderegg Productions (Jacob DC Ross) [UPDATED 2019-01-11 at 1:15 AM EST]:
    • The Exodus System – The Exodus System takes classic OSR games and adds modern innovations. This book is suitable for playing sci-fi, fantasy, and all sorts of other genres. It takes inspiration from such other systems as Savage Worlds and the Cypher System.
    • Kaigaku Premium Edition – Kaigaku brings dramatic samurai action back to your tabletop! It’s based on the innovative Black Hack rules set originally created by David Black. This game is easy to learn and you can get a party of characters created and a game started in just minutes.
      This samurai RPG allows you to become a mighty bushi, a devious courtier, a stealthy ninja or a powerful ascetic martial artist and defend the realm of Kaigaku from threats of monsters, foreign invasion and internal strife.
      This book presents you with a fully fleshed-out game setting that’s detailed enough to jumpstart your imagination but light enough so you can make the stories that you want to tell.
      Customize your characters with their own skills and samurai school abilities to help them stand apart from the rest and to have the power they need to defeat their enemies. 
    • The Ruined Kingdom – When an enormous kaiju pursues a foreign army into Kaigaku, the Empire heeds the call for aid from their oldest allies. This campaign takes the PCs far from home to exotic vistas. Can you save the world from an onslaught of mutated beasts?
      This sandbox campaign features dozens of new creatures, 2 new classes, 9 new ryu and much more. Combine the dungeon generator in this book with the NPC generator in the Premium Edition of Kaigaku to keep the adventure going forever.

 

  • From Reign Dragon Press (SM Hillman) [UPDATED 2019-01-18 at 11:30 AM EST]:
    • Two-page Fantasy Dungeon
    • Two-page Sci-fi Dungeon
    • SM Hillman is a freelancer and RPG journalist at EN World. When you donate to Jeremy’s fundraiser and submit a game (PDF or print, your choice), SM Hillman will review the game, and publish the review on EN World (if practical) or another site of his choosing.
      NOTE: Due to scheduling, SM Hillman can only commit to two reviews.

 

  • Higher Grounds Publishing (Ray Machuga): Ray is the game designer and publisher of the Modern RPG, Warsong 2e (Read my review here), and the Slasher the RPG, among others. If you donate to Jeremy’s fundraiser and submit a game (PDF or print, your choice), Ray will review the game. This review will be published on the Tessera Guild.
    NOTE: Due to scheduling, Ray can only commit to one review.

 

  • Tessera Guild (Egg Embry): Egg freelances for EN World, the Open Gaming Network, Knights of the Dinner Table, and the Tessera Guild. Much like Ray, if you donate to Jeremy’s fundraiser and submit a game (PDF or print, your choice), Egg will happily do a review of the game. Most likely he’ll publish the review on the Tessera Guild, but first he’ll shop it around to EN World, the Open Gaming Network, and/or Knights of the Dinner Table to give you maximum exposure.
    NOTE: Due to scheduling, Egg can only commit to three reviews.

 

More about Jeremy Tangman’s medical situation:

“Over the years I have had some medical issues. Some of them have brought on emergencies in which friends have helped. Now I have hit the big one. What I thought was just a pinched nerve appears to be more serious this time. There are several major spinal issues I have been stricken with. However, I have an appointment to go see the specialist. In the past, I have been able to overcome and get back to work. So, we do have income, but we also require my monthly to survive. I have insurance for the medical responsibility, but find myself short on the rest, because I have been put off work, until I see the specialist. I was hoping some of you might help me bridge the gap needed to see me through this. I hate asking, but it is what I have to do.”

 

To support Jeremy Tangman, please visit his Facebook donation page here.

Based on your pledge amount, you’ll receive:

Pledge tiers [UPDATED 2019-01-08 AT 10:30 AM EST]:

  • $5 to $19 includes Jeremy’s thanks and entitles you to 1 of the above PDFs or a review of your game
  • $20 to $39 includes Jeremy’s thanks and entitles you to 3 of the above PDFs or 2 PDF and a review of your game
  • $40 to $59 includes Jeremy’s thanks and entitles you to 5 of the above PDFs or 4 PDFs and a review of your game
  • $60 to $79 includes Jeremy’s thanks and entitles you to all of the above PDFs or 6 PDFs and a review of your game
  • Greater than $80 includes Jeremy’s thanks and entitles you to all of the above PDFs and a review of your game
    • There are a limited number of game reviews available and they will be passed out on a first come, first serve basis.

After you donate, email Jeremy at jeremy.tangman@hotmail.com, or message Jeremy on Facebook, and Jeremy will work with you to get you these rewards.

 

About Dark Naga Adventures (an imprint of Fat Goblin Games available at the Open Gaming Store) and Kevin Watson. Publisher of the five-part Haunting of Hastur series for Dungeons & Dragons 5e, Pathfinder 1e, and OSR (“An RPG series of adventures that finds the party members interfering with Hastur and his attempts to establish a presence in their world”).

Dark Naga Adventures exists to create and publish adventures that are a combination of the classic sandbox adventures of the early days of the hobby combined with modern features. I have probably written 30 adventures and designed about a dozen fantasy worlds in my life as a Game Master. As a one-person shop, the buck stops with me. Art, cartography, and editing are all being done by top-notch freelancers.”

 

About Higher Grounds Publishing and Ray Machuga. Publisher of the Modern RPG (“The foremost in Urban Fantasy gaming running on the Pathfinder system with some unique twists.”), Warsong 2e (“Soldiers of destiny battle an ageless void to determine the fate of an entire world. A Fate RPG.”), and Slasher the RPG (“Slaughter your friends in this asymmetrical horror RPG based on classic slasher films! A Fate RPG.”)

Higher Grounds produces tabletop RPGs and RPG supplements. Our ultimate goal is to bring new flavors of games to the tables of gamers, everywhere. I want to take tabletop RPGs to the next level!

I do all of this because I firmly believe that tabletop RPGs are the best games there are! The limits are only in your imagination. To that end, I believe that tabletop games really enrich the lives of others by giving people a creative outlet and providing people with an epic story that they can take part in.”

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-11 at 1:15 AM EST]

About Thunderegg Productions and Jacob DC Ross. Publisher of The Exodus System (“Suitable for playing sci-fi, fantasy, and all sorts of other genres, this system takes classic OSR games and adds modern innovations.”), Kaigaku Premium Edition (“Based on the innovative Black Hack rules set originally created by David Black, this game brings dramatic samurai action back to your tabletop!”), and The Ruined Kingdom (“This sandbox campaign features dozens of new creatures, 2 new classes, 9 new ryu and much more.”).

“Jacob DC Ross is a lifelong gamer and a writer/game designer with years of experience. Born and raised in Oregon, and currently living in Washington, Jacob writes and designs games as his day job. His past credits include writing for L5R, Traveller, Mecha, and more. The company he heads, Thunderegg Productions, is dedicated to making fun tabletop RPGs.”

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-18 at 11:30 AM EST]

About Reign Dragon Press and SM Hillman. SM Hillman is a writer, gamer, lover, and slayer who enjoys writing adventures, designing games, and taking on way too much work. You can check out his company, Reign Dragon Press (https://reigndragonpress.weebly.com/), and his new podcast, Zer0 Means You’re Dead, at https://zer0meansyourdead.podbean.com/.

 

[Updates and clarifications from Jeremy Tangman. Updated at 2019-01-08 AT 10:30 AM EST.]

[Updated to add Thunderegg Productions and their contributions. Updated at 2019-01-11 at 1:15 AM EST]

[Updated to add Reign Dragon Press and their contributions. Updated at 2019-01-18 at 11:30 AM EST]

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliated links to DriveThruRPG’s affiliate program and/or Humble Bundle’s Humble Partner program. 

Adventures in Middle-Earth 5e Play Review – Character Backstories

Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle-Earth for 5e Bundle of Holding (here) ends January 4th, 2019 at 10PM EST! This article is going up during its final hours. If you have not joined in, now’s the time!

Ends January 4th, 2019 at 10PM EST

***

NOTE: This is my third article and my goal was to get through the character backstories and to the first journey. However, I’m over my word limit for this week so the first journey will be next week. Sorry about my poor planning.

TRIGGER WARNING: Discussions of torture and mutilation.

 

***

I’ve given my initial reasons for writing a play review of Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle-Earth (for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition), I’ve touched on my character creation for the campaign, that leaves the character backstories to wrap up setup (at least, I hope so).

Our fellowship consists of:

  • Gwynnestri of Mirkwood (often shortened to Gwynn). An elven Treasure Hunter (read, Rogue). Player: Rebecca
  • Kort, the Hushed, son of Korith, son of Hoin. A dwarven Slayer (read, Barbarian). Player: Stephen
  • Finn of Gondor. His class has not been revealed yet, but he’s a 17-year-old human. Player: John McGuire (Tessera Guild)
  • Robgud Clarfield (often shortened to Rob). A Hobbit Scholar (read, Cleric). Player: Egg Embry (Tessera Guild)

 

BACKSTORIES

Thanks to Jolly Blackburn of Kenzer & Co for the picture.

Finn of Gondor’s backstory is… well, John hasn’t shared it yet. His character is young and human. [Sharing some website information, the first two Adventures in Middle-Earth articles (here and here) are the highest viewed pieces for the Tessera Guild for the past few weeks. As such, I think I’m going to pressure John to write his character’s backstory for his column next week. Wish me luck!]

[UPDATE: John wrote up the backstory for Finn of Gondor here.]

For the backstories of Gwynnestri of Mirkwood and Kort, son of Korith, son of Hoin, both were present at the Battle of the Five Armies (end of The Hobbit), and share lightly linked backstories.

Gwynnestri was a soldier in the elven army sent to help the humans of Dale to siege the dwarves of the Lonely Mountain.

Kort’s purpose for being there was meant to be in opposition. When word arrived from Thorin II Oakenshield of his desperate situation, his relative, Dáin II Ironfoot of the Iron Hill Dwarves, prepared an army to intervene. In our campaign, before he set out he sent a small group of dwarven scouts to get the lay of the land and make contact with Thorin II. Included in this group was Kort, son of Korith, son of Hoin. As the scouts came ready for the elves and humans, they did not expect the army of goblins and wargs. Most of the scouts were killed while Kort and a few others were captured. The orcs tortured the dwarves to learn what was coming. None broke. As the goblin army was being routed, Kort’s torturer cut out Kort’s tongue, leaving the dwarf to bleed out. But Kort did not. Instead, he freed himself, killed some retreating orcs, including some that were surrounding Gwynnestri, which resulted in saving her, the original enemy’s, life. In the aftermath of the battle, he learned that Thorin II perished. Kort, horribly mutilated, took the news to heart feeling that his failure to reach the Lonely Mountain and serve with Thorin’s company in the battle led to his death. After that, Kort has not been seen in the civilized world until Gwynn encounters him at the inn.

