February 26, 2012: Skullkickers At Print!

Steve Jackson Games - Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:13

We just sent Munchkin Skullkickers to print! If you aren't familiar with Skullkickers, we've posted a short comic on the Munchkin Skullkickers website that will tell you everything you need to know.

Look for Munchkin Skullkickers boosters on the shelves of your Friendly Local Game Store this summer.

-- Andrew Hackard

Categories: Company News

Common Criminals: Series 2

RPGNow - Sun, 02/26/2012 - 03:12
 Series 2Publisher: Fishwife Games

The mean streets are full of criminals from all walks of life. Some have taken up crime as purely as a means of survival while others simply choose to get ahead in life by breaking the rules. Regardless of their situations in life, all these individuals have one thing in common. They have become outlaws.

This second series of Common Criminals features background information for six different crooks and thugs. Nature of crimes range from drug dealing to pimping to chop shops. Although much of the information presented in this modern gaming supplement is self explanatory, having a copy of Common Criminals: Companion Guide never hurts. This is especially true when using the attribute score points to convert characters over to the game system of your choice. All Game Masters (GMs) are recommended to download this free pdf. Common Criminals: Companion Guide can be found on rpgnow.com and drivethrurpg.com. Be sure to pick up Common Criminals: Pilot-Promo as well for an additional criminal to add to your collection. This file is also free and can be found at the same resources online.

In this edition of Common Criminals, you'll meet the following individuals...

Marcus Clark: A used car sales man with a clandestine chop shop on the outskirts of town.

Conrad McGrath: A white collar criminal with a penchant for insider trading and illegal imports.

Freeway Jones: A pimp that takes special pride in his flamboyance and nature of living.

Clarence Jagger: A local musician that can sell you a little something extra to take your blues away.

Ronnie Boulder: An ex-pro wrestler turned criminal enforcer.

Aaron Edwards: A white supremacist that deals in meth in order to bring in profits for "the cause".

Page Count: 9 Pages

Written By: David (Dave) L. Woodrum Jr.

Price: $2.50
Categories: Company News

Torn From the Pages of Curtiss Wright Flyleaf & History

RPGNow - Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:18
Torn From the Pages of Curtiss Wright Flyleaf & HistoryPublisher: LMW Works

 From the Introduction

In 1966 or there about, Tom Vivirit was closing his lumber yard and he was gracious enough to give me many different turn of the century (circa 1914 to 1919) Frank Leslie’s Magazines. In this batch of printed treasure was a Curtiss Wright Flyleaf from about 1917. At least that is the date often used in these pages. The Flyleaf included pages 5 through 18. No cover was with them. They were stuck inside one of the Leslie’s magazines. These had been left around in the lumber yard storage area for more than 50 years. Cleaning things out I got them for helping!

What do I know about First World War planes? With some shame very little. As a boy I naturally built many First World War plane models which fascinated me. As a boy in the 50’s on a farm I can assure you when a plane flew over everyone came outside to see it and point. Those were the days. I was born and grew-up at a time when you could still meet First World War veterans and I did. Heck I even knew men grown old by the 1960’s who were water boys at the Schoellkopf Power Station back in 1895. These men were my heroes and veterans of both World Wars. Today boys are no longer permitted real heroes. I consider myself lucky to have been a boy more than 50 years ago when it was common to boast of your heroes; fathers, uncles and friends.

Any way I have finally gotten into researching the First World War Period. I will finally, after 40 years, get to the stack of Frank Leslie’s Magazines that are aging day by day. This publication will preserve these pages electronically. So not everything today is bad as one would think. While actual documents like these are important but more importantly is the content and not the actual hard copy itself. Hopefully this content is now preserved for other generations. The drawings are outstanding and these have sparked my boyish imagination for many decades. The text is informative of a gone-by age.

I can claim no writing skill in gathering and reproducing these pages. They have been electronically copied and then reassembled page by page. See the notes for more details at the end. In conclusion I dedicate this brief reproduction to my Uncle Tom Vivirit; one of my guides in life then and even now.

Price: $5.00
Categories: Company News

Shadowrun: Another Rainy Night

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:26
 Another Rainy NightPublisher: Catalyst Game Labs

Blood Runs Red

Every day in the Sixth World people die in a thousand different ways. Every day blood is spilled. Every place that rain falls, it washes away some of the red that stains the streets.

Eliminating every killer in the Sixth World is as impossible as drying up every raindrop in a storm, but Thomas McAllister doesn’t want to get rid of all of them. Just one. He’s been on this killer’s trail for a while, and he knows he’s getting closer. The only question is if he’ll be able to handle getting as close as he’s about to be, or if his blood will join the stream that regularly flows into the gutters of the sprawls.

Another Rainy Night is part of Shadowrun's enhanced fiction line. It contains an original short story, along with game information to use elements of the story in your game, including stats for the major characters and new gear introduced in the story. Gamemasters and players can do more than become immersed in the fiction—they can make it a part of their gaming world.

Another Rainy Night is for use with Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition.

Price: $4.95
Categories: Company News

Deadlands Reloaded: Don't Drink the Water for Fantasy Grounds

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:48
 Don't Drink the Water for Fantasy GroundsPublisher: SmiteWorks
Deadlands Reloaded: Don't Drink the Water Adventure for the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop

Howdy Marshal! It’s time for a little fun south o’ the Border. We’re going to take your posse on a quick jaunt into ol’ Mexico where they get to dodge the Foreign Legion, aid some revolutionaries, and put a few wayward dead folks back into Boot Hill where they belong! So saddle up and throw on your poncho, but don’t drink the water! Don't Drink the Water is rough-ridin' Savage Tale for the award-winning Deadlands RPG. (a full conversion of the 22 page, full color Deadlands Adventure)

Requires: A Fantasy Grounds full or ultimate license, the Savage Worlds v3 Ruleset and the Deadlands Reloaded extension (included in the Fantasy Grounds Marshall's guide) and Player's Handbook module for FG

Fantasy Grounds II Conversion: Ben Turner

(c) 2012 Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Deadlands, Smiling Jack, Savage Worlds, and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved.

