At their core, roleplaying games should inspire you to think of great adventures for your characters. Horror should conjure dread. Low fantasy should lead to a gritty game night. The right new idea can make you look at a game you’ve known for a decade in an entirely new light. To reinterpret a classic, this week I’m looking at:
- Into the Wyrd and Wild by Charles Ferguson-Avery
- Low Fantasy Gaming – Deluxe Edition by Pickpocket Press
117 Pathfinder PDFs for $10! Ends on December 31st, 2018. [Due to length, the sample list of PDFs is at the end of this article.]
The question of Pathfinder 1e’s fate has come up before. Will it continue to be loved like AD&D 1e while Pathfinder 2e is received like D&D 5e, or will it be obscured by PF2e’s shadow leaving a notable portion of the industry’s content languishing on the digital (and physical) shelves. It’s a real consideration for many tabletop RPG companies. Yet, as the industry waits for PF2e’s final form and fan reactions, there is an opportunity to take the long tail of Pathfinder 1e products and sell them at a considerable discount. Enter Rogue Genius Games‘ ALL Genius Guide Bundle! This is an extensive collection of Pathfinder 1e products that are all but official. I’m not going to attempt to tempt you with specific offerings from the bundle [sample list at the end of this article], instead, I’m going to stand by the “all but official” statement by pointing out who Rogue Genius Games is. It’s Owen KC Stephens. Who is Owen KC Stephens? Currently, he’s the Starfinder Design Lead at Paizo Inc., Lead Developer at Rogue Genius Games, and Pathfinder Developer at Green Ronin Publishing. If that’s not enough to make you believe that his Pathfinder work will be canon, he was also a Developer at Paizo, Pathfinder RPG Developer at Super Genius Games, and an RPG Designer at Wizards of the Coast. Are RGG’s Pathfinder products official? No, but coming from the keyboard of Owen KC Stephens and “the creative talents of Stan!, Lj Stephens, Alex Augunas, & the Four Horsemen (Dan Dillon, Steve Helt, Stephen Rowe, & Tim Hitchcock),” these are as close as you can come to Paizo, but at a fraction of the price.
Questions about the system? Check out Pathfinder 1e’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/
Into the Wyrd and Wild by Charles Ferguson-Avery
Ends on Mon, January 7 2019 12:28 AM EST.
“A wilderness-horror setting and rulebook for the world’s most popular role-playing game.
Beyond the reach of roads, past the scope of mortals, there is a darkened place. A shadowed tree-line where no-one dares cross and whose boundaries go undisturbed.
This is not the woods of peaceful fey and beast, but the dark and twisted children’s tale that kept you full of terror. It is a world of fear, madness, and bloodshed; ruled over by the uncaring watch of ancient trees. There is no bargaining with the primal forces that rule the uncivilized world, as you have nothing they could ever want.
The woods do not care for you. Never forget that.
Into the Wyrd and Wild is a supplemental book for those seeking to incorporate a weird and terrifying wilderness into their role-playing game. Players and GMs who enjoy a level of horror and prefer the sweeping, darkened landscapes of forest and mires to the well-trodden cobblestone of dungeons need look no further when it comes to books. Presented within the book is a light overhaul of the adventuring system, modified to fit better with a campaign centered around forays into the frightening wilderness.
In addition to stocking the area with new monsters and set pieces, Into the Wyrd and Wild is also an attempt to increase the playability of the wilderness. Rather than have the wilderness remain a place along the way to a dungeon, it seeks to make the wilderness a dungeon in itself. Included in this is an essay on design theory as well as a way to easily and randomly construct a wilderness dungeon.
The book contains a variety of information for both GM and players alike. For players, there is a vast array of strange items and artifacts, each embodying the haunting and feral nature of the Wyrd and Wild. There is also a section devoted to spells, specifically, Wyrd magics that may be just as deadly to the caster but offer great and terrible powers if they choose to harness it. Finally, there is a list of the odd and useful floras that dwell within the wilds, plant-life that ranges from profitable and wondrous, to deadly and loathsome.
For GMs, this book contains every possible thing you might need to run a wilderness-horror themed game. Monsters that present unique and specific challenges to the player, while also being terrifying and lethal; simple rules for use in the Wilds that make gameplay both easier and deeper; unique factions that exist within the Wilds, for use or adaptation in a home game; and of course a plethora of tables for generating random locations, treasures, encounters, and more.
