huth_GR_gaztechThe Gaean Reach Resources

 

  • Download blank character sheet
  • Download the Gaean Reach Series Premise
  • Download the three sets of Build Cards (Knowledge, Persona, Life)
  • Download a set of Vancian taglines
  • Download the taglines for The Cerulean Duke
  • Download a Vengeance-Seeker Ability Matrix
  • Download a Scenario Worksheet
  • Download an Antagonist Record Sheet

Articles

 


When the stunning photographs taken by Harry Burton of the Carter expedition’s discovery of Tutankhamun in 1922 were recently exhibited at Oxford’s Ashmolean museum, one print was conspicuously not considered for display.

Those of you with high Cthulhu Mythos ratings know that Nitocris, possible last pharaoh of the 6th dynasty, became a ghoul after her death. So perhaps you will not be surprised to learn that Burton, a Metropolitan Museum of Art photographer on loan to Carter, took an image of in which her blurry outline can clearly be seen. She intruded into Burton’s picture of guardian statues in an outer funerary chamber. Burton, engrossed in his composition, saw her only after he developed the picture. His lack of alarm likely saved him from a gruesome fate.

Why was Nitocris prowling around in Tutankhamun’s tomb, you ask. Who do you think administers the ancient curses of the pharaohs against the plunderers of their grave, anyway?

The photograph, the first ever taken of this particularly numinous ghoul, captured a sliver of her spirit essence. Those who gaze too long on the image form an unwitting bond with Nitocris. No matter where they are in the world, the ghoul queen sends her minions. Individuals judged to be valuable to the ghoul community are devoured and excreted as freshly reborn ghouls. (Yes, that’s how the process works. Your other Lovecraftian sources have been too genteel to tell you this.) The rest are marked for later consumption, after they die.

Flash back to the time of your series, in the 1930s. Renegade NYU Egyptology professor Nathaniel Stonebridge has stumbled onto the secret of the photograph. Driven by a heedless thirst for knowledge, he wants to be the first mortal to witness and document the hideous rebirthing ceremony by which Nitocris brings new ghouls into her flock. To this end he gained access to the suppressed Burton image, normally housed in the Metropolitan’s securest vault. By threatening Metropolitan archivist Norman Lanning with the revelation of certain details of his unsavory private life, Stonebridge got him to strike new prints of the negative. These Stonebridge has been circulating to his many enemies in occult academia, in hopes that Nitocris will choose one of them, and he can watch it all happen.

Since letting Stonebridge strike new prints from the negative, Lanning has vanished. His superiors, afraid that the Nitocris image has fallen into the wrong hands, approach the investigators to find out just what has happened to him.


Trail of Cthulhu is an award-winning 1930s horror roleplaying game by Kenneth Hite, produced under license from Chaosium. Whether you’re playing in two-fisted Pulp mode or sanity-shredding Purist mode, its GUMSHOE system enables taut, thrilling investigative adventures where the challenge is in interpreting clues, not finding them. Purchase Trail of Cthulhu and its many supplements and adventures in the Pelgrane Shop.

In the latest episode their ENnie-winning podcast, Ken and Robin talk one-shots, the battle of Poltava, GUMSHOE scenario design and Sarah Helen Whitman.

GenCon logo_websiteComing to you live…

Well, obviously not live live – while I may be writing this from a hotel room in Indianapolis, it won’t be up on the Pelgrane site for a week. And for that matter, I’m hardly alive either, after the arguably best but very definitely longest four days in gaming.

Let us start again. That seems to be a wise move.

I ran two or three 13th Age demos each day of GenCon, using pregenerated characters that had basic mechanics but no Icon, backgrounds or OUTs, and a very simple intro scenario that can be summarised as “something bad is happening in Glitterhaegen that is neatly resolved in an hour with two quick fight scenes and a skill roll”. While all the demos (bar one) followed that basic story, bringing in elements from the players’ contributions meant every game felt radically different.

I’ll use the last demo I ran, late on the Sunday afternoon as an example. Even though five people had signed up, only one actually showed (every other demo had between three and six players) – a lovely chap named Edgar, and I hope he doesn’t mind being used in this article. With only one player, Edgar asked for a halfling rogue pregen, so after running through the basic mechanics, we started on what makes 13th Age different from other F20 games and such a joy to run.

