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This August, I’m launching the Kickstarter campaign for a brand new roleplaying game entitled PunkApocalyptic: The RPG based on the miniatures game by Bad Roll Games. This game promises a hardcore, fast past, down and dirty, vulgar descent in to ultra-violence, in which you play mercenaries fighting for bullets in the Wasteland of post-apocalyptic Earth. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be showing off sexy previews of what you can expect from this bad-ass game. Full warning, though. This game is ugly, full of cursing, and a whole hell of a lot of fun to play. Here’s a taste:

The Wasteland

The world as we know it is gone. The why and how of is subject to debate, but there are few left who have the time or ability to wax philosophical about it.  All that’s left is an extremely dangerous place, which, depending upon your point of view, is either a reeking open sewer, a radioactive shithole rife with wasting disease and lingering death, or a desperate place of hunger and want where anyone will trade anything just to survive one more day.

     Actually, your point of view doesn’t matter. It’s all of these things.

      Deadly and violent, much of the world has become a deserted, barren land dotted with the remnants of whatever came before. The Wasteland, as it’s called, though, is not as empty as it might first appear.

     Here live the wretched descendants of the undesirables, the impoverished, the castoffs, and everyone else deemed unsuitable for entry into the great and mythical Megalopoli: fabulous cities built during civilization’s collapse that became more myth than reality to most of the rugged shitkickers trying to scratch out a living in the Wasteland. Unless you’re one of those privileged few living in one of ’em, you’re pretty much fucked and have to figure out some way to survive in some of the worst places you can imagine, alongside all the other poor dumb bastards who will just as soon tear out your throat to get their mitts on your rusty can of beets as give you the time of day. Not that anyone has a working watch or really gives a shit about what time of the day it is. Beets, though? That’s another story.

     But as unpleasant as the world has become, opportunity abounds for anyone with the grit, determination, and moral flexibility to stay alive and maybe even thrive—well, at least by comparison to the other slags around you.

     In the Wasteland, resources are quite scarce. Electricity is nearly nonexistent, and those few who know how to build or even repair complex devices are rarer still. Therefore, just about everything has been reduced to the most of basic items, assembled from whatever can be dug and salvaged out of old landfills, plundered from the ruined cities of the Before Times, or simply robbed from some other weak, stupid bastards.

     Digging out salvage is no easy task as most ruins are overrun with roving gangs, mutant abominations, murderous cannibals, or fanatic disciples with insane beliefs. When you’re offered a few bullets to put an end to a local warlord, fuel to fill up the car you’ve kept running with bubblegum, duct tape, and hope, odds are you won’t have much choice other than to take the job.

     As tough as things are in the Wasteland, one can still find small settlements, often fortified, which somehow manage to survive the neverending hardship. Some outposts serve as commercial hubs, while others represent the best chance for the weak and feeble to survive. Some settlements have greenhouses and water collectors for growing crops and supplying clean water, while many host murderous gangs who trade only in bullets instead of goods and foodstuffs that would actually make life more livable. Go figure.

     Then there are roving hermits who collect odd pieces of useful junk and technology, or bands of mystic nomads in search of some arcane “truth” that often involves blood sacrifice (usually yours or that of your teammates), or the odd religious cult dedicated to bizarre gods of their own invention, bent on forceful conversion of any who they meet (also, usually you and your teammates).

     Anything and everything is possible in the Wasteland and you’re bound to discover something truly strange that would shock even your seriously desensitized and cynical world-view before you punch your ride ticket and call it an end to the miserable fucking life you’ve lived in this world of shit.

(c) 2019 Bad Roll Games

Occult Philosophy | A Sourcebook for Shadow of the Demon Lord RPGIf you haven’t yet heard, I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in November (the 12th) to crowdsource the production for a new and sexy supplement for Shadow of the Demon Lord. So far, I’ve been able to produce a slew of high-quality digital products that shine lights on various ancestries and spots on the map, reveal details about terrifying creatures, to say nothing of the many adventures available for the game. However, Occult Philosophy is a different sort of beast.

What is It?

Clocking in at around 192 pages with about 800 spells, a dozen or so critters, plus twenty to thirty paths, it’s the biggest release for the game since Shadowcame out around three years ago. A book of this size has a pile of expenses, including art, editing, proofing, layout, and graphic design. And, if the campaign does well enough, we’ll do an off-set print run too.

Q&A

I’m going to make up a few general questions and answer them. In future installments, I’ll get into the nuts and bolts of the book.

Eight hundred spells? Have they been tested?

Yes. I ran a limited playtest with tons of respondents who took the spells out for a spin in their games. From the feedback along with the testers’ insights, I adjusted the design to ensure that they fit the game and work well alongside other spells.

