zondag 30 oktober 2011

RPG Goodies October

So it's the end of October. Let's see what's new on the market. Of course I'm not able to highlight every single new item on the RPG market so I'll just concentrate on things that I'm interested in.


CHA0406 - Dead Leaves Fall For children, Halloween brings to mind candy and costumes, wearing a mask and saying the magic words “trick or treat. For some adults Halloween is a time of physical and spiritual transition. The earth is shedding its skin like dead leaves falling, and men reflect in fear on the past gone by. It is a time when the connection between our meaningless existence and the damned is at its closest.

This is an anthology of nine adventures (Fear in a bottle, The Lock-in, The Ilsley Variant, The confessions of St. Augustine, Chapter CCLXVIII, The Great Old Ones on the Great White Way, The Costume Party, Lemuralia, 13 Black Candles, and Dead Leaves Fall) by the winners of the 2011 Chaosium Halloween Adventure contest.

CHA0405 - Colonial Terrors Colonial Terrors is a Call of Cthulhu campaign taking place in New England just prior to the American Revolution. The investigators are patriot smugglers. In this Age of Enlightenment great progress is made in science, politics, and philosophy. Many, but not all, of the shackles of previous eras are shaken free. This is a land where old gods grow new again.
CHA0403 - The Sevenfold Path The Sevenfold Path is a sourcebook and campaign for classic-era Call of Cthulhu. Investigators will travel to 1920s Iceland, be introduced to the legend of Olaf Ulfsson, and investigate the ruins of the abandoned Third Cloister. The encounter rival lodges of the theosophy movemenet in Reykjavik, and get a chance to butt heads with some of the proto-Nazis of the Thule Gesellschaft. It they are not wise and clever, they will be dead or corrupted.
CHA0402pdf - The Gods Hate Me This Cthulhu Invictus supplement offers seven adventures exploring the people and times of ancient Rome — mythic and Mythos-infected by the authors of Chaosium’s first Cthulhu Invictus adventure-writing contest.

Kobold Quarterly

Red Eye of Azathoth pdf Kings die, nations crumble, and madness trails in the fiery wake of a comet called The Red Eye of Azathoth. Do you have what it takes to battle across history against the Mythos horrors that surface under its lurid glow? Take your players to the mad reaches of our past and into epic horror, complete with player handouts, new adversaries, and pregenerated Investigators for each time period. Five linked Call of Cthulhu adventures by Chad Bowser, Tim and Eileen Connors, Andi Newton, Ted Reed, and Michael Furlanetto to make even strong investigators tremble!

Mongoose Publishing

MGP6194 - Designers & Dragons Compiled over many years from hundreds of interviews and research projects, this book is a history of the roleplaying game industry, and forms the most complete record of all the games, companies and talented individuals that have propelled roleplaying games to where they are today.

Rather than being a simple, linear history, this book takes a unique perspective on the roleplaying industry. Reflecting that it is the creation of thousands of talented individuals and scores of talented companies, this book instead devotes individual sections to describing the histories and products of almost 60 different companies that have published roleplaying games from 1974 to the present day. The companies are laid out in a chronology based on when each began publishing in the roleplaying field.

Paizo Publishing

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box is packed with everything you need to get started with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, an imaginative tabletop fantasy adventure game for 2–5 players. Scores of monsters, challenges, and advice give gamers the tools to create their own worlds and adventure, providing countless hours of gaming excitement. With streamlined rules and a focus on action-packed heroic adventure, this deluxe boxed set is the ideal introduction to the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the best starting point for a lifetime of pulse-pounding adventure! It comes with a 64-page Hero’s Handbook, a 96-page Game Master’s Guide, a complete set of 7 high-impact polyhedral dice, more than 80 full-color pawns depicting tons of heroes, monsters, and even a fearsome black dragon, four pregenerated character sheets, four blank character sheets, and a durable, reusable, double-sided Flip-Mat play surface that works with any kind of marker.
Pathfinder Player Companion - Faiths of Corruption Morality is the shield of the weak. Followers of the evil gods know the truth—that the world is a harsh and uncaring place, and that only strength and cunning matter. From the crafty acolytes of the assassin god Norgorber to the howling hordes of Lamashtu the Demon Queen, the servants of dark gods need not fear the night, for they strive to be the most terrifying thing in it. Some may seek to justify their actions, yet others flock to blood-soaked banners with bitter joy, desiring nothing more than the chance to join in the fiery destruction of all things.