I gave all the demo characters a 1-point Positive relationship with the Emperor, mainly so I could use “you’re all working for the Emperor” as a fallback story if nothing else suggested itself. I then showed Edgar the full list of Icons, and asked him to pick one more.

Negative with the Elf Queen, says he, picking an unexpected Icon relationship. I asked him to go into a little more detail on this, and he describes how he was the only thief to successfully steal from the Queen’s court, coming up with his One Unique Thing at the same time.

I told him to leave Backgrounds blank for now – in a one-shot demo, or even in a campaign for that matter, it’s often more fun to fill in backgrounds when they’re needed in play. As there was only one player, I added a GMPC, a half-elf paladin of the Crusader (OUT: On Fire).

I had three different variations of my simple little plot based around three different Icons – a soul-stealing merchant for the Diabolist, a grave-robbing necromancer for the Lich King, and a pirate plotting to take advantage of an impending Orc Lord attack. I could have just said “because you’re servants of the Emperor, you’re called upon to help Glitterhaegen” and introduced any of the three variations or used my GMPC paladin’s Crusader relationship to bring the PCs in to investigate the soul thief, but instead I changed ‘Orc Lord invasion’ to ‘demonic elves out of the Bitterwood’ and brought in Edgar’s antipathy towards the Elf Queen. I always try to tie plots to the player characters; even if the connection is a bit tenuous, it’s worth it to be able to go “because of this thing about you, in particular, you’re involved in this adventure.”

Next, we rolled Icon relationships; Edgar’s Emperor came up with a 6, and I gave him a belt of the city (from the Book of Loot) to help with the investigation.

Actual play time! I described how the city was under threat of invasion by dangerous, isolationist elves who considered humans to be usurpers. While the Imperial Legion manned the walls, there were rumours of elven commando units sneaking into the city, and traitors were said to be in league with the elves. The PCs had traced one such traitor to the grand bazaar, a huge, crowded open-air market in Glitterhaegen.

I planned to set my first fight scene in the market. My original notes called for an attack by a band of illusory orcs, but I could use disguised elves just as easily. I then asked Edgar a few questions about the market.

  • The grand bazaar’s dominated by a structure or monument of some sort. What is it?”
  • “Something’s happening in the market that’s going to make your investigation harder – what is it?”

By asking these questions after I’d set the initial parameters of the scene, I gave Edgar control over specific details of the scene while retaining overall control. No matter what he came up with, I could still use my attacking elves. It gave him a sense of engagement with the setting, which is great. It also forced me to stay awake and keep thinking on my feet – setting up situations where the GM gets surprised is super valuable, especially when you’re running a bunch of convention demos in a row. If there’s no challenge for the GM, it gets boring and the players pick up on that boredom. Finding tools to keep your own energy and enthusiasm up is a good habit for a GM to cultivate.

I deliberately didn’t ask open-ended questions, like “where do you find the traitor?” Some players freeze when given that much freedom of choice – for that matter, I wouldn’t be completely confident about my ability to improvise a scene that would still work within the constraints of a demo if the player came up with something completely unexpected (“I find the traitor in a dragon’s lair under the city!”).

Edgar proposed a giant statue of a former admiral, blowing a horn, and a street preacher, both of which worked perfectly with my intended plot. I decided that the street preacher was the traitor in disguise, trying to convince people to abandon Glitterhaegen and flee on the waiting ships – which his pirate fleet would then capture and despoil. The giant statue was a great image and focal point for the fight. (Previous demos gave answers like “a huge crystal gazebo”, “a temple to Mammon”, or “an elven graveyard” and “a children’s festival” or “a funeral procession”).

Edgar’s halfling went off to listen to the preacher, so I got to ambush him with my fake demon elves who attacked the gathered crowds. Cue a quick fight scene. I used the orc stats I’d prepared earlier for my elves instead, hastily reskinning them. If any of them had critted, I’d have described their expanded-crit-range ability as a blast of magical hellfire or something suitably infernal.

