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Thank you!

Hello! It says Monolith was updated yesterday (26 December). What changed?

Wow, this is quite an update! Is there a print version in the works?

Oooh, right! I somehow missed the trinkets. Thank you!

Looking forward to more Nightcrawlers! If I might make a humble request, would you please consider adding a Mummy? That’d help tick off the last few Universal Monsters, along with Invisible Man, I suppose. :)

Just a bit of feedback: I really like the monster creation guidelines, but are there any plans to include more abilities in a future update? Just imagine! d20 or even d66 Interesting Abilities. You’d be unstoppable!

Yay! Thank you!

Thank you!

Unfortunately, it looks like the update deleted everything but the core PDFs.

The old version was a 217 MB ZIP that came with all sorts of things: an MP3 soundtrack, maps, character sheets, color player location handouts, and the Zine PDFs themselves.

The updated ZIP (3rd Printing) is only 64 MB, and doesn’t even come with characters sheets. :/

Note: This has not been updated with new content, but if there’s interest, I’ll certainly go back and update it!

Consider me interested. :D

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You know, it’s the darnedest thing. The Additional Classes (RELIC_v3_Characters.pdf) looks correct, there’s a hyphen after “lights.”


But when I highlight and copy the URL in Adobe Reader, to paste to my browser address bar, it pastes without the hyphen, like so:

Incredible disappearing hyphen!

My guess is, maybe Adobe Reader thinks that URL is a hyphenated word, and it’s “reassembling” the word when I copy and paste, not knowing the hyphen is part of a URL.

Edit: Yes, it looks like this is actually a thing reported to Adobe Forums already! Just a weird little quirk of PDFs, I suppose.

Thank you for looking into this, sorry for any wasted time. Keep up the good work!

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Hello! I just ordered Desert Moon of Karth + PDF from Exalted Funeral, as soon as they got it back in stock. Unfortunately, it looks like Exalted Funeral’s digital copies are outdated.

Instead of Desert Moon of Karth 1E Digital.pdf, I got Desert Moon of Karth Digital.pdf. It’s the same with the “Spreads” PDF. I couldn’t find a version number, but the copyright says, “1st Printing. (C) 2021 Joel Hines”.

Do you know if the new batch of Print copies at Exalted Funeral are updated to 1E? And would you please double check if they have the latest digital files?

Thank you!

Ambulatory is one of those words that just makes me happy. This looks like it’d make for a memorable game. Well done. :)

Oh, gosh, this is embarrassing. I do have the latest v3, but I somehow opened up my old copy of v1.1 instead! Yes, I see now v3 doesn’t even have a page 72. Nevermind, then! Thank you for catching that. :D

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This project is coming along nicely, great work! I liked Glaive, and I like this too. :D

I did find a small typo. Page 72:

should be:

(You’re missing the hyphen after ‘lights’).

You are level 1. Choose a name and answer: Why have you chosen to adventure? Why are you working with the others in your group?

This is just a beautiful step. I’ve added this as a house rule in the past, and it’s great to see it built into a system.

Actually, reading through this document is like reading through a “things I like to see in RPGs” highlight reel. Very well done!

Hello! Is the print version on Amazon being kept up to date with the Small Changes updates on the PDF?

Huzzah! It’s finally here! Looks great, can’t wait to try ’em out. :D

I literally came here to ask this! I’ll order a copy the day it’s available. Promise. :D

I just picked up Nightcrawlers in print from Exalted Funeral. It looks great! Can’t wait to try it out.

The last Design Diary update was interesting, I hope there’s more on the way. The Mummy and Jekyll and Hyde Mutant Brood sound really interesting, fingers crossed they show up again someday, especially the Mummy.

P.S. Thanks for the free optional rules. :D

Cool! Will there be a print version of 1.5(+?) coming soon?

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(Copied from my Game Jam review)

The Claudia Contingency is clever re-imagining of a classic tale with a heavy dash of horror. (Bust out those Safety Tools, folks!)