Produced under license by Studio 2 Publishing, Inc. The Studio 2 logo is a trademark of Studio 2 Publishing, Inc. ©2012. All Rights Reserved.

The Savage Worlds Ruleset (Fantasy Grounds II Conversion) by SmiteWorks USA, LLC, (C) 2012, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The Savage Worlds Ruleset format, programming code, and presentation is copyrighted by SmiteWorks USA, LLC and Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Redistribution by print or by file is strictly prohibited.

Fantasy Grounds II is a trademark of SmiteWorks USA, LLC (C) 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Price: $7.99
Categories: Company News

Shadow of the Haunted Keep

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:40
Shadow of the Haunted KeepPublisher: Sangreal Games

Enter a nostalgic adventure of horror and fantasy - an ode to the early years of role playing - with the thrills and magick of today's story telling.

Experience how the Haunted Keep of 1981 would have been if it were written today.

- 48 pages of adventure kit

- a full fledged, triple barreled adventure for lower level heroes

- maps, encounter tables, NPCs, monster descriptions, magick items, scene tables

- seven ready made heroes for your players

- description and encountrers for local town Holmeston

- for the Dark Dungeon 2nd Edition Game,

- or any Old School Renaissance fantasy game you prefer

Enjoying song, stories and dance, you are rudely interrupted. Guttural voices, shouts and screams. A pack of wolves pours out from between the trees. On their backs are gruesome little men armed with spears and jagged swords. They're out to get you, and your family.

Price: $1.99
Categories: Company News

Assorted Alchemical Accoutrements Revised

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 16:50
Assorted Alchemical Accoutrements RevisedPublisher: Interjection Games

Assorted Alchemical Accoutrements Revised is an OGL licensed supplement for 3rd edition D&D and is compatible with both 3.5 and The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Beholders getting you down? Antimagic traps leaving you impotent just before being brutally mauled by rampaging Rending Megawalruses? The Corithian Artificers' Guild has you covered!

Assorted Alchemical Accoutrements Revised is the definitive catalog for all of your alchemical needs. Technically "mundane" in nature, our alchemical goods will give your adventuring party the versatility it needs to get around many an obstacle, including antimagic fields! Perform impromptu repairs with Portal Putty. Incincerate ranks of foes with a Mechanical Dragon! Of a more supportive nature? Utilize our patented QuiDS and Chems lines to deliver everything from healing to paralysis at crossbow range! Whatever your need, role, or mindset may be, the Guild has you covered!

As most longtime D&D players well know, alchemy is a force to be reckoned with... until about level 3. Assorted Alchemical Accoutrements Revised aims to make alchemy viable through level 20 and includes:

  • Over 35 new consumable items that cover everything from healing to impromptu repairs to memory-induced vomiting.
  • Four "Firearms", weapons that use alchemical ammunition for offense and support.
    • The Spitfire – an air-pressure rifle that fires glass spheres of chemicals; comes with a flamethrower attachment
    • The Omnifire – a Spitfire that gives up its flamethrower to focus on the rifle
    • The Quiddle – a specially-designed ranged delivery device that launches Chems and QuiDS, syringes that offer fantastic support properties
    • The Mechanical Dragon – the closest most people will ever get to breathing fire
  • Two brand-new constructs designed to give any adventuring party the upper hand in combat situations.
    • The Autoquidd - a small construct built around a Quiddle and designed to offer tactical support.
    • The Firewalker - two tons of battlefield supremacy.
  • 12 new feats with an alchemical slant specially designed to allow any class to make use of this supplement in some way.
  • Metaalchemical feats! Simply make maximized, extended, heightened, or twin alchemical items and watch your enemies' faces melt.
  • An overhaul to mundane crafting, including identification of metaalchemical substances and methods to increase alchemical production speed.
  • A D&D 3.5 version in monochrome and color and a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game version in monochrome and color.
Price: $2.99
Categories: Company News

Scenes from the Empire

AEG - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:43

A trio of vignettes from around the Emerald Empire, and beyond.


Scenes from the Empire

By Nancy Sauer, Yoon Ha Lee, and Robert Denton

Edited by Fred Wan


Shortly after the defeat of Kali-Ma, somewhere in the Tsuruchi Provinces

The celebration at the House of the Golden Squirrel was noisy, but he had heard noisier: Unlike the Crab, the Spider did not go in for indiscriminate destruction of sake houses.  Not tonight, at least.

        Saharawalked across the street and slid aside the door. The elderly peasant man who sat collecting swords for polishing looked relieved to see someone bearing the mon of the Emerald Magistrates.Saharahanded over his blades without comment and entered the main room. The noise dipped as people turned to see who the newcomer was and then died away as they took in the mon he wore.Saharasmiled slightly. “I amSahara,” he said. “Daigotsu Sahara.” It was a name he hadn’t claimed for years, even in his dreams.

         A murmur ran through the room and from somewhere off to his leftSaharaheard the boom of laughter. “You were thatSahara? You won the Emerald Tournament?” The questioner walked up toSahara, smiling broadly. He wore the mon of the Empress Guard over his heart. 

         “You must be Gahseng,”Saharasaid.