While the contents of Into the Wyrd and Wild were designed for D&D and the OSR, this book has been written to be as system-neutral as possible. This means that:
- Rules and stats are written bare-bone with the intention of being widely compatible.
- Enough information is given that a GM and player can easily adapt it to their own preferred system.
The book contains:
- Rules for wilderness travel and survival
- Rules for Moon Cycles and strange phases.
- Rules for hunting, tracking, and butchering monsters.
- 40+ dangerous and terrifying monsters.
- 40+ strange and savage items.
- 40+ spells and rules for channeling the Wyrd.
- An essay and guideline on running and creating “wilderness dungeons.”
- A step-by-step guide for generating your own wilderness adventure.
- 100 random wilderness locations.
- Tables upon tables of random diseases, wilderness dressings, traps, hazards, flora, encounters, and MORE.
- All illustrated with over 250 pieces of original art.
Whether you are a veteran group looking to make a foray into the terrifying Wilds, or new to the hobby and looking to spice up your game, Into the Wyrd and Wild provides something for everyone.”
Does Charles Ferguson-Avery’s art look familiar? It’s the inspiration for the recent Never Going Home RPG by Wet Ink Games. Never Going Home took Wet Ink Games’ Compass System and applied it to the artwork and world crafted in Charles’ artbook, World War Occult, resulting in a Kickstarter that far exceeded its goal on December 3rd. On that same day, Charles launched a Kickstarter for Into the Wyrd and Wild, a D&D and OSR product that “has been written to be as system-neutral as possible.” The stats will be pretty bare-bones, but the ideas will be there. Add to it, the art style is good enough to inspire one RPG, so it’s more than capable of being the foundation for a great new project. Both the art and video evoke the advertised feeling of dread. For horror, based on the art and video, this project has a real shot at being an engaging dark adventure for your gaming table.
To clarify, Wet Ink Games licensed Charles’ work as the basis for Never Going Home. The Kickstarter for Into the Wyrd and Wild is by Charles, not Wet Ink Games. I mention this so it does not seem like WIG, or Charles, are going back to the crowdfunding well too quickly since they’re separate companies with separate staffs.
Questions about the system? Check out D&D 5e’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at: http://www.5esrd.com/
This crowdfunding campaign ends on Monday, January 7 2019 12:28 AM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.
Low Fantasy Gaming – Deluxe Edition by Pickpocket Press
Ends on Sun, January 6 2019 4:49 AM EST.
“Less Magic. More Grit.
What is Low Fantasy Gaming?
Low Fantasy Gaming is a tabletop RPG built for gritty adventures in low or moderate magic settings. It has simple rules, dangerous combat, flexible PC customization, and mysterious, unpredictable magic. Designed for short, episodic adventures in sandbox worlds, LFG provides the mechanics and tables needed for easy GM improvisation. It’s a heady mix of the best old school, modern, and new game design, wrapped around a familiar d20 core.
- 9 Classes: Artificer, Barbarian, Bard, Cultist, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue & Magic User; only two of which involve magic.
- 12th Level Max eliminates the most powerful spells and keeps the mightiest monsters scary.
- Unique Features: every 3rd level design your own PC ability in conjunction with your GM. Don’t want to make your own? Choose from 36 examples instead.
- Roll Equal or Under for attribute checks (inc degrees of success), making every stat point matter.
- Skills provide access to a level based Reroll Pool, smoothing the fickleness of d20 probability distribution.
- Willpower & Perception attributes replace Wisdom.
- Luck attribute replaces saving throws and powers some Martial Exploits.
- Minor, Major & Rescue Exploits on top of damage, not in lieu, promote improvised stunts and moments of greatness.
- Dangerous Combat: Dropping to zero hp requires a roll on the Injuries & Setbacks table and healing is delayed by 1d3 minutes (magical or otherwise). Players don’t roll to find out if their PC is All Dead or Mostly Dead until the battle ends and someone checks the body.
- Party Retreat & Chase rules allow the GM to throw whatever makes sense at the party, unshackling them from balanced encounters and quarantined zones.
- 5 minute Short Rests allow PCs to attempt Willpower checks to recover hit points and class abilities, encouraging the party to push on rather than camp.
