Pretty Darn Fun (A look at new PDFs)

It is truly amazing the variety and scope that can be found in the PDF market. This week we meander between supplements for player characters, DM resources, setting books, history lessons, old rule sets, adventures and new rule systems. In addition, we run the gamut from science-fiction, near future, a mash-up of western/horror and standard fantasy. Some may say there is a PDF for every rpg occasion and this week comes close to proving that true.

Warhammer 40k
Warhammer 40k Roleplay has been a very popular line for some time now, consistently ranking in the top 5 of sales as per ICv2 since its launch. They are rich games, deep with atmosphere. There are now 4 lines for the product. This month we have two releases for Deathwatch and Rogue Trader. The Outer Reach provides for Deathwatch new enemy organizations and adversaries. The Navis Primer reveals new Trading Houses to be used as antagonists and new character options. Altogether these look like excellent supplements for Warhammer 40k fans.

Gobowins: The World’s Worst Blessing
I have been a fan of John Wick ever since Legend of the Five Rings and 7<sup>th</sup> Sea. He always has interesting mechanics and expansive details. His latest offering is a pathfinder race, the Gobowins. He provides the basic racial rules and then new feats, a new class, a new archetype and more and it’s all sure to be written in his usual in-depth style. Also provided are mechanics for the race’s ability of manipulating luck; these rules could very likely be applied to other races and monsters.

A Treatise on Fantasy Gaming Economics
This short book offers up some new insights into medieval economics, especially the system of barter and trade of services as it pertains to the baseline of economics of the time, the peasants. I have always felt a solid economic system is essential for any long term campaign and this offering looks to provide some new information in this area.

Midgard: A Player’s Guide to the Dragon Empire
Another solid offering from the experts at Kobold Press Open Design. Part of this book is a campaign setting as it gives us the Dragon Empire, a land of dragons, sultans and exotic bazaars. The other part is all about player character options in the form of new archetypes, prestige classes, feats, spells and magic items all with an Arabian Nights feel to them. Put together, you have an excellent book for DMs and players, with a lot to offer for both.

6d6 Free Kickstarter Edition
The 6d6 rule set has been out for some time now and is fairly prolific. They have a large Kickstarter project up right now (it has already funded) and this is a sort of primer for the Kickstarter and 6d6 in general. The 6d6 team has a number of projects for their rule set and this free book gives some previews of those projects. The Kickstarter is for these same projects in a sort of bundle form, so this book also works as a preview for what you will get with that Kickstarter. If you like the 6d6 system or are curious about it, getting this PDF will help you form some opinions on it.

Wandfire University of Wizards
One thing I am always looking for as a DM is special locations can I drop into my setting with ease and completeness. That last part is important to me; completeness. Too often supplements only give an overview of a location or leave parts blank “so you can add your own ideas”. If I wanted to “add my own ideas” I wouldn’t have bought your product in the first place. That said, this product looks perfect; it is 63 pages of a wizard’s university with 6 maps, 29 NPCs and 36 adventure hooks. Sounds fairly complete, which means it will be easy to drop into any setting or adventure. It is statted for Pathfinder but the actual descriptions should work for any system.

Tunnels & Trolls Rules Version 4
Tunnels & Trolls is the second modern rpg created and pioneered the solo adventure crossover with an rpg. Over the years the game has gone through a variety of editions and half-editions and is now up to an 8<sup>th</sup> edition. This particular offering is a scan of the 4<sup>th</sup> edition rulebook from 1977. If you are curious about the game or just want a bit of history, this is a nice option, especially as the PDF price is the same as the print price…from 1977.

Cubicle 7 has been making some waves in the rpg community, especially since their acquisition and development of the Doctor Who license. However, they have had and continue to have a wide assortment of rpgs. This is their latest offering. It is a setting wherein Japan has been closed off from the rest of the world and horror now stalks the land. Have ancient spirits risen again to harm or help humankind? This game appears to have its own rule set and with Cubicle 7’s history of providing solid material this could be an excellent game.

Imagine being a criminal on a prison planet of the future. Imagine having to navigate through that world where brutality and selfishness are the rule and there is no way to avoid it. Imagine doing that with a game system written by the designer of Fiasco, one of the bright spots in the rpg indie field. If you can imagine all that and then want to play that game, then Durance is for you. I’ve always been fascinated by settings that are insular and this one is perfect for that. This product sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

One of the best things about the d20 age (as viewed by some people) is the wide variety of genres, settings and supplements that were released for it. That still continues with every year seeing a plethora of new d20 material being released and the PDF form makes this even easier to do. This particular offering is an intensive look into Hell and its occupants from a player’s point of view. It allows for an exploration of Hell by player characters and options for PCs that are native to the region. If you are running a game with a lot of hellish influences (and let’s face it, extra-planar creatures make for excellent bad-guys) this will be of use to you.
Note that this product is intended for those older than 18 years of age.

Deadlands Reloaded: Blood Drive 3 – Range War
This is the third and final installment for a campaign of adventures for Savage Worlds Deadlands. Deadlands has long been lauded for its unique and intriguing setting and I remember having a lot of fun with the game in its first iteration. The cattle drive is a Western staple and this adventure plays into that trope. If Deadlands is your game (and really, everyone should try it at some point) this looks like an excellent adventure.

Shane’s Delve – OSR/Systemless.
Citadel of Evil – OSR. Level 1-3.
Improbable Tales: Extraordinary Journey – ICONS.
2300AD: French Arm Adventures – Traveller.
Quondam Fount – Generic fantasy. Written by Frank Mentzer.

Spotlight: Most Interesting PDF of the Week

Science Fiction Codex of Lists
I am not usually a fan of random tables of lists. I find their usefulness to be marginal at best. However, this PDF won me over enough to make it the Spotlight of the Week. This product provides 87 lists over 151 pages all with the underlying theme of science fiction. While the product can be used as designed, to supplement your adventures or give a random result to an ongoing adventure, it is so much more than that. With so much information, it can be used for world creation or campaign design as well as sparking adventures. Too often with PDFs they become so minutely focused that they have a very narrow usage. This product gives a wide selection of useful information simply due to its size. In addition, the cost of the product is minor with how much you gain. I see this product being useful for anyone running a sci-fi based game.

This book is designed to make a gamemaster’s job easier when he or she is designing a science fiction roleplaying game campaign. This book includes 87 lists designed for a science fiction setting that will produce a random result by using the appropriate dice roll. These lists vary from the merchandise you might find in an alien trade center to cybernetic enhancements used by a street ninja. These lists will help spark your imagination and add flavor and color to all your science fiction adventures.

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