Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws talk worldbuilding, creating interesting female pregens for con games and freeforms, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and time-traveling health care in a brand new episode of Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.
After much preparation, a great leviathan lurches its head from the dark waters of podcasting. Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, the new podcast featuring Pelgrane Press stalwarts Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws, is now live. Bookmark its popping site, as festooned by the finest cartoon stylings of John Kovalic, whose Dork Tower is […]
Pelgrane Press is sponsoring Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, a new webcast by our favourite game designers, Robin Laws (GUMSHOE System, Ashen Stars) and Ken Hite (Trail of Cthulhu, Night’s Black Agents). Below you can listen to a sneak preview test segment from a forthcoming podcast. It is in its rough stages and there […]
“You’ve outdone yourself with the Esoterrorists and SSF themes. My reaction to the latter was, “I want to see this movie!””
The Esoterrorists Theme: This music has been written to introduce a session of the game. It begins by hinting at the mystery and horror using sound design and a female vocal. The music then shifts into a faster rhythm culminating in the action theme of the game. The heavy drums and insistent violin ostinato are overlaid with distorted powerchords and squealing lead guitar lines representing the contemporary edge of the game. This track prototypes the sonic palette of the Esoterrorists mixing elements of rock, orchestra and dance music. You can hear a lower quality version of the track here.
Special Suppression Forces: Although much of the Ordo Veritatis work is based on investigation, there comes a time when action is needed and the Special Suppression Forces are called in. This track reflects the overtly military nature of this force and the dangers that they face. The music relies on a lot of very heavy percussion from Japanese taikos and similar instruments but also includes contemporary instrumentation. Eventually the piece closes with a restatement of the main action motif but with even heavier percussion than before.
Little Girl Lost: This track was designed to be played alongside the adventureAlbion’s Ransom: Little Girl Lost. The feeling behind the track was to create a mood evoking the urban and spiritual backdrop of this story. There’s clearly a strong trance and trip-hop influence here. Furthermore, the minor harmony and dark instrumentation hint at the underlying peril and mystery. Again a contemporary instrumentation integrates with orchestra, drum loops and voices.
The Membrane: The Esoterrorists use the media to help spread fear and weaken the membrane. The music here is suggestive of that influence and is a mixture of percussion, sound design and ambient ideas. Even the main theme is incorporated into this collage of sound although in a twisted manner, sometimes in reverse. Unlike the other tracks to date, The Membrane is specifically designed as background music, to be looped at low levels in the background in times of tension.
The XPS series features adventures, background and words of wisdom for the Dying Earth RPG, and is indispensable to fans of the Dying Earth. The third issue includes The Gold and Amber Cabal, an adventure for aspiring mages; The Valley of the Graven Tombs, laden with ghosts and curses; and The Laughing Magician, part one of a three-part adventure series in which the characters must race up the Scaum river against stiff opposition, as well as articles by Robin D Laws and Lizard.
Double Book-Size Issue of ‘The Excellent Prismatic Spray’ (Volume 1, Number 4/5)
A source book for the Dying Earth RPG
To Ascolais, the Falling Wall and Beyond! This first double volume of the XPS is so vast in scope that it has graduated to its own page as a sourcebook in its own right.
Once the heart of the reach of Grand Motholam, the Land of the Falling Wall and Ascolais are now picturesque ruins. The people are strange, the places stranger, the opportunities and diversions unparalleled. This double issue of The Excellent Prismatic Spray is your well-nigh irresistible invitation to discover the Dying Earth’s heartlands for yourself. While waiting for Time’s death rattle, why not:
- Defraud merchants amid the probity and decorum of cruel Lumarth and its ruinous neighbour Aktabras…
- Lose yourself (or your pursuers) in Forrell’s Port, gateway to the Sousenene Coast…
- Cross the Plain of Standing Stones…
- Discover whether you or any of your fellows are unknowingly vat creatures…
- Hide from your enemies in cosmopolitan Efred, City of Sanctuary…
- Tangle with mermelants in Aldusfeld Village…
- Interfere with cranes in white-walled Kaiin…
- Or take the opportunity to hunt mutroons and social status in the Great Da Forest.
Ascolais and the Land of the Falling Wall features adventures, recipes, ghosts, ships, vat creatures, gods, daihaks and demons. The material is suitable for all levels of play and will satisfy every palate, however ghoulish or finicky.