NOTE: Like many 1st-level D&D character backstories, Kort’s would have left him at a level greater than 1st, but he, I guess, learned nothing from all of that so he’s still 1st-level. Such is D&D.

Robgud Clarfield, an offshoot of the Byhills, Hobbit Scholar. Instead of being given to the right fine Hobbit calling of farming and communal interests, Robgud cultivated a particular trade in herbs and curatives and the lore of nature, yet without formal education. Naturally, that left his kin having to defend him against gossip accusing him of being a snake oil peddler, that there was more of Mordor than medicine to his ministrations. True, his doctorings might avail a mischievous stomach, a limb broken in twine, or some of the worst of the gout, but his poultices could smell less of the dung of the big folk’s world and more of the pleasant fragrances of the Shire. Right, now, he could be neater about it, and not offer to help the big folk or, worse, talk of them moving into the Shire. Of course, the Clarfields are from the very limits of the East Farthing and known to conduct a bit of business among the big folk of Bree. The Clarfield family reputation give them to be an unsavory lot for their mingling, and so a son that knows their ways is but to be expected. Rumors have it that Robgud spent time among the Eregionians and learned their particular methods from several of their kind or, possibly, from the elves. Regardless of the facts, either story makes him an embarrassment to the Clarfields, and even more so to all decent Hobbit folk. Robgud’s father and family patriarch, Cefil Clarfield, determined to remove the stain his son’s affairs place on the Clarfield name, and apprenticed him into a most unsavory profession, traveling agent, a mesh mash bit of business entailing travel beyond the Shire’s borders to conduct any number of transactions that no self-respecting, simple Hobbit would willing take up. Cefil Clarfield is only too happy to put his son to backpack and road so the family, and the Shire, might reap some benefit from a starry-eyed Hobbit scholar.

Why is a Hobbit of the Shire like Rodgud Clarfield so far from home, having taken up at Esgaroth? In the aftermath of the resurrection of Bilbo Baggins and the litigation therein (ending of The Hobbit), some here-to-fore unrecovered funds from Biblo’s adventures needed to be secured and returned to Bag End for disbursement. To be clear, Robgud is employed as a temporary agent of the estate, and was assigned this job via messenger never having met either party involved in order to act in a neutral capacity. Upon execution of his duties, his contract is complete and, as the campaign opens, Robgud has dispatched said sums for home and is, at the moment, without employ in Lake-town.

Background: Emissary of Your People

 

Next week… The characters meet up, get their first adventure, and do their first journey…

 

***

Interested in trying out Adventures in Middle-Earth for 5e? You can get most of the books as PDFs through Bundle of Holding (here) until January 4th, 2019 at 10PM EST. The price for Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide, Rhovanion Region Guide, The Road Goes Ever On, Loremaster’s Guide, Wilderland Adventures, and the Eaves of Mirkwood & Loremaster Screen is not likely to get cheaper than what BoH and Cubicle 7 have it for there.

As well, Cubicle 7 has started taking pre-orders for Adventures in Middle-earth – Bree-land Region Guide + PDF on there site (here). As soon as you order, you get the PDF.

Logo taken from Bundle of Holding’s Adventures in Middle-Earth for D&D 5e offering.

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliated links to DriveThruRPG’s affiliate program and/or Humble Bundle’s Humble Partner program. 

PRESS RELEASE – The Book of Many Things Campaign Bundle through 12/31/18

500 pages of content for sale and a small gift.

The 2018 Campaign Bundle.

Earlier this year, we hosted our successful Kickstarter for The Book of Many Things. Since then, we have continued the campaign, raising additional funds to help make each volume better and bring them to print.

Now, as the year comes to a close, so too does the campaign. This is your last opportunity to pick up the bundle for only $30.00 USD. On January 1, 2019, the campaign bundle ends, and the exclusive content included will be made unavailable.

Start Shopping

The Book of Many Things Volume 2

Join your fellow gamers in playing characters reminiscent of popular videogame characters. From sword, bow, and bomb-wielding heroes, to space bounty hunters and priests who balance the light with the darkness, this 200 page volume contains many such options and more.

The Book of Many Things Volume 1

Come one, come all as we explore this 200 page volume containing requests from around the internet. Break the sound barrier as an accelerist. Vex enemies as 1 of 26 different races. You could even become a skiprock champion! Feats, spells, archetypes, and more await you within.
Thank you for a great 2018 from our team at Samurai Sheepdog. To show our appreciation, a festive preview of something we have upcoming for April 2019.
Copyright © 2018 Open Gaming, LLC, All rights reserved.

Adventures in Middle-Earth 5e Play Review – Preparations and Character Creation and Warden to Scholar

Last week, I rolled out the idea behind this column, doing a play review of Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle-Earth for Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Our first session occurred on December 1st, 2018. However, before that session there was a deal of work to be done, standard prep for an extended campaign. As it stood, one of our longtime players, Leland, had to step away for real world reasons. Down a regular, we started out our fellowship with Rebecca, Stephen, John McGuire (Tessera Guild), and myself, while Mike ran the game as the Loremaster. For characters, we each picked what we wanted to play without worrying what the other characters would choose:

  • Rebecca: Gwynnestri of Mirkwood. An elven Treasure Hunter (read, Rogue). Once the game gets rolling, Rebecca will find Gwynn’s voice early, which helps set the tone for the campaign.
  • Stephen: Kort, the Hushed, son of Korith son of Hoin. A dwarven Slayer (read, Barbarian) with a tragic backstory that I’ll share in the coming columns.
  • John McGuire (Tessera Guild): Finn of Gondor. His class has not been revealed yet, but he’s a 17-year-old human, and John is building him as just a pup, new to the wider world.
  • Egg Embry (Tessera Guild): Robgud Clarfield, a Hobbit Scholar (read, Cleric). I knew going in that I did not want to be a “spotlight” character, that I wanted to play a supporting role and that brought Robgud to mind.

[NOTE: In the interest of players enjoying the maximum freedom at the gaming table, I did not ask for their character sheets so stats will only be shared as I learn them in-game.]

Let’s talk about the character creation process for my character, Robgud Clarfield. Why a Hobbit Scholar? Well, that was my second choice. My first choice was a Hobbit Warden. When I envisioned the character, I knew two things:

  1. My dice rolls tend to be so bad that I cannot hit the broadside of a kobold. Decades ago, my 5th or 6th level Ranger, at full HP with a bastard sword, went one-on-one with a single 1e kobold. My Ranger just barely survived. The kobold escaped. That’s what my dice rolls look like in D&D.
  2. I wanted to play something outside of my norm.

Addressing those in reverse order, let’s start with my usual type of characters, which tend to be the whisper-growl of Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer from 24, or the “comic” relief character (without the hindrance of actually being, you know, funny). In other words, murder hobo down the line. For this game, I didn’t want to do that since, obviously, murder hoboing would be off by just a smidge in Tolkien’s world. Instead, I wanted to play my own version of Sean Astin’s Samwise Gamgee, or, for those that know him in life, my Tessera mate, John “Hope Springs Eternal” McGuire. I wanted to play the uplifting character that believes tomorrow will be a bright sunny day.

For my poor rolls… well, if nothing can be done to improve my dice rolls, maybe there was a class that would lessen my poor luck’s impact. To that end, I read the Warden class and really liked the first level ability, Warden’s Gift. As a bonus action that could be used a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier, you grant an ally a d6 to be added to any attack, ability check, or saving throw in the next 10 minutes. Replenish uses on a Long Rest. With that power, I would benefit the fellowship from jump while letting my allies make up for my poor rolls. I also felt that class had some basis in Sam Gamgee making it all the better to choose. As the class says, “Many Hobbit-heroes, for example, are Wardens (when they are not Treasure Hunters!)”

Yet, I’m a Scholar in the game, why’s that? As we got closer to the date, I got the news that ruined that character class for the min-maxer part of me: Stats would be the Standard Array. If you don’t know, the Standard Array in D&D 5e are a predetermined set of base stats (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8). These numbers are modified by Cultural attribute enhancements. In the case of Hobbits of the Shire, that’s +2 to DEX, and then Family Ties elevate them:

  • Harfoot: +1 to WIS
  • Stoor: +2 to CON
  • Fallowhide: +1 to INT

The Warden’s primary ability is Charisma. Using the Standard Array with a Hobbit of any Family Tie meant my maximum starting Charisma would be a 15 without exceeding the rules. That score meant my Warden’s Gift power would have 2 uses per Long Rest. In AiME, Long Rests are rarer than in standard 5e (more on that another time) meaning there’s a fair chance that I’d go several sessions only able to pass out two d6s to help the fellowship, which made the min-maxer in me balk.

Was that a fair assessment of the class? Absolutely not. The Warden has a list of excellent powers and would be a compelling addition to any fellowship, even if your Charisma is not 18. The choice to not pursue this class was is all about my personal hangups. Thus, back to the class options I went and there I discovered the Scholar (read, Cleric).

In hindsight, that hangup would prove to be providence. To learn about that providence, let’s turn to Lake-town and our first session… [Next Friday]

 

***

Interested in trying out Adventures in Middle-Earth for 5e? You can get most of the books as PDFs through Bundle of Holding (here) until January 4th, 2019. The price for Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide, Rhovanion Region Guide, The Road Goes Ever On, Loremaster’s Guide, Wilderland Adventures, and the Eaves of Mirkwood & Loremaster Screen is not likely to get cheaper than what BoH and Cubicle 7 have it for there.

As well, Cubicle 7 has started taking pre-orders for Adventures in Middle-earth – Bree-land Region Guide + PDF on there site (here). As soon as you order, you get the PDF.

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliated links to DriveThruRPG’s affiliate program and/or Humble Bundle’s Humble Partner program. 

PRESS RELEASE – Purchase Your JordanCon Membership Before January Price Increases!

Welcome to The Source!

