Welcome to the first of the “Role Playing Game PDF Spotlights” columns. My aim is to have a look at some of the PDFs that have been released in the past week that have piqued my interest. My tastes are pretty broad, so they’ll be a selection of different genres and games each week, so hopefully something will jump out as interest to you too.
Anyway, what better way to kick off this first column than by looking at some of the releases from the first week of 2022… (The below were released between the 1st – 7th January 2022)
By Post World Games
Good Guys Finish Last, Comic Book Hero free-style Role-Play is designed for experienced roleplaying gamers. The game uses a Quick and Dirty System (Q&D), hence no effort has been made to explain the basic mechanics of dice rolling or player interaction. No attempt has been made to define each element to its finest part, either. Rather, the game establishes a set of guidelines for the players and the Referee to use. But it doesn’t demand adherence to the form. Things are as they seem. Players do not need to completely study the rules before play. Create characters, scan the tables, and get ready to tell stories.
Back in 1991, my view of roleplaying games was forever changed by Good Guys Finish Last™. In fact, if you want to blame any single game for turning me into the designer I am today, this is it. Another game in this style was Crimson Cutlasses, an absolute gobsmackingly good game that is long out of print. But if you can find a copy, it will blow you away.
The fact that I even get to know the authors of these games is a feather in my cap that I lack the words to express. Honestly, publishing this edition of Good Guys is a dream come true.
Better Games made Barony, Battle Born, Crimson Cutlass, Good Guys Finish Last, Villains Finish First, and a host of other storytelling-forward games that lay the foundation for the entire indie story movement. They were just 30 years ahead of their time.
It is my pleasure to bring Good Guys Finish Last to a new audience. I hope you enjoy playing this game, as much as I did for so many years.
Little has been changed or edited from the author’s original work.
Typographical errors have been fixed and some reflow has been done for clarity’s sake. Sentences have been polished or adapted to modern usage, with fragmented sentences updated. But nothing has been done to change the intent of the previous editions. The characters and adventure that appeared in the 1990 edition of Good Guys Finish Last have been moved to a downloadable PDFs.
5E Dungeons & Dragons Supplement
By Crowland Publishing
Wickerpunk is where heroic fantasy and folk horror meet.
The rural, the pagan, the ancient, the sensual, the wyld. The true face of nature, red in tooth and claw. Wickerpunk is a book that details creating fantasy campaigns and adventures where the wyrd and wyld meet industry. Where nature and civilisation clash and dark hearts are laid bare.
This book advises fantasy GMs on how to reskin 5E based character classes and concepts for a Wickerpunk campaign. It advises concepts such as historical settings, fantastic locations, and how to reimagine well-worn monsters as dark things of the forest and moor. And it gives players the tools to confront the forces of darkness among the ancient runestones and shrines to forgotten saints and primal godlings of branch, bough and brook.
For any campaign that wishes to emphasize the true horror of the natural world, and examine the colonial tensions of industry, especially in a fantastic setting, Wickerpunk is indispensable.
By Bloat Games
SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide – Core Rules
STWSH is a modern horror and investigation game in the same vein as the X-Files, Supernatural and Hellboy. In the game you will go head to head with evil secret organizations, the occult, supernatural and cosmic horrors.
STWSH was written by Josh Palmer and developed by Eric Bloat for Bloat Games, and feature beautifully horrific cover art by Phil Stone.
“This is our darkest, and bleakest horror game yet!”
– Eric Bloat
Created by Eric Bloat & Josh Palmer, SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide is a standalone roleplaying game and does not require any additional gaming material to play. However, as part of the SURVIVE THIS!! game line, What Shadows Hide is 100% fully compatible with SURVIVE THIS!! ZOMBIES!, DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS, VIGILANTE CITY, and SURVIVE THIS!! FANTASY, We Die Young, and can be used to mix and match to create your own custom play experiences.
About the System: SURVIVE THIS!! is a Tabletop RPG system that is D20 based and OSR influenced. In SURVIVE THIS!! you will find the standard array of mechanics like: Attributes, Saving Throws, Races, Classes, Levels, Hit Points, Etc. Most situations are decided with a D20 + Modifier to meet or beat a target number and rolling higher is better. Essentially, if you have played any version of D&D, you will find this game very easy to pick up.
Also released is the 220 page Cthulhu Sourcebook.
By Black Dragon Dungeon Company
The Roarin’ 20s is a rules-light RPG system powered by the Caltrop Core System.