Vance’s Spell of the Ineffably Pleasurable Prolonged Hour and What It Did To Me (Ed Greenwood)
The Den-Phu Cranes [adventure] (Robin D Laws)
The Dying Earth Needs You (Lynne Hardy)
A Map of The Known World (Sarah Wroot)
Efred, City of Sanctuary (David Thomas)
Mermelants Unite! (Thomas Russell)
ARCANA of Grashpotel (Peter Freeman)
The City of Lumarth (Ian Thomson)
Caravan to Akatabras [adventure] (Ian Thomson)
Forell’s Port (Lizard)
Home Brewed Heroes [Vat Creature PCs] (Ian Thomson)
The Laughing Magician [adventure] (Steve Dempsey)
The Sculpted Chair (Lynne Hardy)
The Luminarion (Mark Baker)
Ghosts of the Forgotten Past (Kurt Brown)
The Encroaching Green (Lizard & Ian Thomson)
Cozeners Expedients (Various)
A stand-alone roleplaying game by Robin D Laws
You are elite investigators combating the plots of the Esoterrorists, a loose affiliation of occult terrorists intent on tearing the fabric of the world. The Esoterrorists introduces the GUMSHOE rules system, which revolutionizes investigative scenarios by ensuring that players are never deprived of the crucial clues they need to move the story forward.
Upgrades, Improvements and New Content for the 2nd Edition.
This new edition of The Esoterrorists is 4 times longer and allows you to:
- Equip your characters with fine-grained investigative abilities, ranging from Interrogation and Data Retrieval to the ever-popular Forensic Entomology and always useful Bullshit Detector.
- Round them out with 13 crucial action abilities, which help you fight, run away, and retain your mental stability when the horrors come knocking.
- Absorb the latest, in-depth intelligence data on the terrifying world of the Esoterrorists.
- Learn the never-before-revealed inner workings of the Ordo Veritatis, the secret international agency that sends you out to smash the foe.
- Recoil at raw reports detailing all-new creatures of unremitting horror.
- Root yourself in a site of small town menace with the new Station Duty campaign frame and scenario.
- Confront fever dreams of the apocalypse in a brand new introductory scenario, OPERATION: PROPHET BUNCO!
Also included, for gamemasters:
- Data on the terrifying world of the Esoterrorists, and the Ordo Veritatis, the benevolent global conspiracy that fights them
- Creatures of unremitting horror.
- Detailed instructions on structuring investigative scenarios for the innovative GUMSHOE system
- Advice on bringing those scenarios to life in play
- Operation Slaughterhouse, an advanced example scenario of geopolitical horror
The Esoterrorists is easy to learn, easy to play and replayable by design.
Incorporating years of advice, actual play experience, and design evolution, The Esoterrorists Enhanced Edition includes all the rules you need to play the game that revolutionized investigative roleplaying. Dripping with ichor and jammed with content, this is the heftier, meatier, definitive tome gamers have been crying out for ever since they laid their paws on the original.
Reviews of The Esoterrorists:
… the game does deliver on its promise. You could easily explain the rules to someone in 15 minutes enough so that they could play. You can also learn them enough to run the game in about an hour.
I was apprehensive about the system but I was wrong – it worked really well for me.
The rules are incredible – I honestly think this is the best investigation-based RPG ever printed.
Explore the most decadent city in a world of decadence. 100,000 words by Robin D Laws describe 100,000 inhabitants in this innovative and highly play-tested source book.
PCs are assumed to be knowledgeable veterans of the White-Walled City, not ignorant mooncalves. No longer will the GM be the sole arbiter of adventures; players are encouraged to choose from hundreds of plot hooks and contacts to create sublime gaming sessions.
From the self-indulgent aristocrats of Odkin Prospect to Prince Khandive’s pleasure barge, the whole city is mapped out using fine words, pictures and… maps. The ideal supplement for long-term adventuring in the Dying Earth.
Free Downloads Available:
Chapter 1: How to Use This Book
Chapter 2: Canal Town & The Mud Flats
The Old Town (a bonus fan-produced extra chapter)
The Exasperating Cadaver: a Cugel-level fan-adventure designed to have PCs explore all districts of Kaiin. (And if you like this, other free adventures set in Kaiin are available on the Violet Cusps page)
Stunning Eldritch Tales is a collection of four adventures written by Robin D Laws. In The Devourers In The Mist castaway investigators face the an ancient evil. In Dimension Y, the PCs witness an inventor’s presentation of a new machine to peer into a non-Euclidean reality, and then feel reality slipping from beneath them. With Shanghai Bullets and Death Laughs Lasts, this collection demonstrates the strengths of the Trail of Cthulhu system.
The following articles originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in September 2008. Robin D Laws discusses the nature of believability in RPGs, and we present not one, but three interviews from Luke Crane. This month also sees the launch of a flurry of new products, including a Keeper’s Screen, and James […]