Friday, February 1, 2013

The Friday Roundup (020113)

Well, I've not done a lot of other blogging (unless you count the frequent posts and teasers here and here), but at least I am keeping this up...

ACKS Player's Companion

The Player’s Companion is the first expansion for the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ (ACKS) and an invaluable resource for players and Judges of the original fantasy role-playing game and its retro-clones. With this book you can do the following:

Expand your campaigns with 19 new character classes, including the anti-paladin, barbarian, dwarven delver, dwarven fury, dwarven machinist, elven courtier, elven enchanter, elven ranger, gnomish trickster, mystic, Nobiran wonderworker, paladin, priestess, shaman, Thrassian gladiator, venturer, warlock, witch, and Zaharan ruinguard.

Quickly create vivid characters using 248 templates featuring pre-selected prociencies, spells, and equipment options. Eight archetypes are presented for every class in the ACKS core rules and the Player’s Companion; customize your barbarian to be a Berserker or a Sea Rover, or let the dice choose!

Make your own character classes using a balanced point-based system 100% compatible with every class in the ACKS core rules and the Player’s Companion. Achieve your own perfect blend of fighting, thievery, divine grace, and magical power!

Bring wonder to your game world with a dynamic spell system. Invent your own new spells during play with advanced magic research rules that allow your characters to experiment, make breakthroughs, and suffer side effects. Comprehensive guidelines let Judges determine what level a proposed spell will be and gauge its balance with all existing spells.

Expand the options available to new characters as well as old with new equipment and proficiencies.

The Player’s Companion allows you to customize your fantasy game to an unparalleled degree. Open up the hood of the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ and gain new insights into the foundations of the fantasy RPG!

Call to Arms: Crusader

The Crusader is an anointed warrior who’s taken up a sacred quest in service to his beliefs. Like a Priest the Crusader is empowered by the divine, but where the Priest works miracles by channeling divine power the Crusader enacts the will of the gods through force and conquest. Whether a shining knight battling for all that is good and just, a killer in service of malevolent forces, or something in-between, the Crusader is always a force to be reckoned with — and woe be to those who stand in his way.

Depending on the campaign, a Crusader could be...

  • A holy knight, dispatched to conquer far off lands
  • An idealistic warrior fulfilling a vision-quest to prove his worth
  • A vigilant witch-hunter tracking down horrors from beyond our world
  • A true believer whose unwavering faith grants extraordinary abilities
  • A sanctified harrier hunting down apostates in the name of the Church
  • A vicious zealot committed to spreading his beliefs by fire and sword
This base class expansion also includes 2 new Basic Combat feat chains for locking foes in one-on-one standoffs and making the most of your ritual weapon, as well as a new Spellcasting feat letting you walk Paths outside your Alignment and a Style feat granting you an extra Edge against opponents with opposing Alignments.

Blue Planet Game Master's Guide (Revised Edition)

Welcome to Poseidon, 2199 AD

Prepare for a compelling journey into humanity’s future on a distant planet, where life is hard and dying is easy. A world where GEO Marshals enforce the peace and wired mercs patrol deep waters in deadly fighter subs. A place where corporate greed and human desperation ravage an alien ecology, threatening to plunge humanity into a war of survival with an ancient legacy.

Welcome to the world of Blue Planet.

Whether you are new to the Blue Planet universe or a veteran Game Master, this book contains information vital to running exciting and effective adventures on the new frontier.

• Regional maps and descriptions detailing the topography and history of the most heavily-colonized region on Poseidon—the Pacifica Archipelago

• Key maps and detailed descriptions of more than twenty Colonial, Incorporate, and Native settlements

• Information on how to quickly create GM Characters to challenge players

• Dossiers on more than a dozen of the planet’s most famous and infamous personalities

• Biological survey data on the planet’s wondrous, but often-deadly, indigenous lifeforms

• Revealing biological and cultural information on Poseidon’s aborigines

The Revised Edition of Blue Planet™ supersedes the BPv2 (second) edition, previously published by Biohazard Games and Fantasy Flight Games. The Blue Planet Game Master's Guide™ combines and updates the content previously published in the BPv2 Moderator's Guide rulebook and Natural Selection sourcebook.

