Thursday, December 19, 2013

[Q&A] Jonathan M. Thompson (Crios)

[19:06] <+JMThompson> Good evening/morning/etc to everyone. I am Jonathan M. Thompson, owner and director of Battlefield Press and one of the chief writers on our new game currently being kickstarted.
[19:07] <+JMThompson> The world is a traditional fantasy world, only after an event known as the "god wars" magic has become unstable. In the years since the God Wars, magic has steadily waned and become unstable, giving rise in its place an industrial revolution and technologies that now do what magic once did, and at a cheaper cost.
[19:08] *** Ximni has left #rpgnet
[19:08] <+JMThompson> All of this doesn't come without a price, now that price is they are involved in a brutal world war. Crios is a fantasy campaign setting that mashes the fantasy genre with that of Earth's First World War. This will be a complete RPG based on the Renaissance Deluxe setting published by Cakebread & Walton.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

[Q&A] Ken Spencer (Rocket Age: Blood Red Mars)

<Ken_Spencer>: I am the lead writer and line developer for Cubicle 7's Rocket Age RPG. Our latest supplement is Blood Red Mars, a close look at Mars, Martians, and its role in the overarching setting of Rocket Age

Friday, December 13, 2013

[Q&A] Kurt Wiegel (Game Geeks)

[19:04] <+KurtWiegel> Hi all. I'm Kurt Wiegel, half of the Game Geeks production team. We're a YouTube based review show for RPGs. We've been at this for around 10 years (7 or so in YouTube) and just crested over 200 episodes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[Q&A] Leonard Pimentel (Prowlers & Paragons)

[19:03] <+LakeSideLen> Hi, I'm Len, and I'm a game designer.
[19:03] <+Nestor> HI, Len!
[19:03] <+LakeSideLen> <insert muted Hey Len from the crowd>
[19:03] *** Guest30 is now known as Keyes
[19:04] <*the_crowd*> hey len
[19:04] <+LakeSideLen> So, I wrote a supers game called Prowlers & Paragons, and dan was kind enough to invite me here to caht about it
[19:04] <+LakeSideLen> chat even

Monday, November 25, 2013

[Q&A] Dan Cross (Eldritch)

[19:04] <+EldritchMan> Ok, I am Dan Cross, a freelance author. My work includes several books with Troll Lord games, like Gary Gygax's World Builder (co-author), Insidiae (book of plots), fiction in the Crusader magazine, and development work on Lejendary Adventure RPG. Most recently, I co-authored the Eldritch RPG.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

[Q&A] Ben Rogers (ElfWood)

[19:05] <+BenRogers> Firstly, I want to thank Dan for asking me back to #rpgnet.  I'm Ben Rogers.  I'm the Product Manager for Harsh Realities, LLC and I work with an amazing team of people to produce fun games.
[19:05] <~Dan> (You're quite welcome! :) )
[19:06] <+BenRogers> Our most recent offering is ElfWood.  We're about to kickstart it. (In fact, we're just waiting for Kickstarter's approval to proceed.

Monday, November 18, 2013

[Q&A] Jeff Mechlinski (Age Past: The Incian Sphere)

[19:08] <+Age_Past_Jeff_> Hello!  My name is Jeff Mechlinski and I wrote and designed Age Past RPG

Thursday, November 14, 2013

[Q&A] Mark Plemmons (Corporia)

[19:06] <+Corporia_MarkP> Hello everyone! I'm Mark Plemmons, creator and designer of Corporia, a new urban fantasy tabletop rpg that's now funding on Kickstarter!
[19:06] <+Corporia_MarkP> The background is the Knights of the Round Table returning to a mega-corp dominated near-future setting, and having to deal with both corps and magic and monsters.
[19:06] <+Corporia_MarkP> (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/504288855/corporia-the-rpg-where-camelot-meets-corporate)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/504288855/corporia-the-rpg-where-camelot-meets-corporate

Monday, November 11, 2013

[Q&A] Cynthia Celeste Miller (Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3)

[19:05] <~Dan> Hello, everyone!
[19:05] <~Dan> Ordinarily, this is where the author would introduce himself/herself.
[19:05] <+CynthiaCM> Hello there, Dan.
[19:05] <~Dan> However, I'd like to say a few words about our guest this evening.
[19:05] <~Dan> There was a time when it seemed like every RPG author and his dog was going the edgy, jerky "artist" route.
[19:06] <~Dan> Cynthia Celeste Miller was not one of those people.

Monday, November 4, 2013

[Q&A] Brandon Schmelz, T. Amber Bezpalko, Joseph Kavanaugh (Nocturne)

[19:03] <+BrandonS> My name is Brandon Schmelz from Funhaver Games (Last Stand, Inverse World). I'm the project manager for Nocturne, a 13th Age setting reminiscent of Ravenloft. It had a Kickstarter last year that was a bit troubled, and we stepped in to save it.
[19:06] <+TAmber> I am T Amber Bezpalko (but call me Tonya), I am the editor for Nocturne. I am not sure a whole lot what there is to say there, so, next.
[19:07] <+JosephK> I'm Joseph Kavanaugh, I'm part of the mechanics team.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

[Q&A] Nathaniel Dean, Zeke Coughlin, Jess Shively (Clockwork: Empire)

[19:03] <+RGS-Zeke> (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496416526/clockwork-empire-roleplaying-game)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496416526/clockwork-empire-roleplaying-game
[19:03] <+RGSThan> Hi, I'm Nathaniel Dean, one of the designers and writers for Clockwork.
[19:03] <+RGS-Zeke> Anyone who's not yet familiar, you can check out the info about the game at the link above.
[19:04] <+RGS-Zeke> I'm Zeke Coughlin, the other primary designer of the game.

Monday, October 28, 2013

[Q&A] Daniel Proctor and Tim Snider (Cryptworld)

19:04] <+TimSnider> I'm Tim "Sniderman" Snider, coauthor of Cryptworld.
[19:04] <+TimSnider> MOst folks may know of my blog, The Savage AfterWorld though.
[19:05] <+DanP> My name is Dan Proctor, one man army behind Goblinoid Games. I bought the Pacesetter brand a year or two back, and Timemaster and Sandman, and decided to carry on with the brand.
[19:05] <+DanP> Cryptworld is the new official Pacesetter brand horror role-playing game. It uses the original Pacesetter action table, and though it is inspired by Pacesetter's CHILL it goes in new directions.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

[Q&A] Andy Hopp (Dementalism)

[19:04] <+andyhopp> Hello. I'm Andy Hopp, professional Danny DeVito impersonator and creator fo the Low Life RPG and Dementalism card game, among other jazz.

Monday, October 21, 2013

[Q&A] Nathan Reese Maher & Tobias White (Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond)

[19:02] <+NathanRMaher> I'm Nathan Reese Maher, designer of Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond.  I've been gaming since the early 90s.  SpooksWTTGB was a reaction to the complexity and time consuming nature of most RPGs out there and I wanted something fun and quick to play with friends.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

[Q&A] Todd Lyles (Tiny Epic)


[19:04] <+Todd_Lyles> Right-o.  I'm Todd Lyles, creator of Tiny Epic RPG, a rules-light fantasy RPG enabled by a deck of illustrated cards.

Monday, October 14, 2013

[Q&A] Allen Clark & Tristan Morris (Proxy War)

[19:06] <+TristanPA> Alright! Let me introduce myself first -- I'm Tristan, and along with Allen, I'm one of the two founders of Proxy Army Games.
[19:06] <+AllenTClark> Howdy. As the name would suggest, I'm Allen T. Clark, one of the two founders of Proxy Army Games.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

[Q&A] Brian Liberge (Pulp!, BEARD!)

[19:09] <+BrianLiberge> Hi I'm Brian Liberge. I've freelanced with Kobold Press, Raging Swan, Gygax Magazine and the Gamer Assembly. We're here tonight for Beer Star Games, the company I founded, own and act as Creative Director of. I'm the primary creator of the Pulp! System and I did additional design work on BEARD! the Card Game, Kickstarting now

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

[Q&A] Jayson Hammer & John Fox (Paradigm)

[19:04] <+JayHammer> My name is Jay Hammer, Foxhammer Press. The game of the day is Paradigm!
[19:05] <+JohnFox> I'm John Fox, Foxhammer Press. Paradigm is our first game system and we're excited to talk about it
[19:06] <+JayHammer> Also present are T Glenn Bane, artist for Paradigm: Sapphire City, and Shawna Silverman, our PR Representative

Thursday, October 3, 2013

[Q&A] Preston Poland (The Robotic Age)

[19:03] <+TRA-Preston> Hello I am Preston Poland, creator of The Robotic Age. The Robotic Age is a rpg set in the 22nd century where unchecked weapon technology runs rampant and androids struggle for basic human rights.
[19:03] <+TRA-Preston> (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1842635065/the-robotic-age-rpg)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1842635065/the-robotic-age-rpg

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

[Q&A] Nathan Hill (Foreign Element)

[19:04] <+NathanHill> Hi everybody. I'm Nathan Hill, founder/sole guy of Mystic Ages Publishing which used to be Mystic Ages Online.
[19:05] <+NathanHill> I've been writing games since I was introduced to basic D&D back in the late 80s as a youngster.
[19:05] <+NathanHill> Eldritch Ass Kicking was my first real entry though, released initially as an indie title around 2004. Key20 Publishing picked it up and produced the print version, now out of print, unfortunately. Jason Blair, of Little Fears fame, produced the book.
[19:06] <~Dan> (Great guy, as an aside.)
[19:06] <+NathanHill> I followed EAK up with Barbarians Versus, still one of my favorite games when I look back at it.
[19:08] <+NathanHill> From those two games, you can sort of get an idea of my style of writing and approach to game design - rules light, lots of humor, very imaginative, dash of sarcasm here and there. I've released some adventures to EAK since then, while working on other projects. But to be honest, I have a full time gig which uses a lot of my creativity, so I don't have time to write as much anymore as I would like.
[19:08] *** Ettin has joined #rpgnet
[19:08] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Ettin
[19:08] <+NathanHill> Foreign Element is a game that I was working on at the same time of Eldritch Ass Kicking - so it's pretty old. It started out as an attempt to do a first person style shooter game, like Halo or what not.

