Sean's Picks of the Week (0626-0630) - It's a Kind of Magic Week!

I'm going to stick with Theme Weeks for a while and see how that goes. As always, I'd appreciate you letting me know if you like the idea or not. If you do like it, then please feel free to suggest themes for the future! This week (which I rather imagine, like others, will recur more than once) is all about Magic, the Arcane, and how that plays into your game. Sure, there has to be a D&D-related Pick in there, but I think you'll find a pretty interesting mix of stuff across many fields here.


RIFTS BOOK OF MAGIC

I think I’ll try to stick with Theme Weeks every week, and see how it goes. This is an It’s a Kind of Magic Week, with a decided arcane theme.

The rollout of all-things-Rifts continues from Palladium, with one of their most important and popular books finally in PDF. Many hundreds of spells, magic items, and everything to do with magic all over the Megaverse.

The ultimate Rifts® reference on magic

This is it, the ultimate guide to magic for Rifts Earth. All the magic spells, magic tattoos, Techno-Wizard items, magic weapons, equipment, body armor, restraints, parasites, symbiotes, magic items, armor, automatons, Iron Juggernauts, and more from Rifts® World Books 1-23, Sourcebooks 1-4, and Siege on Tolkeen 1-6, collected into one big reference.

  • 850+ spells of great variety.
  • 370+ magic items, weapons and devices.
  • Elemental Magic, Temporal Magic, Ley Line Magic, Cloud Magic and Necromancy.
  • Tattoo Magic, Nazca Line Magic, Nature Magic, Whalesongs and Ocean Magic, and more.
  • Magic Songs, Chants, Biomancy, and Iron Juggernauts.
  • Techno-Wizard weapons and devices, Rune Weapons, Millennium Tree wands and other magic items.
  • Magic herbs, plants, components and symbiotes.
  • Shamanistic magic, Fetishes, Talismans and more.
  • Comprehensive index of Practitioners of Magic.
  • Designer notes, comments, tips & hints for running magic characters.
  • 352 pages of magic and wonderment.


DRESDEN FILES ACCELERATED

The world of Jim Butcher‘s Harry Dresden continues to draw gamers in. Really, this is no surprise, considering the man is a long-time gamer himself, and fans of his work who are also roleplayers sense the connection. The world Harry navigates (and barely survives) is a compelling realm of modern fantasy and very much a place for heroes and other interesting folks to gather and try to stem the tide of chaos and evil that might otherwise shatter the veil between everyday life and the worst parts of magic and monsters. There’s been a full-on FATE-driven iteration for a while; now Evil Hat wants to open the world up to even more folks with the much-lauded Accelerated version of the rules (featuring the work of my friend, Leonard Balsera among other great folks).

Welcome to Day Two of It’s a Kind of Magic Week!

PARKOUR! Leap right into the Dresdenverse!

Welcome to Dresden Files Accelerated, a pared-down, pick up and play RPG set in the world of Jim Butcher’s NYT bestselling Dresden Files series. Take a jaunt through the Nevernever, stand up to the Black Court, and sit down for a pint at Mac’s. This book contains all you need to make it happen.

In this book, Ivy—a.k.a. the Archive—will walk you through everything you need to know to get your game running, including:

  • An introduction to the major super­natural players in the Dresdenverse and the places you might meet them.
  • A new mantle system that speeds up character creation and gets you into the game fast.
  • Faction-based campaign creation that creates immediate drama and action for your group.
  • A scale system to support interacting with and playing at various power levels.
  • Easy-to-learn Fate Accelerated style gameplay, with a few clever Dresdenverse tweaks.

Dresden Files Accelerated.
Fun. Fast. FUEGO!



ARCHETYPAL SPELL COMPENDIUM: ARTIFICERS & ARCANISTS

As It’s a Kind of Magic Week rolls on, today’s Pick is from the Dungeon Masters Guild, where creative gamers can share their ideas for D&D. This is a particularly popular collection of spells focused on the makers, the task-focused, and arcane “scientists” of your 5e fantasy setting.