Faiths of Corruption presents a player-friendly overview of the evil-aligned religions and faiths of the Pathfinder campaign setting, along with new rules and information to help players customize pious characters in both flavor and mechanics.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting - Lands of the Linnorm Kings In the savage north lies a realm where only those who slay mighty draconic linnorms are fit to rule. Where giants and trolls dwell just beyond the veneer of civilization, lying in wait to attack any who tread too far into the wild. Where the magical influence of the First World of the fey hides just beyond a thin layer of reality. Where barbarians, berserkers, and raiders constitute civilization, and the weak serve the strong. These are the fabled, savage, and noble Lands of the Linnorm Kings.

Lands of the Linnorm Kings presents a comprehensive overview of these mighty kingdoms, a realm of powerful viking kings, capricious fey, and savage beasts.
Pathfinder Adventure Path - Jade Regent 3 : The Hungry Storm Though few would call the Crown of the World hospitable, the PCs have no choice but to brave this icy frontier if they are to get Ameiko to Minkai. As they battle their way past the fell beasts that inhabit the arctic wasteland, the heroes must unravel the mystery of the supernatural blizzards that have been plaguing the polar icecap, ultimately confronting the dark and otherworldly force behind the treacherous gales. Will the adventurers survive the terrors of the Crown of the World long enough to remedy the curse that haunts it? Or will they succumb to the icy wastes, as have so many before them?

Pelgrane Press

PELGT24D - The Apocalypse Machine pdf On November 2nd, 1936, the world died. Humanity perished, women and men died in their millions. Finally, the stars had come right, and the things that had lurked under the seas for eons rose to claim their rightful place. Now, they rule the earth, stalking it like titans. Yet you survived this destruction. Some miracle or design left you alive to watch the destruction of everything humanity built. You are doomed to wander the devastated ruins, discovering what little you can. What went wrong? Are there others like you? How can you stay alive? Can you fight back? And, most importantly of all, is there a way to put this right?

The Apocalypse Machine continues the investigations of Trail of Cthulhu in a post-apocalyptic world. In these pages, you will find instructions on designing your own apocalypse; new Occupations, Skills and Drives, and explanations of how the old ones function in this post-apocalyptic world; and many ways for the Mythos to take over.
PELGT25D - Many Fires pdf Many Fires is a rip-roaring Pulp adventure for Trail of Cthulhu from Jason Morningstar, award-winning author of The Black Drop and creator of Fiasco. Taking place in the hills and valleys of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, it will introduce the Investigators to a surprising cast of characters and strange new weapons to employ in an epic struggle against an implacable and deadly enemy known as Kųų łą́.

Many Fires contains extensive handouts, maps of the region, a treasure trove of fantastic GM advice, and six pre-generated characters, each with a terrifying secret.

Wizards of the Coast

355940000 - The Legend of Drizzt Board Game The adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden, as told in the New York Times best-selling Forgotten Realms novels by R.A. Salvatore, come to life in this thrilling board game. Take on the role of the legendary drow ranger or one of his famous adventuring companions, battle fearsome foes, and win treasure and glory.

Designed for 1–5 players, this board game features multiple scenarios, challenging quests, and cooperative game play. The contents of this game can also be combined with other D&D Adventure System Cooperative Play board games, including Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon, to create an even more exciting experience.

zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

Dissecting Cthulhu

This collection of essays prints many of the seminal essays on the Cthulhu Mythos, ranging from pioneering articles by Richard L. Tierney and Dirk W. Mosig that strip away Derleth’s misconceptions about Lovecraft’s pseudomythology, to penetrating studies by Robert M. Price, Will Murray, Steven J. Mariconda, and others probing key elements of the Mythos—its use of gods, books, and topography; the influences that Lovecraft absorbed in fashioning it; and its wide dissemination by generations of later writers. All told, this book provides an invaluable guide to Lovecraft’s most intriguing but most misunderstood creation.

Pre-order your copy of Dissecting Cthulhu.

The first 50 pre-orders will be signed by S.T. Joshi. I was lucky enough to be one of those 50. Looking forward to this one.

vrijdag 28 oktober 2011

The Tome of Adventure Design

I just pre-ordered this one. So what's this ? A 308 page book of random generation tables. Besides an amazing cover, doesn't sound very exciting does it ? Well it made me want to grab dice and roll an adventure immediately (I have the pdf already). So let's give it a shot :

First table I'm rolling on is to get a cool location name : The Diamond Sanctum of the Loathsome Daughter. Tell me that doesn't sound cool already !

