Pretty Darn Fun (a look at new PDFs)

Even with WotC inundating the PDF market in one huge mass of releases, there are still a bunch of new PDFs for a wide range of game systems and genres this week.We cover everything from 1E to 4E to Chaosium to New Systems and end with a highly anticipated OSR product as our Spolight PDF of the Week.

Warlords of Alexander

This is a setting book for Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying Game. The book focuses on the world after the death of Alexander the Great wherein there are large nations run by his surviving generals. In this world there is need of mercenaries who fight for money and personal advancement. Fused with this semi-historical setting are the magic and monsters of Greek mythology. In addition to providing what sounds like a vivid and exciting setting, the PDF provides new rules for integrating the setting and rules for character generation. This sounds like it could be a fun game.

The Gods Must Be Crazy Bundle
One of the first third party publishers to jump on the DCC wagon was Purple Duck Games. This is a bundle of four of their products. It includes 3 adventures and their new patron book of new rules. If you are a fan of the DCC system then getting more useful material is a good thing.

Teratic Tome
This book for 1E and retroclone OSR games is all about the monsters. Its 110 pages provide new monsters for a DM to throw at their players. These monsters have an otherworldly/horror feel to them for that something extra-creepy. New monsters are always useful so if you are running an OSR game this is for you.

Pure Steam RPG
This is a Beta Playtest (and free). Pure Steam is a Pathfinder setting of steam punk. Unlike similar steam punk settings, this one is not set in a Victorian England, but rather in an alternate post-civil war era in the wilderness of the Appalachians. Along with a unique twist on steam punk, the PDF includes new character options, new equipment and new monsters. If you are looking for something different, this could be it.

Dungeon World CCC 1
Dungeon World continues to keep people talking. This is a short PDF which features 6 new classes for Dungeon World. They run the gamut of saucy weapon wielders, stealthy types and new spellslingers. This looks like a good way to expand your Dungeon World gameplay.

Super Crusader III
I am a huge superhero rpg fan. This is another superhero game with its own system. Apparently this is the 3rd edition of this particular game. It boasts over 180 customizable powers and a simplified system to keep the adventure moving. Also available this week for the system is Minions & Monsters (158 monsters for Super Crusader), The Equipment Book (from bases to generic equipment) and Knights of Saint George (a setting book with adversaries and two cities).

Quintessential Rogue
Mongoose made it name producing the Quintessential series of splat books for the d20 market (along with some controversy with them). From there they leveraged themselves into the more diverse company they are today. When 4E came out they, of course, started coming out with a 4E Quintessential line and this Rogue offering was on of the first. Unlike their d20 line this one was written outside of their own company by an Italian company; Mongoose only printed and distributed it. The line also was not popular enough to sustain a complete run as they only covered three classes, Fighter, Wizard and Rogue. They have now released the Rogue book. If you like 4E and are looking for more material this could be of use. Along with character options, there are more “generic” material, such as creating thieves’ guilds and hideouts that could used without the character crunch.

Of Fate and Fealty
This fantasy RPG is inspired by the root stories and legends of medieval literature. It is a complete new rule system designed to keep math to a minimum while still allowing for full customization and realization of character concepts. It includes everything you need to play with character generation, equipment, enemies and advice on how to run games utilizing their style. It sounds as if a lot of thought went into both the feel of this rulebook. It might be interesting to check out.

Heaven’s Shadow
The old Star Wars game from West End Games was wildly successful during its day. It pioneered the use of the D6 system which recently went to OpenD6. Heaven’s Shadow is the latest game based on that system. It is a setting wherein the players play characters that are assassins for God hunting demons in human guises. The system provides specialized rules for the d6 system to allow for effects that fit the style of the setting. If you like the D6 system or just like the concept of the setting, make sure to take a look at this.

Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (3E)
WotC continues to release PDFs into the market after their initial set of offerings. I like taking a look back at the past of D&D. This adventure was written by Monte Cook (of current Numenera fame - among other things) and it’s an interesting look back in time. It was released in 2001, the same year he left WotC to start his own company of Malhavoc Press. He was reaching “star” status in the rpg community around this time due to his prolific and solid output. Now you can take a look at what he was doing then.


An Unbearable Situation – Generic.
Night of the Zombies – Generic.
Fee Fie Foe Fum – Generic.
Night of the Ninja – Generic.
Seven Challenges of Kartejan – Tunnels & Trolls.
The Gnomes of Levnec – Labyrinth Lord.
LC1 Assault Against the Menace on the Mountain – 1E/OSR. Levels 1-3.
End of Autumn – Pathfinder. Level 5.
The Witch Mounds – OSRIC. Levels 3-6.

Spotlight: Most Interesting PDF of the Week

ACKS Player’s Companion
Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS) created a huge buzz when it came out. It is a retroclone that does more. Soon after the initial rule set came out they ran a Kickstarter for the Player’s Companion which came in far above their goal ($20k+ for a $4k goal). Now the book is finally completed and available in PDF form for those who did not buy into the Kickstarter. It looks to add more, not only in the area of character options, but also in game play and rules systems. My favorites will be the ability to create your own classes and a new dynamic, on-the-fly, spell system.

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 original fantasy RPG!


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