23May/14Off

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25Jul/14Off

C7ENnies2014

Voting for the 2014 ENnies Awards is now open, and we’re delighted to have been nominated for three awards – as well as best publisher:

We’re also over the moon to have received a Judges’ Spotlight Award for the Rocket Age Roleplaying Game: thank you to Stacy Muth for picking us for it!

Today we're casting a little light on one of the nominated products: The Third Doctor Sourcebook for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space.

The Third Doctor Sourcebook

3rd-doctor-sourcebook-cover

Celebrating the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who, this Sourcebook explores the Third Doctor’s adventures on Earth and beyond. Written by Walt Ciechanowski and Graeme Walmsley, it contains detailed information on all the allies, enemies, aliens and gadgets that he encounters, as well as examining each of his adventures, the book contains a wealth of material for the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space RPG, and is also a fact-packed resource for fans of the show!

Exiled to Earth and prevented from travelling in time, the Doctor became UNIT’s scientific adviser and defended Earth against all manner of sinister threats! Face the plastic horror of the Autons, stop hordes of alien spiders and thwart the machinations of dangerous conspiracies! We’re running out of time, so quick - reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!

And above all, beware the Doctor’s ultimate nemesis - beware the Master!

The Third Doctor Sourcebook starts off with full backgrounds and character sheets for the Third Doctor and all of his companions, from Sarah Jane Smith to Jo Grant and Mike Smith. It also has a detailed look at how to make a Third Doctor adventure, examining the themes and tropes of this era.

The real meat of the book is in the detailed episode write-ups, each giving a thorough synopsis of what happened and then a lengthy discussion on how you might run it as an adventure in your own game, with stats for both the monsters and the major NPCs. There's loads of plot hooks too, so if your players have watched just as many episodes as you, you can still surprise them with new adventures!

You can check out a free sample of the episode write-up for The Day of the Daleks here, which gives you a flavour of how each of the episodes is handled.

GeekNative reviewed The Third Doctor Sourcebook here, so you don't just have to take our word for it!

dayofthedaleks

About the ENnies

The ENnies are an annual set of awards voted on by you, the gaming public. Voting is open from now until July 30th, and we’d really appreciate both your vote and your help spreading the word! The results will be announced at GenCon in August.

You can vote here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/ until July 30th.

And, for the duration of the ENnies voting, we're pleased to announce a sale knocking 25% off the price of each of our ENnie Award nominees over at our webstore.

Links

About Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
About Hobbit Tales
About Rocket Age
The ENnie Awards
Judges' Spotlight Winners

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24Jul/14Off

C7ENnies2014

Voting for the 2014 ENnies Awards is now open, and we’re delighted to have been nominated for three awards – as well as best publisher:

We’re also over the moon to have received a Judges’ Spotlight Award for the Rocket Age Roleplaying Game: thank you to Stacy Muth for picking us for it!

Today we're casting a little light on two products: Lost City of the Ancients and the Rocket Age Core Rulebook.

Rocket Age

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At this year's ENnies, Rocket Age received a Judges' Spotlight Award - and we couldn't be more delighted!

Rocket Age is set in a universe where, in 1931 Einstein, Tesla and Ray Armstrong, rode the first rocket ship to Mars, discovering that the solar system is populated by strange and wondrous alien peoples and adventure is never far away!

Discovering that they’re not alone in the galaxy, the nations of Earth race one another for the stars, sending out expeditions, embassies and invading armies to far-off worlds. There they discover all manner of alien life, from the stratified caste system of the Martians to the primitive, ape-like Venusians, from the degenerate Ioites and plant-like Ganymedians to the scheming of the Europans. The solar system is teeming with life – and danger!

Players take the role of whatever sort of heroes they want. There are thirteen playable intelligent species and sub-species in the Rocket Age Core Rulebook. What sort of game you play is up to you. Characters might be archaeologists on Mars, scientists exploring Venus, small time merchants running between the planets, or even members of the elite Rocket Rangers blasting off from one hot spot to another.