The next tables I'm rolling on should give me an idea of the mission the party is to undertake. The results : An individual mission, to bribe or negotiate with, a kidnapper (accused but innocent). Hmm, ideas already start floating through my brain. Let's what else I can roll up.

The Patron of the mission : a mercenary (leader). His/her motivation : Self-protection from a detective, investigator or one who asks too many questions. Well, that's certainly a twist I didn't expect but that is exactly what all these tables are for. They stimulate creative thinking.

Next up : What might motivate the players and how they learn about the opportunity for adventure. First roll : They receive useful information. Second roll : Friend, relative, or mentor of a character informs party of the opportunity. That sounds a bit standard so I'll have to see how to give that a twist. The fact that they receive useful information also seems to imply that this adventure is not the main thing on their agenda, but could be a search for something else, to which the mercenary leader has information.

Let's head over to the Villains plan : Political Power – the villain seeks to gain direct or indirect political power at some level of government. More detailed tables reveal the following : Political power sought over a Humanoid tribe, the method being Behind the Throne – Military. Villain has enough forces to influence the leader’s policies already, and is directing the organization’s activities behind the scenes to his own advantage. The villain threatens (subtly or not) that if the leader does not accede to the villain’s demands, the villain will use his troops to usurp authority.

Well that certainly took my thoughts into a complete different direction. I was first thinking of the Loathsome daughter being someone who was deformed by some accident and cast out by a superstitious crowd of scared villagers. Now this makes me think the loathsome daughter is actually a half orc. How about the mercenary leader's wife was violated by an orc during the aftermath of an ambush or something. The wife was kidnapped by the orc tribe, the mercenary leader spent years looking for her. Then he finds and rescues his wife and it turns out she had given birth to a half orc child. A stain, the proud mercenary captain would want removed of course. The loathsome daughter however, has a group of orcs under her command these days so the mercenary leader doesn't want a face off on the battle field.

Now how to get the rest of this in ? The motivation of the patron is self-protection. He doesn't want anyone to know his wife has a half-orc offspring walking around. To make things worse, the loathsome daughter is raiding villages using his wife's last name to identify herself and build up a reputation. This has lead some of the mercenary leader's troops to start wondering about the situation and the leader wants these rumors squashed.

Then the kidnapper part. The mercenary leader has devised a plan to get rid of the loathsome daughter. He has arranged for his own son to be kidnapped and is now blaming his wife's half orc offspring for the kidnapping. He wants the adventurers to enter the half orc's lair, an abandonned diamond mine, and to bribe or negotiate the release of his son. He will send along a trusted mercenary captain who will carry along a number of gems as bribe fee. The trusted captain's mission however is to kill the half orc at any cost.

This makes me think about how the characters will react when they don't find the child in the half orc's lair. How about the half orc's mother isn't alive anymore. In fact, when the mercenary leader finally found his wife during a raid on the orc tribe and found out about her half orc offspring, he ordered her killed. And it was the half orc daughter who was actually defending her mother against the mercenaries. The troops were too many to fend off and she had to flee. This could be an explanation on why she would want to take on her mother's name.

On the half orc's person the party will also find a silver medaillon displayed very prominently. The medaillon was given to her by her mother during her stay as the orc tribe's prisoner. It's inscribed on the back with : To my love (insert mother's name), from (insert mercenary captain's name).

It could still be explained as something the half orc had stolen from the mercenary leader's wife. So the character's wouldn't find out that the mercenary leader is actually the villain of the story unless they get a chance to talk to the half orc. The half orc however, being hunted down by the mercenary company for years, and seeing one of their members among the party will respond violently at first.

All this from just a few dicerolls. I love this book ! And just to top it off, let's create a minion to be the half orc's lieutenant or something. An insane (schizophrenic) thug, who's using villain for his own purposes. Well that seems like an interesting character to flesh out. I could head over to the villain tables again for that one. And so on and on.

Now this was created using only Chapter 1 of the book. Chapter 2 is about designing monsters, Chapter 3 is about designing a dungeon, and Chapter 4 talks about non-dungeon adventure design.

Through a glass darkly shipped to warehouse

Just found out that this one was shipped to the various warehouses about a week ago.

