Tag: TTRPG Review

The Dawn of a New Era: Coriolis – Wake of the Icons

Greetings, fellow adventurers of the Third Horizon! We have some thrilling news to share with you today. The long-awaited final chapter of the epic Mercy of the Icons campaign, “Wake of the Icons,” has finally been released for the acclaimed Coriolis – The Third Horizon roleplaying game. This is a momentous occasion for all of us who have been eagerly awaiting this release.

A Call from the Dark Space

In the world of Coriolis, dreams and visions are not mere figments of the imagination. They are harbingers of prophecies, omens of the future, and whispers from the dark space of the Third Horizon. A new presence, or perhaps something ancient, is reaching out, and it may hold the answers to the future. It speaks of a prophecy, the Chosen, and the impending Horizon Wars.

Image: Free League Publishing

Wake of the Icons: A Closer Look

“Wake of the Icons” is a beautifully illustrated book of over 200 pages, packed with extensive background information for the Gamemaster. It describes the events that threaten the entirety of the Third Horizon. The expansion includes three scenarios:

  1. “A Song for Kua”: This opening scenario starts with a series of visions, leading the characters back to Kua.
  2. “The Tenth Icon”: The second scenario sets the characters on a diplomatic mission to Sadaal to acquire the Nadir Flotilla as war in the Third Horizon looms.
  3. “The Horizon Wars”: In the final climactic scenario, war breaks out, and the characters must lead the people of the Third Horizon to victory.

In addition to these scenarios, the expansion introduces a metagame where the Gamemaster and the players can play out the fleet movements and clashes of the war. The appendix contains over twenty different ship types that participate in the war of the horizons.

The Third Horizon RPG

For those unfamiliar, Coriolis – The Third Horizon is a highly praised science fiction roleplaying game set in a remote cluster of star systems known as The Third Horizon. It’s a place marked by conflicts and war, but also home to proud civilizations, both new and old. As players, you crew a spaceship and travel the Horizon, exploring the ancient ruins of the Portal Builders, undertaking missions for the powerful factions, and partaking in the game of political intrigue on Coriolis station – the center of power in the Third Horizon. You might even encounter strange beings from the Dark Between the Stars.

The release of “Wake of the Icons” marks a significant milestone in the journey of Coriolis – The Third Horizon. It’s an opportunity for players to dive deeper into the mysteries of the Third Horizon and shape its future. So, gear up, adventurers, for the Third Horizon awaits your exploration!

You can get your copy of “Coriolis: Wake of the Icons” here. Happy adventuring!

This post was written based on the official announcement from Free League Publishing. All information is accurate as of the time of writing.

A Beastly Expansion: The Book of Beasts and The Bloodmarch Now Available for Forbidden Lands RPG

Beware, adventurers! Dangerous monsters and demons have breached the boundaries of the Forbidden Lands. Free League Publishing has announced the release of not one, but two major expansions for the multiple award-winning RPG Forbidden Lands.

The first expansion, “Book of Beasts,” is a beautifully illustrated bestiary filled with deadly creatures and lethal encounters. This new addition features 28 meticulously detailed monsters, each one equipped with its own set of mini-adventures, allowing Gamemasters to seamlessly incorporate these creatures into their campaigns. The book also introduces new gameplay elements, including the ability to harvest resources from defeated beasts and use Lore skills to gain insights into a monster’s strengths and weaknesses.

Expect to encounter beasts such as the Amphibian, the Basilisk, the Iron Dragon, the Twisted Ent, and many more. Andreas Marklund and acclaimed Swedish fantasy author Erik Granström penned the “Book of Beasts,” with illustrations by Henrik Rosenborg and graphic design by Niklas Brandt.

The second expansion, “The Bloodmarch” takes players into the volcanic region west of Ravenland, a land of battle-hardened horse riders and secretive dwarves. This ancient region is undergoing rapid changes due to a demonic vegetation spreading across the land. This red curse is seen by many as a threat, while others view it as a necessary evil or even a boon.

