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The Long Dark Lies Before You

Fantasy Flight Games - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 21:09
Pick Up the Fourth Dwarrowdelf Adventure Pack for The Lord of the Rings Today

“Hail, comers from afar!” they said, and they turned the hilts of their swords towards the travellers in token of peace. Green gems flashed in the sunlight. Then one of the guards stepped forward and spoke in the Common Speech.
    “I am the Doorward of Théoden,” he said. “Háma is my name. Here I must bid you lay aside your weapons before you enter.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Darkness and silence await you in the mines of Moria. The Long Dark is now available at your local retailer and online on our webstore!

The fourth chapter of the Dwarrowdelf saga, this Adventure Pack relates the trials of the heroes of Middle-earth as they delve into Moria’s ancient Dwarven tunnels in search of the source of the increased Orc activity in the Misty Mountains. The way is dark and choked with foes and hazards. The ominous dark lingers ever before your party, closing in around you, making it difficult to tell one path from another, and you must be careful to keep your way.

The Long Dark challenges your fellowship with Locate Tests and goblin hordes, and your heroes will need guidance rooted in wisdom in order to prevail.

A Man of Worth in a Time of Doubt

The Long Dark introduces a new Tactics hero to represent the Riders of Rohan, Háma (The Long Dark, 76). A warrior who earned the right to serve as Théoden’s personal doorward, Háma brings both his sword and his wisdom to The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.

Naturally, Tactics heroes excel at defending and defeating enemies. That said, none have yet appeared to structure the Tactics sphere into a more coordinated strategy. Gimli (Core Set, 4) and Legolas (Core Set, 5) are tremendous warriors, but they tend to race into every fray, counting their kills. Gimli slays the larger enemies, and Legolas clears a path through the smaller foes for your fellowship to travel. Boromir (The Dead Marshes, 95) may be a valiant hero, but he tends toward selfishness, defending and attacking all that come near him. Thalin (Core Set, 6) may have a definite style, but it rarely suggests any measure of planning; he simply pushes forward into every unknown location, forever committed to the quest. Of the existing Tactics heroes, Brand son of Bain (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 72) is most likely to coordinate a larger strategy out of momentary tactics; his ability to ready other player’s heroes can be very handy, but requires some cooperation.

Háma, however, is likely to change how many players approach the Tactics sphere. As your fellowship pushes further into the darkest reaches of Middle-earth, you want a plan that provides consistent means of dealing with the enemies that seek to surround you. Háma’s ability provides just that. With just one Willpower and one Defense, Háma’s not built to excel at much other than attacking, but that’s okay. It’s when he attacks that he shines. After Háma is declared as an attacker, you can return a Tactics event from your discard pile to your hand. Of course, you have to discard a card afterward, but so long as you have the cards to spare, Háma helps you get greater, consistent utility out of some of the Tactics sphere’s greatest events, such as Feint (Core Set, 34) and Quick Strike (Core Set, 35).

Events in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game often have tremendous effects, but their main drawback is that they are discarded immediately after they resolve. Because you can only include three copies of any event in a deck of at least fifty cards, it’s sometimes hard to count on drawing them when you need them. Háma may not allow you to include extra copies or keep your events on the table as static bonuses, but he allows you to make repeated use of them. Moreover, when Háma attacks, you can return the Tactics event of your choice from your discard pile, meaning that you can start to build a larger strategy out of the events you include in your deck.

Traveling Purposefully through The Long Dark

Pick up your copy of The Long Dark today to strike forward under the guidance of Háma, purposefully arming your hand with the most useful Tactics events in your deck. This exciting Adventure Pack is now available at your local retailer and online on our webstore!

...

Categories: Company News

Woedenmarsh

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 21:08
WoedenmarshPublisher: Kuroiame Realms
"Woedenmarsh" Battlemap for VTT

Map Size: 40x28
Map Dimensions: 4000x2800 pixels

Product/Zip Contents:
Woedenmarsh.jpg
Woedenmarsh Cover.jpg
Woedenmarsh ReadMe.txt