101 new spells appear in Archetypal Spell Compendium: Artificers & Arcanists, a massive collection of new options for spellcasters including three FOUR new subclasses for artificers, new archetypes for wizards, sorcerers, and clerics, 20 new spells for artificers, 30 or more (sometimes much more!) spells for each major spellcasting class, over a dozen spells each for the paladin and ranger, and more for 5th Edition D&D games set in the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and beyond. These options include not just rules, but detailed descriptions and setting material to help you or your players role-play these new options to the hilt. Click the preview to see the whole table of contents, including lists of all spells.

Now available for $10– a value of 10 cents per spell, +1 free spell! When more content is added, the price may go up for later purchasers, but early buyers receive all new content for free.

New Class Archetypes include:
  • NEWLY ADDED: The Clockwork Engineer (an Artificer Specialist Archetype). This steampunk artificer uses clockwork devices secreted on his person to perform unexpected attacks and imitate life with inanimate objects.
  • THREE New Artificer Specialists: The arcane sleuth creates the tools that help solve impossible mysteries; eradicators infuse magical symbols with the power to destroy the hated monsters who are their sworn enemies; the prodigy chooses to perfect and enchant his own person rather than relying on any one item.
  • New Cleric Divine Domain: Defier. Disbelieving heretics who are no longer true clerics, drawing their power from elsewhere and disavowing the worship of any deity;
  • New Sorcerous Origin: Shugenja. Called by divine forces and trained in some of the ki powers of monks, these masters of the elements tap into holy forces and balance spiritual forces through their own bodies;
  • New Wizard Arcane Tradition: Guild Wizardry. Members of an arcane order who share resources in pursuit of magical power, these wizards can borrow spells from distant wizards and excel at out-casting other arcanists;

101 new spells include all the spells from the author’s previous products, plus just as many brand new ones. Carry your own hideout anywhere you go with pocket cave; punish any who dare to harm your allies with ray of reprisal; accomplish any task quickly and efficiently with a servant army; burn away flesh and memory alike with lesser chainfire; visiting the fury of hell itself on anyone in your path with Glasya’s stride; and many, many, many more unique and powerful spells.

A content-packed resource for players and DM’s alike, Archetypal Spell Compendium: Artificers & Arcanists opens up new possibilities of power, mystery, wonder, and most of all magic for any D&D 5th Edition game.

If you enjoy this product, please check out other DM’s Guild titles by the same author.

If you think this product could be improved, please Review or at least leave a comment– all input is read and considered, and could show up in a newer version of the product!

Also, enjoy the perfect companion piece to this sourcebook, Forgotten Realms Archetypes II: Champions of Mystery, which features mysterious new factions, wielders of the raw power of legendary spellfire, sorcerous paladins, telepathic spies, rabble-rousing bards, masters of secretive dueling techniques, and more.



A MAGICAL MEDIEVAL SOCIETY: WESTERN EUROPE

As part of It’s a Kind of Magic Week, I wanted to include this gem. It’s a highly valuable exploration of world-building and campaign management of a believable, Western society-influenced setting in which magic plays a part. History-mixed-with-magic, if you will, and exceptionally helpful to anyone who wants to add elements of believable, immersive reality into their efforts.

What happens when high-level wizards and clerics can alter the course of fate, history, economies, and wars in a medieval-era world?

Read on!

This third edition of A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe adds an entirely new chapter about how to make realistic place names. A total of 18 new pages of material are contained in the 3rd edition. The below quote was said about the 1st Edition of A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe.

“If you’re a DM and running a D&D game, you should have this book. Period.” Monte Cook, author of the 3E Dungeon Master’s Guide, and owner of Monte Cook games.

This 208-page supplement is for GMs and players who wish to add a touch of realism to their game. It’s for the people who’d like to flesh out the background of their gaming world, but don’t have the time to dig through scholarly books. A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe provides you flexibility and advice in creating your own world. It contains a massive amount of game-usable information about the medieval period and focuses on how D20 magic could change a traditional medieval setting. Generation systems for kingdoms, cities, manors, aristocratic wealth and landholding; a thorough construction system; and an economic simulator allow GMs to recreate the high middle ages feel with ease.

