Mandate Archive Collection and An Echo, Resounding

Heeding the plaintive cries of the estimable public, a softcover compilation of the free Mandate Archive PDFs is about to be sent off for print proofing. Those who prefer to have their materials in physical format may rejoice at the sublime ease of use which the codex provides. As a bonus for these patient souls, it will also include an exclusive Archive entry on the Judicators- the enigmatic heirs of the ancient Bureau of Rectification, once the remorseless internal security of the decadent Terran Mandate. Their specialized psionic abilities play off the victim’s darkest guilts and deepest social taboos, allowing the psychic to sense their expectations and control their actions through the spurs of shame and duty. Here’s a taste of the new discipline:

In Your Place        Level 1

The judicator has an instinctive awareness of the expectations of others around him. In ordinary social situations and when exchanging common courtesies, the judicator always knows precisely what social behavior is expected of him by his interlocutor, whether in action, appearance, or speech. He can even speak formulaic courtesies and make flawless small talk in languages he does not actually understand, instinctively making the sounds expected of him.

The judicator fails Culture checks related to common etiquette and ordinary behavior only on a natural 2 on the skil check, and can masquerade as a native member of any culture or social group, assuming his appearance makes it plausible. Activation of this power lasts for one conversation or social situation. If mastered, this power is permanently active.

 
Despite this brief detour to accommodate the format preferences of loyal readers, work on An Echo, Resounding continues apace. This guidebook contains great heaping piles of help for a Labyrinth Lord keen on adding domain management and mass combat rules to their campaign in the customary Sine Nomine style. The guide focuses on building domains into your campaign as a natural, organic part of the setting rather than a phenomenon that simply pops up at 9th level with a sheaf of fresh paperwork. These tools help you build city-states, princedoms, border baronies, and stubbornly independent allods into your campaign from the very start, using them throughout the game’s life to fuel new conflicts, new adventures, and new opportunities for your players to engage with your creations. Even those Labyrinth Lords with existing campaign worlds are shown how to retrofit the mechanics into their games, adding fresh life and activity into old favorites.

But the contents aren’t just for Labyrinth Lords. Players are introduced to Leadership abilities, special powers and knacks related to running a domain or fighting a pitched battle. Accomplished rulers start to acquire Leader levels after they reach a certain point in their heroic progression, their earned XP now raising their level in this parallel class.  As they grow in the arts of rulership, they acquire new abilities to aid their hard-pressed dominion or become more fearsome in the roil of a bloody battlefield. Behold a mighty fighter carve a red path through enemy legions, a master thief cut a general’s throat in the midst of his personal guard, or a dwarven clanmaster marshal his people to fashion wealth beyond the dreaming of less artful breeds. These levels can also be used to reflect the talents of less heroic rulers who yet retain a genius for battlefield command or the ordering of a state; the elderly general may have long since retired to his country estates and be hard-pressed to defend himself against a younger warrior, but put him in command of an army and may the gods have mercy on any foe that dares defy him.

Much of An Echo Resounding is finished, but the mechanical systems yet require the good sharp shaking that comes of careful playtesting. With luck, you’ll hear its onrushing hooves by the end of January.