Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Disembodied 2: Talents and Feats for the character who won't call It quits

A couple months ago, I posted a different sort of approach to handling player character (or even major NPC) deaths with the Disembodied Template. This post expands on that concept with a talent tree and feats. (Finally.)

As with the previous post in this series, all text is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced under the terms detailed in it. Copyright Steve Miller 2015.

As previously mentioned, Disembodied characters continue to earn XP and gain levels. As such, they may gain new talents, and they certainly gain new feats. Here are some talents available only to the Disembodied, as well as feats they may choose from.

Characters with the Disembodied template may select one of these talents in place of any provided by their class when they gain a level.

Affect Electronics and Electrical Devices: With a full round action and a successful Will save (DC12), you can cause an electrical appliance or electronic devices to turn off or malfunction--such as give strange readings, emit bursts of static and so on--or you can cause electrical lights in a room to dim or switch off. You can continue to effect the device until you choose not to. You may perform other simple actions, such as moving about, while controlling the device.
Prerequisite: Disembodied Template

Solid Form: With a successful Will save (DC22), you can cause yourself to manifest a physical form that roughly resembles your original body. You may also manifest a solid form that doesn't appear like you did in life, but it is more difficult. With a Will save of DC24, you may appear different enough that those who knew you in life won't recognize you, but you are still the same sex and race that you were originally. With a DC25, you may change everything about your apperance. With a DC28, you appear like specific person or creature, although those personally familiar with what you are imitating receive Spot checks (DC12) to realize something isn't "quite right."
You have all the same ability scores you had in life, and once again have access to all the skills and feats you once possessed, no matter what form you adopt. Anything that effects living, corporeal beings now effects you, except for Mind-Affecting spells and spell-like abilities. You only have 13 hit points, however, and your form will dissolve into a fine mist that quickly disperses if you are reduced to 0 hit points.
You can cause your solid form do dissolve voluntarily with a full-round action. You may attempt to assume a different solid form after a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom bonus have passed.
If you attempt to manifest a solid form and fail, of if your solid form is destroyed, as opposed to you voluntarily dispersed, you cannot attempt to manifest another solid form for a number of days equal to your Intelligence bonus subtracted from 20.
Note: When you are in a solid form, you cannot use any of the talents or abilities gained from the Disembodied template. You are, essentially, a mortal, living being once again.
Prerequisite; Disemboided Template, Telekinesis Minor Power Feat

Speed of Thought: With a full round action and a sucessful Will save (DC18), you can instantly transport yourself to the location of someone you have previously met. The Will save is made with a +4 bonus if it's someone you have an emotional attachment to.
Prerequisite: Disembodied Template

Here are a list of feats from the OGL d20 Modern SRD that characters may choose whenever they gain a feat, or in place of a bonus feat provided by class advancement. They are considered part of the Disembodied feat group.

Alertness, Animal Affinity, Attentive, Cautious, Confident, Creative, Deceptive, Educated, Focused, Gearhead, Guide, Iron Will, Meticulous, Nimble, Studious, Track, Trustworthy
The following feat is part of NUELOW's evolving d20 Superpowers system (featured in many of our rpg/comics hybrid books, and posts on this blog). It gives access to the Telekinesis talent tree, but it is also part of the Disembodied feat group.

Telekinesis [Disembodied, Minor Power]
You move objects with nothing but the power of your mind and the force of your will.
Benefit: You may move or manipulate objects that you would be able to carry or handle with one hand. The difficulty depends on the action you wish to perform, and the weight of the object.
To use Telekinesis, you focus on the object or creature you wish to effect and roll a Will save with a base DC8.
Objects and creatures can be moved horizontally or vertically, at a speed of up to 10 feet per round. Objects and creatures can be hurled at targets, but this is one of several factors that
The following cumulative modifiers apply, depending on what you are attempting to do. (These are just sample actions.)

+2: Objects weighing between 0.5 and 5 pounds
+4: Objects weighing between 5 and 10 pounds
+8: Objects weighing between 10 and 15 pounds
+12: Objects weighing between 15 and 20 pounds
+20: Objects weighing between 20 and 25 pounds
+2: Turn a switch on and off, turn a key in a lock, write a short message in sloppy penmanship
+4: Accurately press more than two keys or buttons in a round, insert a key in a lock
+8: Type a message at 15 words per minute, write a message in your handwriting
+12: Operate a complex piece of equipment (+24 if it usually requires two hands)
+2: If the object is out of your physical reach
+4: If the object is 5-10 feet away
+8: If the object is 10-15 feet away
+16: If the object is 15-20 feet away
+24: If the object is 20-25 feet away
+32: If the object is more than 25 feet away, but within clear line of sight (with the naked eye).
+40: If the object is at all obscured or so distant it's hard to see with the naked eye.
+2: Throwing an object at a target to deal 1d3 points of damage (also requires attack roll)
+4: Throwing an object at a target to deal 1d6 points of damage (also requires attack roll)
+8: Throwing an object at a target to deal 2d6+1 points of damage (also requires attack roll)
+12: Throwing an object at a target to deal 2d8+2  points of damage (also requires attack roll)
+16: Throwing an object at a target to deal 3d8+4 points of damage (also requires attack roll)

When launching an object at a target, the range increment is 5xWis bonus. The hurled object or creature suffers half the amount of damage as the target upon impact (round up). If the attack is unsuccessful, damage is still rolled and applied to the object or creature thrown.
Unwilling living targets of as successful Telekinesis use  receive Will saves (DC10+Your Wis bonus) to resist.
If the power is to be maintained, a new check must be rolled every round, with adjustments made to modifiers as needed, such as if you are levitating an object away from your location.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Feats for the Immortals

Among the benefits granted to characters with the Immortal template is access to the Immortal group of feats. These feats may be selected whenever the character gains a feat, or in place of specified bonus feats. The character must still meet any other prerequisites in the feat's description.