         “I am!” he said loudly.Saharasuspected that the other man’s volume was fueled by sake. “I thought I was the highest ranking of the Empress’s servants here, but I think you have me beat.”

        Saharamade a dismissive gesture. “We all serve Daigotsu as we are able.”

         “Well said!” Gahseng roared. “Come, sit with Setsuko and I and drink with us.  We have much to celebrate.”


*     *     *


         Shiba Erena looked up from the report and gazed at the man who had brought it.  Bayushi Hirose met her eyes calmly; whatever emotion he was currently feeling was locked behind mask and discipline. “This is terrible,” she said. “Gahseng, a Spider? A tainted man, serving in the Empress’s Guard?”

         “It is indeed unfortunate,” Hirose agreed. “Doubly so, as he has been a fine guard–perhaps a position of responsibility can be found for him among those being sent to the Ivory Kingdom.”

         Erena considered the matter dispassionately. Gahseng had been recommended to the Guard by an Otomo courtier, but no blame would attach to him: his family would see to that. The blame would fall on her then, and her decision now was how to face that fate.  “I will ask for a meeting with the Voice at his earliest convenience,” she said, “and offer my resignation.” And request permission to seppuku, but some things were too obvious to need saying.

         “Shiba-san,” Hirose said, “I do not think that is necessary.”

         “I am first of the Guard,” Erena said. “It will not come to dishonor by my action, or lack of action.”

         “Your determination is a guide for us all, but I do not think you are considering the entire issue. The Spider are a Great Clan now, by the Empress’s command. Why should they not have members in the Empress’s Guard? The life of Daigotsu’s son depends on her good will, which should give them excellent incentive for keeping her safe.”

         Erena considered this for a moment. “It does not matter. The scandal of allowing Gahseng in will be immense.”

         “One Spider is an embarrassment,” Hirose said. “Two is a policy.”

         “That–”  Erena broke off what she had been about to say and tried to reorganize her thoughts. “You are surely joking.”

         “Not in the least. There will be talk, of course, and outrage, but no one can outright condemn their presence without criticizing the Empress’s decision.” Hirose shrugged.  “Some will attempt to use it to remove you, but it will be nothing Iduzki and I can’t deal with.”

         “You are working very hard to save me, when my removal would clear the way for you to lead the Guard.”

         Hirose looked hurt. “You have held the Guard together and maintained its morale throughout this long, terrible year. To abandon you would be as unforgivable as abandoning the Empress.”

         Erena gave him a sharp look, trying to will truth out of him. “Aren’t you supposed to take your mask off when you say something like that?”

         “A heartfelt gesture ruined by generations of bad playwrights,” Hirose said. “You must believe all the days we have served together, or none of them.”

         Erena was silent for a long moment, thinking. “Even if one accepted your logic, the plan would not work. We cannot simply grab a random Spider samurai and add him to the Guard.”

         Hirose smiled. “Even with an Otomo’s backing, it is not easy for a ronin to attain an important post. Gahseng was investigated by one of the Emerald Magistrates before he was forwarded to you. The approval was written by Suzume Sahara, who had been a ronin himself before the Sparrow had offered him fealty.Saharais in a sake house this evening with Gahseng, celebrating the creation of the Spider Clan.”

         “Susumu, Gahseng,Sahara–who next?” Erena wondered aloud. Silently she concluded thatSaharamade Hirose’s actions explicable: Appointing him would draw attention away from the fact that Shosuro Jimen had given a Spider a high-ranking position in the Emerald Magistrates. It made her feel more secure about accepting his counsel on the subject.

         “I am reasonably sure the rest of the Empress’sChosenare who they say they are,” Hirose said.

         “Comforting,” Erena said, getting up. “I must see the Empress and learn what she thinks of this.”

         “The Empress, and not her Voice?”

         Erena winced. “I already know what Togashi Satsu will say about this.”


*     *     *


        Saharahurried towards the building that currently served as the barracks of the Empress’s Guard. He didn’t know why Shiba Erena needed an Emerald Magistrate, and he could only pray that his hangover wouldn’t get in the way of his service to her. 


         A member of the Guard was stationed at the door and after seeing Erena’s message he ledSaharainto the building. The magistrate followed him down a hall and into a large room that appeared to be holding every member of the Guard not currently on duty guarding the Empress. Shiba Erena herself was standing at the back of the room, flanked by Bayushi Hirose and Kakita Idzuki. Erena looked perfectly calm, Hirose was inscrutable, and Idzuki was scowling. Gahseng was there was well, standing among–no,Sahara’s mind corrected–surrounded by–a number of Guards. Something that wasn’t his headache started clamoring for attention.

         “Shiba-san, I came as soon as I got your message.”Saharabowed and offered the note that had summoned him. The hairs on his neck prickled as he did so, reminding him that to bow was to put oneself at another’s mercy.

         “Your promptness does you credit, Daigotsu-san,” Erena replied.

        Sahara’s first impulse was to argue–he had prepared for something like this long ago, and had several speeches rehearsed for it. His second was to wonder if he was going to die here, and how many of the Guard he could take down with him, and if that were the point: a bloody, sacrificial plot to discredit the Spider. “What do you wish from me, Shiba-san?” he asked instead.

         “You do not deny the name,” Erena said.

         “I see no reason to,”Saharasaid. “My lord had ordered me to hide my true allegiance and seek service with another clan. I obeyed his commands, as any samurai would.” 

         “I think many samurai would argue the point, but that is not my business today.”  Erena gestured at Gahseng. “Daigotsu Gahseng,” she laid only the slightest stress on the name, “has been found to be Tainted. As the Empress has commanded, he will be sent out to the Ivory Kingdoms. You will take his place in the Empress’s Guard.”