The Roarin’ 20s is set in the big city of 1920s America where Flappers, Gamblers and Mobsters share a drink of bathtub gin and smuggled whiskey with G-Men and Bootleggers at the local speakeasy. But life ain’t easy for those living in the fast lane where jazz and booze flow freely. Raids, violence and corruption are just facts of life and one is as likely to find their end in a hail of gunfire as they are a penthouse suite.
Fantasy RPG Location Book
By Rookery Publications
A dread location for all fantasy RPGs.
|Greetings, weary traveller. I am Dr Krowe, your humble guide to The Coiled Crown, an expanding line of system-agnostic supplements from Rookery Publications. Join me as we take a tour of a glorious crypt unlike any other. But be careful. No matter how things appear, its bone-lined halls are not empty. Something stirs within the Well of Bones…|
Rookery Publications is proud to present The Well of Bones, a new location for all fantasy roleplaying games. Created by multi-award-winning games industry veterans Graeme Davis, Mark Gibbons, Andy Law, Lindsay Law, and Andy Leask, The Well of Bones includes:
- A New Location. A wonderfully creepy ossuary that can be added to any settlement in your setting of choice.
- An In-depth History. An overview of the Well’s history, from its horrific founding to the present day.
- A Detailed Description. A breakdown of the Well’s interior with two keyed maps, taking you from the ceremonial galleries above down to the dark well below.
- High-resolution Maps. A separate pdf containing all the Well’s maps at a high resolution both with and without labels.
- The Sorrowers. An examination of the Sorrowful Order of the Grateful Dead, the order of morticians that inhabits the well. The Sorrowful order can be used to add a fresh perspective to the death practices in your game, with poems, NPC descriptions, ‘Veils of Tears’, and even suggestions for how to include PC Sorrowers in your setting.
- Adventure Hooks. 7 adventure hooks exploring the darkest secrets of the Well, ensuring the location can be incorporated into your games with ease and revisited many times.
Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Supplement
By Onyx Path Publishing
In the world of Trinity Continuum: Aberrant (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/333991/Trinity-Continuum-Aberrant?affiliate_id=384252), wrestling is a major form of entertainment. Unlike in our world, many of these wrestlers are novas — individuals with amazing powers — and in the case of N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment and Nova Combat federations, these novas use their powers to wow the crowds, win fans, and make themselves rich, or suffer horribly for trying.
In N!WE Unleashed!, you roleplay characters who work in the wrestling business, both in the ring and backstage, courting popularity and heat, striving to win championships, and making enough of a legend of yourself that one day, you might even have your own action figure.
N!WE Unleashed! includes:
- A deep-diving headbutt into the inner workings of the wrestling industry, covering everything from maintaining character to the choreography of a bout, and all the participants involved in running a show.
- A plunging powerbomb into the N!WE’s history, with advice on incorporating the premier wrestling company into your games of Aberrant, and how to play out and run wrestling matches and all the backstage politics that precede and follow them.
- A torture rack of new Edges, Conditions, technology, and characters to augment your game and give it that wrestling federation feel.
- A piledriving new mini-system for wrestling-focused games, complete with character creation, rules for moves and maneuvers, and guidance on building up faces, heels, and character popularity.
Cardstock Miniatures for RPGs
By Okumarts Games
Enjoy a tabletop game with two-fisted tales of adventure and mystery on the ancient streets of old Cairo with this set of 24 print and play paper miniatures. Many of these minis would fit in with any adventurous pulp setting. Mix and match with other sets for even more fun.
This set of paper minis also includes a page of bonus material for even more glitz and glamour.
Please use responsibly. Always check for traps!
Cardstock Miniatures are an affordable and attractive alternative to metal or plastic miniatures. Print as many as you like as often as you like.
You will need a colour printer, cutting tools, glue, foamcore (for bases) and time. Assembly instructions are included.
5E Dungeons & Dragons Supplement
By Kobold Press
Forty-Fingered Nakresh is the simian demon‑god of wizards and thieves. His eight hands grasp all there is to take and hold tight. It is said he reserves his lowest left hand for the boldest and most daring of his thefts. And his cult—a pentarchical assemblage of the region’s most infamous scoundrels and their followers—revere their god by emulating this behavior. These five crime lords plot the most spectacular thefts in order to appease their deity and outdo the other members of their organization.
