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RPG Print News – Ulisses Spiele, Pinnacle, Palladium and More

New adventures and decks for D&D. Hardcover copies of classic Palladium rulebooks. Tokens and more for TORG Eternity. Adventures and other books for Big Eyes, Small Mouth. With a final stop in Wyoming with a sandbox setting for Deadlands and a poster map to help navigate to anywhere else in the Weird West.

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Kingdom of Owlbears | Tomb of Wonder by Gemhammer and Sons Gaming
  • SYSTEM: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PRODUCT TYPE: adventure module
  • RETAIL PRICE: $13.99/$10
  • DESCRIPTION: Kingdom of Owlbears is a wilderness and dungeon adventure for four to six 5th level characters. The module is set in the world of Aardehn, the setting for the Gemhammer Adventure Series. Provide the great city of Arborstone supplies and keep those supplies away from bandits. Follow the trail of a missing druid. Trek into uncharted wilderness and bear witness to the rise of a new king. Tomb of Wonder is an adventure filled with wild encounters and unpredictable magics. The PCs journey to uncover relics of the Gemhammers themselves and gain access to secret prestige classes of the Legion of Wonder. Includes new creatures and spells.
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Deck of Plunder | Deck of Blunders | Deck of Sunders by Gemhammer and Sons Gaming
  • SYSTEM: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PRODUCT TYPE: box of cards
  • RETAIL PRICE: $20 each
  • DESCRIPTION: Deck of Plunder includes a 100 treasure card loot generator. Deck of Blunders is a deck of 100 Critical Failure Effect cards that provide flavor and penalties for when a fumble results in hazardous and embarrassing results. The Deck of Sunders includes 100 critical success effect cards that provide flavor and bonuses for when combat attacks make a critical hit.
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Palladium Role Playing Game 2nd Edition | Beyond the Supernatural 2nd Edition | Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition by Palladium
  • SYSTEM: Palladium
  • PRODUCT TYPE: hardcover core rulebooks
  • RETAIL PRICE: $39.99/$36.99/$39.99
  • DESCRIPTION: Core rulebooks from Palladium now available in hardcover. The Palladium RPG is a fantasy world torn with conflict with the non-human barbaric races, creatures of magic and supernatural forces. The world is dominated by a human civilization built on the bones of the non-humans who reigned before them. In Beyond the Supernatural some PCs are gung-ho psychics and sorcerers who see themselves as humankind’s hidden protectors. Others are drawn into the realm of shadows through quirks of fate or fueled by feelings of revenge. All have been touched, in some way, by forces beyond human comprehension. Psychic abilities, the paranormal, and magic are real. Yet science and authority figures dismiss them as hysteria, hoaxes and madness. However, the PCs must deal with the consequences brought about by the hidden world of the supernatural. In Heroes Unlimited PCs can be created like those from comic books, pulps, novels, film or television including aliens, mutants, cyborgs, robots, martial artists, wizards, experiments, super-geniuses, vigilantes, and more, plus the optional Mega-Hero. Includes over 100 super abilities, scores of sub-powers, 40 psionic powers, and over 100 magic spells. Also covers enchanted weapons and objects. Rules to create robots and cyborgs. Super-Vehicles, gimmicks, and gizmos.
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BESM 2D Animinis | BESM Adventures 1 | BESM Tokyo Sidekick Supplement by Dyskami
  • SYSTEM: Big Eyes, Small Mouth RPG
  • PRODUCT TYPE: box of pawns/softcover adventure/softcover supplement
  • RETAIL PRICE: $34.95/14.95/9.95
  • DESCRIPTION: 2D Animinis includes 100 monsters, characters, mecha, and animals printed in a variety of sizes on sturdy punchboards and ready to be inserted into the included plastic bases. BESM Adventures 1 is for 4-6 PCS with new 90-point characters. In Carousel Obscura, The PCs are summoned across dimensions from their homeworld of Molybdos to the strange fantasy world Magenta and they gain supernatural abilities. Tokyo Sidekick includes stats, items and personality profiles for 20 superheroic anime characters from the Tokyo Sidekick board game.
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Cyberpapacy Possibility Tokens | Cyberpapacy Map Pack 1 | Cyberpapacy Map Pack 2 | Cyberpapacy Le Resistance Tokens | Cyberpapacy Minions of Malraux Tokens by Ulisses Spiele
  • SYSTEM: TORG Eternity
  • PRODUCT TYPE: box of pawns/softcover adventure/softcover supplement
  • RETAIL PRICE: $19.99/14.99/14.99/14.99/14.99
  • DESCRIPTION: Cyberpapacy Possibility Tokens contains 20 tokens. Cyberpapacy Map Pack 1 is a double-sided map. One side is the Monastery, secretive lair of stone-faced priests lurking behind thick walls of both data and stone. The other is the Street Sprawl, a location containing estates and ghettos awash in the afterglow of ever-present hovering holograms and pious propaganda. Cyberpapacy Map Pack 2 includes a double-sided map. One side depicts the holo-grandeur of Piety Square, the focal point of holy celebration and systemic control. The other displays the Cyberpapacy’s bastion of leading-edge antiquities: the Reliquary. It contains devices and artifacts secreted away, hence its fortress like impenetrability and fear-inducing presence. Cyberpapacy Le Resistance Tokens contains over 20 tokens with a size of 25 mm including GodNet Hacker, Jackpriest, Police Paragon, Renegade Streetbeater, Vatican Secret Agent, and White Witch. Cyberpapacy Minions of Malraux Tokens includes 7 tokens of 25 mm size including Cyberpriest and Ganger and 4 tokens of 50 mm size including an Archangel and a Hardlight Drone.
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Horror at Headstone Hill | Map of the Weird West by Pinnacle
  • SYSTEM: Savage Worlds Deadlands
  • PRODUCT TYPE: boxed set sandbox setting/poster map
  • RETAIL PRICE: $29.99/4.99
  • DESCRIPTION: Horror at Headstone Hill is a sandbox campaign setting, fully detailing a small section of the Weird West called Uinta County in the Wyoming Territory. Includes a 128-page Marshal’s book, a handy booklet for players, a double-sided map, detailed player handouts, creature cards, pawns, and a unique wild die. As the PCs unravel the main campaign storyline they’ll find themselves drawn into all manner of exciting adventures and danger. Wild wind hisses through frosty sagebrush as knife-sharp clouds scuttle across a blazing white moon. In the quaking aspens that fringe the foothills, a shivering clatter draws the PCs with its siren song. Danger is everywhere, even in plain view. Map of the Weird West is a 30 inch x 24 inch poster map illustrated by Cheyenne Wright. PCs can travel the Weird West from the majestic Mississippi in the East to the shattered coastline of the Great Maze in the West. The map notes important railroads, key towns and cities, and the national, state, and territorial boundaries of the wild Weird West.
 