- Long Rests take 1d6 days (or 1d4 in a safe, comfortable environment), mitigating the nova, rest, repeat problem for adventures with long periods between battles (eg: wilderness treks).
- Dark & Dangerous Magic tests and Divine Rebuke tests make all spellcasting inherently uncertain. No at-will, teleport, mind reading or resurrection magic. Magic Users are less reliant on spells, proficient in one-handed weapons and light armor.
- Evocative Spells: Spells have been tweaked and renamed, eg: Silent Image, Invisibility, Magic Missile and Hold Monster are instead Shadows & Dust, A Wisp Unseen, Lash of Unerring Pain and Crush of the Warp.
- Rare Magic Items, with obvious and discreet attunements, that unlock as their owners level up.
- GM Tables for Weather, Exploration Events, Random Encounters, Traps, Treasure, Disease, Madness, Tavern Brawls, Hirelings, Mass Battle, Naval Combat, NPC Quirks, Rival Adventurers, Blackpowder, and more.
- 130+ Monsters including effective Boss Monster options (eg: Off Turn Attacks match the party’s action economy, and Stronger Luck grants saves even when a save is not normally permitted), plus Custom Monsters guide.
- Online Play Support: an LFG character sheet is available for online play via Roll20.
- Open Game Content: 99% of LFG text is “Open Game Content” under the Open Game Licence. Want to make your own adventures or expansions for LFG and sell them? Go right ahead!
- Rules as Guidelines. The GM is the final authority on all LFG rules, which are expected to be tweaked to fit table preferences.
Curious for more? Download original LFG right now for free:https://lowfantasygaming.com/comments/
Why a Deluxe Edition?
A lot has happened since LFG’s release in 2016. Four new classes. GM Toolkits for Traps, Hirelings, Blackpowder, Naval Combat, and Mass Battle. Two years of play experience and invaluable community feedback. Low Fantasy Gaming Deluxe Edition consolidates all this and more into one mighty tome, in Full Colour or B&W Line Art (your choice). As you might expect, we’ve taken the opportunity to tweak or clarify a handful of rules, yet remain fully compatible with original LFG material (excluding page number references).”
Why Low Fantasy Gaming? You want low to moderate amounts of magic and the challenge of death, yet game balance. If you’ve ever played AD&D without magic, it’s a meatgrinder as you face off against creatures that don’t have to fear you because they can fly or can only be hurt by magic or worse. That’s to say that the game was intended for magic. In contrast, LFG was not. If you’re looking for a variant d20 system with extras, grit, all for simple adventures, this may speak to you.
As a part of the Open Gaming Network and the string of SRD sites [for more details about the sites, check out the OGN’s recent press release here], we look for games that take the Open Gaming License seriously and a major component of Low Fantasy Gaming is its embrace of the OGL. From the campaign:
“Open Game Content: 99% of LFG text is “Open Game Content” under the Open Game License. Want to make your own adventures or expansions for LFG and sell them? Go right ahead!”
If you enjoy LFG and create an adventure for your table, then write it up and publish it. Pickpocket Press wants you to expand its world and don’t begrudge you profiting from it. It’s a lovely taking to the spirit of the OGL.
Questions about the system? Check out:
- D&D 5e’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at http://www.5esrd.com/ for rules about the current version of D&D.
- Sword & Wizardry’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at http://www.d20swsrd.com/ for rules about an OSR.
This crowdfunding campaign ends on Sunday, January 6 2019 4:49 AM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.