The mini-campaign was clearly designed with ease of use in mind. You have a one-page scenario background, a mission structure flowchart, and a “research phase” which reminds me of Sly Flourish’s Secrets & Clues – the information isn’t tied to a particular location or NPC, it’s just there for the GM to weave into the game as they see fit. There are 2d6 Reaction style tables for, “What are these NPCs up to?”, and a list of Quick NPCs in the back, for when you accidentally make a background character a bit too intriguing and need a name and personality now.

Update: In my original review, I mentioned it’d be helpful to have a final page with all the major NPCs in one place. The author was kind enough to update the PDF with a two-page reference for key NPCs at the end!

I’m being purposely vague about the plot and focusing mostly on the design, but this adventure looks like a lot of fun to run. I definitely recommend checking it out and can’t wait to run it myself.

Glad to hear about the upcoming updates! I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The balance thing wasn’t meant to be a critique, more of a disclaimer about my own inability to eyeball game mechanics. :D

The printed card idea sounds great. I forgot to mention in my review, but I really liked the line art on the Weapon and Attachments cards. Keep up the good work!

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Project KINMAKER feels solid and professional. The graphic design is downright intimidating, especially the “mandala” image spread across pages 5-8, which fully reveals itself only if you’re reading the PDF in two page Book View. If it’s weird I’m opening with the layout rather than the design, it’s because it’s that damn good.

KINMAKER adds rules for paranormal weapons and powers: Pyrokinesis, mental Domination, and everyone’s favorite Stargate Project, Remote Viewing.

There are Consequences for pushing yourself too far, a favorite game design element reminiscent of Dungeon Crawl Classics. (And of course, nearly all fiction dealing with psychics.) The consequences go far beyond a nosebleed, ranging from adopting a false personality to randomly disappearing from reality. New Traits are always a favorite of mine, there are ten new ones to play with. They’re all tied to the Powers. A Traveller takes the Universe Hopping power, etc.

To balance out all this power, the book offers new enemies with powers of their own, ranging from humanoid to Oh My God It’s Coming Right Towards Us. There are only three, which leaves me wanting more. It should be easy enough to add Powers to existing enemies. But still. More! More!!

I am bewildered by the sheer amount of stuff. There are printable reference cards for powers, weapons, and attachments, all illustrated with line art. There are blank cards of each time, allowing you to homebrew your own additions. The product page promises more to come: more powers, more traits, more cards, and – I quote – “More of everything!” Considering the present abundance of content, I believe it.

My one complaint (other than more monsters! More! MOAR!) is that key information is highlighted in red, which looks very nice in the PDF, but my gut reaction would be to bold those lines as well, as the red highlights are bound to look gray when printed. And considering all the cards and things, I’m totally printing this.

Look, here’s all I need to know: With Project KINMAKER, I can finally live out my dream of personally reliving the glorious headsplosions of David Cronenberg’s Scanners.

Is any of this balanced? I have no idea. Is balance as important as being able to explode someone’s head? I would say no. And based on the obvious care, talent and love poured into this project, I’m willing to bet the answer to the balance question is a resounding, “Yup!”

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So, by total coincidence I’m on a Humphrey Bogart kick right now.

Here’s Looking at Genetech Soldiers, Kid is a narrative wireframe scenario that will require lot of improvisation from both the GM and players to keep it running. Everything is sketched in vague and evocative detail. Reading the scenario it feels a bit like reading code, or perhaps an abstract work of art.

HLaGSK relies heavily on random tables, some of which are unlike anything I’ve seen before. Check out how to determine random NPC names:


When you need a name, roll 1D6:
1–3 = nominally determinist
4–5 = ironic
6 = a play on words

A table of random names that aren’t names, just suggestions on how to come up with your own names? It’s madness! Madness, I tell you!

And yet, now I really want to see how that’d work in action. :D

As much as I love me some Markdown, I do wish the author had run the file through Pandoc, or one of the online MD -> PDF converters, just for a nicely styled PDF to print out. There’s an online link to a blog post, which is nicely formatted. But trying to print the page or save it as a PDF isn’t quite as pretty.

