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RPG Print News – Free League, Chaosium, Modiphius, Osprey, and More

A limited edition cover for Dungeons & Dragons Strixhaven is out and Twilight: 2000 returns with a bang in a new edition box set. Cthulhu also makes a return with Horror on the Orient Express now in double hardcover for Call of Cthulhu and Achtung! Cthulhu now for the 2d20 system. Everything then rounds out with more fantasy including a vegetable alien horror adventure, playing knights templars, exploring the Planes, and treasuring a map of kingdoms full of fantasy pirates.

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Note: RPG Print News covers new RPG releases and some classics, reprints, and sales available from retailers. It does not cover products that are only available to customers through kickstarter or as print on demand.

Strixhaven - Curriculum of Chaos (Limited Edition) by Wizards of the Coast
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Twilight: 2000 4E by Free League Publishing
  • SYSTEM: Year Zero Engine
  • PRODUCT TYPE: box set
  • RETAIL PRICE: $59.99
  • OTHER RPG NEWS: Using Fictional Violence to Enhance Your Roleplaying (geeknative.com)
  • DESCRIPTION: Contains: a 152-page Player's Manual (rules for character generation, skills, specialties, combat, base building, and travel), a 112-page Referee's Manual including 53 ready-to-play encounters and four complete scenario sites, a double-sided full-color travel map (34" x 22"), 15 engraved custom dice, 16 modular battle maps, 108 cardboard tokens, four battle maps for specific scenario sites, 52 encounter cards that also work as a normal deck of cards, 10 initiative cards, and 5 blank character sheets. The year 2000 is devastated by war. This updated version takes place an alternate timeline where the Soviet Union never collapsed and war destroyed most of civilization. The PCs are soldiers and civilians struggling to survive. The box is packed and adventures can start right away if the players choose an archetype and make a few decisions to get going. The GM has plenty of support to allow the PCs to wander where they will and pursue whatever goals they want to try to achieve.
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Horror on the Orient Express 2 Volume Set by Chaosium
  • SYSTEM: Call of Cthulhu
  • PRODUCT TYPE: adventure in two hardcovers
  • RETAIL PRICE: $89.99
  • DESCRIPTION: Two hardcovers. 700 pages. 19 adventures. 24 x 18-inch full color poster map. Player handouts. This one is big. Beginning in 1920`s London, the investigators journey to Paris and then to the ancient city of Constantinople. With luck, they also return home.
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Achtung! Cthulhu RPG: Player's Guide (Hardcover) | Achtung! Cthulhu RPG: Gamemaster's Guide (Hardcover) | Achtung! Cthulhu RPG: Gamemaster's Screen & Toolkit | Achtung! Cthulhu RPG: Black Sun Dice Set by Modiphius
  • SYSTEM: 2d20
  • PRODUCT TYPE: hardcover/hardcover/screen/dice
  • RETAIL PRICE: $44/$58/$36/$22
  • DESCRIPTION: The Player’s Guide includes rules for building a Secret War operative (mixes archetype, background and characteristics), talents, weapons and vehicles, magical system for Celtic druids and Norse Runeweavers, and powers of the mind for psychic operative. Mixes the sanity-challenging terror of Lovecraftian cosmic horror with the chaos and heroism of World War II. PCs from Britain's Section M, the United States' Majestic, or the brave Resistance, battle the Black Sun, Nazi warrior-sorcerers supreme, and struggle against Nachtwölfe, the Night Wolves, who utilize technology, biological enhancements, and wunderwaffen (wonder weapons). The Gamemaster’s Guide covers the Deep Ones, undersea worshippers of the dreaming god Cthulhu, and the strange Mi-Go, fungoid-insectoid beings who have come to Earth for an unknown purpose. Includes advice on the art of gamemastering, lore and detailed background information on the six major factions, a repository of hidden lore and forbidden magical knowledge, and complete profiles and statistics for the heroes and villains of the Secret War plus a huge bestiary brimming with all the terrifying gods, monsters, and entities of the Mythos. The Gamemaster Screen has art and charts and a Gamemaster's Toolkit to help GM's create memorable characters, adventures, and campaigns. The Black Sun Dice Set contains two twenty-sided dice with the Secret War Squid symbol on the 1 face and four six-sided Challenge Dice, featuring damage results on the 1 & 2 faces, and the Secret War Squid on the 5 & 6 faces.
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Green Messiah by Lamentations of the Flame Princess
  • SYSTEM: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
  • PRODUCT TYPE: hardcover supplement
  • RETAIL PRICE: $35
  • DESCRIPTION: A botanical adventure suitable for characters of most levels. Years ago, in the quiet Sussex hamlet of Town Littleworth, something from the black gulfs of space fell to earth. Something that a childless couple found and raised as their son. Something that today just might spell doom for the world. Includes an invasive alien species of shape-changing root vegetables, malicious trees, and an extensive menu of delicious and potentially fatal fruits and vegetables from another world. Best played in a shaded area, watered no more than once a week, and kept indoors in colder months.
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Heirs to Heresy: The Fall of the Knights Templar by Osprey Publishing
  • SYSTEM: unique
  • PRODUCT TYPE: hardcover rulebook
  • RETAIL PRICE: $35
  • DESCRIPTION: Starts as a historical-fantasy roleplaying game, but one that is heavily influenced by Gnosticism, European Folklore, esotericism, and the myths and legends that surround the Templars. The PCs craft the secrets of the Templar treasure, the enemies, and mysteries they will face. The PCs’ Knights undertake a mystical journey to the center of themselves along the road to Avallonis. The mechanics are a blend of narrative, storytelling rules, and classic adventure gaming. Templar Knights have the potential to access gnostic spells, unique powers, and intensely powerful faith. The PCs find themselves wanted criminals and branded heretics by the King of France. Abandoned by the Vatican and sent away early in the morning, they leave Paris on a day of reckoning and try to find their way across a dark, mythic Europe to a mystical utopia where they can rebuild.
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Planar Compass Player's Booklet | Planar Compass - Issue #2
  • SYSTEM: Old-School Essentials/Basic and Expert D&D
  • PRODUCT TYPE: softcover supplements
  • RETAIL PRICE: $8/$18
  • DESCRIPTION: The Planar Compass Player’s Booklet describes the space between the planes and the island called “The friendliest port in the Planes.” PCs may make there out of body or in the flesh. Either way, they are stopping at Dreamhaven. Planar Compass Issue #2 includes the following: hex crawling for astral travel, a living dungeon that wants to kill the PCs, adventures hooks, magic items, and a fishing game.
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Chorynth Map - Folded - Arduin by Emperor’s Choice
  • SYSTEM: Arduin Eternal
  • PRODUCT TYPE: 17 x 22-inch folded poster map
  • RETAIL PRICE: $10
  • OTHER RPG NEWS: Pirate, Why Do You Plunder?
  • DESCRIPTION: Chorynth is home to 14 sea princes who squabble and fight to be the greatest. Some are aloof and cold, others hotblooded and brash. All of them are dirty with steel in their hands and a sneer on their lips. Chorynth is heralded as the island of cutthroats and pirates. A standard it bears proudly.
 

