FourmisTRADE 11SepFrom City of Lights to Palaces of Dream

Evocative, enigmatic, and haunted by airborne polyps, The Book of Ants, a.k.a Livre des Fourmis, gives Trail of Cthulhu Keepers and players an essential window into Paris of the 20s and 30s, and into the Dreamlands beyond.

From November 1918 to September 1929, the young poet Henri Salem fell in with the surrealists of Paris. Swept up by the imperious charisma of group leader André Breton, he rapidly found himself sharing cafe tables with the key figures of this most influential and fractious art movement of the pre-war period. According to this, his diary of the era, he traded quips with Marcel Duchamp, feared the madness of Antonin Artaud, and served as model for the famous shot of ants crawling from a hole in a man’s hand in Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s scandalous film Un Chien Andalou.
If his tale can be fully believed, he stepped with them from waking Paris to an ancient yet surprisingly malleable realm of dream. (Save for Breton, who could never make the leap.) There he walked alongside such Mythos figures as Randolph Carter, King Kuranes and the ghoul once known as Richard Pickman.
As such his diary serves as an indispensable guide to anyone wishing to explore the dangerous demimonde of the Parisian art scene, where disagreements over aesthetics are often settled with knife wounds and broken bones. Even more, it provides a rare look into the ever-shifting shores of the Dreamlands, just as its air of the fantastical gives way to horrific reflections of a world spinning into chaos and death.

Status: In development


TimeWatch cover 300

13th century Europe is enslaved, there’s an army of Mongol warriors burning the city of Paris, and the Supreme Khan is alive and well in Mongolia? Someone is changing history again, and it’s up to your team to fix it.

 

Welcome to TimeWatch.

TimeWatch, by Kevin Kulp, is a GUMSHOE game of investigative time travel. You are a defender of history, an elite TimeWatch agent plucked out of your native era and trained to stop saboteurs from ripping history apart. Your training allows you to diagnose disruptions in the time stream and track down the cause, making conclusions that less capable investigators might just guess at. The TimeWatch rules presume that you are a highly competent badass. Who are you to prove them wrong?

If you’ve played other GUMSHOE games like Night’s Black Agents and Trail of Cthulhu, TimeWatch’s mechanics will look familiar. It uses a pared-down ability list (Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, and various engineering abilities are all grouped under the ability “Science!”, whose exclamation point tells you quite a bit about the game’s tone) and can be played in a variety of different styles. You can play it in Pulp style if you want more dinosaurs and aliens, Rebel style if you want to be the people changing history for the better, Cinematic style if you want to emulate your favorite time travel movie, and more. The default is Patrol style, acting as time cops to save the timeline.

 

Status: In development

 

Artemis Tau systemAn Accretion Disk forms around massive bodies in space. Gravity drags in random objects and debris, spinning them around and bringing them in closer and closer, faster and faster, hotter and hotter, until something explodes.

It holds true for stars and black holes – and for politics and crime, too.

And let’s face it – you’re the ones who are going to be standing in the path of that explosive release. Better get ready.

Accretion Disk: The Ashen Stars Expansion Book includes:

  • Sample clues, special spend benefits, and added data on each Investigative ability. Learn how to use Kinetics to escape VR simulations, identify alien interference in pre-contact cultures, and trace viro-augmented criminals with endocrinological profiling.
  • More options and tactics for general abilities, including species-specific ones. Master zero-g martial arts, detect weapons as they charge up, and acquire corporate sponsorship for your Laser team to boost your cash flow!
  • Take your stations on board ship with options and tactics for each warpside and groundside role, then delve into player-drive Arcs and Drives. Guide your own destiny amid the guttering Ashen Stars.
  • Explore new character options with six new playable races.
  • Deckplans for every class of ship show you what it’s like on board – and new ship options and bolt-ons open up tactics for ship-board adventures.
  • When you hit dirtside, break out any of the dozens of new weapons, equipment items, cyberware or viroware – if you can afford the upkeep!
  • Hot Contracts gives a roster of jobs that only a Laser crew can handle. Pick your own challenge hot off the Bleed, and get to work!
  • Finally, twelve new hostile aliens ensure that the Bleed stays dark and bloody…

Writers: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Kevin Kulp, Kieran Turley

Status: In Development

13a_stcover_oct2_v2Can you kill the dungeon before it kills you?

