Category: Publisher Spotight

Teach Your Kids To Game – Day 2

Today we give you not one game to teach your kids but we point you towards a publisher who is producing fantastic quality roleplaying games that are suitable for all ages and particularly for the family group.  Today in the second of our Publisher Spotlight series we are pleased to feature Beyond Belief Games.

Simon Washbourne runs Beyond Belief Games, and they started publishing role-playing games in 2003, with their first title Lashings of Ginger Beer (more of which later).  Since then, Beyond Belief Games has become known for producing well-received role playing games, largely in the traditional (old school) style, that often combine unusual subject matter with good value.  Beyond Belief Games sells it’s products predominantly via DriveThruRPG and its sister sites and as well as through LULU.COM providing a good quality print on demand publishing service.

Barbariasn Of LemuriaBeyond Belief Games are probably best known for the highly successful “Barbarians of Lemuria” a fantastic swords and sorcery game, which for me really is one of the best in the genre.  I have used it in the past to run games based on the Brian Lumley tales of Tarra Khash the Hrossak barbarian and other stories set in the Primal Land (possibly not child friendly the way I ran it) – and to be honest, Swords and Sorcery in a Barbarian world, (think Conan or Kull the Conqueror), may not be suitable for children of all ages, but for those that are old enough it is a simple and engaging game and the Lemuria setting gives you everything you could want.  Due to it’s success Barbarians of Lemuria, along with a number of other titles, has now gone into general distribution in a deal between Beyond Belief Games and Cubicle 7 publishers of The Laundry RPG and the Dr. Who Adventure Game.

Beyond Belief Games have much more than Barbarians of Lemuria to offer though, and for a great family game you really could do much worse than take a look at Woodland Warriors.

Woodland Warriors is a fantastic little role playing game suitable for kids and adults alike.Woodland Warriors It uses the popular Swords & Wizardry Core mechanics. Fans of any animal-based fiction, (especially things like Brian Jacques “Redwall” novels), or cartoon movies will love this game.  The setting is the Alder Vale, Stonewell Abbey is a place of learning for the Kind and Murkenhill Fort is a bastion against evil.  Players take the role of Mice, Moles, Hedgehogs, Squirrels and Badgers, who must protect their homes against the Verminous Rats and Weasels that pour down from the Murkenhills, intent on pillage and plunder.  Danger and adventure awaits – will your Woodland Warriors be brave enough to put their swords to the defence of The Alder Vale?

Woodland Warriors is available for pocket money prices, only $5.00 for the 115-page pdf from DriveThruRPG or as a print on demand title from LULU.COM for just $12.00.  There are also two supplements for Woodland Warriors, again both available as pdf downloads from DriveThruRPG or as print on demand titles from LULU.COM

Greyrock Isle & Out WestGreyrock Isle is a mini-campaign setting and sourcebook. With new classes and new woodland creatures the Otters and Hares for your players to choose from. It introduces a once idyllic island setting that has been overrun by the evil Vorstang and his minions.

Woodland Warriors: Out West, this introduces a whole new genre and setting for players – the days of the Wild West.  Raccoon cardsharps, prairie dog braves, badger rowdies and mouse gunslingers all mixed together in the lawless gold-hungry Golden Valley.  Included are simple rules for guns, a gorgeous map by Gill Pearce and details of the towns and characters of Golden Valley.

All of the above games are great value, beautifully thought through and well presented, but there is still plenty more to be had at Beyond Belief Games, to get a taste of their work there are a number of free downloads which I would urge you to look at, not least of which is Lashings Of Ginger Beer, a game about nosey schoolchildren investigating real or imagined crimes in Idyllic England. You just need to think of the Famous Five, Secret Seven or maybe even Just William and his gang the Outlaws.  You can download the complete Lashings Of Ginger Beer RPG for free here.

In addition “Tombs & Terrors” – Classic Old School roleplaying, “Go Fer Yer Gun” – a simple but effective western game, and “Medieval Mysteries” – historical sleuthing,(think of Ellis Peters Cadfael novels or Susanna Gregory’s Thomas Challoner and Mathew Bartholemew stories).  All of these use a simplified version of the WoTC OGL system and are easy to pick up and play.

In summary, Beyond Belief Games produce some fantastic games, any of which would be great things to play with your children.  Although our recommendation for today has to be Woodland Warriors.

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.

Publisher Spotlight… Blackbyrne Publishing.

In what we hope will become a semi regular feature here at miskatonic.co.uk we would like to present our first Publisher Spotlight by introducing you to Blackbyrne Publishing.

Blackbyrne PublishngBlackbyrne Publishing is a third party, independent publisher of adventures and other material for use with 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons as well as the Pathfinder roleplaying game.  The feel of their material is very 1st Edition, in a very positive way, and supports the validity of the tag line “Story over rules!”

Blackbyrne Publishing opened its doors two years ago with the publication of the mini-adventure Within Death’s Gaze and ever since then the catalogue has grown steadily to include four further main titles:  The Manor of Deceit, The Hidden Current, The Prophecy Revealed and most recently Sands of Despair (which I am looking forwards to reading once it is released for the Pathfinder system in the coming weeks). All of these adventures form a part of the Dark Veil campaign arc, which is intended to take characters from 1st to 20th level (30th if you are playing 4Ed D&D rather than Pathfinder).  In addition, there is a prequel adventure Encounter at Fairvale. All the titles are available through the DriveThruRPG store both as PDF downloads and as printed works.  The PDF downloads of Within Death’s Gaze and Encounter at Fairvale are available for free and I can’t recommend them enough either to whet your appetite for more, or even just as stand alone diversions for your Pathfinder or D&D game.

Within Death's Gaze, Encounter at FairviewAll of the material published by Blackbyrne is of a high quality, with professional artwork from a number of talented artists and includes nicely formatted battle maps for every encounter, each with 1” grids suitable for use with standard 25mm tabletop miniatures.  Each of the main titles is over seventy pages and provide all of the story, statistics and details that you need in an easily followed and concisely presented manner.

In his own words Jeff Gupton, writer, creator and owner of Blackbyrne Publishing has been playing Dungeons & Dragons for almost 30 years, both as a player and as DM, but mostly as the latter. The inspiration for Blackbyrne Publishing came one weekend in the summer of 2009 when, after many years of writing adventures for his friends, he decided to make some of them public.  You can find more about Jeff and the team at Blackbyrne on their website www.blackbyrnepublishing.com

Here at miskatonic.co.uk we are genuinely impressed with the quality of the work from Blackbyrne, personally it takes me back to the halcyon days of adventure scenarios and I’m sure that in time to come people will speak as fondly of the Dark Veil campaign arc as people of my generation do about some of those earlier series from TSR that we grew up playing. We think you should take the time to look at the excellent material being produced by Jeff and the team at Blackbyrne Publishing, we are sure you won’t be disappointed, especially if story led, classic fantasy is what you covet.

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.