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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Bundle For Two 2
Time:06:59 pm
RPGs for one referee and player - presented as a Valentine's day special, partly a repeat of an offer from 2017

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/BundleForTwo2

This offer launched Tuesday, February 12, and runs through 10PM Eastern US time (GMT -4) Monday, February 25. This promotional page expires at that time.

"This Bundle for Two 2 is our second Valentine collection of tabletop roleplaying games designed for just two players. Whereas the original February 2017 Bundle for Two included intimate duets ideal for a loving Valentine's Day experience with your significant other, these games feature serial killers, hack-and-slash dungeons, and Cthulhu. But hey, these could work for some relationships; there must be at least fifty shades of romantic roleplaying. And even if you have other Valentine plans, these games still work fine when you can't find an entire game group, or you want a game that works well with online virtual tabletops, or you're just looking for an intense head-to-head gaming experience.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$87. Customers who pay just US$5.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $29) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Reflections: A Game of Duelling Samurai by Jim McClure (Third Act Publishing, retail price $12): A longtime rivalry between feuding samurai culminates in a final, fatal confrontation.
  • The Quiet Year by Avery Alder (Buried Without Ceremony, retail $8): A highly original map-drawing game from the designer of Monsterhearts about the struggles of a post-apocalyptic community. [Previously in our November 2013 Indie Cornucopia.]
  • Dirty Secrets by Seth Ben-Ezra (Dark Omen Games, retail $9): An amazing story engine that effortlessly creates dark and twisting noir plots. [Previously in our June 2015 Deadly Games offer.]

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $14.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $58:

  • Cthulhu Confidential by Robin D. Laws, Chris Spivey, and Ruth Tillman (Pelgrane Press, retail $25): Mythos horror meets hard-boiled noir in this GUMSHOE One-2-One game for a Game Moderator and a lone detective.
  • One on One Adventures Compendium (Expeditious Retreat, retail $18): Eleven Pathfinder fantasy adventures for a GM and one player.
  • The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by Matt Gwinn (Errant Knight Games, retail $15): A flawed hero and a serial killer both confront their darkest impulses.

These don't really work terribly well for me - I tend to prefer games with several players, since a lot of the fun of roleplaying comes from player interaction, daft ideas, etc. - but I can see them possibly being useful if for some reason only one player makes it to a game session. It looks to be a pretty cheap offer, and probably worth it just to mine for ideas. Recommended, though as usual I have to stress that I'm not paying for this stuff, YMMV, etc. etc.
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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 14
Time:11:08 pm
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XIV: Great Vengeance and Furious AngerCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.

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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Shadowrun 5th Edition
Time:08:59 pm
Two offers for Shadowrun, the cyberpunk/magic RPG, one containing the game and most useful supplements, the other some of the more esoteric extras:

SR5 Essentials

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SR5Essentials

The year is 2081. Magic has returned and creatures of myth and legend walk among us as megacorps bleed the world dry. You're a shadowrunner -- a deniable asset, a corporate pawn -- using bleeding-edge science and magic to make your meat body and mind better-than-flesh. Stay on the edge, and you may survive another run on the mean sprawl streets.

This all-new offer is the first of two now in progress featuring the 2013 Fifth Edition of Shadowrun, the cyberpunk-fantasy RPG from Catalyst Game Labs. This Essentials offer includes the complete Shadowrun 5E rulebook and all its key rules supplements. If you're new to Shadowrun, start here. The companion SR5 Runs & Guns collection gets runners into new and deeper trouble with more supplements and sourcebooks.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Shadowrun 5E offers' designated charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$145. Customers who pay just US$22.95 get all three titles in this offer's Core Collection (retail value $70) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Shadowrun 5E core rulebook (Master Index Edition), plus the free 5E Quick-Start Rules and Character Conversion Guide; the player's book, Run Faster; and the cyberware catalog Chrome Flesh.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $32.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with three more key 5E supplements worth an additional $75 -- the rules expansions for magic (Street Grimoire), the Matrix (Data Trails), and riggers (Rigger 5.0).
 

SR5 Runs & Guns

 

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SR5RunsGuns

This is the second of two all-new offers now in progress featuring the 2013 Fifth Edition of Shadowrun, the cyberpunk-fantasy RPG from Catalyst Game Labs. The first offer, SR5 Essentials, presents the core rulebook and key rules supplements; if you're new to Shadowrun, start there. This companion Runs & Guns offer adds more combat, magic, and creature supplements to keep runners alive -- or not -- on the mean streets of 2081.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Shadowrun 5E offers' designated charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$148. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $63) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Run & Gun (advanced combat rules), Forbidden Arcana (advanced magic), Bullets & Bandages (medicine), and Aetherology (the astral realms).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $60, including Howling Shadows (the SR5 critter bestiary), Dark Terrors (horrors of 2081), Shadow Spells (more magic), and Gun H(e)aven 3 (more weapons).

