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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Eclipse Phase
Time:09:18 am
This is a system I don't know at all - Eclipse Phase, "the Posthuman Studios RPG of transhumanist conspiracy and horror". There are two offers, one a repeat of one made several years ago, the other all new:

Eclipse Phase Essential Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2018Eclipse

"Eclipse Phase is hard to pin down with traditional labels. Is it science fiction? Yes, but it's also horror, conspiracy, and post-apocalypse. You can upload your mind into new bodies or even a robotic shell, so "human" is a slippery term. Are you fighting for good? So you hope. Several terms definitely apply: rich -- detailed -- amazing. When Posthuman Studios published the First Edition of Eclipse Phase in 2010, it won three ENnie Awards, including Product of the Year (Silver). In April 2017 Posthuman's successful Eclipse Phase Second Edition Kickstarter raised US$187K. This offer, resleeved (revived) from June 2014, presents the First Edition rulebook and important early supplements; if you're new to Eclipse Phase, start here. Then explore the all-new companion offer, Eclipse Phase +2, with many recent supplements that extend your campaign to the stars.

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 selected by Posthuman Studios for these two Eclipse Phase offers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$90. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Eclipse Phase (retail price $20): Join Firewall and defend Transhumanity from biowar plagues, self-replicating nanoswarms, rogue AIs, and other extinction-level threats. Learn how to sleeve new bodies, hack your mind, live in space, keep two (or more) egos alive at once, and more.
  • NPC File Volume 1: Prime (retail $5): Over 30 original characters with descriptions and full stats, ready for any campaign.
  • Sunward: The Inner System (retail $15): The inner worlds of the Solar System, from the Solarians who dive into the Sun's corona to an upswelling of Barsoomian patriotism on Mars. Includes new morphs, gear, and sample characters.
  • Eclipse Phase: All Sample Characters 1E (free): As a convenience to our customers, we include this gorgeous collection of 60 characters from the 1E core rulebook, Sunward, Transhuman, and Firewall.
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 six more titles worth an additional $50:
  • Transhuman (retail $15): This essential player's guide includes a lifepath generator, expanded rules for infomorphs and flexbots, and over 30 new morphs ready to be sleeved.
  • Panopticon (retail $15): How to live in a "transparent" society; the inner workings of space habitats and how to hack them; and new gear, rules, and morphs for uplifted characters.
  • Glory (retail $5): Newly added in this revival, Glory is a starter scenario that sends the characters in pursuit of a missing Firewall proxy to the outer reaches of the Solar System. (If you bought this offer in either of its its two previous runs, you get Glory automatically on your Wizard's Cabinet download page.)
  • Continuity (retail $5): A one-shot scenario or a campaign kickoff. You awaken in a new morph with two weeks of your life missing, and limited time to deal with a looming threat.
  • The Devotees (retail $5): Pit your Firewall team against Nine Lives, the most ruthless syndicate of soul thieves in the system.
  • Eclipse Phase Gamemaster's Screen (retail $5): Useful reference charts. (This screen is new in this revival. As with Glory, previous purchasers get the screen automatically.)



Eclipse Phase Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/EclipsePhase2

"This is an all-new companion to the revived June 2014 Eclipse Phase Essentials, which presents the core rulebook and important early supplements. (If you're new to Eclipse Phase, start there first.) Several of the titles in this new companion offer were funded by Posthuman's successful April 2013 Transhuman Player's Guide Kickstarter campaign.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format), and each music track as an .MP3 audio file. 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 and music players.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$100. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all five titles in this offer's Sunward Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the 202-page Firewall conspiracy supplement (retail price $15), the Morph Recognition Guide (retail $15), and three sourcebooks of the Inner System: The Stars Our Destination, Zone Stalkers, and Million Year Echo (retail $5 apiece).

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 Rimward Collection with five more titles worth an additional $55:

  • Rimward (retail $15): The outer reaches of the inhabited Solar System, from the Jovian Republic and Titanian Commonwealth to the Kuiper Belt and the Autonomist Alliance.
  • Gatecrashing (retail $15): The five mysterious Pandora Gates and the factions that control them.
  • Argonauts (retail $5): Transhumanity's foremost scientific organization.
  • Ego Hunter (retail $10): A convention scenario where all the player characters are forks of the same person, working together to track down their original (alpha) self.
  • Infinite & Indivisible (retail $10): Composer Scott Fox's 11-track .MP3 soundtrack of ambient music to enhance your sessions of Eclipse Phase or any SFRPG.


I'll be honest - these look like good deals, they're just not where I want to be right now with role playing. As usual with these bundles you get a shedload of stuff for your money, and they do look like pretty good deals. I'll probably download a couple of the supplements because they address areas that interest me - most notably Panopticon - but I'm not going to try to get my head around another new (to me) RPG at this stage in my increasing decrepitude. But I think I can recommend them, subject of course to all the usual YMMV disclaimers.
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Subject:Washing machine - the next generation...
Time:12:52 pm
 My washing machine started leaking on the 8th and I booked a service engineer on the 11th, who turned up today.

Needless to say the machine has not been fixed - the problem is apparently something in the detergent compartment at the top, and it's not a part they routinely carry since the machine is fairly old. So I now have to wait for them to get the part, contact me and arrange another visit, and hope that that fixes it.

Since it's not that long that I had a problem that dragged on for more than a month I am not feeling very happy about this, but we'll see what happens.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Delta Green
Time:06:39 pm
The second bundle offer this week is one that interests me a lot; Delta Green, originally a modern-day Call of Cthulhu intelligence/conspiracy setting, now a stand-alone game, that has been very influential and is even mentioned in the Laundry novels.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DeltaGreen2

"This new offer presents Arc Dream Publishing's RPG of modern-day Cthulhu Mythos conspiracy-horror, Delta Green. Humanity's fate was sealed aeons ago. The stars align, and alien entities seek to reclaim what once was theirs. But behind the scenes, some among us are fighting back. Unlike the antiquarian researchers in many traditional Mythos games, agents of the US government conspiracy known as Delta Green confront mind-shattering weirdness with modern technology as well as ancient spells. Perpetually at risk of both insanity and treason, DG operatives face not only hostile aliens, but subversive elements within their own ranks.

