Little did I know (well, any of us I suppose) when I wrote my last blog post how the world would have turned out in a matter of weeks, with the Coronavirus pandemic. With all non-essential travel restricted here in the UK and most people having to work from home (including myself and my wife), many people including RPG players are spending much more time at home. Thankfully, with the aid of services such as Roll20 or other video-sharing systems, people are still managing to get together across the internet. Many publishers to their credit, have cut the prices of their products so that people can pick up additional gaming material for the weeks and quite possibly months ahead.
So I have tried to compile a bit of a list of the recent releases along with some notable discounts, for a couple of my favourite RPG systems – Cepheus Engine and Tunnels and Trolls. I’ve also added a few interesting extras if you don’t fancy gaming, hopefully there will be something for you whether you are gaming as a group, solo dungeoneering or just need a distraction.
Taken whilst out on a walk at Croome Court with friends last year. Entrance to a cavern or dungeon perhaps?
Stellagama Publishing have got a 50% discount on nearly all their products in PDF format at Drivethru RPG, which includes:
Sword of Cepheus (down from $9.99 to $5.00) – SoC is a complete set of fantasy rules based on the Cepheus Engine 2D6 SRD. It reminds me of the Tunnels and Trolls rules set and I’m looking forward to reviewing this very soon.
Cepheus Light (down from $5.00 to $2.50) – Cepheus Light is a cut-down set of core rules based on the Cepheus Engine SRD, for 2D6 SF games. This is my go-to set of sci-fi gaming rules and concentrates on the main mechanics of running a game, without getting bogged down with too many rules. A review of Cepheus Light is here.
Cepheus Light: Traits (down from $1.00 to $0.50) – Cepheus Light: Traits provides an expansion of the Cepheus Light rules which helps to build more detail into the background for your character. Review is available here.
Independence Games have just released Tim’s Guide to the Ground Forces of Hub Subsector available for $9.99 as a PDF. Though much of Independence Games recent output has been towards building the Earth Sector background, they are still releasing content and material for the Clement Sector. This is first in the series of looks at the ground forces (army, wet navy and air force) as well as the organisation that backs such forces up, for worlds in the Hub subsector.
Tech Update 2350 is also out ($5.99); this is set in the Earth sector and reveals what technological changes have occurred in the years since the conduit collapse.
Independence Games are also preparing for release the ‘Earth Subsector Sourcebook’, which will be out on the 2nd of April.
Zozer Games have also been busy with a number of releases recently, including a series of supplements for Cepheus Engine:
Modern War ($16.99, PDF); this opens up squad-level combat warfare which can be used for any period in the past thirty-or-so-years. This is an interesting product in that there is a lot of equipment and gear that could be utilised for lower-tech-level 2D6 sci-fi / Traveller RPG games; reminds me of a generic ‘Twilight 2000’ rules set.
Baltic War ($4.70, PDF) A campaign background for Modern War depicting a Russian invasion of the Baltic States and NATOs fight back.
Modern War Gun Conversion (free, PDF) A supplement for Modern War that allows players to convert 20th century firearms into game stats for Cepheus Engine.
Roughnecks for Hostile ($6.99, PDF) Hostile is Zozer Games setting inspired by the film worlds such as ‘Alien’, ‘Outland’ and ‘Total Recall’. Roughnecks takes a specific look at the exploration miners and prospectors who are looking to make their fortune from mining asteroids. Includes rules for prospecting which are also suitable for solo play.
Free League Publishing
Talking of Alien, the ‘official’ RPG (endorsed by the Wayland-Yutani Corp of course) from Free League Publishing which is down by 50% for a limited time from $24.99 to $12.49.
Grand Scheme Publishing
‘The Call of Cataclysm‘ is the first adventure for the ‘King of Dungeons’ RPG; PDF available for $5.00.
Flying Buffalo / Tunnels and Trolls
Flying Buffalo has had success with a number of Kickstarters in the past few years with updates to old solo / GM dungeons and brand new products.