The 19-page Hand of Nakresh PDF includes:
- Cult leaders, organization, and goals with full stats for the five great rival leaders of the cult
- Cult plans and adventure hooks for levels 1 to 12
- Specific and generic cultists with stats, including tengu bravos and roachling lieutenants
- Magic items such as the Monkey’s Paw of Fortune
- A cult vehicle that has to be seen to be believed—the clockwork siege crab!
Expand your campaign with thievery and skullduggery, with the Hand of Nakresh!
By Lovemaps RPG
Hello, lovecraft universe worshippers, thank you for choosing Lovemaps.
You will find in this pack a large content of (grid and gridless) Maps for Innsmouth Harbor.
Your investigators will certainly want to question all the fishermen who work in the port. Once again, they look at you with a distrustful look… Oh by the way, their eyes are strange and bulging… This investigation will take time, you will have to stay in the area! Once the night falls, a thick fog invades the place…
Several versions are available :
Day/Night, Fog/Night, Insane Weather, DeepOnes, Deepones in the Fog.
All the maps integrate (or not) a roof. The roof is also available in situational token.
Here is the list of maps in this Pack :
Situational Tokens :
Solo Journaling Game
By Tangent Zero
Ice Station: Zero is a Wretched and Alone solo journal game of survival in a hostile environment. You’ll need a deck of playing cards, a few dice, and optionally, a block tower game.
You are the last crew member of the deep space patrol boat Alexandria. You were orbitting the ice world Holorath when your ship was attacked without warning…
Traveller/Cepheus Engine Supplement
By Independence Games
Your project gets the green light!
Currently the largest ship building company in Clement Sector, the Anderson and Felix Shipbuilders Company was started on Hub in 2299 by Jamie Anderson and Reynaldo Felix. Both Anderson and Felix brought to Clement Sector their considerable expertise and experience constructing space vessels for travel between Earth and the Earth Sector colonies. And now that expertise is in your hands!
Ranging from tiny ten tonne work pods to massive armored system defense monitors, the space ships of Clement Sector are as varied as the crews that operate them. The book merges the adventure class ship and capital ship design sequences into a new design sequence that allows for better design flow.
This third edition of The Anderson and Felix Guide to Naval Architecture provides the tools for a naval architect to design everything from small craft to huge in-system ships, traders, or capital ships. They can install the latest Zimm Drive technology to allow the ship to transit interstellar distances, use gravitic maneuver drives to cover insystem travel, or “ride fire “on a reaction drive ship that uses spin gravity to provide for crew comfort. They can also design low technology missile armed warships or capital ships bristling with high energy weapons and ship killing torpedoes. In addition, the Anderson and Felix Guide to Naval Architecture gives you additional choices for FTL drives such as the Stradrive, the Slipdrive, and the Alcubierre Drive which, while not present in the Clement Sector setting, can be used for other settings or your own.
The third edition of The Anderson and Felix Guide to Naval Architecture also provides advanced rules for starship combat. Take your designs against one another and allow them to fight intense battles which still allow for character involvement.
In addition, our starship guru Michael Johnson provides a primer on creating deck plans in which he shares his knowledge and experience to aid you in the creation of your deck plans and designs.
Your tools await you!
5E Dungeons & Dragons Adventure
By Troll Lord Games
For generations the Kings of the small realm of Inallu have held the Sword of Rami as a symbol of their people. It is brought forth only when a new King is crowned.
But the unthinkable has happened . . . .
While transporting the sword through the Fushdam Bottoms, a group of stalwart heroes were ambushed by a contingent of lizardfolk led by a female twilight elf. Quickly overcome, the heroes were left for dead, and the sword taken. This is where our story begins, as the heroes awaken, tending their wounds, discussing what to do next. The fate of the kingdom lies in their hands, and what an evil person might do with the sword is unthinkable. Their duty is clear…
The Sword of Rami!
For 4-6 mid-level characters
By Monkey’s Paw Games
Following the crypto collapse of EC 2397, bio-engineering giant Binary Helix was acquired by Dingilizwe Pharmaceuticals, which was in turn broken up, re-packaged and sold largely to ZLX Securities after a short but exceedingly violent corporate takeover that resulted in an extinction-level event on the planet Oxnard. In the passion and death of these industrial struggles, Binary Helix’s flagship research facility was lost to a gravity well for a myriad.
Lost, until a deep salvage team reported a strange transmission, containing an aeons-old sales pitch…
Coriander is #6 in a series of short hex- and dungeon-crawls for the PINKHACK system, but are easily adaptable to the OSR system of your choice. Each DOOMCRAWL is inspired by the iconic Special Herbs beat tracks by MF DOOM.