Monday, September 30, 2013

[Q&A] Ian Johnson (Stab City!)

[19:04] <+IanJohnson> I'm Ian Johnson, I'm running a Kickstarter for a game called Stab City!, the first Michael Baysian anime magical realism game. It's about weird assassins killing weirder targets, and uses a rule set designed around playing cards and poker chips instead of dice.

Friday, September 27, 2013

[Q&A] Jonathan M. Thompson & Luke Green (Double Spiral War, Traveller edition)

[20:02] <+Jonathan_M_Thompson> Good evening/morning as the case may be. I am Jonathan M Thompson, owner/operator of Battlefield Press and the co-author of the Traveller Setting book  Warren C Norwood's Double Spiral War. This is a rpg setting based off the trilogy by the late Warren C. Norwood

Thursday, September 26, 2013

[Q&A] John Dunn, Jason Marker, & Ross Watson (Accursed)

[19:02] <+JohnDunn> Thanks guys for the opportunity to chat, I'm John Dunn, publisher of Melior Via, LLC. We've previously published the Hope Preparatory School setting for ICONS and M&M3.
[19:03] <+JohnDunn> I've also been a freelancer for Shadowrun, Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, and a number of other products.
[19:03] <+JohnDunn> Tonight, I'm here with Jason Marker and Ross Watson to talk about our latest product - Accursed, a Dark Fantasy setting for Savage Worlds, which is currently on Kickstarter.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

[Q&A] Johnstone Metzger (Adventures on Dungeon Planet)

 [19:03] <+johnstone> Hello, everyone! I am Johnstone Metzger, probably best known as the author and pubisher of Adventures on Dungeon Planet, a science fantasy supplement for the award-winning fantasy rpg Dungeon World.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

[Review] Mean Streets

Just thought I'd re-post this review here, simply because it's the original "GMshoe" post. :)

INTRODUCTION

The name's Davenport. I review games.

So there I was, sittin' at my computer, starin' over my glass of Texas Red at a mile-high stack of reviewing material and wonderin' if this gig's all it's cracked up to be, when all of a sudden I get a knock at my virtual office door.

Friday, September 20, 2013

[Q&A] Quentin Bauer (Raiders of R'lyeh)

[19:04] <+Quentin> My name is Quentin Bauer. I’m a writer and illustrator, and I am making a game called Raiders of R’lyeh.
[19:05] <+Quentin> Raiders of R’lyeh is a stand-alone roleplaying game set in the years leading up to the Great War

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

[Q&A] John Berry (Arcana Rising)

[19:04] <+J_Arcane> My name is John Berry and I'm the founder of Bedroom Wall Press, a maker of fine roleplaying games of a vaguely old-school character, the latest of which is to be Arcana Rising.

Monday, September 16, 2013

[Q&A] Eloy Lasanta (Part-Time Gods: Divine Instruments)

[19:05] <+EloyLasanta-3EG> Well, I'm Eloy Lasanta, owner/operator of Third Eye Games. I'm a gamer/publisher/layout artist/pizza-lover/game designer/business owner/freelancer and a bunch of stuff in between there. Fun stuff!

Friday, September 13, 2013

[Q&A] Benjamin Rogers (Promised Sands)

[20:05] <+Ben> I'm Ben Rogers.  I'm part of Harsh Realities.  We just put out Sixcess Core (new generic system) and debuted it at Gen Con.  Our first gameworld for Sixcess Core is Promised Sands -- a propety HR acquired (and I was involved with 10 years ago).
[20:06] <+Ben> Promised Sands is a "dark desert fantasy" with strong post-apoc overtones. It had some really good reviews on the depth and breadth of the setting, with lousy reviews on the system -- and that's part of why HR acquired it and asked me to help out with it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

[Q&A] Calvin Johns & Jake Stolhandske (Mazaki No Fantaji)

[19:04] <+AnthroposJake> Alright, I'm Jake Stolhandske. I'm the mechanics designer for Anthropos.
[19:05] <+AnthroposCalvin> I'm Calvin Johns. I'm a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Texas. Originally from Michigan. Been gaming for about 20 years.
[19:05] <+AnthroposCalvin> And I'm the owner and lead designer for Anthropos Games! Yay!
[19:05] <+AnthroposCalvin> As for Mazaki No Fantaji....
[19:06] <+AnthroposCalvin> It is our take on a moody, dramatic tabletop role-playing game that has been heavily inspired by the cinematic qualities of our favorite anime and JRPGs

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

[Q&A] Jeff A. Hatch (Pulp Adventure)

[19:08] <+Jeff> Drum roll please... My name is Jeff A. Hatch. I am the creator of Pulp Adventure, the World's Greatest Pulp rpg.
[19:09] <+Jeff> I am here because I am mostly through a Kickstarter for my game and for the new Pulp Companion which brings more content to the game.

Monday, September 9, 2013

[Q&A] Jeremy Streeter (Westward)

[19:14] <+JElliotStreeter> Hello!  I'm Jeremy Streeter, one of the two cooperative owning partners of Wicked North Games.  I've been gaming since I was 6 years old.  My brother introduced me to car wars and mega traveller, and I was stuck from there until now playing and writing and making games of my own.
[19:15] <+JElliotStreeter> About 10 years ago, I got the "bug" to start making my own games more seriously.  We played with lots of systems and settings, finally narrowing in on the d6 system originally created by West End Games.
[19:16] <+JElliotStreeter> Then we started focusing more on what we liked and didn't like so much about the game mechanics.  We wanted to make games from the standpoint of settings and worlds with rich content that people could take for inspiration and just play with less effort than I experienced as a child.
[19:17] <+JElliotStreeter> Westward is our second setting, Azamar our first.  We have another in the oven, and lots of other plans in the works! (done)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

[Q&A] Peter Cakebread & Ken Walton (Pirates & Dragons)

[19:04] <+PeterCakebread> It's late here, so apologies for slow responses, the coffee will kick in any minute... Howdy! Hi Folks, I'm Peter Cakebread, co-author of Pirates & Dragons.
[19:03] <+KenWalton> And I'm Ken Walton, co-author of Pirates & Dragons. (It might be late here, but we still know who we are).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

[Q&A] Walt Ciechanowski (Victoriana 3rd edition)

[20:02] <+waltscie> Good evening! I'm Walt Ciechanowski and I'm the Line Developer for the Victoriana RPG by Cubicle 7.

Monday, September 2, 2013

[Q&A] Don Early (Demon Hunters)

[19:02] <+DonEarly> Ok, I'm Don Early, co-founder of Dead Gentlemen Productions
[19:02] <+DonEarly> We are behind the movies The Gamers, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, and most recently, The Gamers: Hands of Fate
[19:02] <+DonEarly> We've also been involved with Journeyquest
[19:03] <+DonEarly> But our first movies came out of just being a college group
[19:03] <+DonEarly> and that was Demon Hunters

[Review] Amazing Adventures

Introduction
The name’s Davenport. I review games.

And today, I'm wearin' my usual trench coat and trusty fedora, so that makes my Armor Class 13. But if I was to throw on my fancy duds and a nice pair of gloves, why, I'd be Armor Class 16.

At least, that's what Jason Vey tells me. Seems he wrote this game he calls Amazing Adventures, where he took the Castles & Crusades system, which is a streamlined version of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, or maybe more like Basic Dungeons & Dragons with more bells and whistles, and turned the whole works from a fantasy game to a 1930s two-fisted pulp adventure game.

Got all that? Good.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go grab my scarf so's I can up my Armor Class another point. It's feelin' kinda fighty outside.


Substance

Introduction: A Pulp Roleplaying Game

First off, I have to give the author kudos for acknowledging that "pulp" has come to mean something much more specific in gaming circles than its technical definition of magazines printed on cheap paper. Amazing Adventures makes no bones about its focus on two-fisted action-adventure tales of the 1920s-1940s, with only passing mention given to other pulp genres like swords-and-sorcery.

The introduction does make a distinction between "Literary Pulp" (the dark, gritty, film noir-like variety) and "Serial Pulp" (over-the-top action). The author lumps Lovecraftian forbidden magic in the with former and flashy spellcasters in with the latter. To be honest, I’m not convinced that magic of the D&D sort has a place in pulp of any sort. More on that in a bit.


