It’s March, better weather is on the way, and now more than ever we’re taking solace in games.
We have updates on our in-development games and adventures, we have a new recommendation for your reading/playing list, some game bundles for good causes, and a pirate-themed freebie.
Thanks to your great response to our play test release of Righteous Jaunt, and despite initially misspelling the email address (facepalms all round), we now have four groups poised to take the game out for a test drive. We’re thrilled and excited to get their feedback!
Monster of the Week Mystery
While we’re waiting for the play test feedback for Righteous Jaunt, Yvris is working on our next release. Our first ever Monster of the Week mystery will be set in the fictional English town of Blythe Vale, which has been stunned by a series of strange murders. Each victim disappeared for a month before being found dead at the site of the next victim’s disappearance. Very excited to play through this one later this month with some friends! We’ll keep you updated.
If you’re not familiar with Monster of the Week we can’t recommend it enough for its trope-y, narrative-driven play based on the Apocalypse World system. One for fans of Buffy, Paranormal, and The X-Files.
The Stygian Library - a review from Yvris
The Stygian Library, by Emmy “Cavegirl” Allen, is an OSR-compatible setting and adventure framework with a unique collection of NPCs and monsters. Characters go in searching for lost or forbidden knowledge and hope to come out with their lives (and sanity) in tact.
Those who know me know I’m rarely not thinking about the library (and librarian) at the Unseen University in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. It’s a place where space, time, and reality itself are warped by the aggregation of hundreds of thousands of books in close quarters. So when I creaked open my copy of The Stygian Library and found first the gorgeous illustrations by Alec Sorenson, then second an acknowledgement of Pratchett’s Unseen University as one of several influences, I was quickly sold.
While the concept of a library with endless stacks existing in the space between realities is familiar there’s so much else here that isn’t remotely Pratchett-esque. The Stygian Library is a dark and dangerous place. Cruel at times in a way to make me do a wince-and-reverse-whistle combo just reading along. This setting’s got fresh grave dirt under its nails and as an ex-goth, I love that about it. Definitely one to think carefully about with your more sensitive players, though. The experience is uneasy, disorientating, and surreal, and in places the genre swings decisively to horror. Best to be aware of that going in.
It’s worth mentioning that this is a beautiful book. With a themes like the power of knowledge and the reality-bending potential of words, it had a lot to live up to in its production. The dark, monochrome aesthetic and the wealth of gorgeous, fine-lined illustrations did a lot to whet my appetite, alongside the wealth of imaginative lore and deep world building in Cavegirl’s text.
World news has been a lot to sit with this month. Many of us are looking for ways we can help, even in small ways, and the TTRPG community is no different. Hundreds of creators have added their games to bundles, donating all their share of the profits to good causes.
The itch bundles for Ukraine have wrapped up after raising over $5 million USD for The Red Cross Ukranian Crisis Appeal, International Medical Corps, and Voices of Children. Now it’s the DMs Guild’s turn with their Mega Bundles of D&D creator content, with profits going to Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine. We’ve added our Fey Mystery of Glen Dourn adventure to megabundle #2. There was some confusion initially around whether Wizards of the Coast would be donating their share of the profits from these, which has since been cleared up, and they’ve confirmed that they are sending on their share to the same organisation.
Back over on itch, there’s still time to pick up a treasure trove of great games and support trans rights organisations in Texas. Not for charity, but still noteworthy, there’s also a Women in TTRPG bundle which includes our solo, journaling game about being a bee, Bumbling, alongside many other gems.
March Freebie - Spare Pirates
One of my ongoing campaign groups is about to head into a pirate city on a revenge quest drawn from one of their backstories. In the spirit of preparing to improvise, I’ve been working on some random tables for pirate NPCs. Here are a couple you can use, if ye dare.
1d20 Pirate names:
- >Crispy Harry
- Molly Tinders
- Perry Slip-noose
- Sour Mags
- Ezra Flinch
- Ada Vex
- Cyrus Silver
- Audria Blackheart
- Coral Rabbe
- Bastian de Boff
- Kael Mentusa
- Titus Lovelady
- Rufus True
- Amos Black
- Bohze the Elder
- Tabby Sommers
- Cassie “Keelhaul” Robbyns
- Fetid Zeb
- Kirby Boatswain
- One-eyed Raff
1d20 distinguishing features to make them memorable:
- A metal eye-patch made from a broken spoon
- A face tattoo of two d6, both showing 1s
- A pet rat on their shoulder, who they occasionally feed a morsel of cheese
- A forked tongue
- Terrible, flaky sunburn
- An elaborately embroidered frock coat which has seen better decades
- A long beard plaited with wooden beads
- Sharply filed wooden teeth
- Puncture wound scars in both cheeks
- An ostentatious hat with two ostrich feathers
- Long, glossy hair dyed blue-black
- A bald head with a skull tattooed over the whole dome
- Large ears weighed down by rows of piercings
- A thin, villainous moustache with waxed tips
- Bulging, bloodshot eyes
- Shiny, bare skin where their eyebrows used to be
- Eyes thickly lined with smoky, black kohl
- A line of rope-burn around their neck
- A curvy peg leg with a carved lion’s paw at the foot
- Thick, braided hair decorated with a mass of coins, beads, and bright feathers
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