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Ken Writes About Stuff: Vol. 3
by Pelgrane Press

Each month in Ken Writes About Stuff, Kenneth Hite turns his considerable writing talents and encyclopedic knowledge of game design, history, the occult and all things Mythos to bear on new topic. From hideous creatures to GUMSHOE innovations, from Moon Dust Men to martial arts, in 5000 word missives, the sub runs April to March, and includes all this year's issues straight away.

Ken Writes About Stuff: Vol. 3
 
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Lighthouse Roleplaying System™

Lighthouse Roleplaying System™


A system that’s easy to learn and simple to use. The subtlety and nuance lies in how you choose to interpret the die rolls and use them to tell your story. Here’s a quick overview of how the system works. There When You Need It Most of the time, you can use the context of the story and established abilities of the characters to decide what happens without having to roll any...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $3.00

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Fate System Toolkit

Fate System Toolkit


Rules, glorious rules! The Fate Core system is flexible, hackable, and adaptable to any world you can dream up. This Fate System Toolkit is packed with system ideas to bring those dreams to life. Learn how to hack the skill system to better suit your terraforming campaign. Get ideas on how to create races and societies for your woodland elves, subterranean aliens, or afterlife police force. Customize...   [click here for more]
Evil Hat Productions, LLC  Pay What You Want

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Roleplaying Theme

Roleplaying Theme


How can you use the literary concept of theme in a roleplaying game adventure? Yes, roleplaying games are different in structure than other forms of fiction, and the needs of the story, the people telling the story, and the audience are all unique. They’re still stories, and embracing theme is a relatively easy way to make those stories better. It’s infinitely more interesting...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.00

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Story Design: Decline-and-Fall

Story Design: Decline-and-Fall


How can you add more empathy and suspense to your story of tragic descent? Story Design Volume 20 - In a decline-and-fall story, the protagonist starts out in a high position, possessed of fortune and glory, having everything they could ever desire. This could be literal or metaphorical; they might have moral or ethical riches rather than money and possessions. The protagonist...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Obsession

Story Design: The Obsession


How can you add more danger and tragedy to your story of wretched excess? Story Design Volume 18 - In an obsession story the protagonist goes too far with something, and bad things happen as a result. The object of their excess can be an actual physical or psychological problem like alcoholism or drug addiction; it could also be an unhealthy fascination with a goal, a person,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Revelation

Story Design: The Revelation


How can you add more action and conflict to your story of discovery? Story Design Volume 17 - In a revelation plot something is discovered that has serious implications for the protagonist. It may mean also have a serious impact on a supporting character, or the world. The actual discover could be something good or something bad, but it is startling and disruptive to the...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: Rags-to-Riches

Story Design: Rags-to-Riches


How can you add more hope and excitement to your story of dreams and aspirations? Story Design Volume 19 - In a rags-to-riches story the protagonist starts out poor, unknown, and without any power or authority. This could be literal or metaphorical; they may be intellectually or spiritually poor, rather than without material wealth. Over the course of the story they rise...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Sacrifice

Story Design: The Sacrifice


How can you add more drama and pathos to your story of selfless heroism? Story Design Volume 16 - A sacrifice story finds the protagonist pursuing some noble cause or higher purpose. In order to accomplish their objective, they will need to give up something of great personal value. This might be other goals, a close relationship, or even their own life. They may survive,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Romance

Story Design: The Romance


How can you add more conflict and characterization to your love story? Story Design Volume 14 - A romance plot features the protagonist falling in love with a supporting character or even a co-protagonist. The antagonist doesn’t want this to happen, and conspires to keep the lover apart. There is often some misunderstanding or miscommunication that creates a rift in...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep

Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep


"Gnome Stew has hit another home run for the Game Master. Never Unprepared has earned a permanent place in my GM toolbox, right along side the likes of Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering, Hamlet’s Hit Points, Play Dirty, Eureka, and Masks. Highly recommended." -- RoleplayDNA review 2013 Origins Award nominee for Best Game-Related Publication - 2013 ENnie Award...   [click here for more]
Engine Publishing  $19.95 $9.95

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Story Design: The Taboo

Story Design: The Taboo


How can you add more intrigue and danger to your forbidden love story? Story Design Volume 15 - In a taboo plot, the protagonist becomes involved in a forbidden romance. From the start everyone knows that the affair will fail because social forces don’t approve of the pairing; what makes the relationship unacceptable will vary with the genre, place, and time of the...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters

Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters


Twenty three short essays from twenty three exceptional Game Masters and creators that will invariably aid you in your quest to make your games better because they reflect what happens, rather than what you have planned.” — Sean’s Pick of the Day review 2015 Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement and Best Artwork & Presentation Improvisation...   [click here for more]
Engine Publishing  $19.95 $9.95

