If you want to stock Pelgrane products, please ask your distributor. You can also email Impressions Game Distribution Services, if you need to find a distributor carrying our line, or if you are a distributor seeking to do so. Impressions supplies all our distributors and through them the retailers. We also sell to retailers through Indie Press Revolution.
If you ever have problems getting hold of our products through distribution, for example, you are told they are out of stock or out of print, email Impressions.
Retailers can supply their customers with free PDFs of our products through the Bits and Mortar program.
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Ashen Stars is the ENnie and Golden Geek-nominated SF GUMSHOE game from RPG legend, Robin D. Laws.
They call you lasers. Sometimes you’re called scrubbers, regulators, or shinestars. To the lawless denizens of the Bleed, whether they be pirates, gangsters or tyrants, you’re known in less flattering terms. According to official Combine terminology, the members of your hard-bitten starship crew are known as Licensed Autonomous Zone Effectuators. You’re the seasoned freelancers local leaders call when a situation proves too tough, too baffling, or simply too weird to handle on their own. In the abandoned fringe of inhabited planets known as the Bleed, you’re as close to a higher authority as they come.
In this gritty space opera game, the PCs are Lasers, freelance troubleshooters and law enforcers operating in a remote sector called the Bleed. They’re needed in the wake of a massive retreat by the Combine, the utopian empire that colonized it. Amid the ashes of a devastating war, the lasers solve mysteries, fix thorny problems, and explore strange corners of space—all on a contract basis. They balance the immediate rewards of a quick buck against their need to maintain their reputation, so that they can continue to quickly secure lucrative contracts and pay the upkeep on their ship and their cyber- and viroware enhancements.
Featuring seven new and highly detailed playable species –
- The eerily beautiful, nature-loving, emotion-fearing balla
- The cybes, former humans radically altered by cybernetic and genetic science
- The durugh, hunched, furtive ex-enemies of the Combine who can momentarily phase through solid matter.
- The humans, adaptable, resourceful, and numerous. They comprise the majority of a typical laser crew.
- The kch-thk, warrior locust people who migrate to new bodies when their old ones are destroyed.
- The armadillo-like tavak, followers of a serene warrior ethic.
- The vas mal, former near-omnisicent energy beings devolved by disaster into misshapen humanoid form.
Ashen Stars also contains extensive, streamlined rules for space combat, 14 different types of ship, a rogues gallery of NPC threats and hostile species’ and a short adventure to get you started in the Bleed.
Read feedback, reviews and see sample chapters here.
Status: Out Now. Includes PDF.
Some of the fantasists of the early 20th century are arguable more popular and well-known than they were when they were alive. HP Lovecraft or Robert Howard, for example, with their Cthulhu and Conan tales cast titanic shadows over the fantasy genre. Other writers have slipped into comparative obscurity, like the wonderful James Branch Cabell. And then there are those who have a small but devoted following, like the Canadian academic L. S. Pierton.
Comparable perhaps to Burroughs in tone, if not in talent, Pierton is best known for his Kalamane Cycle, a series of adventures involving the brooding alchemist-swordsman Kalamane and his travels through the Night Jungle, the impenetrably thick and perilous forest that has swallowed much of the world. His first published work, though, was A Journey to the Otherworld, where a traveller from 1925 is magically transported to the Night Jungle by means of a mysterious scroll. The misadventures of Pierton’s transparent alter-ego “Professor Bravo” found little purchase among readers, but sales were just sufficient to convince the publisher, S.C. Griggs, to ask for a sequel focusing on the supporting cast. Professor Bravo shows up in a handful of other stories written by Pierton, but never again takes centre stage.
By 1932, Pierton’s ill health and inability to meet deadlines forced his editor to bring in a series of ghost writers. The first of these, Kalamane & the Witch of Enzar, is infamous as the ‘book that it killed the author’. Shortly after it was published, Griggs’ received a large parcel of papers and background notes from Pierton detailing his ‘observations’ of the world of the Night Jungle. Apparently, the ghost writer’s deviations from Pierton’s ideal so appalled the writer than he completely withdrew from public life and was never seen again. As reviews of Witch of Enzar were considerably better than those of the previous books in the series, Pierton’s reaction elicited little response from Griggs. Ghost writers on the series sometimes drew from Pierton’s notes for inspiration to some degree – as Witch of Enzar is the only book that was definitely written without any input from Pierton, some fans still argue it should be excluded from the canon.