In both its original version as a Call of Cthulhu campaign setting (previously presented in this site's March 2014 Delta Green Bundle) and in this new standalone incarnation funded in a smash September 2015 Kickstarter campaign, DG's compelling mix of conspiracies, UFOs, intelligence tactics, and Lovecraftian terror has brought it unsurpassed praise. This all-new collection has the Delta Green Agent's Handbook and Handler's Guide rulebooks, plus many operations (scenarios) and fiction.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these ebooks 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$105. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in our Agent Collection (retail value $40), including the Agent's Handbook (plus the Need to Know quickstart rules and other play aids) and two Delta Green fiction collections: Tales from Failed Anatomies by DG co-creator Dennis Detwiller (funded partly through his Patreon campaign) and the anthology Extraordinary Renditions, with stories by Kenneth Hite, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, all the original DG creators, and many more.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Handler Collection with four more titles worth an additional $65, including the DG Handler's Guide rulebook and Handler's Screen reference charts, the new six-scenario collection A Night at the Opera, and the ready-to-play introductory scenario Kali Ghati.


For some reason I never got into Delta Green when it was a Call of Cthulhu setting, possibly because I was already writing my own games when it first appeared, and because I was more than a little "monstered out" in the nineties, but I'm now interested in seeing what it's like, and how the intelligence emphasis differs from the original game. I'm also wondering how it will compare to the Laundry RPG, which has a more British focus. It looks like you get a lot for your money, and given it's a very well-received game I think I can recommend it. But as usual I have to stress that I don't pay for this, if you do your mileage may vary.
 

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Subject:Cormorant!
Time:02:37 pm
I took a video camera out for some tests yesterday, it's not bad if unfortunately rather low resolution, but since my bridge camera actually has better video performance I'll be selling it on.

But I was delighted to see that the cormorant I've previously seen on the canal in Regent's Park is back again, or one very like it, so here are my pictures for the day.

Still pictures (VERY low res) are on line here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/albums/72157670087247008
Some very short videos, on line here:
https://vimeo.com/275067610 - Swans
https://vimeo.com/275067441 - Ducks
https://vimeo.com/275067518 - More ducks
https://vimeo.com/275067393 - Cormorant

Apologies in advance for my lack of skill as a videographer.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Apocalypse Engine +3
Time:05:54 pm
This is another bundle of material for the popular Apocalypse Engine RPG system, which has become a stalwart of indie game designers:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ApocEngine3

"This is the Bundle site's third collection of RPGs Powered by the Apocalypse -- that is, based on Vincent Baker's landmark RPG Apocalypse World. In the nine months since the last Apocalypse offer, many new PbtA games have debuted. This new +3 collection presents a wide sampling, including Monsterhearts 2, Bedlam Hall, and many titles from Magpie Games. These wide-ranging games let you pick a playbook, try your Moves, roll 2D6, and play to find out what happens.

This Apocalypse Engine collection complements the Dungeon World Bundle +3 offer, which launched the week before and runs in parallel with this one. Dungeon World is the bestselling fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse.

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, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$100. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $41) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Bluebeard's Bride (retail price $14): The dark fairy tale inspired Whitney "Strix" Beltrán's adults-only investigatory RPG of feminine horror in the vein of Crimson Peak, American Horror Story, and The Company of Wolves.
  • Urban Shadows (retail $12): Vampires, wizards, and their hunters vie for political control of a modern-day city. [Previously presented in our November 2015 Indie Cornucopia +3.]
  • Three of Magpie's "ashcan editions" (full-length previews, retail $5 each): The Ward (TV medical drama), Pasión de las Pasiones (Latino soap opera), and Velvet Glove (1970s girl gangs).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $59:

  • Bluebeard's Bride: Book of Rooms (retail $14) and Urban Shadows: Dark Streets (retail $10): Two new expansions for the games in the Starter Collection.
  • Monsterhearts 2 (retail $10): Avery Alder's updated take on teenage monsters with messy lives.
  • Bedlam Hall (retail $10): Monkeyfun Studios' depressing RPG about terrible people in cutthroat service to a demented family in a foreboding mansion.
  • Undying (retail $15): Vampires as apex predators, scheming across vast timespans to control a rich world of sex, violence, and horror. [Previously in our October 2016 Bundle of Nerves +4.]
There don't seem to be any surprise extras to be added later this time.

 

Apocalypse Engine resources

This is a system that seems to spawn a lot of very weird game settings; some of the latest tranche look like a lot of fun, and it's comparatively cheap in this bundle. I'm recommending it with the usual proviso - I don't have to pay for this stuff if I want to download it, if you do your mileage may vary.

Apologies, I should have posted this yesterday but saved it instead, prices may now be higher than shown. Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2125228.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Anniversary, and another invasive species
Time:01:23 pm
It's fifteen years since Firefly - natural someone's made a commemorative video:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/273367734

and I've posted about parakeets and squirrels as invasive species a couple of times - would you believe invasive hippos?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27905743


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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Dungeon World
Time:12:23 am
Dungeon World is an attempt to bring new life to the old dungeon-bashing style of RPG by using a better and more customizable rules set:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DungeonWorld3

"This is the Bundle site's third collection featuring the Apocalypse Engine RPG Dungeon World from Sage Kobold Productions. Transplanting Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World to fantasy, Dungeon World brings indie ideas to traditional dungeon crawls. Because it's published under a Creative Commons license, many designers have helped make Dungeon World one of today's best-supported indie RPGs. This new collection presents lots of supplements and settings.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$106. 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, Doctors Without Borders.

Like our two previous DW Bundles, this +3 offer's Starter Collection (retail value $39) includes the core Dungeon World rulebook. Customers who pay just US$5.95 get the rulebook plus all these new supplements and adventures as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Great Monsters of Crime (Red Box Vancouver): Johnstone Metzger (The Nightmares Underneath, Adventures on Dungeon Planet) presents felonious creatures inhabiting a literal criminal underground.
  • 20 Dungeon Starters (Lampblack & Brimstone): Kick off your campaign with no preparation in 20 different ways.
  • The Perilous Wilds (Lampblack): We presented this landmark DW environment supplement in our January 2016 Dungeon World Bundle +2. We bring it back to support the many new Perilous Wilds expansions in this offer's Bonus Collection -- see below!
  • Grim Hunt (Porcupine Publishing): Pursue an elven spy through a port city full of intrigue and betrayals.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $16.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with ten more titles worth an additional $76:

  • Three more Red Box Vancouver monster manuals: Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn, A Market in the Woods, and The End of Known Space.
  • Five Lampblack & Brimstone excursions in the Perilous Wilds line: Perilous Deeps, A Book of Beasts, Mad Vandel's Map Pack, Freebooters on the Frontier, and A Folio of Followers.
  • The Boughs (Sandy Pug Games): A campaign setting of the civilizations inside colossal trees in an infinite forest. Includes the Ranger of the Vast playbook.
There are no surprise extras this time.

