Y'know, just some cool stuff to check out on this blackest of Fridays...
Well our Autumnus Horriblis, as the late Queen may have put it, has almost come to an end and the good news is that barring any more major disasters Wyrd Science issue 5 should be leaving our warehouse and questing its way across land, air and sea to all of you who pre-ordered it some time next week.
Anyway, I had planned to lay low for a little longer and then re-start the Gazetteer with a bang next week but then I saw a few cool things I wanted to share with you and before I knew it I’d started writing this. So, full Gazetteer service will return next week but till then here’s just some fun stuff to warm you up for that.
ALSO before I forget it does behoove me to say that you can still pre-order the incredible and absolutely rammed to the gills Wyrd Science issue 5, and be amongst the first to get it, and you can still get an incredible up to 40% off back issues if you order direct from us right now. Which all seems like a pretty good deal if you ask me.
Right on that note, I’m off to finish reading the, so far, absolutely incredible Paint My Name in Black and Gold: The Rise of the Sisters of Mercy and will leave you in peace to read the rest of this thing.
Till next week
The Belly of Aramkass
One of our favourite new discoveries of the past few years has been the work of Swedish artist, graphic designer and RPG writer Pontus Bjorlin, so much so in fact we interviewed him for our second issue after having read just one of his zines, the brilliant ALTNYC88.
Anyway, today sees the launch of a new adventure from Pontus, though this time he’s leaving the graffitied streets of New York behind and taking us to a more fanciful setting with The Belly of Aramkass, a new module for Free League’s Dragonbane RPG.
In fact I think this is actually the first big, well biggish, 3rd party thing we’ve seen for Dragonbane and this 96 page hardback module contains a 3 part adventure that will see you trek through jungles, up mountains and down into an infernal abyss.
Dragonbane itself is a wonderfully old school feeling yet engagingly modern game that has really hit the spot for us this year and Pontus’ illustrations here perfectly captures that weird, almost art brut, vibe that a lot of 70s fantasy RPG art had.
All the ALTNYC88 zines were filled with interesting ideas, unexpected twists and general good fun table times so we’re looking forward to this, and promising as it does mind boggling mysteries, intriguing NPCs, twisted horror and a whole load of new monsters to deal with this one will be going straight onto our shelves when it’s published.
As someone running what I sometimes manage to think of as a small business I have a fairly ambivalent relationship with Black Friday. Margins are non-existent as they are, I always feel like an absolute toad if/when I put something on sale and I know someone’s bought it at full price just before and then you can rarely compete with some half priced fridge or whatever, so you decide to swerve it altogether.
But then you wake up on the day, have an almighty bout of FOMO, think maybe this year will be different and so hastily chuck something on sale, see it sell nothing and you then by the end the day feel like all you’ve achieved is to diminish both your product and yourself in the eyes of the universe. Or is that just me.
But it is of course a fairly decent day if you’re a consumer and in the market for a cheap fridge or other such stuff, so here’s a few game related deals that caught our eye and might be worth checking out…
As per usual Free League are slashing prices with 50% off most their core boxes and, excellent, starter sets. Hard not to go wrong with any of these to be honest but if we didn’t already have them both Vaesen and the aforementioned Dragonbane would be going straight in the cart.
Loads of good stuff in Osprey Games sale this year. If you don’t have any of the Undaunted games then now would be a great time to rectify that (see our review of Stalingrad here). Wargamers meanwhile would do well to pick up Chris McDowall’s recently released ultra rules-lite miniature agnostic game The Doomed (lots more on that in our new issue) and there’s loads of great RPGs to pick from too. Have to say we’re tempted to finally pick up Crescent Moon, as we’ve heard great things about that.
Our favourite Portuguese publisher Games Omnivorous are having a mega 50% off sale across everything they have in stock. Again absolutely no way of going wrong here, and dirt that I am I’m genuinely tempted to pick up a second Hexcrawl Toolkit, anyway it’s all good, all looks amazing, just treat yourself to something strange and new.
Modiphius might steadfastly refuse to answer any emails we send them but we ‘ll try not to hold that against them and there’s some interesting stuff in their sale with up to 70% off, on stuff like the Dune RPG, Achtung! Cthulhu and the Fallout skirmish game.
Up to 50% off with Warlord on their -mainly historical- miniatures wargames. Have to say I’ve wanted a good naval wargame for some time, maybe this will tip us over the edge.
and then if you just really want to go wild in the aisles there’s 30% off storewide at Exalted Funeral, I mean what’s to say you can just randomly throw anything in the cart here and it will almost certainly slap.
A collection of other things, both interesting and inspiring, gaming related and not, culled from around the web...
Congratulations to Dan Jolin of brilliant board game magazine Senet who this week picked up the editor of the year award at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards. Well deserved! Their new issue is out this week, so if you’ve already ordered our new issue maybe go and buy that too.
Sticking with print, the good folk at Hellebore have just released their Yuletide issue. If you’re into things esoteric, folkloric and wyrd check it out.
Bryan Tyrell of very good Stout Stoat fame has just launched a new project called VAST, a collection of resources and information for those who want to improve the accessibility of their RPGs. This is something I think we’re pretty rubbish at and that I’ve been meaning to really get up to speed with when I had time, so check it out.
Our amazing cover artist, Mat Pringle, has again released his series of Christmas cards in time for this year’s festivities, including a particularly nice brand new 'Here We Come a-Wassailing' one (of which there’s a full sized print available too).
Astronomers recently detected an astonishingly powerful particle, which they dubbed ‘Ameratsu’ after the Shinto goddess smashing into the Earth. Whilst they still have no firm idea what could create such a monstrous thing they have successfully traced its origin back to an ‘empty area of space known as the "Local Void" bordering our Milky Way galaxy.’ Which is comforting…
While we’re enjoying the work of lab coated boffins, scientists also claim to have identified two continent sized chunks of the proto-planet Theia, whose collision with the Earth some 4.5 billion years ago created the moon, submerged deep within our planet’s mantle, and just kind of floating around down there, which is pretty cool. The original, not particularly readable it must be said, paper can be found here.
Growing up Alan Garner was one of my favourite writers, especially -if obviously- The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath. Anyway as someone whose writing looks like I’ve just had all my fingers smashed with a mallet I can now add awe and envy about his handwriting to my appreciation of his storytelling.
Long term readers will know that we absolutely adored Spores, artist False Knees’ comic story of a psychedelic awakening in the woods, when it was first published serially online. It’s since been collected in one book and they’re selling off the last copies at 25% off, it’s an oddly beautiful story and at this price a steal so check it out!
At the same time we are currently 3 weeks into this year’s Kneesvember story, and it is giving me all kinds of feels. Check their Instagram out, head back to the start of November and enjoy.
If you heard a loud collective groan earlier in the week that was probably just people reacting to the news that the upcoming Adventure Time RPG was ditching its bespoke storytelling system for DnD 5E. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Finally a big thanks to one of our readers who on hearing I had been bed bound in October sent over some musical recommendations to pass the time. Have to say we were incredibly taken with Green Lung and swiftly added the picture disc of their debut album Woodland Rites to our shelves.
If you like the idea of a record that sounds like it stumbled out of a 1970s head shop with a Black Sabbath LP under one arm and Margaret Murray’s The Witch-Cult in Western Europe in the other than you’ll probably love this.
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