With holiday season truly underway, we know things are probably getting pretty crazy for everyone. With that in mind, we appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to catch up with all things JordanCon! We hope you all have a fantastic holiday, and we can’t wait to see you all at JordanCon 2019! After all, despite all the great things going on, we still find ourselves asking, “Is it April yet?”

Membership Price Increase!

Don’t forget membership prices go up again on January 1st! Let’s be honest. You want to go to the con, and you need a membership to do that. So why not go ahead and buy it now before it gets more expensive? If money is tight, don’t forget that memberships can be gifted. Who wouldn’t want to get a JordanCon membership for Christmas? Whether you ask for it from one of your loved ones or you splurge and make it a gift to yourself, be sure to have your membership before the end of the year! And while you’re in the gifting spirit, pick up one for a friend or family member and bring them along!

Accessibility at JordanCon

Did you know that we offer special accommodations and services for those who need a little extra help attending and enjoying the con to its fullest? As we approach next year’s convention, we’re going to shine a spotlight on some of the services we already offer to our attendees and guests who need special accommodations, but we’re also announce some new things we’re going to be doing at JordanCon 2019 to make our convention even more accessible. Keep an eye on our FacebookTwitter, and website for more information in the coming weeks! Also, if you’re considering attending JordanCon 2019 but have some questions or requests for accommodations, please reach out to us at accessibility@jordancon.org. We would love to hear from you and help you in any way we can!

Overflow Hotel Information

The overflow hotel information was released last month on Facebook, so be sure to book your room before the block is full. Our overflow hotel this year will be the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, and the room block will run from Thursday through Sunday. While the link technically works until April 12, 2019, the rooms are only available with the discount until the block is full. Discounted, rooms with King beds will be $109.00 per night and rooms with two queen beds will be $129.00, so don’t miss your opportunity to get these rooms at the lower price! (Remember that you can still book a room at the host hotel. You just won’t be able to get the discounted rate.)

Adventures in Middle-Earth 5e Play Review – Preparing the Way and a Humble Reward

Since moving my “RPG Kickstarters You Should Back” column from the Guild to the Open Gaming Network, and taking over Angus Abranson’s “RPG Crowdfunding News” column on EN World, I’ve contemplated a new Friday column for the Guild. Something RPG-related, but less Kickstarter. Then, one of my two longtime DMs suggested an ongoing Adventures in Middle-Earth 5e campaign. Doing a campaign review obviously touches on tabletop roleplaying games, and it offers the broadest appeal by combining Dungeons & Dragons and JRR Tolkien’s world. Still, will writing about how my terrible dice rolls in a variant of Dungeons & Dragons 5e be compelling week-after-week? With those questions, I decided to sit on the idea for the time being.

Our first session was Saturday, December 1st, 2018 and, while it was a great start, I still had doubts about it being enough to justify a series to discuss it. Then, on Monday, December 17th, 2018, Adventures in Middle-Earth for 5e rolled out on Bundle of Holding (here) offering most of the books as PDFs. That made this campaign and article series feel more timely. The next day, Cubicle 7 opened up pre-orders for Adventures in Middle-earth – Bree-land Region Guide + PDF (here). Even as I was preparing this article, small pieces were coming together to push this forward like Humble Bundle offering LEGO® Lord of the Rings for free (through Saturday, December 22 at 10 a.m. Pacific time). But the clincher that made me decide that I need to do a play review was the month, December. For me, there is no month I associate with Tolkien’s work more, and that’s because of Peter Jackson’s adaptations:

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – U.S. release date: December 19, 2001
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – U.S. release date: December 18, 2002
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – U.S. release date: December 17, 2003
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – U.S. release date: December 12, 2012
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – U.S. release date: December 13, 2013
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – U.S. release date: December 17, 2014

All of that together makes this feel like the right column to tackle right now. It will let me talk about the books, the system, the world, the campaign we’re playing, other adaptations (from the 1966 short animation to the upcoming Amazon series) and the characters. Each article will talk about some aspect of the RPG, Tolkien’s work, the movies, or whatever is appropriate to the moment.

Even with that, this would not have seemed practical without a few more life accomplishments that made playing Adventures in Middle-Earth for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition happen:

Cubicle 7 (left to right: Walt Ciechanowski, Jon Hodgson (holding the Silver ENnie Award – Best Rules), TS Luikart, Egg [*not* a part of C7], and Dominic McDowall) at the ENnie Awards 2017.

Since our last D&D campaign wrapped over a year ago, and I put hands on Adventures in Middle-Earth for 5e, I’ve wanted to play in a Middle-Earth campaign. The circumstances to make that happen came to pass on Saturday, December 1st, 2018 as a fellowship of four of us came together to adventure and, eventually, do some great bit of heroism (maybe). The Loremaster is Mike, and the fellowship consists of Rebecca, John McGuire (Tessera Guild), Stephen, and myself.

 

 

Interested in trying out Adventures in Middle-Earth for 5e? You can get most of the books as PDFs through Bundle of Holding (here) until January 4th, 2019. The price for Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide, Rhovanion Region Guide, The Road Goes Ever On, Loremaster’s Guide, Wilderland Adventures, and the Eaves of Mirkwood & Loremaster Screen is not likely to get cheaper than what BoH and Cubicle 7 have it for there.

As well, Cubicle 7 has started taking pre-orders for Adventures in Middle-earth – Bree-land Region Guide + PDF on there site (here).

 

Let’s round out the introductory post with the variety of RPG systems that existed to bring Tolkien’s work to the tabletop:

  • Middle-earth Role Playing (MERP) from Iron Crown Enterprises (I.C.E.) was published through two editions from 1984 to 1999.
    • Lord of the Rings Adventure Game also from I.C.E. from 1991 to 1993. This game was a beginner’s version of MERP.
  • The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game by Decipher Inc. that ran from 2002 to 2006.
    • 2002 Origins Award – Best Roleplaying Game
  • The One Ring Roleplaying Game from Cubicle 7 that started in 2011 and is still going.
    • Awards and nominations:
      • 2012 Golden Geek – Best Art and Presentation
      • 2012 Gold ENnie Award – Best Free Product, Golden ENnie Award – Best Art (Interior)
      • 2012 Silver ENnie Award – Best Production Values
      • 2012 Lucca Games’ (an Italian convention) Best of Show for Best Role Play Game
      • 2012 Origins Award Nominee – Best Roleplaying Game
      • 2013 ENnie Award Nominee – Best Accessory for The Loremaster’s Screen and Laketown Book
      • 2015 ENnie Award Nominee – Best Accessory for The Darkening of MirkwoodENnie Award Nominee – Best Accessory for Hobbit Tales
      • 2017 ENnie Award Nominee – Best Supplement for Horse-Lords of RohanENnie Award Nominee – Best Writing for Horse-Lords of Rohan
    • Hobbit Tales from Cubilce 7 is a standalone storytelling card game that could be used with The One Ring Roleplaying Game.
  • Adventures in Middle-earth for Dungeons & Dragons 5e also by Cubicle 7 that began in 2016 and has the distinction of being the first time Tolkien’s works were officially adapted to D&D.
    • Awards:
      • 2017 Silver ENnie Award – Best Rules for Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide
      • 2018 Origins Award – Best RPG

As I was putting the finishing touches on this article, I received this email from Humble Bundle promoting their LEGO® Lord of the Ring giveaway (talk about nice timing):

“We’re giving away FREE copies of LEGO® Lord of the Rings for 48 hours (or while supplies last) in the Humble Store! This promotion is available from Thursday, December 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific time to Saturday, December 22 at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

Below is your link to LEGO® Lord of the Rings on the Humble Store.

https://www.humblebundle.com/store/lego-the-lord-of-the-rings?partner=eggembry

 

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliated links to DriveThruRPG’s affiliate program and Humble Bundle’s Humble Partner program. 

UPDATED PRESS RELEASE – Modiphius Embraces World of Darkness – Announces The Fall of London V5 Chronicle

Update: White Wolf shares their perspective of this press release and how they envision their role within the World of Darkness to come. Read it here –

Vampire Modiphius Partnership

***

Modiphius Embraces World of Darkness

Announces The Fall of London V5 Chronicle

Modiphius Entertainment has signed a publishing deal with Paradox Interactive to manage the tabletop roleplaying brand Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition
“We are thrilled to become the official stewards of this incredible roleplaying game,” said Chris Birch, President and CEO of Modiphius. “And we look forward to developing and publishing the official Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (V5) tabletop roleplaying game under license from Paradox. We’re committed to providing fans with a truly exceptional range of new products to help them enjoy this rich, exciting world.”
Modiphius has already earned recognition for its hugely successful pre-order and distribution of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition following its 2017 distribution deal with White Wolf Entertainment. After discussions with Paradox, Modiphius has agreed to oversee all publishing and licensing for V5 tabletop roleplaying games.
Modiphius will be responsible for guiding the plot development running throughout V5 tabletop roleplaying products and ensuring each product is fully approved by both the White Wolf brand team within Paradox, and also with Modiphius own team of V5 experts.
Modiphius is committed to delivering a truly exceptional range for V5 that maintains the high standard of editing, production, and development seen in their other lines. Working with existing White Wolf partners Onyx Path Publishing, Elderwood Academy, Dogmight Games, Nosolorol, Arkhane Asylum, Need for Games, Studio 101, By Night Studios, and many more to be announced soon, the team will continue to expand on the diverse product range as well as available languages. Modiphius will work with all partners to ensure major releases are also available at retail.
The White Wolf brand team have completed re-editing the Anarch and Camarilla supplements to go to production early January, with pre-orders shipping in late January for web orders and early March for retail.
Modiphius plans to produce a host of exciting new releases to expand the range for new and old players alike including:
The Fall of London V5 Chronicle (Summer 2019) – London is burning. As the Second Inquisition put the city’s Kindred to the torch, your characters wake from torpor. The sensible thing would be to flee now, but before you can leave the capital, you have one last job to do… This campaign is perfect to bring your Vampire players up to speed on the plot developments in Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition or as as a gateway for new players.
V5 Players Guide  (Summer 2019) – A guide to playing different styles of Vampire: The Masquerade to help you play the way YOU want to play, from gritty street level drama to romantic blood opera, complete with advice, new rules, and guidance on using the 5th Edition system to play previous editions of Vampire..
V5 Starter Set (Christmas 2019) – An introductory starter set containing rules to play a self-contained campaign, with premade characters, handouts, maps, tokens and dice.
The Second Inquisition (Summer 2020) – Discover the plans, strategies, resources, and technologies of the highly secret organisations charged with investigating and eliminating the vampire threat, including Firstlight and the Society of St. Leopold.. This supplement for V5 will give Storytellers everything they need to know about these feared and fearless organisations to provide all manner of covert opposition for your Chronicle, along with advice for Storytellers who want to run chronicles featuring player characters as a well-equipped covert team of Second Inquisition operatives.
Further releases will be announced as they are agreed.
Tabletop publishers interested in working with the Vampire: The Masquerade brand should contactcam@modiphius.com. Freelance artists and writers should contact v5@modiphius.com
For all other enquiries please message support@modiphius.com
For enquiries about White Wolf and Paradox Entertainment please contact info@white-wolf.com
About Modiphius Entertainment
A UK- based tabletop games publisher, Modiphius Entertainment launched in 2013 with the World War Two horror themed Achtung! Cthulhu universe and went on to create licensed tabletop roleplaying, miniatures, and boardgames for Mutant Chronicles, Thunderbirds, Conan, John Carter of Mars, Infinity, Star Trek Adventures and Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. For more information please visit www.modiphius.com and the V5 pre-order.
About Paradox Interactive
The Paradox Interactive group includes publishing and internal development of games and licensing of White Wolf’s brands. The publishing operation publishes both internally developed titles and titles developed by independent studios as well as music and books. The game portfolio includes more than 100 titles and Paradox Interactive owns the most important brands, including Stellaris, Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings, Cities: Skylines, Magicka and Age of Wonders. From the start over ten years ago, the company has published its games all over the world, initially through physical distribution using partners, but beginning in 2006 has primarily distributed digitally using its own publishing arm. The development platform is primarily PC, but the company has released games on console and mobile platforms as well.
Paradox Interactive AB (publ)’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm First North Premier under ticker PDX. FNCA Sweden AB is the company’s Certified Adviser. For more information, please visitwww.paradoxinteractive.com