The last Otherworld book from Griggs came out in 1938. For many years, fans debated whether this was due to dwindling sales or the unexpected suicide of regular ghost writer Cyril Browne. It wasn’t until much later than diligent research in the pages of 80’s fanzine Boat on the Azkar revealed a court case between S.C. Griggs and “J. Pierton”, a woman who claimed to be Pierton’s daughter and heir, who demanded the return of the notes. The case was thrown out of court after she threatened Griggs’ lawyer with a ‘replica dagger’, but the gap in the publishing schedule sank the series for many years. Like her alleged father, “J. Pierton” was never seen again.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the series returned to life. By now, the firm of S.C. Griggs was long gone, and the rights to Pierton’s work were now owned by Arrow Books. While Miriam Benedash (writing under the pseudonym James Canton) could have found another publisher for her tales of the Night Jungle, only Arrow Books had Pierton’s notes in their archives. Benedash drew on these notes, using them to lend substance and structure to her almost dream-like depictions of the Otherworld. Her writing was considerably more vivid and compelling than Pierton’s, and introduced a new generation to the world of Kalamane. A selection of earlier novels in the series was reprinted with suitably lurid covers to cash in on Benedash’s success.
This success was regrettably short-lived. Benedash suffered a mental breakdown in 1974, and was committed to a hospital by her family. The manuscript for her last book was sold to a private collector instead of Arrow Books.
The 1980s brought a smaller resurgence of interest. There was a short-lived cartoon adaptation of the Kalamane cycle that largely ignored Benedash’s books, together with a more extensive comic-book series that covered most of A Journey to the Otherworld through to The Temple of the Emerald Eye. There was even a table-top roleplaying game set in the Night Jungle; a battered copy of it showed up in the GenCon charity auction in 2012, but was stolen before it could be sold.
The strangest latter-day incarnation of the Otherworld, though, is undoubtedly the Night Jungle theme park, built in Florida in the early 1990s by an eccentric millionaire. According to urban legend, this theme park covers some fifty acres of swampland, and contains dozens of attractions and rides based on locations from the Otherworld books. The park never opened to the public; a chemical spill polluted the land around the park, making it dangerously toxic. Photographs of an expedition to the theme park show that the abandoned buildings have been taken over by all sorts of dangerous wildlife, and there is some evidence of human habitation despite the environmental danger.
The Night Jungle theme park is one of the legends associated with Pierton’s legacy. Another is referred to online as “the Syndicate”. This myth claims that there is an organised conspiracy or corporation dedicated to acquiring material related to the Otherworld for some nefarious purpose. Devotees of this theory point to Benedash’s last manuscript or the disappearance of comic book artist Jeffrey Smythe as ‘proof’ of this sinister conspiracy.
Despite its obscurity, the Otherworld series has filtered a little into popular culture. For example, in 2009, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service nicknamed a mysterious invasive weed in discovered in southern Georgia as ‘Nightflowers’, after the similar plant in the Night Jungle stories.
Next month: Otherworld Characters
In the latest episode of their ENnie-winning podcast, Ken and Robin talk GM/player scenario collaboration, crime & upward mobility, hallucinations, and Ken’s Frisco book raid.
Unintentional High Druid cosplay at Gen Con 2014
Organized play isn’t just about adventures and swag: there’s also cosplay! Here are some tips on cosplaying characters in 13th Age.
Connect With The Icons
Every 13th Age player character has a relationship (positive, negative or conflicted) with one to three icons. These are the 13 most powerful and influential non-player characters in the game’s default setting of the Dragon Empire, and embody familiar fantasy tropes such as the Archmage, the Lich King, the Elf Queen, and so on. You can easily cosplay as one of the icons using artwork from the book as a reference, and the tips below as a guide. You can also cosplay as someone with a relationship to one or more icons.
How? Each icon has a unique symbol (click the image to enlarge):
You can download the symbols as Adobe Illustrator 8 files thanks to David Flor.
If you look closely at the 13th Age illustrations by Lee Moyer and Aaron McConnell, you’ll find the symbol for an icon in each one, indicating that the icon’s influence is present somehow. You can modify an icon’s clothing to a great degree and still be recognizable as that icon if you carry the appropriate props (see below) and display that symbol somewhere on the costume.
