A Walk Through RPGNow

Just a walk through RPGNow…

Ziili and Tempest – an interesting place for an adventure, short or long term. From the product blurb:

Far Frontiers Ziili & Tempest is an abbreviated world supplement for you to drop into a science fiction interstellar spanning campaign setting. Tempest is a raging water world with oceans hundreds of miles deep and teaming with life for exploration. Ziili is Tempest’s terraformed small moon using a high technology geodesic dome, beanstalk like towers and a marvels to excite any engineer. Ziili is both a earth-like paradise and very dense – a mining haven deep below the pleasure beaches and other resorts that dot the planet.

Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game – you have to have good NPCs in your game. Here’s a way to get them!

Think of your favorite character from a game, book, or movie. What makes them memorable? It’s not their Strength score, or how many hit points they have — it’s who they are as a person: what they look like, how they act, their personality, and what drives them.

Using a simple but powerful template that features Appearance, Roleplaying, Personality, Motivation, Background, and Traits, Masks provides the core elements of a thousand great characters. Masks NPCs are designed to be used on the fly, no prep required — but with enough depth to be used when planning adventures, as well.

Within this massive collection you’ll find the resources you need to portray vivid NPCs in your games:

  • Fantasy, science fiction, and modern NPCs: 333 of each (334 in fantasy), all easily adaptable to any genre and any RPG

  • Roles and traits: Every NPC has a role — villain, ally, or neutral — and is categorized by traits like famous, criminal, and warrior

  • Clear, useful game mastering advice: Masks covers re-skinning NPCs to fit other genres, making your portrayals memorable, and more

  • Handy tools: NPCs are indexed by trait, name, and author; an appendix lists groups like Tavern Patrons and Spaceport Denizens; and Masks provides over 1,900 names in an easy-to-use format

  • No game mechanics: These system-neutral NPCs can be used in any RPG

The Quiet Year – it’s meant to be used in a fantasy-Viking setting, but with some modifications, the game has many uses in the Traveller universe. Naturally, it’s best for the Rebellion and and the early Post-Virus period.

For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. But now, we’ve driven them off, and we have this – a year of relative peace. One quiet year, with which to build our community up and learn once again how to work together. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive and we might not survive beyond that. But we don’t know about that yet. What we know is that right now, in this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

The Quiet Year is a map game. You define the struggles of a post-apocalyptic community, and attempt to build something good within their quiet year. Every decision and every action is set against a backdrop of dwindling time and rising concern.

The game is played using a deck of cards – each of the 52 cards corresponds to a week during the quiet year. Each card triggers certain events – bringing bad news, good omens, project delays and sudden changes in luck. At the end of the quiet year, the Frost Shepherds will come, ending the game.

Microscope – a kind of history-creation game, Microscope is useful for those of us who always wanted to turn background-material into a collective gaming experience. It would be rather interesting, having your players design their own timeline for their own version of the Imperium/Charted Space…

What is Microscope?

Humanity spreads to the stars and forges a galactic civilization…

Fledgling nations arise from the ruins of the empire…

An ancient line of dragon-kings dies out as magic fades from the realm…

These are all examples of Microscope games. Want to explore an epic history of your own creation, hundreds or thousands of years long, all in an afternoon? That’s Microscope.

You won’t play the game in chronological order. You can defy the limits of time and space, jumping backward or forward to explore the parts of the history that interest you. Want to leap a thousand years into the future and see how an institution shaped society? Want to jump back to the childhood of the king you just saw assassinated and find out what made him such a hated ruler? That’s normal in Microscope.

You have vast power to create… and to destroy. Build beautiful, tranquil jewels of civilization and then consume them with nuclear fire. Zoom out to watch the majestic tide of history wash across empires, then zoom in and explore the lives of the people who endured it.

Mock chronological order.
Defy time and space.
Build worlds and destroy them.

A role-playing game for two to four players. No GM. No prep. Microscope was playtested for two years by over 150 awesome gamers.

Free Trader Variants: The Frontier – I do like starship variants! With deck plans and adventure hooks and an nice low price, I feel that it’s worth a look-see.

Free Trader Variants: The Frontier presents the Rift Trader, the Skip Tracer, and the Salvager, three heavily modified Free Traders useful in frontier areas.

The Rift Trader’s defining feature is its 5 parsec jump range, which allows it to cross otherwise impassable rifts devoid of stars or carry time sensitive cargo quickly to its destination.

The Skip Tracer is designed to track down and repossess ships whose crews have stopped making payments. Its modifications, including a Ship’s Boat modified for pursuit and boarding, also make it a good vessel for pirates or those who hunt them.

Finally, the Salvager can jump two parsecs while carrying its own tonnage again, which allows it to reach and retrieve stranded or derelict vessels and return them, and their crews, to civilization.

All three variants have descriptions, deck plans, adventure hooks, and a sample crew suitable as antagonists or allies.

Solo – a useful and fun experiment in Traveller roleplaying. I regret the lack of time needed to properly play the game, but I plan on making te the purchase at least!

SOLO is a solo add-on for Cepheus Engine and the 2D6 SF roleplaying game that it is based on. Available as a softback edition NOW on lulu.com

If your players are out of town, or you want to experience your own sci-fi setting ‘from the inside’, SOLO is the answer. This isn’t the usual collection of random word tables – instead it presents an array of game types and campaign styles that you can play solo, in the company of a complete adventuring party. Exploring new star systems? Chasing pirates in a naval destroyer? Touting for patrons on one frontier world after another? Smuggling? Planning interstellar heists? Operating a free trader on the margins of profit – and legality?

SOLO allows you to pick up your favourite version of the game to run the kinds of sessions that are normally reserved for a traditional group of table-top players – led by a referee.

SOLO includes:

  • Copious examples of play
  • Guidelines to ease the process of character creation
  • Rules for inter-character drama
  • The Plan: A single, universal scene resolution mechanic
  • Solid advice on tying seemingly random events together
  • Fast play space combat rules
  • Checklists to speed play and help understanding
  • A unique space exploration sub-system
  • Star system creation rules
  • Record sheets

Seed of Doubt – consider the product blurb below, and then consider the name of the adventure.

A simple, easy job. Easy work for good pay and free ship upgrades to boot. Far be it for your ship to profit from the misfortunes of others, but this is business. This is almost too good to be true.

Seed of Doubt is a fast, easily run adventure for a crew of a small ship, perfect for Travellers just starting their careers in Space.

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About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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