Do spells cover ranks 0 to 5? Do they go higher?

Yep! One of my earliest goals for this book was to reveal magic’s true extent in the setting. Each tradition receives expansions to the basic rank 0 to 5 spells, but also includes a pair of rank 6 spells along with one of each for ranks 7 through 10.

Do we get any new traditions?

For sure. I included one new tradition to bring the tradition count up to 42 (the most important number of all). Madness joins the other traditions, offering ways for you to harness your Insanity and weave it into magic to produce spectacular effects. There’s an Elder Gods vibe to these spells too, and, as a result, raises a few new questions about the game’s cosmology.

How about paths?

Of course! We’re including some guidance for playing characters beyond level 10 (building on the method described in Forbidden Rules). I’m also including a slew of expert and master paths. Expert paths, as usual, ground characters in the setting but also speak to specific traditions or pairs of traditions. Master paths offer alternative takes to mastering the various forms of magic, while also offering options to players who concern themselves with the methods of casting—implements for example.

What about relics and enchanted objects?

I had planned to include a chapter on each, but I ran out of room. I have a product in mind called The Vault of the Demon Lord, which includes new options for enchanted objects, relics, and trinkets. This book gets unlocked as a stretch goal.

What’s your favorite spell in Occult Philosophy?

Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’m pretty partial to them all. Here’s a cool one from the Battle tradition.

God of War                                                Battle Utility 10

Duration 8 hours

Magical power flows into you, transforming you into a god of war. You become bigger, stronger, and far more menacing. Your eyes glow with malice and blood paints your body. Any creature that can see you when you transform must get a success on a Will challenge roll with 3 banes or gain 1d3 Insanity. Until the spell ends, gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a +50 bonus to Health
  • You cannot gain Insanity
  • You make attack rolls with 3 boons
  • Your attacks with weapons deal 5d6 extra damage
  • You impose 3 banes on the attack rolls made by creatures against you
  • At the end of each round, each creature you choose within your reach takes 3d6 damage

Aftereffect You must make a Will challenge roll with 5 banes. On a failure, you gain 3d6 Insanity and take a –1d6 penalty to Power that lasts for 1 week and 1 day. If you would go mad as a result of this Insanity gain, you suffer Battle Madness (see Shadow, page 118) as normal, but the madness ends only on a roll of a 6 and you take 2d6 damage at the end of each round until the madness ends.

 

 

Freeport CompanionAt 9:00 CST on March 1st (tomorrow), I’m pushing the launch button on the next Kickstarter campaign from Schwalb Entertainment! This time around, we’re raising funds for the Shadow of the Demon Lord Freeport Companion, a 128-page, full color sourcebook that brings Freeport, the City of Adventure, to the world of the Demon Lord. As with Shadow, the book is written and ready to go into production, so I’m asking for help to raise funds to pay for editing, layout, and all the glorious new art that will go into this book. If you enjoyed the flood of great content that came out for Demon Lord over the last 18 months or so and want more, I hope you will join me in this new endeavor. The campaign ends on March 18th, so back if you can, and tell everyone you know.

Next week, the Kickstarter campaign for the Shadow of the Demon Lord Freeport Companion goes live, so to help you get a sense of the awesome stuff that will appear in this book, have a look at the new Celebrant expert path!

Celebrant Expert Path

The god of pirates, known throughout Freeport as One-Eyed Pete, is an unconventional deity by any standard and most theologians consider the god to be nothing more than a symbol for all the debauchery and cruelty one can find among those who live by plunder and robbery. The embodiment of greed, violence, and excess, pirates and sailors alike invoke the god’s name before a night of drinking, spit curses at him before going into battle—believing him too drunk to know which mortal roused his anger, and pour generous amounts of liquor into the sea to keep the mad god from swimming up from the depths to take his share of the spoils.

The god of pirates chief devotees are the Celebrants. They come from the ranks of retired ship captains, usually those who were retired against their will and looking for a way to keep their purses full of coin and beds full of lovers. Charged with keeping One-Eyed Pete at the bottom of the sea where he belongs, they wander the cities drunkenly, barking dire warnings of trouble to come, while sticking out hands to passers-by to collect coins that will pay for the mad god’s distraction. Celebrants are an unruly, sordid lot, every bit as much trouble as the god they  serve.

Although the celebrant expert path speaks to the unusual cult of the pirate god, you can also use celebrants to model worshipers of other faiths. In particular, the path works well for followers or Revel, who is an unruly and, sometimes, dangerous god. If you serve a different god, replace the traditions mentioned under magic with those associated with your deity.

