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Subject:And Yet Another Two RPG bundles - World Design Stuff
Time:10:25 pm
Two offers for people who run RPGs and want material that helps them to design and run better gaming sessions. One's new, the other a repeat:

Toolkit 3

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Toolkit3-2019

This resurrected December 2015 installment in the popular Worldbuilder's Toolkit series presents ebooks that help you create entire roleplaying settings from scratch, prepare play sessions, and improvise when players hare off in new directions. This offer's original run marked the first .PDF version anywhere of Gamemastering Secrets, Aaron Rosenberg's treatise from Grey Ghost Press, published in 2002, that includes many essays from star designers like Kenneth Hite, Matt Forbeck, James M. Ward, and many more.

In conjunction with this revival of the third Toolkit offer, we've also launched the all-new sixth installment in the series, Worldbuilder's Toolkit 6 with Hex Kit and ebooks from Absolute Tabletop, Dicegeeks, and Kenzer & Company. (Secret Toolkit 6 promo link.)

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 devices.

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 is US$102.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks: Never Unprepared, where Gnome Stew's Phil Vecchione shows how to prepare games faster, avoid pitfalls, and have a more relaxed kind of fun; and two volumes in the Magical Society series from Expeditious Retreat Press -- Ecology and Culture (map your world using tectonics, ecological conflict, and historical patterns of cultural development) and Silk Road (next, develop realistic overland trade routes and a trade system with over 1,000 goods).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $52.50:

  • Unframed - The Art of Improvisation for Gamemasters: Improvise like a -- like a -- uh, well, like someone who thinks really fast with these essays from Jason Morningstar, Emily Care Boss, Robin D. Laws, and others.
  • Gamemastering Secrets: This treatise on becoming an amazing GM covers everything from choosing a game system to closing out a long-running campaign. Featuring articles by Matt Forbeck, Kenneth Hite, and other star designers, with Dork Tower comic strips by John Kovalic.
  • An Echo, Resounding: Kevin Crawford (Stars Without Number) gives practical tools to create empires, run mass combats, and transform ordinary adventurers into monarchs.
  • GM Mastery: NPC Essentials: Johnn Four of RoleplayingTips.com shows how to inject life into your nonplayer characters.
  • On the Naming of Places: Another treatise in the Magical Society series.

Toolkit 6

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Toolkit6

This Worldbuilder's Toolkit 6 is our sixth annual bargain-priced collection of RPG world creation tools. Along with many gamemastering ebooks from Absolute Tabletop, Dicegeeks, and Kenzer & Company, this year's lineup features Hex Kit, Cecil Howe's award-winning desktop software (for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux) that lets you quickly and easily create hex maps for your RPG worlds.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$107. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all seven DRM-free titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $40):

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 nine more titles worth an additional $67:



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Subject:And another RPG bundle offer - Necropolis 2350
Time:02:55 am
This one has been launched at short notice to help the setting's creator handle financial issues related to a medical emergency:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Necropolis

"Necropolis 2350 is a campaign setting of grimdark 24th-Century horror from Triple Ace Games for Pinnacle Entertainment's Savage Worlds. On Salus, humanity's last habitable world, knights of the Third Reformation Church and soldiers of the Union of Corporations battle an onslaught by the undead Rephaim. Take the roles of Impalers, Incinerators, Preachers, and Templars in a desperate struggle against extinction.

I've prepared this Necropolis 2350 offer on short notice to help Triple Ace's prolific Creative Director and longtime Bundle of Holding supporter Paul "Wiggy" Wade-Williams, who last month suffered a debilitating stroke. In addition to Necropolis, Wiggy's popular Savage Worlds settings include Hellfrost, Slipstream, 50 Fathoms, Weird Wars Rome, Daring Tales of Adventure, Leagues of Adventure, and many more.

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 devices.

Ordinarily ten percent of each purchase of a Bundle of Holding offer goes to a charity. In this case that charity portion goes to Triple Ace Games, to help Wiggy and his company in a tough time.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$113.50. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $49.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Necropolis 2350 Player's Guide (retail price $10.50) and Setting Book (retail $18); six sets of Necropolis Figure Flats (total retail $17.50); and the Necropolis GM Screen (retail $3.50).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $64, including four Necropolis 2350 character guides -- Necropolis 2350 Impaler Handbook, Incinerator Handbook, Preachers Handbook, and Templar Handbook (retail $10 apiece, total $40); the Necropolis Adventure Compendium (retail $10); and the Necropolis 2351-55 Update (retail price $14), which pushes the timeline into still more hellish depths."

This probably isn't one that interests me much, I'm not a big grimdark fan, but it's offered in a good cause and may be of interest if you're already familiar with Savage Worlds or have some of the material and want more.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Fate system
Time:09:12 pm
This is the fifth bundle that's been offered for the Fate system, all from Evil Hat Productions who created the system:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Fate5

This is the Bundle of Holding's fifth collection of campaign settings (following offers in September 2013, November 2014, November 2015, and November 2018) that use the popular Fate roleplaying rules. Like its predecessors, this new collection ranges across many genres -- military space opera, future dystopias, 1980s action-adventure, monster-movie noir, genepunk, and lots more -- all using the same consistent, fast-playing rules. Unlike past offers that presented games from many publishers, this Bundle of Fate 5 comes entirely from Evil Hat Productions. The fountainhead of Fate, Evil Hat launched the system in 2003 as a collection of house rules for FUDGE, then used it to underpin Spirit of the Century (2006) and many subsequent games. In a five-year Patreon campaign (shuttered this past June), Evil Hat Productions funded a line of 45 Fate Adventures & Worlds .PDFs that provided compact, rich settings with ready-to-go adventures for GMs in a pinch. This bargain-priced collection gathers eight of those Worlds of Fate, plus the rulebooks for the recent Tachyon Squadron, Uprising, Shadow of the Century, the Horror Toolkit, and more.

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 devices.

Fate RPGs use Fudge Dice, available from Evil Hat Productions (as "Fate Dice"), at hobby gaming stores, or from Amazon (affiliate link).