Personally, I love markdown, minimalism, and improv heavy games. But I can see how some might balk reading through this. It’s by no means your standard adventure, but to me it feels like a fun challenge. Maybe a weekend project. HLaGSK is the LEGO starter set of FIST scenarios. Dump out all the pieces, check the box for a little inspiration, round up the usual suspects, and play it again, Sam. Because this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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Hey! Thank you for sharing the imagined monologue. That’s just the sort of cheesy, fun, trope-filled roleplaying I hoped people would get to experience with this adventure. :D

The point you raised is a good one, and it’s something I’ll try to tackle in the future. Perhaps each kid adventure should have at least one solid lead? Or maybe there’s a subtle clue all but guaranteed, with more solid or useful clues requiring lateral thinking and investigation. It’s definitely worth thinking about, and something I’ll try to work out when writing the example scenarios for the back of the PDF.

BTW, the ad jingle thing is genius. Do you imagine the suppressive nature as a sort of intentional supernatural/superscience situation, or would it be an incidental side effect, like the yodeling from Mars Attacks! (1996)?

Warning Order #1 is a treasure trove of d66 tables. Roll 2d6, assign one the ones place and one the tens place, and experience random nirvana. The author was thoughtful to explain the d66 process, complete with a color picture of dice, which I really appreciate. I love d66 tables, but we all started the same way: asking, “how the heck do I roll d66?” :D

“How to use the tables” is sort of a one-page recipe book, illustrating how to string together random results to create missions, NPCs, and so on. For instance, a Mission is:

A (Cabal) is going to use a (MacGuffin) to (Mission) but (Twist). Your team must stop them!

This is all good stuff, and the tables are populated with both personality and good ideas. I especially liked this entry under Crooks and Cabals: “THE BIG BAD (GM’s favorite villains)”. It’s a little detail, but could help remind the reader that random tables are theirs to customize and make their own, not strict instructions to follow.

As someone who recently had to write a bunch of tables for a present day setting, I really appreciate all the work that went into the random names at the back. d66 names for Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. (The note that “nobody uses their real names anyway” is both a fun line and a solid point.)

One complaint: NPC Details! I want more! More!! There’s a 1-in-6 chance my NPCs will wear Hawaiian shirts, be obnoxious and loud. And as happy as I am to roleplay that character, I fear my players will start opening fire on anyone vaguely resembling Magnum P.I.

The list of Intelligence Agencies (some defunct) is fascinating and makes me want to hop over to Wikipedia to flesh them out.

The Code Names are, of course, solid !@#$ing gold. Forget “Game Master” or “Dungeon Master”. From now on my players will address me as Fancy Unicorn.

Let me just close by saying: I love Warning Order #1. Now where’s Warning Order #2?

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I’m a sucker for weaponizing anything that isn’t already a weapon. Afterlife weaponizes ghosts!

The adventure opens with content warnings and safety tools, always appreciated. (Bonus points for explaining the Lines and Veils process.)

Before we get to the adventure, a couple nice surprises: There are three new supernatural Traits: Phase, Invisible, and Possessed, which allows you to temporarily surrender control in a sort of Devil’s Bargain. (Roll a d6 to determine who you attack!) The new Roles are even better, but I’m admittedly a sucker for them and always want more. Spirit Hunter, Haunted, and Returned all make for fine character concepts. It’s almost a built in group concept right there.

Afterlife takes place on a CYCLOPS sea platform off the coast of Norway. FIST ops are sent in to investigate, and quickly run across resistance. The scenario itself feels almost like a dungeon crawl sans map, complete with random encounter tables.

If I had one request it’d be for a bit more roleplaying opportunities. This is obviously an action horror scenario, but a quick mention of interrogating scientists makes me wish for one or two colorful mad science types, perhaps named characters with conflicting agendas. I did notice one typo – “determine the sites purpose” – but otherwise the text seems solid.

The adventure has a nice, clean design, very easy to read, with a large font and single offset column of text. It almost reminds me of an old videogame manual, so instant nostalgia points right there.