Additional details can be found here – White Wolf Notice of Subscription Closure.

PRESS RELEASE – Secret Mission Con registration is open!

Atlanta D&D Adventurers League

Player registration is open! 

PRETTY PLEASE give the staff 24 hours AFTER you pay to clear you to sign up for games.

https://warhorn.net/events/secret-mission-con-2019

We have the 2018 D&D Open “The Gangs of Waterdeep” that’s great for new players. It’s an 8 hour game, with pregen characters, played on Saturday 2-midnight, with a 2 hour break for dinner.

The first season 8 Epic (Chaos in the City of Splendors) is on Sunday morning. It’s only for new characters as well.

There is content for new players and new characters (1st-4th level adventurers) in EVERY time slot. We love new players! If you’re new to D&D, or new to 5th Edition, sign up for ANY adventure that accepts level 1 characters and we’ll set you up with a character, dice, and DM who’s ready to help you get started.

We are running the entire “Embers of the Last War” Eberron campaign. This thrilling campaign is a peek into the steampunk-magic world of Eberron, and is a continuous adventure.

We will have Fai Chen’s Faire, a way for you to trade your magic items, unlock new ones, and maybe participate in some downtime activities.

Sign up on Warhorn – room is limited and we may run out of seats for certain games. If so, sign up to waitlist and we will try to find more DMs.

When you log in, make sure to set your time zone to whatever’s appropriate for you. It defaults to Pacific time. Slots on Sat and Sun start at 9am US Eastern time (if it’s showing you a different time, fix your time zone.)

More D&D in Atlanta

And a lot of other games

If you’re looking for more games in the Atlanta area, here’s how you can find more D&D (and other games!)

1. Go to the Meetup groups for the major game stores – GigaBytes MariettaHeroic Gaming RoswellTitans Smyrna, and Wasteland Games Duluth. You can find D&D several nights a week. You’ll have to wade through some other events on the calendar, but D&D is there, I promise you.

https://www.meetup.com/AGGuild/
https://www.meetup.com/Heroic-Gaming-Group/
https://www.meetup.com/Titan-Smyrna-Gaming/
https://www.meetup.com/Duluth-D-D-Adventurers-League/

2. The ATL D&D group runs homebrew games in bars downtown. Check out what’s going on in their calendar.

https://www.meetup.com/atlantadnd/
https://www.facebook.com/atldnd/

3. Consider going to the In Town Game Day. It’s the first Saturday of the month. Lots of games – including D&D. First Saturday of the month at 10 am at Manuel’s Tavern. Great way to meet more gamers in the ATL. This is NOT a “D&D only” event. Generally there are one or two tables of D&D and several tables of other games. It’s a great way to share a game you love with other people.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/atlantatabletoprpgs/events/

4. Ask around in the Atlanta D&D FB group. This group is specifically for local D&D Adventurer’s League games.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DDALGeorgia/

5. Ask on the Atlanta gaming reddit. This reddit covers all kinds of games all over Atlanta.

https://www.reddit.com/r/atlantagaming/

6.  Come to one of our local conventions and game days. They’ll be listed in this newsletter. If you’re not already subscribed – click subscribe in the upper left hand corner to stay in touch!

What is D&D Adventurer’s League? It’s a shared public D&D campaign that anyone can join! There are “common sense” campaign guidelines that detail how to build character, earn treasure, and advance your characters. In addition to the hardback adventures from D&D, you can play your “AL” character in specific AL adventures from the DMs Guild.

Find out more here: http://dndadventurersleague.org/start-here/playing/

Download the campaign guidelines here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/208178/DD-Adventurers-League-Players-Pack

Don’t forget to keep up with all the newest events and news about D&D (and other games) in the Atlanta Metro Area on Facebook here!
Reddit has some subreddits for games in the Atlanta area and D&D AL. Here are some you might be interested in.
https://www.reddit.com/r/atlantagaming
https://www.reddit.com/r/adventurersleague
Do you wanna play D&D?  Join the meetup groups for Atlanta D&D: Atlanta Gamers GuildHeroic RoswellTitan Smyrna, and Duluth D&DAL
Twitter is a great way to stay connected to everything D&D.
@AtlantaDDAL – Atlanta D&D Adventurers League
@Wizards_DnD – Official D&D Twitter Account
@DnD_AdvLeague – Official D&D AL Twitter Account

UPDATED PRESS RELEASE – White Wolf Notice of Subscription Closure

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the closing of the worldofdarkness.com website, there is a question as to how PDF copies that came with the print editions of Vampire: The Masquerade 5e will be redeemed in the future. More information to come.

UPDATED: Modiphius has stepped up to lead the Vampire: The Masquerade 5e brand. Read their press release here:

https://www.modiphius.com/modiphius-press-releases/modiphius-embraces-world-of-darkness-announces-the-fall-of-london-v5-chronicle

White Wolf Partner News

Dear White Wolf Customer,

Thank you for being a subscriber to the White Wolf online book reader service. It has been a great privilege to share with you so many of the books that are part of the rich World of Darkness history!

We regret to inform you that, due to internal changes at White Wolf, the subscription service will be terminated on Thursday, 20 December, along with the worldofdarkness.com website. After 20 December you will no longer be able to access the service, and you will receive a full refund for any fees you have paid for as follows:

Example with Annual Subscription: if you paid for an annual subscription and have used only 5 months of the service, you will receive a full refund for the unused 7 months.

Example with Monthly Subscription: if you paid for a monthly subscription you will receive a full refund for this month.

Refunds will be issued in the first quarter of 2019.

Why is this happening?

On 16 November, White Wolf announced that it is starting a period of restructuring. It will be integrated directly into Paradox Interactive, and under temporary management during this process. We are recruiting new leadership to guide White Wolf both creatively and commercially into the future, a process that has been ongoing since September.

Going forward, White Wolf will focus on brand management. This means White Wolf will develop the guiding principles for its vision of the World of Darkness, and give licensees the tools they need to create new, excellent products in this story world. White Wolf will no longer develop and publish these products internally. This has always been the intended goal for White Wolf as a company, and it is now time to enact it.

Closing the online book subscriptions and worldofdarkness.com is part of this restructuring and refocusing process. We deeply regret this inconvenience to you, and the very short notice.

If you have any questions or comments about this, we welcome them at info@white-wolf.com

Thank you and Best Regards,

White Wolf

PRESS RELEASE – P.B. Publishing – 2018 EOY Review

It’s been a whirlwind year here at P.B. Publishing, with Kickstarters, Patreons, DMsGuild hits, a heap of community projects, and some awesome collaborations.

Here is a release rundown of the year that was in 2018:

Feb 2018

We started off 2018 in February with a bang releasing two great collaboration products! The desert adventure “Tremors in the Sand” was a collaboration project with Loot the Room, and was written by Roland Morgen. We also provided two adventures, “Struggle in Three Horn Valley” & “The Haunt” into the massive DMsGuild bundle: A Fistfull of Coppers which also featured works by other talented authors on the DMsGuild.

 Tremors in the Sand: Enter the desert ridden yuan-ti temple to discover an evil plot for power in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game!

 A Fistfull of Coppers: In this veritable bag of holding for best-sellers, you’ll find a huge variety of content in more than two dozen different products, ranging from powerful magic items to incredibly useful DM aids to unique player options to exciting adventures.

May 2018

May saw the release of the first hardcover book to ever hit the DMsGuild – Monsters of the Guild. It set a new standard for both collaboration (46 different writers) and for Print on Demand across the DMsGuild community, and we were a huge part of it having designed and built the Layout for the book and also contributing a few monsters too!

 Monsters of the Guild: A DMs Guild community driven project which includes 100+ incredible monsters for your Dungeons & Dragons 5e game, from 40+ of the Guild’s most talented and exciting monster creators.

July 2018

In July we released Scourge of the Medusa Curse, and adventure that was written way back in early 2017, but finally made its appearance a year later.

 Scourge of the Medusa Curse: Delve the dungeon, save the Mamba, and end the Mason family curse in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Oct 2018

October was a fantastic month for our releases, having first released the finale of the Minotaur Trilogy – Minotaur’s Bane, then a few weeks later, to much anticipation, releasing The Haunt 2 to both financial and critical success. The Haunt 2 was a fantastic collaboration with Aegis Studios’ Travis Legge, and the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Haunt.

