Bundle of Holding Thread

Tommy Brownell

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How do you feel about 5e? Or Middle-Earth? If you hate either of them, it's probably not worth it. If you like them, it's a remarkably good adaptation.
 

Baulderstone

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How do you feel about 5e? Or Middle-Earth? If you hate either of them, it's probably not worth it. If you like them, it's a remarkably good adaptation.
Yes. I played in a game that @robertsconley ran of Adventures in Middle Earth. I'm in the camp of not loving 5E, but liking it just fine, but it did a really good job of capturing the flavor of Middle Earth in both its darkness and light, melancholy and wonder.

During the last session, I had to be somewhere later in the day, and I planned to duck out if the session ran long. Midway through the session, I just decided to cancel my later plans because I was having too good a time to bail on the game.
 

robertsconley

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Time for the Hard Sell. :smile: So why is Adventure in Middle Earth is so good?

1) The core mechanics are D&D 5e with is understood by many gamers.

2) The classes, monsters, magic, and magic items are reworked, some from the ground up, other extensively modified from their D&D 5e versions. This rework has the effect of making AiME feel completely different from a D&D 5e core book campaign. One big change from the core rules is that you can only take a long rest while at "home" or in a sanctuary of some sort. Never while adventuring or taking a journey.

For a list of classes and their options take a look at this summary I created.

3) You don't pick a race you pick a culture with could be a culture of a different race like an Elf of Mirkwood, or a Dwarf of the Lonely Mountain. All the races, Men, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits have different cultures along with race.

4) Feats have been recast as virtues. While there are some general virtues most are tied to a particular cultures. This often makes two characters from different cultures have a different feel even if they are the same class.

5) Backgrounds are another source of options that make character different. Like Doomed to Die or the Lure of the Road. The list is handy especially for players who are not that into Middle Earth especially the lore. It give them a reference for motivations that are consistent with Middle Earth.

6) Magic is not spell based. Instead certain abilities have flavor text that makes them feel magical in a way consistent with middle earth. The Scholar class is the AiME substitute for Cleric and Wizards but all classes, cultures, and backgrounds some with a bit of magic woven into them. Even the magic item creation system is understated compared to D&D 5e.

7) The above alters the core "stuff" of D&D 5e to something that fits with Middle Earth. In addition Cublicle added several subsystems.

8) Shadow operates like a form of Call of Cthulu insanity mechanic or Pendragon's Passions. The world of Middle Earth is tainted by the Shadow which chips away at everybody's soul. Those who live quite peaceful life are in general are unaffected by the Shadow. But those who suffer disaster, fight wars, and go on adventures open themselves up to the shadow. Evil acts give the character shadow even those done in the further of good like lying to the enemy. But also traveling through blighted lands or seeing suffering and death can give shadow.

The initial reaction to this is mostly "it is an alignment system designed to punish me doing what I always do." The way I got around this after the first couple of times is tell them. "Shadow isn't me or Cuiblicle telling you how to act. It is a pervasive force that it is real in Middle Earth. The idea is that you are heroes and how long can you endure to do what needed before needing to retire or succumbing to the shadow.

Any Shadow gained can be worked off the mechanic for doing this is part of....

9) The fellowship phase. Like Pendragon a AiME campaign is meant to be played over a long period of in-game time. In general adventures happen once or twice a year, with the time in between devoted to other activities including rest or healing to lose shadow. This is the Fellowship Phase and there are several options to choose from. And new are added with every supplement most specific to a region or locale.

10) Middle Earth is big, journeys can easily take a month or more. Instead of periodic encounter rolls, AiME has the journey system. The party assigns roles like guide, hunters, scout, look out. The roll to see what the mood is at the start of the journey, the referee generates three to five encounters depending on the length of the journey. Then weaves them in where they would make the most sense. Then depending on how the encounter are resolve an arrival roll is made.

First off the system is 90% brilliant. The only iffy part is getting players in the mood to accept the result of the departure roll and the arrival roll and roleplay it. But so far I found players quickly get into the spirit of this.

The part is most brillant are the encounters themselves. First off you only ever generate a handful and it up to you to decide where they happen along the journey. It is a good way to structure the imagination compared to periodic encounter rolls. Second are the encounter themselves. They don't always involve meeting inhabitants, creatures, or monsters. They can be bad weather, or an interesting ruin.

Exhaustion plays a big part in journey. Not resolving an encounter well could leave the party stuck with one or two level of exhaustion. Or gain unexpected respite and regain levels of exhaustion. Inspiration could be a result as well. Overall it works great to resolve journeys quickly even those that last several in-game months.

11) The supplements, the best part of The One Ring was that the supplements like adventures and region books are top notch and well done. The system I never liked but the supplement are among the best ever produced for Middle Earth campaigns. AiME supplement are 75% like their One Ring equivalent with the rest AiME specific stuff like monster stats and bits of mechanics like new Fellowship Phase undertakings.

Wrapping it up.
My view that AiME is the perfect example of how to adapt D&D to a setting with different assumption. It is D&D 5e with proficenies, classes, level, d20 roll high, hit points, armor class, etc. But the different set of "stuff" makes for a different experience when used as part of a campaign.