 


Shadowrun has never been one of my favourite games, I'm not convinced the genres mesh wonderfully, but it's an OK system with a big user base. I think that there have been previous offers for earlier releases, but this is the first for 5th edition, which updates things a lot. I think it's a pretty good deal if you want to give the system a try, or are only familiar with the earlier releases.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Mutants and Masterminds
Time:08:36 pm
Another bundle offer, this time for one of the most popular superhero RPGs, Mutants and Masterminds:


https://bundleofholding.com/presents/EarthPrime

"This new M&M Earth-Prime Bundle is intended to introduce new players to Mutants & Masterminds from Green Ronin Publishing. If you're new to this popular tabletop game, fly straight into four-color comic-book superhero action with this standalone collection of introductory rulebooks and sourcebooks. It gives you everything you need to foil the nefarious schemes of would-be conquerors.

First published in 2002, M&M started as an OGL D20 product. Designer Steve Kenson (ICONS) creatively modified and expanded the d20 System to reflect the unique demands of a superhero game. Character generation, character advancement, damage, and saves are all different from the traditional d20 System.

And the superhero RPG Green Ronin likes to call "the World's Greatest" is much more than a system. It offers two well-developed settings, Freedom City and Emerald City, and you can easily create your own setting, as many fans have already done -- including Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, who licensed his Wild Cards shared-world fiction series (inspired, it's said, by Martin's own 1970s Superworld campaign) as an M&M RPG supplement series published by Green Ronin. You can even publish your own setting through Green Ronin's "Super-Powered by M&M" Trademark License, which allows third-party publishers to use "product identity" text.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Chris Pramas of Green Ronin, the California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$123. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $60) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete new M&M 3E Basic Hero's Handbook with stripped-down rules for newcomers; the Rogues Gallery collection of dozens of supervillains; and the new edition of the classic M&M campaign setting, Freedom City for 3E.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $63, including the complete 320-page Deluxe Hero's Handbook with all the rules you need for any situation (previously presented in our April 2014 M&M 3E Bundle); the Atlas of Earth-Prime, a 270-page guide to the entire world of M&M; and the revised edition of Hero High, about the travails of super-powered teens training to become the heroes of tomorrow."


M&M compares reasonably well to other superhero RPGs; it's based on the Open Games License e.g. D&D so a lot of players will be able to pick it up fairly easily, and it plays about as well. I tend to prefer GURPS Supers or Champions if I'm playing, simply because they seem to be a slightly better fit to the genre, and if I'm running something I'd probably use homebrew rules based on Diana: Warrior Princess, but that's mainly because I wrote the system and know it backwards. For a newcomer with some familiarity with other OGL games this may well be a better fit, and as always you get a hell of a lot for the money. Recommended, subject to all the usual YMMV caveats.

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Subject:Fanfic: Five Resolutions Marcie Ross Broke and One She Kept.
Time:03:11 am
Written for the Twisting the Hellmouth New Years Resolutions challenge 2019. For those who don't remember her, Marcie Ross was the invisible girl in the Buffy season 1 episode Out of Mind, Out of Sight who was eventually recruited by a mysterious agency and apparently trained as an assassin. All characters and settings belong to their respective writers / megacorporations of doom, not to me, and this story is not meant to infringe on copyright.

Five Resolutions Marcie Ross Broke and One She KeptCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.

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Subject:Life Meme
Time:09:53 am
Gacked from [personal profile] coth and [personal profile] history_monk  - I think this one shows me as fairly boring...

How old are you?
66

Tattoos?
None.

Ever hit a deer?
No.

Ridden in an ambulance?
No.

Sung karaoke?
No.

Ice skated?
Tried when I was a kid, fell over a lot, gave up.

Ridden a motorcycle?
My main form of transport from 1973 or so until about 2010.

Stayed in hospital?
Only a lengthy stay after I was born due to rhesus problems.

Skipped school?
A couple of times, I think.

Last phone call?
A scammer telling me they were my internet provider.

Last text from?
The airline booking people I used for the upcoming Dublin trip.

Watched someone die?
Yes, my mother. In the Harry Potter 'verse this would qualify me to see thestrals, I suppose.

Pepsi or Coke?
Diet coke for preference, diet pepsi is OK too.

Favorite pie?
Steak and kidney, but eat VERY rarely.