The text in this post is released under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright Steve Miller 2015.

Details on the following feats can be found in the SRD for OGL Modern (and many other d20 System games), They are part of the Immortal group. If a character possesses any of these feats before entering the Pool of All, they are considered to belong to the Immortal group for the purpose of the It's Never Over and Time for a Change feats.

Acrobatics, Aircraft Operation, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Attentive, Cautious, Confident, Creative, Deceptive, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, Educated, Focused, Gearhead, Guide, Iron Will, Low Profile, Medical Expert, Meticulous, Nimble, No Profile, Quickdraw, Run, Stealthy, Studious, Surface Vehicle Operation, Track, Trustworthy, Vehicle Expert, Weapons Focus, Windfall.

In addition, these feats previously presented on the NUELOW Games blog here and here are part of the Immortal group.

It's Never Over [Immortal]
Prerequisite: Immortal Template
Benefit: You gain 1d4+2 additional lives when this feat is chosen.
Special: Whenever your character is going through the recreation process, you may select any single [Immortal] feat and replace it with this one. If the selected feat was a prerequisite for other feats, you no longer gain the benefits of those feats until you have again possess the prerequisite.

Predictable Recreation [Immortal]
Prerequisite: Immortal Template
Benefit: As the character is going through the recreation process after death, you may specify whether or not the ability scores, the character's sex, general physical appearance, age, alignment (in games that use such rules) is impacted. You do not roll on the random table to see how that aspect of the character is effected, but instead choose a specific result, or to let that part of the character remain unchanged.
Special: This feat may be selected up to five times. The player identifies a specific character aspect to remain unchanged during the recreation process.

Time for a Change [Immortal]
Prerequisite: It's Never Over
Benefit: When this feat is chosen, immediately gain a bonus feat from the Immortal group.
Special: When your character goes through the recreation process, you may switch any feat from the Immortal group either for 5 skill points or for any other feat for which your your character meets the prerequisites, If the feat switched was a prerequisite for other feats, those benefits are lost until the prerequisite is replaced. Alternately, you may take up to five skill points from a particular skill and assign them to other skills. (This step takes place at the very end of the recreation process.)

The content of this post has been revised and combined with additional material in the NUELOW Games product Secrets of the Immortals. If you what you found here, consider buying a copy, as it will encourage us to create more.

For OGL d20 System Games: The Pool of All

There are those among us who are virtual Immortals. They age slowly, and when they die--no matter what the circumstances--they are nearly instantly recreated in a new body. This post reveals where these men and women come from.

The text in this post is released under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright Steve Miller 2015.

Located deep within the Halls of the Immortals--at a point that its Guardians claim is the exact center of Reality--this perfectly circular, 10-foot radius pool is filled with a swirling liquid that glows brightly with everchanging and bright colors. It is surrounded by a marble lip, with three steps leading up on the outside, and steps leading down and vanishing beneath the surface on the other.

Individuals deemed worthy, or those who fight their way here against the wishes of the Guardians, can submerge themselves in the pool. If they survive entering the strange and turbulent waters, they emerged, reborn and recreated, as one of the Immortals.

The Mechanics of the Pool of All
As the person enters the Pool of All, his or her body begins to tingle and a strange sense of dread forms in the back of his or her mind--a sense that continuing on will result in certain death. A Will save (DC15) is required to continue--and a failed save means the character leaps from the pool in panic and may not attempt to enter it again before he or she has gained a level.

Once the individual is fully submerged, all is quiet for a round. Then, a blinding burst of white light shoots upward from the pool. Moments later, a form bobs to the surface--the person who entered the pool, now recreated and reborn as one of the Immortals.

The character who entered the pool has gained the Immortal Template and has been recreated. Whatever gear or clothes he or she was wearing are gone forever, and he or she is a different person than before. Rolls should be made on the Recreation Tables to see how different the character is in this first of his or her many new lives. (See this post for details.)

Immortals and the Pool of All
Characters who already have the Immortal template and enter the Pool of All must roll a Fort save (DC22) in addition to the Will save mentioned above. If the Fort save is successful, they go through the transformation process and gain 2d6+1 lives. If the Fort save fails, the character emerges from the pool hideously scarred and crippled. Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores are all reduced by half their values before the character entered the pool (round down). The character is reduced to a single life, no matter how many he or she had before entering the pool.

The only way to undo this horrible fate is for the character to either gain more lives through the It's Never Over feat, and then die and be recreated, or to test their luck with the Pool of All again.  If any of the character's attributes are reduced to Zero, he or she is absorbed by the poor, dying a final and eternal death. No even a wish spell or the power of a god can restore the character to life.