The Rocket Age Core Rulebook is the best place to start your adventures in the solar system. This book contains everything you need to blast off into a world of interplanetary adventure. The Rocket Age Core Rulebook is available in all good hobby stores now! If you don't have access to a hobby store you can order it on the Cubicle 7 webstore here.

Lost City of the Ancients

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The Lost City of the Ancients is a free introductory scenario for Rocket Age and is up for Best Free Product at the ENnies this year. Follow this link to download it now!

The discovery of an apparently intact Ancient Martian ruin deep in the Western Highlands has set potentially deadly events in motion. Such a find would draw treasure seekers and archaeologists from across Mars, but this one is even more of an attraction. It lies in territory unclaimed by any faction or nation. This makes it free for the taking and, despite the harshness of the Western Highlands, the need to travel through territory held by the Blue Chanari and the stiff competition, three other expeditions are already kitting out in the French held city-state of Kolpith.

The Lost City of the Ancients is a 30-page scenario with an additional PDF of pregenerated characters so you can blast off on your own Rocket Age adventure right away!

About the ENnies

The ENnies are an annual set of awards voted on by you, the gaming public. Voting is open from now until July 30th, and we’d really appreciate both your vote and your help spreading the word! The results will be announced at GenCon in August.

You can vote here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/ until July 30th.

And, for the duration of the ENnies voting, we're pleased to announce a sale knocking 25% off the price of each of our ENnie Award nominees over at our webstore.

Links

About Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
About Hobbit Tales
About Rocket Age
The ENnie Awards
Judges' Spotlight Winners

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24Jul/14Off

EuropeAblazeCoverLogo400To mark the pre-order and PDF release of Europe Ablaze, N has a secret mission for you today agents, one that will take you far from Blighty into war-torn Greece. Mission code name: The Angel of the Abyss, a complete, free adventure by Matthew Sanderson, taken from our new supplement for World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour. Good luck… you’re going to need it!

WorldWar Cthulhu The Angel of the Abyss thumb

Click to download the free PDF

In The Angel of the Abyss, Matthew Sanderson takes inspiration from the real Operation Harling, when SOE united disparate factions of the Greek Resistance, ahead of the assault on the Gorgopotamus Bridge. In this version of events, the mission is complicated by the resurgence of a forgotten death cult and their inhuman allies.

I wanted to present a whodunit scenario amidst the political differences of the various factions of the Greek Resistance. Rather than being a murder mystery, I thought it would be interesting to have the investigators track down a saboteur in their ranks, especially as Operation Harling (the real-life mission the scenario is set around) was one of the most famous sabotage missions of the war.

Hand in hand with this, I wanted the antagonists of the piece to have an understandable agenda. Giving the main antagonists a very human face (at least to begin with!) allows the scenario to have more of an emotional impact. During playtesting, action scenes were well balanced against some wonderfully intense scenes between the investigators and the NPCs. When the investigators found themselves confronted by the same problems the NPCs faced, some hard choices had to be made, creating some of the most memorable moments I've had at the game table.”

Europe Ablaze for World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour is available now in PDF and for pre-order now at the Cubicle 7 webstore!

About Europe Ablaze

On the 16th July, 1940, Winston Churchill told Hugh Dalton, the newly appointed head of the Special Operations Executive, to “set Europe ablaze”. With this simple instruction Churchill set in motion some of the most dangerous and brilliant actions of the Second World War. The men and women of SOE performed acts of sabotage, subversion and espionage so extraordinary that if they were portrayed as fiction, they would beggar belief. These agents pushed bravery and human endurance past limits that most of us can only imagine.

Europe Ablaze presents six missions demanding such resourcefulness and determination, all set in the European theatre of operations. Some are inspired by SOE missions or historical events, while others take a more imaginative view of the conflict, but all are rooted in the all-too-real horrors that the Second World War brought about. All of them also add that special twist that being part of N’s network demands, and the dangers of the Mythos will prove at least as deadly as a bullet from the Gestapo.