From Shane Ivey : "The printer expects to ship the hardcover printing of Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly to our U.S. warehouse on Wednesday, October 19. It will take a few days to reach the warehouse, then another few days to be processed. Then we'll start shipping copies to the U.K. warehouse for overseas orders, to Dennis for autographing copies for our top supporters, and to you. Thanks again for your support of Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly!"

For those wondering what exactly this is, it's a new novel written by Dennis Detwiller, known for his work for Delta Green, Pagan Publishing, and Arcdream Publishing. This novel was started as a kickstarter project in April (not sure whether that was this year or last year).

I pledged to get an autographed copy of the limited edition hardcover and an e-book. There will be 1000 copies of the hardcover printed. Should be arriving from the UK warehouse soon.

woensdag 26 oktober 2011

Sale at Chaosium

Chaosium Sale Banner

And there's more great Cthulhu news. Chaosium is holding a 30% off sale until 3rd of November. Clicking on the banner will get you there.

Bumps in the night

Bumps in the Night was first revealed to the public in February 2009 as Pagan Publishing's next release. Well, everybody who knows Pagan, knows they tend to get creative with release dates. However, everybody who knows Pagan, also knows they deliver quality products time and time again. As you can imagine, I've been looking forward for this one for quite some time now.

Bumps in the Night is a Call of Cthulhu scenario anthology by John H. Crowe III, the man who wrote classics such as Walker in the Wastes and Realm of Shadows.

Pre-order Bumps in the Night here. You can even choose to have the book signed by the author. My pre-order will be signed of course.

maandag 24 oktober 2011

Frog God Games announces Rappan Athuk

Great news today from Bill Webb at Frog God Games who announced a Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry version of his mega-dungeon Rappan Athuk.

Rappan Athuk rose to fame during Bill's days at Necromancer Games, where he published the dungeon first in three separate installments for the D20 ruleset :
  • Rappan Athuk 1 : The Dungeon of Graves
  • Rappan Athuk 2 : The Middle Levels
  • Rappan Athuk 3 : The Lower Levels

Later on the dungeon was reprinted in a 1000 copy limited edition release called Rappan Athuk Reloaded, including the above levels and many new levels and a massive wilderness expansion, written for the 3.5 D20 ruleset.

Read about the great news at Frog God Games

zondag 23 oktober 2011

Spiel Essen 2011 (2)

I returned to Spiel on sunday hoping to get some big discounts on stuff. Unfortunately the booth with the big discounts (80% off on 3.0 and 3.5 stuff with the purchase of 5 or more books) was gone.

So I continued my search elsewhere and here's what I found :
  • D20 MGP4403 The Quintessential Cleric II
  • D20 WW16115 Ptolus - The night of dissolution
  • D&D TSR3123 Birthright Khourane
  • D&D Quest of the ancients - Faerie tales
  • Pathfinder PZO9029 Council of Thieves Adventure Path - Mother of Flies
  • D20 DD27 Legends & Lairs - Seafarer's Handbook
  • D20 DD30 Legends & Lairs - Path of the sword
  • D20 DD46 Legends & Lairs - Wildscape
  • D&D TSR9126 UK6 All that glitters
  • D&D TSR9120 UK4 When a star falls
  • D&D TSR9912 1993 TSR Master catalog - collector's edition
  • D&D TSR9295 Lankhmar - Wonders of Lankhmar
  • D&D TSR9429 Cleric's challenge
  • D&D TSR9296 Legions of Thyatis
  • D&D TSR9032 C1 The hidden shrine of Tamoachan Mono
  • D&D TSR9190 In search of adventure
  • D&D TSR9464 City sites
  • D&D AD&D 2nd edition Preview
  • D&D 8608/0 L1 Begegnung auf dem knochenhügel
  • D&D 8532/1 E6 In den Sümpfen
  • D&D 8531/2 E5 Der Tempel des Todes
  • D&D 8519/8 E2 Burg Bernstein
  • D&D 8527/8 B7 Die endlose Reise zum Berg
  • D&D 8517/0 B5 Der Bund der schwarzen Kapuze
  • D&D 8503/6 B3 Palast der Silberprinzessin
  • D&D 8505/4 BS1 Blizzard Pass
  • D&D 8546/5 O1 Edelstein und Zauberstab
  • D&D 8613/3 M1 Im Mahlstrom
  • D&D 8614/0 M2 Alphaks Rache
  • D&D 8544/7 AS2 Tödlicher Ritt
  • D&D 8545/6 AS3 Verfluchter Säbelfluss
  • D&D 8228/0 AS4 Der Erdzerstörer
  • D&D 8609/9 L2 Auf der spur des attentäters
  • D&D 8611/5 DL1 Drachen der Verzweiflung
  • D&D 8650/0 N1 Gegen den Kult des Reftilien-Gottes
  • D&D 8509/0 E1 Insel der Schrecken
  • D&D Experten-Regeln
  • D&D 8543/8 AS1 Bewährung Für die Kriegsherren