The Genius Guide To 110 Spell Variants
The Genius Guide To 110 Spell Variants, Vol. III
The Genius Guide To 110 Spell Variants, Vol. IV
The Genius Guide To Air Magic
The Genius Guide To Another 110 Spell Variants
The Genius Guide To Apeiron Staves
The Genius Guide To Apprentice-Level Characters
The Genius Guide To Arcane Archetypes
The Genius Guide To Archer Archetypes
The Genius Guide To Bravery Feats
The Genius Guide To Chaos Magic
The Genius Guide To Crystal Magic
The Genius Guide To Divination Magic
The Genius Guide To Divine Archetypes
The Genius Guide To Domain Channeling
The Genius Guide To Dream Magic
The Genius Guide To Earth Magic
The Genius Guide To Exalted Domains of Light and Lore
The Genius Guide To Exalted Domains of Storms and Savagery
The Genius Guide To Exalted Domains of War and Ruin
The Genius Guide To Expanded Favored Class Options
The Genius Guide To Favored Class Options
The Genius Guide To Feats of Battle
The Genius Guide To Feats of Critical Combat
The Genius Guide To Feats of Divine Might
The Genius Guide To Feats of Immediate Action
The Genius Guide To Feats of Metamagic
The Genius Guide To Feats of Multiclassing
The Genius Guide To Feats of Psionic Might
The Genius Guide To Feats of Runic Might
The Genius Guide To Feats of Runic Might II: Runebinding
The Genius Guide To Feats of Spellcasting
The Genius Guide To Feats of Spellcasting II
The Genius Guide To Feats of Subterfuge
The Genius Guide To Fire Magic
The Genius Guide To Gruesome Dragons
The Genius Guide To Gruesome Giants
The Genius Guide To Gruesome Monsters (In Production)
The Genius Guide To Gruesome Undead Templates
The Genius Guide To Hellfire Magic
The Genius Guide to Homophone Spells
The Genius Guide To Hoof and Horn Racial Options
The Genius Guide To Horrific Haunts
The Genius Guide To Horrifically Overpowered Feats
The Genius Guide To Horrifically Overpowered Mythic Feats
The Genius Guide To Ice Magic
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 1: Armor and Weapons
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 2: Pretty, Pretty, Rings
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 3: Hot Rods
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 4: Fantastic Footwear
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 5: All You Need Is Gloves
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 6: Cloaks and Daggers
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 7: Krazy Kragnar’s Used Chariots
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 8: Belt One On
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 9: Bell, Book, & Candle
The Genius Guide To Loot 4 Less Vol. 10: Fezzes Are Cool!
The Genius Guide To Martial Archetypes
The Genius Guide To More Cavalier Talents
The Genius Guide To More Barbarian Talents
The Genius Guide To More Bard Talents
The Genius Guide To More Fighter Talents
The Genius Guide To More Witch Talents
The Genius Guide To More Horrifically Overpowered Feats
The Genius Guide To More Monk Talents
The Genius Guide To More Ranger Talents
The Genius Guide To More Rogue Talents
The Genius Guide To Mythic Subpaths
The Genius Guide To Name Traits
The Genius Guide To Races of Fire and Fury
The Genius Guide To Races of Hoof and Horn
The Genius Guide To Races of Wind and Wing
The Genius Guide To Relics of the Godlings
The Genius Guide To Relics of the Godlings II
The Genius Guide To Rune Staves and Wyrd Wands
The Genius Guide To Simple Class Templates for Monsters
The Genius Guide To Simple Monster Templates
The Genius Guide To The Archon
The Genius Guide To The Armiger
The Genius Guide To The Cruorchemist (Agrestasaurus)
The Genius Guide To The Death Knight
The Genius Guide To The Death Mage
The Genius Guide To The Dracomancer
The Genius Guide To The Dragonrider
The Genius Guide To The Godling
The Genius Guide To The Godling Ascendant
The Genius Guide To The Hellion
The Genius Guide To The Magister
The Genius Guide To The Mosaic Mage
The Genius Guide To The Mystic Godling – Giant Sized Edition
The Genius Guide To The Opportunist
The Genius Guide To The Order of Vigilance
The Genius Guide To The Riven Mage
The Genius Guide To The Shadow Assassin
The Genius Guide To The Shadow Warrior
The Genius Guide To The Talented Barbarian
The Genius Guide to the Talented Bard
The Genius Guide To The Talented Bestiary
The Genius Guide To The Talented Bestiary Preview
The Genius Guide To The Talented Cleric
The Genius Guide To The Talented Fighter
The Genius Guide To The Talented Monk
The Genius Guide To The Talented Ranger
The Genius Guide To The Talented Rogue
The Genius Guide To The Talented Witch
The Genius Guide To The Templar
The Genius Guide To The Time Thief
The Genius Guide To The Time Warden
The Genius Guide To The Vanguard
The Genius Guide To The War Master
The Genius Guide To The Witch Hunter
The Genius Guide To Vampire Magic
The Genius Guide To What’s In My Pocket
The Genius Guide To What’s In My Pocket, Part Deux
The Genius Guide To Wind and Wing Racial Options