House of Bone and Amber kickstarter at Indiegogo

Baltic storms crash on the salt-stained walls of Salatgriv. The crumbled ruins of the damnable fortress of Salismunde squat like a vulture above the ill-favored port town, and the wine-eyed heathens of the Tatar quarter hide within their houses of graven stone. There are savage whispers amid the townsfolk, and merchants clutch their purses at every start and shadow. Old Father Raum shrieks imprecations at the pagans from the steps of the altar, and the Tatar elder’s blood pools in the amber pits outside the town’s walls. Birgirmeistar Akmens is desperate to halt the bloodshed before it becomes a full-fledged pogrom, but who in the town can be trusted to save its people from their own murderous passions? It is a task for a band of red-handed outsiders, ruthless souls who’ll do what they must to earn the Birgirmeistar’s silver- and who have the mettle to bring bright steel to the cursed town’s black past. Will your heroes prove more terrible than the darkness that gathers, or will they be yet another bloody sacrifice beneath the House of Bone and Amber?

The House of Bone and Amber is an adventure for PCs of levels 4-7. It includes the fully-detailed port town of Salatgriv and a full cast of NPCs, with tools for using the town even after the grim events of the adventure have rolled over its streets. The sinister halls beneath the Salismunde are fleshed out in six separate sections that can be mixed and matched within the adventure- or pulled out entirely to insert into your own campaign when you need a quick delving of ineffable horror.

In conjunction with the Lamentations of the Flame Princess July Grand Adventures Campaign, I’ve brewed up something special for Indiegogo backers, and its success hinges on your support. I’ve had the rough draft sitting on my hard drive for a month, but it still needs that tender loving care that goes into making a good sandbox product, and you get to vote with your pocketbook on whether or not I should spend that effort. With Earl Geier on board to provide suitably horrific art, almost sixty rooms worth of dungeon-delving goodness, and the festering sink of bitter human passions you’d expect from one of my sandbox towns, I’d surely hope to be told that this is something people want me to finish. Have a look and tell your friends!

Other Dust Coming For X-Mas in July

Every year, from July 24th through July 30th, OneBookShelf¬† runs their “X-Mas in July” sale. A hefty 25% gets sliced from thousands of products, and this year Other Dust will be among them. I should have enough time for at least two cycles of proofing if needed, so I would anticipate that you’ll soon be able to snatch up a handsome hardcover or crisp new PDF for a mere trifle of of your hard-earned cash. I can make no promises, but the extra time might just allow me to cook up a free mini intro adventure for Other Dust and some quick-play rules for the curious.

Of course, Other Dust is completely compatible with Stars Without Number, so the novelty isn’t in the rules- it’s in the tools and resources packed in for creating post-apocalyptic sandbox campaigns. Just as SWN is jam-packed with resources for fabricating your own stellar reaches, Other Dust is crammed with more than a hundred and twenty pages of content devoted to making a GM’s life easier and more entertaining. The world tags so beloved in SWN make a reappearance, with 40 new tags for defining your post-apocalyptic enclaves and 30 more for adding flavor to your desolate wasteland ruins. The new Groups rules help a GM run the myriad enclaves and clans of the badlands, with tools for their conflicts and the ways in which PCs can help and hinder their causes. The Adventure Creation helps organize your creation process, providing post-apoc themes and associated plot templates that you easily can fill in with tag information. And thanks to the compatibility with SWN, you can seamlessly lift everything from the book for use in your interstellar campaigns- new classes, new gear, new horrible xeno-beasts, and new tools for creating burnt-over tomb worlds for your intrepid starfarers to encounter.

The End is Nigh in July.

Stars Without Number wins Three Castles Award

This past weekend, the festive doings of the North Texas RPG Con drew together a convocation of designers and players with a real love for old-school gaming. One of the features of the con was the Three Castles Award, which this year was judged by Dennis Sustare, Robert Kuntz, Sandy Petersen, Steve Marsh, and David “Zeb” Cook. If you’re as big a fan of the old ways as I am, you’ll recognize those names and the contributions they made to our hobby- I cut my gaming teeth thirty years ago on Moldvay/Cook D&D. Well, the competition was fierce- the award shortlist featured the mighty gaming chops of ASE1 – Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore, Realms of Crawling Chaos by Daniel Proctor & Michael Curtis, and the Tome of Adventure Design by Matt Finch & Bill Webb. But in the end, Stars Without Number got the nod. Even if one of the other worthy entrants had won, however, it would’ve been completely worth the effort just for the pleasure of having SWN read by some of the giants of the hobby.

Mandate Archive: The Imago Dei Now Out!

Paladins of the Long Silence

Not every synthetic mind is bent on mankind’s destruction. Some have a higher purpose, a nobler war to wage in the darkness between stars. Open this free supplement for the equally free Stars Without Number RPG to learn the truth about the enigmatic Imago Dei and their unending crusade to defend worlds ignorant of their very existence. As humanity is the image of God, so the Imago Dei is the shadow of His red right hand.

Aside from their little-known history, you’ll find specifications for their bleeding-edge ship hulls. Included are seven sample Imago Dei warships for your own campaign, whether found as derelict plunder, seized by fanatics, or threatening the PCs’ homeworld with the guns of a heretical Shepherd Fleet!

Get it now, at DriveThruRPG!