A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe solves age-old dilemmas like: How much does it cost for my PCs to repair the formerly-orc-infested abandoned keep they want to use as a home base? What would happen, politically, were the PCs to set up their keep? How big is my city of 15,000 people? How many buildings are in my city? What do all the NPCs do? How do I start my PCs on the road to becoming kings? Just how much does a king earn a year anyway? What about just a regular noble? How big is a kingdom of 5,000,000 people? How many cultivated acres does it take to feed them? How should I map towns, cities, and smaller communities within my kingdom? What type of government should I use for my kingdom? How does magical religion really work? Just what do those NPCs do with all their time?

The questions plaguing DMs and world-builders for the past twenty-five years have now been answered!

…and now with the 3rd edition, you’ll get advice on how to name places in a realistic manner, with a comprehensive list of place names culled from UK topographical history, allowing you to systemically name your world as you see fit!



MAGE: THE ASCENSION (20TH ANNIVERSARY)

In Honor of Stewart Wieck (1968-2017), one of the founders of White Wolf and one of the original creators of Mage.

Finishing up It’s a Kind of Magic Week, it feels like there’s not a better final Pick than one of the iterations of what many feel is the ultimate iteration of “gaming the arcane.” By my Belovedest Carinn’s estimation, M20 represents the best version of Mage, so I am going with it as today’s Pick. However, there’s a few flavors of “agents of change” for your consideration, including Mage: The Ascension (Revised) and Mage: The Awakening (2nd Edition).

I tell you this: We are Divinity.

Reality is ours to bend. To subvert. To command.
We have that power – all of us.

Not everyone knows what to do with it, or uses it well.
Most of us never realize just what it is we are or how much we can do.

Those of us who do… well, some of us are monsters.
Manipulators. Parasites. Tyrants. Fanatics.

And the rest of us never see that monster in our own mirror, only in the reflections of those folks who are not “us.”

Here’s the truth, though: We are ALL “us.” We are ALL gifted,

We can ALL change the world. Most of us remain asleep.

A blessed few Awaken. Fewer still use that power wisely.
And none without consequences.

And so, reality is up for grabs. Where do you stand?

And will you Fall… or Ascend?

What’s in it?

• Updated profiles of the Council of Nine Traditions, the Technocratic Union, and the Disparate Crafts… with many unexpected developments.

• An epic history of magick and its factions.

• A compilation and clarification of essential and optional rules, including martial arts, vehicles, hazards, cybernetics, the Otherworlds, and far more besides.

• Overviews of paradigms, practices and tools – the focus of your Art.

• Detailed explorations of the epic concepts involved in Mage.

• Chilling looks at the Nephandi and Marauders.

• The Nine Spheres, plus their Technocratic variants.

• Old favorites and new faces from among the Awakened Ones.

• Reality Zones, Paradox, Quiet, the “coincidental vs. vulgar magick” debate, and far, far more…

• New full color original art by Michael William Kaluta, Echo Chernik, Steve Prescott, Christopher Shy, Larry MacDougall, and other classic Mage artists, as well as classic B&W pieces carefully chosen from the earlier editions.


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That last Pick was particularly poignant, because the loss of Stewart Wieck was both very sudden and very far-reaching across our industry. He truly impacted many, many lives. Onyx Path's Richard Thomas posted a very touching and effective tribute that really gets at the heart of who Stewart was and his legacy.

As you read this, I am likely at Magic City Con in Birmingham, AL. I am running Freedom Squadron, seeing old friends, and having a grand time despite the oppressive heat and humidity (likely due to going nowhere near outside).

For those of us in the United States, this is the weekend over which we will celebrate the 4th of July, our Independence Day. Generally, it's a grand excuse to blow things up, grill things, and have a long weekend. We've totally gotten over that whole misunderstanding with King George, I promise. ;-) There are some politically-charged jokes I could make here, but ... yeah, never mind. Let's stay with the gaming, shall we?

Speaking of, as always, I hope you have grand adventures planned both at the table and out in the world.

The Adventure Continues!

Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
 

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