Europe Ablaze is an anthology of six Call of Cthulhu scenarios set in the Second World War. Softcover, 144 pages, written by Walt Ciechanowski, Scott Dorward, Paul Fricker, Andy Nicholson, Nick Robinson and Matt Sanderson. Cover by Jon Hodgson, interior art by Scott Purdy, design by Paul Bourne.
WWCDHcover400

About World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour

Like Call of Cthulhu itself, World War Cthulhu is rooted firmly in the real world of the 20th century, but one in which another, more secret war runs in parallel to the Second World War we all know. The Mythos is a threat to all humanity, regardless of which side of the conflict they are on, and you won’t find any Nazi sorcerers commanding undead minions or military alliances with deep ones here; the Axis have as much to lose as the Allies when they encounter eldritch forces.

"The scenarios themselves are usually grim, desperate and bloody missions, inspired by the missions of the real Special Operations Executive. In this version of history, a secret network exists within the British establishment, under the leadership of the shadowy spymaster N, using SOE resources to combat the Mythos alongside military missions. N’s agents will often find themselves behind enemy lines, hunting cultists and alien entities, while in turn being hunted by the Gestapo or collaborators. While N’s agents are cunning, well-equipped and trained in the techniques of sabotage, infiltration and assassination, the dangers they face mean any victories will be hard-won indeed.

World War Cthulhu is a setting book for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game - you will need a copy of Call of Cthulhu to use it.

Links

Find out more about World War Cthulhu
Buy the World War Cthulhu Fiction Anthology
Buy World War Cthulhu:The Darkest Hour RPG
Europe Ablaze Pre-order + PDF
Europe Ablaze PDF

23Jul/14Off

TOR_Rivendell_cover400

Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games are pleased to announce that Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game is available in PDF now (and in print later this year.)

This setting supplement will take your adventures west across the Misty Mountains to the Last Homely House, expanding play into eastern Eriador, covering not only Rivendell itself, but Angmar, Fornost, Mount Gram, Tharbad and everywhere in between.

There are also rules for creating your own Magical Treasure; playing Rangers of the North and High Elves of Rivendell; turning the baleful Eye of Mordor on your company; and facing more powerful adversaries than ever before.

Rivendell is written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne.

This 144-page, full-colour PDF includes:

  • Background for the Last Homely House, the sanctuary of Rivendell itself.
  • Write-ups of the characters that might be encountered in Imladris, from Elrond and Arwen to Glorfindel and the White Council.
  • New Fellowship undertakings, including rules for composing your own songs.
  • A history of Arnor, Angmar and the Dúnedain.
  • A region guide to Eastern Eriador, including the Barrow-downs, the Trollshaws and Angmar.
  • New adversaries to face, including Ettins, Hill-men of Rhudaur and the toughest Troll of them all, the Queen of Castle Hill.
  • A bestiary of different types of undead creatures, from Bog Soldiers and Barrow-wights to the Lord of the Nazgûl himself, the Witch-king of Angmar.
  • Rules for powerful adversaries, allowing you to customise any monster to provide a challenge for even the most heroic of adventurers.
  • A set of optional rules, the Eye of Mordor, to track how much attention the Enemy reserves for the company.
  • Rules for adding Magical Treasure to your campaign, including dozens of ready-made artefacts, some famous, others less so.
  • Two new playable Heroic Cultures: the Rangers of the North and the High Elves of Rivendell.
  • 2 additional PDF maps of Eastern Eriador - the Players' Map and the Loremaster's Map.

    EasternEriadormaps

The PDF version of Rivendell is available right now here.

To find out more about Rivendell, check out our series of previews here.

Filed under: The One Ring Comments Off
23Jul/14Off

C7ENnies2014

Voting for the 2014 ENnies Awards is now open, and we’re delighted to have been nominated for three awards – as well as best publisher:

We’re also over the moon to have received a Judges’ Spotlight Award for the Rocket Age Roleplaying Game: thank you to Stacy Muth for picking us for it!

Today we're casting a little light on one of our nominated games - Hobbit Tales.

Hobbit Tales - Nominated for Best Family Game

In Hobbit Tales players are Hobbits telling tales in front of a mug of beer at their favourite inn in the Shire. Silent woods and remote mountains, Elves, Goblins and Giants populate their stories.