The content of this post has been revised and combined with additional material in Secrets of the Immortals. If you enjoyed the material here, consider buying a copy, as it will encourage us to create more.

OGL d20 System Template: The Immortal

This template is for characters who seem immortal. Not only do they age very, very slowly, but whenever they die, they are almost instantly recreated--transformed in death--and can continue on into a new life. While these characters may still eventually come to an end of their existence, their enemies will have to work very hard to bring that end about.

The text in this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced within the terms described in it. Copyright Steve Miller 2015.

To acquire this template, the character must submerge him- or herself (or be submerged) in the Pool of All.
Size and Type: Unchanged. However, creatures of the Undead or Outsider types may not take this template, nor may any beings that are mechanical or otherwise artificial in nature. Only mortal beings from the Prime Material Plane can take this template.
Hit Dice: As base creature.
Speed: As base creature
Armor Class/Defense Rating: As base creature.
Attack/Full Attack Bonus; As base creature.
Special Attacks/Special Defense: As base creature, plus the following:
*The character gains 2d6+1 lives (the GM secretly records this number and keeps track of them). Whenever the character reaches -10 hit points, an automatic process begins that recreates him or her, in body and spirit. For details, see "The Recreation Process" below.
*The character ages very slowly, with 100 years passing before the character ages the equivalent of one year.
*+6 to all saving throws to resist level draining, attribute draining, and aging attacks, spells, and spell-like effects and special abilities.
Abilities: As base creature, but subject to change, as described under "The Recreation Process."
Skills: All skills are retained, and may be improved in accordance with class and level advancement.
Feats and Talent Trees: Unchanged, but the character gains access to the Immortal feats and may select from that list whenever he or she gains a feat or bonus feat. See "Immortal Feats" below.
Terrain: Same as base creature, although many Immortals tend to travel to the most distant corners of the universe, in search of new horizons and experiences.
Organization/Allegiance: Solitary/Same as base creature, and other Immortals. Many Immortals who have been around for centuries also sometimes take to traveling with non-immortals to keep themselves humble and reminded of what they once were.
Challenge Rating; Same as base creature +1
Advancement: By character class.

All versions of Aspen Lee together (1 and 2 are in the center, 8 is behind the camera).
Time travel: It's the latest government secret (in 2692).
[Photo by Noe Montes]

When a character with the Immortal template falls to -10 hit points, a process that reconstitutes his or her being automatically begins.
Immediately upon reaching -10 hit points (or lower in the case of catastrophic damage), the character's body, clothes worn, and all carried equipment disintegrates with a burst of energy that deals 2d6+2 points of damage to all creatures within a 10-foot radius, An energy bubble with a 10-foot radius and centered on the place where the character's body had been forms. Creatures within the bubble who attempt to leave must roll a successful Fort save (DC12) or be stuck within it. They suffer 1d6 points of damage while pushing through the bubble if the save is successful.
If the Immortal died in an area with an environment that is lethal to him, the energy bubble moves to the nearest safe location. Any within it are ejected, even if they failed a saving throw in an attempt to exit, taking 1d6 points of damage. The bubble moves at a rate of 120 feet per round.
If the bubble does not move to a different location, 1d6 rounds following the death of the Immortal, the energy bubble collapses onto its center with a blinding flash. Any beings within the 10-foot radius suffer 2d6+2 points of damage. Any who witness the flash must roll Fort saves (DC15) or be blinded for one round.
In the wake of the flash, the immortal character has been returned to his or her physical form. He or she has been recreated--fully healed, cured of any ailments such as impaired senses, poisons or diseases, and with all equipment carried and clothes worn at the time of death likewise restored. However, the immortal isn't quite the same... the recreation process isn't perfect, and whenever the immortal undergoes it, he or she changes to a greater or lesser degree. Sometimes, it's just the color of his or her eyes that change, but more often than not, the change is so drastic that even those who have known the immortal for years will not recognize him or her. In some cases, the Immortal might not recognize them either, as his or her mind is sometimes effected by recreation process as well.

Changes to the Character as a Result of Recreation
Almost everything about a character can be impacted during Recreation, except his or her levels; even feats can be impacted under certain circumstances. To determine how the recreation process changes the Immortal, the character's player rolls the die specified on each table below and compares it to the results. The changes are then made on the character's sheet--or, ideally, the information is recorded on a new sheet entirely.

Attribute Changes
The player should roll 1d12 to determine which ability score changes, then roll the die indicated under the individual results to see to see by how much it changes.

1. Strength: Subtract 1d4 (to a minimum of 11)
2. Dexterity: Subtract 1d4 (to a minimum of 11)
3. Constitution: Subtract 1d4 (to a minimum of 11)
4. Wisdom: Subtract 1d4 (to a minimum of 11)
5. Charisma: Subtract 1d4 (to a minimum of 11)
6. No change to any ability scores.
7. Strength: Add 1d4 (to a maximum of 18)
8. Dexterity: Add 1d4 (to a maximum of 18)
9. Constitution: Add 1d4 (to a maximum of 18)
10. Wisdom: Add 1d4 (to a maximum of 18)
11. Charisma: Add 1d4 (to a maximum of 18)
12. Roll on this table twice, apply results.