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Fred Hicks of Evil Hat Productions, The Trevor Project.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$91.50. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all ten titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $30.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • The Venture City Superpunk Sourcebook (retail price $8), a near-future dystopia of corporate-sponsored superheroes. (This is a different, greatly expanded version of Venture City Stories in the November 2015 Bundle of Fate 3.)
  • From the May 2014 Spirit of the Century Bundle we're bringing back Strange Tales of the Century (retail $10), and this offer adds its recent 1980s-era continuation, Shadow of the Century (retail $12.50).
  • Alongside Strange Tales of the Century we also revive the companion Pulp Hall of Fame by pulp historian Jess Nevins. Cut for space from Strange Tales, this 77-page mini-encyclopedia lists 200 of the most significant characters from the pulp era. The Pulp Hall of Fame debuted in the Bundle of Holding and is not sold anywhere else.
  • Four installments in Evil Hat's long-running Worlds of Adventure series of setting mini-sourcebooks that were funded in a five-year Patreon campaignand now are sold on a pay-what-you-want basis: Weird World News, Ngen Mapu, Til Dawn, and Wolf's Head.
  • ...And this offer, like each previous Bundle of Fate, adds the Fate Core and Fate Accelerated Edition rulebooks.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with eleven more titles worth an additional $61:

Fate is an interesting system with a shedload of material available, and this looks like another good assortment. Recommended!

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - AdventureAWeek.com
Time:08:15 pm
Well, this is a bit of a blast from the past, sort of - new material for the first RPG system, D&D - in this case D&D fifth edition:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/AAWGames

This all-new offer presents Fifth Edition-compatible supplements and modules published by AAW Games in their AdventureAWeek.com line. AAW's long-running subscription plan has produced hundreds of titles for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and Pathfinder/Starfinder. This new offer -- the Bundle of Holding's first-ever of 5E-compatible titles -- gathers a wide range of AAW titles with a subterranean theme, including recent ebooks from the popular Kickstarter campaigns for Underworld Races & Classes (April 2017) and Occult Secrets of the Underworld (July 2018).

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 devices.

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

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$119. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Occult Secrets of the Underworld (retail price $20); Heir & Back Again (retail $13), a loving tribute to the computer adventure games of the '80s (plus the Heir & Back Again Deck of Cards, retail $5, and Character Cards, retail $3); and the introductory 5E adventure A Learning Time (retail $7).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $71:


I'll be honest, this really isn't for me - I left my dungeon-bashing days behind me a LONG time ago. But if you're still into D&D this might be a good one to get.

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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Trail of Cthulhu
Time:07:51 pm
More horror RPG offerings, this time for Trail of Cthulhu, a Cthulhu Mythos RPG based on the Gumshoe system. One's a repeat, the other all new:

Trail of Cthulhu

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Trail1-2019

This is the first of two offers now in progress featuring Trail of Cthulhu, the bestselling RPG of Cthulhu Mythos investigations using the GUMSHOE system from Pelgrane Press. This revived Trail of Cthulhu Bundle, originally presented in May 2014 (and already revived twice, in June 2015 and October 2016), has the core rulebook and early scenarios. If you're new to the game, start here. An all-new companion offer, Cities of Cthulhu, adds recent scenarios and supplements, including Cthulhu City and Dreamhounds of Paris.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) and each audio file in MP3 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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase of these two Trail of Cthulhu offers (after gateway fees) goes to their designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

The total retail value of the titles in this revival is US$108. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all four titles in this revived offer's Starter Collection (retail value $43) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks or MP3 audio tracks, including the complete Trail of Cthulhu rulebook, the Pulp-style adventure collection Stunning Eldritch Tales, the Keeper's Resource Book & Screen, and the atmospheric music soundtrack Four Shadows.

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 five more titles worth an additional $65:

  • The Armitage Files: Ten mysterious, clue-filled documents by Robin D. Laws, ready-made for improvised sandbox-style adventures based on the players' interpretations.
  • Bookhounds of London: Kenneth Hite's campaign setting of disreputable hustlers who sell rare Mythos texts -- and sometimes defend humanity from their own customers.
  • The Book of the Smoke: Also known as The Occult Guide to London, Paula Dempsey's companion volume to Bookhounds is a primer for the dismal 1930s fog of London.
  • Arkham Detective Tales Extended Edition: Five labyrinthine law-enforcement investigations by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.
  • Rough Magicks: Ken Hite explains the rules of magick for Investigators and Mythos creatures alike.

Cities of Cthulhu

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/CthulhuCities

This is the second of two offers now in progress featuring Trail of Cthulhu, the bestselling RPG from Pelgrane Press that adapts Cthulhu Mythos investigations to the GUMSHOE system of investigative RPG scenarios (also seen in The Esoterrorists, Ashen Stars, Mutant City Blues, Night's Black Agents, and others). This Cities of Cthulhu Bundle is a new companion to our revived May 2014 Trail of Cthulhu Bundle now in progress. (That revival has the core rulebook and early supplements; if you're new to the game, start there.) This new offer adds recent Trail of Cthulhu supplements and scenarios, including Cthulhu City by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and the remarkable Dreamhounds of Paris by Robin D. Laws.

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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase of these two Trail of Cthulhu offers (after gateway fees) goes to these offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

The total retail value of the titles in this new offer is US$113.50. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $54) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Out of the Woods (retail price $17), The Long Con (retail $6), The Many Deaths of Edward Bigsby (retail $6), and Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 1 (retail $25).

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 $59.50, including Cthulhu City (retail $21), Dreamhounds of Paris (retail price $21) and its companion Dreamlands diary The Book of Ants (retail $13), and Ken Hite's Tomb-Hounds of Egypt (retail $4.50).


There really isn't a lot to say about this - it's a good system with a lot of material available for it, and both of the offers give you a lot for your money. If you've taken up one of the previous offers of the system the all-new material of the second offer is probably a must. Recommended!

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Subject:Open wide...
Time:11:05 pm
Not what it sounds like - I've been playing with some seriously silly photographic kit recently, stuff that starts with the idea of wide angle and takes it up to 11 or more.

