James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Blog > Post

Books Received, December 5 — December 11

12 Dec, 2020

0 comments

ALIEN RPG Starter Set

The job was routine, the money fair. Then the damn company diverted you to answer a distress call from a ship that disappeared almost 80 years ago — a derelict carrying something bizarre, twisted, and alien. What the ship’s frozen crew brought back with them was bad enough — what they themselves were turning into was a bloody nightmare. Add to that an annoying sensor ghost shadowing you in the void, and your stress level is shot.

It’s all a bit much.

You don’t get paid enough to deal with monsters. But hold your breath, count to three, and play your cards right with this one, and you just might walk away very rich. Oh, who am I kidding?
You’re all going to die.

This is a starter set for the official ALIEN tabletop roleplaying game — a universe of body horror and corporate brinkmanship, where synthetic people play god while space truckers and marines play host to newborn ghoulish creatures. It’s a harsh and unforgiving universe and you are nothing if not expendable.

Stay alive if you can.

This set contains everything you need to start playing:

  • A 104-page rulebook with a fast and effective ruleset designed specifically to support the core themes of ALIEN: horror and action in the cold darkness of space.
  • The 48-page complete scenario Chariot of the Gods by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska, taking you on a thrilling, terror-filled ride into deep space where no one can hear you scream. Chariot of the Gods is designed for 3 – 5 players plus the GM.
  • Five pre-generated characters to play.
  • A huge full-color, double-sided map, with one side depicting chartered space in the year 2183 and the other floor plans for the Chariot of the Gods scenario.
  • 84 game markers for keeping track of characters, motion tracker pings, and more.
  • 56 custom cards for weapons, personal agendas, and initiative in combat.
Alien Chariots

The job was routine, the money fair. Then the damn company diverted you to answer a distress call from a ship that disappeared almost 80 years ago — a derelict carrying something bizarre, twisted, and alien. What the ship’s frozen crew brought back with them was bad enough — what they themselves were turning into was a bloody nightmare. Add to that an annoying sensor ghost shadowing you in the void, and your stress level is shot.

It’s all a bit much.

You don’t get paid enough to deal with monsters. But hold your breath, count to three, and play your cards right with this one, and you just might walk away very rich. Oh, who am I kidding?

You’re all going to die.

Chariot of the Gods is a complete Cinematic Scenario for the ALIEN Roleplaying Game written by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska. The 48-page booklet designed to introduce you to the game while at the same time taking you on a thrilling, terror-filled ride into deep space where no one can hear you scream. Chariot of the Gods is designed for 3 – 5 players plus the GM and takes at least 4 – 5 hours to complete.

& © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

ALIEN RPG Destroyer of Worlds

The mission was a manhunt, the objectives clear — track down four fugitives, recover any assets they may have made off with, and keep em all out of enemy hands. Go find them on a frozen moon full of hostiles and get it done on the eve of war.

Nothing you couldn’t handle.

But what it is that these bastards stole — and how the hell it got inside them — is another thing altogether. It’s all above your paygrade, marine — but somehow you’re the one who’s got to deal with it.

Of course, now there’s an invasion fleet incoming, and there’s something else, too — something much worse. Something out there hates you — hates everyone. Something big and ugly. Something with metal teeth — and you’re pretty sure it ain’t alone.
Yeah, the mission was supposed to be a simple manhunt. Instead it turned out to be just another glorious day in the corps.

Destroyer of Worlds is a complete Cinematic Scenario for the ALIEN roleplaying game, written by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska. In Destroyer of Worlds, players take the roles of Colonial Marines. The scenario is designed for 3 – 5 players plus the Game Mother, and it’s a gauntlet of one hell after another. Expect it to take three sessions to complete. This set contains:

  • The main Destroyer of Worlds scenario book.
  • A huge double-sided map of Ariaricus colony on one side and the Fort Nebraska space elevator ground base on the other.
  • Seven pre-generated characters to choose from.
  • Custom cards for weapons, vehicles, and personal agendas.
  • Player maps and handouts.