And because it is still D&D 5e, you can mix and match if that what you want. You could have Clerics and Wizards along with the other classes if that your choice.

As you can tell I really like AiME and it is held up in actual play. Which in my mind the ultimate test of any system.
 

The Butcher

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Best description of Warhamster ever:grin:!
I’m partial to “D&D and CoC had a baby, and Terry Gilliam raised it.”

I also still want to read Michael Moorcock’s Von Bek cycle, which is allegedly a major inspiration.

New Bundle of Holding also launched today for Adventures in Middle-Earth, in case you've been reading the buzz but haven't tried it out yet.
That is very relevant to my interests.
 

Stevethulhu

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I’m partial to “D&D and CoC had a baby, and Terry Gilliam raised it.”

I also still want to read Michael Moorcock’s Von Bek cycle, which is allegedly a major inspiration.
It's not improbable. Though I think The Runestaff cycle had a much bigger influence on 40k, while the whole 80s Britain zeigeist that drove 2000AD was also a big part of Warhamster.

You can see that with things like the football hooligan Orks, yuppie Elves and the way there was this whole thing of the upper echelons of society being chaos worshipping hedonists while the working classes grovelled in the mud.
 

The Butcher

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It's not improbable. Though I think The Runestaff cycle had a much bigger influence on 40k, while the whole 80s Britain zeigeist that drove 2000AD was also a big part of Warhamster.

You can see that with things like the football hooligan Orks, yuppie Elves and the way there was this whole thing of the upper echelons of society being chaos worshipping hedonists while the working classes grovelled in the mud.
Funny, I see a lot more AD2000 in 40K — the intolerant theocratic space empire (Nemesis The Warlock), Hive Cities and their gang wars (Judge Dredd), and so on. But your points make sense.
 

Baulderstone

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I read the Von Bek books back before WFRP existed, but if there is a connection, it never jumped out at me. Either way, based on my very old impressions, I'd still recommend reading the books anyway.
 

Stevethulhu

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Funny, I see a lot more AD2000 in 40K — the intolerant theocratic space empire (Nemesis The Warlock), Hive Cities and their gang wars (Judge Dredd), and so on. But your points make sense.
Religious orders of soldiers, often with animalistic iconography. An immortal emperor that rules all from his throne/life support system, science and magic being basically the same thing. The Imperium is the Dark Empire of Granbretan writ large. Even the symbol of Chaos is ripped off from Moorcock. GW are lucky he doesn't often assert his copyright. Only the satire that was part of the game in it's early days has long since been excised by people who didn't seem to get the joke.

Of course, WH40K has moved on a long, long way since the days of the original Rogue Trader and White Dwarf articles on how to turn a used deodorant into a grav tank.
 

Ladybird

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Latest bundle is the Capaldi-era Doctor Who RPG books, which comes with a 30% coupon for the C7 web store if you want to pick up physical copies.

The last time Who was in a bundle and sale like this IMO it seemed a little like stock-clearing (Getting rid of remaining 10 / 11-era stock), so with 13 now in the role, it's time for the same for 12. Whether this is the end of the line or they'll announce a 13-branded new era of material, I guess we'll find out in a few months.

Funny, I see a lot more AD2000 in 40K — the intolerant theocratic space empire (Nemesis The Warlock), Hive Cities and their gang wars (Judge Dredd), and so on. But your points make sense.
As we've discussed elsewhere though, a lot of these came from the same types of people with the same influences, just working in different creative industries. Lots of cross-pollination.
 

Voros

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I've been looking at that Dr. Who Bundle, heard good things about this RPG, how different would playing the different Doctors be?
 

Voros

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I'm tempted by AiME but already have ToR and quite like it so I'm a bit undecided. The main temptation is that it would be a lot easier to get a 5e Middle Earth session going than ToR.

Have they not done a AiME adaptation of The Darkening of Mirkwood yet? That is an excellent campaign.
 

AsenRG

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I'm tempted by AiME but already have ToR and quite like it so I'm a bit undecided. The main temptation is that it would be a lot easier to get a 5e Middle Earth session going than ToR.
Unless you're the Referee, I guess:smile:.
 

Mankcam

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I'm tempted by AiME but already have ToR and quite like it so I'm a bit undecided. The main temptation is that it would be a lot easier to get a 5e Middle Earth session going than ToR.
I was in the same boat, but I eventually decided to use Fate Core as a base, and run The One Ring supplements with that. It was an easy port, and IMO runs actuallty alot better than TOR. If I was a gif D&D 5E DM or player, then I would definately grab AiME, but as it stands, I'm going fine with Fate Core using TOP setting material and campaign books.
 

Ladybird

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I've been looking at that Dr. Who Bundle, heard good things about this RPG, how different would playing the different Doctors be?
The various Who corebooks are more like Call of Cthulhu printings than full editions; iirc they add errata to the newer editions, but mostly it's entirely the same inside and the books really only differ in trade dress, internal photos used, and which characters / monsters they have pre-done stats for (Like the 12th Doctor edition having stats for Clara, Missy, 12, etc; it was pre-Bill). Whichever edition you can get is fine, all the supplements will be compatible, although they might cover similar ground.

