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Pretty Darn Fun (A look at new PDFs)

With the shutdown and phoenix-like rebirth of EN World we were unable to post last week's Pretty Darn Fun. However, that does not mean the info was lost forever. No, this week we have a double size helping of PDFs from the past two weeks to take a look at! Also, with the holiday season upon us, we can expect to see a bunch of sales featuring PDFs. In particular, there will be more bundles...

With the shutdown and phoenix-like rebirth of EN World we were unable to post last week's Pretty Darn Fun. However, that does not mean the info was lost forever. No, this week we have a double size helping of PDFs from the past two weeks to take a look at!

Also, with the holiday season upon us, we can expect to see a bunch of sales featuring PDFs. In particular, there will be more bundles made available as publishers put some of their older material together into easy to purchase sets. This week we’ll be taking a look at several. Bundles are often an excellent way to grab a bunch of good material for a much cheaper price. When checking out a bundle make sure you click on the links to the individual products, as they sometimes provide more information on the product than the bundle listing will have room for.

Samurai of Legend
Mongoose Publishing is one of the more prolific game publishers. Recently they released their own version of Runequest, Legend. This is one of the first PDF source books for their system and it deals with the ancient Japanese culture, one of the more popular genres. It purports to mix the mythological with a good dose of reality. In addition, they have released a free 18 page adventure for the setting, Beneath an Opal Moon.

First Fable
This is another rpg for parents to teach their kids about role-playing games. Apparently this was an ongoing project created to fill a need, but since the initial concepts were started a few other games have since come out for kids and rpgs. However, they still wanted to release this game to the public. And the release is all inclusive; the game is free and created under Creative Commons, which means others can add to it without seeking a license. If you are looking for a product for your kids this bundle pack (it comes with the rules and character booklets) may be perfect for you.

Chaos 6010 A.D. Fully Loaded
This sci-fi bundle gives the complete Chaos 6010 rpg game. It is a gritty sci-fi street punk game but set up with a space empire setting. It also is intended for a mature audience. The Core Rulebook includes 20, alien races, 20 classes and 100 character levels with lots of customization. This particular bundle includes an armory/item book, 3 booklets of adventure hooks, a complete 138 page adventure and custom character booklets. The game comes across as having a lot of attitude; will it live up to the hype?

Worlds of Wordplay
A Narrative rpg, this rule system offers a simple but efficient rule set for running any sort of genre, and they prove it by providing 5 different campaign settings in the initial rule book. The system seems to build on descriptive terms for game play while building up your die pool. I’ll be honest and say this book is fairly vague as to what it can provide and yet, I am intrigued. It looks as if it takes some different approaches while still trying to maintain easy of play; a plus from my outlook.

Age of Cthulhu 7: Timeless Sands of India
This is one of those books that makes me wonder why no one has done it before. Call of Cthulhu has mined the 20s for some of their best adventures and stories. The time period is perfect for the genre with its semi-modern conventions but without all the powerful technology of today. And India is a region rife with mysteries, ancient beings and bloodthirsty cults. This product mixes the two together and is a perfect match. I can’t think of a better way to expand your Call of Cthulhu game.

ZEITGEIST #5: Cauldron-Born
This publication by EN Publishing (the same people that run this site) is part of a Pathfinder series of adventurers spanning from levels 1-30. If you haven’t been keeping up with it now you can get the PDF version, assuming you aren’t getting it for free with your subscription to this site. Either way, EN Publishing has shown a consistent level of quality and quantity (this adventure clocks in at 93 pages). Even if you aren’t planning on running the complete series, there are a lot of good ideas and encounters that can be mined form this product.

Law & Order
This Pathfinder supplement offers up some new material for those campaigns that focus on the concepts of the law in their setting. The law, and those who seek to circumvent it, has long been a fertile ground for adventure and this book brings more to the table. Offering some new classes, this book will add a bit more for a DM or player to use.

Post-Apocalyptic Blues

50 years after the end of WWIII, New Orleans looks to rebuild while struggling with forces inside and out that seek to exploit the community before it can grow strong once again. This d20 book offers a unique setting and campaign for play. It also gives nine custom classes for the setting, as well as feats, magic, and equipment designed for the game. If d20 is your preferred system, but you are looking to branch out from standard fantasy, this might be just what you are looking for. Note that the GM edition also provides 4 PDFs of the Player’s Guide, perfect for a gaming group. Of course, you can purchase the Player’s Guide separately as well.

Spectrum Games
This publishing company has a couple of expansive bundles coming out this past week. First is Slasher Flick, a rpg which is all about running an rpg in the slasher movie genre. It comes with the core rules, 3 adventures and 2 setting locations. Their second bundle is Macabre Tales, a rpg based on the works of Lovecraft exclusively. This one comes with the core rule set and 3 adventures. If you like these genres then these could be a good value for you.

Courts of the Shadow Fey
While this column is a look at interesting PDFs and not a review of those PDFs, I actually own the print 4E version of this book. This is the PDF Pathfinder release for levels 12-15. The writing and artwork is the usual top notch work we’ve seen from the Open Design of Kobold Press. I really liked this book because it gave some excellent insights into interacting with the Fey while still providing an exciting and engaging adventure. This adventure has it all; combat, role-playing, and intrigue. The Pathfinder version will be the same fun but for those who prefer that system.