If an attribute change causes the character to no longer qualify to have a particular feat, the feat may be replaced with any from the [Immortal] group, If that feat was a prerequisite for other feats possessed, those feats remain, but the character no longer gains any benefits from them until the prerequisite feat is once again acquired.

Sex Change
Roll 1d12 to see if the character's sex changes.
1-11. No change.
12. The sex changes to the opposite (male to female, or female to male)

General Physical Appearance Changes
Roll 1d12 and apply the change. Some results have sub-results that are determined by rolling 1d6.)

1. The character is 1d10% shorter (to racial minimum)
2. The character is 1d10% taller (to racial maximum)
3, The character's skin is paler (player can choose to what degree)
4. The character's physical frame becomes lankier or more willowy
5. The character's physical frame becomes more sturdy or bulkier
6. The character's facial profile changes (1. Weaker Chin, 2. Stronger Chin, 3. Bigger Nose, 4. Smaller Nose, 5. Higher Cheekbones, 6. More Pronounced Forehead)
7. The character's skin is darker (player can choose to what degree)
8. The character's race changes (GM chooses)
9. The character's eye color changes (1, Blue, 2. Green, 3. Brown, 4. Gray, 5. Violet, 6. Ice Blue.)
10.The character's hair changes (1. Curlier, 2. Straighter, 3. Streaked with White or Silver, 4. Same Color, but Darker, 5. Same Color, but Lighter, 6. Redhead)
11. Voice change (1-2. Much deeper, 3-4. Much higher, 5. Different regional accent than previously, 6. Player's choice of results)
12. Roll on this table twice, apply results.

Age Change
With Immortals, age is a relative term, since they age so much slower than other beings. To determine the impact on changes to the character's apparent physical age, use the guidelines for his or her original character race and apply any resulting changes to the physical ability scores (Intelligence and Wisdom are unaffected by this change).

1. 2d20 years older (maximum 70)
2-3. 2d10 years older (maximum 70)
4-9. No change
10-11. 2d20 years younger (minimum 14)
12. 2d10 years younger (minimum 14)

Alignment Change
For systems that use this mechanic, this table is used to determine of the character's alignment changes. Roll 1d12. If the character is not of the indicated initial alignment, there is no change.

1-2. Lawful changes to Neutral
3-4. Lawful changes to Chaotic
4-5 Neutral changes to Lawful
6-7 Neutral changes to Chaotic
8-9 Chaotic changes to Neutral
10-11. Chaotic changes to Lawful
12, Good changes to Evil.

Any class abilities, spells, or magic items that are alignment dependent are no longer usable for the character if his or her alignment becomes incompatible with them.

You can find them in this post.

The content of this post has been revised and combined with additional material in Secrets of the Immortals. If you enjoyed the material here, consider buying a copy, as it will encourage us to create more.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Funny Business: NUELOW Games introduces Professor Fiend

When choosing which comics to repackage or base ROLF! supplements around, we generally go for the obscure and neglected--the characters who haven't been thought of since they first appeared in the pages of magazines from long-gone publishers some 50 to 75 years ago.

Art by Fred Schwab
The latest character we've retrieved from the ash-heap of pop-culture history is Professor Fiend. This character was featured in an eponymous series that ran in the early issues of Fantastic Comics, published by Fox Feature Syndicate during 1939 and 1940. It relies to a large extend on nonsense humor, but at the same time is pretty dark, since it makes a running gag out of the fact that the Professor is suicidal.

The NUELOW Games comics/rpg hybrid product contains five of the original Professor Fiend tales by writer/artist Fred Schwab (working under the house name Boris Plaster). We've brought the character into the 21st century in a two-player battle scenario that's equally compatible with our ROLF! and You vs. Me rollplaying games. In addition, the book contains five feats for d20 System games that will let you bring a little Professor Fiend flavor to a genius player character (mad or otherwise),

Click here to see previews of Professor Fiend at DriveThruRPG, or to get your very own copy.

Art by Dave Tendlar
While the majority of our pure roleplaying game products are comedic in nature, most of the comics-related releases are not. However, Professor Fiend isn't our only comics release intended to tickle the funnybone. Here are a few others:

Ginger and Snap collects (for the first time, anywhere) the complete run of this series about a pair of fraternal twins who solve problems by cross-dressing and disguising themselves as each other. It contains a complete ROLF! battle scenario.

By Ralph Mayo
Kathy collects several teen humor stories that were collaborations between NUELOW Games favorite Ralph Mayo and the legendary artist Frank Frazetta, whom was given some of his most important breaks at the start of career by Mayo. While there are some rough patches here and there, due to Frazetta's inexperience, the energy that crackles on each page more than makes up for it, as does the sweet nature of these romantic comedy of errors tales. In addition to the comics, the book features a ROLF! battle scenario which brings Kathy together with NUELOW's mascot the Black Cat.