 Minotaur’s Bane: An ancient evil sweeps the land, and old enemies must unite to defeat the demon lord, and prince of beasts – Baphomet.

 The Haunt 2: Just when you thought it was safe to take a long rest. She’s Back! The terrifying SEQUEL to the PLATINUM bestselling, and Dragon+ Magazine featured horror adventure: The Haunt.

Nov 2018

November finally saw the release of The Minotaur Trilogy, a 3-piece adventure path that started as a simple one-shot way back in mid-2017, and ended in an abyssal fight to save the Material Plane over 18 months later. Soon after came a collaboration with DMs Guild Adept – Ashley Warren, called Dinos of Darkness, which was the followup adventure to Struggle in Three Horn Valley in the Dino-Wars series.

 The Minotaur Trilogy: Mazes, challenges of honor and courage, demons, demiplanes, wizards, an entire orc civilization & stronghold, fun encounters, great maps, viscious enemies and honorable allies. 3 x bestselling adventures, 20% off as a bundle, 40+ hrs of game play, 120 Pages of D&D5e Fun!

 Dinos of Darkness: Survive the jungle, ride dinosaurs into battle against evil dino-riding pirate, & save the three tribes of the Island of Selu from volcanic disaster!

Along with the product releases above, we also released several free maps, for which we plan to keep producing far into the future!

     

WOW! What a year!

Thanks for everything in 2018 and we will see you again in 2019!

Have a safe holidays!

Adventure On!

Phil Beckwith
P.B. Publishing

PRESS RELEASE – 2019 Origins Show Co-Sponsor Announcement

White Wizard Games 2019 Origins Show Co-Sponsor
We’re thrilled to announce White Wizard Games will be joining us at Origins 2019 as a show co-sponsor!
White Wizard Games has been a part of Origins for many years. We can’t wait to partner with them again to bring you another awesome show experience!

“I’m super excited to be sponsoring Origins at the highest level,” said Robert Dougherty, CEO of White Wizard Games. “It feels great to be giving back to the show that has given us so much over the years.”

Read More
Amazing Giveaways from our Show Co-Sponsor
Want to play an epic card game? As co-sponsor of Origins, White Wizard Games will be giving out a free copy of Epic Card Game to every attendee that stops by their booth. Get your copy and play sealed, draft, or constructed deck game play for up to 4 players. (While supplies last)
That’s not all! White Wizard Games will also be giving away some serious cash prizes! Players will compete to win their share of $20,000 at Star Realms Origins $10K Championship and the Epic Card Game Origins $10K Championship.
For all you Hero Realms fans, there will be a Legend Series where the winner will become a card in the game!

Hero Realms won Fan Favorite Card Game at the 2018 Origins Awards

Don’t Wait! Register Your Badge Today!
Register your badge early—save money and time for the show! When you register your badge early, you pay the discounted Early Bird price and get to skip the on-site registration line when you pick your badge up at the show!

Why wait? Register today and get ready for an epic Origins experience, June12-16, 2019!

Register Today
Event Submission is Open
Interested in running some of your favorite games at Origins? Submit your events and become a Game Master! Game Masters are an integral part of providing the Origins attendee with a positive experience. Submit your event now through March 1, 2019.  
Submit My Events
Hotels Added to Hotel Block

Four hotels have been added to the Origins Hotel Block list:

  • Hampton in Columbus University Area 
  • Staybridge Suites Columbus University Area 
  • Holiday Inn Express University Area 
  • Holiday Inn Express Columbus Airport East
Origins Hotel Block List
Submit Your Film to the Origins Film Festival
Submit your film to the Origins Film Festival! For the past three years, the Origins Film Festival has showcased unique independent films related to gaming, fantasy, and sci-fi. Your film could be showcased next! Early deadline for submissions is December 31, 2018.
Origins Film Festival
Become an Origins Volunteer

We’re working on bringing legendary heroes to Origins! Help bring the epic story to life and sign up to become a volunteer! Early signup means a better chance of getting the location and hours you want. You will receive an email confirmation once your information has been processed.

Become an Origins Volunteer!
This Year’s Theme Is Mythical
Your imagination will come to life at Origins 2019! Epic adventures, daring quests, legendary tales and more await you in Columbus, OH, June 12-16, 2019!

 

Invite your friends to subscribe to our mailing list:
http://eepurl.com/dGRTeT

PRESS RELEASE – Symbaroum: Yndaros – The Darkest Star expansion Released Today

Free League Publishing

​Symbaroum: Yndaros – The Darkest Star expansion Released Today

Free League Publishing – Dec 14, 2018 11:06 GMT

The shimmering virgin white snow that had fallen during the night lay like a covering blanket over Yndaros’ filth, but he knew what hid underneath. Neither the snow nor all who toiled at scrubbing and decorating the streets in honor of the Duchess’ wedding could erase the true rot, no more than they could wash away the shadows…

Rejoice, today the Symbaroum-expansion Yndaros –The Darkest Star created by Free League Publishing has released. Welcome to Yndaros, the aching heart of the realm, and the stage where episode three in the campaign Chronicle of the Throne of Thrones plays out.

Symbaroum: Yndaros –The Darkest Star presents an epic adventure where the players’ wits, as well as the characters’ abilities, will be pitted against truly daunting challenges. The tabletop roleplaying book features resources for both the players and the Game Masters, describing a brand new setting and introducing new rules.

Watch the Symbaroum: Yndaros the Darkest Star trailer here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRtnZjRbgY0

Read about Symbaroum: Yndaros the Darkest Star expansion here:
(http://frialigan.se/en/store/?collection_id=79768780848)

Symbaroum: Yndaros the Darkest Star trailer

SYMBAROUM: YNDAROS – THE DARKEST STAR Featured content:

  • THE DARKEST STAR ADVENTURE – The adventure The Darkest Star, taking place during a fateful period in the history of the realm.
  • YNDAROS – An extended account of Yndaros’ history, activities, factions and conflicts, meant to be read by both players and Game Masters.
  • NEW ESTABLISHMENTS – Twenty-five unique establishments where player characters may rest, eat, drink, gather information or seek an audience with local dignitaries.
  • BENEATH THE SURFACE – A comprehensive chapter for the Game Master, describing what lurks beneath the city’s surface, with plenty of plot hooks to develop into adventures or entire campaigns.
  • THE NOBLE HOUSES & CEREMONIAL MAGIC – An introduction to the noble houses of Ambria, an in-depth description of Ceremonial Magic plus plenty of additional rules including new abilities, traits, artifacts, monsters and adversaries.
  • Symbaroum: Yndaros the Darkest Star trailer
Share on social media

Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin

PRESS RELEASE – 2019 Charity Partners Announcement, Upper Deck Holiday Catalog, and Gen Con 2018 Videos on The Fantasy Network

Gen Con Returns to Indianapolis
August 1-4, 2019!

Announcing Charity Partners for Gen Con 2019
We are excited to announce our two awesome charity partners for Gen Con 2019, Special Olympics Indiana and Game to Grow! We love the dedication and passion each of these organizations put into their work in local and larger communities. As in years past, we will have several opportunities to raise funds at the show—morning dice rolls, the auction, Cardhalla destruction, and more! Read about each of the charities below, and check out gencon.com for further information. 

Special Olympics Indiana is a non-profit organization that is a part of the global Special Olympics movement, using sport, health, education, and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1969 and celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, Special Olympics Indiana has grown to more than 14,000 athletes and unified partners in virtually every county throughout the state. With the support of nearly 10,000 coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics Indiana provides year-round sports training and competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the participants. Learn more by visiting www.soindiana.org.


Game to Grow is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2017 on the belief that games of all kinds have the power to improve people’s lives. Game to Grow’s weekly therapeutic social skills groups help young people become more confident, creative, and socially capable using tabletop games, most notably Dungeons and Dragons. The founders and lead facilitators Adam Davis and Adam Johns use their years of experience in couple and family therapy, drama therapy, and education to promote social growth among youth in a fun, safe environment. For more information, head over to gametogrow.org.
Upper Deck Holiday Catalog


Check out the 2018 Holiday Catalog from Upper Deck!
 
The holidays are approaching and we have a few gift ideas for you. This 2018 Holiday Catalog will help you find the perfect gift for your friends, family and even yourself. Upper Deck is known for thematic licensed games as well as original titles. Marvel fans will also love Upper Deck’s Gallery Prints and Trading Cards.
 
Get free shipping on orders over $35 during the holidays!

Sponsored post by The Upper Deck Company
Videos from Gen Con 2018 Available on TFN

Fantasy Network
Wish you could experience Gen Con for more than four days a year?
 
Catch everything that you missed on Gen Con’s new premium video channel on The Fantasy Network, featuring dozens of videos from Gen Con 2018—including live gaming with Matt Mercer, interviews with Jordan Weisman, speeches from Peter Adkison and Shanna Germain, and loads of new product demos!
 
Come for the year-round Gen Con experience, streaming free on iOS, Android, Roku, and Amazon apps or directly in your browser, then stick around for loads of original fantasy series and movies from the Dead Gentlemen, Arrowstorm Entertainment, Zombie Orpheus, The Forge, and many more of your favorite filmmakers.
 

Watch now!

RPG NEWS ROUNDUP: LIFE IS A SERIES OF RPG ARTICLES, PRESS RELEASE, AND GAMES

This week, I wrote, posted, or inspired (using that term as loosely as possible) several gaming articles as well as a stack of press releases across the RPG news world. Did I publish a ton this week? Not as much as some weeks, but I still was involved in games as a writer, as a reader, and, on Saturday, as a gamer. I wanted to chronicle that, yet what I’ve written is less a clever review of my week and more of my log of my RPG life events this week. One day I’ll reread this post and see how much and how little I did. Go, Team Egg’s Diary!

NEW ARTICLES:

For EN World, I contributed the “RPG Crowdfunding News 125” in which I looked at the Kickstarters for Torg Eternity – The Nile Empire, The Adventurer’s Prayer, Vindeon, Tegel Manor Returns!, Lost Hall of Tyr, The Vagabond’s Cyclopedia, and more. In the article, I dropped the first mention of the Kickstarter Zine Quest article that Sean Hillman (EN World) and I are planning to do. Since taking over this column from Angus Abranson four weeks ago, my editor, Mike Tresca, and I have searched for a format that makes these articles an easier read while distinguishing the work from my “RPG Kickstarters You Should Back” column on the Open Gaming Network. Thanks to feedback in the comments section of this week’s article, and a note from Morrus, EN World’s owner, it appears that next week’s article will be the finalized format we’re going to run with. I’m excited about that.