Celebrant Path: Freeport Companion Preview

Celebrant Story Development

d3 Story 

  1. You lost your ship to a mutiny. Becoming a servant of the pirate god seemed a good way to get your boat back.
  2. After a particularly spectacular bender, you blacked out and had a vision of yourself spreading the message of your god.
  3. Spirits have always been part of your sect’s religious ceremonies, and you have developed a taste for the stuff.

LEVEL 3 CELEBRANT

Attributes Increase two by 1

Characteristics Health +3, Power +1

Languages and Professions Add drunkard to your list of professions

Magic You discover the Air, Storm, or Water tradition or you learn a spell from one of these traditions.

Holy Spirits If you spend at least one hour drinking rum or some other kind of spirit, you can become intoxicated for as long as you continue drinking spirits and for 1d3 hours thereafter. While intoxicated, you are impaired and take half damage from all sources. If you become impaired again, you fall unconscious and remain that way until you sober up.

LEVEL 6 CELEBRANT

Characteristics Health +3

Magic You learn one spell

Drunken Luck Whenever you roll a bane gained from being impaired and the number rolled is a 6, you treat the bane as if it was a boon.

Power of Spirits Banes imposed by the impaired affliction do not apply on your attack rolls made from casting Air, Storm, or Water attack spells.

LEVEL 9 MASTER CELEBRANT

Characteristics Health +3

Failing Liver You need only spend one minute drinking rum or some other kind of spirit in order to become intoxicated.

Drunken Fury Whenever you are intoxicated, your attacks with weapons deal 1d6 extra damage.

Freeport Companion for Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG

Get the latest Freeport updates here:
https://schwalbentertainment.com/products/freeport-companion/

We’re bringing the Freeport Companion to Shadow of the Demon Lord!

Orcs, pirates, the Unspeakable One, ancient empires, the Yellow Sign, insidious cults: Freeport has all these and so much more. In a few weeks, I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the Shadow of the Demon Lord Freeport Companion, a 128-page, full color sourcebook that gives you everything you need to bring the City of Adventure to the world of the Demon Lord. As with the Shadow campaign almost two years ago, I already have the book written and ready to move into the editing and art direction phases. While the text is in hand, the production costs for a book this size are more than I have on hand, so I’m asking you for help. To get this book through production, I need $10,000. This amount will cover editing, art, and layout, ensuring the book meets the high standards to which we hold every release.

Backers of the Freeport Companion will have four pledge options: to get the PDF, the PDF and printed book, the PDF and printed book along with all stretch goals, or the PDF of the book and all the stretch goals. Retailers can also back this campaign and will get ten copies of the rulebook.

What does the Freeport Companion contain?

  • Details on the various ancestries found in Freeport as well as rules for playing undines and serpent people
  • New expert and master paths, such as the courtier, mariner, and mystic navigator
  • A selection of new spells including saltburst, summon fleshraker, and inscribe the Yellow Sign
  • New siege weapons, special substances, and ships
  • Rules for voyages, ship-to-ship combat, and underwater adventuring
  • New relics such as Revenge and the Fountain of Fortune
  • Tons of characters to help you bring the city to life
  • A bestiary loaded with strange creatures such as the accursed hand, deep one, and fire specter
  • A massive adventure to help you explore Freeport and kick off your Freeport campaign!

Kickstarter Stretch Goals

The first Freeport Companion stretch goal unlocks when we hit $20,000, and stretch goal backers will all get PDFs of the original Freeport Trilogy for use with Shadow of the Demon Lord and updated with all new art. Other stretch goals will include Beyond the World’s Edge, a supplement that explores new lands and civilizations, Tales of the Pirate Isles, a trilogy of nautical themed adventures, and, the Demon Lord’s Companion 2, a book that will add even more options to the game.

Shipping the Freeport Companion

This time around, we’ll be shipping printed rewards to international backers directly from the printer, which saves us all loads and loads of money. US backers should receive their copies 1-3 weeks after shipping, while international backers should receive their copies 3-7 weeks after shipping. Easy peasy. Please note that delivery estimates are for PDF of the Shadow of the Demon Lord Freeport Companion; add shipping time to the delivery dates for printed materials. Similarly, any products unlocked in the stretch goals will be delivered when as they are ready.

When’s the Kickstarter launch?

We’re launching the Kickstarter on March 1st, and it will wrap up on March 18th.

Other Ways to Help Our Kickstarter Campaign

Even if you can’t back the campaign, you can still help by spreading the word, sharing updates, and singing the game’s praises. Anything you can do to get out the word will not only make this project a reality, but also help us continue to produce dark and sinister supplements and games. Thanks in advance for your help and I hope you join us on March 1st.

Want to see why Freeport is so awesome? Grab the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport today!