“The Bloodmarch” also introduces the “Legacy of Horn” campaign, which sets players on a quest for Horn’s Astra, legendary artifacts said to either halt the demonic growth or ensure its triumph. Erik Granström, the lead setting writer for Forbidden Lands RPG and designer of the game’s first campaign module, “Raven’s Purge,” is the author of “The Bloodmarch.” The expansion is also illustrated by Henrik Rosenborg.

Both expansions are now available in print, PDF, and virtual tabletop formats in the Free League webshop, on DriveThruRPG, and will soon arrive in hobby stores worldwide.

About Forbidden Lands:

The Forbidden Lands RPG is an open-world survival RPG that puts a new spin on classic fantasy role-playing. Instead of being heroes on predetermined quests, players take on the roles of raiders and rogues striving to leave their mark on a cursed world. The game involves discovering lost tombs, battling horrifying monsters, wandering the wild lands, and building strongholds to defend against the dangers of the land.

Forbidden Lands has received numerous accolades, including four ENNIE Awards in 2018, and it was voted Best RPG at the UK Game Expo. Geek & Sundry recognized it as one of the best RPGs of 2018, and Tabletop Magazine described it as a mix of “classic D&D game” memories with a touch of “bleak Scandinavian darkness.”

With these new expansions, the dangerous and exciting world of Forbidden Lands continues to grow, offering even more thrilling adventures for rogues and raiders. So, sharpen your swords, gather your party, and venture forth into the Book of Beasts and The Bloodmarch.

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants – A Journey into the World of Giants in D&D 5e

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition continues to expand its horizons with the upcoming release of “Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants“. This new sourcebook, available for pre-order on D&D Beyond, promises to take players on an epic journey into the history, myth, and society of giants, some of the most iconic creatures in the D&D universe. Pre-ordering the book also unlocks the Prehistoric Gemstone dice set, character sheet frames, and backdrops based on the book.

Who is Bigby?

Bigby is a legendary wizard known for his hands-on spell invention. An associate of Mordenkainen and a member of the Circle of Eight, Bigby is known for inventing many handy spells, several of which were used in the Realms. Despite his death, Bigby’s influence continues to be felt in the Realms, with his spells being widely used and his name recognized by many as one of the most magnificent wizards of all time.

Giants in D&D History

In the Dungeons & Dragons universe, giants have been a staple adversary since the game’s inception. They were first introduced in the original D&D boxed set in 1974, and have been present in every edition since. Giants are typically depicted as humanoid creatures of exceptional size and strength, often with a distinct culture and societal structure.

In the fifth edition of D&D, giants once again play a significant role. The Ordning was shattered, leading to chaos among the giants and providing a major storyline in the Storm King’s Thunder adventure. The fifth edition also reintroduced the concept of giant runes, magical symbols used by giants that had been largely absent since the first edition.

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants

“Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants” is a comprehensive guide to the realms of giants in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. Narrated by Bigby the Great and the demigod Diancastra, child of the giants’ All-Father, Annam, the book unveils the secrets of Annam’s mighty descendants. It delves into unrevealed giant lore, including an overview of the hierarchical structure of the ordning, giants’ religion, and ideas about giants’ organizations and societies across the multiverse.

Player Character Options

The sourcebook introduces a wealth of giant-themed character options. Players can choose a new barbarian subclass, The Path of the Giant, and explore the vast world of giants with two new backgrounds. Additionally, there are eight new feats that allow players to unleash runic magic and wield elemental power, further enhancing the giant-themed gameplay experience.

Monsters, Treasures, and More

Dungeon Masters are in for a treat with over 70 new monsters and other enormous creatures to add to their encounters. The book also includes a wondrous collection of over 30 magic items, including three illustrious artifacts. These new additions promise to bring a fresh layer of excitement and challenge to your D&D campaigns.

Tools for Dungeon Masters

“Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants” offers a plethora of tools for Dungeon Masters. From lair maps and detailed lore to adventure hooks and encounter tables, the book provides everything you need to bring giants to life in your campaigns. The sourcebook also includes treasures and giant roleplaying inspiration, offering endless possibilities for creating engaging and immersive giant-themed adventures.

Pre-ordering on DnDBeyond grants you Early Access to the digital version of ‘Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants‘ starting from August 1, 2023.

