Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Two more RPG Bundle offers - Dying Earth and Stone Skin Press

More RPG offers, both repeats with more stuff added:

Dying Earth Compleat Bundle

"Originally presented in January 2014 and revived in March 2015, this Dying Earth Bundle offer returns for a third trip, now greatly expanded and rechristened Dying Earth Compleat -- because the offer now encompasses the entire DERPG line. And all purchasers of the two previous runs also receive all the new additions (a US$65 retail value) on their Wizard's Cabinet download page. (The new titles are Primer of Practical Magic, Demons of the Dying Earth, Day of the Quelo, Gomoshan's Tomb, The Creep of Inaccuracy, and Excellent Prismatic Spray issues 2-6.)

Jack Vance's Dying Earth stories portray the exploits of characters ranging from vat-grown beauties to wandering scoundrels to vainglorious magicians, who eat, drink, gamble, explore, and cheat their way through what is widely presumed to be the final era of history. Above them, the sun has reddened and grown spotty with age; all assume that it will soon extinguish itself. The cities of the Dying Earth are places of exotic and decadent beauty. Strange foods and bizarre clothing are commonplace. The world is littered with forgotten ruins and plagued by dangerously effective predators. Only the foolhardy or powerful venture far from the safety of their communities. The latter group is intimately familiar with arcane secrets of magic, which, though wondrous and impressive, are mere shadows of the achievement of previous ages.

Published in 2001, The Dying Earth RPG was the first official tabletop RPG based on Jack Vance's work and one of the earliest releases from Pelgrane Press, which has since published 13th Age, the GUMSHOE line of games, and many more. (Trivia: Bundle of Holding operator Allen Varney laid out the DE rulebook and designed the original Pelgrane Press logos.) Designer Robin D. Laws (Feng Shui, HeroQuest, Hillfolk) captured the essence of Vance's stories through an ingenious rules system that downplayed combat in favor of intricate social rules of persuasion and rebuff. The game text anatomized many of the elements that mark the Dying Earth stories: odd customs, crafty swindles, heated protests and presumptuous claims, casual cruelty, weird magic, strange vistas, ruined wonders, exotic food, and foppish apparel.

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

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Pelgrane Press co-owner Simon Rogers, V-Day.

This is one of the largest offers in Bundle history, with a total retail value of US$182. Customers who pay just US$18.95 get all seven titles in this offer's Essentials Collection (retail value $76) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • The Dying Earth core rulebook (retail value US$10): The complete original 192-page game by Robin D. Laws (GUMSHOE, Hillfolk), plus the The Dying Earth Revivification Folio (retail $12), Robin's 2012 update that adapts the Dying Earth setting to his fast-playing Skulduggery rules system (itself an evolution of the original DE rules).
  • Primer of Practical Magic (retail $10): The DERPG spells adapted to the d20 System. (You knew the Dungeons & Dragons/d20 System is based on the Dying Earth stories, right?)
  • The Compendium of Universal Knowledge (retail $20): A huge, passably accurate, incessantly entertaining encyclopedia of the Dying Earth setting.
  • Cugel's Compendium of Indispensable Advantages (retail $6): Worthy adjuncts for wayward wayfarers like the protagonist of Eyes of the Overworld and Cugel's Saga.
  • Kaiin Player's Guide (retail $9): Robin Laws's all-encompassing guidebook to a city perfect for long-term play at all levels. Includes the bonus "Old Town" chapter.
  • Scaum Valley Gazetteer (retail $9): An exhaustive travelogue of the ideal starting region for new characters.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $36.95 to start, also get this offer's massive Compleat Collection with fourteen more supplements and adventures worth an additional $106 that amplify any Dying Earth game at all three levels of play:

