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Sean's Picks of the Week (1204-1208) - Cops & Robbers Week!

We definitely took a crime-and-punishment approach to the Picks this week, inspired by the release of the preview version of Capers. These are products that focus on either the commission of crimes or playing the folks who take up the cause and the badge to deal with criminal intent. Whether you're looking to play gangsters and cutthroats trying to make a dishonest living, or the lawbringers who put it all on the line to protect the public.


With the recent release of CAPERS (Preview Edition), I am calling this Cops & Robbers Week at the SPOD – a week dedicated to playing either criminals or those who track them down and bring them to justice.

CAPERS is all about playing gangsters during the 1920s… but with superpowers! Then again, the coppers have `em, too!

NOTE – This is a preview edition meant to give you a taste of what’s coming via Kickstarter, and to give some feedback for the design. It’s a full game experience, though.

CAPERS is a superpowered RPG of 1920s gangsters. Players portray gangsters and bootleggers looking to make thieir fortunes in a wolrd of illegal alchohol, gambling, prostitution, and racketeering.

And you have superpowers. But so do the cops and feds.

This preview edition of the CAPERS game gives you everything you need to give the game a whirl. Full rules, some setting info, a smattering of powers, an introductory adventure, and some pre-generated characters. This version features simple layout and b/w artwork. The final version of the game will be much fancier and 150+ pages of full color super-powered gangster fun.

NerdBurger Games will be Kickstarting CAPERS on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 to fund final artwork, layout, and a few other things. So stay tuned!


We continue to explore matters of crime and punishment with Cops & Robbers Week, today focusing on Melior Via‘s Thin Blue Line for Savage Worlds. Lovingly crafted by a man from the very streets he writes about, this setting deals with modern day supernatural horror and the realities of being a police officer in the oldest neighborhood of a Rust Belt iconic city.

“Watch your step rookie, or you’ll end up in Corktown.”

Calamity brews in Detroit. Paranormal activity is on the rise. An angry spirit, a dangerous creature, or a pack of desperate cultists hides under every sewer cover and within every abandoned building. The officers of Corktown Precinct are the only thing standing between the city and paranormal onslaught. Corktown has a secret, though. Its crew of supposed washouts are either psychics or have encountered the paranormal. These damaged, over-worked, and under-paid officers must keep paranormal activity in Detroit under wraps and out of sight. No mean feat in a city as old, large, and haunted as Detroit.

Corktown officers face constant threats from mundane crime, paranormal forces, as well as their inner demons and growing madness. Do they have what it takes? Can they stand against the growing threats, or will they be consumed, along with the city they guard?

The Thin Blue Line is a modern horror setting that requires the Savage Worlds Core Rulebook and the Savage Worlds Horror Companion for use.

This is the full setting for The Thin Blue Line – A Detroit Police Story. It includes detailed information on the setting’s NPCs, paranormal creatures, adventures and an adventure generator, and cursed items.

Buyers also receive PDF character sheets in Printer Friendly and Full color versions. These include standard and form-fillable variants.


Here we are in the middle of Cops & Robbers Week with another excellent look at being a police officer in extraordinary circumstances. Featuring the investigation-oriented GUMSHOE system, Mutant City Blues puts the players in the roles of cops attached to a special unit that deals with criminals who have extraordinary powers. It’s crime-solving and takedowns in a world turned just a bit upside-down.

This one is highly-rated and well-respected:

“I loved the way that this linked in with the esoterrorist system. The quade diagram and the ability to create great drama with the system WITHOUT depending on the players getting the clues…..just asking the right questions. When I set it in Detroit with all the google earth maps the setting seemed to really materialize for my players and what they were doing. Great system!”

Steve Kyer, RPGNow.com 5/5 Stars.

“This game was my first exposure to the GUMSHOE system and it made me fall in love with it! This game is extremely fun. I really love how all the mutant powers are related to each other on a diagram, giving more plausibility to super-powers and how they would develop. The world is rich and full of color and interesting ideas. I highly recommend this game.”

