During the Battle of Lost Angels, a catastrophic earthquake tore Clover Mesa into four parts and revealed a motherlode of ghost rock at its center. Everyone from Kang’s triad to the Union to the Wasatch Rail Co. is after its riches, and they’ll do whatever it takes to seize them.
But Clover Mesa wasn’t always an object of desire. It used to be a dumping ground for the dregs of Maze society, and it was known by a different name back then—Manitou Bluff.
Return to Manitou Bluff is an adventure for Legendary Rank heroes, including all the people, places, and plots you need to run this epic tale. Take care, amigo! Things aren’t always what they seem, and sometimes death—or somethin’ worse—is hiding just around the bend. If your Legendary posse is looking for more excitement after completing The Flood, there’s no better place to send ’em than Manitou Bluff!
If you’ve got a ghoulish sort of curiosity, you might want to check out the Special Perdition Supplement of the Tombstone Epitaph. Read what the finest paper in the Weird West has to say about Clover Mesa without spending a nickel—plug, wooden, buffalo, or otherwise.
Get your copy of Return to Manitou Bluff in PDF today (from the Pinnacle PDF store, Studio 2 Publishing, or DriveThruRPG), preorder a print copy, or get the best of both worlds with the Print-PDF bundle (get the PDF immediately, the print copy as soon as it’s available, and a discount on the pair)!
Reality Blurs has made the Shaintar: Legends Arise (Beta Players Guide) a free download. All they ask is that you check it out and give them your feedback on their forums.
Sean Patrick Fannon’s vision of epic high fantasy comes fully to life for Savage Worlds in this all new iteration, and this is your chance to be a part of it. Check out the download and let them know what you think. This generous excerpt from the first of two planned books is nearly two hundred pages, including the complete character creation rules.
Combining Sean Preston’s Reality Blurs (one of the original Savage Worlds licensees), Sean Patrick Fannon’s Shaintar (one of the most enduring Savage Worlds fantasy settings), and the fans of Savage Worlds (possibly the greatest crowd ever) can’t help but create a truly inspiring setting. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of it. Download your copy today!
Expand your web-based fight against the evils in the mists of the Victorian era with the newly released Rippers Companion module for Fantasy Grounds II.
New tools await both the player and the GM. Discover the curse magic of the gypsies and the angelic abilities of the Rosicrucians. For the less arcane-minded, there’s a whole section for vehicles, gear, and trained animals!
Expansions also include the Gazetteer, more allies, more heroes, more Rippertech, and more Savage Tales!
If you’ve not tried out Fantasy Grounds‘ online gaming tools, now is a good time. There is, after all, a night to be saved!
Take a tour of the less-traveled Weird West with your Epitaph correspondent Phineas P. Gage for the first three Deadlands Trail Guides now compiled into one volume for ease of reference.
In Trail Guide: South o’ the Border, visit beautiful Mexico. Bask in the sun as centuries-old hatred festers in the midst of a three-sided civil war.
In Trail Guide: Great Northwest, you’ll see the snow has its own beauty. But in this land gripped by Famine, you might give your left arm for some jerky, and that might be what it’s used for! When a war between the unnatural beasts in the woods threatens to wipe humanity from the region, will your posse be up to the challenge?
Finally, the Trail Guide: Weird White North takes you to the tundra of Alaska and British Columbia, a land locked in ice north of the amazing Winterline, a fence made by Hellstromme Industries to hold back the cold itself! But something more sinister, more malevolent than mere winter is being held in check…for now!
Each Trail Guide offers you a closer look at the people, places, and—perhaps most important—things you’ll see in each region. And don’t forget the mini-Plot Point Campaigns and Savage Tales in each, as well. You’re bound to have fun or die tryin’!
Deadlands Trail Guides, Volume 1 is now available for preorder. Preorder the printed book or get the PDF (from the Pinnacle PDF store, Studio 2 Publishing, or DriveThruRPG). For the best value, get the Print-PDF Preorder Bundle through Studio 2—you’ll get the PDF immediately, the print book shipped to you as soon as it’s available, and a discount!
Maybe we’ve just seen too many Fourth of July sales commercials, but we’re having a massive Hell on Earth celebration here at Pinnacle, and you’re not going to want to miss a thing!
