Sean's Picks of the Week (0111-0115) - Shadowrun Riggers, Demon Lord Tombs,
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0111-0115) - Shadowrun Riggers, Demon Lord Tombs, The DM Guild Launches, and More!


    This was a huge week for D&D fans (especially those who fancy the 5th Edition), and especially for anyone who has a desire to create and share 5e-driven content, whether as a fan, would-be new publisher, or an established house. The Dungeon Masters Guild - a joint venture between Wizards of the Coast and DriveThruRPG - not only provides a venue for official 5e material to come out digitally from WotC, it sets up a solid mechanism for anyone to create and share 5e material with the world. The current focus is on the Forgotten Realms, but there's little doubt other settings will eventually make their appearance (and availability for creation) on the site down the road. Parallel to this is the release of the long-awaited new OGL terms and System Reference Document for full-scale publishing operations. Understandably, there are a lot of questions about how it all works. If you're serious about doing something, do yourself a favor and read this page, top to bottom, carefully.


    Eclipse Phase: After the Fall

    Last week, I Picked the core Eclipse Phase book, as it was on sale and it’s an important part of the posthumanism genre of gaming.

    And now, there’s a fantastic collection of fiction from the same folks. To get a feel for the genre in general, and for their setting in particular, I invite you take a journey to a possible – and dangerous, thrilling – future.

    In a world of transhuman survival and horror, technology allows the re-shaping of bodies and minds, but also creates opportunities for oppression and puts the capability for mass destruction in the hands of everyone. Other threats lurk in the devastated habitats of the Fall, dangers both familiar and alien.

    After the Fall is the first anthology from Posthuman Studios, set in the world of Eclipse Phase, their award-winning roleplaying game. The anthology will be a mix of old and new fiction, including stories by Eclipse Phase favorites—Nathaniel Dean, Jack Graham, Steve Mohan, and Rob Boyle and Davidson Cole. New fiction will feature science fiction rising stars Ken Liu, Madeline Ashby, Fran Wilde, Karin Lowachee, Wesley Schneider, and Andrew Penn Romine.



    Background & Details Kit 2: Fantasy Edition

    “OK, so let’s try a new game this weekend. I’m going to run…”

    “New character time! So, um… she’s going to be like… er… well, maybe I could try a character like… oh, crap, I dunno!”

    We’ve all been there, probably more than once. Just not sure what the nature of our character is going to be. Sure, we can knock out our stats and special abilities and gear in no time, but – who is this person? What’s her story? What are her quirks? What am I going to do to make her distinct and interesting?

    As with so many other elements of gaming, Ennead Games has you covered with scads of useful details and inspiration.

    In 2012, the original Backgrounds and Details Kit from Ennead Games was released. Now, several years later, it has been remade, with more options and the original set of details expanded on and improved. Combining this publication with content from others that have been made over the years and new features added the BDK 2 was made. Designed for both players who want to flesh out their character and GMs that wish to make an NPC that little bit more believable.

    This publication is divided into multiple parts; quick, detailed and life events.

    The quick section is for when you want just the basics. It covers the characters age range, their gender, species, profession and personality – Make an NPC with only a few rolls.

    Detailed is when you want more details for your characters or NPCs or to help flesh out an existing characters background. You may need a flaw, a secret or just can’t decide what colour the characters hair is. You probably won’t be using all these details on one character at once. This section gives you hair style, skin, friends & family, fears/phobias, motivations and much more.

    Life events cover major events in the characters life, from birth, through adulthood and method of death, if needed.

    When using theses tables, especially the detailed background ones, you may get what appears to be conflicting results. But don’t despair or re-roll these results as some of the most interesting characters can come from what appears to be conflicting information.

    Inside you find tables for…

    • Character hometown details
    • Eyes details and other facial features
    • Parents details
    • Phobias and how character reacts to their phobia
    • Professions
    • Skin type/condition
    • Species
    • Typical clothing
    • Voice style and type
    • and many more!




    Rigger 5.0

    Riggers get some major love with this one. You will doubtlessly find yourself saying “I feel the need. The need for speed!” If you don’t get that reference, you’re very young. 😉

    PREMIUM RUSH

    Spin your wheels over slick sprawl streets while drifting away from hot pursuit. Fly through narrow canyons ahead of missiles twisting their way after you. Shrink down to insect size to get an eye on places outsiders aren’t supposed to see. These are just some of the ways riggers jack up their seemingly unending adrenaline rush, as they show that the hardest shadowrunners to hit are the ones that stay in motion.