Likewise, if you incorporate these symbols into an original costume, you embed that character in the world of 13th Age. Someone familiar with the game can tell at a glance whether you’re playing someone who’s allied with the Dwarf King, Elf Queen, Lich King, Orc Lord, and so on.
Your Elf Queen is The One True Elf Queen
13th Age gives GMs and players tremendous freedom to adapt and reinterpret the game’s default setting, and that extends to cosplay as well. Want to genderswap the icons to create the Lich Queen, or Elf King? Want your Crusader to be a beacon of light and hope instead of the ruthless Fist of the Dark Gods? Go for it! The icons are yours to play with. You can even play icons from ages past or future, such as the Wizard King, the Fool and the monastic Grandmaster of Flowers.
This flexibility also means that you don’t need a lot of costuming skill or a big budget to represent an icon. A great idea and enthusiasm trumps budget and execution. In an upcoming article we’ll show you some ways you can do 13th Age cosplay on a shoestring.
13th Age Cosplay Props and Ideas
Here’s a list of the 13th Age icons with the items that make them recognizable. I’ve also included some ideas for icon-related costumes you can make, some drawn from the 13th Age core book and some from the 13th Age Bestiary.
The Archmage (image)
Signature item(s): Hat, robe, spellbook
Related cosplay: Wizard, Sorcerer, Chaos Mage
The Crusader (image)
Signature item(s): Elaborate armor, helmet, shield, sword, thick chain
Related cosplay: Dark Paladin, Cleric of the Dark Gods, Ogre Crusader
The Diabolist (image)
Signature item(s): Horns, bat wings, occult tattoos
Related cosplay: Cultist, Demon, Evil Wizard, Demonic Ogre
The Dwarf King (image)
Signature item(s): Crown, hammer
Related cosplay: Any dwarf or forgeborn construct
The Elf Queen (image)
Signature item(s): Triple-star jewelry, and a butterfly, moth or dragonfly
Related cosplay: Drow Darkbolt, Drow Spider-Mage, Drow Soldier, Drow Sword Maiden, Drow Spider-Sorceress, High Elf, Wood Elf, Redcap
The Emperor (image)
Signature item(s): Dragon crown, goblet, sword
Related cosplay: Dragon Rider, Gladiator, Half-Orc Legionnaire, Half-Orc Commander
The Great Gold Wyrm (image)
Signature item(s): None
Related cosplay: Paladin with shield and golden armor
The High Druid (image)
Signature item(s): Green hooded cloak with antlers, dagger
Related cosplay: Druid, Ranger, Wild Elf
The Lich King (image)
Signature item(s): Crown, glowing red right eye, gloved right hand
Related cosplay: Blackamber Skeletal Legionnaire, Lich Baron/Baroness, Lich Count/Countess, Lich Prince/Princess, Necromancer
The Orc Lord (image)
Signature item(s): Spiked armor, axe
Related cosplay: Orc Berserker, Orc Shaman, Warrior of the Great Fang Cadre
The Priestess (image)
Signature item(s): Headdress, shepherd’s crook
Related cosplay: Cathedral Acolyte, Cleric of the Gods of Light, Monk
The Prince of Shadows (image)
Signature item(s): Hooded cloak, curved dagger, a big stolen gem
Related cosplay: Any type of thief, bard, rogue or swashbuckler
The Three (image)
Signature item(s): None
Related cosplay: Sorcerer of the Blue, Assassin of the Black, the Blue in human form, the Black in human form, any dragonic race
This issue of Page XX features a regime change, a Hillfolk Bundle, the last few hours of a 13th Age Kickstarter, with articles and three new releases in the store .
It’s been a month of big changes here (more on that later), but the first thing to say is that you have less than two hours to back the Kickstarter for Greg Stolze’s 13th Age novel, “The Forgotten Monk”, so get in there quickly! New releases in the Pelgrane store include the pre-order for the long-awaited expansion book for science-fiction GUMSHOE setting Ashen Stars, Accretion Disk, crammed full of new tech, ships and species to enhance your campaign. The February edition of KWAS, GUMSHOE Zoom: Goëtia, is now available in the webstore, as is the February edition of 13th Age Monthly, Temples of the Frogfolk. KWAS subscribers will be getting the latest edition, Tomb-Hounds of Egypt, tomorrow.