During the game, players take turns as the Narrator and improvise a story using a hand of illustrated cards. The other players try to twist the tale, playing hazards and fearsome monsters. Drinks are served, smoke-rings are blown, and the best narrator is cheered by everyone present.

Hobbit Tales is a game for 2 to 5 Hobbits, authored by the award-winning designers Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello, creators of the Tolkien-themed War of the Ring strategy game and The One Ring role-playing game.

The game contains a set of rules, 1 board, 75 Adventure cards, 40 Hazard cards, 5 coasters, a set of cardboard tokens and a twelve-sided The One Ring Feat die.
HobbitTalesPackshot2contents

Includes rules to use Hobbit Tales in conjunction with the The One Ring, Cubicle 7’s role-playing game set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Hobbit Tales Booklet-1cover300

Click to download the rules booklet pdf

About the ENnies

The ENnies are an annual set of awards voted on by you, the gaming public. Voting is open from now until July 30th, and we’d really appreciate both your vote and your help spreading the word! The results will be announced at GenCon in August.

You can vote here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/ until July 30th.

And, for the duration of the ENnies voting, we're pleased to announce a sale knocking 25% off the price of each of our ENnie Award nominees over at our webstore.

Links

About Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
About Hobbit Tales
About Rocket Age
The ENnie Awards
Judges' Spotlight Winners

22Jul/14Off

TOR_Rivendell_cover400

Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games are pleased to announce that pre-orders are now open for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game. It's available in PDF now and in print later this year.

This setting supplement will take your adventures west across the Misty Mountains to the Last Homely House, expanding play into eastern Eriador, covering not only Rivendell itself, but Angmar, Fornost, Mount Gram, Tharbad and everywhere in between.

There are also rules for creating your own Magical Treasure; playing Rangers of the North and High Elves of Rivendell; turning the baleful Eye of Mordor on your company; and facing more powerful adversaries than ever before.

Rivendell is written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne.

This hardcover, 144-page, full-colour supplement includes:

  • Background for the Last Homely House, the sanctuary of Rivendell itself.
  • Write-ups of the characters that might be encountered in Imladris, from Elrond and Arwen to Glorfindel and the White Council.
  • New Fellowship undertakings, including rules for composing your own songs.
  • A history of Arnor, Angmar and the Dúnedain.
  • A region guide to Eastern Eriador, including the Barrow-downs, the Trollshaws and Angmar.
  • New adversaries to face, including Ettins, Hill-men of Rhudaur and the toughest Troll of them all, the Queen of Castle Hill.
  • A bestiary of different types of undead creatures, from Bog Soldiers and Barrow-wights to the Lord of the Nazgûl himself, the Witch-king of Angmar.
  • Rules for powerful adversaries, allowing you to customise any monster to provide a challenge for even the most heroic of adventurers.
  • A set of optional rules, the Eye of Mordor, to track how much attention the Enemy reserves for the company.
  • Rules for adding Magical Treasure to your campaign, including dozens of ready-made artefacts, some famous, others less so.
  • Two new playable Heroic Cultures: the Rangers of the North and the High Elves of Rivendell.

All pre-orders of Rivendell come with a complimentary copy of the PDF, due June 2014. Pre-orders via participating retail stores come with a voucher for a PDF from the Bits and Mortar programme.

If you just want the PDF version of Rivendell it is available right now here.

To find out more about Rivendell, check out our series of previews here.

21Jul/14Off

We’ll be starting the pre-order for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll be taking a much closer look at the various aspects of the supplement. In this preview we showcase the rules for Magical Treasure.

CB71006TreasureHorde550

We started out by asking the designer of The One Ring, Francesco Nepitello, to explain how magic items fit into Tolkien’s works:

Magical items are among the fundamental elements of the works of Tolkien… just think about the title – and subject – of The Lord of the Rings! So, it was a natural step to find a way to introduce them into the game. But they constitute a tricky subject matter, as prone to abuse in games as they are in fantasy books: you can’t rely on magical items too much, or they quickly become clichéd. That’s why we took our time in developing game mechanics that were appropriate to the gameplay style of The One Ring.”

