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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - The Laundry RPG
Time:09:13 pm
This is one I'm excited about - The Laundry is Charles Stross's series of novels in which the Stars are Right and British intelligence has to deal with a slowly mounting extinction level event. The RPG manages to capture the bleak setting (and the black humour of the writing) very nicely, and I've played several times now and enjoyed it immensely.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Laundry2016

This offer launched Tuesday, June 28, and runs through 2PM Eastern US time (GMT -5) Monday, July 11.

"In the satirical novels and stories of UK science fiction writer Charles Stross, "The Laundry" is a branch of the British secret service, tasked to prevent hideous alien gods from wiping out all life on Earth (and, more particularly, the United Kingdom) while maintaining ISO-9001 compliance. In The Atrocity Archives and many sequels, the harried occult agents of the Laundry fight Mythos horrors and their own bureaucratic procedures. They can save the world, but they have to get a receipt.

The stars are right for this revival, because Charles Stross has just published his new Laundry novel, The Nightmare Stacks (Amazon Kindle edition), and last year's The Annihilation Score is out in paperback (and you can still get its Kindle edition). The Laundry RPG is a great introduction to this ever-sprawling bureaucracy. The roleplaying game, by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan (Mongoose Traveller, The One Ring, PARANOIA) and others, adapts Chaosium's Basic Role-Playing engine (seen in Call of Cthulhu and many other games), adding new rules for "computational sorcery."

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$115. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get both titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • The Laundry corebook (retail $25): The 288-page guide to the top-secret, bottom-drawer occult branch of British espionage.
  • Agent's Handbook (retail $15): Required training for Laundry officers, and essential guidance for Laundry players.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles (retail value $75):
  • Black Bag Jobs (retail $15): Six self-contained missions ranging from the war-torn hillsides of Afghanistan to the corridors of power in Whitehall, from yoga lessons in Devon to the end of the world.
  • Cultists Under the Bed (retail $15): Eight of the nastiest, most tenacious foes of the Laundry, plus dozens of minor ones.
  • God Game Black (retail $15): Expands on the revelations of The Apocalypse Codex novel to send your games hurtling towards Armageddon.
  • License to Summon (retail $15): The dark side of Computational Demonology and arcane science in the Laundry, as well as the magic of other agencies -- and other entities. New spells, new gadgets, new ways to end the world!
  • The Mythos Dossiers (retail $15): Dozens of reports, handouts, eyewitness accounts and deranged speculations from the murkier reaches of the Laundry's archives.
There don't seem to be any surprise extras this time, I think the offer includes everything that's been published for the game.

If you like gaming modern horror and black comedy, weird spy stuff, and/or shooting squamous things with big guns, this is an essential buy. And it looks very good value, especially if you get in early. But as usual I have to point out that I'm not paying for this stuff, I get freebies, so your mileage may vary.
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whswhs
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Time:2016-06-28 09:26 pm (UTC)
I would be seriously tempted by that if I didn't have nearly all of it already. It was quite easy to fit a set of rules for modest superpowers into the game system and run a campaign about superhuman agents of Australia's Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (motto: "See the Unseen. Know the Unknown"—no, really!). The publishers did a good job of adapting the material.
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d_floorlandmine
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Time:2016-06-28 09:48 pm (UTC)
Same here. It's a good offer!
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ffutures
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Time:2016-06-28 11:26 pm (UTC)
I'm lucky on this one - I've got the game and black ops but never got around to buying the rest. Hours of fun ahead, I think.
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d_floorlandmine
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Time:2016-06-29 09:32 am (UTC)
Yep. The section on balancing the competing commitments of conducting field investigations and fulfilling the requirements of a management role is utterly, and painfully, in line with the feeling of the books.
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whswhs
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Time:2016-06-29 06:04 pm (UTC)
Can you remind me of which book that's in?
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d_floorlandmine
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-30 08:39 am (UTC)
It was a recollection of what turns out to be the "Black Budget, Red Tape" section of the Laundry Agents' Handbook - which in addition to including ways to use your status and your understanding of byzantine bureacracy to help you meet your goals, also includes some "Wandering Management Tables" (OK, they're called 'Bureacracy Random Encounter Tables', but ...) which include such tasks as "Report on ISO9001 KPIs". And, with the joys of remote working, characters can receive such requests even while conducting an investigation - after all, like Bob, they've still got to do the other part of their day job - and a failure to palm them off can require them to return to the office to sort it out.

(It is noted that these can be a handy way to round up players who are headed off down a random dead end, or to remind them of how Kafka-esque the Laundry is.)
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whswhs
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-30 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks! That's actually one that I already have and got some use out of in my campaign, though primarily from the training courses material, I believe.
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d_floorlandmine
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Time:2016-06-30 02:18 pm (UTC)
No problem - hope the campaign went/is going well!
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whswhs
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Time:2016-06-30 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, it was a lot of fun. We had two deeply scary sorcerers, a woman with oneiric powers (given to her by a djinn that was sharing her body), a product of unlicensed genetic experimentation (partially inspired by Hanna), and a soldier with no superhuman abilities at all but amazing combat skills. At the climax they sneaked into New Zealand and dealt with the elder gods that had colonized the WETA servers. . . .

I feel a little smug that I ran the whole campaign before The Annihilation Score was in print.

The game system is a little clunky at times, much in the same way as Call of Cthulhu, which it largely resembles. But it works well enough for the kind of games it's meant to enable. And it takes seriously the need to capture Stross's distinctive vision of his fictional world.

Edited at 2016-06-30 04:29 pm (UTC)
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d_floorlandmine
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-30 04:42 pm (UTC)
Sounds good!

I'm two books behind in the sequence - I need to catch up - although I am lucky enough to know the original user of the Persephone Hazard name. [grin]

As for the system, yep, like many old systems, it has its glitches, but I agree about it successfully depicting the setting.
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whswhs
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Time:2016-06-30 06:02 pm (UTC)
I've been waiting to request The Nightmare Stacks from the San Diego city library. Unfortunately, we're in the final month of their budgetary cycle, when they've run out of library book purchase funds; so rather than going to the city government for more money, they've queued up all the titles they want to order, and they'll start inputting them on July 1, when the new budget cycle starts. So I'll be keeping a close watch for this one to show up, so that I can be one of the first borrowers. It's really very like the things Bob and Mo go through in the boring 90% of their jobs, I guess.
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ffutures
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Time:2016-07-02 09:34 am (UTC)
I'm now one ahead - I'm on Charlie's beta test group of readers, so I read The Nightmare Stacks last year and its successor a while back. I'm still buying them, of course, because the versions I read aren't quite the final edit.
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ckd
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Time:2016-06-28 09:52 pm (UTC)
Sounds like NROL-39 material.
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ffutures
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Time:2016-06-28 11:25 pm (UTC)
Believe me, that has been noticed many times.
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[icon] Another RPG bundle offer - The Laundry RPG - Meme-Free Zone
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