Art by Tony Di Preta
Sherry Flippe is another NUELOW release that brings back an obscure humor series, collecting for the first time anywhere the best it had to offer. It's a screwball spoof of detective and mystery stories that morphs into a send-up of movie making and celebrity culture as it evolves. In addition to the classic comics, it features an RPG scenario that can be played either with ROLF! or Lester Smith's D6xD6 Core Roleplaying Game.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Feats for Worldly Characters

These feats for d20 System games are released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright Steve Miller 2015.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do.
You say things others should live by.
   Prerequisite: Cha 15
   Benefit: +4 bonus to all Bluff and Intimidate skill checks.
   Special: This feat can be selected as a bonus feat by Clerics (D&D), Charismatic Heroes (d20 Modern) and Dedicated Heroes (d20 Modern).
This isn't your first rodeo.
   Prerequisite: 5th level
   Benefit: +2 bonus to all Bluff, Sense Motive, and Spot checks,

You are confident that you've seen it all. Twice.
   Prerequisite: 10th level, Experienced
   Benefit: +2 bonus to resist all Fear-effects, Mind-Effecting spells and exceptional or special abilities that mimic them.

No More F**ks to Give
You've had it with their shit.
   Prerequisite: 15th level, Jaded
   Benefit: +4 bonus to resist all Fear-effects, Mind-Effecting spells and exceptional or special abilities that mimic them. +4 bonus to Intimidate skill checks. +2 bonus to base AC/Defense Rating. +1 to all Initiative rolls.

Grand Moff Tarkin: He had ALL these feats.
If you found this material amusing, interesting, or even useful, you should check out the Modern Basics series of products from NUELOW Games. Click here to see a selection.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush ala ROLF!

It had to be done. You can now use You vs. Me or ROLF!:The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters to pit Jeb and The Donald against each other in a fight to the death. Or you can have them square off against Big H, or perhaps even B.O. himself. (Their stats can be found in ROLF!: Super Muslim Bros., among other places.)

The Donald and Jeb. Two Dweebs Enter. One Dweeb Leaves.

(aka JEB)
Brawn 15, Body 12, Brains 5
   Traits: Improv Master*, Squeamish
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Debate Philosophy, Dodge, Signature Move*, Strategic Bleeding
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Expensive Suit and Tie (Clothes). Pocket Knife (Small Melee Weapon. Deals 1 point of damage).

(aka The Donald)
Brawn 17, Body 11, Brains 4
   Traits: Coldhearted, Obnoxious
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Bitch Slap, Debate Philosophy, Withering Insult*
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Expensive Suit and Tie (Clothes). Hair (Armor, absorbs 1 point of damage).

*These traits and combat maneuvers are detailed in Relentlessly Gay, as well as other ROLF! supplements.

New Trait
This is a trait that has not been included in any ROLF! supplements. It appears here for the first time.
   Obnoxious: You roll against your ATT Body when using your Debate Philosophy combat maneuver (instead of ATT Brains, as is usually called for). Your arguments are so wrongheadedly obnoxious that, in addition to the function described in the core rules, you inflict 1 point of damage to all characters in the fight (including yourself). This damage ignores armor. All characters may roll a separate Brains ATT check to avoid the damage.

The reading order of NUELOW's Fantomah (and other) series

We got a question yesterday: "What is the correct order in which to read your Fantomah books?"

That's a good question, since it matters. In fact, we have four series in which the order in which you read them matter, but we didn't number them. In retrospect, we should have. The original plan WAS to number the Fantomah books (The Three Lives of Fantomah: Book One and Book Two, and Book Three), but an artist designed a cover that featured a subtitle, and Miller who had always feared that was a little too generic a naming scheme jettisoned the Book One and so forth in favor of fullblown subtitles.

We apologize for the confusion among any late-comers to some of our series. We hope this post will clear up confusion now or in the future. (We will also always answer any questions we receive regarding our books.)

Original cover for
Guardian of the Jungle
This trilogy relates the cycles of Fantomah's life, as she goes from being a mysterious jungle-dwelling demigod, to the ward of a lost boy, and ultimately reclaims her heritage and returns home. Each book contains roleplaying game rules applicable to d20 System-based roleplaying games, such as d20 Modern and Pathfinder. (We are planning a Christmas Special in the series, which will take place chronologically after the three books in this series, with flashbacks to each period in Fantomah's life.)

            Read First                     Read Second                     Read Last

The Sorceress of Zoom is a feared and powerful mistress of magic who travels the dimensions in the flying city of Zoom. She is driven by a never-ending quest for knowledge and for ways to increase her magical might. So far, NUELOW Games has released two entries in a projected three volume series. They can be read in any order, but the Sorceress's frustration over the Earth Dimension is set up in the first release. (When the third book is released, it will reveal the never-before-told tale of how the Sorceress came to be the ruler of Zoom. Once it is out, it might be the first book to read in the series. Leave it to NUELOW Games to tell the origin of a character last.)
   Each of the Sorceress of Zoom titles features rules for OGL d20 Modern. The first book provides rules for making characters with the sort of flexible magic wielded by the Sorceress, and the second has rules for traveling between dimensions. It also describes the artifacts in her possession in terms of the d20 System game.

The first Zoom book.
The second Zoom book.