Book One: Characters

Amazing Adventures uses the standard D&D attributes of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, with the standard scale of 3-18. Unlike D&D, the scores are assigned rather than randomly rolled, with each score starting at 6 and being increased by a pool of 45 points. I think that was a very wise choice -- weak characters generated for fantasy games are bad enough, but pulp characters are probably second only to superheroes in being the very antithesis of weakness. The Amazing Adventures method ensures that even the most "average" heroes will be more capable than the average Joe across the board.

The core mechanic of the game will be familiar to fans of Castles & Crusades (the "SIEGE Engine", to be precise). Attributes translate into attribute modifiers ranging from -4 to +3, and this modifier is added to a d20 to attempt to beat a target number. Unlike Castles & Crusades, which changes said target number depending upon whether the attribute in question is "Primary" -- 12 for Primary, 18 for Secondary -- Amazing Adventures has players choose three Primary attributes, for which they get +5 in an attempt to beat a flat 15 difficulty. This works for me in two ways: not only is it more transparent than the C&C method, but it also makes heroes more competent, and hence, more pulpy.

Speaking of Primary attributes, each character class has a Primary attribute as a prerequisite. The classes are:

  • Arcanist (wizard, cleric, and illusionist, sort of... see below)
  • Gadgeteer
  • Gumshoe
  • Hooligan (thief)
  • Mentalist (psionic)
  • Pugilist (essentially a modern-day monk)
  • Raider (of the Lost Ark, vaguely ranger-like)
  • Socialite (filling the bard niche)


A few observations here...

Arcanists have access to three distinct spell lists based upon their Primary attribute chosen for spellcasting: Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, roughly corresponding to wizards, clerics, and illusionists. That's a nice touch.

The Pugilist shows his monkish roots in some higher-level abilities, such as slowing falls, feigning death, fast healing via meditation, and the dreaded "quivering palm" death strike. These work fine if you're going for a mystical martial arts type with this class but doesn't make a lot of sense for some palooka from the Bronx.

Socialites have some cool bard-like abilities to influence people and support their allies. My problem with them is the fact that some of these abilities have limited uses per day. I can buy that when you're talking about magical powers, but these are supposed to be mundane abilities. The author describes this more in narrative terms, saying that pulp heroes seldom rely on the same trick twice in a story, but I'm not sure that will sit well with those used to more "gamist" d20-based games.

The chapter includes rules for multiclassing, but this is limited to two classes. I'm told that this will be expanded to three in a future supplement -- a good move, in my opinion. I can't imagine even beginning to create a Doc Savage-style polymath with less than three classes.

The game offers the full range of D&D alignments on the Good/Evil and Law/Chaos scales. I'm fine with that, since the natures of pulp characters tend to be pretty clear-cut, in my experience.


Fate Points

Fate points represent a particularly pulpy addition to the SIEGE Engine. Characters start with 1d4+1 fate points, gaining more from level increases and good roleplaying and seeing their power increase with level as well. These points can be spent to alter a roll, make a single mighty blow, double the character's movement, cheat death, and gain plot breaks. This may be my own personal bias, but I can't imagine playing a pulp game without a mechanic of this sort. So, well done.


Pulp Equipment

Amazing Adventures plays fast-and-loose with equipment, the rationale being that pulp adventures generally aren't about acquiring and spending loot. With that in mind, the chapter suggests that the GM simply assume that the characters can purchase within their means as suggested by their respective classes. While I usually prefer hard numbers when it comes to cash, I'm fine with this method.

What really stands out here is the concept of "pulp armor".

D&D-style armor reduces the chance of being hit rather than reducing damage. That makes armor pretty important in D&D-related systems. However, it doesn't make sense for pulp-era heroes to be running around in full plate armor. With that in mind, the author had what I consider to be a stroke of genius: "armor" in Amazing Adventures consists not of actual armor, but rather of stylish outfits. Every stylish bit of clothing appropriate to a character's class adds to his Armor Class: +1 for a fedora, +1 for a mask, +2 for a trench coat, and so on. Once again, this is a narrative conceit that may not sit well with some players, but it's certainly a clever and fun idea.

The only drawback I see is that the system punishes characters who don't "max out" on their class's accoutrements. If your class allows for masks, for example, but you don't see your character as wearing one, well… you're just out of luck.

The chapter includes a nice list of firearms. The game keeps damage pretty much in line with melee weapons but adds stats for recoil, accuracy, and rate of fire -- the latter making guns particularly dangerous.


Book Two: Advanced Character Customization

Amazing Adventures does not have a "skill system," which poses the danger of PCs of a given class looking an awful lot alike. This chapter offers several ways to tweak characters in order to prevent that problem.


Generic Class Abilities

These are abilities that may be swapped for standard class abilities in order to further refine the character. Unfortunately, there are too few of these, in my opinion:
  • Ace (driving/piloting)
  • Animal Handling
  • Medicine
  • Tracking
  • Two-Fisted
  • Use/Brew Poisons
  • Wealthy
  • Weapon Finesse


Character Backgrounds

These are abilities that the PC picked up before becoming an adventurer and resemble holistic skills that start at a +2 bonus and can improve with experience. For example, a character may have been a chef and would therefore get a bonus to cooking a meal. I really like this mechanic, as it efficiently plugs what I would see as an otherwise large hole in character creation.


Knowledge Skills

Ordinarily, characters get a number of languages equal to their Intelligence bonus. Optionally, players may substitute a language for knowledge from a specific field of study, such as architecture, geography, or history. When tapping into such knowledge, the character gets adds a flat +3 to the roll that does not improve with experience.

What puzzled me was the fact that backgrounds and knowledge skills do not stack, meaning that a character who was a historian would not gain any extra benefit from having a History knowledge skill -- he would only be able to apply one or the other. As it turns out, however, the GM option to allow backgrounds and knowledge skills to stack appears in the errata.
Character Traits

Characters can start play with up to two of these aspects of their natures, be it personality, physique, or background. Each trait offers a bonus and a penalty as well as roleplaying suggestions; for example, a character who is Muscle-Bound will do better than average at strength-based tasks but worse than average at dexterity-based tasks and is likely to solve problems with brute force. I like this option, although I don't follow how some of the pros and cons are supposed to relate. In terms of the Muscle-Bound character, for example, the strength bonus is +1, but the dexterity penalty is -2. For other traits, the relationship is +1/-1 or +2/-2.


Insanity

Optionally, the game allows sanity loss from cosmic horror to play a part in adventures. These rules are almost identical to those found Call of Cthulhu, with the author taking the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach. That being the case, I'm not going to look at these rules in detail. If you're unfamiliar with CoC, suffice it to say that there are Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, and the more your character does know about such things, the faster he will go insane. It's a mental death spiral that's definitely not appropriate for high-flying, two-fisted adventure, as the chapter wisely points out.


Wealth

As mentioned previously, Amazing Adventures takes a very freeform approach to wealth by default. Optionally, characters can have a Wealth rating based on class that adds to the character's level in a roll vs. a target number based on the expense in question. I like the fact that the system allows for circumstances beyond level to impact the Wealth rating, be it finding a hoard of treasure or falling prey to a stock market crash. Furthermore, the Wealth Generic Class Ability not only gives a +5 to Wealth rolls, but also allow for the automatic purchase of even the priciest of commonly-available items, thus allowing even low-level characters to be high rollers.


Book Three: Paranormal

This chapter covers psionics and magic. Gadgeteering appears under the the Gadgeteer character class description, but due to its relationship with magic, I'm going to cover that here as well.


Psionics

Psionic powers are activated with an attribute check -- usually, but not always, Wisdom. Failed rolls result in the user taking subdual damage and losing access to the power in question for 24 hours. So far, I am fully on board.

The section offers a generous selection of 16 basic and 6 advanced psionic powers, with the latter having prerequisites from the former; e.g., you have to learn the basic powers of Mental Stun and Biokinetic Heal before you can learn the advanced power of Biokinetic Harm.

Despite the jarringly scifi names of some of the powers, the selection serves its pulp function quite well. I can see running a highly effective pulp game using these powers alone, especially since the mechanics include a method for using certain pulp powers to mimic specific spells -- Pyrokinesis to create a fireball, for example. And several of these powers seem tailor-made to fit iconic pulp heroes like the Shadow (Mesmerism, Obfuscation) and Mandrake (Telemagry).


Magic

As mentioned, magic comes in three varieties, based upon its prime attribute: Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. The chapter offers three huge spell lists for each variety -- 60 pages of spells, in fact.

That's not what impresses me most about this chapter, though. No, what I really like the most is the changes the game makes to spellcasting. Instead of Vancian "fire-and-forget" spellcasting, which generally annoys me to no end, we're given a magic point system that refreshes with meditation or rest. True, magicians must prepare specific spells out of their grimoires each day, but as long as they have enough magical "juice" left, they can cast those spells with impunity.

Furthermore, Amazing Adventures adds a spellcasting roll into the process, with the level of the spell determining the difficulty of the roll and with the outcome of the spellcasting roll determining the difficulty of the save against the spell's effects. What this means is that spellcasters can vary by their skill at spellcasting rather than just by the size and potency of their magic arsenals.

The only drawback I see here is not in terms of the system, but rather in terms of the implied setting. While I wouldn't call myself a pulp expert, I don't know of any 1930s adventure pulps that include the sort of powerful, flashy magic shown here. That being the case, including this magic in your pulp game will result in a sort of Harry Dresden-like pulp hybrid. That may well be cool, mind you -- I would just strongly suggest making the setting clear to prospective players who may be expecting "pure" pulp (insofar as there is such a thing).