I've got PDF's of all the "series guide" books, supplements about each Doctor's time and the stories and enemies they faced, but I've never read any of them.
 

opaopajr

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I am torn on AiME. Do I get the core bundle, or the upgraded package? :cry: I like more stuff, but I noticed my .pdf stuff tends to languish compared to my print stuff. And yet .pdf takes up so much less space! :brokenheart: I'll never get to play with all my toys to my full satisfaction, so why gluttonously collect more?

Oh, that's right, it's for charity! :goof::shade: Yay, absolution of responsibility! :angel:
 

CRKrueger

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I am torn on AiME. Do I get the core bundle, or the upgraded package? :cry: I like more stuff, but I noticed my .pdf stuff tends to languish compared to my print stuff. And yet .pdf takes up so much less space! :brokenheart: I'll never get to play with all my toys to my full satisfaction, so why gluttonously collect more?

Oh, that's right, it's for charity! :goof::shade: Yay, absolution of responsibility! :angel:
See, upgraded package. That was so easy. :heart:
 

TheophilusCarter

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I've been looking at that Dr. Who Bundle, heard good things about this RPG, how different would playing the different Doctors be?
Do you mean playing a campaign with multiple incarnations of the Doctor? No trouble at all, and the sourcebooks even walk you through the actual episodes where that happened ("The Three / Five / Two Doctors" and "The Day of the Doctor"). It sounds like fun to me; I call the Second Doctor! :smile:
 

Voros

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Do you mean playing a campaign with multiple incarnations of the Doctor? No trouble at all, and the sourcebooks even walk you through the actual episodes where that happened ("The Three / Five / Two Doctors" and "The Day of the Doctor"). It sounds like fun to me; I call the Second Doctor! :smile:
A game of all the Doctors sounds like fun and would fix the issue of ‘who gets to play the Doctor’?
 

TheophilusCarter

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A game of all the Doctors sounds like fun and would fix the issue of ‘who gets to play the Doctor’?
Indeed. :smile: Having said that, the game isn't actually predicated on the players running a Doctor / companion campaign. They could be a UNIT team, or Torchwood, or just a bunch of plucky nobodies who find a Vortex manipulator one day ...
 

Bunch

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Still on the fence about the Lord of the Rings bundle and now there's a humble bundle with a bunch of 5e goodies. Anyone know a bit about both able to stear my wallet?
 

Toadmaster

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Still on the fence about the Lord of the Rings bundle and now there's a humble bundle with a bunch of 5e goodies. Anyone know a bit about both able to stear my wallet?
I was curious about the LotR bundle as well. I have a bunch of the The One Ring materials, curious to know if AiME offers much if you don't plan on running it in D&D.
 

Simon Hogwood

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I was curious about the LotR bundle as well. I have a bunch of the The One Ring materials, curious to know if AiME offers much if you don't plan on running it in D&D.
I think outside of the Player and Loremaster books, they basically cover the same material as the equivalent books for The One Ring, although the titles aren't always the same. It would probably be worth checking the descriptions to see if there's any crossover with your existing collection.
 

Voros

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There's a Bundle up for Aberrant but I'm probably most interested in the pdf of Adventure! that is included as I've seen a lot of praise for that game.
 

Black Leaf

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Just picked up the Lone Wolf Adventure Game. It looks really good so far; rules lite system and detailed setting that keeps the original gamebook vibe.
 

Jetstream

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Just picked up the Lone Wolf Adventure Game. It looks really good so far; rules lite system and detailed setting that keeps the original gamebook vibe.
I've never heard of that game, really, other than seeing a book or two of it years ago and never looking through 'em.

What's the deal?
 

Allen Varney

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Black Leaf

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I've never heard of that game, really, other than seeing a book or two of it years ago and never looking through 'em.

What's the deal?
Had a chance to read it now and I'm really impressed.

It's based on the eighties Lone Wolf gamebooks. You don't need to know those to appreciate it but Joe Dever (RIP) did kindly put them all online for free - https://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Books

Setting is very much high fantasy epic struggles between good and evil. But the world of Magnamund very much feels like its own thing, with its own mythology and unique feel. It's not your standard D&D/Tolkien influenced world.

The rules are based on the original gamebooks and are a really nice rules lite system. Even the "advanced" rules are very easy to pick up and use.

In general, it's excellent. The only reason I'm not thinking of running it as my next campaign is that the last campaign I ran was high fantasy and I fancy a change.
 

Apparition

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Two new Stars Without Number RPG bundles are up. The first bundle is entirely first edition material and can be found here. The second one is a mixture of first edition and Revised edition material and can be found here.

Stars Without Number is one of the finest science-fiction RPGs available, IMO. Think Traveller but using an old school Dungeons & Dragons chassis, without the Traveller edition warring. First edition material is very largely compatible with the Revised edition (with the exception of the Skyward Steel book), so if you want to go whole hog into Stars Without Number Revised Edition, I strongly recommend picking up both bundles.
 
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