First off, the Hell on Earth Reloaded Player’s Guide PDF is now available. That’s right—if you don’t want the GM section, you don’t have to pay for it! This handy little PDF comes with everything the players need to know, nothing they don’t, and a site license so you can print a copy for each player in your game! Get it from the Pinnacle PDF Store, Studio 2 Publishing, or DriveThruRPG—your choice.
For those of you who miss the Hell on Earth Classic books or PDFs or who might want to see where everything for Hell on Earth got its start, this is your lucky, lucky day. All Hell on Earth Classic PDFs are half off! That’s right, whether you’re getting them at the Pinnacle PDF Store, Studio 2 Publishing, or DriveThruRPG, the prices have been slashed like a wormling at a Templar reunion!
Wait! There’s more! All the Hell on Earth Classic print books are on sale at Studio 2 Publishing, too. Everything has been marked down to $5. If it was $5 already, we’ve cut the price in half! You’ll never see a blowout this big again—especially since all the ghost rock bombs are used up!
Don’t just stand there. Not only is that a good way to get your head bitten off by some mutated monstrosity, this sale doesn’t last near as long as fallout. You only get until August 31 to take advantage of us. After that, this case of radiation madness will pass and we’ll come back to our senses!
If that’s still not enough for you, the PDF for Hell on Earth Reloaded has received a host of little updates. Go get a new one today. We’ve even upped any existing download limits so it won’t cause you any heartache!
The end isn’t nigh—it’s past! Welcome to Hell on Earth Reloaded, the dark future of the strange past of Deadlands.
The year is 2097, but the future is not our own. The long Cold War between the United and Confederate States of America finally came to an end—in world-wide hellfire. The rain of ghost rock bombs shattered most anything man could call civilization, cracked the space between this world and the next wide open, and birthed a true Hell on Earth.
But that was 16 years ago, and we’ve done the one thing we’re pretty good at—survive in spite of ourselves. Sure, some folks have some extra limbs, you’re likely to get killed for the scraps in your pocket, and everything east of the Mississippi is overrun with a crazed army of undead, but what other option do you have?
Join us in this dark future, where what remains cries out for new heroes while hiding from old—even ancient—villains. Has your body been wracked by the constant radiation exposure, or have you learned to channel the lingering power of the atom to your will? Remake the world as you wish. Hell, you can’t make it any worse…
Hell on Earth Reloaded is now available in PDF format (from us directly, from Studio 2 Publishing, or at DriveThruRPG). Our fulfillment partners at Studio 2 Publishing are also taking preorders for the printed book and have the Print-PDF Preorder Bundle available. The bundle is the best of both worlds—you get the PDF immediately, the printed book as soon as it’s available, and a price break!
Recently, we published a set of wallpapers using the cover for the upcoming new edition of Hell on Earth: Reloaded (available on the Hell on Earth: Reloaded Downloads page). A few of you asked about the artist.
Her name is Carmen Cianelli, she normally works for Cryptic Studios, and she’s been kind enough to give me what I hope will be the first of many guest “stump speeches”—in this case, about the development of the cover.
Sensitive readers take note—Carmen’s words are just a tad saucier than or normal web page fare. So, without further yammering on from me, Carmen Cianelli in her own words:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
As I’m writing this, I’m halfway through a five hour flight from San Francisco to Atlanta. I haven’t slept in a while, and just behind me a child has been screaming enthusiastically for the last hour as his Charizard kicks the crap out of his sister’s Blastoise. And you know…I get that. I do. I was eleven when Pokemon became out, and one of the best moments of my childhood was pulling that badass dragon out of a booster pack. Even if I later sold it on eBay along with the rest of my cards to pay for my first graphics tablet.
Still (provided that I’m correct in my assumption that it’s illegal to beat a negligent parent with a rolled up issue of Skymall), that understanding doesn’t change the fact that right now this article is the only thing standing between me and a lawsuit. So please excuse me if this gets a little nonsensical, and thank you Deadlands fans, for keeping me out of prison. I’m small and easily startled. I wouldn’t do well in prison.
Where was I going with this…oh, right. Painting the cover for Deadlands: Hell on Earth.