Gadgetry

Gadgeteers have devices with powers based upon magic spells -- a "raygun" might be a gun with the equivalent of the Lightning Bolt spell, for example. Gadgeteer players purchase these devices with "gadget points" starting at 1d6+1, plus their Intelligence bonus (if the Gadgeteer builds his own devices) or their Charisma bonus (if the Gadgeteer has a friend who builds the devices). The gadgets cost a number of gadget points equal to either the minimum Arcanist level required to cast the spell in question plus one (for self-created gadgets) or the level of the spell plus one (for friend-created gadgets). Obviously, Gadgeteers who make their own devices pay more for them but can tweak their devices or create new ones without the need for their inventor friends. Either variety of Gadgeteer will have fewer "spells" than an Arcanist of equivalent level but will have the advantage of being able to use his "spells" whenever he likes, with no preparation or magic point limits.

After giving this a lot of thought, I'm okay with this system insofar as it's a means to applying D&D tropes to mad science. However, overall, I find it unsatisfying. I want my Gadgeteers to be able to cobble together devices that are their own unique things, not highly specific magic spells with the serial numbers filed off. The fact that many examples of art in the book show creations that simply aren't possible with the system as written -- robots, for example -- is salt in this particular wound.

On the other hand, if you agree with me that flashy D&D-style magic doesn't fit with 1930s pulp, you can still get full use of the game's generous spell list by applying it to flashy mad science, which does fit with 1930s pulp. The inclusion or exclusion of any paranormal abilities is entirely up to the GM's discretion.


Book Four: Rules of the Game

I'm not going to go into detail about this chapter, because that's exactly what it is: details. The core mechanic is as I described above, with this chapter showing how it's applied to combat, saving throws, and damage from various sources, as well as offering guidelines for awarding experience and the rules for level advancement. None of this will come as a big surprise to anyone remotely familiar with D&D-based games.

What might surprise such gamers is the addition of "exploding" and "imploding" die results. On a natural 20, the player rolls 1d6 and adds the result to the total, continuing to do so as long as the 1d6 keeps coming up "6". Conversely, on a natural 1, the result of 1d6 is subtracted from the total, again rolling-and-adding on sixes. I'm all for this for the same reason that I'm all for the addition of Fate points: It makes the game that much pulpier.

Book Five: Bestiary

The book sports a generous selection of monsters -- 57 in all. Of these, the vast majority are simply copy/pastes of standard D&D monsters that could reasonably serve in a pulp setting. Of course, it helps that many of these standards are pulpy enough already, including dinosaurs, assorted giant creepy-crawlies, and blobs. In fact, this might be mistaken for a fantasy game's bestiary, were it not for the absence of any of the usual humanoid creatures.

Lovecraftian creatures make a strong showing as well, including Fish-Men (Deep Ones), Night-Hants (Night Gaunts), Shen-T’aqs (Shantak Birds), Shoggoths, Snake Men, and a very interesting take on the Spawn of Shub-Niggurath.

I'm happy to say that Gigantopithecus, the prehistoric Sasquatch-like ape, makes an appearance, although regrettably, really gigantic Kong-scale apes do not (aside from one piece of art). The author stats up the Gray aliens to fill the "Invaders from Mars" niche, although I think he'd have been better served with some form of "bug-eyed monster". The whole "UFO/missing time/cattle mutilation" thing seems far more appropriate to the 1950s onward than it does to the 1930s.

Two entirely new creations appear in the bestiary as well.

One, the Flamehood Stalker, is a giant bipedal rat-thing with combustible skin and a poisonous stinger that feeds on both the dead and the undead. (Why a creature with such dietary habits would have a poisonous stinger, I don't know.) It seems a lot more like the sort of cool oddball creature you might find in a Fiend Folio-type bestiary than it does a custom-designed pulp creature.

The other, the People of the Worm, are a truly inspired (and disturbing) alien species of psychic hive-minded body-snatching maggot-like things that devour their hosts (starting with the brain) and replace every inch of the host body with more worms to produce a worm colony doppleganger. This one's worthy of the great Lovecraft himself.

Book Six: Running a Pulp Game

This chapter includes three sections.

The first does an outstanding job of translating the storytelling rules of pulp author Lester Dent (creator of Doc Savage) into pulp adventure creation guidelines.

The second contains more general advice on running a game, including issues like railroading, tweaking the rules, and dealing with history. Nice, but nothing mind-blowing.

And the third consists of an introductory first-level adventure, "The Heart of Yhtill" -- a globetrotting Lovecraftian romp in the vein of the 90s "The Mummy" remake. It looks enjoyable enough, although it does have some of the flaws that plague so many pregen adventures, among them pivotal rolls for clues and assumptions of PC behavior. (Assuming that the PCs will recognize an unbeatable foe and retreat is always a biggie.)

Style

The art has a nice sketchbook look to it and is generally of good quality, although some of it looks more modern than 1930s and (as previously mentioned) other examples show things that just aren't possible based on the rules.

The writing has a nice conversational tone throughout. I did run across several errors, many of which appeared to be of the copy/paste variety.



Conclusion

I make it my job as a reviewer to judge a game not just on my personal tastes, but also (and more importantly, in my opinion) on how well the game does what it seems to set out to do. I say this because in my estimation, Amazing Adventures sets out to be a pulp game that sticks as close as possible to its D&D roots -- or, more accurately, to its SIEGE Engine roots -- stretching out a bit in some respects (such as its abandonment of Vancian magic) but holding true in many others (such as the use of classes and levels). The reliance on fantasy spells for gadgeteering effects only reinforces this view.

So, would I, personally, use this as my go-to pulp game? No, probably not. The use of levels alone in a pulp game turns me off. The author argues that players shouldn't expect to be playing Doc Savage straight out of the gate. Fair enough, but that's level-based thinking talking. Other non-level games can at least give it a go -- the ability of a player to play the Doctor from the get-go in Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space proves that this is possible.

On the other hand, the class/level format is the one used by the first and most popular roleplaying game, so clearly, if there's a market for pulp games at all (which I sincerely hope and believe there is), then there's a market for pulp games using D&D as its basis. And in that regard, Amazing Adventures does very well indeed.

So if you're looking for a new pulp game, you might well enjoy Amazing Adventures. If you're a fan of D&D-based games and are looking for a pulp game with familiar rules, however, you will definitely enjoy Amazing Adventures.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

[Q&A] Jay Little (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd ed., et al)

[19:06] <+KingYnnen> I'm Jay Little, a game designer who has worked on dozens of projects over the years
[19:06] <+KingYnnen> I'm most well known for my roleplaying work with the current Star Wars Roleplay lines "Edge of the Empire" and "Age of Rebellion"

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

[Q&A] Margaret Weis, Monica Valentinelli, and Mark Diaz Truman (Firefly)

[19:04] <+MonicaValentinelli> Margaret, would you like to kick off the team?
[19:05] *** Eloy-3EG has joined #rpgnet
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[19:05] <~Dan> (Welcome, Eloy! :) )
[19:05] <+MargWeis> I am Margaret Weis, president of Margaret Weis Productions. We have produced many licensed products over the years. One I have longed to publish is the Firefly RPG. And now I have the chance! (Done)


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

[Q&A] T. Glenn Bane (Worlds of Pulp)

[19:04] <+TGlennBane> Hello every one. My name is T. Glenn Bane. I am the owner and creative director of Scaldcrow Games.
[19:04] <+TGlennBane> I have produced numerous games and game products in the past...
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[19:05] <+TGlennBane> including "The Dark Fantasy of Sundrag," Scaldcrow Generic Products and Little Buck's Fantastic Visions Artwork.
[19:06] <+TGlennBane> I am here today to discus, Bare Bones Beyond, Davey Beauchamp’s Amazing Pulp Adventures, and Rotwang City: City of Shadows

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Q&A] Jason Italic (Princess Neon)

[19:04] <+Jason_Italic> Right, so. I'm Jason Italic, mild-mannered writer and secret defender of the galaxy. I recently published a debut novella, Princess Neon, which is what we're here to talk about this fine day.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

[Q&A] Daniel Burrow (Tephra: The Steampunk RPG)

[19:03] <+Daniel_Burrow> Tephra is a steampunk RPG that we (Cracked Monocle) developed and released last year. It's set in the alternate heroic steampunk world of Tephra, full of unique races, mad science, and plenty of shenanigans! All you need is a single D12 to play, it uses a system we built ourselves (called the Clockwork System),

Monday, August 12, 2013

[Q&A] Brian & Matt James (Red Aegis)

[19:04] <+Vorpal_Matt> I'm Matt James, and I'm the younger brother of Brian. Brian is 7 years older, but I am 7 times cooler. We have been game designers for years now but recently started Vorpal Games to make our own.
[19:04] <+Vorpal_Brian> Hello. I'm Brian R. James, Matt's older brother, and lead designer of Vorpal Games. I've been a freelance gamer designer since 2007, working primarily for Wizards of the Coast.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

[Q&A] Brandon Blackmoor (Bulletproof Blues)

[19:14] <+bblackmoor> I'm Brandon Blackmoor. I work for DriveThruRPG as a programmer, and I've written or contributed to a handful of RPGs going back to 1992. The most recent game is Bulletproof Blues, a superhero game of "light" to "medium" complexity.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

[Q&A] Jason Bulmahn (Pathfinder)

[19:02] <+Paizo_JasonBulmahn> Hi everyone, I am Jason Bulmahn, the Lead Designer at Paizo Publishing and the madman behind the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. My responsibilities at Paizo revolve primarily around the Core Rulebooks, so, while I am knowledgeable about the other things we do, my area of expertise is with the core.