Afterwards, I didn’t bother to make him to roll to see if his rogue noticed that these elves were common wood elves, not the fabled demon elves that threatened to attack Glitterhaegen. Instead, GUMSHOE-style, I just told him that because of his experience in the elven court (his OUT of “I stole from the Elf Queen”), he recognised these elves for what they were, and he quickly deduced that they were deliberately trying to whip up terror and dismay in the city. The flipside of the ‘fail forward’ principle is that if failure is boring, don’t ask for a roll. He quickly deduced that the elves and the street preacher were in league, and scampered up the statue to confront the traitor.

Instead of attacking, he launched into his own speech, rebutting the traitor’s tales of gloom and doom. I asked Edgar to roll, and he decided to create a background on the spot to give him a bonus. He was, he announced, the former mayor of a Halfling town, and so was experienced in public speaking. Defining backgrounds in play often generates surprising juxtapositions like that – if I’d insisted that he fill in all his backgrounds during the brief character creation phase at the start of the demo instead of leaving them blank, he’d probably have gone for something like “burglar” or “forester” to fit in with his One Unique Thing of having stolen from the Elf Queen, not “ex-mayor”.

Between his not-bad Charisma, his belt of the city, his background and a good roll, Edgar’s Halfling convinced the people of Glitterhaegen to rally to the defence of the city instead of fleeing on board the waiting ships. The frustrated preacher revealed himself to be the treacherous pirate, dropping his act and acquiring an outrageous accent – YARR! – in the process. While my original notes called for the player characters to encounter the traitor on board a ship, a swashbuckling fight on the shoulders and head of a giant statue worked just as well.

Fight scene, players win, demo ends. Huzzah!

One could argue – and in certain moods, I’d agree with this – that 13th Age is a game of two halves. There’s the relatively detailed and balanced combat engine, and the considerably looser and fuzzier story-generating mash of backgrounds, Icons and OUTs. Certainly, in a simple 45-minute demo like this one, I was able to use that divide to my advantage by warping the mutable story-side elements around the player’s choices and answers, while leaving the mechanical side unchanged.

Interestingly, one of the take-aways from the 13th Age adventure design panel seminar was that people preferred using adventures for inspiration and pre-prepared encounters to use in their own games instead of running the adventures as written in the book. While we’re unlikely to go so far as to publish a book that’s half stats, half fuzzy ideas on how to put those stats into context, that flexibility is one strength of 13th Age that we’ll build on as we look towards GenCon 2015.

 

 

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We’ve just about recovered from the post-Gen Con lurgy in time for the latest edition of See Page XX. And what a Gen Con it was for us, with increased sales, more games running, and more ENnie award wins (three for us, and one for Ken and Robin) than ever before. And on Friday, we’re joining our Moon Design colleagues (see here for more details about the upcoming 13th Age in Glorantha Kickstarter) for our first outing to PAX Prime in Seattle – come and say hi at our booth in the Motif hotel level 3 (formerly the Red Lion). While this is good news for those of you looking to pick up shiny new releases, the downside is that there may be slight delays to our customer support while we’re on the road.

If you aren’t going to be at PAX or Gen Con, we’ve got some new goodies right here for you like the pre-order for Mythos Expeditions, a collection of ten stand-alone adventures for Trail of Cthulhu. Written by Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws, with contributions from an eclectic mix of mythos experts, this is a great way to inject a taste of the exotic into an existing campaign, or to play as part of the Armitage Files campaign setting in the core rules. There’s also  a new release over on Stone Skin Press, with the pre-order for Letters to Lovecraft, and KWAS subscribers will get the September edition, Hideous Creatures: Lloigor, this month; meanwhile, non-subscribers can now buy Xeno-archaeology! as a stand-alone product in the shop.

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An amazing GenCon, new releases, awards and shipping issues. Out this month on pre-order is Mythos Expeditions  for Trail of Cthulhu and the Letters to Lovecraft fiction anthology from Stone Skin Press. Released is this month’s KWAS episiode Xeno-Archeology, and the DramaSystem Series Pitch of the Month Terminal X, by Hal Mangold. Dulce et Decorum Est and the Gaean Reach and the Gaean Reach Gazetteer are also out now.