This core rulebook is for Game Masters. For a complete Poseidon game experience, the GM will require a copy of the Blue Planet Player's Guide.

Deities & Demigods (1e)

Deities & Demigods (1980) was the fourth hardcover release for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and the final book that Gary Gygax conceived of when he originally laid out the plans for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line in The Dragon #14 (May 1978).

The AD&D Line. Deities & Demigods followed the Monster Manual (1977), the Player's Handbook (1978), and the Dungeon Master's Guide (1979). Whereas Gygax called the previous three books "the main parts," he acknowledged that Deities was a "supplement." It was released around August 15, 1980, which means that many gamers would have seen it for the first time at GenCon XIII (August 21-24, 1980).

Despite being "just" a supplement, Gygax saw Deities & Demigods as integral to the AD&D line. This was because he thought that GMs were alternately either neglecting deities (by never mentioning them) or abusing them (by bringing them constantly on stage). He wanted to offer a middle-ground where deities could take their proper spot in D&D campaigns as the patrons of clerics and as the exemplars of alignment.

Sadly, despite Gygax's original intent, Deities & Demigods was very much a list of deities that could be killed - especially after the release a few months later of Q1: "Queen of the Demonweb Pit" (1980), in which the players (probably) killed the goddess Lolth. It wasn't until the second edition of AD&D that the focus on deities turned toward their religions rather than their stats.

A Second-Generation Book. Of all the AD&D hardcovers, Deities & Demigods was the only one that purposefully and directly revamped material from the Original Dungeons & Dragons (OD&D) game - more specifically from Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976).

About the Creators. Deities & Demigods was officially written "by James M. Ward with Robert J. Kuntz." This reflects the credits for Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, which was bylined "Kuntz & Ward." Kuntz had actually left TSR some years previous, in early 1977, because he wasn't getting to do sufficient creative work, so Ward did all of the writing for the new edition - as is reflected in the ranked credits. James Ward, meanwhile, started work in the Sales Department of TSR shortly after submitting Deities & Demigods to them. Though he wouldn't be writing D&D books in his day job, Gygax noted, "there are evenings and weekends to write new material and design modules." As it happens, Ward's RPG writing went largely on hiatus after he joined TSR, until various gamebooks got him back into writing around 1983.

Matt Forbeck's Brave New World: Revolution

Ask Not What Your Country Could Do For you. Ask What It Could Do To You.

John Cruise — better known as the superpowered delta Patriot — only wanted to serve his country, which has suffered under martial law since the assassination of the First Lady back in 1963. For years, he did so as a member of Delta Prime, the federal paramilitary organization dedicated to keeping deltas and the rest of the population in line. Then, during the Bicentennial Battle, Chicago disappeared in a blinding flash of light, taking the world’s most powerful deltas with it, along with Patriot’s wife.

Today, in 1999, Patriot leads a group of rebel deltas known as the Defiance, all of whom are on the run from Delta Prime. He hopes to find a way to break scores of their imprisoned friends out of New Alcatraz, the only place on the planet strong enough to hold them all. But then, while rescuing college student Lisa Stanski from a pack of Primers, the unthinkable happens.

Patriot gets caught.

Now it’s up to the rest of the Defiance, including Lisa, to figure out how to break Patriot out of New Alcatraz before his old pal Ragnarok, now the leader of Delta Prime, has him executed without trial, under the direct orders of President John F. Kennedy himself.

This is Book One in the Matt Forbeck’s Brave New World Trilogy.

(Note that this is specifically mentioned due to the sale on the Trilogy's hardcover options.)

And that's it for this week, friends! I'm running two Shaintar games this weekend, and getting to play in a third. Lee and I will probably also be talking quite a bit about this Shaintar deck-builder game we're developing; more on that later.

I hope you all get to roll dice this weekend. Have fun!


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