See Page XX Poll
Today, I can announce a big change for the better at Pelgrane Press, but before I get to that, let’s consider other Pelgrane news. First, our new releases. Accretion Disk – an expansion book for Ashen Stars, featuring new equipment, ships, deckplans, hot contracts, new alien enemies and new playable species. Temples of the Frogfolk is second edition of 13th Age Monthly and if demon summoning is your chalice of char, then GUMSHOE Zoom: Goëtia- the latest issue of Ken Writes About Stuff should be yours.
- An extensive DramaSystem collection is available as Hillfolk Bundle of Holding – pay what you want for DramaSystem and help a great charity, too.
- The Forgotten Monk novel set in the 13th Age is in the last few hours of its Kickstarter, and it’s within sniffing distance of $6.5K – back it while you can!
A New Regime at Pelgrane Press Ltd
It’s my great pleasure to announce that Cat Tobin will shortly be my full and equal partner in Pelgrane Press Ltd and the Managing Director of the company. In two short years her hard work, adaptibilty and professionalism has made Pelgrane as much hers as it ever was mine. Cat has overseen solid and sustainable growth, enthused the gaming community, and she’s developed Pelgrane into something bigger, better and more friendly. Cat challenges my complacency, and her commitment to diversity has transformed our approach to game creation.
The 13th Age Monthly offers 12 installments of 13th Age material, curated by Rob Heinsoo. It opened with Dragon Riding which I’ll be adapting for my next big 13th Age session for use with griffons. And in a call-back to the Village of Homlett, we hop over to Temples of the Frogfolk – those slimy, scary and fearsome foes, or, even friends – you can now play one. Jump on board and get both issues now.
If you prefer your content entirely free – get a bunch of free icon-themed adventures and a community of players to hang out with through The Tales of the 13th Age – our Organized Play program – sign up here.
The amazing 13th Age soundtrack gets 9/10 in its first review.”It’s a soundtrack waiting for a movie to be put to it. Very highly recommended”
The Eyes of the Stone Thief is off the presses and on its way to our shipping points. There is still time to pre-order and get in the first shipments. For FreeRPGDay, Gareth Hanrahan is polishing a prequel to this monster megadungeon called At Land’s Edge.
Battle Scenes (working title) is all a 13th Age group will ever need to improvise their story around carefully planned and balanced encounters. It’s in playtesting.
Shards of the Broken Sky and The Strangling Sea are in editing.
The Forgotten Monk novel set in the 13th Age is in the last few hours of its Kickstarter.
Night’s Black Agents
FreeRPGDay features an introductory adventure for Night’s Black Agents set in Marrakesh – a truly inspired location for intrigue, parkour chases and atmosphere. I playtested this, and as is so often the case with Night’s Black Agents, the players did most of the work. This supplement will be released in a rare flip book with a 13th Age adventure – grab it when it’s released in your FLGS.
Ken and Gar have been wrangling Kickstarter contributors, honing their Dracula Dossier text. All quiet is good.
John Adamus’ adventure The Dubai Reckoning is in playtest.
Trail of Cthulhu
We’ve just completed a new print run of Trail of Cthulhu, which will take this edition through to at least the end of next year.
Ken Writes About Stuff gives us a chance to test the waters for new supplements and new game ideas. Tomb-Hounds of Egypt is one such supplement – if it’s popular, a full Egypt setting is likely. It’s hard to restrain Ken’s enthusiasm, so our word count has once again crept up. Why root around in cursed tombs when you can just download the ebook?
New Trail adventures from Bill White and Ruth Tillman are in playtest, and Paula and Steve Dempsey are working on Fearful Symmetries.
The Poison Tree continues its slow but steady growth. Matthew says: “We’ve begun the first round of playtesting for A Poison Tree. So far, the players have made their way through the opening vignette and Chapter One set in 18th Century Wales. The second vignette has taken them to 18th Century London, and they are about to embark upon Chapter Two in New England of 1775. The second round of playtesting will begin as the first group reaches the end of Chapter Two. “
Accretion Disk is on pre-order now. It follows in the footsteps of Double Tap and the Esoterror Fact, in that it expands and improves the game for both players and GMs. My favourite section are the deckplans and ship description – each group of Lasers needs a spacecraft, and this really brings them to life. The deckplans were created by Ralf Schemmann in Campaign Cartographer 3
It’s our now-annual shout-out for Gen Con GMs! Last year, we ran more games than ever before, but this year we’re determined to beat that record. The submission date for games is March 13th, 2015, so if you’re interested in running games at GenCon, email me for more information and to stay updated on our plans.