BoatShipping Update

US and Canada

  • All pre-orders up to August 1st and Kickstarter reward copies of 13 True Ways have now been shipped, but as I mentioned in this post, there have been some issues with damaged copies. I’m very sorry about this – if you have been impacted, please email support@dyingearth.com and we’ll send you out a replacement.
  • All pre-orders for Dulce et Decorum Est, the Gaean Reach and the Gaean Reach Gazetteer have also been shipped.
  • Pre-orders for the Book of Loot and Shadows of Eldolan will be shipped in the next week, if we can sneak get books out past the Burning Man guards.
  • New pre-orders for Mythos Expeditions will be shipped in mid-September.
  • We are still waiting on components for the Limited Edition 13th Age Bestiary; we hope to have these print-outs and be able to ship these out at the end of September.

Rest of World

  • The physical copies of Dulce et Decorum Est, the Gaean Reach and the Gaean Reach Gazetteer have arrived in the UK, and all pre-orders for these titles will be shipped early next week.
  • The physical copies of 13 True Ways are currently at sea, and due to dock in the UK on September 9th. We’ll have our UK shipper prepped and ready to pack them up when they get here , and so pre-orders and Kickstarter reward copies should be on their way in mid-September.
  • Pre-orders for the Book of Loot, Shadows of Eldolan and Mythos Expeditions will be shipped out in the second week of September, as these books will also be arriving in the UK on September 9th.
  • We are still waiting on components for the Limited Edition 13th Age Bestiary; we hope to have these print-outs and be able to ship these out at the end of September.

GenCon

Wow, what a GenCon! The entire Pelgrane team gathered in Indianapolis, in a throng of 56K attendees. The team ran seminars such as this one, games pitched new ideas and planned the year ahead. Cat Tobin was assisted in the assembly of the booth by a team of excellent 13th Age volunteers magicked up by Rob Heinsoo, who ran them a game as a reward. We sold out of most core books and new releases, even including Trail of Cthulhu.Book rack

There was a truly positive vibe from all the industry professionals I spoke to, and it’s clear that the quality of games has reached a new, high standard. This was reflected in the ENnie awards – we received two gold and two silver awards for Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, Eternal Lies (twice) and 13th Age.  The hosts were excellent and speeches were short and entertaining, and the competition included such industry giants as Paizo, Evil Hat and Monte Cook.

I had more conversations with other publishers about GUMSHOE cross-over products than ever before. I think the license has helped here. I exchanged shoes with Jeff Richard of Moon Design to seal the 13th Age in Glorantha deal (more below).

For the first time Pelgrane had two rooms full of GMs, who received swag, and we received quality feedback from participants, which we will use to improve next year’s experience. We are building a library of convention and OP adventures for all our games which will help us at future cons.

Indianapolis is stretched to the seams, and next year’s hotel booking is likely to be hell. The closure of the Canterbury hotel doesn’t bode well – I hope they magic up some extra capacity somehow.

One more thing. Indianopolis, gamers eat and gamers drink. You run out every year like it’s a big surprise, and Omni – don’t you want our money? (The irony of us selling out of many products is not lost on me).

13th Age

  • Rob Heinsoo, Jonathn Tweet and ASH LAW are working on 13th Age Glorantha. You can read the draft outline here. As a gamer, the main takeaway for me initially will be the new character classes, and as a publisher an influx of new discerning 13th Age players. The Kickstarter has been delayed until September 4th to give the team time to recover from the post-Gen Con lurgy; you can sign up for more information about the Kickstarter here.
  • Pre-orders for the Book of Loot and Shadows of Eldolan  will be shipping to customers in the US and Canada next week – the rest are on ship to the UK and will be with us 9th September.  Get them in the store now under the new dedicated 13th Age section of the webstore.
  • Eyes of the Stone Thief is in layout. I’ve gone with my heart rather than my wallet, and it will be a 400-page full colour book rather than a monochrome one.
  • Rob is working on the 13th Age monthly subscription product, similar to Ken Writes About Stuff. We want to build up a three-month lead before committing to a launch date.
  •  Shards of the Broken Sky is in internal playtest. We are discussing an array of other potential 13th Age products, including Demons and an Icon Organisation book.