While The One Ring Roleplaying Game includes rules for treasure, up until now it has been treasure of the decidedly mundane variety. Well, no more, for Rivendell includes a whole chapter on introducing Magical Treasure into your campaigns, from Elven swords and Mithril armour to magic rings…

Magical Treasure in The One Ring takes the form of one of three types: Precious Objects, which are jewels and gems of extraordinary quality (and value); Wondrous Artefacts, which are objects enchanted so as to enhance the use of a particular skill in a magical way; and Famous Weapons and Armour, which are potent artefacts from a bygone age.

Precious Objects are items of such rare craftsmanship or magical beauty that they are worth far more than regular treasure, offering the finder a greatly enhanced Treasure rating. Often they are items of sentimental value to the cultures of Middle-earth too, granting them double the value when used as part of the Raise Standing undertaking.

Wondrous Artefacts are indisputably magical in nature, from cloaks that can hide their wearers from sight to war-horns capable of setting fear into the hearts of enemies and joy in the hearts of friends. Each Wondrous Artefact is possessed by one or more Blessings, each affecting a specific skill. When the bearer uses that skill, he adds his Wisdom to the roll. In addition, the bearer can spend a point of Hope to turn a success into a magical success, allowing the player to narrate the outcome beyond even the limits for a great or extraordinary success.

Finally, Famous Weapons and Armour are magical artefacts with a long and proud lineage, destined to be found by the hero. Much like a Cultural Reward might, a Famous Weapon or piece of armour has a number of qualities; unlike a mundane reward, however, these qualities might be enchanted qualities. There are a score of such qualities described, ranging from Runes of Victory (which score an automatic hit on both an Eye and a Gandalf rune) or Sure Shot (which allows the wielder to ignore any negative modifiers to hit) to Flame of Hope (which increases the Endurance gained from the Rally Comrades action) and Luminescence (which causes the weapon to shine with a pale, cold light when a specific creature approaches).

CB71006 - 06 - 01swordhelmet

But, explains Francesco, the discovery of Magical Treasure should be far from random…

Magical treasure must serve a purpose. Their introduction in a game of The One Ring should never be left entirely in the hands of pure chance. ‘I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring…’ says Gandalf.

To maintain this sense of predestination in The One Ring, we developed a system that tackles the issue, yielding a double-sided result: the mechanics leave the discovery of Magical Treasure partly to chance as far as the timing of the discovery is concerned, while at the same time giving the Loremaster the possibility of controlling almost completely what it is that the companions find. The set of rules is extremely customisable, as it’s been designed to conform to the campaign being played. Do you want your characters to be equipped with Beleriand-forged steel, as they will face the wrath of a Dragon? That’s possible. Do you want to keep your magical items to the level of walking staves blessed with spells of ‘finding and returning’? Your campaign, your choice.”

The way this is translated into the game takes the form of two sets of mechanics: Magical Treasure rolls and the Magical Treasure index. The former determines when an item is found; the latter what is found.

A Magical Treasure roll can be made by a player when their hero discovers a Treasure Hoard (which includes most treasure encountered in caverns, lairs and old ruins). They roll the Feat die, and if either a Gandalf rune or Eye of Sauron is rolled they discover a magical object (of course, on the roll of an Eye, the item may be cursed…). If either was rolled, the player can then choose to roll a number of Success die up to the number of unspent Experience points they have and adds up the number of 6s rolled. The type of treasure discovered depends on how many 6s have been rolled, and this also dictates how many of those Experience points it will cost to acquire the item.

Some Hoards are better than others, of course, and so might allow a player to re-roll the Feat dice once or even twice.

The Magical Treasure index is the Loremaster’s custom-made list of magical items that exist in his campaign, tailored for his specific group of players, taking into account the skills they possess and the weapons they use. This way, when a hero finds a magical weapon in the game, the Loremaster has already a suitable weapon in mind that the hero was not only meant to discover, but that they are proficient in the use of. It is the tool by which the Loremaster can control how much magic he introduces into his game, as well as the means by which magical objects remain unique and precious to each hero.