Add to that, this column is used as fuel for Morrus and Peter Coffey’s podcast, Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk. They used last week’s article, “RPG Crowdfunding News 124,” to play their “Favourite Game in the World” (starting at 25:17) wherein Morrus gives a Kickstarter’s name and Peter Coffey guesses what the game is about. The results are determined by points but only failures Peter may cause the world to explode. It’s nice to see my work put to good use… or worldwide devastation.

As mentioned above, for the Open Gaming Network, I did another in my “RPG Kickstarters You Should Back” series. While I reviewed the Kickstarters for Into the Wyrd and Wild by Charles Ferguson-Avery and Low Fantasy Gaming – Deluxe Edition from Pickpocket Press, I also looked at Rogue Genius GamesALL Genius Guide Bundle! Over 100 Pathfinder 1e products from Owen KC Stephens (Starfinder Design Lead at Paizo Inc.) for $10 available at the Open Gaming Store until the end of the year. Lots of good games to choose from.

Beyond my regular piece for the OGN, I posted (but did not write) another article. Let’s start this story at Origins Game Fair 2018. There, I ran into Cubicle 7’s Andy Peregrine (Doctor Who RPG) and we talked about what games he’d discovered at the show. He shared Nomnivore Games’ Emberwind: The Skies of Axia, which is an epic looking game based in original mechanics. That was June, fast forward to December and Nomnivore Games is running a Kickstarter for EMBERWIND: a new breed of tabletop RPG. Andy, because he loves gaming and is happy to support the industry, did a review of Emberwind: The Skies of Axia to boost the current Kickstarter. It was an excellent gesture by him proving he is a gentleman as well as an RPG professional. However, writing is only part of the battle, so Andy asked if I could help on the publishing side. Being asked to help is an honor and I wanted to do the best I could by Andy, thus I was able to work with my editor on the Open Gaming Network, Kim Frandsen, and get his article published as “OGN Guest Reviews – Andrew Peregrine Reviews Emberwind: The Skies of Axia”. Not mine, but I’m still proud to have helped out and hope you give it a read.

Here on the Tessera Guild, it’s mostly publishing other company’s press releases [see below]. That said, last Friday I shared a piece I was proud to put together discussing, at the highest level, how EN World, the Open Gaming Network, and RPGnet fund their RPG articles (read it here). “Funding RPG News” looks at their ads, stores, Patreons, and crowdfundings to help illustrate how the articles we read are paid for and how you can be involved in bringing them to life.

Speaking of funding and Patreons, Morrus (EN World) started a new one that offers EN5ider adventures as One Page Adventure For DnD! I thought this was an interesting idea and when Morrus’ Patreon newsletter arrived, I decided I could lift it and make something of an announcement using it. With minimal edits, I turned the letter into a press release and put it up here. It’s gained some interest and, I hope, led to more fans joining Morrus’ latest Patreon.

 

PRESS RELEASE:

 

CONVERSATIONS:

I contributed some interview questions to Ed Jowett (Shades of Vengeance) to appear in an upcoming project. Despite this being our 6th interview (four at the Tessera Guild and one on the Open Gaming Network), he had exceedingly pleasant things to say about the questions. As ever, it’s uplifting to be told your work is good.

I talked with Doug Cole about his Kickstarter, the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition): Maps and Print Run. I wrote about his project on EN World and, as I do, messaged him to point out the article. From that, we talked and he shared a lot of his work and plans for the project, his 5e variant, Dragon Heresy, and his custom, full-sized Viking shields (available via the Kickstarter). There’s a lot to this project and it’s worth lending it an eye (Odin One Eye would appreciate it).

 

PURCHASES:

Beyond what I wrote, I also bought a few items. From the Open Gaming Store’s Warehouse Clearance Sale going on during December, 2018, I picked up Rite Publishing’s Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless) softcover and PDF for 50% off – $20! Yes, diceless roleplaying! Why try diceless? You have not seen my rolls, if you had you’d know I’d be better off sans dice.

From Amazon, I picked up Kobold Press’ Creature Codex. (As of this writing, it’s $30.03 PRIME then you can take off another $5 then another 10% off. Original price is $49.99. Final price as of this writing is $22.03!)

I’m a sucker for monster manuals and bestiaries, I buy all of them that I can. This is Wolfgang Baur and company’s second monster manual for 5e and it’s a strong addition to the gaming table. Match it up with Kobold Press’ other MM, Tome of Beasts, WotC’s Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica, as well as Frog God Games’ Fifth Edition Foes and you’ll have monsters enough for the life of this system.

To further fill my monster appetite, I’m reading Power Up Games’ L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures Volume 2. PUGs’ collection of 26 monsters for 5e touches on most every CR with original ideas for your table. What makes this project stand out is each creature’s depth and the creator’s quest to make this product accessible for disabled players. “[Y]ou will find a table listing all of the Named Locations from within the various descriptions throughout the book. Within this table, as well as the name and description, you will find sections relating to the different senses. This is an attempt to allow you as GM a way to make the world both more immersive and accessible to disabled players.” If you’re interested, try it out here.

As an added treat, under the Special Thanks, they mention the Tessera Guild (and myself). It made me feel special.

 

 

GAMING:

That leaves gaming this Saturday. Indy RPGing in the early afternoon, Adventures in Middle-Earth in the evening. Wish me good dice rolls!

PRESS RELEASE – PAIZOCON 2019 BADGES ON SALE NOW

REDMOND, WASHINGTON (December 12, 2018): Join Paizo at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in SeaTac, WA over Memorial Day weekend (May 24–27). Meet your favorite Paizo designers, developers, editors, artists, authors, and more for 4 days of amazing gaming, workshops, behind-the-scenes looks, and an entire ballroom filled with Pathfinder and Starfinder Society organized play tables.

PaizoCon 2019 also heralds the relaunch of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, plus its latest Adventure Path, Curse of the Crimson Throne. The Starfinder team will also have some secrets to share, and Paizo will definitely have some Pathfinder Second Edition reveals.

The Guests of Honor are Liane Merciel and Wayne Reynolds, with special guests The Glass Cannon Podcast.

Pricing:

  • 4-day Badges are $75.00
  • 4-day Kid Badges are $40.00
  • PaizoCon Preview Banquet Tickets are $45.00 and include an exclusive commemorative item available only to attendees at the Preview Banquet and through auctions or prizes at select charity events. 
  • Purchasing a 4-day Badge (regular) and a Preview Banquet ticket together are $110 ($10 savings)

Learn more and register at PaizoCon.com.

About Liane Merciel

Liane Merciel is the author of critically acclaimed novels including The River Kings’ RoadDragon Age: Last Flight, and Pathfinder Tales: Hellknight. She has also contributed to game materials such as Paizo’s Nidal: Land of ShadowsFaiths of Golarion, and other forthcoming releases. Liane lives in Philadelphia with two unruly mutts, her husband, and an extremely funny adventure toddler.

About Wayne Reynolds

Wayne Reynolds is a freelance illustrator with over 20 years of experience contributing artwork to the publishing industry. His work has appeared in roleplaying games, collectable card games, board games, and miniature designs. He has contributed cover art and internal illustrations for comics, novels, and historical reference books. Reynolds defined the look and feel of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game’s iconic characters, setting the gold standard for all of the art to follow. His superlative work has graced the covers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Boxand numerous volumes of Pathfinder Adventure Path, as well as the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and every Pathfinder hardcover Paizo has produced since. Wayne continues to work with Paizo’s designers to reveal never-before-seen corners of Golarion, while his own in-depth knowledge of historic weapons, armor, and fighting styles brings the most exciting elements of the Pathfinder RPG to life.

About The Glass Cannon Network, LLC

Following the rules of the Pathfinder and Starfinder RPGs, The Glass Cannon Network endeavors to create weekly captivating epic fantasy stories accessible to gamers and non-gamers alike. Interweaving immersive storytelling with irreverent, improvised humor, the GM and players deliver the experience of what it’s really like to sit around a table rolling dice with your closest friends. Professional high-quality audio, complex and memorable three-dimensional characters, instructional elements designed to enlighten both new and veteran players, and a commitment to community-building among fans all combine to make The Glass Cannon an exciting and innovative voice in podcasting.

About Paizo

Paizo Inc. is one of the world’s leading hobby game publishers. Since 2002, millions of players have joined the goblin army by playing the Pathfinder® and Starfinder® Roleplaying Games across tabletops, at conventions, at their favorite local game store, and digitally on virtual tabletops. Paizo.com is an online retail hobby destination for millions of gamers that carries the latest products from top hobby game publishers. Players also find accessories, like dice and maps, miniatures, T-shirts, goblin plush toys, and the newest releases, to quickly replenish those adventuring supplies for the next dungeon run.

PRESS RELEASE – One Page Adventure For DnD!

I have just launched a Patreon for my One Page Adventures (which you may have seen posted on EN World [The Business of Emotion, or Croaking Sirocco], Twitter, or elsewhere). I will be creating one or two one-page adventures for DnD each month. These are adventures designed for one session of play, each being a standalone adventure with its own theme. Each adventure is contained on a single side of one A4/letter-size sheet of paper, and is available for download in PDF format. These will be available for free, but I really appreciate your contributions, as each takes many hours to put together, and so patrons will get them earlier.


ABOUT ME

My name is Morrus, and I run the RPG news website EN World. I also have a weekly podcast called Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk, and I am the co-founder of the ENnies. I also do loads of other stuff! 

WHAT DO I GET?

You’ll get one, sometimes two, one-page adventures per month. I will be releasing these for free online in PDF format.

One-page adventures are short and to the point. As an exercise in writing economy, they are distilled down to the very basics. Monsters and NPCs always use standard stat blocks references in bold (the usual 5E style), and area descriptions are kept to the bare minimum. For example, Two-Lips’ farm in the first adventure, The Business of Emotion, is described thusly: “Flower fields and a small farmhouse. TWO-LIPS, a gnome noble, directs a crew of six gnome commoners.”

HOW MUCH IS IT?

