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.

Kickstarter’s Zine Quest and Some Great Zines!

In November 2018, Kickstarter announced their upcoming [at the time] February initiative, Zine Quest. Since then, life has been about maintaining my schedule while preparing and running two RPG zines for the initiative, POWERED by the DREAMR and Love’s Labour’s Liberated for 5e (with John McGuire and Leland Beauchamp). While PbtD has funded, LLL continues until this Saturday. As a wrap up to my first two Kickstarters, I decided to reach out to some of my fellow Zine Questers to ask what RPG zines on Kickstarter that they’re interested in reading/playing? What follows are their responses.

NOTE One: I asked each contributor separately, so they didn’t know that they’d be together in the article. Thus, when they praise each other’s games, it’s genuine.

NOTE Two: I specifically asked each commenter to avoid “anything lame like false praise of my KS project. While I’d take a shout out, I want your honest recommendation(s).” I say this because some of these knuckleheads recommended my project and, while I’m flattered, I don’t want it to seem like it’s nepotism (it’s more like inept-ism… or maybe they genuinely like them).

D.I.R.G.Ezine by Sean Hillman, Amanda Makepeace, Andrea Fornero, Rachel Quinlan, Nadia Heller, Dawn Gilreath, Paige Leitman, Erica Frank, and Christos Floratos

Ends: Sun, March 3 2019 10:04 AM EST.

“An RPG-zine based on encouraging diverse ideas and diverse creators. The focus will be on world building, design, and art.”

Sean Hillman recommends:

“Okay, Love’s Labour’s Liberated, for reals. I think the approach is exactly the kind of mechanics that support rich RP campaigns.

synthesis. Just the premise seems incredible and a zine full of mini-rpgs is perfect for my own indie tastes.

And finally, Girl Underground. I mean, what?! The premise of this zine seems fantastic, something my little girl could play. I am also curious about how it will meet expectations after doing so darn well.” [NOTE: Girl Underground has over 1,100 backers and over $12,000 as of this writing with 4 days to go.]

Harrowings From The Rime! by Drew Cochran

Ends: Sun, March 3 2019 2:19 PM EST.

“An RPG Zine to steal your soul!”

Drew Cochran recommends:

“Hey! I am the creator of The Epic of Dreams RPG, and the ringleader for the Harrowings From the Rime OSR Zine. There are so many legit projects happening in this movement, it’s a lot to take in. Three zines I’m really hyped about are What Happened at Wyvern Rock?, POWERED by the DREAMR, and Other Magic.

What Happened at Wyvern Rock has a great premise. The aliens and 50’s era superstitions mixed with the medieval setting has so many possibilities. The best part about this zine to me, so far, is simply the execution and art style. The specific way they’re tackling this fusion wets my hunger like nothing else. And it’s going to be 64 PAGES! They’re mad, and I love it. Can’t wait.

POWERED By The DREAMR is being made by my friend, Egg! I have been able to participate in a handful of PbtA games, and I love the overall design. DREAMR is great because it fuels poetic collaboration in roleplaying, which is one of the major themes in my own game, The Epic of Dreams. Anything that is able to elicit those inspired moments in roleplay automatically gets my support. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the class abilities turn out! Dream sorcery for DAYS!

Other Magic hits me in those same places. I have come to abhor the understanding of what magic is inside of mainstream gaming- buttons of power, on demand and without cost. Much of The Epic of Dreams tackles bringing the spirit of mysticism back into tabletop gaming, and Other Magic’s approach makes me truly excited! I can’t wait to see what traditions and sources they use for their rituals, and how they translate those into the OSR!”

RPG Zine Challenge: The Compleat Beastman by Jacob DC Ross / Thunderegg Productions

Ends: Wed, March 6 2019 3:26 PM EST.

“A OSR-themed RPG zine with stats for centaurs, minotaurs and all of the beastmen you’ll ever want. Includes minis for play!”

Jacob DC Ross recommends:

“I actually really am looking forward to your zines, especially POWERED by the DREAMR. I adore hacks of Powered by the Apocalypse.

For POWERED by the DREAMR, it looks like the perfect system to portray a delve into the most mysterious parts of the psyche. I really can’t wait to see what stories I can tell with it.

The other zine I really want to play is Girl Underground: I have a unique fondness for Alice in Wonderland. Girl Underground looks to be the ideal intersection of Lewis Carroll and roleplaying.”

Cade’s Big Book o’ Booze by Justin Ryan Isaac

Ends: Fri, March 8 2019 3:28 PM EST.

“An alcohol related zine for use with 5th edition fantasy”

Justin Ryan Isaac recommends:

“This was a rough one considering I’ve backed or am backing 18 Zine Quest participants… That being said, these are the two I’m most excited to run/read/play.

Dino WranglersI love that Dino Wranglers is an easily accessible and inclusive in design, but still looks really rad and epic. I want a game I can teach to the kids at my library.

Draugr & Draculas. Josh is putting the bite back in vampires and giving stats to both Dracula and Elizabeth Bathory. To top it off the book is going to discuss making deals with the Devil and includes undead vikings!”

synthesis. by Riley Rethal

Ends: Wed, March 13 2019 2:34 PM EST.

“a #zinequest full of mini-rpgs about metatextuality, perspective, and creating new meanings.”

Riley Rethal recommends:

“I’m very excited for my friend Erika Shepherd’s zine, Exodus, a game about trans angels on a road trip that uses the Belonging Outside Belonging system. The campaign will have just ended by the time this article goes up, but you can still get the pdf at fadingroots.itch.io/exodus!

As for campaigns that are still going, I just backed Dino Wranglers, another token economy game written specifically with kids and neurodiversity in mind, which is perfect for me because I work as the ttrpg specialist at a summer camp where a lot of the campers are neurodivergent.”