Favorite pizza?
Pepperoni

Favorite season?
Summer.

Broken bones?
A cracked finger, don't think anything else.

Received a ticket?
Several, including a spate of six or seven over a couple of weeks when Westminster didn't have me in their parking permit system properly.

Favorite color?
Red, if you go by motorbikes I've owned.

Sunset or sunrise?
I am really NOT a morning person so definitely sunset. Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2149819.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 13
Time:12:11 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XIII: Muggle Mechanical Flying CarpetCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives

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Subject:Worldcon flight
Time:11:10 am
Booked a Ryanair flight from Gatwick to Dublin in the end - £51 return, but I haven't sorted how much the luggage will cost yet. I can do that any time before the flight so I'll wait until I pack for Eastercon, weigh that, add a kilo or two for safety, then use that as my luggage weight. A flight from Southend would have been cheaper, but it's more expensive to get to the airport and takes a lot longer. Heathrow would have cost a lot more, unfortunately - I say unfortunately because I can travel there free, I have to pay to get to other airports.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Numenera
Time:07:16 pm
This is from the Humble Bundle people, so I don't get freebies - it's a far future SF/Fantasy setting. Lots of books and looks cheap if you don't want all of it.

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/numenera-monte-cook-books

Update - I suddenly remembered that I've seen this before, in a bundle from the Bundle of Holding people about 18 months ago - my verdict then was interesting but a sod to run. The details are here:

https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2084776.html
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Fragged Empire
Time:06:31 pm
This is a relatively recent system I know little about - the initial game is designed for a post-human SF setting dealing with a failed galactic empire, with spin-offs for a variety of other settings:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Fragged

Fragged Empire from Design Ministries is Wade Dyer's game of exploration and rebuilding in a "post-post-apocalyptic" future. In the far future you are a genetically engineered remnant, emerging from genocidal war to reclaim a lost empire. Some worlds have fallen to barbarism; some retain technology so advanced it seems magical. You stand at the dawn of a new civilization, a time of opportunity and danger.

A June 2014 Kickstarter success (with follow-up crowdfunding in 2016 and 2017), Fragged Empire spawned the fantasy spinoff Fragged Kingdom, the pirate setting Fragged Seas, and more. All use the same robust, adaptable rules that emphasize unique characters, intuitive tactical combat, and long-term "sandbox" campaigns. The Fragged Empire YouTube channel explains it all.

From a "Sell me on Fragged Empire" Reddit thread: "One of the most mechanically rich while still being simple (it's just three dice, right?) combat system that dynamically changes the battlefield and choices you might make based on attribute damage. All of that inside one of the more unique universes with all-new worlds and races that have a wealth of history and tension built in." -- "Well organized and nonlinear character creation lending itself to diverse progression that enriches a character concept and diversity. Abstract advancement system that lets you roleplay almost any situation at both ends of the table. [...] Awesome combat that makes use of terrain and cover."

This new bargain-priced collection gives you everything you need for science fiction, fantasy, and piratical adventure using this flexible and fast-growing system. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) and each audio track in .MP3 format. Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books and tracks have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders and music players.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$117.50. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete full-color 385-page Fragged Empire core rulebook (plus the free Quick Start Rules and the adventure The Ghost Ship Carthage); Protagonist Archive 1; the full-length introductory adventure Let Sleeping Gods Lie; and the rules expansion Hacked.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $62.50, including Fragged Kingdom and Fragged Seas; Classic Races and Magic (add elves and clerics to your Kingdom); Fragged Dieselpunk Mecha because why not; and eight Fragged Empire Ambient Audio Tracks of atmospheric science-fictional background sounds for your game sessions.


I really don't know much about this - it sounds interesting, but they all do - at the moment all I can do is say that it looks to be well presented, but there is a strong emphasis on combat which may not be to everyone's taste. The first 33 pages of the rules are on the web site, mostly a couple of stories and other information to give a feel for the future setting. As usual with these bundles you seem to be getting a lot for your money, whether you need it is a matter of personal taste.
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Subject:Another Two RPG Bundle Offers - Trinity and Aberrant
Time:02:39 am
Two games from White Wolf - one is SF, the other superheroes.

Trinity 1E

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Trinity1E

"This is one of two offers now in progress featuring the Trinity Universe Storyteller games. The companion offer, the Aberrant Bundle, presents the other two games in the series, Aberrant and Adventure!.

