Two forms of warfare dominated the battlefields in the early years of the 21st century.

Drones – remotely piloted vehicles – commoditized the battlefield. Guided by operators hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away, these drones removed the risk of death from battle, while still accomplishing the objectives set by their military – or, later, corporate – superiors.

Insurgents – small bands of irregular but highly trained fighters – could blend into the civilian population, using cities as cover, vanishing into the crowds. With limited numbers and firepower, insurgencies quickly learned to do whatever was necessary to win an asymmetric war – including sacrificing themselves in suicide attacks.  By the middle of the century, a synthesis of these two forms emerged.

Human drones. Corpses, reanimated and augmented by cybernetic implants, and guided by elite teams of remote operators. Anyone could be killed and turned into the perfect weapon, a bespoke killing machine optimized for a particular situation, a particular target.

Ideal, disposable weapons for the shadowy corporate conflicts and geopolitical chaos of the mid-21st century. The operators of these drones reminded themselves that however human their tools seemed, they were just meat machines.

Drones.

In drone, one player plays the drone – a cybernetically reanimated corpse, memory erased, designed for the mission at hand.

Three other players are the operators – remote console jockeys, there to guide the drone through its assignment, and keep it under control. Both sets of players draw their actions from the same pool of dice, forcing them to work together – and as the game progresses, the dice pool gets tighter and the hostile Gamemaster gets more firepower to throw at them.  It’s a collaborative cyberpunk dystopian psychodrama – with lots of guns.

Status: In playtesting

New Jerusalem colourThe Secret War is coming to England. Will you be ready?

It is 1927.  As Britain continues her slow recovery, August Darcy, a young journalist, is seized with a strange obsession.  He must recover the very essence of England – her traditions, customs, and legends – and he must do that even at the cost of his livelihood; even if he loses the woman who is to be his wife.

Then, in the early 1930s, England experiences the first portents of a magical war. Darcy’s mythic sites are the hidden battle fields; and that forbidden knowledge, the esoteric ordnance of the forthcoming conflict.

The Book is replete with mythic sites, occult rumours, and clues which will guide you on your quest for forbidden knowledge.

Within these covers are the never-before-published early writings of the author of the The Book of the Smoke. Sketches of English life, in his unique style, are interspersed with private letters and diary extracts to offer an extraordinary insight into the victim of England’s most notorious occult crime. These are not romantic yearnings for a golden age long gone, but a timely reminder that the terrors of our forefathers still linger on the fringe of modernity.

Written as the companion volume to Fearful Symmetries for Trail of Cthulhu, The Book of the New Jerusalem can be used as a Keeper’s resource as well as an in-game artefact for players in any Mythos game.

Status: In layout

Fearful_Symmetries_Blake_350For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

– William Blake, The Four Zoas (from Ephesians 6:12)

The Secret War is coming to England. And you are the warriors.

Albion, the primeval and perfect England of William Blake, is broken – by war in heaven, and turmoil amongst mankind. Heroes arise to build Jerusalem anew in the Green & Pleasant Land guided by Blake’s visionary poetry.

In this supplement to Trail of Cthulhu, you play a group of magicians exploring the magickal revival; wielding the terrible, double-edged power that grants both dominion and degeneration.

With its companion volume, The Book of the New Jerusalem, Fearful Symmetries gives the Keeper guidelines for building an improvised campaign with dangers drawn from English folklore and Mythos abomination. Four systems of magic are described, along with locations, threats, tomes, and characters. Use Fearful Symmetries to flesh out the struggle between the lurking horror, and the shrivelled good intentions of those who think such power can be contained, and controlled, by mere mortals.

The magical battle for England is coming. Is your humanity the price of  victory?

Status: On hold.

Poison_tree_350

A Poison Tree is an epic campaign for Trail of Cthulhu, a generational saga that spans the globe and 350 years of history.

The players take on different roles across five chapters and three interludes, beginning in rural Wales in the seventeenth century, passing through settings as diverse as revolutionary-era Massachusetts, South Africa in the 1890s, England at the start of World War I and Berkeley in the psychedelic throes of the 1960s. The campaign culminates in world-changing events in the present day, as the players correlate all of their findings, and decide on the destiny of humanity itself!

The varied time periods and the strange abilities of the Whettall family, whose tainted bloodline drives the story, have demanded some tailoring of the GUMSHOE mechanics. The campaign features new Professions and Abilities tailored to each setting, providing foundations for evocative and period-appropriate characters. Many investigators will be members of the Whettall bloodline, able to tap into strange abilities that are as much curses as boons. These abilities grow in strength and strangeness across generations, providing entertaining twists, even for experienced Trail of Cthulhu players.

A Poison Tree is written by Matthew Sanderson, Paul Fricker and Scott Dorward, who have been developing it for the last five years, and are now in the final stages of internal playtesting. While this isn’t the first campaign they have co-authored, it is the most ambitious in size, scope and structure.

Status: In Development

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