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Sean's Picks of the Week (0201-0205) - GM-less Gaming, Pathfinder Races, WWII Cthulhu, Folk Heroes,

This may not be my most eclectic spread of Picks for a given week, but it's got to be up there in the Top 5 or so. As always, I really do try to make sure you're aware of lots of different options from all angles. Ours is one of the most diverse, dynamic hobbies I've ever encountered, and it just keeps growing! We've seen a bit of other media mining our offerings for content, and I predict that's going to be even more true down the road as web-delivered and on-demand media becomes even more The Thing.

The Dig

I’ve noticed a trend, folks – more and more games challenging the status quo of RPGs. I readily admit to being a New Wave Traditionalist (just made that up, though it’s possible someone else coined it and I just bubbled it up from deep memory) – while I am nowhere near the OSR (Old School Revolution) way of thinking, as I love point-based, full character creation, and action-cinema over wargaming roots, I still like my games with one GM, crunchy character creation, and drama-in-the-dice style play.

Still, as an advocate, historian, and just someone who lives this world, I have to say the new trends intrigue and charm me, and here’s yet another entry that challenges typical thinking while still delving (pun intended) into some traditional tropes.

Unimaginable wealth buried ages ago; works of art thought long lost; new works bringing glory to House and Cog; a new tavern because, really, that one down the street just isn’t what it used to be.

In The Dig: A Roleplaying Game, Dwarves band together to reshape the underworld. Players tell grand stories of subterranean adventure and craft in a light, GM-less, storytelling RPG set in the Homes, the vast and sprawling dwarven civilization featured in the novel HOMES. Games are played over five rounds. Players take turns narrating the action and drawing the Venture to its finale!

  • Spin tales of lighthearted adventure in the underworld
  • GM-less storytelling puts every player in the narrative
  • Simply designed action mechanic includes players of all experience levels
  • Character design centered on storytelling, not crunch
  • Randomly generated, zero-to-no prep options
  • Plenty of house rules to customize the game to your tastes
  • Set in a complete world brought to life with original art by Jacob Hunt

Advance Races Compendium

Make no mistake, Pathfinder remains a greatly loved, massively supported game these days. This recent release from the venerated team at Kobold expands the opportunities for players in some pretty awesome directions. GMs, fair warning – you’ve got some rather interesting new character requests coming your way!

Monstrous Heroes for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

Just your standard adventuring party: human fighter, halfling rogue, elf wizard, and…wait, is that paladin a ghoul?

Yes, unlikely heroes can emerge from strange and forbidden places: dragons’ dens, murky swamps, magical forges, and the realms of Shadow!

The Advanced Races Compendium gives you everything you need to play a monstrous adventurer in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Its 336 pages are packed with player character racial feats, traits, spells, bloodlines, gear, magic items, archetypes, and more for:

  • Gearforged
  • Gnoll
  • Lizardfolk
  • Kobold
  • Shadow Fey
  • Tiefling
  • Aasimar
  • Centaur
  • Darakhul
  • Derro
  • Dhampir
  • Dragonkin
  • Drow
  • Lamia
  • Minotaur
  • Ravenfolk
  • Sahuagin
  • Tosculi
  • Trollkin
  • Werelion
  • And 4 more!

Get Advanced Races Compendium today and play a minotaur corsair smashing through foes, a sly kobold darting nimbly around and wreaking havoc, a gearforged warrior powered by steam and magic, and much more!

Achtung Cthulhu: Elder Godlike

I’m pretty sure there’s something in the water over at Modiphius; Chris Birch is like some mad genius, mixing and mashing up ideas left and right until we see the nuclear missile burst up through the bedroom floor and realize he forgot to plug in the doll.

(Bonus points to those who get that reference.)

This particular gem combines the already insane pulp WWII era madness of Allied warriors facing mythos threats with the added gonzo of Dennis Detwiller’s and Greg Stolze’s Godlike WWII supers setting.

Now get out there and go punch Cthulhu in the snout!

Elder Godlike is where the superhuman suspense of Godlike meets the cosmic terrors of Achtung! Cthulhu, introducing a whole new dimension of fantastic adventures to the Secret War, in the ultimate crossover gaming experience.

Written by original Godlike creators Dennis Detwiller and Greg Stolze, and based on their acclaimed Godlike: Superhero Roleplaying in A World on Fire, Elder Godlike adds battles on a new front as Talented Allied commandos use their amazing abilities to confront super powered Nazi Übermenschen and combat the secret, awful designs of the nefarious Black Sun.

Will your characters embrace the power of their new abilities and powers and can they resist the onslaught of the new super soldiers of the Nazi regime?