  • Turjan's Tome of Beauty and Horror (retail $9): For the brave and adventurous seekers of the Last Hundred Spells, as seen in Jack Vance's first Dying Earth book.
  • Rhialto's Book of Marvels (retail $10): Powerful magic for the fractious arch-magicians of Rhialto the Marvellous.
  • Demons of the Dying Earth (retail $10) and Tooth, Talon, & Pinion (retail $7): Denizens of this mundane world and its unspeakable subworlds that will ruffle your most blase characters.
  • Three introductory adventures (total retail $15) for Cugel-, Turjan-, and Rhialto-level play: The Day of the Quelo, Gomoshan's Tomb, and The Creep of Inaccuracy.
  • Fields of Silver (retail $10): An epic Turjan-level campaign.
  • "In the Footsteps of Fools" (retail $40): All five installments of Ian Thomson's panoramic campaign -- All's Fair in Azenomei, Strangers in Saskervoy, Lords of Cil, Beyond the Mountains of Magnatz, and And Thence to Almery.
  • The Excellent Prismatic Spray issues 2-6 (total retail $20): The authoritative Dying Earth RPG periodical, with contributions from many gaming luminaries.

Stone Skin Press Bundle

Where genre meets literature, where geek culture meets the mainstream, there is Stone Skin Press. With a series of literary anthologies to challenge the boundaries between genres and creative scenes, Stone Skin (the Pelgrane Press fiction imprint) gathers writers from such disparate fields as gaming, literary fiction, F/SF, film, YA, comics, and podcasting. Its eclectic author rosters bring colliding perspectives to bear on themes that combine the classic with the surprising.

"Stone Skin Press is a new fiction imprint from roleplaying game publisher Pelgrane Press," Simon Rogers wrote at the start of the August 2012 Kickstarter campaignthat launched the line. "We set up the imprint because of my enthusiasm for genre-crossing writing, including Michael Chabon, Iain Banks, Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin and Adam Marek. I already know how to publish, and there is a wealth of talented writers, both mainstream and genre who enjoy writing to a challenging brief. We want to inspire all-new fiction and take our writers and readers in new directions."

We provide each ebook complete in ePub, Kindle (.mobi), and .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 Pelgrane Press co-owner Simon Rogers, V-Day.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$40. Customers who pay a mere US$3.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $16) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including The New Hero Volume 1 and Schemers -- a total of 28 stories both heroic and insidious by Tobias S. Buckell, Monte Cook, Julia Bond Ellingboe, Chuck Wendig, and more -- plus both collections of the avian webcomic The Birds by Robin D. Laws.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at just $9.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more star-studded fiction collections worth an additional $24:

  • Shotguns v. Cthulhu (retail $6): Double-barrelled action in the world of HP Lovecraft, featuring Kenneth Hite, Dave Gross, Larry DiTillio, Rob Heinsoo, and others.
  • The New Hero Volume 2 ($6): Fourteen original takes on the heroic ideal by Emily Care Boss, Matt Forbeck, Will Hindmarch, Greg Stolze, John Scott Tynes, and fellow heroes.
  • The New Gothic ($6): A dozen tales of terror, including an original, never-before-seen story from the godfather of modern horror, Ramsey Campbell.
  • The Lion and the Aardvark ($6): Seventy new Aesop-style fables for our time by Greg Stafford, Sandy Petersen, Ed Greenwood, and many (many!) more.

At least one more title will be added later. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle -- even during this offer's original October 2014 run -- automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

The Dying Earth is one of the classic RPGs with a lot of interesting ideas and a huge amount of material for the money. The fiction has some interesting stories, though I tend to find single-theme collections like these a little repetitive. And it has The Birds, which I liked but apparently missed quite a few installments, it's nice to see them collected.

My recommendation is a definite YES! for Dying Earth, if you know Vance at all you probably want to role-play this setting, and this is the kit of tools to do it. The fiction is more of a MAYBE, for me at least, I think I'd probably want to browse one volume at a time rather than buying them in a lump. As usual I have to stress that I'm not paying for this stuff so your mileage may vary.

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