Read First
Judy was raised by her misanthropic father to be a "jungle girl" who love natured but to distrusted all humans--especially men. When he is murdered by criminals, Judy's distrust turns to hatred, and she sets out to avenge her father. It's important to read Judy of the Jungle: The Lords of Memnon first, but otherwise they can be read in any order. The series consists of three main volumes (The Lords of Memnon, Warriors of the Laughing Hyena, and Murder Goes Native, and a Christmas Special--The Revenge of Santos. The books feature support for OGL d20 game systems, ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters, and Lester Smith's 6x6 CORE.)

Read First
The Princess Pantha duology relates the adventures of an circus performer turned "jungle girl" and globe-trotting adventuress after surviving on her own for months in the deepest of Africa's jungles. Princess Pantha: The Hunt for M'Gana is the first book to read, as it relates how she got stranded and met her future companion and lover Dane Hunter. The books contain support for OGL d20 game systems, ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters. (Dane and Pantha also appear, or are referenced, in other NUELOW Games products,but those appearances have no bearing on these books.)

We've bundled the Judy of the Jungle and Princess Pantha series into convenient one-click downloads--where they are also available at a discount, If you haven't checked out these great jungle adventure tales featuring strong, independent women, we hope you'll do so. (The Princess Pantha Collection also includess a selection of royalty-free clip-art by the primary illustrators of Judy and Pantha's adventures.)

     Click to preview the Judy Bundle          Click to preview the Pantha Bundle

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Four Years in the Making: Relentlessly Gay!

Before it was hip to jump up and down and declare how "inclusive" your game products were, NUELOW Games was quietly built it into the heart of what have become our flagship (only) game--ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters.

When it became trendy to jump up and down and tell the world how inclusive your games were, we kept doing what we'd been doing on and off since 1994: We just put characters in supplements without issuing press releases.

We're still not issuing press releases, but we have gone ahead and made it obvious that we are "inclusive," because we have just released Relentlessly Gay, a product so inclusive that it is crammed with characters who possess the Same Sex Preference trait, who come from the present, the past, and future, are of various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and so on, and so forth. This is the biggest ROLF! supplement we've released so far, compiling not only the characters, but also key bits of the game that have developed over the past four years in the various supplements (such as the rules for inventors and scientists, expanded mutant rules, specific melee vs. ranged combat rules, and much more). Relentlessly Gay will hopefully make ROLF! players relentlessly happy, because a lot of stuff is now consolidated in one place--you know... all-inclusive.

To make Relentlessly Gay EXTRA inclusive, we included some OGL d20 System content. Some of it's been previously seen here on the blog and officially released in products, but there's an all-new talent tree and feat as well.

Click here to see previews of Relentlessly Gay, or to get your own copy at RPGNow.

Friday, September 11, 2015

'Tournament of Rapists' hysteria hits the Big Time!

Right-wing news website Brietbart.com has published an article about the Tournament of Rapists dust-up. You can read it here. It's mostly a factual account of the crusade launched by the Brigades of the Outraged, Onebookshelf's response, and the appearance of a new mob of unreasoning, hysterical people.

You can't tell, but it goes to 11.
While the Brietbar writer (Allum Bokhari) gets more things right than the majority of those I see still commenting about the "controversy"--fanatical dingbats at either end of the spectrum whose main objective it seems is to keep outrage alive and to encourage "action" not against the publisher of the offending product but rather against Onebookshelf.com, a company that hundreds of publishers and thousands of independent creators use to distribute their products online--he has picked up and amplified their favorite line; That Tournament of Rapists is a game.

The offending product was not a game. Period. I really wish people would stop parading their ignorance around. I don't care what "side" of this "fight" they're on. I'm not terribly surprised that the Brigades of the Outraged don't know what it is they're actually outraged about--why let facts of reality get in the way of a good riot?--but lately I've been seeing equally ignorant blather from people who should know better.

It's gaming brilliance, but NOT a game.
Tournament of Rapists is not a game. Not even close. It was a supplement to a setting that uses the same game engine that many NUELOW Games releases use. It's the same game engine that the popular Pathfinder Roleplaying Game uses. All of our publications are produced, to a greater or lesser extent, by virtue of the Open Game License. But Tournament of Rapists was no more than a "game" than Modern Basics: Jungle Action or Feary Tales are games. They are supplements. They are part of a vast tapestry of available roleplaying supplements, tiny threads that have no meaning or purpose beyond the game they tie into.

If bug-eyed, would-be morality police (followed closely by equally hysterical freedom of expression supporters) hadn't seized on Tournament of Rapists as a way to further their respective agendas, this thing would have sold half a dozens copies and then slipped into oblivion... maybe selling one or two additional ones each month. (I am assuming something as niche-of-a-niche as this would sell on the level of items I consider failures here at NUELOW). In other words, no one would have known or cared of its existence. Certainly, there wouldn't be shrieking mobs of ill-informed assholes calling for "action" against literally thousands of creative people who had nothing whatsoever to do with Tournament of Rapists.

I have, as they say, a dog in this fight. NUELOW Games has an exclusive distribution agreement with Onebookshelf.com. Back in 2011, when we were reviving NUELOW, I emailed Warehouise23.com (another online distributor/retailer of games) to see if they would carry us... and Warehouse23 couldn't even be bothered to give me the courtesy of a reply. Onebookshelf, on the other hand, has always been responsive to my questions as a publisher, They also mostly leave me alone to manage my own little store that is serviced on their sites. Just like they do with everyone else who publishes and distributes through them.