Trail of Cthulhu

Mythos Expeditions has been printed and is shipping out in the US and Canada; it will be in the UK 9th September for distribution to the rest of the world. Not only is each expedition perilous – the denoument is likely to feature not rest and study, but a horrible encounter with the Mythos.

Dulce et Decorum Est, Adam Gauntlett’s Great War collection has shipped to US & Canada and will ship to the UK in mid-September. Soldiers of Pen and Ink and The Seventh Circle (for both Fear Itself and Trail of Cthulhu) will be out next month.

Gaean Reach

Gaean Reach and the Gaean Reach Gazetteer are out now. It seems Quandos Vorn was doing everything to stop this book from being published and I apologise to our loyal customers for the delay. Now I can consider what else to do in Vance’s playground.

Ashen Stars

Accretion Disk is being illustrated, by the marvelous Jerome Hugeunin and Chris Huth.

Night’s Black Agents

We are gearing up for the Dracula Dossier and Dracula Unredacted Kickstarter in October. Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan is channeling Ken as he views the world through Ken’s red-tinted spectacles. There are vampires everywhere!

Satsumas

Unfortunately, the season is over for another year; the supermarkets in desperation filling their shelves with inferior small oranges. Mournfully, we remember the citrus unshiu that were.

With the release of Robin’s wonderful new story-explorer The Gaean Reach RPG, GUMSHOE extends its tendrils into one of the oldest and most reliable of dramatic forms: the revenge story. In that game, the player characters unite to destroy the indescribably vile Quandos Vorn in revenge for his prior cruelties to them. And just beforehand, the players (this is the really great bit) collaboratively describe Quandos Vorn’s vileness and determine his prior cruelties. The result? A fresh, involving take on a tale as old as Orestes, if not always quite so damp and naked. From Dumas’ Gothy Edmond Dantes to TV’s dreamy Oliver Queen, doughty heroes have sought revenge on Him (or Her, for Orestes) Who Done Them Wrong for millennia — and if Jack Vance’s SF is anything to go by (and indeed it should be) will continue to do so for millennia hence. So what about our own millennium right here? Why not adapt the brilliant story focus of The Gaean Reach RPG to another of your already beloved if not-quite-so-brilliantly-focused GUMSHOE RPGs? Why not, indeed?

Each possibility here introduces your game’s Quandos Vorn and gives a possible reason you want to get him, although the GM should begin with the good old “Why do you hate …?” and only prime the pump if player creativity seems temporarily throttled. Further possible Terrible Deeds appear, followed by the Quarry’s Masks (how he hides from you, possibly in plain sight) and Obstacles (what he can put between you and him) and then the game’s potential Taglines (things you do or say in play to get Tokens which you spend to pierce Masks and overcome Obstacles).

Night’s Black Agents: Chandler Vaughn

Chandler Vaughn is the guy who burned you. Or that’s one of his cover names. You aren’t actually sure he’s with the Agency any more. If he ever was. Maybe he was a double agent. You’re not even sure what he looks like now. Or looked like, then. But you know one thing: he burned you, and you’re going to bring him down.

Terrible Deeds: killed your partner, aided al-Qaeda in a (lot of) terrorist action, smuggled nukes, killed your family, perverted the Agency’s once-proud ideals into the Orwellian sham they are today, released the vampire virus, vampirized your partner, betrayed your country

Masks: cover identities, plastic surgery, can shapeshift, deniable dead drops, is a hive parasite that lives in many minds, cut-outs, brain-hacking,  literal masks you know neat face-mask technology like in Mission: Impossible

Obstacles: billions of embezzled drug dollars for bribes, Russian mobsters, Iranian snipers, North Korean mentats with telekinesis, lots of pull with the corrupt helicopter-gunship-and-SWAT-team parts of the Agency, Renfields, secure immunity in isolated country, total surveillance of all computers

Taglines: Use the Night’s Black Agents Achievements, which are ideal for this sort of thing, as the source of Tokens, not of refreshes (except refreshes with Tokens, of course).

Mutant City Blues: “Quantum Born”

Not the least of “Quantum Born”‘s sins is to have a really lame pseudonym on the Internet. But he’s a mutant (“born of the quantum apocalypse that is ending your corrupt world system so-called”) and a terrorist and a murderer. At least.