OCS Tome of Terrors
As a DM I am always looking for new monsters to throw at my players. To me, monsters are a resource I can never have enough of. This 276 page book provides over 100 new monsters and templates for the d20 system. While the book in designed for the publisher’s own world setting of Outcastia, monsters are one of those things that easily transport into other settings.

Dungeon Map Greeting Cards
I am always on the lookout for geeky rpg ideas and with the holidays upcoming someone has created rpg greeting cards. I like the novel idea but am curious how they look. They mention 4 unique dungeon maps but beyond that not much is mentioned.

Fantastic Realms: Draw Fantasy Characters, Creatures and Settings
In another atypical offering, we have a book that offers to show you how to draw things for your rpg campaign. If it does what it promises to, players will be able to draw their characters. DMs will be able to draw the NPCs, monsters and places of their world. Drawings are excellent ways to help visualize an adventure and if this book can help an amateur to do that this book will be invaluable.

Kingdom of Melderyn
Harn is well known as providing superb location material; castles, keeps, towns, etc. Here is a 70 page book focused on a kingdom and its environs. It contains several locations, along with background material on the region. Even if you don’t play Harn the material and maps would easily fit into any other campaign. The only drawback with the product is its unusually high price tag.

Conspiracy Rules!
This game originally came out in 1991 from GDW. I remember buying one of their adventure supplements, Heart of Darkness, and converting it for my Shadowrun campaign. It did an excellent job of creating an appropriate ambience, while still making it fun. This is the latest and updated rules for the game. It is still based on the Traveller rules, but now uses a more current edition. The best part is that some of the original authors have produced this book including Lester Smith and Marc Miller. If you like creepy urban horror this is something you might want to take a look at.

Spellcraft & Swordplay
Over the last few years there have been quite a few retroclones released for the Old School crowd. This bundle is another one. Loosely based on 1E it purports to add some character customization while still adhering to the principles of the OSR movement. If you have an interest in such rpgs this would be a good one to check it out. This bundle includes the Core Rulebook and Monstrous Mayhem, a supplement full of more character and rule additions.

Oubliette is a new storytelling rpg set in Castle Oubliette, a place where all the lost stories of medieval times still exist, hidden away within its labyrinth world. This sort of setting, where fantasy and myth is real, has always intrigued me. I would get this for the setting alone, irregardless of whatever new system it is using. I can easily see this working with the Changeling rules or, really, any rule set.

Itras By
Every once in a while we get an rpg that seeks to push the boundaries of gameplay. Vagrant Workshop, a German company, has released this English language version of their surreal rpg game. I’ll be honest and say that the description of the game was hard to keep up with. However, it does look like an interesting game worthy of talking a closer look at.

With a name like that how can you go wrong?! It practically screams to be bought (btw the all-caps was them, not me). Actually, this game for True20 (a variant of d20) actually looks pretty good. It has pirates and imperial sorcerers and prehistoric jungles and lost ruins and a lot of adventure. Sounds like a great setting for fun.


Dungeon World Adventures
– Dungeon World. A bundle of 2 adventures.
B9: Curse of the Full Moon – Pathfinder. Level 4-5.
A0: Crow’s Rest Island – Pathfinder. Level 1.
Frampton’s Folly – Pathfinder. Level 5.
The Graverobber’s Larder – Pathfinder. Level 2.
The Merchant of Breckendale – Pathfinder. Solo.
Casino of Corruption – ICONS.
GMA1 Classic Lairs – 4E.
Quantum Sliders: Brain Powered Beach Party – Savage Worlds. Heroic rank.
Strange Magic – Savage Worlds superhero.
Tales of the Scarecrow – Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
Blades Against Death – Dungeon Crawl Classics. Level 4.
The Case of the Missing Magic – Generic. Written by Frank Mentzer.
Final Fight with the Furies – Villains and Vigilantes.
Bone Hilt Sword Campaign – 1E/OSRIC. Levels 1-7. Bundle of 5 adventures.
Cascadia Adventures 3: Fled – Traveller.

Spotlight: Most Interesting PDF of the Week

Castles and Crusades
This bundle pack is billed as The Big Deal and if you take into account that it includes 16 PDF products and virtually every book ever made for the line, then it really is a big deal! Castles and Crusades has been out for some time now and has a good following and this is your opportunity to own almost the entire library of the rpg in one purchase. This purchase includes the books Castle Keeper’s Guide, Player’s Handbook, Monsters and Treasure, Classic Monsters, Of Gods & Monsters, Fields of Battle, 1 setting and 9 adventures. There is enough stuff here to keep a table in adventure for years to come.

Castles & Crusades is a fantasy role playing game with countless possibilities. The Players Handbook allows you take up the sword and shield, the staff or bow; to arm yourself as you desires and wander upon planes of your own imagining and plunder the wealth of adventure.

Designed for use with multiple players, Castles & Crusades puts you in charge of the adventure path. Included within are all the rules of play, how to get started in your very own role playing game, how to run the game and play in it.

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