I like that freedom. I like the fact that they treat me as if I matter, even though my company is strictly small-fry. (We never have strong enough sales to make to the left-hand listing of publishers on the front page, and we rarely break the Top 50% of best-selling publishers in a month, except for the niches we serve where we are usually in the Top 5%... but that's a sign of how small the audience is for what we produce rather than a measure of success). However, the freedom that I have to release what I want, when I want, and how I want--within certain well-defined technical quality parameters--is what the mob of would-be censors want to put a stop to. I've seen some of the greater idiots issue demands for Onebookshelf to approve releases before they go up, because of the "rape game" that, as I spelled out above, never existed.

Onebookshelf came up with a policy to handle "offensive content" that should satisfy any reasonable person. You can read it here if you like.. It provides a way for the outraged to inform management of their displeasure, and it spells out the steps that Onebookshelf's staff will take in response to said outrage that is fair to publishers and the hyperventilating alike. It's a policy that more or less keeps business as usual, but adds a safety valve to the process.

Naturally, it didn't appease the most fanatical of the self-righteous crusaders. They continue to stir up their mobs, who continue to swallow their half-baked cow chips and fantasies about a "rape game.' That is not particularly shocking to me, as I long ago observed that the worst thing you can do is to let the self-righteous leaders mobs of the perpetually offended sense weakness; nothing will satisfy them.and they will just keep coming. All you can do is make sure they don't have convincing arguments for the intelligent and sane majority out there.

Aw, hell. Another Internet Mob. Is there an unending supply of halfwits out there?
But. to my surprise, the sensible policy of Onebookshelf inspired another group to encourage minions to go on a rampage of boycotts and general stupidity. "Onebookshelf has given into the mob," they claimed. "Onebookshelf is going to censor our game! Look! They already banned that game over there--the rape game, you've been hearing about! Take your business elsewhere!"

Yeah... certain publishers, proclaimed libertarians, and self-described and self-appointed defenders or roleplaying games were now using the same fucking approach that the self-appointed morality- and thought-police were using. People who should know better, who should be able to recognize a "business as usual" policy, were stirring up new mobs of uniformed halfwits that, in the long run, could only have the effect of damaging everyone's business. To make it worse, they were just as unable to tell a "game" from a "supplement," as the Brigades of the Outraged.

There are morons to the left of me, and there are idiots to the right. Which brings me back to the top.

The Breitbart writer got his facts wrong, just like the Brigades of the Outraged. It's rather embarrassing for him that his article is under a headline stating "Social Justice Warriors Attack Tabletop Gaming, Get Their Facts Hopelessly Wrong," since he accepted the total white-wash that Skortched Urf put forth about Tournament of Rapists AND he picked up the distortion that it's a "game." I would have much preferred this article--which is well-intended and exactly in the place where reasonable people should stand on the topic of Onebookshelf, the hundreds of publishers served by it, and Tournament of Rapists--wasn't marred by the distortions spewed by those who want to make it more difficult for me to publish what I want, and for you to buy what you want for your gaming groups.

Well... thank you for reading. Do come back some other time when I may actually have posted some fun game content--most likely not a game, though. Just something that can be used with a game. If you made it this far, however, you must either be a real fan, or really bored. In either case, perhaps I can interest you in some of the products carried by Onebookshelf that I have contributed to for NUELOW Games, TSR, Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf and several others? Your purchase will be a symbolic and actual victory over the rampaging Internet Warriors. Click here to see a selection of what is available.

Please? Everything you buy helps me and other creators pay rent and eat.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Staff of Steves - a magic item of great power and wonder!

Once upon a time, Steve Miller went to lunch with two luminaries from the gaming industry. While gnoshing on tasty vittles, one of them observed, "Everyone at this table is named Steve."

So was born the legendary League of Steves. (Or maybe the Stint of Steves, or Sleeve of Steves... a Facebook poll about what to call a gathering of Steves did not lead to a clear answer. But it did lead to the inspiration for the most brilliant magic item you are likely to ever to include in a campaign.)

The Staff of Steves
From an idea by Kairam Ahmed Hamdan & Bradley K. McDevitt. 
Design by Steve Miller. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.
Text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. 

The Staff of Steves is a powerful item that either comes into existence through a random convergence of supernatural circumstances, or is created by a secret cabal of artificers, drunken fairies, or... well, who knows how they come into being. Like the presence of Steves in the world, the Staff of Steves just is.