I'm ambivalent on this one - dungeon crawls aren't a style of adventure I tend to play, and I doubt a new rules system would do anything to change that. But you do get a lot for your money, and it ought to be useful as a source of ideas, so I think I can recommend it, if only for the silly monster on the cover of The Perilous Wilds. As usual I have to stress that I'd get this stuff free if I wanted it, which may affect my perception, if you have to pay your opinions may differ

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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Gumshoe
Time:10:47 pm
Two offers for the RPG gumshoe, one a repeat and the other all new:

Bundle of Gumshoe

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2018GUMSHOE

"This Bundle of GUMSHOE, revived from September 2013 (and previously revived in April 2015), is one of two simultaneous offers featuring the GUMSHOE System of mystery and investigative roleplaying designed by Robin D. Laws and published by Pelgrane Press. This revival once again presents four major GUMSHOE games: Night's Black Agents, Ashen Stars, Mutant City Blues, and the new Second Edition of Fear Itself. The all-new companion offer, the GUMSHOE Bundle +2, has scenarios and supplements for all these games, plus installments of the monthly Ken Writes About Stuff series by Kenneth Hite.

Other tabletop RPGs can make it hard for characters to uncover the clues to a mystery. In a typical RPG, one bad roll and poof, the entire investigation goes off track. Not so in the GUMSHOE System. The plot will move forward. Your players will find the clues and, if they're clever, solve the mystery. Play a scenario of detection and investigation in a GUMSHOE game, and you'll never go back.

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 of these two GUMSHOE offers (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Pelgrane Press, Womankind Worldwide.

The total retail value of this revival is US$144.50. Customers who pay just US$13.95 get all seven titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $62) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Ashen Stars (retail price $25): Contractors on the lawless fringe of inhabited space, solving crimes and imposing justice job-by-job.
  • Mutant City Blues (retail $21): Police in the Heightened Crimes Investigative Unit protect a city filled with super-powered felons.
  • Ken Writes About Stuff installments 1-4 (retail $12): Four forays by Kenneth Hite into the Cthulhu Mythos, GUMSHOE, and whatever took his fancy that month.
  • See Page XX - The First 24 Columns (retail $4): A wide-ranging selection of columns by Robin D. Laws from the Pelgrane Press site.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $28.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $79.50:

  • Night's Black Agents (retail $25): Ken Hite's vampiric-spy-thriller RPG of bloodsucking Bourne Identity-style espionage.
  • The Zalozhniy Quartet (retail $16): Four tense and horrific scenarios by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan for Night's Black Agents.
  • Fear Itself Second Edition (retail $15): The 2016 Second Edition of the RPG of personal horror by Robin D. Laws about ordinary people confronting the Outer Dark, an unearthly realm of alien menace and madness. (If you bought this Bundle of GUMSHOE during its two previous runs, which included the First Edition of Fear Itself, you get the new 2E version automatically on your Wizard's Cabinet download page.)
  • Dead Rock Seven (retail $15): Gareth's ENnie-nominated Ashen Stars scenario collection, presenting problems as diverse as murders on an old asteroid mine, missing executives on a pleasure planet, and threats to the security of an interstellar cooking contest.
  • Hard Helix (retail $8.50): Four Mutant City Blues scenarios by Robin D. Laws with new challenges for your Heightened Crimes squad.



GUMSHOE Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Gumshoe2

"This all-new GUMSHOE Bundle +2 is one of two simultaneous offers featuring the GUMSHOE System of mystery and investigative roleplaying designed by Robin D. Laws and published by Pelgrane Press. This is a companion to the revived September 2013 Bundle of GUMSHOE now in progress. That collection has rulebooks and major supplements; this +2 companion has supplements and adventures for all the games in the first offer.

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 of these two GUMSHOE offers (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Pelgrane Press, Womankind Worldwide.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$101. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all eight titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $38.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • For Ashen Stars: The Justice Trade and Xeno-Archaeology!
  • For Mutant City Blues: Mutant City Spies
  • For Night's Black Agents, two Looking Glass city guides: Hong Kong and Mumbai
  • And we have three GUMSHOE historical supplements from star designer Kenneth Hite: MAJESTIC Overwatch and Galileo Uplift (both for the Moon Dust Men 1950s UFO setting) and The School of Night (Elizabethan England)

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $21.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $62.50:

  • For Night's Black Agents: the Double Tap rules expansion and the adventure The Dubai Reckoning
  • For Ashen Stars: the Accretion Disk expansion book
  • For Mutant City Blues: Brief Cases, three short adventures by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
  • And four "GUMSHOE Zooms" by Kenneth Hite with new magical systems: Alchemy, Goëtia, and both installments of Voodoo.

There aren't any surprise extras in either offer this time around.

I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - I've never really taken to the system, and I've found the core premise reasonably easy to adapt to other games. On the other hand, there are some fun settings, it's a well-designed and popular system, and you're getting a reasonable amount for your money, so I think I can recommend both bundles - but get the first one before even thinking about the second. As usual I have to point out that I don't pay for this stuff if I want it, which may skew my recommendation. Your mileage, as they say (who actually says this? Advertisers?) may vary.


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Subject:GDPR
Time:10:59 am
 Since I'm EU based I need to post a GDPR statement for my web site etc:

GDPR

Like all EU web sites I need to comply with the GDPR rules on privacy.

This site does not collect data, and I no longer take user registrations. I still retain a list of previously registered users in case there is any query, but I have no intention of sending out mailings and have never given the details to any third party. This file will be deleted seven years after I closed registration.

If you make a donation via the PayPal button I will send you an email thanking you - after that I will NOT bother you or send out any unsolicited emails. Again, I will not be passing details to any third party.

I should probably point out that PayPal keep their own records, and I have no way of knowing what they do with them.

Finally, I think that XKCD has it about right:

https://xkcd.com/1998/

Many thanks!

I think this sums things up pretty well.
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Subject:And there was MUCH rejoicing
Time:05:46 pm
A blast from the past for Brits of a certain age. Pointed out by sbisson on Livejournal. Jerry Cornelius is back in The Further Adventures of Jerry Cornelius. On line, seven stories by various authors including Michael Moorcock. Appears to be free, and there is no way to contact the site except via Facebook or Twitter so I have no way to ask them if there's any way to support the site.

http://www.faojc.com/#

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Mindjammer
Time:10:45 pm
This is an SF RPG I don't know at all:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Mindjammer

"This choice new collection features Sarah Newton's transhuman SFRPG Mindjammer from Mindjammer Press, co-published by Modiphius Entertainment. In the New Commonality of Humankind -- a hyperadvanced far future of realistic aliens, lost colony worlds, and the vast Mindscape shared consciousness -- Mindjammer lets you play hardened mercs, cunning corpocrats, culture agents and memetic engineers, aliens and para-human hominids, scouts and socialites, uplifted animals, androids, and even sentient starships. The Second Age of Space is the stage for transcendent cutting-edge space opera in the tradition of Iain M. Banks, Alistair Reynolds, Charles Stross, Ken MacLeod, and Vernor Vinge.