In 13th Age, living dungeons slither up through the underworld and invade the surface lands. The Stone Thief is the most ancient and cunning of its kind; a vast monster that preys on the cities and structures you love, swallows them, and remakes them into more deathtrap-filled levels inside itself. Now, it’s hunting YOU.

For players:

  • Embark on a saga of madness, revenge and giant monsters
  • Aid or thwart the schemes of the Icons as they battle for control of the dungeon
  • Slay, loot and survive deep in the bowels of the earth
  • Destroy this age-old threat forever

For GMs:

  • A monstrous campaign covering the entire Champion tier (4th to 8th level)
  • Thirteen levels of peril from the dungeon’s opening Maw to the orc hordes of the Deep Keep, the terrors of the Pit of Undigested Ages, and the nightmare city beyond the Onyx Catacombs
  • New monsters, new treasures, new traps, and new factions for your 13th Age campaign

The Stone Thief rises. Enter it, find its secrets and defeat it – or die trying.

Status: In development

Shard_CoverDesigned by Rob Heinsoo with ASH LAW this sandbox adventure for 13th Age centers on the crash of one of the Archmage’s flying realms. As threats multiply, the flying land turns out to have been the control point for magical wards neutralizing three ancient evils. With the cone of secrecy shattered, each of the thirteen icons offers rival opportunities for glory, plunder, or heroic sacrifice.

Plot, non-player character, and location options allow the gamemaster to tune each play-through of Shards of the Broken Sky to the icon relationships that campaign’s player characters care about most.

 

Status: In Development

DD image 2For over a century, we have known only part of the story of Dracula — the part Bram Stoker was allowed to tell. Now, the whole tale can be revealed. In 1893, the secret services of three nations played a dangerous game to contact and control the perfect asset — the ultimate weapon — Count Dracula.

This new edition of Dracula adds new letters and recordings, diary entries long thought lost, and documents suppressed by Her Majesty’s Government … until now. From the first tentative contact between British intelligence and the un-dead, to the werewolf of Walpurgisnacht, to the cataclysmic disappearance of Dracula in volcanic fire, read the story you’ve known for years … for the first time.

Dracula Unredacted does for the Dracula Dossier what Henry Armitage’s letters did for Armitage Files or The Book of the Smoke for Bookhounds of London.

 

Status: In Development

Dreamhounds_of_Paris_400Follow the Trail of Cthulhu into the Dreamlands

From the 1920s to the coming of the Occupation, a new breed of artist prowled the fabled streets of Paris. Combative, disrespectful, irresponsible, the surrealists broke aesthetic conventions, moral boundaries—and sometimes, arms. They sought nothing less than to change humanity by means of a worldwide psychic revolution. Their names resound through pop culture and the annals of art history.

But until now, no one has revealed what they were really up to.

In this comprehensive campaign guide for Trail of Cthulhu, you recreate their mundane and mystical adventures as you stumble onto the Dreamlands, a fantastical realm found far beyond the wall of sleep. At first by happenstance and later by implacable design, you remake it in the fiery image of your own art. Will you save the world, or destroy it?

 

Choose your player character from a roster of 19 visionaries and madmen.

  • Put up your dukes as two-fisted filmmaker LUIS BUÑUEL.
  • Flee a formless entity as Dada impresario TRISTAN TZARA.
  • Photograph tentacled entities as American expat MAN RAY.
  • Personify the joy and decadence of the city as chanteuse KIKI DE MONTPARNASSE.
  • Wield the magic cane that will end the world as theater of cruelty inventor ANTONIN ARTAUD.
  • Or arrive in Paris as fresh-faced young painter SALVADOR DALÍ, who has come to tear the movement all down and rebuild it in his image.

The Dreamlands are as strange as you can imagine.

Status: In development

Dracula Unredacted Cover_400Four Generations of EDOM
For years, it has been a legend. Somewhere in the dusty archives of MI6 is the complete version of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula — the unredacted version. The full story revealed clear pointers to the sources and methods the Service used in Operation EDOM, an 1893 mission that sent a bold agent deep into the Balkans to awaken and then terminate a very dangerous asset indeed.