This Red Shirt will survive because he has a Staff of Steves.
The Staff of Steves takes many forms, but it is always a slender item, at least five feet in length... you know, a staff. It's specific appearance can be anything from an ornately carved oaken staff to a curtain rod. It has the following game effects:
* Acts as a +4 weapon for purposes of overcoming a target's damage resistance.
* Acts as a +2 staff for purposes of attack and damage rolls.
* Grants a +4 bonus to AC (or Defense Rating) when wielded by a character named Steve.
* Allows its wielder to cast Charm Person 3 times per day (6 times per day if wielded by a character named Steve).
* Allows its wielder to cast Create Food and Water 3 times per day (casts Feast if wielded by a character named Steve).
* Allows its wielder to cast Stinking Cloud 1 time per day (but only after Create Food and Water or Feast has been cast at least once).
* Allows its wielder to read sheet music with unfailing accuracy.
* Allows its wielder to summon a random number of Steves once per day. The Steves are all 3rd level Experts (or similar NPC class), with 15 hit points, armed with clubs or similar blunt objects (1d3 points of damage), and have one or more skills (+6 to the d20 skill check) that is helpful to the wielder. The remain with the wielder, defending and assisting in any way they can (cooking, cleaning, doing paperwork, performing rock music, running roleplaying game sessions, assassinating heads-of-state, boosting of ego) for three hours, until dismissed, or until slain. The number of Steves appearing is 1d6+2.
* It allows a *player* named Steve to have his character reroll 1d6 failed actions per game session. (Rolled at the beginning of the session, as soon as the dice come out. The result must be confirmed and recorded by the GM. If the Steve forgets to roll immediatey, this effect does not apply ).

Note: "Steve" can be male or female, as it can be short for Stephen, Steven, Stefano, Stefanie, Stephanie, and all other variants you can think of.

(If you were amused by the Staff of Steves, please consider supporting Steve (and NUELOW Games) by getting some of the OGL d20 items I've actually put some effort into. Some of them even work in straight games. Click here to see the listings at RPGNow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Art pack featuring work by Paul Gattuso available now

If you purchased a copy of The Black Dwarf by Paul Gattuso (with Dana Dutch, Steve Miller & Rob Garrita) before 1800 PST on 9/9/2015, you should have gotten an email from NUELOW Games inviting you to download a copy of NUELOW Games Stock Art Collection: Paul Gattuso.

Rocketgirl vs Roc, by Paul Gattuso,
on the cover of NUELOW's latest art pack
However, roughly one-quarter of the purchasers have set their Onebookshelf accounts to disallow email. If you bought a copy of the book before the time mentioned above, and would like to claim your free art pack, contact us. We will try to work something out with you.

If you like, you can click here to learn more about the set. You can see previews under the "Quick Preview" and "Full-Size Preview" links.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Brigade of the Righteous goes after the wrong eff'in targets. Again.

Last week, I made some comments about a particularly unpleasant roleplaying game supplement that was being offered for sale in an extremely hamfisted way. You can read that post here.

In the days since, some shortsighted publishers did show up to posture, but there were also numerous successful attempts at stirring up mobs of self-righteous gamers with virtual torches and pitchforks, in an effort to "make them pay" (as one delightful person put in at one blog) for DARING to publish something they didn't like/found offensive.

The Brigade of the Righteous. (Artist's Rendition)
As is almost always the case, these mobs consist mostly of morons who are offended third-hand--they are offended just to be offended, and they don't even have the slightest clue what it really is they're supposed to be offended over. (Otherwise, so many of them wouldn't be referring to Tournament of Rapists as a "rape game." And, as is almost always the case with self-righteous, ill-informed idiots, they are venting their rage at completely innocent bystanders.

These Brigades of the Righteous are calling for every pure-hearted soul to boycott the Onebookshelf sites (RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, DriveThruComics, DriveTruFiction, DriveThruCards, and the WargameVault), while they themselves are swearing blood-oaths and deleting their accounts on the sites so that they may forever be purged of evil. What these fuckwits don't seem to comprehend is that they are visiting their righteous revenge on HUNDREDS of independent publishers and THOUSANDS of writers and artist who had nothing to do with Tournament of Rapists.

NUELOW Games is strictly small-fry, but I actually rely on the income the sales generate to make ends meet. I also have half-a-dozen contributors to whom I pay (admittedly paltry sums of) royalties. They had nothing to do with Tournament of Rapists, nor did I. So why do the self-righteous Web Warriors feel the need to "make us pay"?

Deserving of boycott?
Hell, if the objective is to honor diversity and inclusion and punish the wicked, wicked misogynists, NUELOW Games can even be considered to be on their side. After all, we've produced the only complete collections of series written or drawn by some of the few women who were active in comics during the 1940s (Ginger and Snap, Complete Golden Age Oddballs: Angela & Miss Espionage). We've also produced the only complete collections of comics series starring strong female heroes (Iron Lady, Tara: Marauder of the SpacelanesWarrior Maiden Starlight). And then there's Science Sleuths, the first three volumes of which starred a woman scientist/superhero, and a pair of characters who are not only strong women, whose adventures meet the Bechdel Test, and who are a same-sex couple. I think we checked almost every box on the Inclusivity Form with that one.

Deserving of boycott?
So... what exactly did my contributors and I do to the Brigades of Righteousness that they need to "make us pay"? Or are they just too dumb and wrapped up in the giddy feeling of outrage that they don't see they're hitting far more than the target of their anger?

Please don't let these calls for boycotts amount to anything. Take a look at what NUELOW Games has to offer and get yourself something good to read from RPGNow, DriveThruComics, or DriveThruFiction. If there's nothing you like from us, browse around. You're bound to find something... among the tens of thousands of offerings that aren't Tournament of Rapists.

Onebookshelf has announced a new policy for dealing with "offensive" content. I think it's a good one. You can read it here.