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 chosen by Chris Birch of Modiphius Entertainment and Sarah Newton of Mindjammer Press, Vision Rescue. "Modiphius and Mindjammer Press have chosen to support Vision Rescue," they say. "Our goal is to raise US$20,000 for a Vision Rescue Bus, one of the projects the charity uses to help combat child slavery in India."

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$101. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 500-page Mindjammer corebook (retail price $27), the adventure The City People (retail $12), the stunning Enhanced Commonality Space Schematic poster map (retail $7), and Sarah Newton's Mindjammer - The Novel (retail $4), which we originally presented in the very first Bundle of Holding offer in the ancient past of February 2013.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more supplements and adventures worth an additional $51: three regional/cultural sourcebooks -- Core Worlds (retail $14), The Far Havens (retail $11), and Children of Orion - The Venu Soucebook (retail $14) -- along with the complete campaign adventure Hearts and Minds (retail $12).

There don't appear to be any surprise extras this time around.


This seems to be a competently-designed system using the well-regarded FATE games engine, and is trying to do something a little different than the usual evil space empire/daring space pirate/space mercenary sort of SFRPG. It's also very pretty, with a lot of illustrations which seem to be reasonably well balanced in the gender of adventurers, if not their races, and you do seem to get a complete system (including things like spaceship design which are often sold as separate books) in the corebook. I'm not sure I'll be playing it, but it certainly looks interesting, and I think it's probably worth buying if you want a system of this type, especially if you're already familiar with the FATE game mechanics. But as usual I have to point out that I don't pay for this stuff if I want it - if you do your mileage may vary.
 



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Subject:Another bundle offer - Campaign Cartographer
Time:07:55 pm
This is I think the first of these offers to focus on software - it's Campaign Cartographer, a well-regarded Windows suite for mapping pretty much anything you might need in an RPG. Apologies for the crappy formatting - the web page for this one is a horrible mish-mash of fonts etc., and I lack the patience to sort it out.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Cartographer

"Mappers! For the first time anywhere, ProFantasy Software brings you a bargain-priced bundle featuring Campaign Cartographer 3+, the tabletop roleplaying hobby's flagship mapping program, for Microsoft Windows. Authors, game designers, and thousands of gamers have beautifully mapped the worlds of their imagination with Campaign Cartographer. Now, for an unbeatable price, this Campaign CartographerBundle brings you digital downloads of the latest and best version, Campaign Cartographer 3+, along with its Dungeon Designer 3 plug-in, the Tome of Ultimate Mapping tutorial guide, and over a dozen Style Packs, symbol sets, and map collections.

ProFantasy's Core Collection includes the latest Windows version of Campaign Cartographer 3+ (retail price $40) plus the
Tome of Ultimate Mapping (retail $20), a 710-page tutorial guide with more than 150MB of support files like example maps, symbol catalogs, tutorial files, and templates. You get both of these, a combined US$65 retail value, for just $29.95 -- an unprecedented 54% discount.

And if you pay more than the threshold price of $65.26, you'll level up and also get serial numbers redeemable for ProFantasy's Bonus Collection with no less than fourteen more products worth an additional $136: the fabulous
Dungeon Designer 3 plug-in (retail $40) for CC3+ and more than a dozen Style Packs, tool sets, and map collections originally released as part of ProFantasy's Cartographer's Annual series. The entire offer has a total retail value of $201, one of the richest in Bundle history.

Each purchase also includes a discount code, good through May 31, for 10% off the price of any purchase at the
ProFantasy webstore

CC3+, along with the rest of these programs, runs on any Windows PC with Windows XP or better, and requires 2GB of disk space. 
Ten percent of your payment (after payment gateway fees) will be donated to this offer's designated charity, Water.org.

I'm a bit ambivalent about this one - it isn't something I want to use, but it's the cheapest I've ever seen it. If you make your own maps and building plans it may be a worthwhile investment, though there's a steep learning curve. If you use a Mac or Linux box there are obvious issues, though not insurmountable. As usual a lot depends on what you already own and what you actually want to do.

I think this ends up as a definite maybe. Or not, as you prefer.


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Subject:Noggin the Nog game
Time:11:35 am
Mentioned by sbisson on Livejournal - A Kickstarter for a Noggin the Nog board game was launched on Sunday, with a goal of £10,000 funding. It reached its goals in two hours, and is now over £20,000.

It looks like it'll be a fun game:

https://t.co/ltcXVErKhG
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Subject:Two more RPG Bundle offers - KoDT and Hackmaster
Time:05:48 am
This possibly needs some explaining - KoDT is Knights of the Dinner Table, a long-running comic about "old school" role players, "Hackmaster" was originally the game the characters played in the strip. At some point someone wrote the thing for real...

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/KoDT

"This all-new Knights of the Dinner Bundle, presenting the long-running Knights of the Dinner Table comics series by Jolly Blackburn, is a companion to our revived March 2016 HackMaster Bundle, featuring the parody game introduced in KoDT that became a real, and much admired, fantasy RPG. This collection of over 1,600 pages draws from KoDT's entire 28-year run. We provide each comic 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, Reading is Fundamental.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$171. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all nine titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $86) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first five KoDT Bundle of Trouble compilations (reprinting KoDT issues #1-15), all three Tales from the Vault collections of scarce early strips, and the first volume of The CattlePunk Chronicles, Outlaw Trail.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $85, including KoDT Bundle of Trouble Volumes 6 through 10 (collecting KoDT issues #16-30); the second CattlePunk Chronicles collection, Four Herdsmen of the Apocalypse; and two standalone books, Men That Hack and The Java Joint."

At least one more title will be added later. "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."



https://bundleofholding.com/presents/HackMaster2018
"In 2001, armed with an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons license from Wizards of the Coast, Kenzer and Company released HackMaster "4th Edition" -- a not-quite-parody of the AD&D 1E/2E rules that captured the spirit of the game seen in Knights of the Dinner Table. (There were no prior editions; "4th" was part of the spoof). HackMaster won that year's Origins Award for Game of the Year.

Through one of the more unusual paths in RPG history, HackMaster evolved into a full-fledged, full-featured RPG, spawning over 40 add-ons, supplements, and game aids. In 2011, as the original license was expiring, Kenzer started a long transition to a new version of HM. This "fifth edition" removes most of the parody aspects. The new game mechanics, written from scratch, incorporate the Honor, Skills, and Count-up systems from Kenzer's 2007 Old West RPG Aces & Eights. (We presented A&8 in our October 2015 Aces & Eights Bundle.) And HackMaster got a new setting: the Kingdom of Kalamar, made popular in a long line of Kenzer supplements from the D20 boom.

