Archive

Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories’

Free!

June 28, 2017 1 comment

free

Everybody likes something that’s free – so here are some links to free and try-before-you-buy deals on some of my books and articles.

Freebies

My Freebies page has a lot of free downloads and links to old articles of mine that are still available on other sites. People seem especially fond of my AD&D articles from the 1980s.

Blood and Honor cover

Amazon is offering a free audiobook of my D&D novel Blood and Honor from 2006 as part of the trial offer for their Audible service. I beat out 1,000 other entrants in an open call to win the contract for this book, set in the then-new Eberron fantasy-pulp-noir setting designed by my friend Keith Baker. Keith is also the designer of the hit card game Gloom and the new RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command. I am hoping to have him as a guest on the blog some time in the next few weeks, so watch this space.

Osprey covers

Also on Amazon, the pages for my Osprey Adventures and Dark Osprey books now have “Look Inside” links and free samples for the Kindle. The “Look Inside” links are above the cover shot:

Thor: Viking God of Thunder

Theseus and the Minotaur

Knights Templar: A Secret History

Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide

Nazi Moonbase

For the Kindle samples, go to the book’s page on the Kindle store and select “Try a Sample.”

I hope you enjoy your free reading, and I hope you’re intrigued enough to buy the books! If Amazon is not your e-tailer of choice, I’ve included links to other vendors on my My Books page.

Advertisements

“Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide” – The First Review

February 3, 2015 5 comments

With a little over a month until release, the first review has appeared of my Dark Osprey book Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide. It’s short but sweet, and I’m looking forward to more.

It was a lot of fun to research and write this book. Here’s what I wrote about it a few months ago when it was first announced:

index

Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide is for the Dark Osprey line which focuses on horror and conspiracy, and follows on from earlier volumes about Zombies and Vampires. I collected werewolf legends and trial reports from across Europe and researched shapechanger myths worldwide to paint a picture of lycanthropy that expands upon what you will find in most movies, games, and novels. It touches on the standard fare – silver, the moon, Viking berserkers, SS werewolves, and so on – but I also uncovered a few surprises. Like, for instance, the fact that there are at least four distinct types of werewolf, each with its own unique characteristics. And the Greek tradition that a dead werewolf rises from the grave as a vampire. And the ancient werewolf cult that centers on Mount Lykaion in Greece.

Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide
is scheduled for release in March 2015, and there are some interesting titles scheduled for both of Osprey’s non-historical ranges.

Like the other Dark Osprey books, this book mixes historical research with speculation to create a “what-if” reality which is firmly grounded in the real world. Anyone who is interested in the history and development of the werewolf myth will get something from it, and gamers will find a wealth of system-independent information and suggestions ready to use in their campaigns. Ripping the you-know-what out of effete sparkly vampires, for instance…

As I find new reviews, I’ll post links in the comments section below.

A New Colonial Gothic Campaign

June 18, 2013 2 comments

As you may know, for the last few years I’ve been working with Richard Iorio II of Rogue Games to help develop and promote their Colonial Gothic tabletop RPG. Historical games and horror games are two of my real passions, and Colonial Gothic combines the two beautifully.

Boiling it down to an elevator pitch, it’s the early history of America through the eyes of H. P. Lovecraft and Dan Brown. Your Heroes can encounter Salem witches, Native American spirits, scheming Freemasons, sorcerous Templars, voodoo, gris-gris, Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and much more. I keep teasing Richard that one day I’ll have Ben Franklin construct a lightning-powered mech and go mano a mano with Cthulhu – but perhaps that may be going a little too far. But if you liked The Crucible, Sleepy Hollow, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Last of the Mohicans, The Brotherhood of the Wolf, and the National Treasure movies, chances are you’ll like Colonial Gothic.

I’m very happy at the reception the game has received so far. Most of the supplements have garnered 4- and 5-star reviews on Roleplayers’ Chronicle, DriveThruRPG, and the other major review sites. The release of the Second Edition Rulebook last December was an important step, and we have many plans for the future. Among these is a new campaign, to be created under license by Mystical Throne Entertainment, publishers of Roleplayers’ Chronicle.

Rogue Games’ house campaign, Flames of Freedom, focuses on the shadowy side of the American Revolution. The Mystical Throne campaign (working title New World) is set a generation earlier, in the middle of the 18th century. Rogue Games has touched upon this period in its French and Indian War sourcebook, and it’s very good to see others inspired by the game and the setting to create fresh adventures. The Flames of Freedom campaign will continue, co-written by Richard and me. We have plans for at least two more instalments, possibly more, and the next one, Shadows Upon the Hudson, is scheduled for release later this year.

I’m looking forward to the New World campaign very much. Aaron Huss is a talented writer with a number of impressive credits under his belt, and I can’t wait to see what adventures he has in store for us.

The Mystery of the Templars

January 13, 2012 2 comments

An order of devout warrior knights? An arrogant multinational, accountable to no one? A cabal of diabolical warlocks? Saviors of lost wisdom? Guardians of a secret that could bring down the Catholic Church? Victims of a plot by Popes and Kings?

The Knights Templar have been called all these things and more. I grew up on the Roger Moore Ivanhoe TV series (before he was The Saint, and way before he was James Bond) and a subtitled import of the French series The Accursed Kings, as well as fantasy and horror sources like the TV drama The Dark Side of the Sun and late-night showings of imported movies like Tombs of the Blind Dead. I also read everything from Enid Blyton’s retellings of stories from the Crusades to The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. Somewhere in the middle of all this I started playing D&D, which probably didn’t help my obsession with medieval mysteries.

About a year ago, I wrote a roleplaying sourcebook on the Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, to give them their full name. It covers the history of the Order and the various legends and conspiracy theories that have grown up around it since its suppression in 1312, as well as an outline of the role that surviving Templars play in Rogue Games’ Colonial Gothic historical horror RPG.

The book was originally released in various electronic formats, but Rogue Games owner Richard Iorio II has decided that it merits publication in printed form. More than that, it’s getting a new layout and and added section: an excerpt on the Templars taken from Thomas Wright’s resoundingly-titled opus The Worship of the Generative Powers: During the Middle Ages of Western Europe. Published in 1865, this remarkable work takes a sweeping view over practically the whole of religion, including “the study of certain abnormal practices incidental to membership in secret orders and societies.” Needless to say, the Templars were accused of plenty of those during the torture and trials that preceded their dissolution.

A 10-page preview of the book is online at the Rogue Games web site, and the book itself should be available later this month. Meanwhile the original PDF and Kindle versions are still downloadable, sans the chapter from Wright.

I’ll never forget an exchange from the 80s TV series Robin of Sherwood, in which the Sherriff of Nottingham finds a lone Templar operating on his patch and tries to warn him off:

Sherriff: I represent the King!

Templar: And I, the King of Kings.

Sherriff: (pause) Ah.