Kickstarting Now: Project Infinite Hole for Paranoia

Source: Mongoose Publishing

A project I contributed to is now on Kickstarter! It’s for Paranoia, one of my favorite games ever, and this one is a full boxed set focusing on R&D. From the Kickstarter page:

Project Infinite Hole is the first service group supplement for the latest edition of Paranoia. Here, you will find three books that can make your players weep for joy, and occasionally, panicked fear.

The R&D Happy Testing Catalogue: 64 lovingly crafted pages describing 40 experimental devices fresh from the R&D labs! Fluffy Safety Armour, Jaws of Death, iEye and more are sure to delight your players! Wait, that’s not right. Oh, it will delight sadistic Paranoia GMs. That makes more sense.

The Gamemasters R&D Service Book: 80 pages that explore this service group in detail, including how R&D works, how it does not work, new locations, new NPCs and the thrilling Troubleshooter In-field R&D Adjunct system (TIRDA) that lets players combine equipment cards to create what’s sure to be a complete and utter cock-up. (That is not a dirty word! Get your mind out of the gutter, Troubleshooter!)

The R&D Mission Book: 128 pages giving a busy GM two missions that start the first ever (we think) Paranoia campaign! You also get the Top 10 Best R&D Experiments (filled with three-act structured mission hooks) and advice on adding a trip to R&D into every Troubleshooter mission. Yes, players really will be thankful for that!

You also get the R&D Deck with 120 new cards: 18 R&D-themed Action Cards, 15 Armour and Defensive Devices, 5 Bot Modules, 25 Coretech Apps, 25 Surveillance Devices and 32 Weapons. (These include the 40 devices in the R&D Happy Testing Catalogue, but also a lot more!) All equipment is experimental, meaning there are different effects depending on whether the Troubleshooter was barely competent or suspiciously incompetent. (Remember, equipment failure is a choice and will be punished accordingly.) No longer will you say, ‘Uh, you miss with laser pistol. Next!’ Instead, you can say, ‘Your Duct Tape Gun misses and hits an air duct, which is suddenly pulled down on top of you. Next!’

You can download the draft of the first mission, Filling an Infinite Hole, right HERE!

That first mission draft is one of the things I wrote for this. I got to contribute to all three books–writing missions, NPCs, gadgets, and essays.

Bucket list achieved!

See more details (and back this sucker) at the Project Infinite Hole Kickstarter page.

Game Companies Say: Black Lives Matter

I wrote the following as a guest article on Gnome Stew. I’m including it here for you regular readers!

Following the widespread protests kicked off by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by police while in their custody, a number of tabletop game companies have responded by speaking out against such injustice. In the best cases, they’ve also taken steps to help. While it’s becoming less rare for this industry to unite and stand up for a cause, this occasion feels especially noteworthy. Here are some examples of such companies rallying to support racial equality earlier this month.

Paizo made the following statement, pledging (among other things) to start a new charity to help black communities:

Wizards of the Coast donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, and Black Girls Code, and released the following statement:

Steve Jackson Games donated to four charities in Austin, Texas: Austin Area Urban League, Austin Justice Coalition, Project ROAR, and 400+1 Bail Fund. They posted this statement:

Goodman Games posted this inspirational image:

Green Ronin Publishing‘s Facebook account went silent for a day to make room for other voices.

Tomorrow, this social media account will go silent so that other voices can be heard. We support justice, equity, and human rights. #BlackLivesMatter

Posted by Green Ronin Publishing on Monday, June 1, 2020

Magpie Games posted a Tweet standing with Black Lives Matter and sharing a list of black leaders in gaming to follow.

Evil Hat Productions donated to Black Lives Matter and released the following statement:

Chaosium is donating a portion of the proceeds from their latest Call of Cthulhu book to National Bail Out.

Schwalb Entertainment donated $1,022 to the Bail Project, explaining that “saying something without doing anything is uesless.”

Arc Dream Publishing donated to the Northwest Community Bail Fund in Seattle, and the publishers of Delta Green put their extensive research into criminal justice into perspective:

Monte Cook Games has made the following offer on their recent Cypher System adventure Heist on Miracle IV: “Now through June 30th, all proceeds from sales of Heist on Miracle IV will be donated to Monte Cook Games will make a matching donation for the first 500 copies sold during this period.”