  • Exodus ended by the time this article went live.
  • Dino Wranglers ends Thu, March 28 2019 11:08 AM EST.

The Isle of The Amazons – RPG Zine for #ZineQuest by Eric Bloat / Bloat Games

Ends: Thu, March 21 2019 8:00 PM EST.

“2 issue Setting for Untold Adventure and other White Box based OSR RPGs.”

Eric Bloat recommends:

Casket Land: This occult/weird west zine is a full game packed into the pages of a zine. The game is engine is Powered by the Apocalypse, which I’m not a huge fan of, but the writing, layout and killer high-contrast black and white art were enough to get me to back it. Just check out the example pages on the it’s campaign page and you’ll see that this zine is just dripping with flavor and style.

Cade’s Big Book o’ Booze is an alcohol related zine for use with any 5th edition fantasy, which I’ll convert it’s content to OSR for games, but I’m really looking forward to this one. There’s going to be rules for the condition: intoxicated, new weapons and equipment, magic spells and magic items, maybe just maybe I’ll get to make that Jackie Chan Drunken Master Monk I’ve always wanted to play!

A Pound of Flesh is a zine module for the Sci-Fi Horror OSR RPG Mothership, which itself was also a zine. Mothership was a modern marvel of modern layout and game design and so I was really excited to see what all A Pound of Flesh would bring to the table. Plus, it’s being written by Chance Phillips, a rising star in the ranks of the OSR, who’s done some really great stuff for Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

Love’s Labour’s Liberated – Cavaliers, Enchanters and Magic Items for 5e fills a void that is quite overlooked in roleplaying games, romance. A significant portion of fantasy fiction is dedicated to this genre but it’s definitely overlooked in the gaming materials.

Dead Halt is the perfect project for the Kickstarter Zine Quest initiative. You take a young, talented and energetic creative, a unique, wacky way-out-there concept, and mix with a retro-sci-fi setting/scenario and have the perfect kind of material to create an rpg related zine. I was onboard from very early in the campaign and I’m telling you the stuff this group is coming just continues to impress me more and more. Plus, I just love the word: ClunkPunk. ‘Nough Said.”

Love’s Labour’s Liberated for 5e by John McGuire, Leland Beauchamp, and Egg Embry

Ends: Sun, March 3 2019 1:33 AM EST

“Cavaliers, Enchanters, Magic Items, the ideals of Chivalry, the power of Enchantment, and the magic of love deserve a place in your 5th Edition fantasy campaign.”

POWERED by the DREAMR, a PbtA RPG #ZineQuest by Egg Embry

NOTE: POWERED by the DREAMR (a Powered by the Apocalypse zine) by Egg Embry is available through the Love’s Labour’s Liberated for 5e Kickstarter campaign.

“Dreamrs, we are such stuff as dreams are *Powered* on, and our little life is rounded *by the Apocalypse*. Complete PbtA RPG in a zine.”

Egg Embry recommends:

“My friends.

Eric Bloat is expanding his OSR horizons again. This time, you get to play Amazons. The art is perfect, the concept is the right amount of bringing classical stories forward, it’s OSR, something Eric (literally) wrote several books on, and it’s waiting for you – The Isle of The Amazons – RPG Zine for #ZineQuest.

Drew Cochran’s Harrowings From The Rime! is an arctic setting that will make every OSR a colder place to play in. I’m eager to play in the frozen lands where the enemies and elements compete to see which is deadlier!

Sean Hillman is bringing new voices into gaming through D.I.R.G.Ezine. This one is exciting because I game with Sean (he lives in metro Atlanta) and it includes work from Dawn Gilreath, another gamer in our group, and the Tessera Guild’s own award winning artist, Amanda Makepeace. It’s going to shine!

Justin Ryan Isaac is one of the newest, smartest creators starting in OSR. He’s doing a 5e zine about booze and, as his first project, it’s more than finding its audience! Cade’s Big Book o’ Booze is humorous and useful (cause Drink & Dragons is real) so this zine will be what he’s known for until his “big” work arrives.

Riley Rethal and I have talked a bit since I found synthesis. We discussed her ambitions to do a long-form RPG using a favorite property, and the cliff note ideas she shares are the perfect tone for the project. The excitement around that work, the zine, and RPG in general, is infectious and I know it will make synthesis a win! For the zine, the concept, multiple succinct RPGs, speaks to me as it gives you a variety of options to play and, I feel, it will open up new avenues of design through sheer originality.

Jacob DC Ross is adding beastmen and miniatures to your OSR game, and, if you’re a publisher, stock art to your library. I love books/zines of monsters, so that’s a win. Adding the minis makes it even better. But, as an individual with two zines coming out, RPG Zine Challenge: The Compleat Beastman is an excellent return on my investment as a publisher. Looking at the sample art, I’m excited about this!

From OSR to 5e to eclectic to diverse, these are some of the zines I’m eager to dive into!”

PRESS RELEASE – POWERED by the DREAMR (PbtA) and Love’s Labour’s Liberated (5e) at Kickstarter’s Zine Quest

Love’s Labour’s Liberated introduces the theme of February, love, into your 5e campaign. Part of Kickstarter’s RPG Zine Quest, this publication focuses on a romanticized view of Cavaliers, Enchanters, Magic Items, and more for the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Each component is designed to be a hook that draws the player into the game utilizing character motivations. This zine will enhance the roleplaying flavor of the classes while offering chances for characters to buy-in to the setting and its challenges.

Focusing on a new version of the fighter archetype, the Cavalier of Love, a 5e-realized Enchanter, and Magic Items with lovely story hooks, these rules expansions ramp up the quiet moments between combat. Each chapter will lead with a stanza of poetry by Leland Beauchamp. These pieces can standalone or be combined as an adventure hook. Through this zine, you’ll experience the creator’s love of roleplaying and 5e, and be able to share it with your table.