One of the great joys of the Magical Treasure index is making them in the first place. Although Rivendell contains three complete, sample indexes (including one detailing the magical artefacts found by Thorin’s Company in their quest for Erebor), these are meant to be just sources of inspiration for your own indexes.

Finally, we asked Francesco about the burning question on everyone’s lips… can my players acquire the One Ring for themselves…?

They could, if it didn’t rest in the deep pockets of a certain Hobbit, guarded by Wizards and Rangers! Jokes aside, if your game runs well beyond the boundaries of canon and, for example, Bilbo lost the riddle-game with Gollum, then the Ruling Ring could well be inserted in the Magical Treasure index of your campaign. We go as far as to speculate how you might stat it up according to the rules provided in the chapter…”

TOR_RivendellPackshot400

Rivendell is a 144-page, hardcover, full-colour supplement written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne. Keep an eye on the website tomorrow for more information about the preorder.

Links

Pre-order The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.
Buy The One Ring Roleplaying Game PDF here.
See the rest of the Rivendell preview here.
Find out more about The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.

21Jul/14Off

C7ENnies2014

Voting for the 2014 ENnies Awards is now open, and we’re delighted to have been nominated for three awards – as well as best publisher:

Best Family Game: Hobbit Tales

Best Writing: The Third Doctor Sourcebook, for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space

Best Free Product: Lost City of the Ancients, for Rocket Age

We’re also over the moon to have received a Judges’ Spotlight Award for the Rocket Age Roleplaying Game: thank you to Stacy Muth for picking us for it!

The ENnies are an annual set of awards voted on by you, the gaming public. Voting is open from now until July 30th, and we’d really appreciate both your vote and your help spreading the word! The results will be announced at GenCon in August.

You can vote here http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/ until July 30th.

And, for the duration of the ENnies voting, we're pleased to announce a sale knocking 25% off the price of each of our ENnie Award nominees over at our webstore.

Links

About Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
About Hobbit Tales
About Rocket Age
The ENnie Awards
Judges' Spotlight Winners

Tagged as: Comments Off
18Jul/14Off

We’ll be starting the pre-order for Rivendell, the latest supplement for The One Ring Roleplaying Game, in the next week. In the meantime, we’ll be taking a much closer look at the various aspects of the supplement. In this preview we showcase a new optional set of rules: The Eye of Mordor.

CB71006 - 04 - 18 Angmar

The Eye of Mordor are a set of optional rules for the Loremaster to use, reflecting the growing influence of the Shadow upon the lands of Middle-earth. Not only do these rules measure the amount of attention Sauron and his minions are paying to the company, but also the growing hostility of the landscape itself, as The One Ring designer Francesco Nepitello explains:

It is not as simple as Sauron literally watching the heroes. These rules can be considered to represent one of the many manifestations of the ‘subtle magic’ of Middle-earth. In the words of Aragorn: ‘There are many evil and unfriendly things in the world that have little love for those that go on two legs, and yet are not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own.’ The Eye of Mordor represent the worsening of the ‘unfriendliness’ of such things, as they are stirred by the growth of the power in the Black Land.”

In game terms, the possibility that a company catches the Eye of the Enemy – whether literally or otherwise – is expressed by two rules: Eye Awareness and the Hunt. Eye Awareness is a numerical value tracked from session to session (using glass beads or tokens), measuring the hostility of the world towards the heroes and the level of attention that the Enemy reserves for them. The higher the score becomes, the higher the likelihood that the company will be revealed and a hunt began.

The starting level for Eye Awareness depends on the composition of the company: a company containing just Hobbits won’t have any Eye Awareness at all, whereas a company containing Rangers or High Elves will be much, much higher. Most companies will be somewhere in between. Heroes with a high Wisdom or Valour, or who carry a famous magical weapon, will increase it further.