Devon Kelley, RPGNow.com Featured Reviewer 5/5 Stars.

A stand-alone GUMSHOE game of contemporary super powers

Ten years ago, 1% of the population gained mutant powers.

1% of the citizens means 1% of the criminals!

…and you’re the cops who clean up the mess.

EVER SINCE the Sudden Mutation Event, people have been able to fly. Phase through walls. Read minds. Shoot bolts of energy from their fingertips. Walk into dreams.

Police work will never be the same.

AS MEMBERS OF the elite Heightened Crime Investigation Unit, you and your fellow detectives solve crimes involving the city’s mutant community. When a mutant power is used to kill, you catch the case. When it’s a mutant victim in the chalk outline, you get the call. And when it comes time for a fight, you deploy your own extraordinary abilities to even the odds.

WITH NEW HUMAN CAPACITY has come new science. Your squad brings forensic science to bear on the solution of mutant crimes. Need to know if a suspect is the victim of mind control or dream observation? Perform an EMAT protocol to detect the telltale signs of external influence. Was your victim killed by a light blast? Use Energy Residue Analysis to match the unique wound pattern to the murderer, as surely as ballistic science links a bullet to a gun.

Does your crime scene yield trace evidence of two separate powers? Use your trusty copy of the Quade Diagram, the infallible map of genetic relationships between mutant powers, to tell if one suspect could have used both—or if you have two perps on your hands.

IF CHASES, INTERROGATIONS and mutant battles weren’t enough to handle, you also serve as a bridge between the authorities and your mutant brethren. To successfully close cases, you must navigate the difficult new politics of post-mutation society, and deal with your own personal issues and mutation-caused defects.

MUTANT CITY BLUES runs on GUMSHOE, the acclaimed investigative rules set powering the hit new game Trail Of Cthulhu. GUMSHOE offers a simple yet revolutionary method for writing, running and playing mystery scenarios. It ensures fast-flowing play, always giving you the informational puzzle pieces you need to propel your latest case toward its exciting final revelations.


The last couple of Picks for Cops & Robbers Week were pretty focused on the law-and-order side of things, so today we take a look at a game that is entirely about being the Robbers… and Thieves, Assassins, Cutpurses, etc…. Blades in the Dark is a multi-award-winning and critically-acclaimed game that really drills down into concepts and game play elements specifically oriented on putting a crew together and playing out schemes and capers while struggling to survive against rival operations.

Blades in the Dark is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. There are heists, chases, occult mysteries, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, and, above all, riches to be had — if you’re bold enough to seize them.

You and your fledgling crew must thrive amidst the threats of rival gangs, powerful noble families, vengeful ghosts, the Bluecoats of the city watch, and the siren song of your scoundrel’s own vices. Will you rise to power in the criminal underworld? What are you willing to do to get to the top?

In this stand-alone game, you’ll find:

  • Rules to create your scoundrel using the following character archetypes: the Cutter, the Hound, the Leech, the Lurk, the Slide, the Spider, or the Whisper.
  • Rules to create your crew, built from types like Assassins, Bravos, a Cult, Hawkers, Shadows, or Smugglers.
  • A robust core mechanic which puts the fiction first—the strength of a character’s position (desperate, risky, or controlled) matters just as much as the character’s ability scores.
  • A lightning-fast mechanic for planning criminal operations to cut through the usual slog of planning at the game table.
  • Rules for alchemical experiments, gadget tinkering, and weird occult powers—including rules for playing Ghosts and other strange beings.
  • A setting guide to the haunted city of Doskvol, with all the maps, factions, NPCs, schemes, and opportunities you need to run an exciting sandbox game.


We close out Cops & Robbers Week with a great Pathfinder support product from Adamant Entertainment crafted to help you design criminal organizations for your fantasy campaign world. It includes five fully-fleshed groups to drop right into the setting – to either lure your PCs into criminal activity or plague them with insidious antagonists.