Developed by longtime friends, novelist, John McGuire of The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, and the graphic novel, The Gilded Age, poet and gamer, Leland Beauchamp, and RPG journalist, Egg Embry of EN World, Knights of the Dinner Table, Open Gaming Network, and the Tessera Guild, this book is the culmination of years of their experiences with ROLE-playing over ROLL-playing. Available to backers as a $5 PDF or $12 print zine including the PDF, the campaign offers bonuses like the option to declare your love in the zine, create love-based magic items, or even handwritten poems. The romanticized virtues of chivalry, the mystical nature of enchantment, magic love potions, and the passion of poetry all await you in Love’s Labour’s Liberated:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/737521052/loves-labours-liberated-a-5e-rpg-zine

Love’s Labour’s Liberated for 5e by John McGuire, Leland Beauchamp, and Egg Embry. An RPG zine focusing on romance and love in fantasy is available during Kickstarter’s Zine Quest.

Read John McGuire’s thoughts on  here – http://tesseraguild.com/kickstart-the-game-loves-labours-liberated/

#LoveAtTheGamingTable #D&D #5e #ZineQuest #Kickstarter

 

***

POWERED by the DREAMR is a full Powered by the Apocalypse tabletop roleplaying game in a zine, and it’s live on Kickstarter. In POWERED by the DREAMR, you are a Dreamr who possesses limitless powers within other’s dreams. Until you wake, you travel between the subconscious of sleepers, living out their dreams, searching out their secrets, or battling nightmares. Set in a dream state you and your friends collaborate on, this game maximizes the narrative rules to give each dream a surreal quality. As you navigate an ever-evolving universe of dream logic, your Moves will lead to success, reveal hidden truths, result in laughter, or unleash your character’s nightmares.

Using a variant of the Powered by the Apocalypse phenomenon (originally seen in Apocalypse World as well as Monsterhearts 2, Dungeon World, and more), this game keeps dreams vibrant and varied via random questions that alter the fantasy or reveal a characters personal demons. You decide the dream objectives you must complete before the sleeper wakes. Will you combat a supernatural killer? Steal secrets? Defend the sleeper from dream thieves? Inspire a life altering dream epiphany? Live out your fantasy life? Or something wholly original?

As part of Kickstarter’s February initiative, Zine Quest, this project is the solo debut tabletop roleplaying game by RPG journalist, Egg Embry (Knights of the Dinner Table, EN World, Open Gaming Network, Tessera Guild). Available to backers as a PDF for just $5 or $12 for the print zine and PDF. Making an RPG via Kickstarter is his dream manifest and you can share in that fantasy by checking out the POWERED by the DREAMR Kickstarter at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eggembry/powered-by-the-dreamr-a-pbta-rpg-zinequest

POWERED by the DREAMR by Egg Embry uses a variant of the Powered by the Apocalypse system. A full RPG in a zine that lets you live out other’s dreams or combat nightmares, it’s available through Kickstarter’s Zine Quest.

#WhatsYourDream #PoweredByTheDreamr #PbtA #ZineQuest #Kickstarter

 

***

Kickstarter’s Zine Quest is live in February. This initiative recalls the nostalgia of the early days of RPGs and their zine culture. Focusing on tabletop roleplaying zines, single-color publications printed 5.5” x 8.5” (folded sheets of 8.5” x 11”). These DIY projects focus on everything RPG-related from adventures, maps, monsters to articles, RPG comics, and interviews. So far, the response has been overwhelming with over twenty projects launched and many more to come. They touch on gaming engines like 5e, Powered by the Apocalypse, The Fantasy Trip, original systems, and more. Zine Quest projects are coming from first time creators to established publishers like Steve Jackson Games, and Adventure-A-Week Games. These high-energy, passion projects await you on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/zine-quest?ref=section-homepage-promo-zine-quest

PRESS RELEASE – The space saga Coriolis: Emissary Lost released today – It will change the universe forever

Free League Publishing

The space saga Coriolis: Emissary Lost released today – It will change the universe forever

Free League Publishing –

Mystics are found dead or disappears without a trace. Who is hunting the mystics of Coriolis? And why? When someone close to you disappears, it becomes personal. Can you solve the mystery before it is too late?

Prepare to be thrown into a vast conspiracy that threatens the stability of Coriolis. It is time for you to learn what The Third Horizon really means. Free League Publishing today announced that the epic space saga Coriolis: Emissary Lost has released. The expansion to the multiple award-winning tabletop Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG will change the universe forever.

Watch the Coriolis: Emissary Lost trailer

Read more about Coriolis: Emissary Lost

Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG

“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 – The Third Horizon is a multiple award-winning science fiction role playing game set in a remote cluster of star systems. Crew a space ship and travel the Horizon. Explore the ancient ruins, undertake missions for the powerful factions and partake in the game of political intrigue on Coriolis space station. The Horizon is yours to explore. Whatever your calling is, you will make your own fate.

Coriolis – The Third Horizon was awarded the ENnies Judges’ Spotlight 2017 and is created by Free League Publishing, the makers of critically acclaimed tabletop RPGs Forbidden Lands, Mutant: Year Zero and Tales from the Loop.

