Fading Suns Designer Diary — January 2018

Welcome once again and happy new year! I think 5018 is going to be much better than 5017, with all its mournful losses. Please extend best wishes to Emperor Alexius and his fiancé, Freya Eldridsdottir, on their pending nuptials. If this is news to you, you might want to go back and check out last month’s diary and Town Criers Guild report (here: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/229364/).

Instead of fresh news and gossip from the Known Worlds, this month I thought we’d go a little deeper into the rules mechanics, following upon last month’s discussion of Victory Point Tokens.


Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – January 2018

Designer Diary – Characters and Character Creation

First of all, I want to say I’m very pleased about the overwhelmingly positive reactions from our fans to the character archetype artwork. It is a real tribute to the artist, Alberto Bontempi, who is doing great deeds illustrating the archetypes in Wrath & Glory. This time around, I’m going to talk a little bit about character generation in Wrath & Glory.


Living Land Preview #14 – Living Land Soundtrack

This week we have something a bit different for you. Just like with the Kickstarter for the Torg Eternity core rules, one of the stretch goals for the Living Land Kickstarter is a soundtrack, with all the songs featuring the Living Land. The music is composed by Ralf Kurtsiefer, who also composed the music for the Torg Eternity soundtrack.


Living Land Preview #13 – Adventure Generator

This week we take a look at the Adventure Generator, with which Gamemasters can roll a few dice and come up with the skeleton of an adventure. Even if the results don’t make sense, embracing the weird is completely typical for Torg Eternity.


The Darkest of Heresies

Bundle of Holding has two Dark Heresy bundles running right now. Combined, the two bundles cover the entire library of Dark Heresy 1st Edition:

Dark Heresy Essentials covers everything you need to get started.

Dark Heresy Judgements helps you complete your collection.

We asked Ross Watson, Line Developer for the upcoming Warhammer  40,000 Roleplay, to offer a retrospective on his experience with Dark Heresy. Here’s what he wrote:

I remember when Dark Heresy first premiered in 2008. It was an instant hit—presenting the setting of Warhammer 40,000 as a roleplaying game for the first time, ever. Presented by a company named Black Industries (a roleplaying game imprint of BL Publishing), Dark Heresy blended some of the gritty, grim playstyle of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay with the 41st Millennium, focused on the exploits of various citizens—I would hesitate to call them “heroes”—recruited by the Inquisition to root out heresy in the Calixis Sector. The principal architects of Dark Heresy were Owen Barnes, Kate Flack, and Mike Mason. Other important contributors included accomplished writers and game designers like John French, Alan Bligh, and Dan Abnett.

The initial offering of Dark Heresy consisted of five products: The Dark Heresy core rulebook itself, a GM’s screen, the Free RPG Day intro Shattered Hope, an adventure anthology called Purge the Unclean, and a player-focused sourcebook, The Inquisitor’s Handbook. Then, things shifted – Black Industries was shut down, and the license for Dark Heresy (and Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay) was acquired by Fantasy Flight Games, which is where I entered the picture.

In June of 2008, I joined FFG as the Senior RPG Developer in charge of Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay. My tenure with Dark Heresy started then, working on a finished manuscript that would become the Disciples of the Dark Gods sourcebook, written by John French and Alan Bligh. After Disciples, we worked on a bestiary book (something of a specialty of mine) called Creatures Anathema, and from there, we went on to make many more products for the line. Mack Martin joined me along the way, taking over as lead developer during the production of Blood of Martyrs, and I had the honour of working with some extremely talented writers and artists.

What I remember most about Dark Heresy is its compelling style of play: investigation and mysteries against a backdrop of “science fantasy” and chilling horror. The action was gritty and at times intense, and the focus on the Calixis Sector created some very rewarding and immersive setting material that set the standard for many years. Plot hooks and adventure seeds were everywhere, and we presented a wide variety of adventures to explore the experience of working as an agent of the Inquisition.

It was an honour and a privilege to steer the ship for Dark Heresy’s production, and I am very proud of my contributions to this amazing RPG line. I welcome anyone who is looking for a chance to serve the Golden Throne to look at exploring the shadowy world of cults, conspiracies, and corruption that exists in the Dark Heresy RPG.

All of these books and more are available through Bundle of Holding right now!

Torg Eternity Designer Diary – December 2017

Desperate, but not Necessarily Dark

Shane Hensley had a strong vision for what the Possibility Wars would look like in Torg Eternity, and his keyword for describing it was “desperate.” Early on we had some trouble confusing that with “darker,” which wasn’t really accurate. Darker meant less hope overall, more unhappy endings, and more focus on the unsavory aspects of the war. But that wasn’t what Shane was aiming for. Desperate meant there would be more pressure from the High Lords, more danger that forces the Storm Knights to engage, but once they engage they might still win, and win big. Things are intense…but not really dark.


Fading Suns Designer Diary – December 2017

Merry Lux Splendor!

The Known Worlds have many festivals and ritual events. The most cherished is Lux Splendor, the Radiance of Light, commemorating the Prophet’s sanctification of the jumproutes following his death in a jumpgate accident.

As I write this, I’ve just finished up the sprawling outline for the core book, which will be assigned out to authors very soon. Some parts of the book have already been written in rough draft form, mainly as rules modifications for the Victory Point System.

As a Lux Splendor present, I’m going to begin rolling out some info about the game mechanics, starting with a big change to how victory points are handled. (more…)

Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – December 2017

Wrath & Glory Designer Diary: Tiers

Today’s designer diary is all about power. Warhammer 40,000 possesses a depth of scope and scale that, in and of itself, is one of the defining characteristics of its setting. The grim darkness of the far future is home to creatures ranging from Gretchin to towering Hive Tyrants, from a Tech-Priest up to a Squiggoth and even that is just the tip of the iceberg. What I’m trying to get across here is that there are a lot of power levels to keep in mind when you’re designing an RPG for Warhammer 40,000.


Aventuria Strategy Blog – Rowena’s Bornland Investigation

Last month I meant to post a solo play for Ship of Lost Souls, which hit stores in November. I even played through all three chapters of the eponymous 3-act adventure. But it turns out Tjalva Garheltdottir is just too strong. Even after a shaky start (failing all of her skill rolls in the first chapter), she managed to tear through those zombie pirates and their demonic overlords with very little difficulty.

It did not make exciting reading.

So this month I am focusing on the release of Heroes’ Struggle, the collection of six 1-act stories based on the first six Heroic Works adventures for The Dark Eye. (Note – Mild Spoilers below for one of those adventures.)


Living Land Preview #12 – The God Box

In addition to the Living Land cosm sourcebook, the coming Kickstarter will include a five act adventure, The God Box, written by Shane Hensley. (more…)

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