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Sean's Picks of the Week (0706-0710) - ENnie Award Nominees, and a Storm is Coming!

This week has a heavy focus on ENnie Award Nominees, and there's a great teaser about a fantastic, hobby-changing development in the works.

Science Fiction Companion

Taking another look at the nominees for the 2015 ENnie Awards, here’s one from the Best Supplement Category.

There are places far beyond the familiar bounds of Earth. Some lie twinkling in the distant starfields, waiting to be discovered by intrepid explorers or conquered by legions of space marines. Others are just around the corner in time, a near future where hovertanks race across blasted battlefields, cyberware replaces organic limbs, and robots serve humanity—or attempt to annihilate it.

The Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion contains new races, Edges and Hindrances, Setting Rules, gear, cyberware, and numerous strange creatures from across the galaxy. It also includes detailed but simple rules for players and Game Masters to create their own robots, power armor, vehicles, starships, walkers and more to travel to the stars…and beyond!

First Edition Players Handbook

Hungry for something more beyond a small handful of possible character types and only three levels of experience, we of the first wave of D&D fans eagerly grabbed copies of the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook off of whatever shelves we could find them on. What is now called First Edition (or 1e) changed everything about gaming, taking it from a very minor blip in the hobby game culture to a phenomenon that continues to grow decades later.

You can now grab a PDF of this historic and still-entertaining set of rules. Just take a look at all the tables!

The 1st Edition Player’s Handbook is back!

No more searching through stacks of books and magazines to find out what you need to know. The Player’s Handbook puts it all at your fingertips, including: All recommended character classes: Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, Magic-Users, and more.

  • Character Races: Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Half-Orcs, Humans, and more.
  • Character Level Statistics.
  • Equipment lists with costs.
  • Spell listings by level and descriptions of effects (including many new spells!).
  • As a dungeon adventurer or Dungeon Master, you will find the contents of this book to be what you have been waiting for. All useful material is now compiled under one cover, especially for players!

Product History

Players Handbook (1978), by Gary Gygax, was the first book of rules for the AD&D game. It was published in June 1978 and seen by many for the first time at Gen Con XI (August 1978).

Moving Toward AD&D. The D&D game began with the OD&D box (1974), which was expanded with four supplements (1975-1976) and additional articles in The Strategic Review (1975-1976). However, by the time that Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry(1976) was published, TSR had already decided that the system — which now spanned a half dozen books and several newsletters — needed to be unified and cleaned up.

A new Basic D&D (1977) came out first, thanks to the singular efforts of J. Eric Holmes, but it was just an introductory book, intended to shepherd new players through the first three levels of play. What D&D really needed was a revamped game for the more advanced players: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

The AD&D system technically began with Monster Manual (1977) in December 1977. This compendium of monsters showed off the increased detail that would be present in the new AD&D game, but it didn’t give much hint at the game mechanics. That would await the publication of the AD&D Players Handbook (1978) six months later.

Despite the publication of AD&D, Gygax claimed that the original “D&D will always be with us”. He thought that OD&D and AD&D served different audiences, and that there was no reason to retire the original. OD&D did indeed remain available into the ’80s. Afterward, later editions of Basic D&D (1981, 1983) picked up the mantle of OD&D as the simpler and looser D&D game.

Designers & Dragons

Another choice from the ENnie Awards Nominees, this one being one of the choices for Product of the Year. Evil Hat and Shannon Appelcline did a fantastic job of encapsulating the history and journey of our unique and intriguing hobby, with a focus on the people who made it happen.



Designers & Dragons: The ’70s is a comprehensive picture of the beginnings of the RPG industry. This second edition expands the original single book into a series of four, and we’ve added over 50,000 new words to this volume alone. Learn about the colorful history of TSR and the wave of D&D inspired games (and gaming companies) to follow, and dip your toes into wargaming trivia. Regardless of your gaming background, Shannon Appelcline’s meticulously researched history won’t disappoint.

