Review: Enemy in the Shadows

Enemy in the Shadows‘ is the first part of the director’s cut version of the legendary Enemy Within campaign for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It combines the first two books in the series – Mistaken Identity, and Shadows over Bogenhafen, and is published by Cubicle 7. Part two in the series – Death on the Reik, is due out soon.

My regular gaming group has just wrapped up Enemy in the Shadows and now it’s done, my GM has given me permission to read the book, which means I can write a spoiler free review.

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Where can I get Amazing Tales?

I’ve nearly finished transitioning all our various channels from the original edition to the revised edition. So here’s an update on where Amazing Tales is currently available. The revised edition includes 8 extra pages, with advice on creating stories without violence, a sample adventure and tips for creating memorable NPCs.

A PDF copy of Amazing Tales

If you want a PDF copy. DriveThruRPG is the only supplier. $4.95. All PDF versions are now the revised edition. If you’ve already bought one, your PDF has been updated to the revised edition, just download it again from DriveThru to get the new material.

Order a PDF of Amazing Tales from DriveThruRPG

A hardback copy of Amazing Tales

Your local game shop can order copies of the new edition from our distributors at Studio 2 (USA) and Asmodee (UK).

Details for retailers who want to order copies are here.

Amazon carry Amazing Tales via their US store front.

If you’re looking for customer reviews and ratings at Amazon see what people said about the first edition.

Print on Demand via DriveThruRPG The print on demand version is being updated to the revised edition. For reasons the print versions are on a new product page. In a week or so once all the updates have cleared DriveThru’s system everything should be back on the original product page.

Order Print on Demand copies here.

New pricing

The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed that the price of the print on demand standard and premium editions has increased, to $24.95 and $29.95 respectively.

The revised print edition is also priced at $24.95. Why is this? Well there are a few reasons.

  1. The original price was too low. I wasn’t selling the hardback copies at a loss, but it was close.
  2. Amazing Tales is printed in China, when we ordered it wasn’t clear if it would be hit with additional tarriffs. So the pricing has to account for that.
  3. I try and keep the print on demand (POD) and retail prices similar to support retail outlets. They’re the bedrock of the hobby and I don’t want to undercut them by selling the POD copies for less than the retail copies.

Hardship pricing

It’s a tough world out there sometimes, and I’d hate to think of parents who want to play Amazing Tales with their kids, but can’t because there’s a choice between buying a game and paying the rent. If that’s you, drop me a line, and we’ll make it work.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Character Sheet Collection

So while I spent most of the last month sweating on the Amazing Tales kickstarter (Funded, thank you all!) , I needed some distraction activities. And that ended up being completing my project to create user friendly character sheets for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, with variants for users of arcane and divine magic.

The basic form fillable character sheet

So, without further ado…

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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Spellcaster Sheet

Here’s a sheet that should be of use to anyone playing a wizard, hedgewizard, witch or mystic. Use it to keep track of your spells, spellcasting skills and talents, and as a handy rules reference.

There’s room for more spells on the flip side, enough space for 20 in total. Which, let’s be honest, is more than you’re ever going to manage to amass before you run afoul of the Witch Hunters.

If you want a more printer friendly version the PDF is organised in layers, so just turn off the background image for a clean black and white print out. If you’re looking for the standard form fillable auto-calculating WFRP character sheet it’s here.

Watch this adorable two year old play an RPG

I love this video. This young man is nearly three, and he’s playing Amazing Tales with his parents. His character Sword the Knight has just captured a goblin who has stolen both pizza and icecream, and he’s taking him to jail. But things don’t work out the way Sword is expecting…

If this looks like something for your family, check out Amazing Tales a role-playing game for kids aged four and up (two and up?!) to play with their parents.

The therapeutic value of RPGs

Almost since the invention of the hobby in 1971 claims have been made for the benefits of role-playing games. Early advocates tended to focus on the benefits for literacy and mental arithmetic that came from playing games that relied on heavyweight rulebooks and complex rules. More recently interest has focused on the social and emotional benefits of games.

This article points to some key resources in the area.

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Five ways to make your child’s first role-playing game amazing

How old does a child have to be to play a role-playing game? I know of children who’ve started role-playing at the ripe old age of three and a half. My rule of thumb is that if a child can read numbers up to ten, and follow a bedtime story that lasts 20 minutes, then they’re ready.

Compound Image

But making that first game a success is still a challenge. Here are five ways to make sure that first game is memorable for both of you.

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Updated character sheet collection

I’ve added a new style of character sheet to the downloadable character sheets on DriveThruRPG.

The new look sheets feature dice icons kids can use to keep their dice on. No more forgetting which dice is which half way through a session.

New Look character sheet
Ruben’s dice neatly sorted.

You can download the new character sheets here. And you can check out the Kickstarter for the Big Book of Amazing Tales here.

Amazing Tales statement on Kickstarter United

Trade unions were founded to secure the rights and dignity of workers in the face of employers who viewed these things as optional.

When workers wish to form a union they should be supported in doing so.

It was deeply disappointing to learn that Kickstarter is opposed to the formation of a union by its workforce. Credible allegations that staff have been fired for union organising are concerning.

As with many small games companies I looked forward to running a series of successful kickstarters as a means of growing Amazing Tales. In my mental business plan ‘successful kickstarters’ has now been replaced with ‘successful crowdfunding campaigns’.

As it happens when the news broke I was far down the line of preparing Amazing Tales’ first Kickstarter, which will go ahead as planned. But I, like the other entrepreneurs I know, will be spending the coming months looking into alternative platforms, because in the long term I don’t want to be supporting a company that doesn’t respect its workers.

And having been both a manager within a multi-million euro organisation responsible for dealing with the workers’ council, and a member of a workers’ council dealing with management I can confidently say that Kickstarter have nothing to worry about. Union recognition would be a long term win for their company, even if it were to mean confronting some unpleasant truths about their current practices in the short term. Trade Unions help create fairer, more equitable workplaces, improve the quality of decision making at every level within a firm and improve the society they are part of. They should be welcomed, not feared.

Of course it would be remiss not to acknowledgethat Amazing Tales advertises on Facebook and sells books via Amazon, both deeply problematic companies. In a world dominated by defacto monopolies you can’t always get what you want. But you can push for change, and exercise choice where you can. Amazing Tales supports the workers of Kickstarter United in doing so.

You can follow Kickstarter United on Twitter, here.

Martin Lloyd, founder, Amazing Tales.