Woedenmarsh preview

Price: $3.50
Categories: Company News

At the Sign of the Happy Harpy

Pelgrane Press Ltd - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 20:40
We had an amazing family vacation for two weeks just as I was turning over the 2nd playtest draft of 13th Age. We spent two weeks in Turkey, starting with four days in the carved rock of Cappadocia, where I typed the new echo spell notes for the wizard listening to the night call of the muezzin bouncing off a fortress rock named the Castle of Uchisar. Then we drove south and west along the coast, hiking in ruins and swimming in the Mediterranean before catching aflight to Istanbul for a final four days of museums and bazaars.     In Kalkan, we stayed in a sweet hotel that we thought was named the Harpy Hotel. But half its logos and signs said the Happy Hotel. Which was it? Well it started as the Harpy Hotel. As witnessed by the Harpy Stele at the nearby ruins of Xanthos, the local harpies were conceived as benevolent spirits, winged women who took the souls of dead children to heaven. Huh. Dead children, well, I guess that’s the human condition. Heaven is good, at least.     But every week a hotel guest mentioned that as far as they knew, harpies were monsters. Eventually the hotel acknowledged its PR error. The owner’s name includes a Turkish word for happy, so the new name is a double-entendre that most guests won’t realize.     As we were checking out I decided to take one last look at email since it seemed likely we wouldn’t have access that night. I had a surprise present, the first 13th Age monster tile I’d seen from the Diabolist, sent over by Lee Moyer who’d finished the tile from Aaron McConnell’s rough pencils. And yeah, the moment we were checking out from the Happy/Harpy Hotel, Lee sent over the harpy.       I had my laptop in hand as we checked out and showed the art to the concierge, saying “You know all those people who turned the harpy into a monster and made you change the name of your hotel? I make games. I’m part of your problem.”     For those of you reading this entry for information on 13th Age instead of keeping up with my synchronicity highway vacations, here’s the scoop on our monster tiles. Preparing the art order, I mulled over the fact that our monster selection for the 13th Age book deliberately sticks close to d20 norms. Therefore most of our monsters have been extremely well-illustrated multiple times. And recently. What were we going to add? Did our audience really need another monster-format illustration of a gnoll? An otyugh, even? There had to be a more interesting approach. So I turned to the strengths of our setting: what if the monsters could be represented by control glyphs created by the Archmage? That way the monster illustrations would be different and say something useful about the world. Maybe I’d put together a card game using the glyphs. Maybe the game would correspond to a game played by wizards.     I talked the idea over with Lee Moyer. Mr. Value-Added, I call him. Once Lee began experimenting with the glyphs, he suggested that we rank the monsters with icons they might be associated with instead of giving the Archmage all the credit. Of course! Each monster or monster type appears on a form of tile, stone, gem or plaque associated with one of the icons. The Diabolist’s tiles are all shaped like the harpy tile, a shape you’ll recognize from the icon’s illustration. On the Diabolist’s other tiles, instead of a harpy you’ll get a hezrou or dretch or balor. But the Elf Queen’s tiles look nothing like the Diabolist’s tiles, ditto for the High Druid and each of the other icons associated with a few of the monsters.     Lee nailed this project. We’ll share more monster tiles soon!

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Categories: Company News

Shadowrun: Gun Heaven 2

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 20:38
 Gun Heaven 2Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs

Friend of the Desperate and the Hunted

The only friend you’ll ever need. The last friend you’ll ever have. Your gun is the one thing in your life that should be dependable, that should always make a nice loud bang when you squeeze the trigger, and should always bring down whoever you think should fall. Of course, if your weapon is going to be that important to you, you’ll need one that suits you perfectly. And to find the right match, it’s best if you have a lot of choices.

Welcome back to Gun Heaven, where your next best friend is waiting for you. Dozens of options await, from the troll-friendly Krime Cannon to the foldable Terracotta Arms Mordred, from the stylish Shiawase Arms K2072 to the true tool of the desperate, the Barrens Special. And on top of that is a new breakthrough in ammo that gives you a better chance to hit your intended target.

Gun Heaven 2 contains fifty new guns for Shadowrun, each with a large, full-color illustration and complete game information and statistics. They're waiting for you—take a look and find that special friend that fits perfectly in your hands.

Gun Heaven 2 is for use with Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition.

Price: $11.95
Categories: Company News

Traveling Worlds [BUNDLE]

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 20:20
Traveling Worlds [BUNDLE]Publisher: Sonic Legends
THIS IS A BUNDLE PRODUCT. WHEN BUYING THIS ITEM YOU WILL RECEIVE SEPARATE DOWNLOAD LINKS FOR EACH PRODUCT LISTED BELOW...

SPRING SALE! From a Turkish market to the vast lands of the Far East to the European countryside, this bundle is great for games that take players to the four corners of the map. Over half an hour of music for a fraction of the regular price!