What’s in this edition?
- A 20-room sci-fi corporate horror dungeoncrawl
- 1d6 Rumors of a way to keep the creditors at bay (for a little longer)
- 2d6 Hazards to navigate in your quest to escape crushing debt
- 4d6 Events to imperil and horrify
- 24 pages containing 9 additional tables full of ADVENTURE
Traveller/Cepheus Engine Adventure
By Old School Role Playing
This is a Cepheus Engine Adventure.
The travelers are approached by two concerned parents. Their daughter, Jenna, has fallen into the clutches of a strange religious cult known as the Triumphant Lodge of the Rapture. These cultists live together on a base on an asteroid and allow no visitors. They seem peaceful enough but they do not permit contact with relatives. They want their daughter rescued and brought back home safely.
5E Dungeons & Dragons Adventure
By Night Owl Odysseys
Take your adventures to the prestigious Magic College of Tarryton University where a simple errand turns into a moment of magical chaos and harrowing battles in an attempt to save the Grand Library from a collection of magic items gone awry!
The Tarryton University of the Arcane Arts and Mysteries is the foremost authority in magical studies and scholarly pursuits, housing hundreds of students who seek to learn the arcane arts and unlock their magical potential. On top of being the center of magical tutelage, the school’s faculty also regularly perform their research and seek to develop new spells and magical concoctions. Naturally, when the University needs an errant artifact found or an old shrine cleared out, what better way to do so than hire some adventurers?
This Fifth Edition adventure, designed for four characters at 3rd level, will take approximately 3-4 hours and is perfect as either a one-shot or to drop in as an introductory session to your favorite Magical College setting!
We Night Owls decided to pull out all the stops with this adventure, including 3 custom battlemaps, 4 fully illustrated magic items, 3 custom monsters with top-down tokens (and a few extra tokens for the goblins and our Owl Archmage), a custom music track with looping variant, and the adventure PDF itself!
Ancients of Gaia Adventure
By Frontier Gaming
An Expansion for Gaia Awakening. The Gaia Awakening Core Rulebook is required to play this Adventure.
Mar’Uth – the Temple of Love – is a seat of power for assassins, poets, artisans, and politicians. They live by a simple code; that love is the law, and what is right is right. The worshippers of Mar’Uth share a bond of protection and help each other in countless ways. The Temple is envied by Kings and Emperors, who strive for the loyalty of their subjects without ever attaining the devotion the followers of Mar’Uth have for each other.
As Mar’Uth is beheld, so too does it behold. The Temple of Love is as much a watchtower as it is a beacon. The misdeeds of those who seek to suppress what is right often find their schemes disrupted by its followers.
The Atlantean Emperor Jonas I (Jonas the Buffoon, to his people) has decided that something must be done with Briminul.
This Adventure Story provides a setting, starting location, a series of plot points, and rewards and lo designed for a Storyteller to run an Adventure. As with all FrontierGaming titles you are welcome to adapt any aspect of this Module to suit your purposes as the Storyteller.
The Gaia Awakening Core Rulebook (CRB) is required to play this Adventure. You may use any other Gaia Awakening resources at your disposal.
When generating NPCs for your adventure, to create balance simply take into account your Party’s current Skill Ratings and what you require the NPC’s primary function to be. NPC stat-lines are deliberately omitted for this purpose.
This Module essentially provides a beginning and a potential ending. What happens in between is down to the Storyteller and the Party.
5E Dungeons & Dragons Supplement
By MPP Games
A supplement expanding on the wonders and weirdness of wild magic, designed for the 5th ed. of the world’s oldest roleplaying game. This book includes:
- 1,080 Wild Surge Effects
- 50 Wild Spells
- 19 Wild Magic Items
- 8 Wild Zones
- 4 Wild Magic Subclasses
- New Feats and Backgrounds
- The Freecaster table for spell strength variation
- The Adventure: “Don’t Mind If I Do”
By Heroic Maps
Explorer: Expedition Camps is a set of printable battlemaps compatible with any RPG/Dungeon-Crawl game.
Explorer: Expedition Camps is a standalone set, comprising four 30×30 battlemaps. Each map depicts a small temporary camp site by a river. Locations include desert, jungle, mountain wilderness and mountain winter.
A4 300dpi PDF for home printing
300dpi full jpegs for poster printing
140px 72dpi VTT ready jpegs (less than 10mb)
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