This revived offer presents all three massive HackMaster Fifth Edition core books -- the Player's Handbook with the rules system, the GameMaster's Handbook with additional rules and extensive advice, and the monumental Hacklopedia of Beasts monster manual. We also include the Frandor's Keep setting and several adventures and supplements. Together they provide everything you need for a complete campaign using this remarkable Old School game.

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 Kenzer and Company offers' designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$144. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all five titles in this offer's Player Collection (retail value $57) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • HackMaster 5E Player's Handbook (retail price $40): The complete, current 400-page Fifth Edition rulebook. Includes the free HackMaster Basic introductory rulebook.
  • Zealot's Guide Books 1-2 (total retail $7): These two short supplements present new clerical orders and dozens of spells.
  • In the Realm of the Elm Kingand Legacy of the Elm King (retail $5 each): One of the best introductory HM adventures -- a search for missing children outside a small village near Frandor's Keep -- along with its free-standing follow-up, a traditional crawl through kobold-infested caverns in the half-wild lands around the village.
  • HackMaster Player Resources: As a convenience to our customers, we've gathered many free HackMaster downloads from the Kenzer and Company website -- charts and play aids, reference sheets, and more.
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 Gamemaster Collection with three more titles worth an additional $87:
  • HackMaster 5E GameMaster's Guide (retail $40): This 370-page tome has rules, NPCs, treasure tables, and advice for every situation.
  • Hacklopedia of Beasts 5E (retail $40): The massive, lavishly produced monster book that launched the HackMaster 5E project.
  • Frandor's Keep (retail $15): A lonely military outpost on the creature-infested borderlands -- an ideal sandbox to start an adventuring career.
  • HackMaster GM Resources: More free downloads from the Kenzer website -- these help the HM GameMaster.
There aren't going to be any surprise extras for this one.



These are unfortunately two offers that don't appeal to me. While I read a few issues of KoDT, I never found it especially funny or interesting, especially when compared to the wonderful Dork Tower. And the "Old School Revival" leaves me cold, to me one of the best things that ever happened to RPGs was the slow move away from that style of play. Having said that, both of these offers do give you a lot of content for a relatively low price, and if you find it interesting it's a reasonably good deal. But on this one it's my mileage that varies - I'm just not interested at all.






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Subject:Free Library at Hammersmith Station
Time:04:47 pm
This was in a Freegle mailing today and seems interesting:

Books needed for a local free ‘Community Library’ (just a bookcase) at Hammersmith D&P Underground station, inside Hammersmith Broadway shopping mall (W6 8AB).

If there are books you won’t read again and you would like to free some space at home, Hammersmith Underground Station will be delighted to receive and offer them to the public. 

You may want to write on them: ‘Donated by (your name or nickname)’ and add a short enriching comment on it. Perhaps others will follow and each book will display a trail of its readers’ enjoyment.

If you could drop them at the station, just ask to be directed to the bookcase (which will be placed this weekend) or to the Control Room, in case the bookcase happens to be full. Otherwise, we will need to arrange the collection at a tube station suitable for us both.

https://www.ilovefreegle.org/message/47072788?u=3887632&src=digest

I'll probably drop in a few next week, see what's happening.

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Subject:Back to 100%
Time:08:20 pm
The guy who left negative feedback has revised it - very relieved, although it was an obvious error if you looked at the comment he'd left. Back to 100%, hopefully it'll stay that way.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Paranoia
Time:08:48 pm
This is one I REALLY like - but unfortunately own all of it in dead tree format! It's a repeat of a 2016 offer, but with lower prices:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ParanoiaClassic2018


"By far the most popular comedic RPG in tabletop gaming, PARANOIA inverts many roleplaying tropes: Players compete instead of cooperating; they can't know the rules, and rules lawyers are aggressively curtailed; the Gamemaster really is out to get you, and your character will die repeatedly. PARANOIA is unique in awarding supreme, insuperable, unquestionable authority to the GM, who dances the players like puppets for entertainment. It's less a roleplaying game than a psychological exercise.

Yet it works, hysterically well. In the authoritative RPG.net Game Index of over 17,600 games, the current Mongoose Publishing edition of PARANOIA ranks #18. In November 2014 Mongoose completed a spectacularly successful PARANOIA Kickstarter campaign that raised £217,517 from 4,380 patrons for a new, streamlined edition to be designed by James (Baron Munchausen) Wallis, Grant Howitt, and Paul Dean.

Designed by Dan Gelber, Greg Costikyan, and Eric Goldberg, and originally published by West End Games in (appropriately) 1984, PARANOIA has had several editions. This offer presents the First (1984) and Second (1987) Editions from the game's original publisher, West End Games. Previously available only in pirated versions of varying quality, the original March 2016 run of this offer marked the debut of new image scans, approved by PARANOIA's original designers -- the first authorized PDFs available anywhere of all the best books that made the game great. This collection includes some of -- actually, most of -- the funniest writing in the history of roleplaying.

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 at launch is US$80. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get all six titles in our RED-Clearance Collection (retail value $35) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • PARANOIA First Edition (1984): The original three-book set, including the complete Player, Gamemaster, and Adventure Handbooks, about Troubleshooters in a future underground city in service to an insane Computer.
  • Gamemaster Screen and Adventures for First Edition: The 16-page insert booklet includes the classic introductory adventures "Robot Imana 665-C," "The Trouble with Cockroaches," and "Das Bot."
  • Orcbusters: Ken Rolston’s much-loved 1986 sendup of fantasy RPGs.
  • Clones in Space: The late Erick Wujcik (Amber Diceless Roleplaying) wrote this space-operatic exercise in explosive decompression.
  • Vapors Don't Shoot Back: The first full-length PARANOIA mission (1985), written by Curtis Smith (with Geoff Valley), sends the Troubleshooters into a covert contest between rival High Programmers.
  • Form Pack: Three forms (the Equipment Request Form, Equipment Complaint Form, and Form Request Form) and a three-page "Code 7" bureaucratic-runaround mini-adventure guaranteed to make new RED-Clearance Troubleshoooters use all the forms.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire ULTRAVIOLET-Clearance Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $45:

  • PARANOIA Second Edition (1987): The complete 128-page rulebook and the 16-page supplement The Compleat Troubleshooter (the one with the Mandatory Bonus Duties).
  • Acute Paranoia: The First-Edition rules supplement with longtime fans' best-loved adventure, "Me and My Shadow Mark IV." ("Something falls off.")
  • The YELLOW Clearance Black Box Blues: A virtuoso 1985 work by the late World Fantasy Award- winning author John M. "Mike" Ford. One of the most highly regarded scenarios in roleplaying history.
  • Send in the Clones: The one with the Funbot.
  • HIL Sector Blues: Ken Rolston's sprawling high-clearance Internal Security campaign supplement/mission/thingy.
  • The People's Glorious Revolutionary Adventure: Comrades! Now to be visiting Comrade Edward Bolme's Alpha State, glorious Communist Controlled Complex Population (CCCP) ruled by Tovarich Computer where every comrade is being RED Clearance. Is nyet true some comrades are more RED than others.
  • Alpha Complexities: Edward Bolme's 1988 extravaganza of invisible Commies, bloodthirsty scrubots, and the return of the Mark IV warbot.
  • Excessory Pack: The Second Edition GM Screen plus forms, a character sheet, and Cardstock Commies.