Arabian Bazaar
Regular price: $2.99
Bundle price: $1.99

Canvas tent flaps flutter in the desert wind. Merchants entreat passers buy to sample their wares. Silks from the East, Spices from the South, figs and dates from the North, and stranger wares from more foreign climes. Hawkers declaim the virtues of their goods in Arabic, Greek, and Pahlavi. Ox-driven carts heavy with goods and gold trundle through the packed streets. Street performers, poets, fire-eaters, musicians and dancers, compete with the stall-keepers for the attention of the crowd. The *klink* of coin falling into an upturned hat or cup indicates their success. All the while the assembled shoppers haggle and swap gossip under the blazing arabian sun. Use it in your next adventure that takes you to exotic lands. Music by Christy Carew; sound design by Christy Carew and Erika Lie...

City of Jade
Regular price: $2.99
Bundle price: $1.99

The bustling streets of the far East, the grand municipalities of the Middle Kingdom, the exotic Imperial splendor of a land of rare silks and spices! The City of Jade is civilization at its height, a land rich in culture, that holds ancient tradition in the highest regard. Great for games set in distant Asian lands. Also great for meditation and yoga.

Sonic Legends soundscapes are a blend of music and sound effects specially designed to enhance tabletop and live-action roleplaying games. The music provides an emotive backdrop that helps your players get into the right mood, and the sound effects give you a realistic sonic environment to set your scene in. Each soundscape is approximately eight to ten minutes in length, and shifts to naturally follow a dramatic storyline. The...

Country Village
Regular price: $2.99
Bundle price: $1.99

Quaint, prosperous rural village that wouldn't feel out of place anywhere in medieval Europe... or the opening of a Disney film. Cobblers cobble, a blacksmith works the forge, farm animals chatter, and children's laughter can be heard in the distance. Well-groomed horses draw carriages through unpaved streets. Birds chirp, and a gentle breeze sings. Great for any epic fantasy adventure. Music and sound design by Erika Lieberman.

Sonic Legends soundscapes are a blend of music and sound effects specially designed to enhance tabletop and live-action roleplaying games. The music provides an emotive backdrop that helps your players get into the right mood, and the sound effects give you a realistic sonic environment to set your scene in. Each soundscape is approximately eight to t...

Prosperous Tavern
Regular price: $2.99
Bundle price: $1.99

The adventurers meet in a crowded tavern. A merry band plays in the corner. Inebriated patrons roar with laughter and toast to anything. A barmaid giggles. Drinks are poured, drunk, and poured again. Coin clinks on wooden tables. Dice are rolled in gambling games. A good-natured brawl breaks out, and the winner buys the loser a drink, which he chugs down despite his broken nose. Diagetic Celtic-flavored music with medieval tavern sound effects. For epic fantasy and other medieval/renaissance games.

Sonic Legends soundscapes are a blend of music and sound effects specially designed to enhance tabletop and live-action roleplaying games. The music provides an emotive backdrop that helps your players get into the right mood, and the sound effects give you a realistic sonic enviro...

Total value: $11.96 Special bundle price: $7.96 Savings of: $4.00 (33%) Price: $11.96
Categories: Company News

Floor Tiles: Druid's Forest

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 20:14
 Druid's ForestPublisher: Kuroiame Realms
"Floor Tiles: Druid's Forest" mapping resource

Each floor section is 4x4 (800x800 pixels)

Product/Zip Contents:
Druid's Forest 01.png
Druid's Forest 02.png
Druid's Forest 03.png
Druid's Forest 04.png
Druid's Forest 05.png
Druid's Forest 06.png
Floor Tiles Druid's Forest Cover.jpg
Floor Tiles Druid's Forest ReadMe.txt

A resource for your personal and commercial maps and map tiles.

Druid's Forest preview

Note: To view a larger preview of this resource, please go here.

Price: $1.00
Categories: Company News

The Battlefield: Miniature Modern Warfare

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 19:29
 Miniature Modern WarfarePublisher: Brent Spivey Creations

The Battlefield: Miniature Modern Warfare puts the modern first and third person shooter experience on the tabletop. Utilizing the Overdrive™ activation mechanic and a proprietary terrain and cover system, the game captures the rhythm and flow of ultramodern shooter engagements. You’ll soon be sliding into cover, mantling obstacles, and performing breach and clears with the best of them. The features:

8 CLASSES Anti-Tank, Assault, Command, Engineer, Medic, Support, Spec Ops, Sniper

9 VEHICLE PROFILES  You can field Desert Patrol Vehicles, APC-IFV, Main Battle Tanks, Choppers, and everything in between. Of course, since you have choppers, there are rules for parachuting and fast roping included.