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody


lyle.spade

Adventurer
Palladium's core system is a bit of a mess; however, in the FRP the Warlock and Diabolist classes are fascinating takes on magic. The former is a wielder of elemental magic, drawing spells from one or two of the four elements, while the latter wields magic through knowledge and use of runes - a page of which are included in the book. Beyond those, every Wizard starts with the same handful of stock spells and then must find spells in order to learn them. There are adventures built around seeking out spell books, and they have a lot more weight to the Wizard in this system than in DnD. Also, if I remember correctly, spell level is more a measure of how potentially powerful the thing can be, rather than the power level at which a caster can access it. Thus, what 5e now does with spell slots and enabling a caster to power up a spell by using a higher-level slot, Palladium offered 30+ years ago.

I've considered looking at taking some of those caster class ideas and 'porting them into 5e. Ideas. Time. Effort. Who knows? Anyway, if you're not familiar with these games and that system, there are some interesting gems of inspiration to be found in them.
 

Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
Supporter
Palladium's core system is a bit of a mess; however, in the FRP the Warlock and Diabolist classes are fascinating takes on magic. The former is a wielder of elemental magic, drawing spells from one or two of the four elements, while the latter wields magic through knowledge and use of runes - a page of which are included in the book. Beyond those, every Wizard starts with the same handful of stock spells and then must find spells in order to learn them. There are adventures built around seeking out spell books, and they have a lot more weight to the Wizard in this system than in DnD. Also, if I remember correctly, spell level is more a measure of how potentially powerful the thing can be, rather than the power level at which a caster can access it. Thus, what 5e now does with spell slots and enabling a caster to power up a spell by using a higher-level slot, Palladium offered 30+ years ago.