Set in the 22nd Century, Trinity (1997) depicts humanity recovering from a devastating war against superhuman mutants called Aberrants. World powers include South America, East Asia, Africa, and the Moon; North America and Europe remain a shambles. Players are psions (bioengineered human psychics), members of the six Psion Orders that safeguard humanity on Earth and on its long-lost interstellar colonies. Projecting an optimistic tone, Trinity permits a broad range of adventures, from cyberpunk-style corporate heists to post-holocaust scrounging to space exploration.

White Wolf Publishing released Trinity in a spiral-bound limited edition as Æon in October 1997. When Viacom claimed the title infringed on its Aeon Flux TV show trademark, White Wolf renamed the game. The Trinity limited-edition hardcover appeared in November 1997, then the softcover in March 1999. The .PDF rulebook in this offer is based on the softcover. Onyx Path Publishing is working on a second edition under the game's original title, Æon.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) goes to these two Trinity Universe offers' designated charity, the Bodhana Group.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$124. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $44) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 324-page Trinity First Edition core rulebook, the Trinity Players Guide, the Technology Manual, and two Psi Order sourcebooks ( America Offline and Shattered Europe).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $80, including three more Psi Order sourcebooks (Terra Verde, Luna Rising, and Stellar Frontier), the complete Darkness Revealed trilogy of adventures, and three short Field Reports (Extrasolar Colonies, Media, and Psi Laws).



Aberrant


https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Aberrant

Set ten years after radiation from the exploding Galatea satellite triggered bizarre powers in a small fraction of Earth's population, Aberrant (1999) chronicles the struggles of these "novas," or "new humans," and their quest to fit into -- or forever change -- human society. Though some novas become vastly smarter, they grow no wiser. Instead, most of them become the center of celebrity cults, to their ultimate detriment. Aberrant deconstructs the superhero genre -- sort of X-Men meets Watchmen with some newuniversal mixed in. Originally published by White Wolf, Aberrant is getting a new edition from Onyx Path Publishing designed by superhero champ Steve Kenson (ICONS, Mutants & Masterminds, DC Adventures).

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) goes to these two Trinity Universe offers' designated charity, the Bodhana Group.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$118. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 298-page Aberrant rulebook and Players Guide, plus the Storytellers Screen with its three-episode introductory story, "Permanent Vacation."

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $68, including the Year One setting book that describes the stunning near-future world of 2008, the sourcebooks Elites and Teragen, and the scenario collection Worldwide: Phase II (retail $20), which advances the timeline to the breathtaking future of 2015.
At least one more title will be added after launch; "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."



It's a long time since I've looked at this game setting; my impression of it was that it used a lot of White Wolf's general tropes such as multiple competing cliques, and looked like it would be fun but difficult to get into. Having looked briefly at the PDFs I still think that's still the case. But I know that a lot of readers out there will want to add to their White Wolf collections, and this seems a cheap way to do it. Recommended, but as usual I have to emphasise that I get these games free if I want them - if you don't your mileage may differ.
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Subject:Worldcon
Time:02:11 pm
 Worldcon room bookings have opened, and I've booked a student room at Trinity College - it's close to the venue and cheaper than any hotel they're offering, but I don't think it includes breakfast etc. There probably are cheaper alternatives, but I really don't like the idea of boarding houses or dorms, so this will do.

Now I have to think about flights. Anyone know of any good deals?
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Dungeon Maps
Time:06:21 pm
This is simply a big collection of maps in PDF form, from Oone games

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/0oneDungeons

"This all-new collection, a follow-up to our popular January 2018 0one Blueprints offer, presented a sprawling range of labyrinthine dungeon RPG blueprints from 0one Games. You may also recall 0one's fine work on the massive Great City Campaign Setting we presented in July 2017.

These state-of-the-art interactive .PDFs let you turn the grids (both square and hexagonal) on and off, show or hide room numbers, show walls as outlines or filled, show or hide doors and furniture, orient the compass rose, change print options, and make many other customizations, depending on the map. Note: The interactive features in these state-of-the-art .PDFs require the free Adobe Reader. Some of these files may not display properly in other readers.

Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these .PDFs have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund (RCRF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying game creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$93.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all thirteen titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $44) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including nine complete levels of the colossal Dungeon Under the Mountain; the vast Dungeon of Terror Virtual Boxed Set; and three megadungeons: Archlich's Lair, Palace of the Vampire Queen, and The Undercity.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with sixteen more titles worth an additional $49.50, including the Dungeon Under the Mountain Level 10 Virtual Boxed Set, 13 customizable Rooms & Encounters (travel the Fungal Corridor to the Desecrated Temple to meet Gormoth the Ever-Hungry), and two sets of Customizable Battlemaps: Dungeon Rooms that let you make your own scenes for miniatures combat."

At least one additional title will be added after launch: "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."