35 LOADOUTS In addition to the weapons and gear found in the standard kits for classes and vehicles, players have access to 35 Loadouts that can be used to further customize squads. These include: scopes, multiple grenade types,  ghillie suits, vehicle upgrades, specialized training, under-slung weapon attachments, and much more.

9 GAME MODES! There are 9 core game modes that each have between 4 and 8 additional options and variants. The modes: Attack and Defend, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Conquer, HQ, Rout, Tango Down!, and Onslaught.

Focus on Multiplayer

For 2-8 players! The Battlefield focuses on delivering a true objective based multiplayer experience. Not only will the game support up to 8 players, but certain abilities, game modes, and play options are not even unlocked until you have more than 2 players.

Stealth, Tactics, and Communication Matter

Even while embracing the shooter experience, The Battlefield strives to feature real world tactics and effects as well. Spotting rules, readied actions, overwatch, suppression fire, and bounding  are all present and ensure periods of tension and apprehension punctuated by moments of complete chaos.

Zombies, Insurgents, and MERCS But wait… there’s more! The rules for Zombies, Insurgents, and MERCS create options for players to tailor and enhance the multplayer experience even further. Here players can take on the part of roleplayer, spoiler, or even engage an opponent in something I like to call the sub-game. You can, quite literally, play a game within the game.

Scale The game is playable in any scale with any miniatures you like. It features first person shooter [FPS] and third person shooter [TPS] basing options to empower the player to enjoy the game with the visual style that suits their tastes and miniature collection.

Black Ops This bonus section of the book contains notes on design concepts, advanced rules, and other play options. Coupled with the core rules, you have everything you need to customize your games to mirror your favorite shooter’s style including games like: Operation Flashpoint, Ghost Recon, Battlefield, and Call of Duty.

Allied Support While you can use any miniatures you like, the game has support from some of the best miniature figure, terrain, and game accessory producers in the industry. There’s even a resource for LED lighting and specialized effects like fires and welding arcs!

Price: $9.99
Categories: Company News

Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile: Meta-Powers

Green Ronin - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 18:22

 Meta-PowersThere are powers, and then there are powers about powers: Meta-Powers. This profile looks at the powers used to influence the powers of others, from Power Mimicry and Power Theft to Power Nullification and Nemesis, with a close look at the Variable effect from the core rules, the foundation of many of these powers. For M&M Third Edition.

Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile: Meta-Powers

Categories: Company News

WaRP Forum

Atlas Games - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 18:20
To encourage WaRP fans to connect with each other and to create new material, Atlas Games has created a special discussion forum dedicated to the system. Join the talk at forum.atlas-games.com !
Categories: Company News

Hell or High Water--Chapter Four: In the Lair of the White Leech

Paizo - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 17:00

Hell or High Water

by Ari Marmell

Chapter Four: In the Lair of the White Leech

"Which one's the Gullet want?"

"Don't think he cares, long as it ain't one of the new ones. Someone been in there at least a few days."

The two warriors—muscle-bound, covered in scars of both battle and pestilence—waded into the waters, making for the stump from which the pulley could be operated.

"What about that gussied-up Shackles pirate we took? He oughta be about ripe by now, yeah?"

"Yeah, what is he? Two down, four over?" The White Leech reached for the mildewed rope, tugged—and nothing happened. A puzzled glance upward, and he could just barely make out an amorphous shape in the darkness, perched on the block-and-tackle.

"Hey, what—!"

The blood-smeared tooth wasn't much of a weapon, and her left hand was all but useless. But when Ameyanda dropped upon the first of her captors, a feral snarl erupting through bared teeth, it made no difference.

∗∗∗

"Issisk..." Somehow, though the iron stakes allowed little range of movement, Seyusth seemed to slump. "You must understand—"

"Understand? Understand that you murdered your own cohort on your journey to the Terwa? That you snuck back to Haa-Ok and killed Errash, your own mentor, before skulking home with your tales of ambush? You never knew Hasseth survived, did you?"

"I—"

"He ran, Seyusth. The greatest warrior of Haa-ok, and he fled. He thought that, because it was you who tried to kill him, it must have been the will of the shaman. It was not until I spoke to him, in his dying days, and told him that Errash had also been murdered, and the lies you spun of what had occurred, that he knew it was you alone who had betrayed him. Betrayed us!"