Free League Publishing
www.freeleaguepublishing.com

Resource links

Coriolis Emissary Lost trailer   Coriolis Emissary Lost product page

PRESS RELEASE – DRAGONS AND THINGS OFFICIALLY PARTNERS WITH PAIZO

DRAGONS AND THINGS OFFICIALLY PARTNERS WITH PAIZO
REDMOND, WASHINGTON (January 29, 2019): Paizo Inc. has welcomed Two Kings Entertainment LLC into its international fold of licensed partners, where the team will continue to produce epic fantasy tales on their actual play live stream, Dragons and Things, now in its second seasonThey can now expand their schedule with new and innovative content using the Pathfinder and Starfinder roleplaying games.
“We were drawn to Dragons and Things because it embodies the core of what tabletop gaming is all about: good friends, wild stories, and high-fantasy adventure. We look forward to working with them as they bring Pathfinder and Starfinder to life through vibrant characters and officially licensed RPG hijinks,” said Jim Butler, Vice President of Marketing & Licensing at Paizo.
“Jim Rodehaver and I have always loved creating epic fantasy stories both at the tabletop and on the screen. What started years ago with his dad as GM has now grown into a tabletop experience that includes friends and loved ones, and extends to fans across the world every Friday night on Twitch. We’re beyond excited to be partnering with Paizo on the next part of our adventure and very fortunate that they share our love of fun, memorable, and sometimes loud storytelling involving dragons and things. The team is looking forward to making 2019 just the beginning,” said founder and CEO of Two Kings Entertainment, Adam Rady.
 
Dragons and Things isn’t just about rolling dice while the internet watches. The cast chats with the audience live every week. Fans influence the game itself in a dynamic story that leaves even the GM guessing what might happen next. It’s a community experience that keeps old fans coming back and welcomes new fans with open arms.
 
Dragons and Things streams every Friday night at 6 p.m. (PST). Find it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon with the @datdragonshow handle.
About Two Kings Entertainment LLC
Two Kings Entertainment has been streaming live every Friday night since January of 2018 on twitch.tv/datdragonshow with its flagship show, Dragons and Things. It is also responsible for Bedlam and Discord, and is set to release a brand new podcast to Patreon supporters this year. Get access to this exclusive content and more on patreon.com/datdragonshow and stay up to date on all the latest from the Krag Krew @datdragonshow on Twitter and Instagram.
About Paizo Inc.
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 stores, 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 can also find accessories, like dice and maps, miniatures, T-shirts, goblin plush toys, and the newest releases to quickly replenish their adventuring supplies for the next dungeon run.

PRESS RELEASE – NOW YOU GET TO BE THE MONSTER!

NOW YOU GET TO BE THE MONSTER!

After over 25 years of development and play-testing, table-top role playing game Interstellar Mercenary (I.S.M.) is launching its Kickstarter Campaign on 18 February 2019!

With the realism and grittiness of Game of Thrones, unique world and creature design to rival Star Wars or Lord of the Rings and a focus on strategic decision making and tactical combat using the original I.S.M. Combat Simulation system: I.S.M. will suck you in and keep you coming back for more – if you survive.

You are an Interstellar Mercenary (I.S.M.), part of an elite team of hired killers and specialists, on a distant alien planet, in the service of the feudal Kisrian Empire. Ex-serial murderers, thieves, cyborgs, alien-hybrid creations, cyber-terrorists, disgraced royalty and cerebral warriors all have a place on the team, provided the Empire deems your ‘talents’ useful enough. To further complicate matters each mercenary has their own hidden agenda or motivation for joining the I.S.M. which may ultimately bring down the Empire you were enlisted to protect, or your fellow mercenary.

So if you are bored of human(ish) characters and want to be the monster; if you are tired of unrealistic consequences/character traits/enemies; if you want there to be a real and meaningful difference between using low or high guard; or want your decisions to matter while always knowing death is on the doorstep: then I.S.M is for you!

Chad Aston
Writer/producer

Check out the trailer and website here: www.ismrpg.com and Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/ISMGamesMaster/

Combat Quickstart rules and Character Sheets are here: www.ismrpg.com/

PRESS RELEASE – How to Fulfill Your New Year’s Resolutions – Tips from Free League Publishing 2019

Free League Publishing

How to Fulfill Your New Year’s Resolutions – Tips from Free League Publishing 2019

Free League Publishing – Jan 23, 2019 12:40 GMT

To be frank, the new year has been here quite a while already. It’s about time you start thinking about how to fulfill your New Year’s resolutions. Remember when you promised to have more fun in your everyday life and become a more adventurous person? Wait, what do you mean, that you don’t remember? Ok, then let me remind you!

  • You promised, cross your heart, that you would hang out more with your friends, sit down and have a cozy time with drinks and snacks at hand.
  • You promised that you would get a lot more exercise and take long walks in lush forests, so you’d get into good shape for all your future fights with monsters, raiders, mutants, robots and the likes.
  • You promised to try and meet new people, you know, anything from the kids in school to the bearded strangers offering you mead at the inn, say hi to the dwarves in the mountain and grab lunch with the mutants in the Zone and… Well, just be a bit more open-minded to the random encounter.
  • Oh, and you also promised that you would visit new and exciting places, like The Loop below the pastoral countryside of Mälaröarna, take a tour in the post-apocalyptic Ark, travel to the Forbidden Lands that used to be covered by the Blood Mist, travel into space and visit the Coriolis space station, and then go back to the 80’s and 90’s that never was.

So what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t help you fulfill your New Year’s resolutions?
Here is a list of games to help your new life!

Big hug, you can do it! I believe in you.

Cheers,
your friend at Free League Publishing

FREE LEAGUE PUBLISHING – TABLETOP RPGS & BOARD GAMES:
Things from the Flood – Roleplaying in the 90’s that never was (2019)
Crusader Kings the Board Game – A Medieval Soap Opera about War and Marriage (2019)
Forbidden Lands – Roleplaying Rogues & Raiders in a Cursed World (December 2018)
Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was
Coriolis the Third Horizon – Roleplaying in the Darkness Between the Stars
Symbaroum – Roleplaying in a World filled with Dark Adventures
Mutant: Year Zero – Roleplaying at The End of Days

Free League Publishing
www.freeleaguepublishing.com

Free League Publishing

Things from the Flood RPG

THINGS FROM THE FLOOD RPG 

Welcome back to the Loop. Things are different now, Things from the Flood are coming. The sequel to the multiple award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG, based on the wondrous worlds of Simon Stålenhag, will release in 2019.
The Things from the Flood RPG thrusts the Tales universe into a grim alternate 1990s. Step into the shoes of a teenager growing up in a decade of change – and disaster. Still, your life goes on as before. You go to school, fall miserably in love and try to fend of boredom. But when teens start to go missing, you and your friends decide to solve the mystery.