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Story Design: The Mystery

Story Design: The Mystery


How can you add more thrills and dramatic tension to your mystery adventures? Story Design Volume 7 - The word mystery carries a lot of cultural baggage. From a genre point of view, it’s typically associated with murder. The story goal is to discover who did it, although more modern variations focus on figuring out how it was done, in order to prove who did it. A mystery...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Seduction

Story Design: The Seduction


How can you add more dark danger and wicked fun to your temptation adventures? Story Design Volume 10 - A seduction story has the protagonist trying to avoid doing something they know they aren’t supposed to do. It could be lying, cheating, stealing, breaking an oath, succumbing to addiction, or anything that has serious consequences. The thing that the protagonist...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Duel

Story Design: The Duel


How can you add more conflict and suspense to your competitive adventures? Story Design Volume 8 - In a duel story, the protagonist and antagonist are competing against one another. They may be fighting to obtain the same objective, or simply trying to insure that the other doesn’t get what they’re after. The rivalry might be a sports competition, a race to make...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Breakout

Story Design: The Breakout


Have you ever wanted higher stakes and deeper meaning in your escape adventures? Story Design Volume 5 - A breakout story involves a protagonist trying to escape from a situation that’s not of their choosing, and possibly not of their making. Their captivity can be literal, like being locked in prison or stranded on an island. It may also be figurative, like an abusive...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Dark Horse

Story Design: The Dark Horse


How can you add more heroic struggle and vicarious thrills to your underdog adventures? Story Design Volume 9 - In a dark horse story, the protagonist and antagonist are not evenly matched. The odds are stacked heavily in favor of the antagonist. Initially no one takes the protagonist seriously, but over the course of the story they shake off their underdog status to become...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: Coming of Age

Story Design: Coming of Age


How can you add more character focus and a slice of life to your adventures? Story Design Volume 13 - In a coming of age plot, the protagonist gains maturity. This is often literal as the character moves from one stage of their life to another, like from childhood to adolescence, or young adulthood to middle age. It can be metaphorical as they embark on a new career, learn...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Search

Story Design: The Search


How can you add more emotional resonance to your quest adventure story? Story Design Volume 2 - In the search plot, the protagonist is looking for something. It might be an object, a person, or a piece of information. The thing they’re searching for might be real, or it could be metaphorical. It doesn’t actually matter, because this is really a character-driven...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Journey

Story Design: The Journey


How can you put more action and excitement in your traveling adventure stories? Story Design Volume 1 - In the journey plot, the protagonist travels and has an adventure. It’s a simple as that. There’s no deeper meaning or existential crisis underlying the trip. There’s hidden message, or a need for the character to experience personal growth. It’s...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Payback

Story Design: The Payback


How can you add more retribution and gratification to your revenge adventures? Story Design Volume 6 - In a payback story the protagonist, or someone close to them, has somehow been wronged by the antagonist. Seeking to balance the scales or settle the score, the protagonist goes on a mission of revenge. It’s a story about a person seeking justice by taking the law...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Curse

Story Design: The Curse


How can you add more character-driven action and a sense of alienation to your metamorphosis adventures? Story Design Volume 11 - In a curse story the antagonist feels that the protagonist has done something wrong. Maybe they have, and the antagonist’s actions are justified; maybe they haven’t, and the antagonist’s wrath is misplaced or unfair. As a result...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Roleplaying Emotion

Roleplaying Emotion


How can you express your character’s feelings without embarrassing yourself? Sometimes the hardest thing to do in a tabletop roleplaying game is engage with the roleplaying part. It's not that we have a shortage of ideas on how our characters would behave. Their abilities aren't a mystery to us, and we know how to use them to our tactical advantage. Things break down when we have to...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.00

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Story Design: The Change

Story Design: The Change


How can you add more inner conflict, fear or change, and wonder of discovery to your transformation adventures? Story Design Volume 12 - In a change story something upsets the protagonist’s life in a significant way. The character then has to adapt and come to terms with that change. It can be something normal yet tragic, like the death of a loved one or being diagnosed...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Odyssey: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management

Odyssey: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management


If you’re planning on running a campaign, you’ll want this book.” — Critical Hits review 2014 ENnie Award nominee for Best Aid/Accessory - 2013 Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement Do you ever wish you had a guide to help make running ongoing campaigns easier and more fun? Then you need Odyssey: The Complete Game Master's Guide...   [click here for more]
Engine Publishing  $24.95 $11.95

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Story Design: The Rescue

Story Design: The Rescue


Have you ever wanted more suspense and peril in your rescue adventures? Story Design Volume 4 - A rescue plot is an action-heavy structure where a supporting character (the victim) is being held against their will by the antagonist. The protagonist’s job is to locate the victim and escort them back to safety. There are variations possible, but the core of a rescue story...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Story Design: The Chase