Secure your pre-order from your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) today to receive the exclusive alternate cover edition of ‘Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants’.


First Look at Candela Obscura: Unraveling the Mystery of a Thrilling Horror TTRPG

In anticipation of their new live play series “Candela Obscura”, the renowned Critical Role troupe and the Darrington Press team have released a quickstart guide for their original tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) system. This guide offers a comprehensive introduction to the game’s unique setting, intricate mechanics, and character development, providing fans with a sneak peek into the world of Candela Obscura ahead of the series premiere. Now, let’s delve deeper into this highly anticipated TTRPG in our extensive first look.

“When was the last time you felt real fear?”

Candela Obscura

In Candela Obscura, players are thrust into a world teetering on the brink of supernatural chaos. The game is set in the city of Newfaire, a sprawling metropolis built atop the ruins of an ancient civilization. This civilization was once teeming with powerful magick, remnants of which still linger, infusing the city with a sense of mystery and danger.

Players become members of Candela Obscura, a secret society dedicated to protecting the city from dangerous supernatural forces seeping into their world through weakened barriers known as ‘thinnings’. These thinnings are places where the barrier between the mundane world and the realm of magick, known as the Flare, is weak, allowing magick to seep through and manifest in various ways.

The game encourages exploration and investigation, with players tasked with unraveling the mysteries of the supernatural phenomena threatening their world. The city of Newfaire, with its rich history and lore, provides a fertile ground for storytelling and adventure. From the crowded downtown streets of the Varnish to the cornfields of Tottergrass and the writhing underground ruins of Oldfaire, players will have a vast and diverse landscape to explore.

The Role of Magick in Candela Obscura

In Candela Obscura, magick is not just a tool for players to wield, but a force that shapes the world around them. It is a remnant of an ancient civilization that once thrived in the city of Newfaire, and its influence can still be felt in the city’s architecture, culture, and the supernatural phenomena that plague it.

The game’s mechanics for dealing with magick and its effects, such as the concept of ‘bleed’, add a layer of complexity and danger to the game. ‘Bleed’ is a term used to describe the effects of magick on the mundane world. When magick bleeds into the world, it can cause all sorts of strange and terrifying phenomena, from ghostly apparitions to time distortions and even physical transformations.

Players, as members of Candela Obscura, must learn to navigate these effects and use their own magick to protect the city. However, using magick is not without its risks. The more a player uses magick, the more they risk causing a ‘flare’, a powerful and often uncontrollable burst of magick that can have devastating consequences.

The Importance of Character Development

Candela Obscura places a strong emphasis on character development, with players encouraged to explore their characters’ motivations, fears, and personal mysteries. Each character in the game is a member of Candela Obscura, a secret society dedicated to protecting the city of Newfaire from supernatural threats. However, each character also has their own personal history, motivations, and secrets that can add depth to the game’s narrative.

The game’s mechanics for dealing with harm and injury, such as the concept of ‘scars’, provide opportunities for players to explore the lasting impacts of their adventures on their characters. In Candela Obscura, ‘scars’ are not just physical injuries but can also be psychological or emotional wounds. When a character takes a scar, it signifies a significant event in their story, and can have a profound impact on their development and the way they interact with the world.

For example, a character who takes a physical scar might become more cautious, while a character who takes an emotional scar might become more withdrawn or develop a new fear or phobia. These scars can also affect a character’s relationships with other characters, adding another layer of depth to the game’s narrative.

The Intricacies of the Game Mechanics

Candela Obscura employs the Illuminated Worlds d6 dice pool system, which adds an element of unpredictability and tension to the game. The outcomes of player actions are determined by dice rolls, with the possibility of failure, mixed success, full success, and even critical success. This system creates a dynamic and engaging gameplay experience, where the outcome of each action is uncertain and can dramatically impact the narrative. More to come on the Illuminated Worlds d6 dice pool system…

The game also includes mechanics for resisting consequences, using unique character abilities, and managing resources like ‘drive’ and ‘resistance’. ‘Drive’ represents a character’s motivation and determination, and can be used to push through challenges and resist the effects of magick. ‘Resistance’, on the other hand, represents a character’s physical and mental resilience, and can be used to mitigate the effects of harm and injury.