Afterlife reads like a cross between the opening of The Expendables (2010) and Ghost Ship (2002). If you’re looking for a lot of action and a creepy, sterile atmosphere crackling with the supernatural, you came to the right place.

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There are a few tried-and-true ways to unite a group of players. You can have them create shared backstories for their characters; have an arrogant villain kill off a beloved NPC; announce you’re suddenly “rolling your dice behind a screen, no reason, stop asking”, or you can give the PCs a base of operations, some humble hex to call their own.

HANDCASTLES* provides a new game mode, suited for longer campaigns or mini-campaigns. First, the group selects a base of operations. But rather than the standard secret agent safehouse, they can pick anything from a Pocket Reality to a Digital Anomaly to an Animal – Dragon, Baba Yaga’s cottage, anything large enough to provide shelter.

Next comes “CHOOSING MISSIONS”, with the GM generating three missions and allowing FIST ops to select their own. Each mission has a Timer, or how long it will remain available, a Yield, ranging from labor to materials to tech, and an Externality, the cost of putting off completing a mission until it’s too late. This is great stuff, offering players hard choices, and reminds me a little of X-Com. Finally there’s a section called “IN BETWEEN MISSIONS,” on how to spend Yield on various upgrades (ranging from a damage increase to a passive source of income generation).

The layout is clean, with good use of artwork that fits right in with FIST’s schematic aesthetic. At only seven pages, it almost leaves you wanting more – but subsystems are best handled with brevity, especially in a game as rules lite as FIST.

I can’t think of any reason not to use this, other than you’re running a single one-shot. My only concern was perhaps some of the Infrastructure might be too powerful, but then I realized HANDCASTLES self-regulates with Externality. (Failure to solve a mission could result in a raid that destroys some of your Infrastructure, and you can’t solve every mission.) This push-and-pull, with no upgrade guaranteed to last forever, was the final element that convinced me to run HANDCASTLES as soon as humanly possible.

*Obligatory +1 Star for having a Dad Joke in the title.

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Hmm. Now that you mention it, the text runs a bit long across the page. I didn’t notice it before, because I had the PDF zoomed in on my laptop.

I believe for print, the general rule is you want about 80 characters maximum per line of text. I took a few random samples, and Claudia sometimes runs about 95-100 characters. It’s not an issue for the indented sections, like “INCIDENTS OF INTEREST”. Also not as much a problem when reading onscreen. Like I said, I didn’t even notice!

But if maximizing readability is a concern (especially when printed out), my advice would be either switch to a two column format – except for special pages like the Memorandum – or switch to a 6x9 US Trade Paperback/A5 format. 6x9/A5 are perfect for single column layouts, and perfect for both print and PDF, as you can switch to Two Page View in the PDF reader and still easily read both pages of text onscreen.

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Note: This has not been updated with new content, but if there’s interest, I’ll certainly go back and update it!

Consider me interested!

Character generators take the stress off of building pre-gens. As soon as I get my hands on one, I’ll make two dozen characters, “just in case.”

The FIST Character Generator shows off how awesome FIST’s Trait combinations can be. Sure, your players could pick two Traits that make sense, feel realistic, or maintain some sort of narrative cohesion…

Or! Hear me out: You could play… PERILOUS COCKATOO, a TELEKINETIC expert of INTERROGATION who is DRIVEN BY SHAME. Like, I know 100% for sure that’s just a random character, but I’m 99% certain he tortured me in Metal Gear Solid.

My one complaint (other than begging for new content) is that the “Print File” and “Pull New File” buttons appear when you print the PDF. I’m not sure if Perchance offers some way to hide those, like a print-only CSS style or something, but it’d help maintain the illusion that the character sheet is a piece of typed paperwork.

Other than that? I got nothing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to whip up SOLEMN DINGO.

Thank you!

Hey! I appreciate the kind words and wonderful feedback. I just uploaded version 1.1.0, which should address the totally valid concern you raised. It’s something I should have done to begin with!

