Sean's Picks of the Week (0115-0119) - Guiding the Players Week
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0115-0119) - Guiding the Players Week

    Welcome to Guiding the Players Week for the Picks this week, dedicated to books designed specifically (or at least primarily) for players to craft their character and enhance their overall play experience with a game or setting. These may or may not have "all-in-one" characteristics that allow for full game play (though if you have at least the rules for combat in the book, you can generally craft or fake the rest). In each case, they are meant to either be the foundation of character creation and advancement, or they greatly enhance that aspect of the game.


    The release of the Thundering Skies Player’s Guide for Shaintar marks the start of what I am calling Guiding the Players Week here at the SPOD. These are books specifically crafted and edited to serve the players of a given game or setting; they cut out all the material that’s meant primarily for GMs and serve to specifically give players what they need to get their characters put together and ready to play. They also provide the kind of world and related information a player should immerse within in order to understand and engage with the game.

    This guide specifically introduces the Thundering Skies Plot Point Campaign into the epic fantasy setting of Shaintar for Savage Worlds fans. This marks the major turning point at which Shaintar becomes enmeshed in the rest of the Suzerain Continuum that Savage Mojo crafted.

    The Tempest is Coming!

    Violent, unexplained storms batter the coast of Shaintar, Smashing into towns with incredible ferocity. It is the start of the Tempest, and there’s nothing natural about the extreme weather descending on the realm.

    Tell the story of heroes battling the greatest of evils in Thundering Skies, the first published campaign setting for Shaintar. The stakes have never been higher – or more dangerous – for the Tempest represents a terrible foe that seems unstoppable. Even Ceynara, the Queen of Hell, casts a wary eye upon the forces of the Tempest.

    Be prepared, for the skies are Thundering!

    In this book, you’ll find plenty of new player options and enough campaign background to create any hero you want in this turbulent time. The Thundering Skies Player’s Guide is an extract of the full Thundering Skies campaign book.

    Writing: Darren Pearce; Rules: Howard Brandon, Brett Smith; Edits: Gayle Reick, Miles Kantir; Art: Alida Saxon, Bien Flores, Carl Holden; Layout: Alida Saxon


    Today’s Guiding the Players Week Pick is a dramatic departure from yesterday’s high fantasy choice. Flowers of Hell is the players guide for those wanting to play demons in the World of Darkness (Demon: the Descent). Like many player-oriented guides, this one dramatically expands the material for character creation found in the core book. In this case, you also need the core Chronicles of Darkness book.

    I want to be human, sometimes.

    I think about what they have and how simple it all must be.

    Even if they aren’t sure of their identities, at least for them the question is multiple choice.

    A human can only be so many different things.

    But to really survive after the Fall, you have to let go of everything, including identity.

    It has to be constantly changing.

    That’s the only way you can stay hidden – never give the Machine something to zero in on.

    -Comrade West

    Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide expands on the material presented in Demon: The Descent, with additional information on the Agendas, the Unchained condition and mindset, and how the reason for the Fall – the catalyst – affects game play and character development. You’ll also find rules for suborning Infrastructure and what kinds of risks and rewards it brings.

    The book also includes a plethora of new Embeds, Exploits, demonic form abilities, and Merits, as well as an entire chapter on Gadgets and how they can make your demon’s Descent easier…or at least, much more interesting.


    As we roll on through Guiding the Players Week, it’s time to see what your Shadowrunners might need to enhance their experience. Oh, look – the Runner’s Companion is exactly what I am talking about! This companion is specifically for the 4th Edition/20th Anniversary fans, but there are similar books for fans of every iteration. More player options, more lifestyle ideas, more everything to expand your character-building and character-enhancement options. That’s what players love!


    Life in the shadows has never been as dangerous, and runners need every edge they can get. Runner’s Companion opens up a world of expanded options for Shadowrun players with dozens of New Qualities, Advanced Contact and Lifestyle Rules, and handy tips on running, travelling and smuggling, and operating in a surveillance society.

    This core book for Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition also introduces Metavariants, Changelings, and the Infected as player character options, and expands the scope of the game to include unique non-metahuman characters such as Shapeshifters, Free Spirits, and a new generation of AIs among others.


    One of the most popular Lovecraftian-themed settings has one of the most popular player-facing guides there is, which is the focus of today’s entry in our Guiding the Players Week. The Delta Green: Agent’s Handbook does all the things you might hope for in such a guide – guide you in making the character you want; teach you about the setting and your likely place in it; explain to you how key rules and systems work so you can get the most out of the experience.

    At the same time, it does all this with the clean, sharp, evocative award-winning writing that the Delta Green line has always been known for.

    Silver Ennie Award winner for Best Supplement, 2016.


    Born of the U.S. government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green spent four decades opposing the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Stripped of sanction after a disastrous 1969 operation in Cambodia, Delta Green’s leaders made a secret pact: to continue their work without authority, without support, and without fear. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day—but often at a shattering personal cost.

    In Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, you are one of those agents. You’re the one they call when unnatural horrors seep into the world. You fight to keep cosmic evil from claiming human lives and sanity. You conspire to cover it all up so no one else must see what you’ve seen—or learn the terrible truths you’ve discovered.

    The AGENT’S HANDBOOK is a players-only rulebook for Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game. This new incarnation of the award-winning DELTA GREEN game line includes:

    • Rules for creating agents of all types.
    • Rules for tense, fluid investigations. Players who use their agents’ skills in clever ways have the best chance to succeed — and survive.
    • Nerve-wracking rules for combat, where random disasters can undo the most careful planning.
    • Mind-melting Sanity rules that see agents gradually deteriorate — and sometimes snap.
    • Rules for “home” scenes where players see what their agents are fighting for.
    • Quick, intuitive rules to determine equipment and assets.
    • Dossiers on the federal agencies most likely to be featured in play.

    Further terrors can be found in the forthcoming core rulebook of Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, which will include everything from the AGENT’S HANDBOOK and massive resources just for the Handler.


    We started with fantasy, and we will end with fantasy as we close out Guiding the Players Week. As OSR (Old School Revolution) games go, Castles & Crusades is one of the early front-runners and remains a highly popular iteration. The Troll Lord gang (seriously nice bunch of people!) have hit their 7th Printing of the game, with all the fine-tuning that comes with it. This is one of those “all you need to play” players guides, with the necessary focus on character creation and player experience to qualify it for the theme this week.

    Castles & Crusades Players Handbook, 7th Printing

    We’ve moved to the 7th printing of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook. A pillar of the table top RPG industry, Castles & Crusades embodies the spirit of the old-school gamer with the easy to use modern mechanics. The Players Handbook has all you need to get started in a wild ride of adventure!

    It’s easy to learn attribute-based rules system allows players to choose among 13 archetypal character classes and 7 races to create their characters. Spells, equipment, fast-paced combat rules, and all essential information needed to play a game of Castles & Crusades is in this book.

    Dice and Monsters & Treasure sold separately.


    It's a very odd weekend for me. Zero gaming planned. I honestly don't know how that happened, but in this case, I kind of need to roll with it. I have so very much Freedom Squadron stuff to get done, both for the Kickstarter and for our Big Epic Game presence at the upcoming Genghis Con. There's also all the stuff we are putting together for the Global Operations Force (sort of a fan club/cosplay group/semi-organized play enterprise for Freedom Squadron).

    What's your weekend look like? I hope you have some good gaming and good times ahead!

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ddaley's Avatar
      ddaley -
      I am looking forward to trying out Castles & Crusades. I have built up a library of material. Have been waiting for the Adventurer's Backpack to be released!
    Comments Leave Comment