NOTE: The ALIEN RPG core rulebook OR the ALIEN RPG Starter Set is required to play Destroyer of Worlds.

& © 2020 Twentieth Century Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

Wicked secret

Journey to the Mythic North and investigate four bone-chilling cases that will test your abilities to the fullest. This book contains four standalone mysteries for Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying, playable on their own or as a part of a longer campaign. In these pages you will find:

  • The Silver of the Sea – The death of a preacher leads the characters to the rocky western archipelago, where something strange is afoot on Wrecker Isle.

  • A Wicked Secret – Travel to the deep forests of northern Sweden and investigate rumors of a murderous beast in a remote village. What ancient evil lurks there?

  • The Night Sow – Welcome to beautiful Mölle, a city by the sea, known to many as the heart of sin” – and now also for cold- blooded murder.

  • The Song of the Falling Star – A cursed child, a strange instrument and a desperate aristocrat. Travel to Arensburg on the island of Oesel and discover the horrible truth about what has happened there.

Vaesen

Welcome to the Mythic North – northern Europe of the nineteenth century, but not as we know it today. A land where the myths are real. A cold reach covered by vast forests, its few cities lonely beacons of industry and enlightenment – a new civilization dawning. But in the countryside, the old ways still hold sway. There, people know what lurks in the dark. They know to fear it.

Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying is written by Nils Hintze and based on the work of Swedish illustrator and author Johan Egerkrans. Vaesen presents a dark Gothic setting steeped in Nordic folklore and the old myths of Scandinavia. The game mechanics utilize an adapted version of the awardwinning Year Zero Engine.

Key features:

· Ten ready to use archetypes let you create a character in minutes – or use the included life path tables and let the dice decide.

· Quick and flavorful rules for combat, investigations and horror.

· Rules for developing the player characters’ headquarters during campaign play.

· A detailed gazetteer of the Mythic North setting and the town of Upsala.

· A score of bloodcurdling vaesen to encounter, all beautifully illustrated by Johan Egerkrans.

· An introductory Mystery called The Dance of Dreams.

Mörk Borg English

A doom metal album of a game. A spiked flail to the face. Light on rules, heavy everything else.

MÖRK BORG is a pitch-black apocalyptic fantasy RPG about lost souls and fools seeking redemption, forgiveness or the last remaining riches in a bleak and dying world. Who are you? The tomb-robber with silver glittering between cracked fingernails? The mystic who would bend the world’s heart away from it’s inevitable end? Confront power-draining necromancers, skulking skeletal warriors and backstabbing wickheads. Wander the Valley of the Unfortunate Undead, the catacombs beneath the Bergen Chrypt or the bedevilled Sarkash forest. But leave hope behind — the world’s cruel fate is sealed, and all your vain heroic efforts are destined to end in death and dismay. Or are they?

MÖRK BORG is a complete game in the OSR genre, that can be played as is or be picked apart for use in your own homebrew. The rules are easily made compatible with most of the editions of the world’s largest role-playing game. Within the book you’ll find:

  • A brief look at this dying world. From The Two-Headed Basilisks’ gothic cathedral in Galgenbeck and Blood-countess Anthelia’s limestone palace, to the fields of death in Graven-Tosk and the barren wastes of Kergüs.

  • The Calendar of Nechrubel, that decides the speed of the world’s demise. 

  • 20 occult Powers that let you bend reality, and just as many magical catastrophes for when you disastrously fail. 

  • Optional rules which brings more depth to the game. Omens let you turn bad luck into a slightly better one. Classes with unique traits and quirks, and tables that will bring life into your character. 

  • 12 creatures to be murdered by. 

  • Game master tools such as tables for corpse plundering, occult treasure, adventure sparks, dungeon generating and other devilry. 

  • The introductory dungeon crawl scenario Rotblack Sludge, where you investigate a forgotten part of the Shadow King’s enormous ruin palace. Cannibal warlocks, poison peddlers from beyond the void and hungry gutworms await. 