         There were several thingsSaharahad expected her to say: this was not any of them.  He was being ordered to take up a station that most samurai would kill to attain. It was his loyalty to Daigotsu that had made this possible,Sahararealized, and a fierce joy awoke in him. “I am at the Empress’s service,” he said. The Empress’s, and Daigotsu’s.


* * * * *


A Skewed Path


A few years after the Destroyer War…

It was no use.  Tamori Emina washed out her brush, taking no pleasure in the small ritual, and set it out to dry.  The back of a miscopied page of tanka was covered with her wandering brush strokes, lines undulating from thick to thin and back again.  She had tried to use the ink before it dried on the brush, but had failed to come up with the words she desired.  Painting squiggled squirrels and orchids would have been a better use of her time.

         Two months ago, a Scorpion courtier had asked if she would be willing to write an introduction to a collection of romantic stories.  The Scorpion had been at pains to make clear that the collection was a personal project, meant to cheer up a lovesick friend who was stationed at the Scorpion Wall.  Emina didn’t believe a word of it, but it was true that the courtier had excellent taste in literature, and since Benten had blessed her, she felt it was part of her duty to help.

         Emina had read each story three or four times.  One of them, for instance, was about a ronin who saw a gathering of yuki no onna on a winter journey.  Afterwards he spotted their faces in every drift of snow, every pane of ice or still water.  No matter how long he searched, however, he never met them again.  He died without realizing that his very wanderings, the skewed path of his footsteps across the wild woods, traced out one of the favorite dances of a particular yuki no onna: a covert benediction.  Emina liked this one, although it was difficult not to look behind her as she made the ordinary trek to the garden for meditation and wonder what her footsteps traced out.

         Not all the stories were so melancholy.  The improbable one about the courtship between a horseless Utaku and a shipless Mantis had many fine comic moments, including the one where the two realized that they could turn an abandoned hut upside down and sail it down the river to an uninhabited isle for a tryst, bailing water all the way.  It only got funnier once the lovers discovered that the isle was the back of a very bored orochi.

         Emina stared at the manuscript.  She had been reading the same sentence for the past fifteen minutes.  It was a perfectly good sentence, well-balanced, beautifully teasing in its description of the lovers’ ardor.  But Emina couldn’t make herself care.

         I am an unworthy vessel for your blessing, Emina thought to Benten.  The Fortune gave no sign that he had heard.  She stood up and went to the garden, for once forgetting to glance back at her footsteps.

         The garden shivered with pale yellow and dry green: the first signs of approaching autumn.  Emina meditated in the shade of a maple whose leaves were veined red, but her thoughts kept circling back to Tamori Shaitung and Tamori Nakamuro, to the spell-blast that had consumed them and their enemies.

         They had died together, complete in their union.

         They had still died.

         Emina gave up her pretense of meditation and laughed bitterly.  What had she expected?  Both shugenja had known their duty.  She should be celebrating their honorable deaths.

         Instead, all she could think of was the first time she had attended Shaitung at a play.  Shaitung had had to be talked into the diversion, but at the end they had both agreed it was worth it, despite–or perhaps because–of the antics of a certain irrepressible stagehand.  She wondered sometimes if Shaitung and Nakamuro had ever had the leisure for such entertainments.

         Two magpies chattered at each other from a nearby tree.  Emina looked up, wondering if they were paired.  She knew a sister who took an interest in the habits of birds.  Perhaps she should ask about magpies the next time they saw each other.  But in truth she knew that she would do no such thing.  The matter was no longer of any great interest.

         After a while, Emina went back inside, frowning.  She should have been moved by the devotion shared by her mistress and her mistress’s chosen husband.  Instead all she could think of was the hard truth of duty.  The importance of their death was not in the love that they had shared, but the fact that they had been willing to sacrifice everything to kill their attackers.

         She ground her inkstone and mixed it with water, still frowning.  The empty sheet of paper was still there.  This time she began writing not an introduction to the collection of charming stories, but an apology.

         Shosuro-san, she began, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to write the introduction that you desire.  However, I wish you the best in your endeavor, and I would like to recommend that you contact a Crane courtier of my acquaintance who will surely be able to do justice to your project….

         The words fell dryly from her brush.  She wished she had something better to offer.  But she did the Scorpion no favors by writing a few thousand dead and insincere words.

         Emina washed out her brush and stared at the wall as the ink dried.  Then she looked back down at her calligraphy.  Every stroke was perfectly formed in the style that her sensei had taught her years ago.  Some quality had gone out of the writing, however.  She was no master calligrapher, but the best examples of her work had a certain lilting rhythm, a sense of balanced passion, and now both were gone.

         Benten’s blessing had gone out from her.  Even so, Emina could not find it in herself to regret it.  She had helped bring Shaitung and Nakamuro together, but the end of their story had shown her a more important path.

         Emina didn’t go into the garden for a long time after that, and she wouldn’t have recognized the particular skewed path of her footsteps in her own handwriting in any case.


* * * * *


Not Enough


            When she found him, he was in the archery range, maintaining the oblique stance, arms raised, bow drawn tautly. Though his back was to her, she knew he was concentrating on the target with his one mortal eye. His arms were relaxed; the burden of the yumi’s draw was squarely on his back. He exhaled, sending the arrow to its mark. In the way of practiced archers, he did not merely pull the bow and release. He pushed the arrow. The technique was flawless. It took her breath away.

            He turned his head. His jade eye flashed from over his shoulder, and he smiled. “Musume,” he said, lowering his bow, “welcome home.”