I've considered looking at taking some of those caster class ideas and 'porting them into 5e. Ideas. Time. Effort. Who knows? Anyway, if you're not familiar with these games and that system, there are some interesting gems of inspiration to be found in them.

It is indeed a mess, always was. Here's the thing, when it was released in 83', I felt it was really a refreshing difference. I liked having a dodge/block/parry combat system versus the THAC0 of DnD/Basic DnD/AD&D, which always felt more chess like combat wise. Palladiums system felt more dynamic and active which I really enjoyed. We had to a lot of rule clarification house rules etc but it worked well for us until GURPs came out in the mid 1980s and we swapped to that for my main campaign.

I always thought that what Palladium needed was someone with a good sense of game mechanics, layout etc to come in and do a total rewrite of it. You'd have a level/skill based active combat system that many would feel close to due to DnD and yet would be much more engrossing to play. I used to call their offices from Europe back in the 1980s when I was stationed there for a decade, those calls would get costly. Usually for orders or rules questions etc. Nice folks overall when I interacted with them.

One thing I'd ask Kevin if I ever talked to him today, would be about DnD 3x. He's known for being litigious of his IP, so I'd be curious to know why he didn't have a discussion (or if he did have one) with WotC about the big change/revamp to their combat system with the release of DnD 3x. Getting rid of THAC0 and going with a system where you roll your D20 to hit the Armor Class was a lot like Palladium's system minus the ability to dodge, parry/block.
 

Grendel_Khan

Explorer
One thing I'd ask Kevin if I ever talked to him today, would be about DnD 3x. He's known for being litigious of his IP, so I'd be curious to know why he didn't have a discussion (or if he did have one) with WotC about the big change/revamp to their combat system with the release of DnD 3x. Getting rid of THAC0 and going with a system where you roll your D20 to hit the Armor Class was a lot like Palladium's system minus the ability to dodge, parry/block.
As far as I know you can't actually copyright/protect a game mechanic. So while SRDs and open licenses are great for branding, you can just grab anything from anywhere. If you couldn't, the entire industry would be one big circular firing squad of endless litigation.
 


Kannik

Adventurer
I'll join in with the 'mess' commentary; from what I've heard (completely apocryphal), even Kevin house rules when running games using his own, in print, system. The rules are pretty much the same as they have been since '83, with additional mess added over time as they tacked on sections to deal with vehicles and mecha. The layout and organization have also stayed stagnant since ’83.

On the whole, I've found Paladium games tend to have good flavour and interesting ideas (such as Lyle noted with the Warlock and Diabolist) and sometimes interesting world ideas to use as a campaign seed. But porting them into a modern, well-conceived ruleset is well advised.

One thing I'd ask Kevin if I ever talked to him today, would be about DnD 3x. He's known for being litigious of his IP, so I'd be curious to know why he didn't have a discussion (or if he did have one) with WotC about the big change/revamp to their combat system with the release of DnD 3x. Getting rid of THAC0 and going with a system where you roll your D20 to hit the Armor Class was a lot like Palladium's system minus the ability to dodge, parry/block.

Setting aside that you can't copyright game mechanics, I'm not sure they'd have much of a case here. THACO and + to hit AC really are the same thing (and the 2e THACO tables mirror the 3e BAB progressions exactly) just coming at it from a different direction. It's not much of a stretch to go from a subtractive to an additive system. :)
 


GreyLord

Hero
In some ways, Palladium was far closer to AD&D and TSR D&D than anything WotC has ever come out with on their own as regarding core rules systems.

It's kind of bizarre that TSR never went after the system hard.

If Palladium is out, does that mean Rifts is coming or has come already?

I never really played Palladium 2e, only 1e. It's been a while. If I recall, one unique item is that it offered the opportunity to play a WereWolf type race (Wolfen?) as well as Hobgoblins. I had a hobgoblin character if I recall right from many years (nay, not just years, decades) ago.
 