T&T Solo Design Guidelines: HOW TO WRITE A SOLO ($3.99, PDF) This is a collection of notes that were originally written by Mike Stackpole and thought lost, until re-discovery years later by Steve Crompton. Compiled with additional material, this is a useful tool for anyone thinking of writing a solo adventure.
Elven Lords Deluxe Edition (down from $18.00 to $5.99) A solo adventure now double in size compared to the original 1990 edition, this is a solo adventure set in Gull – also known as the ‘City of Terrors’ written by Mike Stackpole.
Trollstone Caverns: Lair of the Silver Serpent (down from $8.95 to $3.99). Lair of the Silver Serpent is a GM adventure for first level characters, ideal for a party starting out on their first adventure.
Dark Temple ($13.95 down to $4.25) A pretty big solo adventure, packing out at 64 pages – should keep you going for a while!
Alice in Weirdworld (launch price down from $16.95 to $4.25) This is a brand new solo adventure only released this week, another large book at 68 pages.
Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes ‘combined edition’ is down from $20.95 to $7.95. The combined edition includes everything from the original 1983 edition, the 1986 edition and an additional 20 pages of material.
Free Reads and Listening Material
The latest issue of Freelance Traveller magazine (March / April 2020) is now available to download.
One of the great pillars of British comics, 2000AD have made a number of their publications available for free to download if you sign up for their newsletter. It includes a link to a free copy of one the Judge Dredd files (no.5). Sign up to the newsletter via this link. There are some cracking reads available so this is well worth signing up for!
If you’re looking for something to listen to, Dirk the Dice over at ‘the Grognard Files‘ has a look at MERP (Middle Earth Role-Playing) with one of my favourite fantasy artists Liz Danforth; she has an extensive background in producing many pieces of fantasy and sci-fi artwork including Much for the Flying Buffalo RPG Tunnels and Trolls. Though I haven’t had chance to listen to the episode yet, if it is anything like Dirk’s previous podcasts, I’m sure it will be and extremely interesting and entertaining feature. This is the first part, part 2 has just been published. In the meantime I would like to extend my best wishes for a speedy recovery as Liz has been tested positive having the Corona virus, get well soon Liz!
Gaming for Free
If now is not the best time to be spending cash on gaming material (especially as some people have been laid off or been put on furlough), some of the publishers above have released free products which provide some fantastic source material and game mechanics to develop your own games.
Classic Traveller / Cepheus Engine
Zozer Games have released two complete backgrounds for Classic Traveller, which could also be used with Cepheus Engine with a little modification.
Kosmos 68 – this book is set in a future where the Soviet bloc became the most successful space-faring nation and eventually developed faster-than-light propulsion, eventually colonising the stars.
Outworld Authority – The Outworld Authority is a complete setting based around the principles of using a minimal number of rule books, namely the Classic Traveller ‘Little Black Books’ 1, 2 and 3 only.
You can pick up a copy of Cepheus ‘Faster than Light’ for free on Drivethru RPG; this is set of the Cepheus Light rules reduced down to an even ‘lighter’ set of core mechanics. Cepheus Faster than Light was featured in this blog post.
Applying their shrinking ray once more, Stellagama have published ‘Cepheus Quantum’ – a two-page set of rules for 2D6 SF RPG gaming. Ideal for a quick start evenings play.
Aaaannndd finally, if you want to try out Tunnels and Trolls for free, you can pick up a copy of the rules with a mini solo Goblin Lake. An ideal way to get into fantasy gaming with an easy to use rules set.
Wherever possible, if you are able to – purchasing products from RPG publishers will help keep giving people an income; we have to look after each other.
I hope that you may find this list useful and perhaps in a small way, helps to alleviate a little bit of stress in what is a very anxious time for everyone. Keep safe folks, stay at home, wash your hands and if you have to go out, practice social distancing – it could save someone’s life.
*Edit* – it seems that I have completely missed this blogs birthday on the 28th of March, being nine years old! Kinda slipped my mind with everything else going on… will have to do something special for the 10th birthday next year…! 🎂