Pelgrane Press donated $1,000 and 10% of their June web store sales to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They also released a longer statement on their website.

R. Talsorian Games made $2,000 donation to the Bail Project, which provides bail assistance to protestors. The company announced this with a statement; the full version is in a blog post, but the short version fit in the Tweet below…

Did you spot any game companies speaking out (or taking action) on behalf of racial equality recently? We probably missed some, so let us know in the comments!

New Star Trek Adventures Books: Command Division & Beta Quadrant

Image: Modiphius

Modiphius just announced product details and release dates (well, release months) of the next two books for the Star Trek Adventures RPG. The books are the Command Division Supplemental Rulebook and the Beta Quadrant Sourcebook.

The Command Division Supplemental Rulebook provides “new material for characters in the command or conn departments.” This includes (from the Modiphius website):

  • “Detailed description of the command division, including its role in Starfleet, the various branches within the command division, the role of Fleet Operations, life as a command division cadet, and details on starship operations.
  • Expanded 2d20 Social Conflict rules, enhancing social encounters and galactic diplomacy.
  • An expanded list of Talents and Focuses for command and conn characters.
  • Over a dozen additional starships and support craft to command and pilot, including the NX, Nebula, Sovereign, and Steamrunner classes, as well as many shuttle types and the indomitable Work Bee!
  • Advice on creating command division focused plot components for your missions to test the mettle of your captain and flight controller. 
  • New rules on running Admiralty-level campaigns that let you command entire fleets, as well as information on commanding starbases.
  • Detailed descriptions and game statistics for a range of Command and Conn focused NPCs and Supporting Characters.”

(Fanboy note: OMG Nebula class! An admiralty campaign!)

The Beta Quadrant Sourcebook provides “an in-depth look at the Quadrant both the Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire call home.” Details from Modiphius:

  • “Information on the Federation’s presence in the Beta Quadrant, including the homeworlds of Andoria, Earth, and Vulcan.
  • Material about the Klingon Empire and its history, including information on its core words of Qo’noS, Boreth, Khitomer, and Rura Penthe.
  • Information from the Romulan Star Empire on their history and politics, and information about their worlds Romulus and Remus.
  • A host of new Federation species to choose from during character creation, including Benzite, Bolians, Efrosians, and Klingons.
  • A selection of alien starships, from the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Gorn Hegemony, Orion Syndicate, and civilian craft.
  • Guidance for the Gamemaster on running missions and continuing voyages in the Beta Quadrant, with a selection of new Non-Player Characters to enhance encounters.”

(Fanboy note: OMG Bolians! Gorn! Orions!)

Both books release in May of this year, and you can preorder on their individual product pages.

Command Division | Beta Quadrant ]

Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries

Image: Fria Ligan

I nearly forgot to mention that the first book of adventures for Tales from the Loop is now available. It’s called “Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries.”

Here’s a summary of the contents from distributor Modiphius:

“Toys suddenly developing intelligence. A mystical mummy roaming the beaches. Weird events in the local video store. A mixtape full of mysteries. Four wondrous machines. A guide to creating your own setting for the game. All of this and more is included in this volume, the first official module for the multiple award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG. This book includes: 

  • Our Friends the Machines. A mystery about a product launch of a new line of action toys that suddenly takes a turn to the weird.
  • Horror Movie Mayhem. The ’80s was the decade of moral panic, when everything new was dangerous and corrupting. In this mystery the Kids will investigate what is really happening in and around the local video store.
  • The Mummy in the Mist. There are whispering rumors that it is back again. The mummy down by the lake. Roaming the beaches by night, looking for something, hungering after something. It will be up to the Kids to solve this mystery.
  • A mixtape filled with mysteries. Eight short mysteries based on classic pop songs from the era.
  • Blueprints, background and adventure hooks for four advanced and iconic machines from the world of the Loop.
  • Hometown Hack. A guide to creating your very own setting for the game, complete with the Norfolk Broads, a UK-based Loop.”

Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries is available now in print and PDF from Modiphius, or in PDF from DriveThruRPG.