Jeff Carpenter

Adventurer
In some ways, Palladium was far closer to AD&D and TSR D&D than anything WotC has ever come out with on their own as regarding core rules systems.

It's kind of bizarre that TSR never went after the system hard.

If Palladium is out, does that mean Rifts is coming or has come already?

I never really played Palladium 2e, only 1e. It's been a while. If I recall, one unique item is that it offered the opportunity to play a WereWolf type race (Wolfen?) as well as Hobgoblins. I had a hobgoblin character if I recall right from many years (nay, not just years, decades) ago.

I stole the Wolfen for one of my 2e campaigns usings the 1e half orc as the base race. But no one ever played one so they were relegated to NPC.
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
Oh Heroes Unlimited. One of the first games I ever played and played quite a bit. The system for rolling up your character had a unique quality in that it could generate you utterly useless characters.
Supers games with random power generation...funny stuff. I had a rolled up a Villains & Vigilantes character once that had two powers: control of fire and control of water....my first thought was "Boiling Water Man."
 

Jer

Adventurer
In some ways, Palladium was far closer to AD&D and TSR D&D than anything WotC has ever come out with on their own as regarding core rules systems.

It's kind of bizarre that TSR never went after the system hard.
I agree it's odd, given TSR's other legal activities. Palladium somehow stayed under their radar.

If Palladium is out, does that mean Rifts is coming or has come already?
Rifts hardcovers are out and have been for a while - more than a decade at least. This is the rest of the game lines catching up.

One thing to keep in mind is that these aren't new editions of these games - just hardcover versions of the current editions that have been out in paperback forever. Heroes Unlimited 2e came out in I think '98 and Beyond the Supernatural 2e came out back in '05. (Plus these were barely second editions in the way we think of edition changes - Palladium's system is barely changed from its early 80s incarnation across all of its game lines).
 

As far as I know you can't actually copyright/protect a game mechanic. So while SRDs and open licenses are great for branding, you can just grab anything from anywhere. If you couldn't, the entire industry would be one big circular firing squad of endless litigation.
In the US, it's blackletter in the law that game mechanics are not protectable under Copyright.

The bar for a process patent for game mechanics is pretty high. "Tapping" mechanics for MTG were patented, and there was doubt it would be upheld. (It was.) It should, however, no longer be protected. Patents in the US only last 20 years, non-renewable so the MTG one is expired.
 

I agree it's odd, given TSR's other legal activities. Palladium somehow stayed under their radar.


Rifts hardcovers are out and have been for a while - more than a decade at least. This is the rest of the game lines catching up.

One thing to keep in mind is that these aren't new editions of these games - just hardcover versions of the current editions that have been out in paperback forever. Heroes Unlimited 2e came out in I think '98 and Beyond the Supernatural 2e came out back in '05. (Plus these were barely second editions in the way we think of edition changes - Palladium's system is barely changed from its early 80s incarnation across all of its game lines).
For Palladium Fantasy, the 2E has a HUGE change - its got notes for use with Rifts, and thus Megadamage. I have it, but not accessible at the moment.
 

teitan

Hero
I agree it's odd, given TSR's other legal activities. Palladium somehow stayed under their radar.


Rifts hardcovers are out and have been for a while - more than a decade at least. This is the rest of the game lines catching up.

One thing to keep in mind is that these aren't new editions of these games - just hardcover versions of the current editions that have been out in paperback forever. Heroes Unlimited 2e came out in I think '98 and Beyond the Supernatural 2e came out back in '05. (Plus these were barely second editions in the way we think of edition changes - Palladium's system is barely changed from its early 80s incarnation across all of its game lines).
Yeah that’s the general status for edition changes in most games. Seem D&D is the only one where major changes are a thing outside of the revamp of Shadowrun for its 5e and 6e iterations. PF2 doesn’t escape that as well but almost every other game it seems an editions change is more small tweaks than overhauls. I think overhauls do far more to fracture you base than small tweaks, it’s how Cthulhu has held on after decades of the same system and consistent compatibility.
 