In addition, Candela Obscura includes mechanics for dealing with magick, such as the concept of ‘bleed’ and ‘flare’. These mechanics add a layer of complexity and danger to the game, making the use of magick a risky but potentially rewarding strategy.

The Role of the Gamemaster

In Candela Obscura, the Gamemaster (GM) plays a critical role in guiding the narrative, controlling non-player characters (NPCs), and describing the world. The GM sets the stakes of each roll, indicating how dangerous the consequences might be. This role requires a balance of creativity, adaptability, and a deep understanding of the game’s rules and mechanics.

The GM is also responsible for creating the assignments that the players will undertake. These assignments are the main narrative arcs of the game, and can involve anything from investigating supernatural phenomena to dealing with threats from rival factions within the city. The GM must craft these assignments in a way that engages the players, challenges their characters, and advances the overall narrative of the campaign.

In addition, the GM has the important task of managing the game’s horror elements. Candela Obscura is a horror TTRPG, and the GM must balance the need for tension and fear with the players’ comfort levels. The game includes safety tools to help regulate these horror elements, ensuring that all players have a fun and enjoyable experience.

The Significance of the Circle

In Candela Obscura, players form a group known as a ‘circle’. The circle is more than just a team; it represents the bonds and relationships between the characters. The game includes mechanics for building and developing these relationships, as well as for managing the circle’s resources and abilities.

Each circle has a shared pool of resources, known as the ‘circle pool’, which can be used to aid in investigations, resist the effects of magick, and overcome challenges. The circle pool is replenished by the characters’ individual ‘drive’, representing the collective determination and willpower of the circle.

The circle also has a shared ‘base of operations’, a safe haven where the characters can rest, recover, and plan their next moves. This base can be customized and upgraded over the course of the campaign, providing another layer of depth and customization to the game.

The relationships between the characters in the circle can also evolve and change over the course of the campaign. Characters can form bonds, rivalries, and even romantic relationships, adding a layer of interpersonal drama to the game’s narrative.

Final Thoughts

Candela Obscura is a promising new addition to the TTRPG genre. With its unique setting, intricate game mechanics, and emphasis on character development and group dynamics, it offers a fresh and engaging take on horror role-playing.

The game’s setting, the city of Newfaire, sounds to be a rich and diverse landscape teeming with mystery and danger. From the crowded streets of the Varnish to the underground ruins of Oldfaire, players will have a vast world to explore and protect.

The game’s mechanics, from the Illuminated Worlds d6 dice pool system to the concepts of ‘bleed’, ‘flare’, and ‘scars’, provide a deep and engaging gameplay experience. The game’s emphasis on investigation over combat, and the importance of character development and group dynamics, make it a unique and refreshing take on the TTRPG genre.

Whether you’re a seasoned TTRPG player looking for a new challenge, or just a Critical Role fan looking take your first dip in the TTRPG pool, Candela Obscura is definitely worth checking out.

Unveiling New Expansions for The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game: Dive into Eriador’s Tales and Ruins

Hello, fellow adventurers of Middle-earth! We have some thrilling news to share with you today. Free League Publishing has announced two new expansions for The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying game: “Ruins of Eriador” and “Tales From Eriador”. These expansions are adapted from the award-winning second edition of The One Ring™ roleplaying game, based on the timeless works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Journey into the Lone-lands

The expansions are 5E adaptations of Tales From the Lone-Lands and Ruins of the Lost Realm, taking players on a journey through the desolate Lone-lands and the mysterious ruins of Eriador. The pre-order for these expansions was launched recently, giving immediate access to the PDFs of these supplements, months ahead of the official release in the fall.

Tales From Eriador

Tales From Eriador includes a series of adventures, each with its unique narrative and challenges. From battling ancient evils to dealing with the infiltration of the Enemy’s spies, these adventures promise to keep you on the edge of your seat. The adventures are set around the year 2965, adding an interesting historical context to your roleplaying experience.