I really don't have anything bad to say about this, except to warn that the second edition rules are different and considerably easier to run and use - I'd REALLY recommend going for the full bundle on this one. I hate to think how much I spent on this stuff as dead trees, but if you don't already know the game this is a great way to get into it. I'm not even going to give a "Your mileage may vary" warning this time!

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Subject:Grrrr....
Time:05:49 pm
 Someone on eBay left the following feedback for me today:

Arrived securely + as described, great communications. Perfect. AAAAA+++

then pressed the negative feedback button... - so my rating, which has been 100% for the last couple of years, is now 99.9%

and at some point the option for sellers to appeal bad feedback has gone, not sure why. There is an option to report it, which I've used, but it doesn't seem to be quite the same thing - we'll see what happens.

Update - it turns out that the way to request feedback changes is now via the feedback part of the account section. I never knew that.
</span>
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Subject:Fanfic - TARDIS Library Community
Time:10:28 am
The old [community profile] calufrax Doctor Who fanfic reccing community has gone dormant, which is a bit of a shame since it pointed me at some good stories. However, there's a new one called [community profile] tardis_library which has a wider remit and looks promising. Only a couple of posts so far, but may end up being useful;


The advantage of this one is that you can rec stories on any site, not just A Teaspoon and an Open Mind.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Clement Sector (Traveller variant)
Time:08:56 pm
This is a Traveller sector written up for a variant rules set and background published by Gypsy Knight Games. It's a relatively near-future variant with no sign of the Fifth Imperium, which may put off some fans, but offers a relatively unexplored universe which has a lot of potential for adventures:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Clement

"In 2011 John Watts founded Gypsy Knight Games to publish sourcebooks and adventures for the First Edition (2008) of Mongoose Publishing's Traveller based on Mongoose's OGL Traveller System Reference Document. In 2016 Mongoose published a Second Edition of Traveller that redefined its compatibility license. After Jason "Flynn" Kemp released as Open Game Content an adaptation of Mongoose's original OGL rules, the Cepheus Engine, Gypsy Knight quickly refashioned its product line as a new setting, Clement Sector, that uses its own version of the Cepheus rules. "To say Gypsy Knight Games owes a debt of gratitude to Jason Kemp is to put it mildly," John Watts wrote in a January 2017 GKG blog entry. "His fine work with the Cepheus Engine truly enabled GKG (and several other former Mongoose third-party publishers) to continue. We have now established Clement Sector as its own game, based heavily on Jason Kemp's Cepheus Engine rules, with our own changes to better match our setting." Unlike Traveller's Third Imperium, the Clement Sector future is much nearer our own. In 2210 scientists discovered a wormhole allowing travel to the opposite side of the Milky Way galaxy. Once across, exploration teams discovered worlds far more suited to human habitation than those in star systems near Earth. Humans left Earth and began to colonize these worlds. Then in 2331 the unthinkable happened: The wormhole collapsed, leaving those in Clement Sector cut off from Earth. Now, in AD 2342, these new worlds and civilizations must stand on their own.

This all-new offer presents Clement Sector: The Rules (based on the Cepheus Engine), the Core Setting Book, two large Setting Sourcebooks, and adventures and deck plans. Fight epic space battles -- explore new worlds -- become a pirate -- it's all possible in Clement Sector, and this big bundle provide the foundation for many exploits.
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 selected by Gypsy Knight Games owner John Watts, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. "A good friend of mine died of a brain aneurysm several years ago," says John, "and it''s an important charity to me."

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$106. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $43) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 270-page Clement Sector Core Setting Book (retail price $20) and the 217-page Clement Sector: The Rules (retail $15), plus a guide and deckplans for every Clement traveller's first starship, the Rucker-class merchant vessel (retail $8).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $63, including Subsector Sourcebook 1: Cascadia and 2: Franklin (retail $20 apiece), plus the Anderson & Felix Guide to Naval Architecture (retail $13) and The Cascadia Adventures (retail $10).

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."

On the whole this is a pretty good deal; there are a few things I don't like, most notably a lot of the computer graphics character art is deep in uncanny valley, but if you want something different for your Traveller players you can do a lot worse. As usual I have to stress that I'm not paying for this stuff, if you do your mileage may vary.



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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Mythras
Time:09:18 pm
This is a bundle I don't know much about - Mythras, an RPG derived from Runequest (but not using the Gloranthan background of the original game) which covers a wide range of genres:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Mythras

"In 2012 Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash of The Design Mechanism published their landmark edition of one of the greatest fantasy RPGs ever published, the classic skill-based percentile system RuneQuest. We presented The Design Mechanism edition as RuneQuest 6 in February 2014 and again in December 2014. In July 2016, after the RQ license lapsed, The Design Mechanism rebranded the game as Mythras. The renamed and updated Mythras core rulebook has new interior artwork and layout, along with some new Special Effects, small tweaks to the rules, and Spirit Combat Effects -- though if you bought the original RQ6 rulebook, you don't need this rebranded version.

The company explained the new name on Tapatalk: "Why did we choose 'Mythras' as a name? First, the game has always been about adventuring in mythic landscapes, with characters shaping their own stories, creating their legends and forging their own myths. It comes from the authors' deep love of real world myths and ancient stories and so is the natural starting point for a new name. Next comes Mithra or Mithras, a deity found in Persian, Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythologies. Mithras is a god of warriors, a divine protector of oaths and covenants, a protector of cattle and of waters. In the Zoroastrian Avestas, he is described as Mithra of Wide Pastures, of the Thousand Ears, and of the Myriad Eyes. Bringing these two sources together gives us Mythras, a game concerned with myths, protectors, oaths, great deeds and wonderful stories -- the perfect name for our game system."

Today Mythras enjoys a wide range of supplements and adventures featuring swords and sorcery, history and myth, science fiction and urban horror. For instance, the Mythras system underpins the licensed Luther Arkwright and M-Space science fiction rules. This bargain-priced collection covers everything from classic dungeon-crawling fantasy to mythic history to science fiction.