            She bowed low in her white gi and black hakama. “Father,” she said.

            He returned his attention to the target, maintaining the oblique stance. With quiet, practiced movements he drew another arrow, seizing it with his thumb and the ring around his middle finger. “How did you perform?” he asked. She waited until he released his arrow to reply.

            Her eyes lowered shamefully. “I failed you, father,” she said softly. “I did not win the tournament.”

            She left her eyes lowered for the long silence that followed. When she heard another arrow strike the target, she looked up again, wondering if he had not heard her. Her father was still smiling, reaching for the last of the four arrows for his set.

            “I am told,” he said, “that you suffered only one batsu in three rounds.”

            “It was not enough,” she replied.

            He sent his last arrow to the target. Dead on. He smiled again. “I was twice your age before I could accomplish that,” he said. “I am impressed.”

            Her eyes widened with surprise, and she felt heat come to her face. He dropped his stance and grinned. His eye twinkled playfully in opposition to the seriousness of its jade partner. “I am proud of you,” he said. “You are the future of the Shinjo, Musume. You will redeem our family.”

            As he turned back to the target and bowed in respect, she watched him from her obedient seiza and felt her heart swell. Perhaps one day she would redeem the Shinjo, but it did not matter to her. She wanted only to be worthy of him, her father, the greatest man in the Empire…

            “My lady?”

            Min-Hee opened her eyes. The sunlight reflecting off the pearl-white sands burned the memory away. She was four days from Journey’s End Keep, accompanying the latest of many caravans to the colonies. A long line of oxen-pulled carts and wagons stretched beyond and behind her, peppered with Unicorn sentries.Monsof many clans, many families, fluttered in the sand-hewn breeze. From on her horse, she could see in the distance sands churning through a wide path in a rocky canyon. Her burlap cloak billowed around her.

            “My lady?” the voice repeated. Min-Hee looked to her side; Iuchi Yupadi, her trusted Lieutenant, had snapped her from her reverie. For a moment, the Khan spotted the crease of concern on the youthful woman’s brow, but it was banished the instant Min-Hee’s eyes fell upon her. “I apologize for interrupting your meditations,” she said, lowering her head.

            Min-Hee returned her gaze to her surroundings. “What have the scouts found?”

            “As you suspected, my lady,” Yupadi replied, her voice cold in contrast to the oppressive heat of the sands. Of the entire caravan, her brow alone was free of sweat. “An ambush awaits us. The scouts spotted a small raid party taking positions within the center of the canyon. They are well-concealed from that vantage, but they did not bother to hide their flanks.”

            The Khan allowed a brief smile. “Is that so?”

            “They are armed with Oyumi, it seems.” Yupadi paused as her Khan absorbed this information. “Your orders?”

            Min-Hee crossed her arms and nodded. “The information corresponds with the reports. Tell the others to abide by the primary plan. Wait until the signal to strike.”

            Yupadi bowed in her saddle. “Hai,” she replied, then spurred her horse to carry the Khan’s orders.

             ”So these are the pests that are troubling the caravans,” she murmured. “Let’s see what manner of warriors they are.”


*     *     *


            When the caravan was fully entrenched within the canyon, the raiders struck. They knew their craft well; they waited until the first of the wagons crossed the brief canyon before attacking mid-line. The centermost wagons, flanked two-by-two, were cut off and helpless. They rose from rocky hiding places and fired bolts into the guards beside the wagons. The Unicorn soldiers, wrapped in long canvas cloaks, tumbled sideways, the bolts protruding from their sides. The wagons stopped as the raiders leapt from their hiding places, drawing blades and charging the fallen guards. Wearing scraps of bronze armor over their sand-colored tunics, they bellowed an inscrutable war-cry, eyes glinting with murderous intent.

            When they were but twelve feet away, the sound of a humming-bulb arrow split the canyon. As one, the guards stood, seemingly shrugging off their wounds. With one fluid motion, they cast aside their canvas cloaks, revealing wooden plank-shields they’d hidden beneath. The raiders skidded to a halt, their surprised expressions shifting to horror. The Unicorn charged, dropping their planks and drawing their swords. The scouts appeared from within the centermost wagons, raining bow-fire.

            In less than one instant, the raider’s attack was shattered. Those furthest from the Unicorn turned and fled, scrambling up the rocky outcroppings. Those that did not fall from the hail of arrows met their ends on Unicorn blades. The skirmish was short and brutal.

            Min-Hee walked among the dead scattered along the canyon floor. Her eyes moved from one body to the next. They were men with weathered features and skin bronzed from sun. Their tunics were short-cut, as if they did not mind the sting of wind-borne sand. Their armor bore no markings, and their weapons were scavenged and of various sorts. As Yupadi approached, Min-Hee cast her a quiet look.

            “I do not recognize these men,” she said.

            Yupadi shook her head. “They are not Rokugani,” she affirmed, “but I do not know much else. The kami are confused.”

            “That will make it difficult to interrogate the prisoners,” Min-Hee said.

            “That is the least of our obstacles, my lady.” After a pause, Yupadi added, “It seems they are dead.”

            Min-Hee frowned. A wordless command.

            “We successfully isolated a small group, as you planned,” Yupadi explained carefully, “but regrettably, when we closed in, they cut their own throats.” She bowed. “It couldn’t be helped. Our apologies, my lady.”

            Yupadi had accepted the blame, as per etiquette, but as far as Min-Hee was concerned this was her own miscalculation. She had not predicted that dishonorable raiders would evade capture through suicide. Like samurai. Her gaze returned to the corpse at her feet. “Then we have learned nothing.”