Ruins of Eriador

Ruins of Eriador, on the other hand, is a 5E adaptation of the previously published Ruins of the Lost Realm. It offers a detailed description of the regions that were once part of the kingdom of Arnor, with a focus on the city of Tharbad. The expansion also provides a set of narrative elements for the Loremaster to build a possible future for the land of Eriador, including looming threats, characters, and their agendas.

A New Era of Middle-earth Roleplaying

These expansions mark a new era for The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying game, bringing players further into the Twilight of the Third Age. With the praised and award-winning The One Ring™ Second Edition, the game has entered a new era and brings players further into the Twilight of the Third Age.

The pre-order for these expansions has launched, giving immediate access to the PDFs of these supplements, months ahead of the official release in the fall. This is a fantastic opportunity for fans and players to get an early look at these exciting new additions to the game.

To pre-order these expansions, visit the Free League webshop. Don’t miss out on this chance to delve deeper into the rich lore and thrilling adventures of Middle-earth!

About Free League Publishing

Free League Publishing, based in Stockholm, Sweden, is a game studio and publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. They have published a wide range of award-winning tabletop roleplaying games and acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds. Their upcoming games include the highly anticipated fantasy RPG Dragonbane, The Walking Dead Universe RPG, PIRATE BORG, and Zone Wars – A Mutant; Year Zero Wargame.

So, gear up, adventurers! Middle-earth is waiting for you. Let’s explore the lands and live to tell the tales. For more information about The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying game and the new expansions, visit the Free League webshop.

The War of the Ring, Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, The One Ring and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Middle-earth Enterprises, LLC and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees. © 2023 Middle-earth Enterprises, LLC & Sophisticated Games Ltd.

The Lure of the One Ring: Exploring the World of Lord of the Rings 5e Roleplaying


Venture into the world of Middle-earth with the Lord of the Rings 5e Roleplaying game. While the basic structure of the game remains largely unchanged from standard 5e rules, there are several distinctive elements, mainly ported over from The One Ring roleplaying game. In this blog post, we will delve into these differences and explore the new mechanics that make the Lord of the Rings Roleplaying an immersive and unique experience.

Fellowship Points & Patrons

In the Lord of the Rings Roleplaying game, all player-characters belong to a Company with a numerical Fellowship rating representing the bond of mutual trust between members. Fellowship points can be spent to gain confidence, providing advantage on ability checks, attack rolls, or saving throws. Additionally, each Company eventually chooses a Patron, an influential individual who provides support, counsel, and additional reasons to go adventuring.

Magical Success

The subtle magic of Middle-earth is represented through enchanted objects and ancient spells that allow heroes to exceed the capabilities of mere mortals. Magical success, triggered by these enchantments, allows heroes to automatically succeed at nearly impossible tasks, such as disappearing in a crowd or crossing a river on a tightrope.

Cultural Backgrounds

Backgrounds in this game are connected to a hero’s Culture, with six backgrounds per culture that provide skill proficiencies, tool proficiency, and two distinctive features. This connection to Culture adds depth and distinction to character creation.

Rewards, Virtues, and Crafts

In lieu of spellcasting, the heroes of the Lord of the Rings Roleplaying game have access to Rewards, Virtues, and Crafts. Rewards are superior pieces of wargear awarded for deeds, while Virtues represent unique abilities and talents characteristic of a given culture. Crafts are special techniques that grant effects similar to spells in other fantasy games, such as the ability to frighten enemies, befriend animals, or create magical objects.

Councils & Journeys

Emphasizing exploration and social interaction, the game provides detailed rules for traveling (Journeys) and social interactions (Councils). Journeys allow players to experience the exploration of Middle-earth as an important phase of the game, filled with dangers, unexpected situations, and natural wonders. Councils, on the other hand, bring the importance of diplomacy, negotiation, and intrigue to the forefront of gameplay.

The Lord of the Rings 5e Roleplaying game offers an immersive experience that captures the essence of Tolkien’s world. With its focus on Fellowship, subtle magic, cultural backgrounds, and an emphasis on exploration and social interaction, this game is perfect for fans of Middle-earth who want to experience a roleplaying adventure that stays true to the spirit of the original stories. Gather your Company, choose your Patron, and embark on an epic journey through the lands of Middle-earth!

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