When Shane asked me if I’d like to write something to go along with the cover’s release, I considered a few different things. A poem declaring my love for Shane and Aaron and their wonderful blend of artistic freedom and direction, perhaps? Tempting though that was, I ultimately decided to take you guys through the process of creating the cover. Many RPG enthusiasts are also artists, some of whom aspire to do this sort of thing professionally. If I can help even one of those understand a little more about how they can do what they love for a living, I can’t turn down that opportunity.
When I got this assignment, I had no idea how loved Deadlands is by its fans, or how long they’d been waiting for it. Good thing, too, because it’s difficult to pee oneself with simultaneous excitement and nervousness and paint a cover at the same time. It was also my first assignment for cover work, the very first time I would eventually get to hold a book in my hands and see something I’d painted printed there. The art order was pretty open: An 8.5″ x 11″ cover pieces of a strong Templar chick in a toxic wasteland. Maybe some hints of a ruined city somewhere. Add in some baddies if I felt like it, but keep the focus on her. Aaaand go!
I had one week to get it done, and since I work full-time as a concept artist over at Cryptic Studios during the day, I wanted to get into painting as soon as possible. My mind immediately jumped to images in extreme perspective. An armor-clad warrior babe halfway through the process of beheading a Wormling, strings of Wormling blood flying through the air. Maybe she could be jumping a motorcycle off of a ruined bridge over a toxic pool while simultaneously slicing through some baddies. Slicing through two baddies. No, six baddies! With an uzi in the other hand, shooting an Anti-Templar in the face! Yeah!
This is what many people first think of when they think “epic cover art”, but I knew from previous experience that with a tight deadline and high expectations, you have to reign things in. So the challenge became how to depict this strong, sexy warrior woman in a way that clearly depicted her as Badass McCutABitch without sacrificing the technical quality by being overambitious.
I sent Shane some references and an explanation of my idea; rather than going the usual action-packed route, I wanted to paint a “between” moment. I felt we could showcase her strength and skill as a fighter without going over the top, leaving room for the viewer to fill in the details of the story based on their own interpretation. With the right staging, pose, and expression, I thought we could play her up as a strong character without catching her mid-CutABitch. Once I got the go-ahead for the general direction, I worked up three thumbnails that fit the direction while still providing unique visuals. I sent them off with a brief narrative for each.
1. I lost my family and I am standing in the wasteland sexily contemplating my life2. Whoa, who dares interrupt my sexy life contemplation? Oh... just a bunch of wormlings. No big deal.3. Yeah, no big deal. Now I'm going to stare at my gun and think about what I want to shoot next.
Is that Budapest in the background? Don’t ask me, ask the stamp brushes I often use to quickly block in cities when I’m making thumbnails that will eventually be re-painted. (Read as: Yes.)
Shane and I agreed that #2 was a good balance between showing her strength as a fighter but also including an interesting narrative. It left room to question what might happen next. Can she take out the oncoming swarm, or is our heroine about to become (pardon the pun) worm food?
On second thought, don’t pardon that pun. It was a good pun, and I don’t make good puns very often. Instead, let’s take a moment to appreciate that pun. Ha. Worm food.
Alright, let’s continue.
All three of these beg the question that I’ve been asked a few times this past week. Why isn’t she wearing more armor? If she’s about to engage in combat with several wormlings, wouldn’t she want to be more covered? I could give you some long, wordy explanation, but let’s be honest here; I wanted her to be sexy. More armored than the thumbnails, certainly, but I still wanted to show some skin and make her look sexier than I think any “realistic” wasteland warrior likely would. Striking a balance between “tough” and “sexy” can be a difficult thing to do, especially when working in an industry where many women sport chainmail bikinis and wolf hide loincloths. Sure, you can make a character look sexy without showing any skin at all, I just opted not to.
If there is an Alcoholics Anonymous style support group for that, well… I’m sure it will do other people some good. I’ll be over here painting blood-encrusted bellybuttons. My name is Carmen, and I like painting hot bitches.
I did ultimately decide to add some more pieces to her shoulder and upper arm, as well as a slain wormling in the foreground to show why she seems so nonchalant about the approaching danger. Since my style varies pretty drastically from previous covers, I sent Shane a work in progress once I had gotten a little further into rendering to make sure he was okay with the direction I was taking with it. I cut away the background elements to focus on the figure, and fired off another e-mail to show the changes to her outfit and the additional wormling.
