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Esoteric Enterprises - Complete
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Esoteric Enterprises - Complete

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$12.00

Picture the adventuring party of most old-school games. A band of thugs, occultists, criminals, weirdos and outcasts who, rather than settle into normal society, risk everything exploring the dark, dangerous places of the world. Perhaps they will become rich and powerful, perhaps they die unceremoniously.

Keep this same adventuring party, and picture their equivallent in the modern day. A world with police, the internet, chain stores... The same band of thugs, occultists, criminals, weirdos and outcasts drift into the underworlds of organised crime and the esoteric.

This, then, is the premise of Esoteric Enterprises: the occult exists in a dangerous black market, where organised criminals traffic in magical grimoires and relics alongside narcotics and weapons. Hidden from the public eye, various gangs, cults and covens struggle for influence and resources in the dark tunnels beneath every city. And beneath that, stranger things lurk; inhuman creatures turn their cold gaze on the mortals who intrude on their subterranean realm.


Welcome to the Occult Underworld

This book details all the rules you'll need to play games as an occult or criminal gang in the undercity. They're based on the standard framework seen in most old-school games, adapted to work in a modern-day urban fantasy setting. 

Character creation is quick and streamlined. Characters are members of the occult or criminal underworlds, and might be magicians, mad scientists, cultists, urban explorers, career criminals or even inhuman monsters. Spells, equipment and character perks are all tailored to suit an urban fantasy setting.

Combat is fast and brutal, with dirty fighting emphasised and the potential to suffer horrible injuries. Away from combat, there are subsystems for interacting with various underground contacts, medical and magical experiments, exploring the undercity, and common criminal activity. Since the game uses treasure-for-XP, wealth and status are abstracted into being a function of character level.

Magic is rendered a risky enterprise. Magicians either cast previously memorized spells (in the case of occultists) or pray to a patron to grant them power (in the case of mystics). While a careful occultist can avoid disaster by limiting their activity, a mystic's magic is always at the whims of their patron, and every spell cast might result in complications. And, of course, the temptation to experiment with magic is always there, with consequences that can range from the surreal to the apocalyptic. 

The Spook class, meanwhile, covers all non-human PCs. Each such spook is a unique creature, combining their basic nature (such as undead, ghostly, or artificial beings) with a selection of minor powers (such as blood-drinking, hypnosis or resistance to pain) to reflect the creature's capabilities.


The greater part of the book, however, is made up of tools and resources for the GM. This begins with a short section of GMing advice, describing the game's intended playstyle and giving tips for managing scenes, handling darker content and using randomness to create emergant narratives.

After this, the meat of the GM's section deals with actually creating and running a setting for the game. There are systems to create a network of different underworld factions, tracking their relationships with one another and events in the underworld. Likewise, there are methods to track the attention PCs are drawing from the police, as well as their alliances, rivalries, and grudges with other players in the underworld. 

Likewise, a system is given for creating the undercity that PCs explore - essentially a small megadungeon beneath their home town - along with the various hazards, treasures and terrain features to be found underground. 

Lastly, an extensive bestiary is given, ranging from law enforcement, to career criminals, to various occult weirdos, to the incredibly strange creatures found deep underground; over 200 different NPCs and monsters, many of them modular and customizable.  

 The whole thing is designed so that a GM familiar with the material can randomly generate an entire setting from scratch in a few hours, and with proactive players the game can be run with very little prep between sessions. The whole thing can be played straight out of the book.


Plus, the whole thing is lavishly illustrated with full colour photographs. Seriously, the book's very pretty as well as being packed with content.