It’s not just GenCon, though – we’re always looking for GMs for other conventions. At the moment, conventions we’re attending and recruiting GMs for include UK Games Expo (Birmingham, UK – May 29th to May 31st) and Origins Game Fair (Columbus, OH – June 3rd to 7th), but we also need GMs for PAX East (Boston, MA – March 6th to 8th) and PAX Prime (Seattle, WA – August 28th to August 31st).
We’re also keen to support conventions that we can’t make it to, but you can! If you’d like to run Pelgrane games at your local games convention, email me and let me know – we can help out with demo game and full game scenarios for all our lines, and we might even be able to offer incentives and prizes for your Pelgrane Press games.
We recently signed up with the Envoy program to do more organised play, so you can also sign up there to become a Herald, and run Pelgrane Press games in your FLGS or local convention.
Seeking adventure and a taste of the exotic? Miskatonic University is looking for explorers, adventurers, and academics to range the untamed and untapped regions of the globe. Opportunities like these can be found in Mythos Expeditions, for Trail of Cthulhu.
Rest, Romance, and Recreation in Gabon
Follow Miskatonic University’s anthropology department to beautiful, exotic Gabon. The gem of West Africa, Gabon is a lush, untouched land. Visit the jungleside estate of chief anthropologist, Mary Kingsley. Kingsley, whose research focused on the cannibalistic Fang people, is currently missing and presumed dead. See the flora, the fauna, and the mysterious Fang people of the Mikembe rainforest. Take Kingsley’s last known route down the Ogooue River, to Kingsley’s campsite. For outdoorsmen seeking a true challenge, scramble to Chaillu Mountains and seek the Kingsley’s last known location, the meteoric peak.
The Horrible Truth
An attache of starved Byakhee crashed and landed at the meteoric peak of the Chaillu Mountains. The Fang people, led by a crazed Mary Kingsley, are mobilizing against the bloodthirsty Byakhee.
Tour: two weeks after arrival in Libreville.
The Lure of the Labrador Wilds
Looking for some local flavor? Try the North American Wilderness. Misk U. is seeking explorers and adventurers to trace the 1903 expedition of frenzied author and outdoorsman Dillon Wallace. Range through Canada’s Labrador wilds to uncover traces of Wallace’s fated trip through Lake Michikamau. Rumor is that Wallace still roams Labrador, searching his companion, Leonidas Hubbard.
The Horrible Truth
During the original trip, Leonidas Hubbard was taken and, unbeknownst to Dillion, murdered by Deep Ones. Wallace is raving mad, recreating tableaus from the Lure of the Labrador Wilds to try and resurrect Hubbard, to no avail.
Tour: Approximately a week after arrival in St. John’s, Canada.
Deeper, and Deeper Still!
Far below Brownsville, Kentucky, America lies the Mammoth Cave, a 400 mile (640km) stretch of cave, ripe for exploration. Traverse the Limestone Labyrinth of Kentucky. Local contact, Floyd Collins will provide lodging and dynamite. Help Collins explode a new entrances into the Bottomless Pit, the River Styx and the Rotund Room, while avoid shifty cave owners, looking to poach explorable caves. Additionally, please ignore news reports of Kentucky’s Cave Thing, and various missing persons reports.
The Horrible Truth
Set against the Kentucky Cave wars, a battle for the control and domination of the Mammoth Cave and all it’s tourist opportunities, bombardiers like Collins disturbed an ancient and not-totally-abandoned city of Serpent People. The Serpent People viciously protect their ruins at the bottom of the Bottomless Pit, striking against locals, even inspiring a local cult.
Tour: Three weeks after arrival in Brownsville.
“God! … If only I had not read so much Egyptology before coming to this land which is the fountain of all darkness and terror!” All you need to know to forge a Pulp archaeology campaign set in 1930s Egypt – for Trail of Cthulhu or just GUMSHOE Bullwhips & Baboon-Mummies!
Tomb-Hounds of Egypt is the twelfth installment of the second Ken Writes About Stuff subscription and is now available to subscribers – it will be available to buy in the webstore in March. If you have subscribed to the second KWAS subscription, Tomb-Hounds of Egypt is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).
|Stock #: PELH26D
||Author: Kenneth Hite
|Artist: Melissa Gay
|Pages: 14pg PDF