            “You defended the caravan,” said Yupadi, “Your counter-offense was flawless, my lady. The raiders will not dare to attack again.”

            “No,” said Min-Hee, her voice betraying a hint of alarm, “It is not done here. If we have not uncovered their identity, then we have failed.” She gestured to the corpse at her feet. “Look. Their armor is crafted from scraps. It is unmarked. Their attack was coordinated. They used Oyumi, which are difficult weapons.” Her eyes narrowed. “These are not simple bandits. They were outfitted for this purpose. They were trained.”

            “They were still no match for you, my lady,” Yupadi remarked, a hint of pride in her otherwise cold voice.

            Min-Hee closed her eyes against the sand-strewn wind. “It was not enough,” she replied.


Discuss the events of this fiction in our Story Forum!

Categories: Company News

Sinister Secrets of Silvermote & Temerlyth the Undying [BUNDLE]

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:32
Sinister Secrets of Silvermote & Temerlyth the Undying [BUNDLE]Publisher: Total Party Kill Games

Infamous Adversaries: Temerlyth the Undying
Regular price: $1.99
Bundle price: $0.00

TEMERLYTH THE UNDYING - CR 16, Male Lich Alchemist 6, Loremaster 3, Wizard(Enchanter) 6

Temerlyth is one of those rarest of beings, an elven lich. Drinking from the cup of blackest hate, ancient wrath drives him ever on. Accompanied by his ravenous undead children, his tormented wife and her former lover, Temerlyth is a powerful horror stalking the broken ends of the world just as easily as right outside your door. He searches for the next victim of his vile experiments. He inspires nightmare whispers, tales told in the dark and seedy places where adventurers gather to swap stories sane men would rather not hear, stories that just may prove all too real!

The world is filled with colorful characters of many hues. Not all within subscribe to black or white; man...

The Sinister Secrets of Silvermote [Adventure]
Regular price: $7.99
Bundle price: $7.99

The Sinister Secrets of Silvermote

A hellish 64 page dungeon crawl designed for the Pathfinder RPG and scales for characters of 7th-12th level--an adventure not for the faint of heart! This is the first ever full-length adventure by Total Party Kill Games!

The setting of this adventure is a place called Silvermote, the underground lair of our latest villain in the Infamous Adversary(TM) product line, Temerlyth the Undying. You do not need the latter product to enjoy this one, but owning both will enhance your enjoyment immensely!

Temerlyth, our infamous elven lich, was forced to spend his great personal fortune and energies building what has become a hidden lair, laboratory and base of operations. He built it during a downward spiral of frustration,...

Total value:$9.98Special bundle price:$7.99Savings of:$1.99 (20%)Price: $9.98

Categories: Company News

Into The Pit 9 - Pits and Traps

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:21
Into The Pit 9 - Pits and TrapsPublisher: Forever People
SampleInto The Pit is a quick solution dungeon floorplan collectable consisting of preset room tiles and interconnecting, easy-to-cut-and-use passage and door tiles. The preset rooms allow you to lay down vast and complex dungeons quickly and easily. All 3D graphics - non 3D software produced, all painstakingly produced with traditional paint programs and techniques - but NO fiddly 3D assembly. All presented to 100% scale for use with standard 1" base miniatures. PITS AND TRAPS - ITP9

Set number 9 for your collection. A host of orthodox and not so orthodox pits and traps to trouble your players.


Crossbow Trap
Passage Blockers
Assorted Pits
Five Diced Fingers and One Hidden Lever
Flooded Chamber
Guardian of the Key
Lair of the Flesh Eating Fish
Mezzanine of Enchanted Weapons
Submerged Room
Surprising Pit in 5 parts
The Bridge of Scalding Steam
The Burning Well
The Chittering Guardian
The Daemon Pit
The Fragile Floor
The Hungry Pit
The Watery Tunnel Trap
Trap of Tiles
Stairs to Nowhere 

NOTE: this is not designed to be a standalone product and contains only limited floor tiles and connecting passageways, although you can use these room floorplans on their own as one off set pieces. To create a basic dungeon layout try the starter room set and to expand your creation take a look at the rest of the Forever People Digital Press product page for more sets. We'll be adding new content regularly and updating existing sets into print on demand.


Price: $5.98
Categories: Company News

Story Maps: Cursed Place 1 (PDF)

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:59
 Cursed Place 1 (PDF)Publisher: Savage Mojo

The first in our series of cursed places, this deep labyrinth has been forever changed by unspeakable events. Are your players brave enough to witness its horrors, and smart enough to escape it? Whether they’re dropped in by a twisted nobleman as punishment, sent by an ancient god to purify it, or even just unlucky enough to find it deep in the bowels of a mountain, any team of adventurers will find this map a thrilling challenge. 

As always, we’ve developed these 8x8 inch tiles with a one inch grid overlaid – perfect for miniatures or tokens. Each tile is created in beautiful high resolution. Print off as many as you need and revel in their glorious lush colors. 

Product contains: A 13-page high resolution PDF of highly detailed labyrinth map tiles. 

Price: $6.95
Categories: Company News

February 25, 2012: Balticon And Redwing's Gambit

Steve Jackson Games - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:00

Redwing's Gambit Cover Art

From May 25th through the 28th, I will be attending Balticon in Baltimore, Maryland. I'll be celebrating the release of Redwing's Gambit, a science-fiction novella I wrote for the Bulldogs! RPG published by Galileo Games. On the cover the artist protrayed a scene I wrote, and included one of my favorite characters -- a psychotic little teddy bear named Fang! The Bulldogs! RPG was originally published as a D20 supplement and was released last year with all new art for the FATE system, a FUDGE variant developed by Evil Hat Productions. 