Trailer
Read more and make a late pledge.

Crusader Kings the Board Game

CRUSADER KINGS THE BOARD GAME

In this medieval strategy soap opera, your King or Queen will need to survive invasions, plots, crusades, and even marriage. Or at least have children, siblings or spouses standing by to take over the throne. Failure to raise a suitable heir could face you with the end of your dynasty. Oh dear! All the while experiencing events of the strange and dangerous life of a medieval ruler. Will you create the most powerful dynasty of medieval Europe to triumph – or downfall? Do you have what it takes to become a Crusader King?

Trailer
Read more and make a late pledge.

Forbidden Lands

FORBIDDEN LANDS – ROGUES AND RAIDERS IN A CURSED WORLD

[ One of the best RPGs of 2018 according to Geek & Sundry ]

Are you a brave adventurer that wish to enter Forbidden Lands? Do you long for a magical journey into the unknown? The time has come to make your mark on a cursed world. Wander the wilderness, discover lost tombs, fight horrifying monsters and build your own stronghold to defend. Forbidden Landsis a brand-new take on classic fantasy roleplaying.

Trailer
Read more

Tales from the Loop

TALES FROM THE LOOP – ROLEPLAYING IN THE ’80s THAT NEVER WAS

[ Five-time Gold ENnie-award winner – including Best Game & Product of the Year ]

“RPG Tales from the Loop lets you channel Stranger Things and ET.” – The Verge

“Tales from the Loop could very well be the RPG phenomenon of 2017.” – Geek & Sundry

Step into the amazing world of the Loop and encounter the fantastic machines and strange beasts that have come to haunt the countryside. Escape your everyday problems and solve mysteries, you will become a part of something meaningful and magical – but also dangerous. The award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG is based on the work by acclaimed artist Simon Stålenhag. The retro futuristic art captures the spirit of Swedish 1980s suburbia and have spread like wildfire worldwide with a unique atmosphere that is both instantly recognizable and utterly alien. The art book Tales from the Loop will be a TV-series at Amazon Prime in a near future.

Trailer
Read more

Coriolis The Third Horizon

CORIOLIS – THE THIRD HORIZON

[ Awarded the ENnies Judges’ Spotlight]

“The game’s authors describe it as ‘Arabian Nights in space’ and it fulfills that brief marvelously.” – RPGnet

Do you wish to crew a space ship and travel to the space station Coriolis set in a remote cluster of star systems? You will explore the ancient ruins of the Portal Builders, undertake missions for the powerful factions and partake in the game of political intrigue. Whatever your calling is, together you will make your own fate. In the end you might even discover the truth about the mysterious Emissaries and the threat of the Dark Between the Stars in the sci-fi adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon.

Trailer
Read more

Symbaroum

SYMBAROUM – ROLEPLAYING IN A WONDROUS WORLD FILLED WITH DARK ADVENTURES

[ Best Game nomination at the Origins Awards ]

“Symbaroum excels in every single aspect of game design: the setting, the rules, the layout, the art.” –RPGnet

Explore vast forests in the hunt for treasures, lost wisdoms and fame. Visit the barbarian clans to trade or to plunder their treasuries. Establish a base of power among princes, guilds or rebellious refugees or survive encounters with trolls, dark-minded Blight Beasts and undead warlords. But whatever you do, never ignore the warnings spoken by the wardens of the forest: tread carefully and do not disturb the ruins of old, for the dark deep of Davokar is about to awaken in the dark fantasy game Symbaroum.

Trailer
Read more

Mutant: Year Zero

MUTANT: YEAR ZERO – ROLEPLAYING AT THE END OF DAYS

[ Awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules. Nominated to Six ENnies ]
[ Winner Best Roleplaying Game UK Games Expo ]

“Probably the best post-apocalyptic RPG on the market. Full stop.” – RPGNet

Of course, the world ends. It was always just a question of time. When it’s all over, nature invades the ruined cities and winds sweep through empty streets. Yet life remains. In the Ark, you and the other survivors have found a haven. You are the spawn of humanity, but not human anymore. Your bodies and minds have incredible powers, but you are twisted, mutated freaks. And now the safe days are over. Food is running scarce, and the fight for what’s left is turning violent. It’s time to venture out and explore the Zone. You have no choice. This is the beginning. This is Mutant: Year Zero.

Trailer
Read more

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 upcoming games includes the alternate 90s Things from the Flood RPG, the sequel to the award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG and Crusader Kings the Board Game, a medieval soap opera of war, assassination and marriage.

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 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 latest fantasy RPG is Forbidden Lands, recently named one of the best RPGs of 2018 by Geek & Sundry.

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 – Legacy: Rhapsody of Blood: Choir of Souls releases!