That’s up to you! Patreon is a “pay-what-you-want” subscription model. YOU decide what these are worth to you. I have suggested a couple of amounts – $1 and $5 – which should suit a range of budgets. But it’s your decision. What’s a one-page adventure worth? I would say, though, that a cup of coffee costs between $3 and $6 depending where you are in the world, and each of these takes me many hours to make!

And don’t forget, if you change your mind, you can cancel at any time. There’s no obligation!

WHO MAKES THESE?

Some of these adventures are converted from longer adventures I have commissioned from other writers elsewhere (you can see the original creator of each at the bottom of the adventure), while others I will write myself. The layout is my own work, as is the conversion and distillation.

CAN I SEE AN EXAMPLE? 

Of course you can! Just scroll down and you’ll see links to the first two One Page Adventure. You can grab it for free, but I would really appreciate your support! If you like these, please do become a patron. You can pay what you want – every bit helps. 

Examples on EN World: The Business of Emotion, or Croaking Sirocco.

Over on the Patreon there are already two adventures posted! Go grab ’em! And if you like them, please consider becoming a patron!

PRESS RELEASE – Kickstarter for MUTANT YEAR ZERO: ELYSIUM RPG – Three Days to Go Before Humanity Falls

Free League Publishing
Kickstarter for MUTANT YEAR ZERO: ELYSIUM RPG – Three Days to Go Before Humanity Falls
Free League Publishing – Dec 10, 2018 17:18 GMT

When nations and authorities collapse, only the most basic human bond remains – family. While the world burns, the powerful dynasties build an enclave deep in the bedrock named Elysium I. But as time goes by, the Houses turn on each other and enclave workers begin to question their masters…

The Houses create a force of judicators, with the authority to strike against anything that threatens order in the enclave. You are one of these judicators. It is your duty to investigate crimes and impose the appropriate sentences. But your strongest loyalty is always towards your family.

It is end of the world as you know it – prepare for an experience where Judge Dredd meets Game of Thrones deep underground in MUTANT YEAR ZERO: ELYSIUM. When Powerful Houses struggle for supremacy and workers long for an equal and open world, what side will you find yourself on?

The third major expansion, fully playable as a standalone game, is set in the universe of the award-winning postapocalyptic MUTANT: YEAR ZERO RPG by Free League Publishing. With THREE DAYS left of the Kickstarter, Mutant: Elysium has raised over 90,000 USD. The crowdfunding campaign for ends on Thursday, December 13 2018 9:00 PM CET.

READ MORE ABOUT MUTANT: ELYSIUM AT KICKSTARTER:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192053011/mutant-elysium-roleplaying-humanitys-final-fall

MUTANT: ELYSIUM FEATURES:

  • ENCLAVE HUMANS – Mutant: Elysium introduces non-mutant humans as a playable class in Mutant: Year Zero.New rules for creating and playing enclave humans, including their web of contacts with rich and powerful allies.!
  • ELYSIUM I – A detailed description of Elysium I, the mother of all Elysium enclaves, including a full-color map.
  • GUARDIANS OF THE FALL – The complete campaign Guardians of the Fall, that will settle the final fate of the enclave.
  • ADAPTING TO LIFE IN THE ZONE – An overview of how the enclave humans can adapt to life in the Zone, and join the mutants, animals and robots of Mutant: Year Zero, Mutant: Genlab Alpha and Mutant: Mechatron
  • ART by acclaimed artists Simon Stålenhag and Reine Rosenberg

ABOUT MUTANT: YEAR ZERO – ROLEPLAYING AT THE END OF DAYS

[ Awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules. ]

“Mutant: Year Zero blew me away on a personal level. I did not know of its existence, and suddenly I realise that I am holding a masterpiece, probably the best post-apocalyptic game on the market.”-RPGNet

Mutant: Year Zero is the latest version of the classic Swedish tabletop roleplaying game Mutant, first published in 1984. The postapocalyptic game Mutant: Year Zero was named Best RPG at UK Games Expo 2015 and awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015.

The first major expansion Mutant: Genlab Alpha tells the story of the mutant animals. 
The second major expansion Mutant: Mechatron introduces robots into the Mutant universe.

Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published several award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds.

The post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules 2015. The sci-fi adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon, was awarded a Judge’s Spotlight Award at Gencon.The dark fantasy roleplaying game Symbaroum has earned several nominations and awards, including a Best Game nomination at the Origins Awards 2016. And we are proud to say that our latest roleplaying game Tales from the Loop RPG based on Simon Stålenhags iconic artbooks made a grand slam at the ENnie Awards 2017, winning five Gold ENnies – among them Best Game.

Our upcoming fantasy RPG is Forbidden Lands, with art by critically acclaimed artist Simon Stålenhag and iconic Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson, lore by fantasy author Erik Granström and game design by the team that created Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Forbidden Lands was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017 and was recently named one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2018 by EN World.

We have also released the critically acclaimed art books Things from the Flood and Tales from the Loopby artist Simon Stålenhag. His third book The Electric State has been released by Free League Publishing exclusively to the backers of the kickstarter campaign.

Website: www.freeleaguepublishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FriaLigan
Instagram: http://instagram.com/frialigan/
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/FrialiganSe
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FriaLigan

PRESS RELEASE – SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons: The Cryptid Manual Coming to Kickstarter

On January 15th, 2019 Bloat Games will launch their 5th RPG Kickstarter for SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons: The Cryptid Manual. This will be the 3rd Kickstarter from the SURVIVE THIS!! line, created by Bloat Games founder, Eric Bloat, in 2015 and the 2nd in the Dark Places & Demogorgons series (Created by Eric Bloat and Josh Palmer). All of Bloat Games previous Kickstarters have funded, including their most recent Kickstarter, SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City, which funded at nearly $13,000.

Bloat Games will be using Drivethrurpg for both digital and physical fulfillment.

The Cryptid Manual is Bloat Games first exclusively Bestiary/Monster Manual type of product. However, instead of using the same monsters that find their ways into most Bestiaries, for the Cryptid Manual, Bloat Games focused on highlighting the creatures of Cryptozoology from all around the world. If you’ve ever wanted to run your players against a Big Foot, a Lake Monster, The Mothman or Jersey Devil, then this supplement will be a must have. While the Cryptid Manual was created for Dark Places & Demogorgon it can easily be used with any OSR game, with very little conversion needed by the DM.

The physical book will be approximately 90 pages, full color, digest size (6×9) and available in hard cover and softcover.
https://bloatgames.squarespace.com/cryptidmanualpressrelease/

Funding RPG News

Image from https://steemit.com/photography/@hamzaali/best-free-non-copyrighted-images-from-the-internet-part-1

Do you read RPG news? Like most of the games and accessories that make up tabletop roleplaying games, producing it is a labor of love, and by “labor of love,” I mean it costs money. If you click on any major media online news site, you’ll see walls of ads along with paywalls requiring you to buy a subscription to know what’s going on in the wider world. Reporting the news costs. Just like those websites, RPG news sites have costs that have to be defrayed including paying for the site, site upgrades, the journalists, the editors, any budget to cover conventions or specific stories, and more. Without bombarding you with ads (BleedingCool) or creating a paywall (ICv2), how is reporting the stories that impact your gaming table paid for? To answer that, I review three RPG news sites and how they keep the lights on. This is not an in-depth examination of their finances or records, instead this piece looks at the visible and public means by which they pay for their works.

[Disclaimer: I freelance for EN World and OGN.]

EN World: Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG News

This site is one of the largest RPG news sites in the English-reading world, with content focused on D&D and Pathfinder, as well as other TTRPGs. The site is part of EN Publishing, which produced several well-funded Kickstarters including the recent success, Judge Dredd and the World of 2000 AD RPG.

How is EN World funded? The easiest way to see how the site makes a return is via ads. Like all of the sites that I’ll mention in this article, EN World makes use of game-related banner ads that generate revenue through views/impressions/clicks. Beyond that, there are more direct methods that fund EN World including contributions via Patreon. The following Patreons represent a variety of content from journalism to podcasts to games:

Beyond Patreons, EN Publishing’s finished content is available through DriveThruRPG here.

Clearly, there are many ways to support EN Publishing, but what’s the best way to support articles on EN World? Of those, the primary option is their EN World Patreon. Contributions to that Patreon go directly to funding the articles you enjoy on EN World.

Open Gaming Network

This site is the hub for John Reyst’s family of Open Gaming sites including the Open Gaming Store and his massive collection of SRDs for different games. What sites does John support? d20PFSRD, Starjammer SRD, 3.5e SRD, 5th Edition SRD, Swords and Wizardry SRD, Black Hack SRD, 13th Age SRD, d20HeroSRD, The Modern Path SRD, Dungeon World SRDTraveller SRD, GumshoeSRD, FateCoreSRD, FudgeSRD as well as the Open Gaming Network.

With that many sites, the better question might be: how does he pay for all of them? Like the other websites on this list, the sites draw some revenue from game-centric ads. Beyond that, there’s a few other options:

  • Open Gaming Store : A TTRPG-specific online store that allows vendors to sale their products while taking a small commission per sale. Any sale made via the OGS leads to revenue that keeps the OGN and SRD sites going. Currently, their rates are listed as “20% on digital (downloadable) products or 30% on physical products that WE ship.” [Source]
  • d20PFSRD.com Patreon : This Patreon allows you to direct-fund the whole of the Open Gaming Network’s variety of sites and, at certain levels, provides you with discounts to the OGS and/or access to all of the d20PFSRD.com Publishing material.
  • d20PFSRD.com content is available on DriveThruRPG here : There’s a mantra that’s something like, “Be where your customers are.” d20PFSRD.com Publishing could only sale through the OGS, but they want to be available to their fans so they decided to cast a wider net and appear on DTRPG.

With those choices, what is the best way to support the Open Gaming Network? Direct contributions to their Patreon ensure that they can continue to create new content for the games you love while delivering some RPG news. Alternately, if you’re not able to contribute monetarily, but still want to assist, the Open Gaming Network is looking for OGL/SRD transcribers and compensating them for their efforts. To learn the details, click here.