If you're at this convention, please don't be afraid to say "Hello!" or drop by my author reading. After my scheduled booth appearances and reading, I plan to roam around the hall and hand out Munchkin bookmarks and promo cards!

-- Monica Valentinelli

Categories: Company News

CoC: The Waste Land Contest

Chaosium - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:00
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land Competition. Red Wasp Designs giving away a groovy piece of Lovecraftian History..
Categories: Company News

Common Criminals: Series 1

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 03:42
 Series 1Publisher: Fishwife Games

The mean streets are full of criminals from all walks of life. Some have taken up crime as purely as a means of survival while others simply choose to get ahead in life by breaking the rules. Regardless of their situations in life, all these individuals have one thing in common. They have become outlaws.

This first series of Common Criminals features background information for six different crooks and thugs. Nature of crimes range from drug dealing to prostitution to money laundering. Although much of the information presented in this modern gaming supplement is self explanatory, having a copy of Common Criminals: Companion Guide never hurts. This is especially true when using the attribute score points to convert characters over to the game system of your choice. All Game Masters (GMs) are recommended to download this free pdf. Common Criminals: Companion Guide can be found on rpgnow.com and drivethrurpg.com. Be sure to pick up Common Criminals: Pilot-Promo as well for an additional criminal to add to your collection. This file is also free and can be found at the same resources online.

Page Count: 9 Pages

Written By: David (Dave) L. Woodrum Jr.

Price: $2.50
Categories: Company News

[PFRPG] Storage Vault of Alantes

RPGNow - Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:12
[PFRPG] Storage Vault of AlantesPublisher: Headless Hydra Games


- A three-room mini-dungeon

Three-room dungeons are a great resource for GMs who are crunched for time or whose players have moved in a direction their carefully laid plans did not account for. In either case the dungeon is small enough to implement quickly, but has enough content to entertain the players with combat and plot.

This Storage Vault of Alantes is designed for 3 to 4 characters of 3rd to 4th level.

Littering the lands of Al-Nar are the buried vaults of the once powerful wizard Alantes Bin-Shir. These vaults are said to hold magical items of great importance; or in most cases, magical 'junk' that Alantes could not bring himself to part with. In his time, Alantes was considered to be very eccentric, even by other senile, potion-swilling wizards; alienists of much later times would refer to his 'eccentricity' as a compulsion brought on by an 'unfulfilled' childhood.

In any case, these vaults lay largely undisturbed due to Alantes’ crafty nature in devising locks and traps, as well as his poor memory regarding which vault he put what magical item in. In one particular vault lays a miracle fruit that is said to bring youth to the old, and health to the sick. This particular vault is home to numerous traps as well as many other dangers, waiting for hapless adventurers to arrive and fall prey to them.

Price: $0.99
Categories: Company News

[PFRPG] 15 Specific Weapons, Vol 4

RPGNow - Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:38
[PFRPG] 15 Specific Weapons, Vol 4Publisher: Headless Hydra Games


- A Magical Weapons supplement



From the Introduction...

Magical weapons are a necessity of most roleplaying games, yet the core rulebook presents so few of them. Magical weapons are loved by players and game masters alike, yet there is almost none to choose from. There is nothing like a memorable magical weapon to help define a character throughout a campaign, just think about your favorite fictional heroes of fantasy and the weapons that they carry!

It is certainly possible to purchase a magical warhammer such as the dwarven thrower or a magical longsword like the nine lives stealer, but most weapons are not represented at all. For example, where are the magical falchions, flails, kukris, morningstars, spears, hand crossbows and whips? Sure, a creative player can take a look at the special abilities and come up with a concept of his own, but it will be a very limited concept, limited to the twenty-nine special abilities of the core rulebook. The Advanced Player's Guide makes this selection slightly bigger, yet, most weapons are still not represented among the specific magical weapons selection.

This series of short pdfs hope to bring new weapons and concepts to your game!


These are the 15 specific weapons from Volume 4...

- Assassin's Mercy (kama)

- Backwatching Boar Spear (boar spear)

- Blade of Glories Past (intelligent falcata)

- Boulder Thrower (sling)

- Earthsplitter (gnome hooked hammer)

- Earthwrack (warhammer)

- Eldritch Piercer (repeating light crossbow)

- Impact Storm (lucerne hammer)

- Nature's Vengeance (quarterstaff)

- Pit Bola (bola)

- Rainbow Boomerang (boomerang)

- Seeker (elven curve blade)

- Spinning Peace (nunchaku)

- Storm Hammer (meteor hammer)

- Spiderwhip (whip)

- Talon of Shadow Rending (flying talon)

... yes, there are 16 weapons and not 15 as announced! In this pdf, you'll also find the crack special ability and the stats for all the weapons.

If you haven't yet... you should also check out the first Volume!

Price: $0.99
Categories: Company News

Hell's Henchmen: Leviathans

RPGNow - Fri, 02/24/2012 - 21:31
 LeviathansPublisher: Aegis Studios

Hell's Henchmen Chapter 3: Servants of the Leviathans features:

  • 10 all-new Hellspawn including Aberrations, Plants and Vermin
  • Full color illustrations
  • Background of the Leviathans, demons of nature gone wrong

Expand your existing Contagion game, take your first steps into the war between Heaven and Hell or use these new and horrifying creatures in your favorite horror, fantasy, modern or future campaign. Hell's Henchmen utilizes material from the 3.5 revision of the OGL.

Price: $0.99
Categories: Company News

Ancient Civilizations

RPGNow - Fri, 02/24/2012 - 21:22
Ancient CivilizationsPublisher: Gunny Pubs Inc.