The first is a Cinemascope projector conversion lens mounted as a wide angle converter on an SLR. This works, except that you need a slightly long lens to start with - I ended up using a 58mm Russian lens, anything shorter had cropped corners in the final image, and something even longer might have been better. Unfortunately it's a bit of a pig to work with - you really need a tripod, the converter weighs more than a kilo, and with the camera, the lens, etc. you end up carrying about 5kg of kit. It's also very slow because for each shot you need to adjust the camera lens and the converter, bracket speed (because the lens has no connection to the camera's metering system), you have to keep everything dead level or there's distortion, etc. etc. I took 9 photos in the time it usually takes me for 50 or more when I'm testing something more conventional. Here's one:

The Serpentine lake, 58mm Helios lens with cinemascope adapter

The rest of this batch are here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/albums/72157711458861586/with/48945429152/

The other one is fairly low-tech; a Lomography Spinner 360º 35mm camera, which takes incredibly wide negatives on 35mm film - the whole camera whizzes round with the film pulled past the lens as it goes. You get 8-9 photos on a 36-exposure roll, and if you aren't doing your own processing it soon gets seriously expensive. And Snappy Snaps etc. really don't want to have anything to do with scanning or printing them! Ideally you're supposed to include the sprockets in pictures since they're exposed, but in practice (after messing around with my flatbed scanner and getting nowhere, it's just way too low resolution) I ended up having to convert the images in my crappy slide scanner, which really didn't want to know about anything larger than a 35mm frame, then assemble the images using stitching software. It's a bit of a pain, especially if you haven't worked with film in umpteen years and are a bit cack-handed... Some interesting results, but there was a reason I switched to digital and this really hasn't changed my mind! This is actually more or less the same scene as the first, if you look carefully.

Extra-wide Photo from Lomography Spinner 360º

The rest of the spinner photos are here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/albums/72157711499565688

I'm not going to be keeping this kit but it was fun to play with.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Rogue Trader
Time:08:44 pm
This one's from the Humble Bundle people so I don't get to see it free - Rogue Trader, the Warhammer 40K RPG

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/warhammer-40k-roguetrader-cubicle-7-books

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Clockwork and Cthulhu
Time:10:05 pm
This is another one I don't know much about, a "Renaissance System" flintlock-fantasy RPGs from Cakebread & Walton (Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton), originally published in 2013, with adventures and a Cthulhu Mythos supplement:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ClockwkCthulhu

This new offer presents alternate-historical Cthulhu Mythos and flintlock-fantasy RPGs from Cakebread & Walton. A grim and gritty game of mud, blood, mayhem, and magick, Clockwork & Chivalry (2012) takes you to an alternate English Civil War of 1645. As Oliver Cromwell and his gigantic clockwork war machines fight against the cavalier-alchemists of Prince Rupert, magickal pollution taints the land, waking creatures long dismissed as legends; obsessive scientists make wild discoveries; crazed inventors create mad machines. Can you and your fellow adventurers, armed only with musket, sword, and magick, hold back the tide of war?

And in the horror campaign supplement Clockwork & Cthulhu and the standalone companion game Dark Streets, the stars align for the return of the Old God. Using the percentile-based Renaissance System adapted from OpenQuest (itself derived from Mongoose Publishing's RuneQuest), these RPG ebooks transport Investigators and historical game fans to a wild and Sanity-draining past-that-never-was.

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 devices.

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

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$145.50. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all three complete, current rulebooks in our Starter Collection (retail value $63) as DRM-free .PDFs, including Clockwork & Cthulhu (retail price $18), Dark Streets Second Edition (retail $20), and Clockwork & Chivalry Second Edition (retail $25; previously presented in our August 2013 Bundle of the Ages).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $82.50:

 

English Civil War resources


This is an interesting one because it takes in a historical setting that doesn't get much attention from fantasy game designers, accurately depicts the religious and political background of the English Civil War, then adds in some steampunk and magic-tech tropes without being stuck in the Victorian era of most fantasy steampunk games. The closest thing I've seen in the past was probably Lace and Steel, based mainly on a fantasy version of the Three Musketeers world, without much of the alternative technology and magical background. Design looks good, and the "Cavaliers v. Roundheads, Magic v. Technology" approach is interesting. The book 1066 and All That (1930) described the Roundheads as "Right but Repulsive" and the Cavaliers as "Wromantic but Wrong", which is as good a description as any for a game venturing into this era. Recommended!
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Subject:Scanning a negative
Time:01:55 am
I want to scan some colour film negatives on my flatbed scanner and convert them to positive images as graphics files. I thought I had software for this, but thinking about it, it has not been something I've tried before, and nothing I have seems to do it properly - I end up with a white image with pale blue for the few visible details. It's a weird negative format from a panoramic camera so I can't just take it in to Happy Snaps or something.

Any suggestions, preferably reasonably idiot proof?

The programs I have are very early Paintshop Pro, Corel Photo Paint 12, and PhotoPhiltre 7.

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Subject:Well, that was different...
Time:11:57 pm
Following some slightly weird results in my last blood test, I had an MRI today, fortunately with good results - my prostate gland isn't doing anything horrible.

There are things they really don't make clear before you have an MRI, first of all that you need to be injected with imaging fluid - some sort of chemical that makes MRI work better; not a huge problem for me since I have plenty of experience giving blood - and secondly how bloody uncomfortable the things are. Not painful, just really confining, and you are lying on a completely flat surface and can't move at all, which by the time you're done guarantees that you will have backache. Oddly, it wasn't as claustrophobic as I expected because I could see out throughout the process - I presume because they didn't need to scan my head. I don't know how much difference that would make.

Fortunately I don't have any metal implants etc. which might have caused problems, it occurs to me that a lot of the cyberpunk tropes are REALLY incompatible with modern healthcare. All of those implanted sockets etc. would really not go well with multi-Tesla magnetic fields!

Anyway, that's something to cross off my bucket list, and without having to go through the biopsy etc. which would have been the next step if things had not been OK.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Hell on Earth
Time:09:18 pm
This is a sequel to Deadlands: The Weird West, a fantasy/horror/wild west game from Pinnacle Entertainment:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/HellOnEarth

"Hell on Earth (the Classic version) is a standalone 1998 post-apocalyptic sequel to Pinnacle Entertainment's flagship 1996 line Deadlands: The Weird West. In the centuries after that game's alternate history of 1876, horrific other-dimensional entities called the Reckoners fomented warfare and destruction across the American West and the world. In 2081 a devastating Last War released evil spirits and arcane energy, making the entire world a Deadland -- but the Reckoners's own machinations trapped them here on the toxic, irradiated Earth. Now, in 2094, the heroes of the Wasted West try to reclaim the land and destroy the Reckoners.