The Eye Awareness increases during an Adventuring phase too, most commonly when an Eye is rolled on the Feat die outside of combat. Heroes who gain Shadow or openly use magical power also increase Eye Awareness too (such as Broken Spells, Wood-elf Magic or several of the High Elves’ more powerful virtues). It may decrease too, resetting at the start of an Adventuring phase or being lowered if a company spends a Fellowship phase in Rivendell.

A company remains hidden from the Eye so long as the Eye Awareness does not exceed a target number called the Hunt Threshold, which is determined by the type of region the company are in, whether the company are taking steps to conceal their presence or identities or are being actively searched out by the Enemy’s agents. But, should the Eye Awareness ever reach the Hunt Threshold, the company will be revealed and a Revelation episode occurs…

CB71006 - 07 - 01Eye of Mordor

 

We asked Francesco where the inspiration for Revelation episodes came from:

There are almost too many to mention! From the purpose that seems to guide the searching tentacles of the Watcher in the Water, to the misfortune that plagues the fellowship when Boromir attempts to seize the ring and the others are ambushed by the Uruk-hai at the same time, or the hostility of Caradhras the Cruel…”

Revelation episodes reflect the actions of an increasingly hostile world towards the heroes. Much like a Hazard episode during a journey, the Loremaster decides the exact circumstances Revelation episode based on what the company are up to at the time, but will always suggest the presence of strange forces; a distinctive aura, a baleful glow, unusual behaviour amongst men and beasts, and the faint trace of sorcery.

We’ve included a whole host of sample Revelation episodes, from Lathspell, where the arrival of the company is interpreted as an ill omen, lowering the Tolerance of an encounter, to Do Not Tempt Me! where a hero must make a Wisdom test or suffer from a sudden bout of madness. Perhaps the deadliest is We Come to Kill, where the next enemy faced by the company gain the No Quarter special ability.

Suffice it to say, a Revelation episode is the last thing a company should desire, especially if it should have the severe misfortune to coincide with a Hazard episode or a bout of madness…

Finally, Francesco has this to say on choosing to use the rules in your games:

The rules serves many purposes, from giving a reason to the players to refrain from rolling the dice for the most trivial reasons, to taking away from the Loremaster the responsibility of ‘being mean’ to his players, or ’timing’ the worsening of the risks of adventuring as the Twilight of the Third Age deepens. But the main reason for them is especially to add thrill and excitement to the game – certainly not to make the players’ life impossible!”

TOR_RivendellPackshot400

Rivendell is 144-page, hardcover, full-colour supplement written by Francesco Nepitello, with additional contributions from Amado Angulo, Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, Marco Maggi, Thomas Morwinsky and James M. Spahn. It is lavishly illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Jan Pospíšil and Jeremy McHugh, with fantastic maps of Eastern Eriador created by Paul Bourne. Keep an eye on the website for more information and previews over the next week.

Links

Pre-order The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.
Buy The One Ring Roleplaying Game PDF here.
See the rest of the Rivendell preview here.
Find out more about The One Ring Roleplaying Game here.

Filed under: The One Ring Comments Off
17Jul/14Off

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With both the PDF for our adventure anthology for World War Cthulhu, Europe Ablaze, available now and the print edition available to pre-order, we caught up with some of the writers to find out what inspired their scenarios.

Sleeper Agents – Nick Robinson presents the machinations of a small network of occultists in northern France who have had their minds touched by a lost Mythos deity. N has dispatched a team to contain the situation at all costs. Keeping the true nature of this mission hidden is the tricky part, and the investigators will soon be drawn into a large-scale programme of assassinations.

Deciding the mission would be a cover for N to eliminate some nasty sorcerers, I started to delve into the history of Rennes and discovered the (true!) details of the devastating air raid, the murderess Jégado, Lumpf and his POW hospital, the Breton fascists and the Gestapo headquarters (with the practice of dumping their dying victims at the hospital). The whole thing began to morph away from the initial, simple idea of a series of assassinations into something more dangerous.”

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The Play is the Thing – Walt Ciechanowski takes us to Italy, where a troupe of players prepares to perform a radio adaptation of a supposedly harmless derivation of The King in Yellow. Of course nothing relating to the Mythos is ever harmless, and the agents will have to avoid the watchful gaze of the Italian authorities as they try to stop the creation of a permanent gateway to Carcosa.