In this volume, you’ll find:

  • A foreword by Greg Stafford, creator of Glorantha and author of King Arthur Pendragon
  • Profiles for thirteen 1970s gaming companies including TSR, GDW, and Chaosium
  • The inside scoop behind games like D&D, Traveller, and The Fantasy Trip
  • Ten things you might not know about roleplaying in the ’70s
  • An extensive bibliography and index

Chrome Flesh

One thing you can say for certain about Shadowrun’s 5th Edition – there is absolutely no lack of ongoing support for it. The latest book, Chrome Flesh, delves into the many ways you can augment your runner.


Shadowrunners cannot be limited by what their bodies can—or cannot—do. They have to do more, stretch farther, surpass any limits, and accomplish the impossible. Some runners can rely on magic; for everyone else, there are augmentations. From shiny chrome that makes your body into a humanoid semitruck to genetech that alters you at the most fundamental level to drugs and chemicals that give you a quick and dirty boost, Chrome Flesh provides dozens of new ways to alter Shadowrun characters and make them better, stronger, faster, and altogether readier to kick ass and take names on the streets.

Along with the gear and a compiled table of all cyberware, bioware, genetech, and nanotech currently available in Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, Chrome Flesh covers how runners break down and what resources can help fix them up, and where augmentation tech might go in the future. It’s paydata every shadowrunner needs if they want to overcome everything the Sixth World is going to throw at them.

We’re going to end the week with another ENnie Award Nominee, this one in the Best Monster/Adversary Category.

The 13th Age Bestiary introduces all-new creatures for the 13th Age roleplaying game, plus surprising takes on some of your favorite monsters. It includes the fun and flexible mechanics you expect from 13th Age – and it makes every monster an adventure in its own right, with story hooks, icon relationships, customisable campaign elements and more advice on building exciting battles.

Because we made it so easy to create your own monsters in 13th Age, we had to make the creatures in this book truly amazing; so we designed cool and unexpected mechanics for each creature that bring something truly new to the game, and story options that can serve as the starting point for a single adventure or an entire campaign.

In this 240-page book you’ll discover:

  • The macabre lich aristocrats of the Undying Peerage
  • The shadow dragon, which baits greedy adventurers with cursed treasure
  • The twygzogs, a genuinely weird new player character race of fungaloids
  • The intellect devourer, which can slip undetected into the party after eating someone’s brain … and be transformed by the experience to join the side of the heroes

…and many more!

And here's that teaser I mentioned...

A Storm is Coming...

For those who recognize that die, yes, something really cool is going to be announced at Gen Con this year.

Another full weekend for Yours Truly. Tonight, a new session of Prowlers & Paragons: The Ultimate Edition, in my Modern Gods setting. Tomorrow, the Colorado Irish Festival with dear friends, and Sunday (which was supposed to be the continuation of our Birthright D&D 5e campaign, but we're missing too many players) is "Unknown Gaming Afoot at Teh Ebil Bunneh's House."

The Adventure Continues!




First Post

Calling it. Savage Worlds Torg. If they've tackled Rifts, Torg will be nothing compared to that.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but there is *not* a Savage Worlds Torg in the works, as I posted with my teaser image on Facebook.

Sorry...I'm not a regular on this forum...but news will be shared very soon elsewhere.




I recognize the Possibility Die, I still have mine!
SW: Torg could be cool, but if Shane says "No", it's no. :(
So we can keep guessing, and I too am betting it's Torg related.
Let the Storm Knights rise again!


So how is Prowlers & Paragons: The Ultimate Edition different from the P&P Core Rules set? The Lakeside Games website mentions nothing about an 'Ultimate Edition'. Is this something upcoming?

"A fantastic, hobby-changing development in the works."


Just another edition of TORG would be nice, but I wouldn't call it "hobby-changing."

What about these four guesses:

A) WotC has made an agreement to release a D&D 5E TORG, as a way to establish a world-hopping tradition which can tie all the D&D worlds together into a multi-genre campaign, like Monte Cook's "The Strange."
B) Paizo is releasing a Pathfinder TORG, for the same reason.
C) Green Ronin is releasing a Fantasy Age TORG, for the same reason.
D) Evil Hat is releasing a FATE TORG, for the same reason.


All four are true, and TORG is now being adopted as the default setting for every RPG, ever.

*That* would be hobby-changing!


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