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, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$99. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the 304-page Mythras core rulebook, three adventures -- Madness & Other Colours, Xamoxis' Cleansing, and A Gift From Shamash (that last one is even science fiction!) -- and the 336-page Classic Fantasy supplement (Old School dungeon crawls in Mythras!).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $52, including Mythic Britain (and the Mythic Britain Companion), Mythic Rome (plus the Mythic Rome Maps), and three Classic Fantasy adventures: These Violent Delights, The Terror of Ettinmarsh, and Tomb of the Mad Wizard.

At least one more title will be added: "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

Mythras resources


My impression from a relatively swift look is that what we have here is a rehash of the Runequest / Basic Role Playing rules generalised for all settings. There's really nothing wrong with that, except for all of the existing versions of these rules that have loyal adherents out there who may not want to make the change. And without the Gloranthan setting it feels a little unfocused; there isn't anything that screams "I must play in this setting with these rules," which is what gave Chaosium the huge user base that learned to love Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Ringworld, and all of the other variants that kept Chaosium afloat. There are lots of other SF games, old school fantasy games, historical fantasy games, etc. etc. Additionally, it's now a relatively old game mechanic, with features such as the use of a load of different dice types that many recent games have discarded.

Having said that, there's really nothing wrong with it if you want this sort of system, and as usual with these bundle offers you're getting a good few dead tree equivalents pretty cheaply. Recommended, if you need something like this.

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Subject:Fandom meme...
Time:09:22 pm
Gacked from [personal profile] legionseagle 

How about we do that thing where you give me a show/movie/book/fandom and I'll tell you:

my favorite female character
my favorite male character
my favorite book/season/etc.
my favorite episode (if it's a TV show)
my favorite cast member
my favorite ship
a character I'd die for put a reasonable amount of effort into defending
a character I just can't sympathize with
a character I grew to love
my anti-OTP

Limit it to fandoms I actually know about, please...

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Hero Kids Bundle
Time:02:15 am
This is one that definitely isn't aimed at me - it's an introductory system aimed at children aged 4-10!

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/HeroKids

"This Hero Kids Bundle features Hero Kids, the fast and fun introductory RPG perfect for kids ages 4-10 just getting interested in adventure gaming. Published by Hero Forge Games and complete in just 50 pages, Hero Kids gives you male and female heroes including Warriors, Hunters, and Warlocks, as well as unique heroes like the Rogue, Brute, Healer, and Knight. With simple rules that use only six-sided dice, an opposed-dice system that keeps everyone in the game, and play times of an hour or so, Hero Kids pulls kids and parents alike into fantastic 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 purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$85. Customers who pay just US$5.95 get all eight titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $27) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Hero Kids rulebook, Hero Cards II and Pet Cards I (more heroes and animal companions), the Easy introductory adventure Basement O Rats, five adventures of Normal difficulty (Curse of the Shadow Walkers, Escape from the Ghost Pirates, Wizard's Tower, Fire in Rivenshore, Yuletide Journey), and even the Heroes coloring book.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with no less than sixteen more titles worth an additional $58, including the Monster Compendium, five Space Expansions for planet-hopping adventures, five more sets of Hero Cards, Pet Cards, and Equipment, and five Hard adventures (Tomb of the Lost King, Mines of Martek, The Lost Village, Glade of the Unicorn, Maze of the Minotaur)."


This is an interesting one if you have some children handy and want to ease them into gaming with a rules-light system, which is supposed to be educationally useful by encouraging kids to count and use other skills, but some of the concessions for a younger audience are at the expense of realism - most notably, unless I'm missing something it's impossible for a character to be killed, at worse you get knocked out for a while. The rules are complicated enough that an adult or older child will have to run the game. Play looks to be reasonably fast, and you get a fair amount for your money, including some fun cutout figures etc. It's a bit childish (for obvious reasons!) but probably worth it if you want to give kids some RPG fun without getting into the complications of a rules-heavy RPG. I don't especially want it, but I think it's a reasonably good deal for anyone who wants this sort of game. As usual your mileage may vary!
 



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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Feng Shui
Time:06:06 pm
Another fun Bundle of Holding offer, this time one of the classic action RPGs, Feng Shui, in an all new(ish) second edition:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/FengShui2

"This offer presents the 2015 Second Edition of Hong Kong movie action RPG Feng Shui from Atlas Games. Designed by Robin D. Laws (Cthulhu Confidential, Hillfolk, GUMSHOE), Feng Shui 2 hits you with ancient sorcerers, transformed animals, control-freak Shaolin monks, and cyborg apes. Armed with the secrets of feng shui, they aim to conquer the past, present, and future. Only you have the guts, guns, and flying feet to stop them.

Leap off buildings, sword-fight across treetops, and have running gun-battles through the Underworld in a desperate race to keep history itself from being rewritten. Discover your sworn enemy is your long-lost sister, swear vengeance for the fallen noodle-boy caught in the crossfire, and kill a lot of kill-worthy dudes to earn one more bounty so you can buy that nightclub singer new corneas. Kick butt! Blow things up! Save the world! Kiii-yaaah!

We presented the first edition of Feng Shui and four of its supplements in a quick five-day offer way back in October 2013. This all-new collection has many 2E books funded in Atlas's triumphant September 2014 Feng Shui 2 Kickstarter campaign, along with half a dozen First Edition supplements not included in the previous offer. 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, the National Film Preservation Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$113. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete full-color Feng Shui 2E corebook, Hong Kong Task Force Double Eight, the updated adventure Burning Shaolin Redux, and the First Edition creature collection Glimpse of the Abyss.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more supplements worth an additional $73, including the 2E Secrets of the Chi War, five 1E Faction sourcebooks (Blood of the Valiant, Elevator to the Netherworld, Seal of the Wheel, Thorns of the Lotus, and Gorilla Warfare), and the Game Master Screen with its 32-page insert book, A Fistful of Fight Scenes.

At least one more title will be added fter 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."


This is one I can unreservedly recommend; Feng Shui is one of the classic action RPGs, with some lovely rules to give it the flavour of its source material. Kick mook ass, take names, and save the continuum. It's a weird job but somebody has to do it... It's pretty cheap considering the original paper cost, and if you don't already own a fair chunk of it it's the best way to get it all. As usual your mileage may vary, of course...

Later - forgot to apologise for the delay in mentioning this, which may mean some people don't get the cheapest price - I heard about it yesterday, but I was staying in a hotel and of course the WiFi went wrong overnight and I couldn't post this until I got back to London.