Monday, August 5, 2013

[Q&A] Nathaniel Torson (Barbarians of Heavy Metal)

[19:03] <+Nathaniel> My name is Nathaniel Torson, Co-Owner of Jabberwocky Productions, creator of Barbarians of the Aftermath,  and the writer of The Time Traveller's Companion, and a good chunk of the rest of the Doctor Who line (as well as a graphic desinger and layout artist fdor same line.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

[Q&A] Lee Garvin (Tales from the Floating Vagabond 2nd Edition)

(Note: This wasn't an "official" Q&A -- just an informal chat that yielded way too much golden information to waste!)

[Q&A] Bora Mitricevic (Flint & Steel)

<+BoraM> Right, I'm Bora creator of Flint&Steel. Hello all.
<+BoraM> We are currently finishing a kickstarter campaign. You can see it here > (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/289627918/flintandsteel-rpg)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/289627918/flintandsteel-rpg
<+BoraM> Feel free to ask anything about our game or kickstarter, I'll be happy to answer :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

[Q&A] Andrew Collas (Zenith Comics: HEROIC)

[19:12] <+Andrew_Collas> Ok, hi everyone, my name is Andrew Collas and I am the writer of HEROIC, a comic we are Kickstarting about bringing heroic ideals back to superhero comics.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[Q&A] Breandán Ó Ciarraí (Dark Nova)

[19:04] <+Breandan_OCiarrai> Hi all, my name is Breandán Ó Ciarraí, and I am the writer and lead developer for Dark Nova Games. Our flagship game is the Dark Nova RPG, a sci-fi tabletop RPG set in the early 24th century.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

[Q&A] Patric Goetz & Angus Abranson (Space: 1889)

<+Angus> Hi, I'm Angus Abranson, owner of Chronicle City Ltd, a British based games publisher. We work with a number of companies helping them bring their games to print and distribution as well as developing our own titles. Previously to Chronicle City I founded Cubicle 7 Entertainment and also worked in hobby retail for over 20 years at Leisure Games, London (UK's)
<+Patric> Hi - my name is Patric Goetz, i'm from Germany and 40 years old. I play rpgs since i was 12 or 13 (starting with the German red box D&D). I'm in the rpg industry for over 15 years now, starting as a salesman for a German wholesaler, and later publishing the German vesion of Deadlands Classic (which i still do!).

Monday, July 29, 2013

[Q&A] Dave Noonan (Primeval Thule)

[19:03] <+Sasquatch_Dave> Hi! I'm Dave Noonan, one of the three principals of Sasquatch Game Studio. Our inaugural product is Primeval Thule, a Conan-meets-Cthulhu campaign setting for 13th Age, Pathfinder, and 4e D&D.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

[Q&A] Jonathan M. Thompson (Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 2nd Edition)

[19:02] <+JonathanMThompson> So, if you dont know me I am Jonathan M. Thompson, president and founder of Battlefield Press, Inc. Tonight we are here to talk about our latest release, Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 2e.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

[Q&A] Ken Spencer (Rocket Age)

[19:05] <+Ken_Spencer> First off, I am Ken Spencer, the line developer and lead writer of Rocket Age from Cubicle 7. Rocket Age is a retro-sci-fi RPG powered by the Vortex system. The setting is an alternate 1938 with rocket ships, RAY guns, and a Solar System full of habitable planets.

Monday, July 22, 2013

[Q&A] Jeff Combos (Hollow Earth Expedition: Revelations of Mars)

[19:04] <+jcombos> Hi everyone, I'm Jeff Combos. Creator of Hollow Earth Expedition and the owner of Exile Game Studio which publishes said game.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

[Q&A] Gobion Rowlands & Angus Abranson (Broken Shield)

[19:04] <+Angus> Hi, I'm Angus Abranson, owner and founder of Chronicle City
[19:05] *** uguu_fax has quit IRC: Ping timeout
[19:05] <+Angus> A British based publisher who works with a number of other companies and deisgners to help bring their games to print as well as designing or own inhouse games.
[19:05] <+Gobion> Hi everyone - I'm Gobion Rowlands, author of the Broken Shield superhuman science fiction rpg. I also write sci-fi detective novels (the wyld hunt, dead angels and soon the firestorm conspiracy) set in the same world under the pen name of Gunnar Roxen.
[19:06] <+Gobion> i also work with angus on delta14 publishing and i am the production manager for chronicle city. in a former life i made videogames for 12 years:)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Q&A] Lawrence Whitaker & Pete Nash (RuneQuest: Monster Island)

[19:02] <+Loz> We're the Design Mechanism, publishers of RQ6, and we're here to talk about our two latest releases: Book of Quests and Monster Island. I managed the former and Pete the latter. We're also happy to talk RQ generally and especially our Indiegogo

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

[Q&A] Jonathan Tweet & Rob Heinsoo (13th Age)

[20:01] <+JonathanTweet> I'm Jonathan Tweet, I've been doing RPGs since 1987, I was the lead designer on D&D 3rd Ed, and my latest RPG is 13th Age.
[20:01] *** Jakse has joined #rpgnet
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[20:02] <+JonathanTweet> Rob and I have been friends for decades and gaming buddies since 1999 or so.
[20:02] <+RobHeinsoo> I'm Rob Heinsoo, I started designing games about 7 years after Jonathan, worked with him on 13th Age and on other games that mostly seem to be listed on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

[Q&A] Troy Wilhelmson (Astounding Adventures!)

[19:04] <+TroyWilhelmson> Okay, I'm Troy Wilhelmson and I am the author of Astounding Adventures! The pulp supliment for Basic Roleplaying

Monday, June 24, 2013

[Q&A] Mark Rein•Hagen (I Am Zombie)

[19:02] <+mark> Hi, my name is Mark Rein•hagen and my latest RPG, I AM ZOMBIE is on Kickstarter now.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

[Q&A] C.J. Carella (Armageddon Girl, Buffy, WitchCraft, Nightbane, et al)

[19:03] <+cjcarella> Greetings and salutations! My name is C.J. Carella, you may remember me from such games as the WitchCraft RPG, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG, and assorted titles for Steve Jackson Games and Palladium Books.

Monday, June 17, 2013

[Q&A] Sarah Newton (Monsters & Magic)

[19:05] <+SarahNewton> Thanks, Dan! Hi everyone - my name's Sarah Newton, I'm the writer of games like Mindjammer, Legends of Anglerre, Achtung Cthulhu, Chronicles of Future Earth, Burn Shift, and I've just released a new old school renaissance RPG called "Monsters & Magic".

Thursday, June 13, 2013

[Q&A] James Edward Raggi IV (Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Better Than Any Man)

[19:06] <+JimLotFP> My name is James Edward Raggi IV, I run the Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LotFP) RPG publishing company out of Helsinki, Finland. We do weird old-school releases, some merely strange, others full-on horror. On Saturday we have a 96-page monster of an adventure Better Than Any Man being released in game stores around the world for Free RPG Day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[Q&A] Chad Davidson (Heirs to the Lost World)

[19:04] <+ChadDavidson> My name is Chad Davidson.
[19:04] <+ChadDavidson> I live in Minneapolis and have a wonderful wife and two great young kids.
[19:04] <+ChadDavidson> and I'm the owner of Obsidian Serpent Games.
[19:05] <+ChadDavidson> Right now I've got two products available.
[19:05] <+ChadDavidson> The most recent is a deck of cards called RPG Inspiration Cards.
[19:06] <+ChadDavidson> They are kind of like Tarot cards, whimsy cards (sp?) and random event generators mixed together.
[19:06] <+ChadDavidson> But my main product is Heirs to the Lost World

Thursday, June 6, 2013

[Q&A] Andy Hopp (Low Life 2nd ed.)

[19:04] <+andyhopp> Hello friends. Andy Hopp here. I'm the creator (writer, illustrator, and designer) of the Low Life RPG.

[Q&A] Paolo Guccione (BRP Mecha, et al)

<+Paolo> okay, my name is Paolo Guccione but you may have met me online as RosenMcStern

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

[Q&A] Kevin Crawford (Stars Without Number)

[19:01] <+KevinCrawford> I'm Kevin Crawford, the one man behind Sine Nomine Publishing and the author of the free sci-fi sandbox game Stars Without Number ((Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/86467/Stars-Without-Number%3A-Free-Edition)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/86467/Stars-Without-Number%3A-Free-Edition)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

[Q&A] Lynne Hardy (Cogs, Cakes, & Swordsticks)

[19:03] <+LynneH> Good evening, everyone. My name is Lynne Hardy, and I'm the author of Cogs, Cakes & Swordsticks, the freeform steampunk roleplaying game designed to be played in the comfort of your favourite tea shop (and kindly published by Modiphius Entertainment) (done)

[Q&A] Jenna Moran (Nobilis, Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine)

<+JennaMoran> Hi! This is Jenna Moran (formerly R. Sean Borgstrom.) I'm the creator of Nobilis and writer for a bunch of other stuff out there in the gaming world.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

[Q&A] Francis James Hogan (Adventure MAXIMUS!)