    Rigger 5.0 is the ultimate hot-rod, jet plane, speedboat, and more companion for Shadowrun. With dozens of new vehicles and drones, more detailed rules for vehicle chase and combat, and customization rules, this is a book that every rigger needs to get ahead of the competition and stay there. Get the feel of laying down hot rubber in the cold shadows of the Sixth World and a taste for speed, danger, and a good, clean getaway.

    Rigger 5.0 is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition



    Tombs of the Desolation

    With the news of the day (for future readers, this is the day we learned of Alan Rickman’s passing), desolation is an appropriate word. This is a powerful new entry into the product line for Shadow of the Demon Lord, featuring new options and information for GMs and players alike.

    THE DREAD OF THIS DESOLATION

    The Desolation stretches beyond the Northern Reach, a blighted place, poisoned by dark magic and infested with undead. Fools and heroes alike test their mettle against the dangers this land poses, forcing them to contend with blood-thirsty vampires or dust storms of apocalyptic proportions. This sourcebook reveals one of the most dangerous places in the lands of Rűl, providing new options for players and Game Masters alike, such as:

    • Revenant, Salamander, and Vampire ancestries
    • New paths including the Prince of Darkness and Slayer of the Dead
    • The Blood tradition and new spells for existing traditions
    • Details about the Desolation and surrounding lands
    • New relics and creatures like the Cauldron of Death and the Desiccated One
    • A new adventure!


    Tombs of the Desolation reveals more details about the world of the Demon Lord, giving you all the tools you need to tell stories set in a desert wasteland!



    Gunslinger Martial Archetype

    Barely days in, and there’s already some really interesting stuff popping up on the new Dungeon Masters Guild site, your only official site for D&D 5e digital content. To clarify, yes, it’s part of the DriveThruRPG network; your same login that works for DTRPG works also for DMG. If you want a full description and explanation of what the Dungeon Master’s Guild is and how it works (including how you can participate by creating and posting your own content), check out this very useful “What is the Dungeon Master’s Guild?” page.

    Today’s Pick – the Gunslinger Martial Archetype for Fighters – is a fine example of exactly what is possible for anyone with a desire to create and share their 5th Edition ideas. This one is from Matthew Mercer, with fantastic art by Nick Robles. Pretty fair example of just how to do this.

    Most warriors and combat specialists spend their years perfecting the classic arts of swordplay, archery, or polearm tactics. Whether duelist or infantry, martial weapons were seemingly perfected long ago, and the true challenge is to master them.

    However, some minds couldn’t stop with the innovation of the crossbow. Experimentation with alchemical components and rare metals have unlocked the secrets of controlled explosive force. The few who survive these trivals of ingenuity may become the first to create, and deftly wield, the first firearms.

    This archetype focuses on the ability to design, craft, and utilize powerful, yet dangerous ranged weapons. Through creative innovation and immaculate aim, you become a distant force of death on the battlefield.

    Inspired by converting from the Pathfinder class, retooled and altered for 5e and making it more my own, I hope you enjoy.

    ~~~~~

    And there we have it, folks - the launch of the Dungeon Masters Guild is already having a huge impact (as can be seen from the delays and heavy server loads at the both the DriveThru sites and the site in question). I can tell you that Evil Beagle Games (yes, I know, we really need to update our site) is one of the many, many publishers that are champing at the bit to start making some 5e material (and some, anticipating this for many weeks now, are already firing stuff down the chute).

    As many of you know from following me on Facebook or G+, I am about to go under the knife next week for bariatric surgery. Specifically, the surgery is on Tuesday. To be completely honest, I don't know if I will be able to do any Picks during the week. I may try to front-load my Picks, like I did not too long ago, on Monday. That all depends on whether I have any brain to spend, since that day is a liquids-only diet.

    For those of you who've been interested in my professional wrestling pursuits, I'd like to ask you a huge favor. Please check out either this G+ or this Facebook post, and if you are so inclined, help us out by watching one or more of the videos and leaving a comment, using the #TheInterestedParties hashtag to show them we're bringing viewers. Thank you, and as always...

    The Adventure Continues!

    ~SPF (AKA "Big Irish" of #TheInterestedParties)
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    Comments 4 Comments
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Good luck with your surgery - I hope you have a speedy recovery and thank you for the picks!
    1. Uder -
      Rigger 5, just in time for Shadowrun 6!

      Joking aside, they need to rebuild SR from the ground up. It's just terribly unfun to run as a GM.
    1. Desh-Rae-Halra's Avatar
      Desh-Rae-Halra -
      Got you covered SPF....would love to see you get to nut shot someone with the cane while the ref's back is turned
      Hope the surgery goes well and just take it a day at a time!
    1. Dahak's Avatar
      Dahak -
      Speedy recovery, "Big Irish"! We got your back on YouTube!
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