Story Design: The Chase


Have you ever wanted more danger and excitement in your pursuit adventure stories? Story Design Volume 3 - In a chase story, one character is pursuing another. The antagonist may be after the protagonist, or vice versa. The person being chased is often in possession of something valuable or important, has committed a crime and is fleeing justice, or believes...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $2.00

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Focal Point: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions

Focal Point: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions


The heart of roleplaying is the gaming session, that point when everyone is gathered around the gaming table — and exactly when so many of your game mastering skills are most needed. To the best of our knowledge, there's never been a system-neutral book focused on running great sessions. Until now. Focal Point: The Complete Game Master's Guide to...   [click here for more]
Engine Publishing  $24.95 $11.95

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Story Structure

Story Structure


How can you use time-tested story structures to create better adventures? All great stories need a beginning, a middle, and an end. On that basic structure writers and storytellers throughout the ages have woven variations and created masterpieces. We keep coming back to the same foundations today for one very good reason: those structures are versatile and continue to work. This book helps...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $7.00

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Building Characters

Building Characters


How can you create memorable characters with great story potential? At the heart of all great stories are strong characters. It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading a short story, writing a novel, or watching a play. The characters found in TV series, comic books, and games are more alike on a creative level than they are different. The symbiotic relationship between character...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $7.00

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Setting Design

Setting Design


How can you design dynamic settings that supports telling great stories? Setting Design helps you to assembling the critical details that you will need in order to tell a story. More than mere worldbuilding, this book shows you how to save prep time by focusing on just the elements you'll need and use. With clear step-by-step instructions, you can: Create a clear premise...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $7.00

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The World Wide Wrestling Roleplaying Game

The World Wide Wrestling Roleplaying Game


The World Wide Wrestling Roleplaying Game enables you to create your own professional wrestling franchise through play, showcasing satisfying and surprising storylines. It’s about feuds, championships, betrayal, and righteous victory. It’s about the clash of good and evil on the grandest stage. It’s about whether you’ve got what it takes. And, in the end, it’s...   [click here for more]
ndp design  $10.00

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Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game

Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game


"What I'm saying is that GMs out here need this book. You may be fine coming up with awesome NPCs on your own and don't think you need something like this, and what I'm telling you is that this book is more than just a thousand characters, it's a million stories." -- Dave Chalker, Critical Hits review 2013 ENnie Award winner for Best Aid/Accessory - 2012...   [click here for more]
Engine Publishing  $34.95 $16.95

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Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters

Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters


"Much more than a simple book of plots, Eureka! stands as one of those essential tools that GMs and game designers will find themselves reaching for again and again." -- Game designer Wolfgang Baur, Kobold Quarterly review 2010 Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement Featuring a foreword by gaming industry legend Monte Cook, Eureka contains 501...   [click here for more]
Engine Publishing  $34.95 $16.95

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ReadWriteRoll

ReadWriteRoll


How can you tell better stories with a tabletop roleplaying game? ReadWriteRoll is a system for readers, writers, and roleplayers who love telling stories with friends! It combines familiar d20-style mechanics with story game sensibilities to create a simple system designed around the way stories are constructed. The core mechanic is simple - roll a d20, add modifiers,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $10.00

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Tales from the Ninth World

Tales from the Ninth World


THERE HAVE BEEN EIGHT PREVIOUS WORLDS. Each world stretched across vast millennia of time. Each played host to a race whose civilizations rose to supremacy but eventually died or scattered, disappeared or transcended. During the time that each world flourished, those that ruled it spoke to the stars, reengineered their physical bodies, and mastered form and essence, all in their...   [click here for more]
Monte Cook Games  $2.99

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Roleplaying Group Dynamics

Roleplaying Group Dynamics


How can you get your game group to work better together and have more fun? Most of you don’t need to be told how to play well with others. Unfortunately, you’ll run into people who do. For whatever reason, they never learned this particular set of social skills. Sitting down to play a game with them can be like herding cats — occasionally entertaining, but mostly frustrating....   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.00

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TimeWatch

TimeWatch


A ROLEPLAYING GAME OF TIME TRAVEL ACTION AND INVESTIGATION History isn’t written by the victors. It’s written by the people with the time machines. “Well, that doesn’t look right.” All around you are the abandoned ruins of medieval Paris, with a hundred thousand rotted skulls piled up in a mountain. Your partner draws her pistol and checks the historical record on...   [click here for more]
Pelgrane Press  $24.95

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A Scandal in Bohemia (A Study in Storytelling #1)

A Scandal in Bohemia (A Study in Storytelling #1)


How can you adapt a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery into your own adventure? A Scandal in Bohemia (A Study in Storytelling #1) helps you to deconstruct the original story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can then reimagine, remix, and recycle the story elements into any genre or setting. Designed for writers and roleplayers, use it to create original fiction or tabletop adventures!...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.00