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody


eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
I got the T2000 box set. It's awesome, but then I realized that all my characters would be listening to Limp Biscuit , 311, and Papa Roach.... doing the "Washuppp" from the budweiser commercials and doing bad "Austin Powers" impersonation. No thanks I'll set my campaign in the late 80s instead.
First of all, it's Limp Bizkit.

Second of all, how dare you
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
I got the T2000 box set. It's awesome, but then I realized that all my characters would be listening to Limp Biscuit , 311, and Papa Roach.... doing the "Washuppp" from the budweiser commercials and doing bad "Austin Powers" impersonation. No thanks I'll set my campaign in the late 80s instead.
You could easily erase all that bad 90s music by simply saying that in this alternate timeline, 80s Metal and Rock prevailed. That's what I'm going to do.
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
Big plugs for T2K and Achtung! Cthulhu - they are both outstanding products in terms of system, organization, ideas, and physical production value.

AC is, in my view, the best presentation of the 2d20 rules yet, with them described clearly in both the PG and GM's Guide. The GM's Guide provides a lot of excellent advice about how to use the rules gracefully and in ways that will keep the focus on the story and the action. Both books, together, present the rules for what they are and what they can do, and then they go the vital step beyond to explain and describe how to use them well.

T2K is the best version of the YZ engine, too - far better than Alien or the other offerings based on those rules. The addition of d8s, 10s, and 12s dramatically changes how the game operates as a system (for the better); and the grittiness that is present in all of FL's games is a perfect match for the vibe of April 2000 in Eastern Europe, without going too far and making the game into a grind. I ran a test skirmish with a buddy of mine using the maps and counters and such, and combat felt right and encouraged decisions that made sense. Both of us are vets and the marriage of weapons, terrain, and personnel felt...right. I think the game does a fine job of promoting the right feel, without getting deep in the weeds of simulationism.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
My only quibble with the Horror On The Orient Express box set is that it almost certainly lacks the olfactory experience from my original playthrough, which married the scents of cheap beer, bad weed, Doritos, pizza, and a bunch of dudes playing for hours on end.

Then again, maybe that's for the best.
 


Big plugs for T2K and Achtung! Cthulhu - they are both outstanding products in terms of system, organization, ideas, and physical production value.

AC is, in my view, the best presentation of the 2d20 rules yet, with them described clearly in both the PG and GM's Guide. The GM's Guide provides a lot of excellent advice about how to use the rules gracefully and in ways that will keep the focus on the story and the action. Both books, together, present the rules for what they are and what they can do, and then they go the vital step beyond to explain and describe how to use them well.

T2K is the best version of the YZ engine, too - far better than Alien or the other offerings based on those rules. The addition of d8s, 10s, and 12s dramatically changes how the game operates as a system (for the better); and the grittiness that is present in all of FL's games is a perfect match for the vibe of April 2000 in Eastern Europe, without going too far and making the game into a grind. I ran a test skirmish with a buddy of mine using the maps and counters and such, and combat felt right and encouraged decisions that made sense. Both of us are vets and the marriage of weapons, terrain, and personnel felt...right. I think the game does a fine job of promoting the right feel, without getting deep in the weeds of simulationism.