One of the things I wanted to do with this scenario is get away from Nazis and Occupied France. I liked the idea of setting it in Italy because it gets the players out of their comfort zone and explores an Axis power that (I feel) gets a bit neglected in WWII settings. My favourite bit about this scenario is that the Italian military is just as in the dark about what's going on as the investigators, and are trying to do the same thing that the investigators are doing – neutralise the threat. Of course, each side suspects the other of being the cause, which is all very true to the genre!”

We Will Remember Them – Paul Fricker presents a mission to sabotage a power plant in Norway, inspired by the real SOE Operation Musketoon. This is only the beginning, as the team is diverted to investigate a Norwegian scientist's unwholesome experiments with alien technology, and what the agents discover will leave them changed forever.

I'd had the idea for this scenario in my head for years. It relies upon a specific set of circumstances, but I just couldn't figure out how to write it. While researching actual SOE missions I found liked the sound of Norway. It provides a wonderful combination of cold climate, isolation and paranoia. Then it dawned on me that my old scenario idea and wartime Norway went together like a hand in a cold, black leather glove.”

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Lift Not Thy Hands – Andy Nicholson sends the investigators into occupied Belgium, ostensibly to help the Belgian resistance wiretap a telephone exchange and learn the plans of the local Gestapo. Being part of N’s network, things are not so simple, and they also need to recover a lost Mythos artefact. This would be hard enough, had said artefact not resurrected a long-dead evil in the Wallonian countryside.

Writing something that, even in just a small way, allows me to tip my hat to the brave men and women (of all nationalities) who daily risked their lives to make the world a better place has been a privilege.”

The Angel of the Abyss – Matthew Sanderson takes inspiration from the real Operation Harling, when SOE united disparate factions of the Greek Resistance, ahead of the assault on the Gorgopotamus Bridge. In this version of events, the mission is complicated by the resurgence of a forgotten death cult and their inhuman allies.

I wanted to present a whodunit scenario amidst the political differences of the various factions of the Greek Resistance. Rather than being a murder mystery, I thought it would be interesting to have the investigators track down a saboteur in their ranks, especially as Operation Harling (the real-life mission the scenario is set around) was one of the most famous sabotage missions of the war.

Hand in hand with this, I wanted the antagonists of the piece to have an understandable agenda. Giving the main antagonists a very human face (at least to begin with!) allows the scenario to have more of an emotional impact. During playtesting, action scenes were well balanced against some wonderfully intense scenes between the investigators and the NPCs. When the investigators found themselves confronted by the same problems the NPCs faced, some hard choices had to be made, creating some of the most memorable moments I've had at the game table.”

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Stowaways – Scott Dorward offers a spin on the first exchange of Allied and Axis prisoners in neutral Spain. The Intelligence Corps in Alexandria believe that they have uncovered a plan to sabotage the British vessel repatriating German POWs, and N has had reports that there may be a hitherto-unknown alien parasite on board. The investigators need to find a way of containing both threats without creating a diplomatic incident.

With the other scenarios in the book revolving around missions behind enemy lines, I wanted to provide a contrast by having the investigators operating on home turf, but finding no safety in it. The structure of Stowaways is as much a horror story as a military mission, with the investigators trapped on board a hospital ship with an alien menace that threatens to spiral out of control, and owes obvious debts to some classic films. After having run Stowaways several times, I’ve found that while victory is possible, it will most likely come at a terrible price.”

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Europe Ablaze is an anthology of six Call of Cthulhu scenarios set in the Second World War. Softcover, 144 pages, written by Walt Ciechanowski, Scott Dorward, Paul Fricker, Andy Nicholson, Nick Robinson and Matt Sanderson. Cover by Jon Hodgson, interior art by Scott Purdy, design by Paul Bourne.

Links

Find out more about World War Cthulhu
Buy the World War Cthulhu Fiction Anthology
Buy World War Cthulhu:The Darkest Hour RPG
Europe Ablaze Pre-order + print 
Europe Ablaze PDF