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A Case of Identity (A Study in Storytelling #3)

A Case of Identity (A Study in Storytelling #3)


How can you adapt a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery into your own adventure? A Case of Identity (A Study in Storytelling #3) helps you to deconstruct the original story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can then reimagine, remix, and recycle the story elements into any genre or setting. Designed for writers and roleplayers, use it to create original fiction or tabletop adventures!...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.00

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Night Witches

Night Witches


TONIGHT WE FLY There was a night bomber regiment in World War Two composed entirely of women. Natural-born Soviet airwomen. These 200 women and girls, flying outdated biplanes from open fields near the front lines, attacked the invading German forces every night for 1,100 consecutive nights. When they ran out of bombs they dropped...   [click here for more]
Bully Pulpit Games  $12.00

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The Red-Headed League (A Study in Storytelling #2)

The Red-Headed League (A Study in Storytelling #2)


How can you adapt a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery into your own adventure? The Red-Headed League (A Study in Storytelling #2) helps you to deconstruct the original story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can then reimagine, remix, and recycle the story elements into any genre or setting. Designed for writers and roleplayers, use it to create original fiction or tabletop adventures!...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $5.00

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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1

Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1


There is a hidden world of spirit that surrounds us. Within that world dwell the Nobilis. They are creatures half-human and half-god. Each holds dominion over a single concept in the world. You have heard the stories and rumors of the Nobilis. You have heard of the fates of those who encounter them. Herein you will find a guide to dealing with these Powers and their attendant spirits. Herein...   [click here for more]
Eos Press  $49.95 $19.95

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Tales from The Strange

Tales from The Strange


Beneath the orbits and atoms of our natural universe lies a network of dark energy. Those who have learned to access and navigate this chaotic sea have discovered an almost endless set of “recursions” in the shoals of our Earth: Worlds with their own laws of reality, reflected from human experience or imagination, given form in the swirling Chaosphere of the Strange. Worlds teeming with...   [click here for more]
Monte Cook Games  $2.99

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More Tales from the Ninth World

More Tales from the Ninth World


More Beauty, Wonder, and Weirdness of the Ninth World Life after death, time travel, teleportation. The things that are impossible now—these are things that aren’t just possible in the Ninth World, but probable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a noble, a thief, a tinkerer, or a serial killer, when you come face to face with impossibilities becoming realities, you...   [click here for more]
Monte Cook Games  $2.99

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The Fate Codex - Volume 2, Issue 5

The Fate Codex - Volume 2, Issue 5


The Fate Codex is a mostly-monthly e-zine featuring Quick Start Adventures and more for the Fate roleplaying system. The project, funded through Patreon, grows and swells as more patrons support our work. We've been lucky to have lots of folks pledge, and we're now entering our second year of production! Our backers have enabled us to not only hire great authors, but also to include great...   [click here for more]
Magpie Games  $2.99

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Behind Enemy Times

Behind Enemy Times


Behind Enemy Times is a series of missions for the TimeWatch RPG. Run them separately or as a linked campaign. Insects are everywhere, in their millions, roaches, scarabs and ants and mosquitos. Now imagine them human-sized, with a chip on their carapaces, add psychic powers and you have the ezeru: huge, advanced beetles forged in the aftermath of a self-inflicted...   [click here for more]
Pelgrane Press  $12.95

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The Fate Codex - Volume 2, Issue 4

The Fate Codex - Volume 2, Issue 4


The Fate Codex is a mostly-monthly e-zine featuring Quick Start Adventures and more for the Fate roleplaying system. The project, funded through Patreon, grows and swells as more patrons support our work. We've been lucky to have lots of folks pledge, and we're now entering our second year of production! Our backers have enabled us to not only hire great authors, but also to include great...   [click here for more]
Magpie Games  $2.99

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The Fate Codex - Volume 2, Issue 6

The Fate Codex - Volume 2, Issue 6


The Fate Codex is a mostly-monthly e-zine featuring Quick Start Adventures and more for the Fate roleplaying system. The project, funded through Patreon, grows and swells as more patrons support our work. We've been lucky to have lots of folks pledge, and we're now entering our second year of production! Our backers have enabled us to not only hire great authors, but also to include great...   [click here for more]
Magpie Games  $2.99

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Tales Beyond the Ninth World

Tales Beyond the Ninth World


What Wonders Lie Beyond Earthly Boundaries? An ancient vessel sailing the darkness of night encounters a demon of the void. A distraught mother seeks her dead child in a parallel dimension where that death never took place. A tomb robber raids an ancient ship, and must overcome the ocean's watery pull—and the dark shadows of her own expectations. The wonders of the Ninth World—our...   [click here for more]
Monte Cook Games  $2.99

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