These look quite good - I'm not entirely happy with the use of shading, which is going to waste quite a lot of toner / ink when they're printed, but if you don't go mad and print them all at once it's a reasonably good way to get a lot of maps cheaply. It isn't something I personally need - I tend to make my own when I need them, and don't do much with traditional dungeons anyway - but if you need this sort of thing it seems a reasonable deal.
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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 12
Time:01:12 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XII: Hissing SidCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.

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Subject:Another sign of Bitcoin's Possible Demise
Time:05:44 pm
 The Bitcoin selling machines that are in some branches of CEX are being taken out of use permanently.

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Subject:Apod Calendar 2019
Time:09:46 pm
The APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) calendar for 2019 is here and is very pretty:

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1812/ApodCalendar2019v5_Dave.pdf

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Subject:Ducky!
Time:09:03 pm
Browsing a load of pictures I took to test a lens a few days ago and found this.

Anyone else think my feathered friend here resembles a certain politician?


duck

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Subject:Meme - 100 SF Books
Time:09:47 pm
Gacked from [personal profile] legionseagle

"The james_davis_nicholl list of 100 SFF Books You Should Consider Reading in the New Year has matured into a meme.

Italics = read it. Underline= not it, but another by the same author. Strikethrough = did not finish.
Read more...Collapse )
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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Through the Breach
Time:07:13 pm
These are two bundles for a wild west "steampunk cowboys V Cthulhu" RPG Into the Breach. The first is repeated from December 2016, the other is all new:

Through the Breach

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Breach2018

"Originally presented in December 2016, this revived offer is one of two now in progress featuring Through the Breach, the Wyrd Miniatures Lovecraftian-Wild West-steampunk RPG based on the Malifaux miniatures game. In the magic-saturated parallel world of Malifaux, you take on the roles of unique Fated citizens, such as Gunfighters, Drudges, Dabblers, and Entertainers. Your destiny, or Fate, is created during character creation, and it affects every aspect of your life. As the game progresses, the destinies of the Fated entwine, driving you all inexorably toward a final reckoning. Will you fall to Fate, or cheat it?

This revived offer has an all-new companion, Second Breach, with recent supplements and short "Penny Dreadful" scenarios.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Through the Breach offers' designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.

The total retail value of the titles in this revived offer is US$141. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all five titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $60) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including (new to this revival) the complete 412-page Through the Breach Second Edition core rulebook (2017) and four short "Penny Dreadful" adventures, ideal for introducing the Gothic, necromantic-industrial city-state of Malifaux. (Customers who purchased this offer during its original run get the new Through the Breach 2E core rulebook automatically on their Wizard's Cabinet download page. When you buy a Bundle of Holding early, you never worry about missing a title added later -- even much later.)

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $26.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $81, including the rules supplements Into the Steam and Under Quarantine and two full-length adventures that build on them: Northern Aggression and A Night in Rottenburg, plus several more Penny Dreadfuls.


Second Breach

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SecondBreach

"This all-new offer, featuring the Through the Breach RPG from Wyrd Miniatures, accompanies the original December 2016 Through the Breach Bundle, newly resurrected and now in progress. This companion Second Breach offer adds recent supplements and scenarios for this gorgeous Lovecraftian-Wild West-steampunk RPG based on the Malifaux miniatures game.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$133. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all seven titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $63) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the rules supplement Into the Bayou, the introductory campaign In Defense of Innocence, and five short "Penny Dreadful" scenarios: Bad Moon Rising, Child of Flame, Dirty Deeds, Ghost House, and Madman, Interrupted.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with ten more titles worth an additional $70, including the campaign-length scenarios The Bayou Games and Nythera, Adventure Box Collection I, and no less than seven more Penny Dreadfuls: Earthly Desires, The Hand That Feeds, Heart of Darkness, Night of the Carver, No Strings Attached, Sixteen Tons, and Til Death Do Us Part.


Back in December 2016 I said "You get quite a lot of material for the money, but to me it feels like it's falling between too many stools, I don't think I'll be very interested. But of course your mileage may vary." To be honest, nothing I'm seeing here really changes that opinion. It's The Wild Wild West with monsters and magic, and simply isn't something I want to run. If you do, this may be just what you're looking for.
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Subject:Humble Bundle fantasy RPG bundle
Time:09:33 pm
Humble Bundle are doing a fantasy RPG bundle, seems to be generic scenarios, deck plans, city maps etc. for D&D 5th edition, looks like you get a lot for the money. I don't get Humble Bundle stuff to review so I haven't looked at any of this material beyond the titles, but if you GM fantasy RPGs it's probably worth considering

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/5e-fantasy-dragons-dungeons-maps

There's also a bundle of "professional photographic software" - nothing I particularly want, unfortunately

https://www.humblebundle.com/software/professional-photography-software

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Subject:Dresden Files Xmas story by Jim Butcher
Time:10:42 pm
Dresden Files Xmas story by Jim Butcher

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Subject:Xmas Card 2018
Time:10:25 pm
My Xmas card for 2018 is here - for best results print double-sided with the two sides the same way up (e.g. short edge binding)

http://forgottenfutures.co.uk/album/xmas-2018.pdf

Slightly cynical, for various fairly obvious reasons...