We here at Gunny Pubs are proud to present our first expansion for The Name Generator, Ancient Civilizations.

 In this expansion you will find the following name lists: Assyrian, Aztec, Celtic, Hebrew, Hellenic Greek, Old Norse, Persian, Pharonic Egyptian, Roman, and Sanskrit. This list covers a wide range of name types, ranging from Europe to <st1:country-region>India</st1:country-region> and the <st1:place>New World</st1:place>.

 You must have The Name Generator already installed to use this product.

 Below are sample names produced by the Ancient Civilizations Expansion:

 Am-me-en-na – Assyrian Male

Iqisa-Marduk – Assyrian Male

Ir-ri-ki – Assyrian Female

Li-ki-im-ma-a-a – Assyrian Female


Nezahualpilli – Aztec Male

Totoquihuatzin – Aztec Male

Ilancueitl - Aztec Female

Uacalxochitl – Aztec female


Maedoc O'Griobbtha – Celtic Male

Calbach O'Suilleabhain – Celtic Male

Luíseach O'Baetheghaile – Celtic Female

Aisling Mac Carthaigh – Celtic Female


Eliezar Ben Anael – Hebrew Male

Ephrayim Ben Shalom – Hebrew Male

Shahar Bat Atsel – Hebrew Female

Yediydah Bat Metushelach – Hebrew Female


Periandros of Artanes – Hellenic Greek Male

Kalliaros of <st1:city><st1:place>Alexandria</st1:place></st1:city> – Hellenic Greek Male

Pyrrha of <st1:place><st1:city>Pandosia</st1:city>, <st1:country-region>Epirus</st1:country-region></st1:place> – Hellenic Greek Female

Xantippe of <st1:city><st1:place>Ephesus</st1:place></st1:city> – Hellenic Greek Female


Óleifr Jónison – Old Norse Male

Friðleifr Randvérson – Old Norse Male

Kitta Faraldardóttir – Old Norse Female

Arneiðr Greipsdóttir – Old Norse Female


Arshâma of Ashlagh – Persian Male

Dâtuvahya of Adoraim – Persian Male

Shireen of Naqsh-e Rustam – Persian Female

Haurvatat of Pasargadai – Persian Female


Ptahhudjankhef – Pharonic Egyptian Male

Nakhtimenwast – Pharonic Egyptian Male

Reddjedet – Pharonic Egyptian Female

Mehytenweskhet – Pharonic Egyptian Female


Caeso Oppius Damasus – Roman Male

Decimus Volcantius Caelinus – Roman Male

Helvia Claudiana – Roman Female

Aurelia Laurentia – Roman Female


Dharmaragas Acaryatanaya – Sanskrit (Vedic Culture) Male

Arjunapurvaja Akshat – Sanskrit (Vedic Culture) Male

Girindramohini Ananda – Sanskrit (Vedic Culture) Female

Havyavahini Gayatri – Sanskrit (Vedic Culture) Female

Price: $1.99
Categories: Company News

1 Session Dungeons - The Ruins of Karnak

RPGNow - Fri, 02/24/2012 - 21:15
1 Session Dungeons - The Ruins of KarnakPublisher: Forever People
sampleOne session dungeons: they do exactly what it says on the tin. These mini adventures are designed to be playable within the space of an evening game lasting no more than a few hours, though the rate at which your players complete the 1SDs will depend on the game system you're using to play. The adventures are playtested with D&D 3.5 edition which has a combat rules system complex enough to ensure a thorough test of the one session rule, but you can play these dungeons with any system you like. Each short, sweet, skirmish based adventure comes with a battle map (compatible with one inch figure bases and designed to be repro printed to hi-res), player handout(s), suggested scenarios and a printable PDF version of the battlemap in A4 sections.

In addition the maps and handouts come with an End User License which allows other publishers to extract them for use in their own products.

1SD7 THE RUINS OF KARNAK Little did the Karnak family realise when they built their castle on the summit of Karnak Tor that Karnak Tor wasn't a tor at all but a dormant volcano. Subsequently their possession of the castle was short lived. Today the once splendid castle of the Karnaks lies in ruin, abandoned and shunned even by  the local banditry who dare not dwell there for fear of the constant rumbling beneath their feet. But rumours abound. What ever happened to the wealth of the Karnaks? And why do locals talk recently of smoke rising from campfires amidst the ruins?Price: $3.98
Categories: Company News

Triptyque Sanglant 1: Les Maîtres de l’État

RPGNow - Fri, 02/24/2012 - 21:00
 Les Maîtres de l’ÉtatPublisher: Hexagonal

Ces terres sont à moi, mes infants. Aussi loin que peut porter votre regard de Caïnite, elles sont à moi. Qui les a défendues lorsque les hordes barbares se déchaînaient dans le nord? Qui a combattu les infidèles qui hurlaient à l’est?

Qui a réprimé d’innombrables insurrections, fomentées par les Caïnites comme par le bétail? C’est moi, chers fils et filles. Moi, qui me suis donné sans compter pour mon pays et pour son peuple; car son peuple est mon peuple. Ma charge est à la fois un privilège et une responsabilité; mes infants — car je suis un maître de l’État.

Le Premier Triptyque Sanglant: Les Maîtres de l’État contient:

• Des informations vitales concernant les trois clans de la noblesse: les Lasombras, les Tzimisces et les Ventrues.

• D’autres pouvoirs de disciplines, de nouvelles capacités et des détails sur les activités des clans en Europe médiévale et au-delà.

• Des secrets oubliés du Monde des Ténèbres moderne depuis le Moyen-Âge.

Price: $9.65
Categories: Company News