Agreed on both counts. I like AC so much I wish they'd taken that approach for Dune, instead of steering as hard as they did into something like a story game. And as someone who owned and played older T2K editions, this one feels like it hit the sweet spot in an impressive way.

Not sure if you've tested T2K enough for this question to make sense, but I was every so slightly worried (looking at the rules) that autofire would result in way too many jams and/or broken guns. Don't get me wrong, I love basically everything about how they're doing autofire, and I also love the idea of jams being an actual thing (and not just a goofy critical failure result like on other systems), and weapon maintenance repair, too. I just couldn't tell if guns would be failing and falling apart to a silly extent once people--PCs as well as NPCs--inevitably lean on their triggers a bit.
 


I got the T2000 box set. It's awesome, but then I realized that all my characters would be listening to Limp Biscuit , 311, and Papa Roach.... doing the "Washuppp" from the budweiser commercials and doing bad "Austin Powers" impersonation. No thanks I'll set my campaign in the late 80s instead.

Take a look at the gunner. He's wearing a Dio shirt with art most likely from the Magica album. Now Magica is not 80s Dio but it is pretty damn good Dio. So all is not all lost.

1639604069152.png
 
Last edited:

MGibster

Legend
My only quibble with the Horror On The Orient Express box set is that it almost certainly lacks the olfactory experience from my original playthrough, which married the scents of cheap beer, bad weed, Doritos, pizza, and a bunch of dudes playing for hours on end.
Thanks to your description I could practically taste it and I threw up in my mouth a little.
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
Agreed on both counts. I like AC so much I wish they'd taken that approach for Dune, instead of steering as hard as they did into something like a story game. And as someone who owned and played older T2K editions, this one feels like it hit the sweet spot in an impressive way.

Not sure if you've tested T2K enough for this question to make sense, but I was every so slightly worried (looking at the rules) that autofire would result in way too many jams and/or broken guns. Don't get me wrong, I love basically everything about how they're doing autofire, and I also love the idea of jams being an actual thing (and not just a goofy critical failure result like on other systems), and weapon maintenance repair, too. I just couldn't tell if guns would be failing and falling apart to a silly extent once people--PCs as well as NPCs--inevitably lean on their triggers a bit.

You only risk jams like that from using ammo dice if you push your rolls. Unfortunately, magazine, box, drum, and belt-fed weapons do tend to jam more when you're firing at full auto, which use of ammo dice is supposed to represent. If you don't push your roll, then those ammo dice, even if they come up with 1's, can't hurt your weapon.

From personal experience, I can attest to the jamming tendencies of older M16 models, and even worse for AK's when using high-capacity magazines or drums, especially if those ammo sources are cheap (like a lot of Chinese hardware made in the 90s). A drum on an AK, if it's a cheap piece of equipment, will jam if you look at it sideways.

I'll have to play it more to get a better sense of this mechanic, but it seems sound to me at this point.
 

You only risk jams like that from using ammo dice if you push your rolls. Unfortunately, magazine, box, drum, and belt-fed weapons do tend to jam more when you're firing at full auto, which use of ammo dice is supposed to represent. If you don't push your roll, then those ammo dice, even if they come up with 1's, can't hurt your weapon.

From personal experience, I can attest to the jamming tendencies of older M16 models, and even worse for AK's when using high-capacity magazines or drums, especially if those ammo sources are cheap (like a lot of Chinese hardware made in the 90s). A drum on an AK, if it's a cheap piece of equipment, will jam if you look at it sideways.

I'll have to play it more to get a better sense of this mechanic, but it seems sound to me at this point.

That makes perfect sense. Thanks for the breakdown. It seems like they did a great job of making autofire a frantic gamble--including the elements of realism you're talking about--just not quite the gamble I was thinking. I futzed around with T2K in Foundry for a few minutes when they first released it there, and now that you mention it I was definitely pushing autofire rolls. Speaking of which, it seems like it runs very pretty and very fast on Foundry. Pushing, adjusting ROF, tracking ammo, your weapon reliability going down, all right there and intuitive. Plus you get to see those excellent special dice rendered in their full glory.
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
That makes perfect sense. Thanks for the breakdown. It seems like they did a great job of making autofire a frantic gamble--including the elements of realism you're talking about--just not quite the gamble I was thinking. I futzed around with T2K in Foundry for a few minutes when they first released it there, and now that you mention it I was definitely pushing autofire rolls. Speaking of which, it seems like it runs very pretty and very fast on Foundry. Pushing, adjusting ROF, tracking ammo, your weapon reliability going down, all right there and intuitive. Plus you get to see those excellent special dice rendered in their full glory.
I'll take your word on the VTT stuff...I do all my gaming in person. Glad to know that it works easily and runs the same way virtually, though.
 

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