The Castle Invades Again and Again!
Greetings Egg!
We’re pleased to announce the release of a new expansion for the Worlds of Legacy title Rhapsody of Blood.
Written by Maria Rivera, Rhapsody of Blood: Choir of Souls is available in PDF on Modiphius.net and DriveThruRPG.com as part of our Legacy Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition Collection.
Here’s the details on this intriguing new expansion:
The Castle invades time and time again, trying to blight our world. Fight it back with seven new Explorer playbooks for Rhapsody of Blood!
Choir of Souls by Maria Rivera brings you seven new Explorer playbooks to use in Rhapsody of Blood. Bring them into your game to add variety to your game, and explore new ways of fighting back the Regent and their minions!
Also includes printable PDF handouts to use in your game.
Playbooks Included:
  • The Assassin is a killer and a poisoner.
  • The Captain is a supportive leader and combatant.
  • The Joker is a trickster and a jack-of-all-trades.
  • The Knight is an honor-bound warrior.
  • The Mascot is a sapient animal or creature.
  • The Medic is a perceptive healer.
  • The Professor is an inventor and a tinkerer.
This expansion requires Worlds of Legacy: Rhapsody of Blood to play!
We hope you enjoy this latest edition to the Legacy 2nd Edition Collection and look out for more great Legacy releases coming soon!
Best wishes,
Modiphius Entertainment

PRESS RELEASE – Star Trek Adventures will you violate the Prime Directive?

Will you violate the Prime Directive?
Today we’re really pleased to bring you a new Star Trek Adventures adventure, The Gravity of the Crime, by Christopher L Bennett.
The Gravity of the Crime is available in PDF on Modiphius.net and DriveThruRPG.comas part of our Star Trek Collection which also features books, minis and accessories.
Here’s the exciting details on this new adventure set in the TNG era.
Welcome commander… Your orders are go undercover on the pre-contact planet of Kalmur to investigate the accidental death of a Federation observer.
When a Kalmuri experiment into artificial gravity goes wildly wrong, an experimental device explodes crushing everyone within the test lab, including a Starfleet scientist, Lieutenant Li, who had infiltrated the project as an observer.
Sent to investigate this apparently accidental death, your team is confronted by a Kalmuri detective, Lanox, who is convinced the deaths are the result of sabotage.
 Can you solve this classic locked-room murder mystery without violating Starfleet’s Prime Directive?
Set during the TNG era, this adventure also contains advice for adaptation to other eras including The Original Series.
Please note those who pre-ordered the Star Trek Adventures Core Book will receive this free and separately as a reward via DTRPG.com
We hope you enjoy this latest adventure which joins a host of other titles like Ends and Means, Remnants and Call Back Yesterday, to provide some classic encounters for your Star Adventures characters.
Look out for more great Star Trek releases coming soon!
Best wishes,
Modiphius Entertainment

PRESS RELEASE – Help Gen Con Name the New Mascot Dragon!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 28, 2019

Name the New Gen Con Dragon!

Gen Con, the largest and longest-running tabletop convention in North America, is revealing a new mascot for the Gen Con brand. On Monday, January 28 at noon (PST), the Gen Con Twitter account (@gen_con) will start a weeklong contest to name the new dragon mascot, giving away two 4-Day badges for Gen Con 2019 to the lucky winner! Participants can enter by replying to the tweet announcing the contest with their name choice, and the hashtag #gencondragon. The submission with the most likes by noon (PST) on Monday, February 4 will be named the winner (subject to Gen Con approval)!

The dragon is designed by award-winning fantasy illustrator Craig J. Spearing. Spearing has worked with numerous distinguished board game and literary publishers, including Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Arcane Wonders, Fantasy Flight, Penguin Random House and Scholastic.

Link to contest: https://twitter.com/Gen_Con/status/1089984306011811843

PRESS RELEASE – Light-hearted adventures for 5th edition fantasy on Kickstarter

Light-hearted adventures for 5th edition fantasy on Kickstarter

Game designers John Scott and Terry Herc launch their Kickstarter for Professor Humbert Drumsley: 5e Adventure Codex

January 29, 2019​ – Game designers John Scott and Terry Herc have launched their first Kickstarter campaign for Professor Humbert Drumsley: 5e Adventure Codex, a collection of short adventures for the 5th edition of the world’s oldest fantasy roleplaying system.

Since first publishing in 2017, Terry Herc has been producing supplements for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons on the DMs Guild. With a number of best selling products, Terry is bringing this experience to Kickstarter, along with John Scott as co-writer on their new book.

Professor Humbert Drumsley is filled with lore and short side treks, perfect for when characters are between major adventures and need something a bit lighter. Heavily influenced by Rincewind from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and the Ice King in Adventuretime, you’ll find Humbert a humorous addition to any campaign.

“Our playtesters have really enjoyed Humbert,” said John. “They really caught on with the premise of him as a menace to the town. They’re not so much “questing” as they are in “damage control” mode.”

Some of the adventures in the Codex include Magic Items on the Loose, Ogre for Mayor, and Bats, Braziers, and Bugbears. One of the adventures, Oh, I Hate Spiders!, has already been released as a freebie on DriveThruRPG to help promote the campaign.

“We really wanted to get some great art in the book,” said Terry. “That’s why we’re using some amazing pieces by Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games and Jeremy Hart of Jeremy Hart Illos. Not only that, we’ve got Travis Legge of Aegis Studios lined up to do the layout, which is truly fantastic.”

The pledge options on the Kickstarter include the PDF, as well as print-on-demand softcover and hardcover options. There’s also an exclusive signed Collectors Editions, which includes a personalized message and free shipping to anywhere in the world. “We’re really excited to deliver our first printed book to backers,” said Terry. “Using DriveThruRPG’s print-on-demand service will help us get books out to our backers quickly.”

“We’ve got some really great stretch goals planned,” said John. “Not just Funding stretch goals, we’ve also got Social and Backer goals too. We’re also looking forward to engaging with our backers, some of our stretch goals will need their input.”

“We’re very excited to bring this to Kickstarter. With a little help from the roleplaying community, we can bring this book to life. And with some luck, we can smash through our stretch goals and make the finished book even bigger,” added Terry.

Professor Humbert Drumsley: 5e Adventure Codex is accepting pledges on Kickstarter through March 1st.