"Issisk, listen! Errash wanted the alliance for his own gain, not because the spirits told him so. The others, you... None of you understand what the Terwa Lords are! What we would become, were we to ally with them... The horrors we would have to accept, to inflict... I died with every Haa-Ok life I took, but I could not allow the delegation to deliver us into a devil's bargain for the soul of our people!"

"I do not know the Terwa Lords," Issisk said stiffly. "I know only what you told me of them. How can I know, now, what of that is true?"

"All of it. Issisk, I swear—"

"What I know is that the blood of several Haa-Ok is on your talons. And that this was not your decision to make.

"Some day, Seyusth, the eyes of the White Leech will grow careless, and I will escape. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps a year from now. But I will make my way home, and I will tell all Haa-Ok what you did. That it was not the wrath of the spirits that allowed an assassin to reach our shaman, but a traitor who knew his magics. And they will make their own choice, as they should have long ago."

"Issisk, please!" It was not a word that came easily to the lizardfolk, above all a practical and pragmatic people. "Please, if your anger is with me, take it out on me. But you will be doing Haa-Ok only harm if you—"

"You have no more words I wish to hear, traitor."

Seyusth was still pleading as his cousin disappeared through the open doorway, followed by the shambling Hasseth. If his people were capable of it, he would have wept.

It was the commotion from outside—running, howling, the thump of fists on armor as wild men worked themselves into a frenzy—that snapped him out of it a few moments later. From here, he could see absolutely nothing of what was happening. All he could tell was that it wasn't a fire.

Which, given the rather damp state of affairs, he'd have known anyway.

The sounds faded into the distance, the night now filled with nothing but the hum of insects and the hoot of a hunting bird. And then...

"Hsst! Seyusth!"


"Issisk knows things he shouldn't."

Ameyanda slipped in through the doorway, carrying one of the White Leech blades. The human looked awful—her eyes were slightly wild, she winced with every step—but it seemed that most of the blood splattered across her armor and skin was not hers.

"We don't have long," she told him, limping across the open chamber. "I left a trail down to the water's edge, and pushed one of the small rafts into the current. Not one with the dead who, uh, row," she clarified. "But we have only minutes before they catch up and realize I'm not aboard."

"Then we had better act, and discuss the details of your miraculous escape another day."

She nodded and halted before him, examining the rough wooden cross.

"Seyusth," she said softly, "there's no way to do this gently, not in the time we have."

"I understand." He squeezed his eyes shut. "Do it."

Even in the blackness, the room spun as she pulled the cross from the corner, twisted it clumsily, and laid it flat. He felt her fingers squeeze between his scales and the curved iron pinning his right arm; saw her flinch from the touch of the necromantic runes; heard the scrape as she braced her feet on the wood.

Wood splintered. Iron screeched. And despite his most adamant efforts, Seyusth screamed.

∗∗∗

When it was done, they lay sprawled on the floor, chests heaving, growing sticky with the lizardman's blood. Ameyanda tried not to stare at the raw meat and exposed tendon visible through the rents in her companion's flesh.

Especially when they began to twitch.

"They still work well enough..." he muttered. His arm shaking, he reached a hand out to the huntress's shoulder.

"Seyusth..."

But he was already speaking in his own reptilian tongue.

Ameyanda gasped as an icy shock ran down her arm, as though someone had replaced her blood with mountain runoff. It faded swiftly, however, and so too did much of the agony in her hand.

Not all—and it still burned with a sickly heat—but any relief was welcome.

"Tomorrow," the shaman said softly, "I can cure the infection. I fear you will have to bear it until then."

"Thank you. I—"

Again he spoke in his own language, and the worst of his wounds began to close over. Much like her own, it was far from a complete cure, but impressive for all that.

"What of Issisk?" she asked, staggering roughly to her feet.

Seyusth's face went tight, as though he'd only just remembered why they'd come.

"He is here. He... ran into the swamp when the commotion began. I must find him before they do."

"Wait just a—"

The shaman staggered through the door, shifting into some sort of ibis, and took to the night skies.

"Grandfather Gozreh damn that lizard! I should—"

The thump-squelch of ponderous footsteps in the mud, and a high-pitched wheezing of animal fury, announced that her time had run out.

They announced, too, who approached.

The room was empty, save for the broken cross. Nowhere to hide. And even after Seyusth's curative magics, Ameyanda didn't think she had it in her to face the Gullet directly.