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Subject:Today's random weirdness
Time:04:35 pm
At a car boot sale today I noticed that one of the graphics novels someone was selling was issues 1-6 and 0 of the 'New 52' reboot of DC's Dial 'H' For Hero' . I didn't follow the New 52 DC relaunch because of early reports of the crass reimagining of Clark Kent and everything else I heard about it, so I was surprised for two reasons - firstly, I vaguely remembered the series from my childhood as a brainless fluffy thing about a teenager living in a small town who turned into random superheroes but had assumed that it was long gone, and secondly, the author's name on the cover was China Mieville, not really an author I associate with brainless fluffiness. Since it was only £2 I took a chance and bought it.

As you might have guessed, the central concept of dialling to become a hero is the main point of similarity. Everything else is different, with a grimdark horror overlay that seems to be the hallmark of most comics these days. The hero is a 40-ish overweight man suffering a midlife crisis long before things get weird, and he lives in a squalid city suffering the death of a thousand financial cuts, with litter and crime everywhere. Lots of people die, and the secret history of the dial turns out to be pretty nasty, with a multi-universe body count in the billions. And yet it still manages to be a fun read, especially when it isn't a superhero fight - my favourite episode has to be the one in which the hero and a more experienced user of the dial are discussing some of the less desirable forms the dial has given them, while the hero is temporarily stuck as a racially offensive stereotype who wants to help people but knows that a huge number of people will hate him for it unless there's a really bad emergency.

i'm probably not going to go looking for more, comics are a VERY expensive addiction and I've been going more or less cold turkey for several years now, but if more comes my way cheaply I'll certainly give it a look. Recommended, at least for this particular collection.

In other news I learned today that if a modern bus's electronics crash it can take seven minutes and half a dozen attempts, including coaching over the radio and at least two computer reboots, to get it started again. It makes me wonder how fly by wire aircraft ever get off the ground.


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Subject:Still F all Improvement
Time:09:07 am
I was wondering if there were any developments on the Photobucket front - if there was any sign of them realising just how crassly stupid their new policies are - and couldn't find any improvement. Their business rating is still F, and the only change is a BIG rise in the number of complaints against the company since the last time I checked:

https://www.bbb.org/denver/business-reviews/retail-photo-finishing/photobucket-com-inc-in-denver-co-90107959

There's a form there for complaining, if anyone else feels so inclined...

I've finally bitten the bullet and deleted my account. I really can't see any point leaving my photos there if nobody can access them without the horrible Photobucket advertising experience.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - What's O.L.D. is N.E.W.
Time:08:44 pm
This is one I know very little about:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/WOIN

"This offer presents EN Publishing's What's O.L.D. is N.E.W., a system of crunchy, tactical tabletop roleplaying game toolkits designed to work together: O.L.D. (medieval fantasy) and N.E.W. (far-future science fiction), along with many supplements and sourcebooks.

Designed by ENworld's Russ "Morrus" Morrissey and funded in an April 2014 Kickstarter campaign, the WOIN games let you play any kind of fantasy or science fiction character. Tweak the system dials to handle low or high fantasy, hard or soft sf, and so on. Using each book's extensive tools,create your own races, lifepath careers, planets, freeform spell-paths, starships, strongholds, martial arts, and monsters.

Not a "universal" system as such, WOIN is designed specifically for medium-low-magic Tolkien-esque medieval fantasy, '80s action, and a Trek-ian to Wars-ian range of sf, with rules systems designed to replicate those genres well. Though characters become more competent and skilled over time, they never end up wade through armies of orcs. The system is a bit grittier than that, with combat tending toward tactical skirmishes, magic toward the subtle, and magical items quite uncommon. The avowed inspirations for O.L.D. ranges from the gritty medieval fantasy of Glen Cook to the works of David Eddings and David Gemmell, Robert E. Howard, Le Guin, Abercrombie, Rothfuss and, of course, Tolkien. N.E.W. is inspired by Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Babylon 5, the Alien franchise, and other media science fiction, along with the stories of Asimov, Niven, and Clarke.

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, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$110.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $43.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • O.L.D. The Fantasy Heroic Roleplaying Game Version 1.1 (retail price $20): The complete fantasy-medieval rulebook with versatile lifepath character creation, innovative freeform spell-point magic, fast but tactical combat, and tools for building any setting from Tolkien to Braveheart. Includes the free adventure The Haunting of Calrow Ruins.
  • Three WOIN guides to contemporary fast-and-furious adventure: Modern Core, Modern Equipment, and Action Careers (retail $7 each).
  • The Ills of Hengistbury (retail $2.50) and the free Holdenshire Primer: An introductory sandbox campaign adapted from the 5E adventure To Slay a Dragon.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $67:

  • N.E.W. The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game Version 1.2 (retail $20): The complete 310-page rulebook for every style of science fiction adventure from Trek to Wars to Firefly and more. Includes the free adventure Death on Ascalaon.
  • Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing (retail $15): A N.E.W. sourcebook of sf survival horror on a terraforming colony invaded by predatory aliens.
  • Two N.E.W. starship guides: Starship Construction Manual (retail $10) and Starship Recognition Manual (retail $9)
  • Three N.E.W. articles from the WOIN magazine, EONS: Racebuilding Engine (retail $7), Trappist (retail $4), and Real Solspace (retail $2)

At least one more title will be added later. "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."


First thoughts are that it all looks very pretty, but doesn't feel particularly novel or do much that isn't possible with other systems I already own. Having said that, there's nothing obvious to dislike about it, you do get a lot for your money, and it seems to be reasonably versatile. Recommended, with all the usual caveats about mileage varying etc.
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Subject:Foxes
Time:07:02 pm

A family of three foxes visited the garden below my flat at around 4PM tonight, just happened to have my camera handy:







Annoyingly, I didn't manage to get any pictures with all three in the frame simultaneously. Lots more here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/albums/72157692935112851

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Subject:A mystery solved
Time:01:57 pm
Yesterday I was in Kensington Gardens and noticed that there was police tape around a big section of the park, and six or seven officers on their knees apparently looking for something. Unfortunately the reason I was there was that I was testing a lens which turned out to be faulty, and none of the pictures I took of this were any good...

It turns out that the reason is that someone apparently found a human bone in the park - allegedly estimated to be about seventy years old, so probably not a recent murder etc., but I suppose they have to investigate. The weird thing is that I can't find anything about this on line apart from one blogger's bit of video, you'd think there'd be a news report or something.

https://www.newsflare.com/video/189404/crime-accidents/police-search-kensington-gardens-after-human-bone-was-found

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Subject:Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018
Time:06:02 am
Just heard that Stephen Hawking has died.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43396008

A hugely significant figure - in physics, in SF, and in helping the public to realise, to some extent, that disability does not necessarily equate to stupidity. He'll be missed.

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