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Subject:Deadpool Meets Avengers
Time:11:17 pm
Possibly not an official trailer



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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 11
Time:12:57 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XI: Part of the PlanCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Doctor Who
Time:10:12 pm
This is Cubicle 7's Doctor Who RPG, one of the better ones by all accounts:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DoctorWho

This new collection presents recent .PDF ebooks for the official Doctor Who Roleplaying Game from Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Embark on your own adventures across time and space as the Doctor (any of his first 12 incarnations) and his companions (any of them too) -- or invent your own Time Lord, new companions, and a new TARDIS -- or create a ragtag band of time agents, or even a UNIT base protecting Earth. With the Doctor Who RPG the power is in your hands, and maybe in your Sonic Screwdriver.

(In July 2017 Humble Bundle presented a collection of 11 of Cubicle 7's various "Doctors Sourcebooks" for the RPG. Now this new offer from the Bundle of Holding (which isn't associated with Humble Bundle) duplicates only the core rulebook from the earlier Humble offer; all the sourcebooks, supplements, and adventures in this offer are new and have never been presented in a bundle.)

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Dominic McDowall of Cubicle 7 Entertainment, BBC Children in Need.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$142. Customers who pay just US$19.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $70) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Doctor Who Roleplaying Game (retail price $30): The complete game (previously published as Doctor Who - Adventures in Time and Space) based on the Vortex System (Rocket Age, Primeval).
  • All the Strange, Strange Creatures Volume 1 (retail $20): Aliens the Doctor has encountered on his adventures, aliens he has not yet met, and aliens he hopes never to meet again.
  • Paternoster Investigations (retail $20): The sourcebook of Victorian-era adventures and Paternoster Gang campaigns.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $72:

  • Gamemaster's Companion (retail $20): A TARDIS-full of guidance for running Doctor Who RPG adventures, along with three complete scenarios.
  • The campaign sourcebooks The Black Archive (retail $14), about UNIT, and The Silurian Age (retail $20), about dinosaurs in spaceships.
  • All of Time and Space Volume 1 (retail $18): A collection of four complete adventures -- Ghost Engines, Northern Knights, Schrodinger's Expedition, and Tomb of Cleopatra.

The offer also includes a 30% discount on purchases of Doctor Who RPG print products at the Cubicle 7 webstore.


This is very pretty, with tons of illos from Capaldi-era and earlier iterations of Doctor Who, and the system looks very playable. It reminds me a bit of Time Lord, the only Doctor Who system I actually wrote for, which gave similar priority to role playing over combat etc., and has fun skills and traits like "Resourceful Pockets" (produce any item from your pockets as needed) and "Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow," pulling scientific rabbits out of your hat. I think that I can safely recommend it. But as usual I need to point out that I'm not paying for it, if you do your mileage may differ.
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Subject:Complements of the Season
Time:12:32 pm
 I just bought a £12 job lot of used (and possibly faulty) lenses on eBay. To "Complement your purchase" eBay then offered me:

A bellows unit at £350, and another at £299.99
A Nikon lens at £750
and a used DSLR at £250 (and well overpriced considering the model etc.)

I think that their algorithm for these suggestions needs work!
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Subject:Why am I Not Surprised?
Time:12:07 am
According to tonight's Evening Standard the value of BitCoin has plummeted 80% in the last year. Cue cries of "Told you so!" from all and sundry, and huge relief from me that I stayed well out of it...

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Adventures in Middle-Earth
Time:09:42 pm
This is Cubicle 7's licensed RPG based on The Lord of the Rings etc., revamped and with more material than previous offers:

Adventures in Middle-earth

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/MiddleEarth

"This offer presents Adventures in Middle-earth™ from Cubicle 7 Entertainment. This official Open Game License RPG adapts the world's most popular fantasy setting, seen in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, for the Fifth Edition of the world's most popular fantasy RPG. Based on Cubicle 7's The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Adventures in Middle-earth displays an unparalleled handling of its source material, along with gorgeous art and deep knowledge of Tolkien's work.