Compatible with the original 1996 Deadlands Classic, Hell on Earth replaces the Weird West's mad scientists and hucksters with many new and revised player character types: radslinging Doomsayers, brain-burning sykers, scavenging tech-wizard junkers, the Harrowed (walking dead), and righteous Templars. The eclectic post-apocalyptic setting permits wide-ranging and wild campaigns right out of Mad Max, Damnation Alley, Terminator, and Akira. The game's metaplot introduced an unexpected extraterrestrial element: a space colony, Faraway, founded in 2044 by Helstromme Industries and then stranded after the Last War on Earth. This storyline spawned the third Deadlands game, Lost Colony (2002).

Pinnacle later adapted Hell on Earth for the d20 System and, as Hell on Earth Reloaded, for Savage Worlds. This all-new collection presents almost every book in the 1998 HoE Classic line in pristine .PDF scans with crisp text and artwork. (Iron Oasis is an image scan of lower quality.) Note that this Classic version of Hell on Earth isn't compatible with Savage Worlds but with Deadlands Classic and the recent Deadlands 20th Anniversary Edition.

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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Shane Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$134. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all eleven titles in our Player Collection (retail value $56) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Marshal Collection with fourteen more titles worth an additional $78:


I might as well be honest. I wasn't a huge fan of Deadlands and I'm really not a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre generally, especially when it's using a rules set that's more than twenty years old. I'm REALLY not the market this is aimed at. But tastes differ, and if you like this sort of thing or liked the original Deadlands this may be something you'll like, and you'll get a reasonable amount of stuff for your money.

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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 22
Time:10:43 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

XXII: Precious Little TimeCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives. Apologies for the long hiatus.

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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Delta Green
Time:07:04 pm
Two offers, one a repeat from last year, the other all new:

DELTA GREEN

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DGRPG-2019

This revived Delta Green RPG Bundle (originally presented in June 2018 as "Delta Green +2"), one of two DG offers now in progress, once again presents Arc Dream Publishing's RPG of modern-day Cthulhu Mythos conspiracy-horror, Delta Green. An all-new companion offer, Delta Green Operations, adds recent supplements and scenarios. (DG Operations promo page.)

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 Pagan Publishing version as a Call of Cthulhu campaign setting and in this 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 revival, originally presented in June 2018 as "Delta Green +2," once again presents the Delta Green Agent's Handbook and Handler's Guide rulebooks, plus many operations (scenarios) and fiction. (We called that run "+2" to contrast it with our March 2014 offer of the primordial Pagan Publishing DG supplements for Call of Cthulhu. Sorry for any confusion!)

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 devices.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) goes to these two Delta Green offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

The total retail value of the titles in this revived offer is US$105. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in this revival's Agent Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, 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 this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Handler Collection with four more titles worth an additional $65, including the Handler's Guide core rulebook and Handler's Screen reference charts, the six-scenario collection A Night at the Opera (a compilation of the scenarios published separately as Extremophilia, Music From a Darkened Room, Observer Effect, Reverberations, The Star Chamber, and Viscid), plus the ready-to-play introductory scenario Kali Ghati.


DELTA GREEN OPERATIONS

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DGOperations

"This Delta Green Operations is a new companion to our revived Delta Green RPG Bundle now in progress. If you're new to the game, start there first. (DGRPG Bundle promo page.)"

"This all-new companion collection adds recent operations (scenarios) and supplements for Arc Dream's standalone RPG, including two major new books, Control Group and The Complex. Many of these operations were written and illustrated by prolific DG co-creator Dennis Detwiller.

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 devices.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) goes to these two Delta Green offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

The total retail value of the titles in this new companion offer is US$91. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all ten titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including three tense DG operations (The Last Equation, Lover in the Ice, and Sweetness); the Agent Dossiers; three full-color issues of the superb Cthulhu Mythos gaming magazine The Unspeakable Oath (Oath #23, and issue #24, retail $6 apiece); and three fine examples of Delta Green fiction and drama: Down in the Delta, The Way It Went Down, and the two-scene play by John Scott Tynes, In the Court of the Yellow King.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $51, including the brand-new scenario collection Control Group (retail $20), the newly published organization book The Complex (retail price $10), the scenarios Future/Perfect Part 1 (retail $5) and Part 2 (retail $5), A Victim of the Art (retail $5), and The Unspeakable Oath issue #25.

*

Delta green is one of the most successful spinoffs of Call of Cthulhu, and is a very good choice for those who prefer a modern-day combat- and team- focused style of play, giving players a good reason to go up against the Cthulhu Mythos - they're paid to do it and are serving their country and humanity - and source of funds and equipment. The original Call of Cthulhu supplement is one of the acknowledged sources for the Laundry books by Charles Stross, which were the source for the Laundry RPG, another successful spinoff. It may not be the best choice for players who prefer the more cerebral style of classic Call of Cthulhu, but it has a lot to offer and I recommend it.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Traveller 4th Edition
Time:08:55 pm
This is another bundle offer based on the 4th Edition of Traveller, which was marketed as Marc Miller's Traveller:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Traveller4

"This Traveller4 Bundle presents the 1996 Fourth Edition of the classic Traveller SFRPG. In Designers & Dragons: The '90s, Shannon Appelcline recounts the story behind T4. After Traveller's original publisher, GDW, shut down in January 1996, rights to Traveller reverted to designer Marc W. Miller. Marc licensed the game to Imperium Games, the fourth of 21 short-lived companies started by longtime industry inhabitant Ken Whitman. Financed by Courtney Solomon's company Sweetpea Entertainment, Whitman lured GDW staffers Lester Smith and Timothy Brown, along with other Traveller stalwarts, to prepare a new edition.

GDW's MegaTraveller and Traveller: The New Era had transformed the rules and destroyed the Third Imperium interstellar empire, but the new edition, it was said, would restore the spirit of Classic Traveller and explore the Imperium's earliest days, "Milieu 0." In the event, the Traveller4 rulebook, written by diverse hands in just four months, proved a mess: sloppy editing, indifferent artwork and layout, and rules systems that each worked well enough on their own but combined oddly. For instance: (1) Traveller4's character generation system and skill list are perhaps the best in the game's long history; (2) the combat system (once you incorporate its extensive errata) works smoothly, with fine-grained difficulty ratings and a simple penetration-damage scheme adapted from Striker and MegaTraveller; but (3) the characters you made in (1) can easily achieve skill ratings that steamroll any difficulties they meet in (2).