I noticed later on that her head was looking too small, so I sized it up before resuming the final, and sent another progress short with the first color pass once we’d cleared up a few more details.
With another thumbs up and some continued feedback on her design (adding bullets to her belt, giving her a gunslinger-style holster to bring out that western vibe, and other great design details that Aaron Acevedo, PEG’s wonderful art director, brought to the table) I pushed ahead to the “final” image. Once Aaron got ahold of it and started working with the layout for the book itself, we agreed it would work better as a wraparound image. Aaron sent me a mockup, including an easy way to fill space on the back cover using some destroyed concrete, and I pulled one last all-nighter to paint it up and put it together.
What we ended up with in the end, you’ve already seen.
I want to extend a huge thank you to the PEG crew for letting me take a crack at this and being so fabulous to work with, Simon Lucas (my fantastic coworker at Cryptic Studios) for recommending me for the job, and to my local Starbucks crew for being there at 5am to keep me stocked up on caramel macchiatos. I also want to thank the wonderful Deadlands fans for the support, encouragement, and warm welcome I’ve received over this past week. You’re a fantastic bunch of people, and it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of bringing the next Deadlands installment to life.
Achtung! Cthulhu brings you a two-fisted wartime Savage Worlds roleplaying game setting for Realms of Cthulhu, packed full of fiendish Nazis, terrifying ancient mysteries, legendary war machines, and enough writhing tentacles to fill ten Reichstags!
Three Kings is the first in a series of standalone adventure supplements in the globe-spanning Zero Point campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu written by Sarah Newton (Legends of Anglerre, Mindjammer) and converted to Realms of Cthulhu by Dave Blewer (of Sundered Skies fame). Join a band of heroic soldiers, agents, and partisans behind enemy lines on the eve of World War Two, as they discover the unspeakable horrors of Castle Karlstein in occupied Czechoslovakia!
If you didn’t think that was enough, be sure to check out their incredibly value-packed bundle deal! Kick of your campaign with the new Three Kings and get a copy of Realms of Cthulhu for the ludicrously low price of only $14.99! That’s ten dollars less than the Realms of Cthulhu PDF alone!
We’re down to the wire with the Deadlands Noir Kickstarter campaign, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. A large part of our Kickstarter plan was to gauge fan interest in the new setting. You fully funded the project in about three hours and have chewed through every stretch goal we’ve put out there, so I think it’s safe to say that you’re interested!
Speaking of stretch goals, we’re not done yet. You’ve already exceeded our content goals for the setting, but we thought there was still a little more we could give you. Check out the Deadlands Noir Kickstarter Updates for details on stretch goals for the last 48 hours. If you’re new to the Kickstarter, you can also find a recap of all the updates so far as well as all four parts of the illustrated audio drama Hardboiled in the Big Easy. [Update: You can also get the illustrated audio drama from Shane’s YouTube channel!]
If you want to really get into the setting, and I mean really get into it, we’ve added eight more Hardboiled backer slots to the Deadlands Noir Kickstarter campaign. At that level, you can become a real name in an unreal world. Beat feet if you’re interested buddy—those things go faster than a get-away driver on the lam!
And be sure to listen to Episode 64 of the Atomic Array podcast with special guest John Goff, lead author for Deadlands Noir. It’s their first show dedicated to Savage Worlds, and they get John to talk about the system, its origins, Deadlands Noir and the Kickstarter campaign, and even his days as a professional interrogator.
By any gauge, this project has been a wild success. We’re humbled by your outpouring of support, excited and energized by your enthusiasm, and really looking forward to turning our attention to development. You have our sincerest thanks.
Last week, we gave you downloadable wallpapers of the cover art for the upcoming Hell on Earth: Reloaded. While that setting might be full of heartache and misery, our web site isn’t.
By popular request, we’ve made more wallpapers available on the Hell on Earth: Reloaded Downloads page for all those wide-screen monitors out there. Enjoy your fancy technology while it lasts, partner. The day of reckonin’ is a-comin’, and maybe—just maybe—sooner than you think…