Elder Godlike features:

  • A complete new rule system for superpowers in Call of Cthulhu.
  • A history of Talents in the Secret War
  • A complete Elder Godlike adventure
  • Guidelines for Talents in mass combat
  • Six pre-generated characters ready to play
  • Fully compatible with the Call of Cthulhu, Sixth Edition and Savage Worlds roleplaying games.
  • Elder Godlike is a crossover dossier’s worth of useful alternate historical and fantastical information to help you expand your campaign out into the wider world of the Secret War

You are larger than life – but the Secret War is larger than you!

Larger Than Life

If you’ve seen the many references to the Aaron Allston’s Strike Force Kickstarter (full disclosure – my publishing company, Evil Beagle Games, is one of the key participants in this project), you may be wondering about the co-author who’s bringing the late Mr. Allston’s material to life for this.

Michael Surbrook is not only a talented author and creator – he’s kind of a machine, cranking out great gaming material at a pace that is rather breathtaking (or annoying to his colleagues who wish we could be half as prolific). This is a fantastic example of his talent and abilities.

Heroes, villains, legends … the folklore of America features all of this and more. In this volume you can find pirates and soldiers, lumberjacks and steel drivers, mountain men and lawmen, cowboys, Indians, inventors, and eccentrics. All of whom are just waiting to be included in your campaign! And don’t let the time period fool you, just because these characters existed in the 18th and 19th Centuries, doesn’t mean you can’t use them in your pulp, superhero, fantasy, or even science fiction campaigns! After all, these characters are Larger Than Life!

Larger Than Life features 20 archetypes, ranging from Blackbeard the Pirate to the man who invented the 20th Century: Nikola Tesla. In addition, there are a total of 24 full character sheets, each with a detailed history and description of the character in question. But that’s not all! You also get over 124 biographies of other people related to each archetype, as well as famous ocean-going ships, famous outlaw gangs, Paul Bunyan’s entire logging gang, and other historical trivia. Each archetype also comes with at least one template, allowing you to build your own version of that archetype. So what are you waiting for? Dive in and start discovering those tidbits of American history you never new existed. But watch your step, because after all, these characters are… Larger Than Life!

The Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition

Eloy Lasanta is the Unstoppable Man, I think. He just keeps writing and creating and putting stuff out, and each thing is that much more awesome than the last. He’s taken all he’s learned to update one of his more compelling concepts to a second edition. If you missed the Ninja Crusade the first time around, you don’t want to be left out now.

And, yes, the game is just as badass as that cover makes it seem!

Pick your Clan…

Pick your Jutsu…

Take on an army!

Become powerful ninja fighting against the Izou Empire as it wages its crusade against your kind. The ten most powerful clans have assembled into the Lotus Coalition, and nothing can stop them as long as they can keep their alliances from crumbling! The war must be stopped and the ninja must win for the sake of the world!

The Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition includes the following:

  • 10 ninja clans to pick from (plus an 11th clanless option)
  • Detailed history of the Ninja and the Izou Empire
  • Lifepath-style character creation system
  • Full d10 system details, bringing the ninja to life
  • Opponent creation systems making it easy for GMs to come up with enemies on the fly
  • Dynamic Environments that make your choice of terrain a real part of the fight
  • Plenty of advice on how to run the game

Next week is the rather wonderful and rightfully prestigious Genghis Con here in Denver. Truly, a gamer's gaming con, this is the major catalyst for me and my family moving here, and I am thrilled to be a Guest yet again this year (along with Clint and Jodi Black, and my Evil Beagle Partner, Ross Watson.

Shane Hensley and Michael Surbrook are also coming into town for the show, and we're all going to get in some great gaming before and during. As such, I expect I will do another big "front load" of Picks on Monday, and I may post my Week's Picks here a bit earlier than normal to make sure I don't miss it. That's how busy that show is going to be, friends!

This weekend's got its own lineup of gaming - tonight, I am starting up a Savage Star Wars campaign for my Friday Night Gaming crew (a complete re-telling of the prequels, sans midichlorians, gungans, and a whiny Anakin). Tomorrow, my Belovedest, Carinn Seabolt, begins her Shaintar campaign, and on Sunday, we help Tammy Keyes test-run one of her Genghis Con scenarios.

So, yeah, lots of dice-rolling happening here! Hope it's the same for you, because...

The Adventure Continues!

~SPF (AKA "Not-As-Big-Anymore-Irish")

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First Post
I'm a bit mixed on the Advanced Races Compendium. While the content itself is fantastic, there are some glaring rookie layout errors that, had I got the leatherbound instead of the regular, I'd be mighty upset about having a flawed print for that price. Things bad enough that, while i'm no professional proof reader, these jumped out to ensnare my attention as I was lying in bed. No book is perfect, but these errors where awfully damned avoidable and should have never made print. I think the first one is in one of the tables for the Derro. At least my pdf copy should eventually have corrections. Barring that, love how much detail is given to all the races!

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