 
 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (2)
Discussions (14)
Customer avatar
NEIL S February 19, 2020 3:51 am UTC
Any more thoughts for POD
Customer avatar
Nicolas B January 22, 2020 10:11 am UTC
Adding my vote for POD or a second print run.
Customer avatar
Thomas S January 05, 2020 1:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Once again an awesome rpg game and a collection of tools to run it. Bravo!!!! Please please...hoping for another print run or POD. I must have missed the first one.
Customer avatar
Nicole A January 03, 2020 7:50 am UTC
girl congrats on the major success of this! I will beg and plead for a POD or second printing like everyone else ITT tho
Customer avatar
Matthias M January 01, 2020 10:51 pm UTC
I would like a physical copy if that becomes a possibility , so I guess that is a vote
Customer avatar
Samuel D December 31, 2019 4:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is the PDF bookmarked?
Customer avatar
Christopher W December 27, 2019 2:16 am UTC
Adding my vote for a second physical run with U.S. distribution. I would happily wait for a nicely bound volume to come from a reputable printer.
Customer avatar
Michael H December 27, 2019 2:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
Adding my vote for POD or a second print run.
Customer avatar
John R December 25, 2019 4:33 pm UTC
This looks amazing. I'd buy POD.
Customer avatar
Joseph S December 25, 2019 3:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Could this be used with Gardens of Ynn (in a modern setting)? Looks super cool!
Customer avatar
Emmy A December 25, 2019 8:04 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
You'd need to adapt things a little: monster stats would need to be split into flesh & grit, and some of the saves are renamed. But the conversion is pretty simple, and EE has notes in the back on how to convert to other systems.
Customer avatar
Joseph S December 25, 2019 9:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome, thanks!
Customer avatar
Gary F December 20, 2019 10:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a way to tone down the magic in the game. The spell list includes lots of normal, D&D style flashy magic like "Fireball". There's still the random consequence, but ...
Customer avatar
Emmy A December 21, 2019 4:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
It shouldn't be too hard to just snip out the spells you don't like (IE: "fireball doesn't exist, if you roll it, re-roll"), but the bulk of the magic is not very discrete. It might be better to cut the spellcasting classes entirely and have the only supernatural stuff come from doctors, spooks (since spook powers are mostly more low-key than spells) and stuff the players find.
But, really, it depends on exactly you mean by 'tone down'. It shouldn't be too hard to tweak things to fit your particular tastes if you've got a clear goal in mind.
Customer avatar
Gary F December 21, 2019 10:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That makes sense. That's essentially what 1e LoTFP did, by just removing any flashy spells. There are still powerful spells, but nothing flashy that is obvious high fantasy magic. A lot of the more recent LotFP stuff has added unreliable (random roll for effect if spell goes wrong) and random spell effects (which i'm less thrilled with). I might add some of the random magic effect thing. I also think you could do something like this because you're a professional game designer and I'm just a guy. You could make it a suppliment and I could buy it. The core game is great though.
Customer avatar
Stacie W December 19, 2019 8:43 am UTC
PoD might still be a good idea as an option.
Customer avatar
NEIL S December 18, 2019 4:15 am UTC
POD
Customer avatar
Emmy A December 18, 2019 8:28 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Go to my blog for more info, which talks about the print version of the game.
Customer avatar
Craig C December 18, 2019 2:13 pm UTC
Looks like it is sold out in two days?
Customer avatar
Emmy A December 18, 2019 2:58 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
bloody hell
Customer avatar
Mamading C December 18, 2019 3:52 pm UTC
You go, Cavegirl!
Customer avatar
NEIL S December 18, 2019 11:23 pm UTC
Whats the link for your blog?
Customer avatar
Emmy A December 19, 2019 11:21 am UTC
PUBLISHER
google 'cavegirl's game stuff blogspot' and it should come up.
Customer avatar
NEIL S December 24, 2019 5:10 am UTC
Completely sold out so POD or another print run
Customer avatar
Ray F December 26, 2019 7:31 pm UTC
I would buy PoD--or from a second printing. I prefer physical media for books this big. Please add my vote to the tally of folks asking for it.
Customer avatar
Kerry H December 17, 2019 6:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a character sheet available for this game? There doesn't appear to be one in the rulebook itself.
Customer avatar
Emmy A December 17, 2019 9:42 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I'm working on one, but not yet.
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Product Information
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Pages
247
File Size:
82.65 MB
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File Last Updated:
December 16, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on December 16, 2019.
Publisher
Dying Stylishly Games
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