 

Project link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/terryherc/professor-humbert-drumsley-5e-rpg-adventure-codex

HUMBLE RPG BOOK BUNDLE: NUMENERA BY MONTE COOK GAMES

Monte Cook Games and Humble Bundle are joining forces to bring you nine worlds worth of Numenera, a tabletop roleplaying game of exploration and discovery set a billion years in the future. The game is easy to learn and fun to play with this bundle of digital corebooks, adventures, bestiaries, maps, guides, and more. The multiple award-winning system (Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game; seven ENnie Awards including Gold for Best Setting, Best Writing, and Product of the Year) puts the emphasis on story and is amazingly easy to GM, both in prep and at the table. For $1 to $15, you can pick up a massive collection of the tabletop roleplaying game, Numenera. The Ninth World awaits you! Grab your HUMBLE RPG BOOK BUNDLE: NUMENERA BY MONTE COOK GAMES here before it ends on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 2:00PM EST.

 

For $1, you get the Numenera core rules, bestiary, and more.

For $8, you get the player’s guide, more monsters, more worlds and adventures.

For $15, you get enough Numenera to keep you going for years.

Best of all, a portion of your payment goes to charity so you’re benefiting the publisher and a worthy cause!

Interested in the Numenera bundle? Try it out here.

 

   

PRESS RELEASE – Awaken: The Liborian Saga is live now on Kickstarter!

 

Studio 2 Publishing Inc. and The Games Collective are happy to announce that the new Kickstarter campaign for the dark fantasy tabletop RPG Awaken, The Liborian Saga, is live right now!  

The campaign aims to fund a new expansion book in which players can finally discover more about one of the most mysterious and fascinating part of Salvora, the islands of Liboria. The book will extend the regional lore (providing new informations about the three Great Cities of the region with detailed maps, histories, locations of interest, and story hooks), will add new antagonists, monsters, items and weaponry, will explore the regional Orders and cults, and will add new rules that players can use to build their own Gifts and Superior Gifts. The book will also includes a new playable adventure, “The Death Cycle”. 

People that will support The Liborian Saga through Kickstarter will be able to receive some exclusive goodies, like t-shirts, bookmarks, posters and a special leather dust jacket edition of the book. Reaching specific stretch goals will also guarantee to all the backers a large variety of additional contents, like a 3D map of Salvora, the hardcover upgrade for the book, and new digital sourcebooks. 

You can find more specific informations about all the pledges, the add-ons and the stretch goals directly on the Kickstarter page of The Liborian saga: 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2084336794/awaken-the-liborian-saga 

 

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 – Swallower of Souls and Tears of Ampharool Quickstarts now in print!

We’re really pleased to announce the release of two new Mindjammer Quickstart adventures that are now available in print for the first time, following the recently released PDFs.
In the last centuries of the Fifth Cycliad, a great malaise began to descend on the lands of humankind. The great civilisations of the Earth, which for aeons had seemed on the verge of slumber, now finally began to rot from within. From the edges of the world, the ever-present enemies drew close, their hungry claws poised to tear apart the delicate flesh of a fruit a hundred millennia in the ripening. And all around, a cry arose for Heroes, to stand against the dying of the light, and save the world from the sins of its past.
The Swallower of Souls is the Quickstart Rules and Introductory Adventure for the The Chronicles of Future Earth Kickstarter, is the brand new cosmic fantasy roleplaying game from Mindjammer Press. Set in the far, far future of our planet Earth, it’s a game of sorcery and demons, of fallen civilisations and ancient technologies, of monsters and mysteries and mind-shattering dimensions. This
This Quickstart provides everything you need to play – a modified version of the Fate Core rules, specially tailored for cosmic fantasy roleplaying, six pregenerated characters, and an action-packed adventure in the Eternal City of Kados, spanning one or two sessions of play. We hope you’ll join us and help us produce this brand-new game line!
Some said it was the end of days. Some said it was only the beginning. These adventures tell the history of that time yet to come. These are the Chronicles of Future Earth…
The Desert of Fire, the fearsome Aramla El-Nar, holds many secrets, a fiery waste which has swallowed entire armies and kingdoms whole. When their trade caravan is engulfed by a mysterious sandstorm, your Dragon-Marked heroes receive a call to adventure which may set them on their path to glory. Participate in all the romance, mystery, and adventure of the One Thousand and One Nights, with ancient magics, terrifying foes, and a forgotten betrayal which might change the world…!
 The Capharnaum Quickstart: THE TEARS OF AMPHAROOL is a complete and playable introductory adventure for CAPHARNAUM – THE TALES OF THE DRAGON-MARKED, featuring an abridged set of rules, five pregenerated characters to get to playing right away, and an action-packed scenario spanning one or two sessions of play. Check out the Capharnaum RPG Kickstarter page for much more on this exciting new setting!
We hope you enjoy these latest new Quickstarts from Mindjammer Press and look out for more great releases coming soon!

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

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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 2019-01-30* Help Jeremy Tangman, Get Free Games!

[UPDATED 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM EST]

Jeremy has run into an another roadblock and is requesting additional assistance. He’s asking for $250 by Saturday (2019-02-02) via Paypal (jeremytangman46 [at] gmail [dot] com). As with the Facebook fundraiser, he’s offering products in exchange for the assistance.

Jeremy talks about his latest challenge here:

“After using the current fundraiser amount to get over the hump, the other income source I rely on got delayed by 3 to 4 weeks. It put me in a spot. It is what I would use to pay my cell and car payment for the only car we have left. So now it puts me in a spot. If the cell phones get shut off, my fiancee loses her job because she does uber and Lyft with her car. That creates a larger problem because that is now our sole income. I am applying for other help, but that takes time as well and everything seems immediate. I also have the 5-year-old’s birthday on Feb. 8th. My health falling apart has hurt us. My car has been repossessed and the food is very skimpy in the house. Things were looking up with the fundraiser, and then that stopped, and now there’s an immediate need. It’s like starting over again. I, unfortunately, am going to have to increase the amount needed, but I am also trying to write modules to compensate until I get approved to go back to work. Thanks for anything you do in advance and thanks for all if the wonderful folks that have donated work and countless hours. Each of you are unbelievable.”