In 1997 Imperium Games followed the T4 rulebook with 14 support titles of strikingly uneven quality. (Some of the most interesting books were created by an outside studio, the CORE Group, and by Greg Porter of BTRC, whose EABA game line we presented this past April.) In 1998 Imperium vanished as quickly as it had arrived.

Though Traveller4 never found a large following, it still has fans. Its setting, the young Third Imperium spreading from Core Sector to recover thousands of lost worlds, is unique in Traveller's long history. Despite their poor editing, which spawned 30 pages of consolidated errata, the T4 books present many good ideas and system-neutral setting descriptions that work well with any Traveller milieu. This all-new collection presents the T4 rulebook and the best supplements and adventures -- everything you need to venture out in your scout ship (or your battle squadron) to recontact the Pocket Empires lost in the Long Night. And yes, we include the errata.

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.

These .PDFs are decent image scans of the original 1990s hardcopies. Text is always clear and usually copiable, though a few books have background graphics that interfered with the OCR (optical character recognition). Illustrations are generally dark and muddy.

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 is US$140. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $70) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Marc Miller's Traveller Fourth Edition core rulebook (retail price $20) plus the Traveller4 Game Screen (retail $10); the T4 version of the venerable ship-design system Fire, Fusion, & Steel (retail $10) plus the Naval Architect's Manual for interior ship design (retail $10); the Central Supply Catalog equipment guide (retail $10); and the setting guide Milieu 0 (retail $10).

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 $70, including Greg Porter's weapons guide Emperor's Arsenal (retail price $10); Pocket Empires (retail price $10), which lets you own and operate your own star system; the fleet action guide Imperial Squadrons (retail $10); Psionic Institutes (retail $10); the two-part adventure Long Way Home (retail $10) and Gateway (retail $10); and the nine-scenario collection Anomalies (retail $10).



Unfortunately this is not the best version of Traveller, and as may be obvious from the description above it isn't the best presented or the best conversion to PDF. It wasn't very successful on its original release, and I can't honestly recommend it unless you are a Traveller completist. There are much better versions out there, and I'd recommend most of them in preference to this one (the exceptions are Megatraveller and Traveller: The New Era which took a game setting loved by tens of thousands of players and systematically wrecked it). Thumbs down on this one.

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Subject:Bargains?
Time:10:46 pm
If eBay ever offers you a "bargain" based on your browser history be VERY skeptical. I've just been offered a camera at £75 when I'm selling exactly the same camera - the reason I looked at the other listing - for £12 current bid, and know that there are a couple of others at similarly low prices.

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Subject:Suck it, Boris!
Time:01:02 pm
The Supreme Court has just ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful. The court says the Prime Minister was wrong to shut down Parliament - and the speaker says Parliament will resume tomorrow.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49810261

Any bets on what happens next? Apart from Boris claiming that it was all a horrible misunderstanding and everyone else's fault?

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Murder Mystery Games
Time:08:57 pm
This is a repeat of a bundle from 2017 - freeform murder mystery games for parties etc., in which each guest takes on the role of one of the suspects / detectives / whatever, and the plot is resolved by mingling, acting out various goals, etc. They're six players and up, with the largest providing for up to 32. I've played in a few freeform games in the past and they can be immense fun, especially if you're prepared to submerge yourself in a role, so this interests me a lot.

There's an article about this type of game here
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/
articles/view/issues/issue_107/1304-Murder-Parties

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2019Murder

"This is a large and rich collection of live-action murder mystery party games from Freeform Games. Invite your guests to an evening of food, drink, and investigation of a murder. One guest did it -- but who? With no predetermined script, these party games put you and six to 32 friends in the heart of the action. Before the party, every player gets a detailed character background with goals, contacts, secrets, and costume tips. At the gathering, you all decide who to talk to, trust, or betray. In four hours or so, will the murderer be discovered? You won't know until the party's over.

With settings from Hawaii to Golden Age Hollywood to the Wild West, these .PDF kits include step-by-step instructions for the host, quick-start hints for guests, illustrated item cards, reference sheets, and much more. Many games provide versions for kids, extra "emergency characters" in case someone brings a friend, and other thoughtful touches. Check out Freeform's free introductory ten-guest Way Out West game, and then investigate this bargain-priced collection for groups of six to 30+ guests.

We provide each party kit 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.

Notes: Many Freeform Games party games have Standard and Extended versions; Extended versions support more guests. The games in this offer are all the Standard versions. And be aware, you print out all the guest handouts before the party. For the larger games you'll be printing a lot of pages.

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

The total retail value of the games in this offer is US$270 -- by far the richest offer in the site's history. Customers who pay just US$19.95 get all four party games in our Smaller Groups Collection (6-14 players, total retail value $120) as DRM-free .PDFs:

  • A Will to Murder (6-9 players, retail $30): In 1930s Britain, a wealthy family feuds over the last will of their murdered patriarch.
  • Lei'd to Rest (6-12 players, retail $30): A luau gone bad at a Hawaiian beach resort.
  • A Heroic Death (8-12 players, retail $30): The Superheroic Justice Doom Squad has to save the world, but first they must escape their volcano headquarters.
  • Way Out West (10-14 players, retail $30): The party's on at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Cactus Gulch, 1884.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Bigger Groups Collection with four more complete games (retail value $150) for soirees of up to 30+ players:

  • Davy Jones' Locker (10-15 players, retail $30): In Tortuga, 1785, Caribbean pirates aim for the big haul -- or the keelhaul.
  • Spellbound (13-17 players, retail $30): At the Tremaine School of Magic, students must investigate a memory-loss mystery while also taking final exams.
  • Arabian Nights (18-24 players, retail $40): An hour after the Sultan announces his daughter's betrothal to handsome Prince Ala 'ad-Din, the young prince is found dead in the marketplace.
  • Hollywood Lies (16-32 players, retail $50): At the post-award party for Dazzled to Death, film stars and producers wheel and deal despite the sad death of the award-winning star.