Oh, and it also adds the new optional Big Kids rule. :D

I love it! Especially how drastically that would change the scenario, from “Mercenaries struggling not to lose their cool and reveal themselves” to “Mercenaries who are genuinely stripped of their power and trying to cope with normal life.

Would you mind if I included your idea as an optional rule?

Heck, maybe I could even add Traits that temporarily override and take effect during the transformation. Traits based on 80s kid movie archetypes… :D

Thank you so much for the detailed review! Not to mention the kind words. “Neat and tense and weird” are all things I strive for. :D

The good news is, I’m just about to release an update that will address your (totally fair) complaint, as well as provide more guidance on how to actually run this thing in the form of progress clocks.

It’s one of a couple planned updates, along with (hopefully) a full example scenario I’ve got planned, with half-page example Kid Adventures and maybe a map or detail on the town of Westoria.

Thank you for your review! Wow, that’s high praise indeed! I do plan to expand NEST with at least one example scenario in the back, containing at least three “kid adventures” and perhaps a short writeup on the town of Westoria. :)

FIST is one of those rare RPGs that manages to cram in everything you could want, and in under 50 pages. The 100 Traits alone make for seemingly endless character possibilities. But the *one *thing I was worried FIST could use more of was Roles, which are sort of a personal drive tied to an advancement system. Each Role is unique, meaning you can’t have more than one per team. There were thousands of Trait combinations, but only nine Roles.

derivative 14 more than doubles the number of Roles by half. The new Roles immediately give me character ideas, from the Luddite to the Impostor. All good stuff.

And remember when I said FIST had plenty of Traits? Well, now it has even more. And with Traits like this, I’m not complaining.

DRAGON: you’re a goddamn dragon.

You’re goddamn right I am. And if playing a Dragon gets you pumped, there’s also rules for animal PCs, which I know my players will enjoy.

If there’s one complaint, it’s that the black text inverts to white over background images, which can be a little hard on the eyes. (The top of “resupply to call is white on light grey). Personally I’d prefer keeping the text black and fading the background images with white smoke or something. Especially since I’m going to print this out and keep it tucked by my copy of FIST.

The highest praise I can give a product is: “Cool! I don’t have to homebrew that anymore!” and “Woah. I never thought of homebrewing that.”

I’m happy to say, both apply to derivative 14.

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The Claudia Contingency is clever re-imagining of a classic tale with a heavy dash of horror. (Bust out those Safety Tools, folks!)

The mini-campaign was clearly designed with ease of use in mind. You have a one-page scenario background, a mission structure flowchart, and a “research phase” which reminds me of Sly Flourish’s Secrets & Clues – the information isn’t tied to a particular location or NPC, it’s just there for the GM to weave into the game as they see fit. There are 2d6 Reaction style tables for, “What are these NPCs up to?”, and a list of Quick NPCs in the back, for when you accidentally make a background character a bit too intriguing and need a name and personality now.

Of course no matter how much you do, there’s always some jerk asking for more. And I’m that jerk. I do think it’d be helpful to have a final page with all the major NPCs in one place. There’s an Inhabitants of the Island page, which covers factions, but a single page to reference the named NPCs would be helpful.

I’m being purposely vague about the plot and focusing mostly on the design, but this adventure looks like a lot of fun to run. I definitely recommend checking it out and can’t wait to run it myself.

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Agents of B.O.O. puts the paranormal in “Paranormal Mercenaries,” with new traits like Bigfoot, Werewolf, and Ghost Hunter. You also get a random mission generator, three new Roles, and a page on the history of the organization.

This is exactly the sort of thing I’d try to hack into my own home games, so I can’t thank the author enough for doing the work for me. :D

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You had me at MKUltra. The Project BRKN-Shackle campaign setting recontextualizes FIST as a 60s spy thriller rather than the default 80s Cold War mercenaries.

There are new rules for unlocking powers with – ahem – certain substances, a mission generator, new traits, the works.

Plus, I’m pretty sure it opens with a Grade-A Dad Joke:

It’s the middle of the twentieth century and Cold War tensions are at an all time high.

*slow clap*

Congrats to one and all. Good luck, everyone!