Her frantic gaze alighted upon the shaman's blood, only just beginning to seep into the saturated wooden floor. With no other choice, she dropped to her knees and began to arrange things just so...

A grunt as he came through the door, a faint creak of wood beneath his feet. She knew what the walking avalanche of flesh must see: Her body, lying crumpled in the midst of a sizable blood pool, her stolen weapon lying beside her. Using techniques she'd learned long ago to avoid the sensitive ears of prey and predator both, she breathed lightly, softly. In the feeble lighting, it should appear she didn't breathe at all.

She hoped.

"Well, haven't you been trouble?" the high, breathy voice asked from behind. "Not as ripe as I'd like, but you'll still taste fine. And more of you to go around, with fewer mouths to feed."

She felt flabby fingers close around an ankle, lift in preparation to drag her from the room...

Ameyanda rolled upright, stomach muscles screaming, and struck. The iron spike that had nailed Seyusth's feet to the cross now plunged through Galgur's own. The lumbering giant shrieked, a sound almost too high to hear, and crumpled, grasping reflexively at the sudden agony.

The huntress's other hand, clutching one of the sharpened brackets that had held the shaman's arms, punched between those toothy ridges and down that screaming gullet. She felt things tear around her makeshift weapon, the skin of his throat quivering obscenely at the touch of the thing's vile magics.

"How does that taste, you motherless hyena?"

Galgur managed a single, wet choke. Blood bubbled up around Ameyanda's hand, and she yanked it back, leaving the cursed bracket behind.

The room shook as the Gullet's body rolled to the floor. Ameyanda decided to believe that her brief gasp was a result of that shuddering, and not a near-sob of relief at the creature's death.

All right, now what?

She had no idea of how quickly the others would return, and she'd never find her way out of here wounded, in the dark, without Seyusth. So what could she possibly...

Ameyanda studied the massive corpse, then the blade on the floor beside the puddle of blood, and heaved a thick sigh. In a day of sickening tasks, what's one more?

At least now she had somewhere to hide...

∗∗∗

"I knew you would run."

Seyusth dropped through the branches, shifting out of bird-form as he landed with a muddy thump. "After what you told me, I knew you would see the sudden commotion as your opportunity. Perhaps even a gift from the spirits."

Issisk straightened, hand hovering near the blade at his belt. "What do you intend?"

"Issisk, please. I will help you get home, and submit myself to whatever penance you see fit, but do not tell the others! Their belief may be all that keeps us from the Terwa!"

"I am not you, Seyusth. I will not deceive our people. I will let them make their own choice. And where Hasseth and the others were tribesmates, I am family. I do not believe you would murder me to keep your secret."

Seyusth lowered his gaze, and Issisk turned to walk away.

∗∗∗

For several days they traveled. They rested as well as they could, in the best shelters they could find, and said little. Finally, they awoke one morning to the welcome sight of the Mwangi jungles against the eastern horizon.

Ameyanda rose, stretched, preparing herself for another day's hike. She eyed the rough blade she carried with distaste and more than a little sadness. Those mambeles had been her trusted companions for years. She could acquire new ones readily enough, but it wouldn't be the same.

Seyusth appeared beside her, also ready for travel—and apparently still digesting what she'd told him over breakfast.

"You really hid inside—"

She shuddered with the memory of the charnel stench, the wet coils looping around her arms, the hot, reeking fat closing in around her. "It worked. And I don't want to talk about it."

"I understand."

"And Issisk?" She hadn't planned to ask; the fact that Seyusth had returned alone was evidence enough of the lizardman's fate. The question just burst out in response to the unwanted imagery he'd inflicted on her with his own comment, however unintended.

"The White Leech reached him before I did," Seyusth's attention fixed on the distant jungle. "I was unable to save him."

"So this was all for nothing."

"I... fear so."

Ameyanda growled and started walking—then stopped once more when she realized the lizardman was still behind her.

"Isn't this about where you turn north, if you're returning to Haa-Ok?"

"I am not returning yet. I owe you—"

"No, we're even. I was repaying a debt."

"Yes, you accompanied me as repayment. But then you saved me, when it would have been wiser to make your own escape from the White Leech."

"I'm not keeping count. And I have my own tasks, Seyusth."

"And I will assist you."

"You owe me nothing, shaman. Go home."

The huntress began to walk once more, and this time she did not look back.

∗∗∗

"Go home."