Last time around I said:

I've looked at Hollywood Lies and everything seems to be very nicely presented, with 25 pages of instructions for the host, an eight-page briefing for each character, and various handouts etc. If you ran it for the maximum number of people you'd get through a LOT of paper, and if you're doing this a duplexing printer is possibly worth having - or get everything run off at a repo shop if you can afford it. The others are smaller in having fewer maximum players but you get the same number of pages per player, nearly as large a briefing, etc. Assimilating it all is going to be daunting if you haven't done something like this before, and I'd strongly recommend playing in someone else's game before running your own.

I'm not sure these are really my cup of tea as a GM - I generally feel happier running with smaller groups of players and a tabletop system - but as I said earlier, I've enjoyed this type of game enormously when I've played them. Given that these games often last an evening - say four to six hours - and sometimes longer they represent a LOT of entertainment, say 1000+ man-hours of fun for the host and players. The snag is that you can't really run them more than once unless you have more than one circle of friends. My interest is more from the point of looking for interesting ideas etc., and there ought to be plenty here. I think they're pretty good value for money, and I recommend them, but as usual I have to point out that I get them free if I want them. If you don't your mileage may vary.
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Subject:Britpick - Venomous Snakes in Harry Potter's Britain
Time:01:35 am
Venomous snakes seem to be implausibly common in Britain in a lot of Harry Potter stories. I'm not talking about basilisks and other magical snakes, just non-magical species. And they are almost always presented as deadly dangerous.

The snag is that Britain isn't seriously dangerous snake country - we have four species (or rather three species with one additional subspecies), plus one snake-like legless lizard, and only the adder, Vipera berus, is venomous. And it's not exactly the most dangerous species on record:

'There have been a few incidents over the years, but for those who are in good health, you're not going to die from a bite. It will hurt and swell for a few days and you may have feelings of nausea and dizziness. Some who may be less fortunate may suffer an allergic reaction, but it generally isn't going to kill you.

'Children, the infirm and the elderly are most at risk.'

Fatalities from adder bites are exceptionally rare. The last in Britain occurred in 1975, when a five-year-old was bitten on the ankle in Scotland. Between 1950 and 1972 there was only one death caused by an adder bite across England and Wales.

(Source Natural History Museum, https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/should-we-be-scared-of-british-snakes.html )

The reason for the low mortality rate is simple - they're small snakes, weighing less than 100g, really not very aggressive, and their venom is evolved for killing amphibians, not mammals. By comparison, insect stings (wasps, bees, etc.) kill five people a year in the UK, so you're roughly 150 times more likely to be killed by an insect sting than a snake bite.

So if Harry or any other wizard really wanted to be scary, he should learn to talk to and control wasps, not snakes!

This message bought to you by a story I read recently that had a character attacked by an adder that jumped at her face! Snakes do NOT jump several feet off the ground, but that's another story...

Later - forgot to say that about a hundred people a year are bitten by adders, usually after accidentally stepping on them. So the death rate is about 1 per 3000 people bitten.

 
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Savage Battlefield
Time:09:37 pm
This is another emergency listing, to raise money following burglary and arson of the publisher's home:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SavageBattle

"This Savage Battlefield Bundle presents campaign settings published by Battlefield Press for Pinnacle Entertainment's fast-furious-fun Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition RPG. (And one for the new SW Adventure Edition, too.) This all-new offer, which helps Battlefield owner Jonathan Thompson and his family after an arsonist burned their home, presents Victorian and World War I fantasy, Cthulhoid space opera, Robin Hood adventure, and more for a bargain price.

On August 6, as Battlefield Press owner Jonathan Thompson and his family were returning home from Gen Con, a burglar robbed their home in Shreveport, Louisiana and then, to hide the burglary, set the house on fire. "We lucked out that we had a vigilant neighbor," says Jonathan. "The fire department was close by and arrived within a few minutes of the 911 call. Though there were no people in the house, the fire did take the life of my two-month-old kitten. The fire destroyed collectibles, about a third of my gaming collection, general reference books, and my work computers. The fire damage was limited to two rooms, but the rest of the house has smoke and water damage from the fire department. We have insurance, but there is a $2,500 deductible, and we will be displaced to a Residence Inn for at least the next 4-5 months. This collection will help us live while we are waiting to get back into our house."

Fire damage to the Shreveport home of Battlefield Press owner Jonathan Thompson

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.

Ordinarily 10% of each Bundle of Holding purchase goes to a designated charity. For this Savage Battlefield offer I'm adding the charity revenue to the publisher share to help Jonathan Thompson in a tough time.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$104. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Eldritch Skies (Savage Worlds Edition) (retail price $15) (plus the Kindle version and the Eldritch Skies GM Screen Inserts, retail $5); Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2E (retail $10); and the World War I fantasy setting Kaiser's Gate (retail $10), plus the supplements Mounts, retail $10, and Adventures & Archetypes, retail $3.50.

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 $55.50, including the Eldritch Skies supplement Distant Vistas (retail $10.50); Agents of G.A.I.A. (retail $12); The Dinosaur Protocol (retail $10); Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 3E (retail $13), plus the Gaslight Map Pack and Calendar Pack 1888; and the 1920s one-shot adventure set in the Kaiser's Gate background, Wizards and Wiseguys: Public Enemies (retail $5).


This isn't a system I particularly love, but there are some interesting settings, such as Kaiser's gate, a WW1 fantasy campaign, and a follow-on 1920s gangster adventure. I've only checked out the Wizards and Wiseguys adventure so far, and it has some nice art and seems to be reasonably well-designed, although a bit linear. Given the circumstances I'm definitely recommending the bundle.
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Subject:Another bundle offer - more old school dungeon stuff
Time:07:26 pm
 From the Humble Bundle people this time:

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/old-school-fantasy-roleplaying-books

Fairly cheap, but nothing I particularly want.
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Subject:Another RPG Bundle Offer - Old School Revival 6
Time:02:23 am
 Another collection of modules etc. for fans of the early RPG style, dungeon-bashing, etc.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/OSR6

"This is the Bundle site's sixth annual (well, mostly) celebration of the Old School Revival and the spirit of roleplaying's earliest days. This all-new collection presents Hot Springs Island and Operation Unfathomable,dungeons by Dyson Logos, three One-Page Dungeons compilations, BLUEHOLME, Hydra Cooperative, Melsonian Arts Council, and a new Expeditious Retreat "Aggressive Ecologies" entry (a spinoff from their acclaimed A Magical Medieval Society series) that debuts in this 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 devices.