 

***

 

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, Modiphius Entertainment, Lee Garvin, Jason Brick, Dark Naga Adventures (an imprint of Fat Goblin Games), Higher Grounds Publishing, Thunderegg Productions, Reign Dragon Press, 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 who does 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 shop it around to several review sites 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.
    2019-01-30 UPDATE: All of Egg’s reviews are booked. At this point, there are still options for Ray Machuga and Sean Hillman to do reviews.

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-24 at 9:30 PM EST]:

  • From Modiphius Entertainment – The home of tabletop storytelling:
    • Achtung! Cthulhu – FATE Guide to the Secret War – Discover the secret history of World War Two: stories of amazing heroism, in which stalwart men and women struggled to overthrow a nightmare alliance of science and the occult; of frightening inhuman conspiracies from the depths of time; of the unbelievable war machines which were the product of Nazi scientific genius – and how close we all came to a slithering end! The Secret War has begun!This edition presents new rules for Fate Core suited to playing in a Cthulhu Mythos setting and in a World War Two setting, including sanity and Mythos magic rules, ways to construct and use Mythos creatures, handling conflicts in a warzone, broadening intellectual skills and using all of them in investigation, and more! Achtung! Cthulhu merges these great flavours together, but the Game Creation chapter in the Keeper’s Guide tells you how to tweak those individual dials for your Fate campaign.
      NOTE: Modiphius Entertainment is providing one PDF copy of this product. It is available on a first come, first serve basis.

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM EST]

  • From Lee Garvin:
    • Tales from the Floating Vagabond – So much adventure, it’s just stupid!
      Tales From The Floating Vagabond is the classic comedy role-playing game that answers the question: What do adventurers do when they’re not adventuring?
      Well, it turns out they drink. A lot. At a bar at the center of the universe, connected to everywhere in the multiverse. For time-traveling, galaxy-spanning, world-hopping fun, The Floating Vagabond is the place.

      • TftFB: Bar Wars
      • TftFB: Bar Wars GM Screen
      • TftFB: Build-a-Brawl sets 1 to 8, Sampler Pack

 

  • From Jason Brick:
    • Random Encounters: Volume 1: 20 Epic Ideas to Try in Your Role-playing Game – The best part of any gaming book is the little ideas. Great NPCs. Intriguing locations. Small, elegant rules. Campaign or adventure ideas. It doesn’t matter which game or genre it’s originally for, we can throw those ideas into any game we want. Random Encounters is a series of gaming books consisting of just the ideas. 20 short essays about cool stuff to try in your games. Character stuff. Monster stuff. Campaign arcs. Adventure ideas. Encounters. Play at table. House rules. All kinds of little ideas for you to read, take, use and alter to make your game all it can be.

 

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:

  • Ley Lines Publishing’s Avenadia (in PDF)
  • Dark Naga Adventures (all in PDF):
  • Thunderegg Productions (all in PDF) [UPDATED 2019-01-11 at 1:15 AM EST]:
  • Reign Dragon Press (all in PDF):
    • Two-page Fantasy Dungeon
    • Two-page Sci-fi Dungeon
  • Modiphius Entertainment (in PDF) [UPDATED 2019-01-24 at 9:30 PM EST]:
    • Achtung! Cthulhu – FATE Guide to the Secret War (limit one. First come, first serve)
  • Lee Garvin (in PDF) [UPDATED 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM EST]
    • Tales from the Floating Vagabond
    • TftFB: Bar Wars
    • TftFB: Bar Wars GM Screen
    • TftFB: Build-a-Brawl sets 1 to 8, Sampler Pack
  • Jason Brick (in PDF) [UPDATED 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM EST]
    • Random Encounters: Volume 1: 20 Epic Ideas to Try in Your Role-playing Game
  • For publishers:
    • A game review from Higher Grounds Publishing’s Ray Machuga (limit one. First come, first serve)
    • A game review from Reign Dragon Press’ Sean Hillman (limit two. First come, first serve)
    • A game review from Tessera Guilder, Egg Embry (limit three. First come, first serve)
      • 2019-01-30 UPDATE: All of Egg’s reviews are booked. At this point, there are still options for Ray Machuga and Sean Hillman to do reviews.

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.

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-24 at 9:30 PM EST]

About Modiphius Entertainment – The home of tabletop storytelling. 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. Modiphius is providing one copy of Achtung! Cthulhu – FATE Guide to the Secret War to help Jeremy out.

Their online store is at: http://www.modiphius.net

 

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/.

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM EST]

About Lee Garvin. Lee Garvin is a 29-year veteran of the RPG trade, having written Tales From The Floating Vagabond when he was barely 21 years old. Since that time, he has written and designed for Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Deadlands, and 7th Sea as well as creating Control: The Game of Absolute Corruption, and Dravakor, the heavy metal fantasy setting for Pathfinder. He has also designed the card game Badass Zombie Killers, and is currently working feverishly on the second edition on Tales From The Floating Vagabond.

 

 

[UPDATED 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM EST]

About Jason Brick. Jason has gamed since 1980 and written professionally since 2007. He lives in Oregon with his wife, son, cats, spinster aunt, and squire.

 

[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]

[Updated to add a link to my article on the Open Gaming Network spotlighting Kevin and Ray’s Kickstarters (here). Updated at 2019-01-21 at 03:40 PM EST]

[Updated to add Modiphius Entertainment’s contribution. Updated at 2019-01-24 at 9:30 PM EST]

[Updated to add Jeremy Tangman’s latest update as well as Lee Garvin and Jason Brick’s offers. Updated 2019-01-30 at 02:30 PM 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