Terrible Deeds: set off a bomb in the subway, killed your partner, leaked your case files all over the Internet and got a jillion hardened criminals set free on technicalities, killed your family, bio-engineered a worse version of the Quade virus for the most destructive possible power combos, provides foolproof schemes to other criminals and terrorists, hacked into a candy company’s mainframe and poisoned several thousand kids by altering its ingredient ordering software, is a serial killer among his other hangups

Masks: anonymous Internet existence with the Tor and the onion and such, hoodie and sunglasses, army of easily-gulled hipster anarchist wannabes to claim his identity, is blackmailing members of the force to cover his trail and feed him clues, shape-changing mutant power, is actually an AI given a computer analog of the Quade virus, surveillance-obscuring software, could literally be anyone at all

Obstacles: insanely devoted online love cult, not actually in your home country to say nothing of your actual jurisdiction, police red tape that says “it’s too personal with you and him,” super-powered goons paid big Bitcoin to hit you a lot, your own online history/credit report/everything ever, previous criminals you put away broken out (or legally freed!) by him, is protected from on high by government or corporations or a big seemingly cool charitable or progressive foundation, army of computer-controlled drones and makerbots

Taglines: Use Achievements, as above, or Taglines, as in Gaean Reach, or both, but sourced from either “gritty” comics dialogue or from police procedural TV shows.

Trail of Cthulhu: Kwan-Ho Wong

Or, sure, if you’d rather be torn apart by peculiarly intelligent wolves than poisoned by enormous purple centipedes, Gennadiy Voronin. He is a dealer in antiquities of a repellent aspect, and the lord of a criminal empire extending from Limehouse to Leningrad to Lhassa. He possesses perhaps the finest mind you’ve ever encountered, all the more terrifying because it is his brilliance that has led him to the Mythos …

Terrible Deeds: unleashed a shoggoth, killed your mentor horribly, stole your research and left you floundering and bankrupt, drove you mad and had you institutionalized in some charming colonial hellhole, denounced you to Stalin/Hitler, assassinated FDR, found the Ark of the Covenant first, raised a god or titan once and didn’t have the courtesy to die or go mad

Masks: master of an ancient serpent-man cannibal shapeshifting technique, is an identical twin, has never been photographed, wears an all-enveloping hooded robe at all times, mind-swapped or drug-enslaved pawns, plastic surgery, is (or commands) an ambulatory shoggoth, yellow mask

Obstacles: hideous and hideously-strong enforcer, Ahnenerbe or Black Ocean or NKVD favors, lives in an immense ruined temple to a Mythos entity, hyperspace gates for escapes, bribed or addicted officials in all countries, byakhee flocks, fanatical cultist followers, cannot die

Taglines: Gain a Token by suitable, effective, in character use of a properly Lovecraftian adjective.

As vengeful space effectuators of the Gaean Reach, you know what the interplanetary war criminal Quandos Vorn did to you—and what you must do in return to him, when you catch him.

That part remains more easily said than done.

Rejoice, then, in these latest intercepted transmissions. They detail some of the identities Quandos Vorn has recently traveled under in his never-ending quest for greater acts of barbarity. As is well documented, the chameleonic Vorn gains and sheds disguises with frustrating ease. Some of these people might be real individuals he has impersonated; others, his entirely fictional creations.

Elbin Throm, collector of rare militaria. The stooped, shaggy-haired Throm walks with the aid of a cane. Demanding and quick to take offense, Throm uses his wealth and expertise to bully finders, brokers and auctioneers of antique armaments. The tip of his cane contains a paralyzing toxin that dissolves its victims from the inside out, leaving the brain and screaming nerve endings as the last portions of the body to die.

Gascade, poet and troubadour. Famed for his quatrains in praise of Quandos Vorn. Of willowy frame and limpid blue eyes, he exerts a powerful sexual magnetism on women and men alike. His bright purple goatee precedes him into art festivals and bacchanals throughout the Reach. Dogged by accusations that he drugs his famous paramours in order to sell their organs to collectors. Evidence has yet to substantiate these rumors. May be a henchman of Vorn’s who occasionally lends him his identity.