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

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$113. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all seven titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the foul-aired hexcrawl Fever Swamp (retail price $11); the Aggressive Ecology embodied in The Undead Leviathan (retail $6); a fine emulation of the primordial John Eric Holmes blue-box edition of D&D, the BLUEHOLME Journeymanne Rules (retail $10) (along with its Referee RepositoryCharacter Records, and the introductory module Necropolis of Nuromen); and the Dyson Logos Commercial Map Pack 1 (retail $20), a massive collection of 170 hand-drawn dungeons.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $65:


As I've said before, this really isn't my sort of thing, but having looked at a couple I think that the standard is pretty good, and if you want to play this sort of game the material might be quite useful.




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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Torg Eternity
Time:08:51 pm
Torg Eternity is a revival of a fairly early RPG system, originally published in 1990, revised slightly in 2005, and finally reissued in a new edition by a different publisher in 2017.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/TorgEternity


"Raiders from other realities have arrived on Earth, and where they rule, the laws of physics warp to form strange new landscapes. The "High Lords" joined together to steal the Earth's living energy -- to consume its very Possibilities! Each Reality Raider brought his or her own reality, or "cosm" -- from the dark fantasy of Aysle to the technological oppression of the Cyberpapacy -- from the savagery and exploration of the Living Land, and the diabolical pulp villains of the Nile Empire, to the Gothic horror of Orrorsh, the action and intrigue of Pan-Pacifica, and the terrifying, demon-ruled wasteland of Tharkold.

Core Earth is not defenseless. "Storm Knights," heroes from all the cosms, resist the invading High Lords at every turn. Storm Knights use magic, technology, miracles, and even super powers against the Reality Raiders and their endless minions. The Storm Knights are agents of the "Delphi Council," an international organization led by Quinn Sebastian to counter the High Lords and their many forces.

Torg: Roleplaying the Possibility Wars, the cinematic multi-genre RPG by Greg Gorden and Bill Slavicsek, was originally published in 1990 by West End Games. In May 2017 Torg's current owner, Ulisses Spiele, rebooted the Possibility Wars with the spectacular US$366K Torg Eternity Kickstarter campaign. Torg Eternity's lead designer is Shane Lacy Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment, who got his professional start in the hobby writing for Torg. The new line updates the rules and reimagines the "cosms" (invading realities) that threaten our Core Earth. This all-new offer presents the Torg Eternity rulebook, two scenario collections, play aids, and a soundtrack -- everything you need to restart the Possibility Wars for reality itself.

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 devices.

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

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$80.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $37.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Torg Eternity Core Rules (retail price $25) and the new Drama Deck (plus the Torg Eternity Free RPG Day Special), the Torg Eternity GM Screen and Archetypes (retail $10), and the Character Journals record sheets (retail $2.50).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $43, including the scenario collections Day One Adventure Book (retail $15) and Delphi Missions: Rising Storm (retail $10), plus the Torg Eternity Soundtrack (retail price $18) with 21 .MP3 music tracks composed especially for the game."


This is basically a grimmer, darker version of the original Torg game - in fact the first twelve pages of the rule book are largely introductions saying that, before actually explaining what the game is about - and suffers from many of the same flaws; you're going to have problems using it if you don't want to run the official campaign, and there really isn't anything for characters to do if they don't want to be "storm knights". This isn't exactly a unique flaw, lots of games are built around their campaign settings, but most have room for some variation in adventurer goals, and for characters who aren't "Big damn heroes". This was one of the reasons why I never got into the original system, and unfortunately I'm seeing nothing here to change my mind. On a more positive note, this is a cheap way to find out if you like the system, if I remember correctly the whole lot including the bonus collection costs less than the original rules did, and there might be something there you like.

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Subject:Picspam - Keep Watching the Sky!
Time:01:05 am
Just a couple of odds and ends from my last couple of weeks of photography.

The first two are with my Futifilm S5700 bridge camera. The last one is cropped from a larger image, my Nikon with zoom at 500mm.

Sunset Over Hyde Park

Sunset with glowing clouds

Hyde Park Lampost just after sunset

lamppost with darkening sky


Werewolf Threat Level: Low

Half moon

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Legacy: Life Among the Ruins
Time:09:28 pm
This is an RPG based on the idea of rebuilding civilization after some sort of collapse.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Legacy

"Legacy: Life Among the Ruins is a Powered by the Apocalypse SFRPG by Jay Iles and Douglas Santana Mota, published by UFO Press and distributed by Modiphius Entertainment. Legacy is about building a new world in the ruins of the future. You control both a family and its individual members across generations. As your story skips forward decades or centuries, your actions change the world, and your family adapts to survive.

We presented the 2015 First Edition of Legacy in our first Apocalypse Engine Bundle (September 2015). Legacy's 2018 Second Edition, funded in a July 2017 Kickstarter campaign, puts the world map at center stage, adds new character roles and simplified playbooks, and updates the basic Moves. The Kickstarter also funded many inventive "Worlds of Legacy" system hacks, where you rebuild, or retool, civilizations in alternate settings: a starship, a magical land facing the end of time, a distant world just after planetfall, an evil Gothic castle, and more. This offer presents the complete Legacy 2E rulebook, lots of Worlds, an art book, and even a soundtrack, all for a bargain price.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format), and each sound file in both .MP3 and FLAC formats. 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 the charity designated by Legacy designer Jay Iles, Mermaids UK.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$93. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in our Core Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free ebooks and sound files, including the complete Legacy: Life Among the Ruins Second Edition rulebook (retail price $18), The Art of Legacy: Life Among the Ruins (retail $13), and the Sounds of the Wasteland soundtrack (retail $7) of atmospheric ambient sounds.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get our entire Worlds Collection with six more titles worth an additional $55, including Worlds of Legacy 1: Generation Ship (retail $10), 2: Primal Pathways (retail $10) 3: Godsend (retail price $10), 4: Rhapsody of Blood (retail $10) plus its companion collection of new playbooks, Choir of Souls (retail $5); and 5: Worldfall (retail $10)

I wasn't particularly interested when I first looked at this because there are a lot of post-apocalypse survivalist RPGs out there, but this one seems to be different, with more of an emphasis on reconstruction (or construction) and long-term goals, with plots spanning decades and generations rather than a series of firefights. Some of the books remind me of god-game computer and board games, with rivals trying to create or destroy civilizations, others are more conventional roleplaying. There's some very nice art, and even a collection of soundtracks! Given the price I'm definitely recommending this one, it looks like it can be a lot of fun if you like the idea of a long-term campaign.