Adamant Entertainment, the first Pathfinder support publisher, presents a system for creating criminal organizations in Pathfinder, as well as five sample organizations ready for use in any campaign.

From Original Sin to The Oldest Profession, people have been ignoring the moral constraints placed upon them since there have been people. For some it’s a conscious choice to display their freedom and individuality, while for others it springs from a moment of passion; still for others, it’s simply a means of survival. Some make flaunting the rules a habit and become very, very good at it, whether it’s murder, theft, blackmail, or providing banned substances. Even primitive cultures can deal with individuals like this, often resorting to shunning or banishing the offenders. But as societies become more complex and sophisticated, so do the criminals, many of whom see banding together as the best way to ensure their long-term survival.

Criminal organizations in a fantasy world can be especially tricky. Not only do they have access to spells and devices to aid them in disguise, stealth, and escape, but some are also able to call upon deadly magics and truly powerful otherworldly beings.

The Five Families presents a system for creating criminal organizations in a way that they can be treated just like a character — with ability scores, skills, feats, and hit points — ranging in scope from a back-alley gang found in a single city, to a secret society spanning the entire world.

In addition, five sample organizations are presented:

  • The House of Nath: A crime family that controls all criminal activity within the capital city, and has outposts in most of the major towns in the kingdom. Woe to the outsider rogue who starts thieving without the House’s blessing…
  • The Carnival of the Air: A magical troupe of confidence tricksters and swindlers who operate out of a travelling carnival run by the mysterious Lord of Misrule.
  • The Daughters of Repose: A devout sisterhood, devoted servants of the Goddess of Fate and Death, for whom assassination is the ultimate act of religious duty.
  • The Minders: A cabal of scholars and agents who gather intelligence on behalf of those who can pay, or to extort money from wealthy victims.
  • The Skrinn: When the city was built on top of the warrens of the ratfolk, they stayed — and now offer their own particular brand of alchemy to the citizens of the surface world, trading in poisons and illicit drugs.

Each sample organization is detailed with fully-statted example personnel and NPCs, magic items, strongholds and adventure seeds.


As December is fully upon us, thoughts of gift-giving and holiday cheer fill the air for most. My family and I are actually heading back East (Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama) to see family and friends. I hope all of you have some great plans for your holiday celebrating.

Of course, if you have gamers on your shopping list, you should always look to support your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). Alternately, you can grab great stuff right off of DriveThruRPG; if you're not entirely sure what to get someone, the site has all kinds of Gift Certificate options.

This weekend is decorating with friends, our annual Combat Santa Gift Exchange (it's like Dirty Santa, but with dice rolling in the "Combat Santa Arena"), and the Storm Knights taking on the forces of the Iron Tyrant in my Prowlers & Paragons: Ultimate Edition - Modern Gods campaign.

What're you up to?

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!



Also worth mentioning that Blades in the Dark just released their SRD on their website, and there's some third-party content in the works.


Ooh! I wonder if you get to deal with the Nain Rouge in "The Thin Blue Line"!
Here is a bit from a sidebar

"Cadillac and Le Nain Rouge

By the time he left for the New World, Antoine Cadillac had amassed an impressive collection of enemies. None, however, would cause as much damage to him, and to Detroit, as Le Nain Rouge. Literally “The Red Dwarf”, Le Nain Rouge is a Lutin, an ancient Norman house spirit."

(there is more, but I did not want to cut/paste too much).


Here is a bit from a sidebar

"Cadillac and Le Nain Rouge

By the time he left for the New World, Antoine Cadillac had amassed an impressive collection of enemies. None, however, would cause as much damage to him, and to Detroit, as Le Nain Rouge. Literally “The Red Dwarf”, Le Nain Rouge is a Lutin, an ancient Norman house spirit."

(there is more, but I did not want to cut/paste too much).
That's fantastic! I've been intrigued by Nain Rouge for years. I'm really glad to see him (it???) show up in a project like this. You couldn't do a book about Detroit and the paranormal without it!