Jebbas Mrin, hero of the rebellion on the planet Quane against starmenter (pirate) usurpers. Bald, broad-shouldered, with a musical baritone speaking voice. Never goes anywhere without the halberd he used to behead the starmenter Brerum Sosk. Though revered by the people of Quane, the taint of corruption surrounds his administration as its World President.

Castrel Flogg. A shadowy identity known chiefly as a set of signatures on documents claiming ownership over the platinum mines of Vesro.

The Ebbast, champion fencer and high priest of the religious order of Kolf. Won the tournament of Vosto by applying a neurotoxin to his epee. Described as possessing a skull-like countenance with deep-set eyes and a grinning, scarred mouth. By becoming a criminal and fugitive he invalidated the Kolf credo, leading to dozens of devout suicides. A schism among the surviving Kolfites centers around the question of whether the crimes were committed by the true Ebbast, or an impostor.


The Gaean Reach, the Roleplaying Game of Interstellar Vengeance, brings to your tabletop the legendary cycle of science fiction classics by the great Jack Vance. An ingenious hybrid, it fuses the investigative clarity of the GUMSHOE system with the lethal wit of the Dying Earth Roleplaying Game. Purchase The Gaean Reach in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

Gen Con is almost here, and we have some great seminars lined up. Pelgrane Press has also submitted a GUMSHOE panel as well as an overall Pelgrane Press panel, and we hope to see those go live soon.

13th Age Adventure Design
Date & Time: Thursday at 1:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza : Pennsylvania Stn C
The freeform story rules in 13th Age require a different approach to adventure design. Rob Heinsoo, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Philippe-Antoine Ménard and ASH LAW will talk about how to design with icons, backgrounds, uniques and more, and answer your questions.

13th Age GM Roundtable
Date & Time: Friday at 3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Grand Central D
Rob Heinsoo, Mike Shea, Ruth Tillman and Wade Rockett share their advice on how to run 13th Age, from handling icon rolls to collaborative world building and beyond. Got questions? Bring ‘em!

13th Age: Year One
Date & Time: Saturday at 3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Victoria Stn A/B
13th Age debuted one year ago at Gen Con! Join Rob Heinsoo, Simon Rogers and Wade Rockett as they talk about where the game is now, share what’s coming next and answer your burning questions.

13th Age Monster Workshop
Date & Time: Sunday at 2:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Pennsylvania Stn C
Join Rob Heinsoo, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and ASH LAW as they build a new monster that’ll take advantage of the game’s mechanics to deliver all sorts of nasty surprises at the table.

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We’ve been nominated for 15 ENnies including one for Page XX! Voting ends tomorrow, so we would appreciate your votes. You can find out more about our ENnie nominations, and a link on how to vote, here.

However, we’re not just resting on our nomination laurels. With less than three weeks to go until Gen Con, we’re beavering away to get a giant stack of new products out for the show. The first of these is now available to pre-order; Shadows of Eldolan, the first published adventure for 13th Age and The Book of Loot, featuring a raft of magic items for your 13th Age game. And of course, 13 True Ways is still available for pre-order, too. KWAS subscribers will get the August edition, Xeno-archaeology!, this month; meanwhile, non-subscribers can now buy Hideous Creatures: Serpent Folk as a stand-alone product in the shop.

New Releases

  • 13 True Ways – the long-awaited expansion book for 13th Age features six new classes, the lore of devils, the keys to Horizon, the Great Gold Worm’s secret assassin, and much more.
  • Shadows of Eldolan – this first level adventure for 13th Age pits players against the problems brewing in the port town of Eldolan
  • The Book of Loot – a collection of magic items for 13th Age to be found, stolen, given as rewards or otherwise looted by the player characters.
  • Hideous Creatures: Serpent Folk – the new subscription of Ken Writes about Stuff showcases the Children of Yig
  • Series Pitch of the Month – This month’s edition is Promised Land by Caias Ward

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13th Age Resource page updates

  • 13th Age Monsters List – Sean Dunstan and our man Detective Clayton have created a list of all the monsters in the 13th Age Core rulebook, Bestiary and 13 True Ways
  • 13th Age character sheet – Ieuane has done a new version of the character sheet

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