MÖRK BORG is constructed by Pelle Nilsson (Ockult Örtmästare Games) and Johan Nohr (Stockholm Kartell). The game is published by Free League Publishing and is available in Swedish and English — the English text is edited and cursed by Patrick Stuart (Veins of the Earth, Silent Titans).

Mörk Borg Cult Feretory

This product includes: 

- MÖRK BORG CULTFERETORY

- A Swedish appendix with all the content made by Pelle in its original language

- The micro/solo game Dark Fort

- Dark Fort character sheet

- A player facing map for the adventure THE DEATH ZIGGURAT

MÖRK BORG CULT: FERETORY is a sinful zine full of community made classes, adventures and horrible treasures for use with MÖRK BORG or other rules-light dark fantasy games. It includes:

  • The Monster Approaches… Create your own terrible foe with this monster generator. Determine appearance, behavior, abilities, goal and strange habits for your new friend.

  • Roads to Damnation. Simple rules for overland travel, including distances, road encounters, village types and destinations.

  • Eat Prey Kill. Rules for hunting for food (or sport). Also 54 fully statted monsters, 6 for each major area of the dying world.

  • The Death Ziggurat. A delve into the ruins of a lost temple city where something is awakening. A descent into undead madness. A Cosmic Necrocrawl at the end of time. The Death Ziggurat is a short adventure about postponing the inevitable.

  • d100 Items & Trinkets. What can be scored in the darkest of cellars and the rucksacks of the fallen? Use this list of keepsakes and trinkets to find out.

  • The Goblin Grinder. The streets of Galgenbeck are overrun with goblins, turning burgher and pauper alike into their own cursed kin. But not to worry! For a low cost, a local chemist can whip up a cure. Until the price rises anyway. Risks? Of course not, it’s tested and guaranteed to work! A cursed urban slaughterfest of an adventure about plagues, panic and profit.

  • The Tenebrous Reliquary. A d66 table of terrible treasures. The Volt Thrower and the Plasmatic Idol. The Cauldron of Lies and the Zodiac Lung. Tyrant’s Tongue and the Foehammer.

  • The Grey Galth Inn. Welcome to this fine (ish) establishment in the bad part of Galgenbeck where you can eat, drink and hope to multiply your coins with a game of Three Dead Skulls.

  • The Tablets of Ochre Obscurity. Ancient, sought-after clay tablets containing Powers that only the most enlightened mystic (or forlorn philosopher) can hope to wield.

  • Four additional classes: The shapeshifting Cursed Skinwalker, the alien Pale One, the blasphemous Dead God’s Prophet and the despondent Forlorn Philosopher. 

MÖRK BORG is designed by Pelle Nilsson (Ockult Örtmästare Games) and Johan Nohr (Stockholm Kartell), published by Free League Publishing.

Amid the Crowd of Stars

This innovative sci-fi novel explores the potential impact of alien infection on humankind as they traverse the stars and find themselves stranded on new and strange planets.Amid the Crowd of Stars is a grand scale science fiction novel examining the ethical implications of interstellar travel, a topic rarely addressed in science fiction novels. What responsibilities do we have to isolate ourselves from the bacteria, viruses, and other life of another world, and to prevent any of that alien biome from being brought back to Earth? What happens when a group of humans are stranded for centuries on another world with no choice but to expose themselves to that world? After such long exposure, are they still Homo sapiens or have they become another species entirely?These questions are at the heart of this intriguing novel, explored through the complicated lives and the viewpoints of the people who have come to rescue the stranded colony, the members of that colony, and the sentient alien life that dwells on the planet. Difficult life and death choices will be made by all involved. 

Mermaid Saga Collectors Edition Vol 1

Yuta became immortal when he unwittingly ate mermaid flesh, and now he seeks a way to become human again. Hundreds of years later, he encounters a volatile and determined young lady named Mana while searching for a mermaid. Could this mysterious woman hold the key to saving Yuta’s humanity?