This bargain-priced collection presents DRM-free .PDFs of most of the Adventures in Middle-earth line -- everything you need to conjure Middle-earth in your Fifth Edition games. (If you saw our previous offers of The One Ring RPG, note that much of this Adventures material is attentively converted from previously published TOR products.) The offer also includes a 20% discount on purchases of Adventures in Middle-earth print products at the Cubicle 7 webstore.

We provide each title complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Dominic McDowall of Cubicle 7, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$103. Customers who pay just US$16.95 get all three titles in our Player Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDFs: the full-color 224-page Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide, the Rhovanion Region Guide (adapted from the TOR supplement Heart of the Wild), and The Road Goes Ever On (adapting TOR's Journeys and Maps).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $26.95 to start, also get our entire Loremaster Collection with three more titles worth an additional $48, including the 160-page Loremaster's Guide, the scenario collection Wilderland Adventures (converted from TOR's Adventures in Wilderland), and the introductory adventure The Eaves of Mirkwood, along with its accompanying Loremaster's Screen.


This looks to be a pretty good offer, and it's all very pretty. It's an Open Games License release which means that it's basically modified Dungeons and Dragons rules, not exactly my favourite but it's a system that a LOT of people know well, which makes the learning curve relatively easy, and as usual you're getting a lot for your money. Real Middle-Earth fans may already own a lot of it as dead trees, but that's true of all of these offers. Recommended, but as usual I have to stress that I don't pay for this stuff if I want it, if you do your opinion may differ.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Warhammer Fantasy 1st Edition RPG
Time:08:43 pm
This is an offer of the first edition (1986) version of the Warhammer Fantasy RPG with various supplements etc:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/WFRP1E

"This all-new offer presents the 1986 First Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the atmospheric FRPG originally published by Games Workshop and now available from Cubicle 7 Entertainment. WFRP 1E is set in the Old World, a striking pseudo-European, Renaissance-level low-fantasy setting of corruption and superstition, betrayal and butchery, and insidious, encroaching Chaos. This bargain-priced collection gives you everything you need to start adventuring in this grim world of perilous adventure.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Dominic McDowall of Cubicle 7 Entertainment, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$80. Customers who pay just US$11.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $30) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 385-page Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay First Edition core rulebook plus the two city supplements Marienburg: Sold Down the River and Middenheim: City of Chaos.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get our entire Campaign Collection with all five scenario ebooks (worth an additional $50) in the legendary Enemy Within sequence, one of the greatest campaigns in roleplaying history: Shadows Over Bögenhafen, Death on the Reik, Power Behind the Throne, Something Rotten in Kislev, and Empire in Flames.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay resources


I'll be honest - this doesn't really interest me much. It was a fairly clunky system in 1986, I really doubt that it stands up well after 32 years. It's also a setting that I don't much like. Having said that, the Enemy Within campaign has a LOT of admirers, although I suspect that many may have adapted it to other systems. I think it's also possible that anyone interested in the setting already owns most of this stuff in dead tree format, which basically limits the market to players who are interested but never bought it. I suspect that anyone wanting to get into it may be better off going for the newest version of the rules and buying this bundle for the adventures, which don't appear to be available in newer editions.

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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Cyberpunk
Time:07:13 pm
Two game bundles for the Cyberpunk 2020 system, one a repeat, the other all new (or at least not offered in one of these bundles before)