First stop this time was the Fantasy Flight booth to see if they had some other books this time around and they did. I again picked up 3 Legends & Lairs hardcovers for about 6.5 euro each. Then I stumbled upon a booth which had "Discounts" in big letters on a plaque. Sure enough they had some RPG material with 3 euro bins so I picked up a Pathfinder Adventure path module, a Birthright module, a D20 module, and a module I didn't recognize.

The module was called Quest of the Ancients - Faerie Tales and produced by Unicorn Game Publications. A quick search on the collector's forum of Tome of Treasures showed that there's apparently 4 modules of this publisher which were produced at the end of the 80ies, beginning of the 90ies. As if I don't have enough to collect already...

After that I headed over to Malcolm's booth for a chat and some more D&D purchases. One of which is my first ever Mono module. And then there was a booth which had a whole lot of RPG material in German. And sure enough, there they were. 20 German shrinkwrapped D&D modules for a bargain price of 3.5 euro each. I couldn't leave those of course.

That pretty much concluded my purchases at Spiel this year. I considered buying a Larry Elmore print at Larry's booth but that would have driven me beyond my budget so I decided against it. Funny story at Larry's booth : A German fan walks over and asks : Excuse me, are you really Larry Elmore ? The reply : Unfortunately yes.

donderdag 20 oktober 2011

Spiel Essen 2011 (1)

Today I travelled to the Spiel Gamefair in Essen, a place that I visit every year. Every year I get the impression that there's less and less things for me to see there and still I return.

The hall with all the RPG stuff wasn't used fully anymore this year. I heard from some friends that apparently some very big LARP stores didn't have a booth at the fair. The booth of my choosing however is being done by Malcolm from the UK who I know from the Acaeum collector's forum. He's the guy with all the goodies. Or at least one of the only booths left who still has a decent selection of 1st & 2nd edition D&D. And much more of course. Last year I found Pagan's Unspeakable Oath 1 and Stark Raving Mad at his booth. Both were from the personal collection of John Tynes himself and signed.

So what did I pick up this year :
  • CoC 2388 Keeper's Companion Vol 1
  • CoC 3308 HPL Dreamlands
  • CoC 2358 Ye booke of monstres II
  • CoC TOME Pursuit to Kadath
  • CoC 2336 Edition 5.1.2
  • CoC 2318 Statue of the sorcerer/Vanishing Conjurer
  • CoC 2354 Taint of Madness
  • CoC 2308 Trail of Tsathogghua
  • CoC Pagan Unspeakable Oath 13
  • CoC Pagan Unspeakable Oath 14/15
  • CoC 2336 Edition 5.1
  • CoC 23114 Secrets of New Orleans
  • CoC 23116 Arkham Now
  • D20 DD43 Legends & Lairs - Giant Lore
  • D20 DD41 Legends & Lairs - School of Evocation
  • D20 DD38 Legends & Lairs - School of Illusion
  • D20 MN05 Midnight - City of Shadow
  • D20 MN06 Midnight - Sorcery and shadow
  • D20 MN18 Midnight - Honor and shadow
  • D20 MN01 Midnight 1st edition
  • D20 MN11 Midnight 2nd edition
  • D20 MN09 Midnight - Fury of shadow Boxed Set

The Call of Cthulhu stuff up to and including the Unspeakable Oaths I bought at Malcolm's booth with prices ranging from 10-40 euro. The other 3 Call of Cthulhu books I picked up at Brave World Distribution but they didn't have any discounts unfortunately. Then I was informed that Fantasy Flight, who didn't have a booth in the RPG hall, had some cheap RPG stuff as well so I headed over there and indeed (Thanks Michel). I picked up 6 soft cover modules (Midnight + Legends & Lairs D20) for 2 euro each, and the 2 core Midnight setting books and an SW Midnight Boxed Set for 6 euro each.