MidnightBlue

Explorer
We played the heck out of Palladium back in the day. Beyond the Supernatural is still one of my favorites...along with Robotech, Rifts, and Nightspawn/Nightbane. I still think the magic and psychic systems are inspired. Add to that the way that ley lines/nexus, special mystical/cosmological days/events, and cults/sacrifices impact spell casting, psychic abilities, and mystical abilities...it's just a thing of beauty. Having a magic/psychic system that had real effects for ritual casting, cooperative/cultish casting, sacrificial casting, casting on a particular day (Equinox or Solstice) or at a particular location (Stonehenge or the great pyramids) was something I hadn't seen before...or not often since. Being able to recharge to cast more spells and psychic abilities by resting/meditating or again at special locations or during special days/times was equally inspired. It made the great mysterious places and events an actual part of the game mechanics. Why would someone gather likeminded cultists at Stonehenge on the Winter Solstice to perform a sacrificial rite? Because all of the available PPE from the cultists, sacrifice, ley line nexus, and cosmological event make it easier to open the dimensional gate to release that demon they serve.

And not having to memorize spells, just keep track of the spells you know and how much potential psychic energy (PPE) you have...also a bonus. "Let's see...is there a chance I might fall off a cliff today? Better memorize Feather Fall I guess."

I actually added a spell point system to my D&D games after this.
 
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Yeah that’s the general status for edition changes in most games. Seem D&D is the only one where major changes are a thing outside of the revamp of Shadowrun for its 5e and 6e iterations. PF2 doesn’t escape that as well but almost every other game it seems an editions change is more small tweaks than overhauls. I think overhauls do far more to fracture you base than small tweaks, it’s how Cthulhu has held on after decades of the same system and consistent compatibility.
Many games made signficant changes at edition.
Traveller's first two editions have significant mechancical editions, but those can be missed if you don't look for the underlying math and tables (Classic 1E pre 1980 US printings, and 2E, which is 1981 and later US printings. I'm not certain, but I've reason to suspect that the GW licensed version was 1E until the license ended), but the third ed, MegaTraveller, is obvious from the character data for play. the fourth edition, Traveller: The New Era, has different and more attributes, different skill scaling, and changed even the aging rules. Only the system generation is a direct inheritance; everything else changed. Traveller's 5th edition, called Marc Miller's Traveller, and also called T4, brought the worlds and design systems from TNE forward, but is yet another skill scaling. MGT is a rebuild from first principles, MGT2 yet another rebuild from first princibles to de-OGL it, and T5 is really edition 10, building on the T4 skill systems, and the system gen, but everything else redeveloped. Fundamentally, each edition change of traveller was a new game engine, excepting the change from CT1 to CT2.

Palladium's older games were only really revised to make them rifts compatible; those are significant changes. Robotech was redeveloped late in the license for the Robotech: Shadow Chronicles rules - it's major differences are in character gen, but those are significant.

Warhammer FRP, like Traveller, is largely new game with some common tropes at each edition change.

Gamma World made significant changes at one edition change, moving from AD&D/(D&DOE+Sups) mechanics to the MSH/AMSH color-table system

Twilight 2000 is, again, a different game engine each edition. Including the new one.

Chivalry and Sorcery changed notably over the edition changes.



STRPG was still compatible, but char gen and ship combat changed significantly.

Mechwarrior 1E was a GURPS-like point builder; 2E was a pick multiple templates; they were mechanically incompatible.
3e was yet again different, and where I got off that bus.

Star Wars d6 2E was significantly different from 1E, adding scaling rules, a movement score, advanced skills, specializations, attribute increases, and more. 2R&E changed the scaling rules, the many-on-one/one-on-many game mechanics.

BRP's adapted corebook mode meant that each was a functionally different but easily converted to game. RuneQuest, ElfQuest, Ringworld, Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Hawkmoon...

Pendragon revamped a lot of mechanics other than character gen during the major leaps: 1E to 3E, 4E to 5E. (4E expanded 3E, rather than changed from it.) Mind you, I'm talking the battle mechanics, the landholding mechanics, but not personal combat; 4e to 5e changed the character gen.



Many older games being brought forward for modern editions are being given new engines:
 

teitan

Hero
Yes games scraping by in most cases or often cancelled like Star Trek. Major games like CoC etc have rarely made major shifts and ones made were compatible still.
 

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