RPG.net

“RPGnet is the oldest & largest independent roleplaying site on the Internet. It was founded in 1996 by Emma Antunes and is now owned and run by Skotos Tech, an online game company.” [Source]

Like the prior RPG sites, RPGnet makes use of ads to support its content. Beyond rotating ads, RPGnet focuses on curating sponsors and patrons that fit with its culture and direction. These sponsors include some well-known game companies and services:

  • Skotos Tech : “Skotos Tech offers a theater for multiplayer interactive fiction. It hosts a community of StoryPlayers, who enjoy playing in other people’s worlds, and StoryBuilders, who enjoy creating worlds for them. Skotos’ technology, in the form of the StoryBuilder Server, brings them together.” [Source]
  • DriveThruRPG : “DriveThruRPG.com is part of a family of premiere online marketplaces including RPGNow [closing soon], DriveThruRPG, DriveThruCards, DMsGuild, DriveThruComics, DriveThruFiction, and Wargame Vault. Together, we have been selling digital and print-on-demand comic books, roleplaying games, and fiction since 2001.” [Source]
  • Scabard : “A freemium website for organizing RPG campaigns.” [Source]

Beyond those sponsors, there are fan contributions gathered through their annual Indiegogo campaign. Until December 19th, RPGnet 2018 Membership Drive is live on Indiegogo allowing backers to contribute to improving RPGnet. Backing this campaign not only supports RPGnet, it can grant you a set of 10 RPG PDFs:

  • Pelgrane Press’ Book of Ages for 13th Age
  • Pelgrane Press’ Loot Harder for 13th Age
  • Rogues Games’ Embrace for 5E
  • Flying Buffalo’s T&T Adventures Japan for Tunnels & Trolls
  • Legendary Games’ Legendary Planet for Starfinder
  • Arc Dream’s The Unspeakable Oath #25
  • Rogue Games’ 3e Colonial Gothic Rulebook
  • Rogue Games’ Colonial Gothic Atlas
  • Rogue Games’ adventure Flames of Freedom: Beginnings
  • Posthuman Studio’s Transhumanity’s Fate: The Fate Conversion Guide for Eclipse Phase
  • And a membership to RPGnet

What’s the best way to support RPGnet? Their Indiegogo RPGnet 2018 Membership Drive is your only direct option, and it ends on December 19th, 2018 so check it out here while you can.

For a little more on their philosophy, here’s RPGnet’s thoughts on ads from their Indiegogo campaign:

Though ads and affiliations pay some of our costs, we are picky about which ads and ad networks we use, so that we can maintain high-quality ads that are likely to be of interest and that won’t distract our readers. We’ve opted out of high-value ads that include audio, that expand, or that are placed as interstitials between pages. We forbid dating ads, gambling ads, gold-farming ads, political ads, and certain other categories of advertising.

As a result, we occasionally ask RPGnet readers to become members, in order to help support the community. We’ve done this on a somewhat ad hoc basis in the past, but now that crowdfunding has matured, we’ve turned to IndieGoGo for our annual RPGnet Membership Drive.

We hope that you’ll join us, and help to support the RPGnet community.

PRESS RELEASE – PAIZO AND GLASS CANNON EXTEND PARTNERSHIP

PAIZO AND GLASS CANNON EXTEND PARTNERSHIP

“A couple things are gonna happen…”

REDMOND, WASHINGTON (December 6, 2018): Paizo Inc. and the Glass Cannon Network are pleased to announce that their licensing partnership has been extended another three years. This includes both The Glass Cannon podcast for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Androids & Aliens for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

“Our whole enterprise began out of a love bordering on obsession for Pathfinder and the adventures that Paizo puts out. We are thrilled to be extending this partnership at an exciting time in the industry as tabletop RPGs continue to explode into the mainstream and technology allows people worldwide to take part in a shared gaming experience with us on an almost daily basis,” said Troy Lavallee, CEO of The Glass Cannon Network.

“We’re excited to continue adventuring through GCP’s imagination as they bring our Pathfinder and Starfinder Adventure Paths to life through their gifted storytelling,” said Jim Butler, Vice President of Marketing & Licensing at Paizo. “We look forward to working with Troy, Joe, Matthew, Skid, and Grant as they continue their foray into the Pathfinder and Starfinder universes.”

The Glass Cannon Network includes The Glass Cannon PodcastRaiders of the Lost Continent and their Glass Cannon Live! Tour where they play the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Adventure Paths GiantslayerRuins of Azlant, and Strange Aeons as well as Androids & Aliens, their Starfinder Roleplaying Game Dead Suns podcast.

The Glass Cannon Network Patreon page at http://www.patreon.com/glasscannon allows subscribers to unlock goals for the future and reap exclusive rewards, including episodes of the Raiders of the Lost Continent.

Learn more and find links to Glass Cannon Network podcasts, blogs, events, and store pages at https://glasscannonpodcast.com.

About The Glass Cannon Network, LLC

Following the rules of the Pathfinder and Starfinder RPG systems, The Glass Cannon Network endeavors to create weekly captivating epic fantasy stories accessible to gamers and non-gamers alike. Interweaving immersive storytelling with irreverent, improvised humor, the GM and players deliver the experience of what it’s really like to sit around a table rolling dice with your closest friends. Professional high-quality audio, complex and memorable three-dimensional characters, instructional elements designed to enlighten both new and veteran players, and a commitment to community-building amongst their fans all combine to make The Glass Cannon an exciting and innovative voice in podcasting.

They recently signed with Paradigm Talent Agency to represent them as they embark on a cross-country tour. Joining a client roster that includes A-List acts such as Coldplay, Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran, the New York-based podcast company is ready to bring their unique brand of live role-playing game entertainment to cities all around the US. After kicking off their tour with a sold-out show in Los Angeles this October, dates will soon be announced for stops in Portland, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and more in 2019.

About Paizo

Paizo Inc. is one of the world’s leading hobby game publishers. Since 2002, millions of players have joined the goblin army by playing the Pathfinder® and Starfinder® roleplaying games across tabletops, at conventions, at their favorite local game store, and digitally on virtual tabletops. Paizo.com is an online retail hobby destination for millions of gamers that carries the latest products from top hobby game publishers. Players also find accessories, like dice and maps, miniatures, T-shirts, goblin plush toys, and the newest releases to quickly replenish those adventuring supplies for the next dungeon run.

PRESS RELEASE – Forbidden Lands RPG Released Today

Free League Publishing

​Forbidden Lands RPG Released Today

Free League Publishing – Dec 06, 2018 13:20 GMT

Brave adventurer, Free League Publishing today announced that the Forbidden Lands RPG has released worldwide on the 6th of December 2018. All rogues, raiders, treasure hunters and scoundrels may now enter the land beyond the mountains. The Forbidden Lands RPG is a retro-fantasy game and a brand-new take on classic tabletop roleplaying. 

My dear friend, have you heard that the curse is gone and that the Blood Mist has lifted? Forbidden Lands can now finally be reached. Do you dare to travel into the unknown lands with me? 

Just imagine, it is an unexplored realm filled with treasures left behind… A magical journey into the unknown awaits us. Will you join me in the hunt for ancient treasures and fight whomsoever gets in our way? Let us leave this wretched reality and build a new world for ourselves on the ruins of the old. What say thee, do you want to be one of the first raiders of the Forbidden Lands?

If it will be dangerous? Of course, but what does it matter, friend? Together we laugh in the face of danger and make our mark on that cursed world. Together, we will survive long enough to tell the tale. But we must hurry, before the others take it all…

Watch the Forbidden Lands Trailer: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgpOkhsvPvM

Read more about the Forbidden Lands RPG:
http://frialigan.se/en/games/forbidden-lands/

[ If you have a review copy request – please email: boel@frialigan.se ]

Forbidden Lands trailer

Forbidden Lands RPG

Raiders & Rogues in a Cursed World

In the sandbox survival roleplaying game Forbidden Lands, you and your friends will be playing raiders and rogues bent on making your own mark on a cursed world. Discover lost tombs, fight horrifying monsters, wander the wilderness and build your own stronghold to defend.

Forbidden Lands is a legacy game, in which your actions will permanently change the game map, turning it into a living chronicle of your adventures. The unique rules for exploration, survival, base building and campaign in the game play can easily be ported to any other game world.

The tabletop RPG Forbidden Lands was named one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2018 by EN World. The crowdfunding campaign raised over a quarter of a million dollars and was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017.

With art by the internationally acclaimed artists Simon Stålenhag and Nils Gulliksson, lore by fantasy author Erik Granström, scenarios by esteemed game writers Patrick Stuart, Ben Milton and Chris McDowall and game design by Free League that created the award-winning RPGs Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon, Symbaroum and Tales from the Loop.

Forbidden Lands RPG

FORBIDDEN LANDS RPG BOXED SET CONTENTS: 

  • PLAYER’S MANUAL – Hardcover Player’s Manual with faux leather covers, including rules for fast character generation, visceral combat, lethal magic, dangerous journeys and for building your own stronghold – easily be ported to other game worlds.
  • GAMEMASTER’S GUIDE – Hardcover Gamemaster’s Guide with faux leather covers, including a rich and detailed description of the Forbidden Lands setting, a large illustrated Bestiary, extensive random encounters, and three complete adventure sites.
  • LEGENDS & ADVENTURERS BOOKLET – The Legends & Adventurers booklet, that lets you flesh out your characters and give them unique backgrounds.
  • MAP – A large full-color map, that gives you the freedom to explore the Forbidden Lands any way you want, hex by hex.
  • STICKERS – A sheet with stickers for adventure sites and gravestones, transforming the game map to a living, permanent record of your adventures.

Forbidden Lands RPG

Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published several award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds.

The post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules 2015. The sci-fi adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon, was awarded a Judge’s Spotlight Award at Gencon.The dark fantasy roleplaying game Symbaroum has earned several nominations and awards, including a Best Game nomination at the Origins Awards 2016. And we are proud to say that our latest roleplaying game Tales from the Loop RPG based on Simon Stålenhags iconic artbooks made a grand slam at the ENnie Awards 2017, winning five Gold ENnies – among them Best Game.

Our upcoming fantasy RPG is Forbidden Lands, with art by critically acclaimed artist Simon Stålenhag and iconic Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson, lore by fantasy author Erik Granström and game design by the team that created Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Forbidden Lands was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017 and was recently named one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2018 by EN World.

We have also released the critically acclaimed art books Things from the Flood and Tales from the Loopby artist Simon Stålenhag. His third book The Electric State has been released by Free League Publishing exclusively to the backers of the kickstarter campaign.

Website: www.freeleaguepublishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FriaLigan
Instagram: http://instagram.com/frialigan/
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/FrialiganSe
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FriaLigan

Share on social media

Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin