Sorry for the interupption in gnomling broadcasts–I managed to come down with an unenviable combination of strep throat and the flu for a week and a half, and then went straight on to apartment hunting. The situation is still in limbo, but that’s neither here nor there–on to the good stuff!
Today’s post is going to be a double header, focusing on Rite Publishing’s now-available Threats: Secrets of the Annunaki, and its upcoming piece, Planet Fiction, both of which are supplements for their diceless game, Lords of Gossamer and Shadow (powered by the same systems as Amber Diceless Role-Playing.)
Secrets of the Annunaki
I really must start this overview by admitting that I really like Dain’s journal entry style, which gives the piece a much more personable air. Instead of just being clinically told of these immensely powerful and little understood forces of nature, we are instead informed by our narrator (a one Remi Haden-Franz) through his experiences with them. The tone of his narrative is of one with more experience than most, but who still isn’t wholly sure of what he is dealing with. Interspersed with the story are more practical bits of information, such as abilities and whatnot, making running such creatures far easier.
For those of you not in the know, Lords of Gossamer and Shadow uses the idea that there is not one world, but many. These worlds are connected via a strange interdimensional space known as the Grand Stair, which is traversed mainly by Wardens and Masters of the Stair. My favorite part of this setup is that it allows a nigh-limitless assortment of player characters. Your group can’t decide whether to do Sci-Fi or high Fantasy, or gritty Noir? How about all of the things? As the title of the game implies, there are other forces at work here, not the least of which is the Eidolon (representing order) and the Umbra (more along the lines of destructive chaos). In this piece, we focus mostly on the Eidolon, as the Annunaki themselves are representations of the Eidolon, all serving some unknown purpose–either of their own, of the Eidolon’s, or of some long-dead creator, who can say?
I’ll not give the game away on just what Remi discovers, but suffice to say that Secrets of the Annunaki is not just some small bestiary to brows for stats–it’s a story of the rise and fall of a character that, despite his hubris, a reader can come to be invested in. For those of you interested in purchasing Secrets of the Annunaki, you can find it at drivethrurpg.com. Which you totally should.
I don’t have an appropriate picture of Planet Fiction for you, since it won’t be out for a few weeks, but hopefully the sneak-peak will make up for your disappointment. For now, just picture our world. Mostly.
Again, I very much appreciate Dain’s narrative style. If anything, it’s even better here. We’re following Remi again. I’m not sure whether or not this happens right after the events of Secrets of the Annunaki, but he always seems to be on the run from something so it’s a little hard to tell.
Planet Fiction is an interesting piece, in that it takes stories that most of us are well-familiar with (and a few that we might not be) and puts them all together into an interesting medley–for example, Alice, of Wonderland fame, is one of Sherlock Holmes’ new Irregulars. Much like any of use would be, Remi is entranced with Planet Fiction, especially understandable in the face of the revelation that Remi is originally from our own world, just like all of the denizens of this strange Gossamer World. We follow his adventures through post-Revolutionary Poictesme (much like our own France), and on to other climes, such as fictionalized versions of Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal. He joins forces with such worthies as Don Quixote and rides with Captain Nemo to see the prophetess Cassandra.
However, this isn’t just an interesting romp through literature, nor is it just a listing of potential settings. No, my favorite part about Planet Fiction is that the supplement itself has a plot. From the very beginning, there is foreshadowing, and at the end, a twist ending that may or may not be surprising, depending on how closely you’ve been following.
All in all, I feel like Planet Fiction is an interesting setting, both for new and old players–the newer can feel secure in a setting that is (mostly) known to them, which more experienced players can turn character and plot to their advantage as it suits them.
Closing, and What’s to Come
My apologies, both on the lateness of this post, and if it seems a bit rushed. You see, Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and that means PaizoCon! Additionally, it means that next post (hopefully next week sometime) will be a PaizoCon special, involving all the details and pictures that I can muster. For all you attending, I’ll see you there! I’ll be the one with the long blue hair. Or the short purple hair. Whichever.
Don’t forget to tune in next time–same Gnomling time, same Gnomling channel.