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Subject:Petition against Suspension of Parliament
Time:11:55 am
If you are one of the many Brits just a little annoyed today this is probably the petition you'll want to sign. Reminder that you do need to be a British citizen with a valid UK address and that you need to enter a genuine email address, since it's used to confirm your signature.

 https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/269157

Really hoping that Boris sees sense on this one, given that he's throwing away any vestiges of legitimate government if it goes ahead.
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Subject:Question for diarists
Time:02:42 pm
 Do pocket diaries sold in the UK still invariably have a map  of the London Underground in the front cover, regardless of where in the UK they are sold?

And is this the explanation for Dumbledore's scar?
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Goodman Gems
Time:08:07 pm
This is a collection of system-free material aimed for the "old-school revival" style of fantasy play, dungeon-bashing and other activities most common in the early days of RPGs

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/GoodmanGems

Goodman Games publishes a stellar series of entertaining and inspirational system-neutral supplements that have become key works of the Old School Revival. Foremost of these is the venerable Dungeon Alphabet, an alphabetic compendium now in its fourth edition, funded in a November 2017 Kickstarter campaign. The Dungeon Alphabet, its recent companion The Monster Alphabet, and other Goodman titles help OSR gamemasters rethink their games at a fundamental level. This all-new Goodman Gems collection gathers much-loved supplements that present new character backgrounds, locations, setting elements, monsters, a yearlong calendar, and two marvelous trips through the alphabet.

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$98. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $37) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including The Adventurer's Almanac (retail price $13), the handy DM Campaign Tracker (retail $5), and two collections of tips and tricks for players and gamemasters, PC Pearls (retail $7) and GM Gems

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with six more sourcebooks worth an additional $61, including the latest edition of the famous Dungeon Alphabet (retail $8) along with its sequel, The Monster Alphabet (retail $12); two collections of campaign settings, Points of Light (retail $8) and Points of Light 2: The Sunrise Sea (retail $10); the Random Esoteric Creature Generator (retail price $8); and How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck (retail $15).


Basically, these are collections of random encounter tables, adventure seeds, and similar material that should be adaptable to most fantasy RPGs. I can't help wonder why any GM would need so much random material, half the fun of running a game is making this sort of stuff up, but it could be useful if you wanted some ideas in a hurry. Since I don't run this sort of game it's no use to me, and to be honest I feel it's a little on the expensive side if you go for the bonus material. But tastes differ, and if you want this sort of thing you're getting a fair amount for the money. As usual your mileage may vary.
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Subject:Rick Loomis
Time:07:43 pm
 A sad PS to Thursday's post - Rick Loomis died on Friday

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Loomis


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Subject:be afraid...
Time:09:47 am
The Stealth Emu is back!

https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=4075

And a couple of links to the Great Emu War of 1932, which people mentioned when I last posted about this, proving that life really is stranger than fiction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emu_War

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Subject:Another RPG Bundle Offer - Flying Buffalo / Catalyst
Time:07:29 pm
This is a repeat of a July 2017 bundle with some new additions. It's being run at short notice because Flying Buffalo founder Rick Loomis is seriously ill and needs the money to pay for treatment.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Catalyst2019

Revived from July 2017, this offer highlights the Catalyst line and other RPG ebooks from Flying Buffalo. Along with four of the Grimtooth's Traps collections of devious dungeon obstacles, this offer presents Buffalo's entire CityBook series. Compatible with any fantasy RPG, the CityBooks present dozens of individual shops, establishments, and characters, genercally written to be added smoothly to any urban fantasy setting. Originally published from 1982 to 1997, the CityBooks featured contributions by leading designers including Larry DiTillio, Liz Danforth, Mike Stackpole, Dave Arneson, Jennell Jaquays, Greg Gorden, and many more.

This revival is for a good cause: Rick Loomis, founder of Flying Buffalo, publisher of Tunnels & Trolls, and designer of the first-ever solitaire adventure (Buffalo Castle), is facing overwhelming medical bills from his treatment for lymphatic cancer. Rick's family has started a GoFundMe campaign, and the Bundle of Holding is also helping by bringing back this collection of some of the best books Rick published. Ordinarily ten percent of the revenue from a Bundle of Holding offer is donated to a charity. For this Catalyst Bundle revival, we're adding the charity portion to the publisher share, to help Rick Loomis and Flying Buffalo in this tough time.

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.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$75. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $30) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first three CityBooks (I: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, II: Port o' Call, and III: Deadly Nightside), plus the first two Grimtooth'sbooks and Treasure Vault.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $45:

  • CityBooks IV-VII: Four more sets of people and places you can easily drop into any city adventure -- IV: On the Road, V: Sideshow, VI: Up Town, and VII: King's River Bridge.
  • Grimtooth's Traps 3-4: Titled Fore and Ate (don't ask us why), these two books give you hundreds more traps to waylay dungeon delvers.
  • NEW IN THIS REVIVAL! City of the Gods Map Pack: The wondrous place built by all the pantheons of Earth after they left this world behind. (All previous purchasers of this offer in its original July 2017 run also receive the newly added book on their Wizard's Cabinet download page.)
  • Mercenaries Spies & Private EyesMichael Stackpole's classic action/espionage RPG inspired by Tunnels & Trolls. Includes the Adventure of the Jade Jaguar solo adventure. (Both were also part of our September 2018 Tunnels & Trolls Bundle.)
  • NEW! Mugshots No. 1 - The Case of the Pacific Clipper: A high-flying pulp-era solo adventure for MSPEwritten by Dungeons & Dragons co-designer Dave Arneson. (Again, all previous purchasers also receive this new addition.)
I think that last time I described this material as fun but a bit old-school, and I don't think that's changed. But it's being sold in a very good cause and includes a LOT of material aimed at GMs who like to make life... interesting... for player characters. If you like death traps look no further! A lot of it is readily usable with other systems - most of the traps, for example - or can be converted with a little work. Recommended! Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2172310.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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