It sounded nice enough. But Seyusth wasn't certain he had a home any longer. The visage of every relative would be Issisk's dying face; every glance, his eyes; every raised voice, an accusation.

Issisk had been right. He'd felt guilt before, but not until it was one of his own family had he felt like a traitor.

Seyusth had meant to save Issisk, he truly had. But the tribe must be protected. Haa-Ok was safe. The people still believed the spirits disapproved of the Terwa Lords. They were in no danger of losing their identity, their culture, their souls to those monsters. And Seyusth's own apprentice could serve their spiritual and mystical needs for many moons to come.

I can do more good here. Allies among the humans will prove useful, someday, when the Terwa do come to Mwangi.

So he told himself again, and again, in the hopes that he would start believe. Because responsibility was easier to bear than guilt.

Seyusth sighed a very human sigh, and set off after his distant companion.

Coming Next Week: A free sample chapter of Tim Pratt's new high-tech, jungle-exploring adventure City of the Fallen Sky!

Ari Marmell is an author and game designer, and has written extensively for Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, World of Darkness, and more. His novels include the independent dark fantasy novels The Conqueror's Shadow and The Warlord's Legacy, the young adult fantasy Thief's Covenant, and the morbidly humorous The Goblin Corps, among others. For more information, see his website at mouseferatu.com.

Illustration by Jim Pavelec.

Tags: Ari Marmell, Hell or High Water, Jim Pavelec, Pathfinder Tales, Web Fiction

2012-05-16T17:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Behind-the-Illustration: The Dwarf King of 13th Age

Pelgrane Press Ltd - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 16:46

“The Dwarf King is lord of Forge, the dwarves’ new homeland beneath the mountains. He’d love to reclaim the dwarven Underhome lost to war against the dark elves and the creatures of the deeps. But now that the Empire is stumbling, the dwarves find themselves manning the mountain walls that shield the Empire from the orcs and monsters of the north.”  –From the 13th Age icon teaser description.

Without further ado…The Dwarf King!  Digitally painted by Lee Moyer.  Below you will find my pencil drawing as well as an earlier sketch with revision notes provided by Lee.

**Somewhere between Lee’s revision sketch and my pencil rendering there was mention of Brian Blessed’s teeth.

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Faun Archers - Arqueros Faunos

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 16:33
Faun Archers - Arqueros FaunosPublisher: Reivaj Minis

It is a set of 12 paper minis with front and back art in 300 dpi. It includes 10 faun archers, 1 standart bearer and 1 musician. The set includes two set of bases: autun forest and green forest. It´s a PDF file that use layer to change the bases textures, activate or desactivate the Reivaj logo when you print and change the archers aiming to left or right.

Price: $3.00
Categories: Company News

Poison Stock Art and Design Pack

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 16:26
Poison Stock Art and Design PackPublisher: Hopsy Graphic Art
You will recive 6 A4 size (3353x4000 pixel) images (you can easy convert them us letter, if not, please contact me) in 300 DPI, uncompressed TIFF format, and a high resolution 300 dpi transparent png item illustration. If you not exactly searched this, please contact us, and we make them to you for low prices!

 

This image can be used as part of any printed or e-books. This cannot be resold as stock art or on they own. You have to credit properly in the imprint (full name: Peter Temesi&Sade).

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Price: $4.00
Categories: Company News

Fantastic Maps - Illfrost: Stockade

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 16:02
 StockadePublisher: Rite Publishing

Fantastic Maps and Illusionary Press present: 

Illfrost - Stockade

Jonathan Roberts cartographer for George R.R. Martin's The Lands of Ice and Fire, Kobold Quarterly, and The Breaking of Forstor Nagar, presents another Fantastic Map: "Illfrost: Stockade".


This multi-page PDF allows you to print out the battlemap at a 1 square=1 inch scale as a letter-format or A4 map and is also available in a printer-friendly light grayscale version. The pack also contains a JPG of the map with grid and a MapTool file set up for quick use in a 4E, PFRPG, or any OGL game. The MapTool file requires MapTool 1.3b86 or newer to work.


You can find more of Jonathan Roberts' work at his blog HERE

The Stockade map was originally created for the world of Illfrost.

Price: $2.99
Categories: Company News

WaRPed Character by Robin Laws

Atlas Games - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 15:39
To celebrate/publicize the release of the WaRP System under the Open Game License, Over the Edge co-author Robin Laws has put up on his blog a new character he created using the rules system. Check it out!