Cyberpunk 2020

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Cyberpunk2018

"This revived offer (originally presented in June 2017), first of two now in progress, presents the 1993 Second Edition of Mike Pondsmith's classic RPG of the dark future, Cyberpunk 2020 from R. Talsorian Games. The all-new companion offer is Cyberpunk Boost, with another data hoard of rulebooks and supplements. As the back cover of Cyberpunk 2020 tells us, "The Corporations control the world from their skyscraper fortresses, enforcing their rule with armies of cyborg assassins. On the Street, boostergangs roam a shattered urban wilderness, killing and looting. The rest of the world is a perpetual party, as fashion-model techies in the hottest clubs rub biosculpt jobs with battle-armored roadwarriors. The future never looked so bad -- but you can change it. You've got interface plugs in your wrists, weapons in your arms, lasers in your eyes, biochips in your brain. You're wired in, cyberenhanced, and solid state. Take it to the fatal Edge where only the toughest and coolest can go -- because you're Cyberpunk." Warm up your cyberwear and faxprinter, grab your mirrorshades and Dai Lung Magnum, tell the ripperdoc to stand by, and hit Night City's mean streets and hot clubs in the unimaginably faraway time of AD 2020.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). The new scans of the .PDF ebooks in this revived offer are much improved from its original June 2017 run, and they're all bookmarked. (Purchasers of the original run can find the improved ebooks on their Wizard's Cabinet download page.) Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Cyberpunk offers' designated charity -- who else? -- the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$149.50. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all six titles in this offer's Player Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 Second Edition (retail $15): The core rulebook for this quintessentially '90s RPG of high-tech lowlifes.
  • Four role guides (total retail $27) adding options for individual character classes: Solo of Fortune (mercenaries), Protect & Serve (law enforcement), Wild Side (fixers), and Rockerboy (rock'n'roll will never die!).
  • Blackhand's Street Weapons 2020 (retail $6): The big book of guns and every kind of armament.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $27.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Referee Collection with ten more titles worth an additional $101.50:
  • Night City (retail $9): One of the best city sourcebooks for Cyberpunk or any modern-day RPG, this jam-packed 180-page sourcebook covers Cyberpunk's signature urban sprawl.
  • Three 2020 worldbooks (total retail $23) looking at life on the edge outside the US: Pacific Rim Sourcebook, Eurosource Plus, and Rough Guide to the UK.
  • All four Chrome supplements (total retail $25): These trendsetting styleguides to the equipment and fashion of 2020 were called "Chromebooks" before we got laptops.
  • Deep Space (retail $8): Escape the polluted Earth for the high frontier of Paradise Station, Chryse Base, and beyond.
  • Rache Bartmoss's Guide to the Net (retail $9): Rache Bartmoss (the world's greatest netrunner) is dead -- which finally gives him time to write this acerbic gonzo-journalist tour of the information superhighway.
  • Land of the Free and Home of the Brave (total retail $20.50): Two linked supplements on fallen America. Home of the Brave covers NPCs, plot hooks, and more from this fractured union. Land of the Free presents a sprawling road-trip campaign.
  • Listen Up, You Primitive Screwheads! (retail $7): The unexpurgated Cyberpunk referee's guide with some of the best GM advice for this or any RPG.

Cyberpunk Boost

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/CyberpunkBoost
"This all-new Cyberpunk Boost Bundle is one of two offers now in progress presenting the R. Talsorian Games RPG of the dark future, Cyberpunk -- the inspiration for the forthcoming CD Projekt Red videogame Cyberpunk 2077. This bargain-priced collection presents Cyberpunk V3.0, Cybergeneration, and a data hoard of supplements and sourcebooks -- two of them debuting in .PDF in this offer. The second bundle is a revival of our June 2017 Cyberpunk 2020 Bundle, with the C2020 rulebook and many supplements.The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$110.50. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $38.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Cybergeneration 2E core rulebook, set in an alternate 2027 where heroic CyberEvolved youths fight the Machine; the two Firestorm adventures of the Fourth Corporate War, Stormfront and Shockwave; and, debuting in .PDF in this offer and not yet available anywhere else, the newly remastered Cyberpunk 2020 Data Screen and its introductory adventure, "When the Chips Are Down."
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with ten more titles worth an additional $72:
  • Cyberpunk V3.0: The complete 291-page Third Edition core rulebook (2005), plus its FlashPak accessory kit.
  • All three Cybergeneration "Documents of the Revolution" sourcebooks: EcoFront, MediaFront, and VirtualFront.
  • When Gravity Fails, the licensed Cyberpunk 2020 supplement based on the Marîd Audran novels by George Alec Effinger.
  • Three C2020 adventures: NeoTribes, Eurotour: Danger & Death on a Euro-Rock Tour, and Edgerunners Inc.
  • Bartmoss's Brainware Blowout, an exuberant compilation of all the cyberware from every C2020 book plus lots of dangerous new stuff.
At least one more title will be added after launch; "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased that offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."

Cyberpunk 2020 resources


In its day this was a ground-breaking system, the first RPG to really explore Cyberpunk tropes, and it still has a lot to offer although some of the background now feels a little dated (or too factual, depending on your perspective). The system isn't as clunky as some from this period, and games move at a reasonable pace if the GM can avoid too many excursions into cyberspace. Other systems have since mined the same territory, but this is still a pretty good collection for the genre - the only big omission I can see is the Hardwired supplement, released for the first version of the game and based on Walter John Williams' novel, presumably the rights have lapsed.

My problem here is primarily that I already own most of this stuff as dead trees and haven't used it in a decade or two, also that it has dated by modern standards, though nowhere nearly as badly as some of its rivals. If I wanted to get into the genre and didn't already have it I would probably be very interested. Recommended, subject to all the usual disclaimers.


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