[19:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Hi Everyone I'm Francis James Hogan creator of Adventure MAXIMUS! the introductory RPG that Kids can run and adults can enjoy

[Q&A] Claus Bornich (Crimson Exodus 2nd edition)

[13:15] <+Claus> I'm Claus Bornich of Radical Approach, creator of Trauma, Crimson Exodus, Mahada and Fantasy Dice in that order.

[Review] Eldritch Skies

Introduction

The name’s Davenport. I review games.

So the other day I hear this tap at the window. Turns out it’s my old pal Marty the Mi-Go. He was lookin’ pretty good for a space crab bug fungus thing. I hadn’t seen’im in this level of the space-time continuum lately, so I was eager to hear what he had to say.

“Bzzzzz... I am here to prezzzzzent you with a review copy of Eldritch Skiezzzzz... A roleplaying game of Lovecraftian zzzzzzzience fiction...” he says.

“Lovecraftian sci-fi?” I says. “Interesting... So how do ya fit a space helmet on a Shoggoth?”

“Foolish ape-thingzzzzz...” he says. “Eldritch Skiezzzz takezzzz Lovecraft’zzzzz vizzzzion and carriezzzz it into the future... Explore a Lovecraftian galaxzzzzy.... Trade with Mi-Go... Battle Moon-beastzzzz... Meddle with forbidden technology and zzzzzorcery... Zzzztop vile cultzzzz on worldzzzz beyond your pitiful human imaginationzzzz.... Now READ, before I am forzzzzed to place your feeble mind in brain canizzzzter!”

And with that, he tosses the book onto my desk with one horrific claw and flies out the window.

Marty can be kind of a jerk sometimes.

But I appreciated him givin’ me the buzz.


Substance

Introduction
This chapter introduces the reader to roleplaying games, Unisystem, and cinematic science fiction, but its primary function is to explain the concept of Lovecraftian SF (as opposed to Lovecraftian horror). In short, the universe is a place full of wonders and terrors, but it is not a place in which humanity is doomed in the immediate future. In fact, humanity is no more or less special (or especially doomed) than any other intelligent species. Knowledge is to be valued, not feared, and science rules all -- even if some science is so outlandish as to be called “magic”.

Chapter 1: The Eldritch Past & The Mythos Present
Until recently, I’ve never been a fan of Mythos gaming set after the 1930s, mainly because the real-world’s modern day just doesn’t seem like a natural extension of the events of Lovecraft’s stories. There’s just too much that’s been discovered and that’s waiting to be discovered for history to proceed as it has.

Well, Eldritch Skies completely addresses this issue. Not only does it offer an admirable prehistoric Lovecraftian sci-fi timeline, but it also sends history spiraling off in an alternate direction as of Lovecraft’s version of the 1930s. The U.S. government is aware of the Deep Ones and the Elder Ones (a.k.a. the Old Ones/Elder Things) by the beginning of the 1930s as per Lovecraft’s own tales. By 1947, the government knows of the Mi-Go (thanks to an alternate Roswell Incident), and by 1948, the public is aware of the ancient cities of the Elder Ones and the Yithians. Earthlings visit Mars secretly in 1958 by hyperspatial gateway and the moon publically in 1966 via advanced rocketry. The public knows of psychic powers by 1967, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union twenty years later, the public learns pretty much all of the alien-related secrets that the governments of the world had held up to that point. Hyperspace technology makes humanity an interstellar species as of 1994, and gameplay begins in the year 2030.

All of which merely scratches the surface of the contents of this chapter, which also details the state of society, nations, threats, and technology as of 2030. I’d describe the latter as vaguely resembling the tech level of the Alien movies, albeit with psychic powers, hyperspatial sorcery, and genetic modifications in play.

Of particular interest is the UN Office of Paranormal Security (OPS), which provides an easy hook for PCs who need a reason to work together.


Chapter 2: Civilians and Operatives
The vast majority of character creation mirrors that of the other games in the Cinematic Unisystem line, which I’ve already covered in my Buffy the Vampire Slayer review. However, there are some noteworthy differences that I’ll address here.

Characters come in three power levels: Civilian, Operative, and Veteran. These correspond to the White Hat/Hero/Experienced Hero division found in Buffy. The big difference here is that while White Hat and Hero types work well together in other Cinematic Unisystem Games, Civilians and Veterans only work smoothly together in the Pulp level. More on that in a moment.

Another aspect setting Eldritch Skies apart is the treatment of superhuman abilities. Characters may be Deep One hybrids or half-breed Ghouls, may be psychics or know hyperspatial sorcery, and may have biotech augmentations.

Both psychic powers and hyperspatial sorcery are fairly low-key. The former are mostly of the information-gathering sort -- those seeking powerful abilities with physical manifestations, such as pyrokinesis and telekinesis, will be disappointed. And the latter, whether through “old-school” rituals or technosorcerous devices, takes time -- no fireballs or lightning bolts here.

Augmentations fall into three categories of legality: legal, restricted, and hyperspatial. Legal augmentations are pretty much just nice to have, like a biofilter or low-light vision. Restricted augmentations creep a bit further into the realm of low-grade superpowers, like armor, enhanced attributes, regeneration, and wall crawling. Hyperspatial augmentations stem from trade with the Mi-Go and are both seriously illegal and extremely hazardous -- if you aren’t a criminal or some form of spec-ops, forget about it. The four such augmentations currently available to the OPS are an extendable field of damaging hyperspatial energy, a hyperspatial force field, a ranged field of temporarily-solidified hyperspatial energy (there’s your TK!), and a flight augmentation using what amounts to Mi-Go wings. (I particularly like that last one.)

The chapter wraps up with six pregenerated characters:
  • Independent Sorcerer

  • OPS Strike Team Commando

  • OPS Psychic Spy

  • Half-Breed Ghoul Cop

  • Civilian Psychic

  • Astronaut

Chapter 3: Rules & Gear

The core rules are fundamentally identical to those in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I refer you there for that information. However, there is one big difference: Eldritch Skies offers Gritty, Cinematic, and Pulp levels. Gritty removes Drama Points from play altogether. Cinematic, the default setting, includes Drama Points but makes them somewhat weaker than those in the standard Cinematic Unisystem game. And Pulp is just good ‘ol Cinematic Unisystem. These levels also have setting implications, which I will cover shortly.
What I would like to focus on here is equipment, because it provides a good window into the nature of humanity’s status in the setting. In all honesty, when it comes to weaponry, there’s not a whole lot separating Eldritch Skies from modern-day Cinematic Unisystem games -- the stats for such things as assault rifles are identical. The end result is a sort of Aliens feel, with the obvious changes to weaponry being largely cosmetic. Likewise, you won’t find any powered armors here. The top of the line seems to be bog-standard body armor with a limited chameleon-like ability to mimic the color of the background.

There are, however, three exceptions in the weaponry department, all of them energy weapons based on alien technology. The “zapper” is a sort of wireless taser, a pale echo of the Great Race’s lightning gun. The electric cannon is a sort of heavy-duty zapper that can be carried about like the Ghostbusters proton pack.

And then there’s the hyperspatial distruptor, which is in a class by itself. Any living target caught in its beam is instantly killed, and any hyperspatial entities less powerful than a Great Old One are instantly destroyed. Furthermore, the blast instantly banishes a Great Old One. Now, granted, the banishment only lasts 1d6+3 hours, and the weapon’s range is only that of a pistol... but still, a human weapon that can make Great Cthulhu just go away with a single shot? Wow. That seems a bit excessive to me.

Chapter 4: Arcane Secrets
Hyperspace & Hyperspatial Exposure

Call of Cthulhu is notorious for its Sanity death-spiral. Eldritch Skies aims for a more hopeful and adventuresome tone but seeks to maintain an air of horrific menace. The game accomplishes this very well via the concept of hyperspace.

Hyperspace is the other-dimensional home of the Other Gods and the Great Old Ones, the power source for magic and certain advanced devices, and, as the name suggests, a means of faster-than-light travel. Rather than Sanity, Eldritch Skies measures levels of Hyperspatial Exposure, which affects both the mind and (eventually) the body. The stages are rated from 0 to 5, with 0 being a total lack of exposure and 5 being complete mental and physical mutation.

Two arguable improvements over Sanity come to mind.

First, exposure automatically fades over time. There’s no real equivalent to the ever-decreasing “maximum Sanity” from Call of Cthulhu. Granted, Level 1 exposure doesn’t go away, but that’s almost a good thing, as a total lack of exposure leaves you blind to hyperspatial radiations. (Level 1 is a given for any spacefaring PCs, since traveling via hyperspace is an automatic source of exposure.)

And second, characters do not gain increased exposure levels from repeated exposures to the same or lower levels of hyperspatial radiation; i.e., if you have Level 2 exposure, another source of Level 2 exposure will have no effect on you. This prevents the equivalent of a Call of Cthulhu character who’s previously seen Great Cthulhu himself from going bonkers at the sight of a Deep One.

Hyperspacial Sorcery

From a mechanical standpoint, the basic rules for hyperspatial sorcery mirror those for magic in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: i.e., getting a spell to go off isn’t all that difficult. It’s getting a spell to go off correctly that gets tricky, especially for more powerful spells. However, unlike Buffy magic, hyperspatial sorcery requires the Sorcery Quality to use spells at all and requires spells to be learned and purchased individually rather than simply “discovered” in an occult library.