Releasing your own WaRP content? Let us know about it!
Categories: Company News

Schicksalsfäden – Haarlocks Vermächtnis 1

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 14:56
Schicksalsfäden – Haarlocks Vermächtnis 1Publisher: Feder & Schwert

Auf dem Vergnügungsplaneten Quaddis geschieht Schreckliches, und uralte Omen werden offenbar, als die vorletzte 13. Stunde naht. Werden Ihre Akolythen das Geheimnis um Haarlocks Vermächtnis rechtzeitig ergründen können? Von den blutigen, labyrinthischen roten Käfigen bis zum Gutshaus des Gabriel Chase führt dieses Abenteuer die Akolythen in die finstere Nachtseite Quaddis’. Die Angelegenheiten des berüchtigten Freihändlers Erasmus Haarlock werden enthüllt und bereiten die Bühne für das Schicksal des Calixis-Sektors.


Um diesen Zusatzband verwenden zu können, ist das Schattenjäger-Grundregelwerk erforderlich.

Price: $26.16
Categories: Company News

21 Guns

RPGNow - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 12:45
21 GunsPublisher: Coyote Press

An indie role playing game that celebrates the Stephen King's Dark Tower Saga. It's a free 2 pages RPG. Easy to play for 4 to 6 players.

Once upon a time a great Kingdom reigned over the world, enlightening and protecting the peoples. The High King, Arthur David was seated on the throne and 100 great Knights attended him with honor. The Knights of the Kingdom sheltered the Hinges of the Universe, mystical forces that Ordered the World, but they made the mistake of substituting the magic of the Hinges with technology... The Order broke up, and now not even the sun shining is sure. But Cydonia, last shred of the past Kingdom, has not given up the resistance yet. The Blessed Virgin legitimately sits on the throne of her fathers and the last 21 Knights still lean on their knees in her presence, laying weapons down with deference. Some of the 21 gather in Fellowship to seek the Quests, hoping to restore the ancient Kingdom.

Price: $0.00
Categories: Company News

The Birds Volume 1

Pelgrane Press Ltd - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 12:38

Pete, a not so loveable loser always ready to become a fanatic for any cause, craves the respect of his coolly abusive best friend Steve. His wife, Shirley, pursues Steve while half-heartedly plotting Pete’s demise. Her best friend, Loretta, signals her unrequited love for Pete by sending him severed raccoon heads. Eventually Steve’s Dad shows up, fresh out of prison. All of them are heavily armed.

Finally appearing in print after providing years of appalling hilarity to readers of writer and game designer Robin D. Laws’ blog, The Birds, is a deadpan, minimalist missile aimed straight at the heart of the avian condition.

The Birds is available to buy from the Pelgrane Press Shop.

“I look forward, near-slavering, to those days that Robin’s blog reads ‘CLICK HERE for another installment of the Birds.’ Where most squeaky-clean comic strips are trying to channel After-School Specials, The Birds is strictly Saturday Night Special.”- John Kovalic, Dork Tower.

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The Birds Volume 2

Pelgrane Press Ltd - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 12:38

They’re back, pistols reloaded, in all their smudged and deadpan glory! Pete, aggressively passive and always ready to embrace new fanaticism. Shirley, his beloved wife, except when she’s trying to poison him. Steve, his best friend, except when he’s shooting him. Loretta, his best stalker. And Steve’s Dad, who is very wrinkly and owns many grenades.

There Goes My Dream Job takes the feathered anti-heroes of Robin D. Laws’ webcomic through their second print collection of life, love, mordancy and irresponsible handgun use. The second volume of The Birds includes a foreword from 13th Age designer Jonathan Tweet and guest strips from Dork Tower’s own John Kovalic.

“In The Birds, Robin D. Laws distills his insights into the human predicament down to a hilarious comic strip. It’s all about sex, death, family, lies, and popular culture – doled out in carefully measured doses” – Jonathan Tweet, from his Foreword.

The Birds Volume 2 is available to buy from the Pelgrane Press Shop.

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Categories: Company News

Review – RMS Titanic: The Millionaire’s Special

Pelgrane Press Ltd - Wed, 05/16/2012 - 12:12

Pookie has reviewed our charity adventure, The Millionaire’s Special, over at Reviews from R’lyeh. You can read the full review here.

A unique setting serves to tighten a well-worn plot and so make RMS Titanic: The Millionaire’s Special a memorable one-shot.

All proceeds from the sale of this adventure will go to the Heroes in the Dark charity.

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