But the termination didn’t take. In 1940, desperate to stop Hitler’s march through Europe, the Service reactivated EDOM, and reanimated their Transylvanian asset. Once more, they found they had bitten off more than they could chew, and in the chaos of wartime Romania they put him to sleep. Or so they thought.

In 1977, MI6 discovered that they weren’t the only players in this game. Their asset had left his own sleepers behind in Moscow and Romania — and in London — and inside MI6. The Service had to reopen EDOM, awaken Dracula again, to find his agents in their own ranks — or so they said. Perhaps that reawakening was the sleeper’s doing, too. Perhaps the Count never slept, not as the Service thought.

In 2011, looking for a terror great enough to fight terror, MI6 once more reached for EDOM. Once more, Dracula reached back. That’s how you found the EDOM case file: the Dracula Dossier.

Three Generations of Intel
The edition of Dracula you found is more than complete — it’s annotated. MI6 analysts and EDOM field men kept notes in the margins of their priceless copies of Stoker’s work, notes from 1940, from 1977, and from 2011. Notes collated into one master case file, a file that vanished in 2011. The file you found. This is the dossier you must decipher to find the secrets of EDOM, to reveal who betrayed the 1893 operation, to discover who in MI6 still serves Count Dracula today.

And then, you must follow those clues to end the story once and for all, to close EDOM forever. You must find, hunt, and kill Dracula, the king of the vampires.

Your Generation of Horror
The Dracula Dossier follows in the fully improvisational path of the award-winning Armitage Files campaign. Players follow up leads in the margins of Dracula Unredacted, chasing down the real characters from Stoker’s novel, their descendants in the present, and the British agents caught in the backblast.

Combine these leads and notes with pre-prepared elements such as conspiracy nodes, eerie locations, and vampiric beasts. The dossier contains over 40 supporting characters in vampiric, heroic, or in-between versions. Different versions of the real Mina Harker, Abraham van Helsing, and the other stars of Stoker’s novel — and their modern-day successors, descendants, and survivors — can drive the story in any direction the players look.

Players choose which leads to track, which scarlet trail to follow. The Director, using the clear step-by-step techniques in this book, improvises a suitably blood-soaked thriller in response to their choices. Clear advice to players and Directors on improvisation, with extensive examples and guidelines, helps you set the scene. Together, you will read and write your own unique version of the Dracula Dossier …

if you survive.

Status: Kickstarting end October 2014

Adrian Bott co-creator of the Book of Unremitting Horror is writing a big book of GM’ing wisdom, provisionally called Bott’s RPG Miscellany.

Status: Being written

New World

A Roleplaying Game of Historical Fantasy

In this game, three to five players collaboratively create a mashed‐up historical or quasi‐historical setting and then people it with individual characters whom they role‐play in facing the perils and possibilities of a New World. Their actions have consequences for the ultimate fate of the New World as well as for their own individual destinies. As the game plays out, it works to create an imagined history of a New World that never was.

That’s right, if you want, play ronin samurai fighting with Mexican pirates over gold bullion off the coast of California.

New World is ready for playtest.

Bill says  “It will be a colonization game, but it will the antithesis of games like Civilization IVand those of its ilk, which read history as a story of constant technological progress and civil advancement. I’m going to borrow from places like Jared Diamond’s Collapse and recent ethnohistorical accounts of pre-Columbian and early post-contact America to write a game that’s about a “New World” that emerges at the intersection of multiple “Old Worlds,” European, African, and Native American. I’ll rely on the notion that, in the early days at least, many colonies failed, with survivors returning home or making new homes in native societies. I have this vision of the game playing out in five-year turns against a backdrop of societies on both sides of the Atlantic under different levels of stress of one sort or another, with your role-playing of significant moments for your character within that turn serving to exemplify, embody or instantiate(um, represent and resolve) the larger socio-political and economic changes.

So over the course of the game, your character can be shipwrecked, go native, return home, accompany an expedition back to the “New World,” and die in a massacre, and that will represent the trends in the larger narrative at hand–trends which don’t necessarily map on to teleological narratives of American history (e.g., Manifest Destiny), but which should be fun to explore.”

Status: Playtest

Read the Designer’s Development Blog.

 

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