In addition, hyperspatial sorcery is slow. There are several options for casting, including physical rituals (10 minutes/spell level), meditative sorcery (5 minutes/spell evel), and scientific sorcery without computers (30 minutes/spell level) or with them (2 minutes/spell level). Even using a technosorcerous device requires that the device be calibrated to the immediate circumstances, taking 15 seconds (3 rounds)/spell level.

Again, there are no fireballs and lightning bolts here. Instead, the relatively small grimoire of spells focuses on such things as travel, remote viewing, and protection (yes, the Elder Sign makes an appearance). Of course, what would a Mythos grimoire be without a few nods to summoning Things Man Was Not Meant to Know?

Chapter 5: Realms of the Mythos

Wow... I hardly know how to convey just how awesome this chapter is.
The Worlds

It starts out by covering the Solar System -- a largely desolate place, although human colonies do exist. Native life is making a slow comeback on Mars as a side-effect of terraforming, and a reclusive and potently psychic race lurks beneath the icy surface of Europa.

From there, the chapter takes us into deep space -- first to reveal the likely fates of interstellar civilizations, and then to show us the planets.

The lovely, lovely planets.

Eridanos, where the only atmosphere is to be found in deep, lush valleys in an otherwise barren landscape.

Post-apocalyptic Wei-Ming, where massive armored six-limbed mammals wander among the ruins of a civilization that long ago destroyed itself.

Hathor, with its amphibious flying sharks.

Eden, with its island-sized raft-jellies that support their own ecosystems.

Firefly, with its eternally benighted phosphorescent forests comprised of warring intelligent super-organisms that are entire ecosystems in their own right.

Pacifica, with world-spanning ice-bottomed oceans filled with amoeboid and crystalline psychic life forms.

And mind-bogglingly huge Colossus, an artificial shell constructed around a gas giant featuring 542 continents, 21 distinct ecosystems, and four different biologies.

And those are just some of the major worlds. There are minor worlds as well, with dinosaur jungles, floating islands, planet-wide tunnel complexes, and even a world that never rotates sporting a sorcerous Renaissance-era culture living on a narrow strip of eternal equatorial twilight.

The Dream Realms

Eldritch Skies includes Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, presenting them as a purely psychic phenomenon. I get why this was done, since the possibility of physical travel to a fantasy world doesn’t really fit with a sci-fi setting. It’s still a shame, though, since here the game outright contradicts (rather than simply reinterprets) Lovecraft’s stories. Also, the lack of a Sanity mechanic leaves travel to the Dream Realms basically risk-free. Even if a character “dies” in the Dream Realms, he simply jerks awake and can’t return to the Dream Realms for a month. The result almost seems like a kind of virtual reality game-within-a-game.

That aside, the chapter does a great job of not only covering the Dreamlands, but expanding upon them. In addition to the fantasy regions of Lovecraft’s tales, here called the Pastoral World and the Underworld, Eldritch Skies adds the Future World -- a science fiction realm of arcologies, cyborgs, aliens, mutant-haunted radioactive wastelands, a space elevator, and a city that spans an entire continent. In addition, while the skies above the Pastoral World retain their flying sailing ships, the Space Sector above the Future World is all about space suits, rocket ships, and laser guns.

Now, I should point out that both the planets and the Dream Realms are heavy on concepts, light on content. The book offers just 1-2 creatures per planet, three Dream Realm creatures (ghasts, Ulthar cats, and zoogs), and three mundane Earthly animals (dogs, falcons, and horses). If you want to allow your players to run wild through any of these regions, you have your work cut out for you. However, I’m given to understand that the Distant Vistas supplement will address this concern. In the meantime, this chapter is a stellar (literally and figuratively) idea mine.

Chapter 6: Eldritch Threats & Alien Wonders

I love a good bestiary, and Eldritch Skies really comes through. Stopping just short of statting up Great Old Ones and Elder Gods, the chapter covers:
  • Human Threats
  • Hyperspatial Mutants
  • Deep Ones
  • Ghouls
  • Shoggoths
  • Europans
  • Great Race of Yith
  • Mi-Go
  • Moonbeasts
  • Man of Leng
  • Serpent People
  • Yaddithi
  • Color Out of Space
  • Dhole
  • Flying Polyp
  • Servitor of the Outer Gods
  • Cthulhloid
  • Hastur
  • Nyarlathotep
  • Other Gods

In addition to the creatures themselves, the chapter offers some NPC-only psychic and physical powers and examples of alien technology. If the previous chapter was an idea gold mine, this one is a “hard facts” platinum mine.

Chapter 7: Storytelling Advice

“GM advice” chapters are pretty hit-and-miss in my experience, but this one does a great job. The focus is squarely on the Gritty/Cinematic/Pulp levels of play mentioned earlier, giving examples of what life in general is like for a PC in each, then delving into the particulars of how things work differently for OPS agents and civilians at each level. For example, dealing with OPS bureaucracy at the Gritty level could be a nightmare of paperwork and corruption, while on the Pulp end of the scale, bureaucrats may be nothing more than a running gag.

After a brief discussion of possible rewards for adventuring, the chapter deals with the considerable possibilities for adventure in the Eldritch Skies universe, be it on Earth, in the Dream Realms, on a single planet, throughout the galaxy, or even through time. The text handles the specifics particularly well. I really liked the implications of handling a cult on an isolated colony, where the entire colony may well be in on the occult shenanigans and where help for the OPS may not be exactly close at hand.

Finally, while the book lacks an introductory adventure, it does feature four cool story seeds -- two on Earth, two in space.


Style

I have to be a bit tough on Eldritch Skies here. There’s no appendix, and the table of contents consists of nebulous images and uninformative titles in the form of chapter numbers. Frankly, I’m not sure that I could use a print copy of this book. As it is, I’ve been able to get by with the searchable PDF, albeit not very well.

Art other than the page borders is fairly sparse, but that really doesn’t bother me. I’d prefer a gaming book to err on the side of more content any day. In any case, the art that’s there manages to be quite evocative of space exploration in a Lovecraftian universe.

The layout is nicely readable throughout, organizational issues notwithstanding. No typos stood out to me.

Conclusion

This is one ambitious book. I wish it could have backed up more of its concepts with rules and stats, but honestly, I don’t see how that could have been possible. As it is, what you have here is a marvelous sci-fi incarnation of Lovecraft’s creations that stays mostly true to HPL’s vision while boldly exploring wild new frontiers. If you don’t mind fleshing out the parts of the universe that most intrigue you, you’ve got everything you need to slug it out with the Mythos in worlds HPL never imagined.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

[Q&A] Jason Holmgren (Myriad Song)

[19:04] <+JasonHolmgren> I'm Jason Holmgren, director of Sanguine Games.  Back in the 1990s, I illustrated Joe Genero, Fineous Fingers, and the occasional Knights of the Dinner Table.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

[Q&A] Sechin Tower (The Menace from Beyond)

[19:05] <+Sechin_Tower> My name is Sechin Tower and I’m the grand poobah of Siege Tower Games. I’m also the lead developer at Exile Game Studio where I’ve worked on Hollow Earth Expedition since the beginning and been the chief contributing writer for the supplements. Also, I’m author of Mad Science Institute, a novel of explosions and robots.
[19:05] <+Sechin_Tower> The Menace From Beyond is an adventure/survival-horror RPG inspired by the classic creature features of the 1950s. It was the birth-era of sci-fi monsters as we know them with movies like THEM!, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Bloob, Godzilla, alien invaders, body snatchers, and many more were born in the 50s

Thursday, May 16, 2013

[Q&A] Jason M. Hardy (Shadowrun 5e)

[19:02] <+JasonMHardy> Hi, I'm Jason Hardy, I'm the current Shadowrun line developer! Shadowrun has been around for more than twenty years, and it's a blend of cyberpunk and fantasy with a nice noir feel running throughout!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

[Q&A] Henry Lopez (Witch Hunter 2nd edition)

[19:02] <+PCIHenry> My name is Henry Lopez and I'm the owner of Paradigm Concepts, Inc. We produce a few different RPG games, such as Arcanis: The World of the Shattered empires, Rotted Capes - the Superhero Zombie game and Witch Hunter: The Invisible World a game of colonial swashbuckling horror set in a slightly alternate history from ours.

Monday, May 13, 2013

[Q&A] Greg Porter (EABA v2)

[19:04] <+BTRC> I'm Greg Porter, otherwise known as the guy who runs BTRC, because typing out Blacksburg Tactical Research Center gets tiresome after a while

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

[Q&A] Luke Verge ("The Quest")

[19:11] <+LukeQuestCasting> Jasmine and I work for Profiles TV and we teamed up with an executive producer from LOTR to make the first ever action adventure show
[19:11] <+LukeQuestCasting> so basically its going to be Amazing Race in Middle Earth
[19:12] <+LukeQuestCasting> Jasmine and I are the casting team that are headed to Dallas next weekend

Monday, May 6, 2013

[Q&A] John Berry (Arcana Rising)

[19:03] <+J_Arcana_Rising> I am John Berry, founder of Bedroom Wall Press, and author of the currently Kickstarting Arcana Rising.
[19:04] <+J_Arcana_Rising> Arcana Rising is an urban fantasy roleplaying game that aims to marry old-school D&D with a modern setting, and is powered by the same system as the best-selling Hulks and Horrors.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

[Q&A] Caias Ward (Trigger Happy)

[19:06] <+Caias> I'm Caias Ward, a designer located in New Jersey. I've written stuff for Aetherco (Continuum), Pinnacle (Path of Kane), SJGames (Pyramid Magazine) and Super Genius Games (Strike Force 7). I'm currently Kickstarting Trigger Happy, the RPG of Action, Crime and the World Which Hates You.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[Q&A] William McAusland (The Mutant Epoch)

[19:06] <+William_McAusland> Hello, this is William McAusland, creator of The Mutant Epoch RPG   Here is our official quick pitch:  "The Mutant Epoch is about humankind's attempt to reclaim some semblance of civilization, calling upon its best and boldest to uncover the lost knowledge and power of the old ones."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

[Q&A] Sean Punch (GURPS)

[20:02] <+Sean_Punch> So, as my nick cleverly implies, I'm Sean Punch, GURPS Line Editor at SJ Games these past 18 years.
[20:03] <+Sean_Punch> Which is to say, I'm the institutional memory, occasional policy-maker, and frequent editor of GURPS.

Friday, April 19, 2013

[Q&A] RPGPundit (Arrows of Indra)

[19:03] <+RPGPundit> Well, I'm the RPGPundit; if you don't know me you probably don't spend a lot of time on any tabletop RPG forums.  I run theRPGsite, one of the biggest general RPG discussion forums; I also have a long-running blog of some fame (or infamy).
[19:03] <+RPGPundit> I've also written several RPGs.  The most recent is Arrows of Indra ( (Link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/112198/Arrows-of-Indra)http://www.rpgnow.com/product/112198/Arrows-of-Indra ) which I assume will be the main subject of discussion tonight.

Monday, April 15, 2013

[Q&A] James Knevitt (City of Clocks)

[19:08] <+James_Knevitt> Well, I'm James Knevitt. Among other things, I wrote a systemless setting called CITY OF CLOCKS (published by Battlefield Press). It's city-based quasi-fantasy with an anachronistic streak. It started out as a love letter to steampunk, and ended up being a Dear John letter instead. (done)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

[Q&A] Christopher Morrell (The Morrow Project)

[19:33] <+mosser> Hi. My name is Christopher Morrell, and I am the lead author for The Morrow Project 4th edition.

[Q&A] Joshua Kubli (Invulnerable)

[19:32] <+jkubli> My name is Joshua Kubli, and I'm the head enchilada of Imperfekt Gammes ((Link: http://www.imperfekt-industrees.com)www.imperfekt-industrees.com). We publish the Invulnerable RPG, a super hero roleplaying game.

Monday, April 8, 2013

[Q&A] Andrew Peregrine (Kuro, Qin, Yggdrasill, Keltia)

[19:02] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’m a freelance RPG writer, who has been extraordinarily lucky to work on some amazing projects. These have included working for AEG (Seventh Sea), Eden Studios (Buffy/Angel), Margaret Weis Productions (Serenity, Leverage) and White Wolf (Changeling). Most of my work has been with Cubicle 7 though. I built the second edition of Victoriana, and developed the l
[19:03] <+AndrewPeregrine> which was too long
[19:03] <+AndrewPeregrine> . I currently also look after our translation projects, which are all games by the amazing French company 7th Circle. These being Qin: the Warring States, Yggdrasill, Kuro and the forthcoming Keltia. I also write games under my own imprint 'Corone Design'.
[19:03] <+AndrewPeregrine> Basically I have freelanced for a few companies, but now work specifically with Cubicle 7 bringing 7th Circle games inot English

Thursday, April 4, 2013

[Q&A] Darren Pearce (Set Rising, Doctor Who: The First Doctor)

[19:02] <+DWPearce> Hi folks. I'm Darren Pearce, freelance writer/author and designer. I work a lot for Cubicle 7 on their Doctor Who line and I'm part of the Savage Mojo Family for the setting: Set Rising. I also have done work for Mongoose publishing on Lone Wolf and currently their Legend line RPG. (plus other stuff)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

[Q&A] Matt West (Soul's Calling)

19:02 <OmnifrayMatt>OK well I'm Matt West, I've been a gamer since around 1982 or 1983 and I've previously brought out "full-fat" Omnifray as a final, published game.
19:02 <OmnifrayMatt>I've had a few other games in public playtest, and my current project is Soul's Calling.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

[Q&A] Chris "BASHMAN" Rutkowsky (BASH! Awesome Powers)

[19:08] <+BASHMAN> Hi, my name is Chris Rutkowsky, aka BASHMAN, and I am the creator of BASH! Ultimate Edition (a superheroes RPG system) and Honor + Intrigue (a swashbuckling adaption of Barbarians of Lemuria RPG)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

[Q&A] Brennan Bishop (Storm Battalion)

[19:23] <+EvilBrennan> My name is Brennan Bishop. I've written a few games for (Link: http://www.thirdeyegames.net)www.thirdeyegames.net and have taken over the API gameline from Eloy Lasanta. My new game is Storm Battalion. It's set in an alternative history in the year 1935. Supernatural Storms of unknown origin have erupted on the planet and bring with them massive electrical energy as well as mutations
[19:23] *** Kzar_ has quit IRC: Connection reset by peer
[19:24] <+EvilBrennan> and monsters. Various nations of the world (some real, some fictitious) are at war with one another over the power these storms provide. They employ bizarre and terrible weaponry (mostly  based off the works of Nicola Tesla)  to take over the storms and harness their energy.
[19:25] <+EvilBrennan> The players take the role of those few people who have died in a Storm and been returned to life. They have horrendous powers and use them to complete missions for their nation and fend off Monsters that have been brought about by the Storms.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

[Q&A] Jason L. Blair (Little Fears, Streets of Bedlam)

[19:05] <+JasonLBlair> My name is Jason L Blair, and I've been writing and designing games since 2001. My first release was LITTLE FEARS, which is still how most folks know me.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

[Q&A] Nathaniel Torson (Barbarians of Heavy Metal)

[19:04] <+Nathaniel> Okey-dokey. I am Nathaniel Torson, COO of Jabberwocky Media LLC. Currently we have 5 things in the works, but I imagine everyone wants to know about Barbarians of Heavy Metal primarily, right (done).

Monday, March 4, 2013

[Q&A] Cynthia Celeste Miller (Spectrum Games)

[19:10] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I'm Cynthia Celeste Miller, president of Spectrum Games, an RPG company known for genre emulation. I have some of my peeps with me tonight too...

Friday, March 1, 2013

[Q&A] Mike Olson (Atomic Robo)

[19:08] <+MikeOlson> Hi, I'm Mike Olson, and I'm the lead writer-guy of Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game, based on the very excellent comic book series Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. ARRPG is built on the Fate Core engine, but has its fair share of modifications to make it as AR-ish as possible.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

[Q&A] Stephen Mayo, Michal Lysek, Ian Stewart (New Horizon)

[19:05] <+Ian_stewart> Hey there! I'm Ian Stewart, writer for the New Horizon RPG! It's a tabletop RPG which focuses on Humans and their artificial brethren as they live and grow as a society on a far distant colony world.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

[Q&A] John Berry (Hulks & Horrors)

[19:03] <+John_Berry> I'm John Berry, and I wrote Hulks and Horrors and Heaven's Shadow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

[Q&A] Chris Birch (Achtung! Cthulhu)

[19:06] <+Modiphius> ok cool well I'm Chris, set up Modiphius a year ago and currently running the Achtung! Cthulhu kickstarter based on our mad cthulhu inspired ww2 setting for Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[Q&A] Larry Moore (BareBones Fantasy)

[19:05] <+Larry_Moore> Greetings, I'm Larry Moore, designer of BareBones Fantasy along with Bill Logan. I've been involved in the Star Frontiersman as well, so you may recognize the name from there. :-) Bill and I run DwD Studios. Thank you for the invite.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[Q&A] Brandon Schmelz (Last Stand)

[19:04] <+BrandonSchmelz> Hi. I'm Brandon Schmelz. I'm here mostly to talk about my new game, Last Stand. Last Stand is a love letter to giant monster movies and goofy b-movies, with a lot of explosions. It's part of a series of games using the Fortune System, so I can cover those too. I also write third party Dungeon World content and used to freelance for White Wolf, but that was a long time ago.
[19:05] <+BrandonSchmelz> Last Stand had a successful Kickstarter and it's now available as a pdf on DrivethruRPG, with print copies coming soon. (done)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

[Q&A] Carsten Damm (Equinox)

Jan 10 12:58:07 <Dammi> Hi everyone! I'm Carsten Damm, one of the two founders of Vagrant Workshop/Pro-Indie. I've been Line Developer for Earthdawn Classic and Earthdawn Third Edition for a couple of years, and had my fingers in various other games (Fading Suns 3e among them).
Jan 10 12:58:17 <Dammi> At Vagrant Workshop and Pro-Indie, we're publishing smaller roleplaying games, supplements and settings. Our team is a group of independent game designers and artists, and our intention is to only publish books we love and believe in. The company based out of germany, but our team is international.
Jan 10 12:58:30 <Dammi> The main topic for today is our latest (beta) release, the Equinox Setting Guide. Some of my co-authors are also here and will likely chime in! Feel free to ask anything!<done>