Planet Apocalypse 2 Design Corner: New Hero – Eva Noel

Planet Apocalypse 2 Design Corner: New Hero – Eva Noel

Eva has a lot of neat little abilities. She starts without any Luck, but the game starts out with 4 bonus Courage in the Pool, which is incredibly useful and jumpstarts the early game. Her flaw, Self-Pity means she can’t buy a Gift unless someone else does, too, which means she can only buy Gifts when there is a lot of Courage available. In effect, this means that the team usually has to wait an extra turn before buying any Gifts, meaning their gift purchases come in slightly suboptimally. 

She’s worth it, though, because not only did you get the extra Courage at game start, her two follow-up abilities are useful. One lets her boost the effects of ambushes in her area by letting that ambush fire as though it had one more trooper – this makes an ambush with just 2 troopers more useful, and one with 1 trooper even less so. She also has the Christmas Miracle ability, which is the opposite of Bernice Kuchler’s Death With Honor. Eva gets to avoid death, once, springing back to life with full health. If you time this death for the right moment, it can really turn the tide. Unfortunately, she can’t use it in Hell Time, which renders it even more strategic – do you let Eva die just before you go into the final battle? Or not? 

Fun Fact: my stand-in image for my Eva Noel hero sheet was Barbara Steele, because I love her.  

Each week leading up to our Kickstarter campaign this Fall, we will release a Design Corner from Sandy focusing on the new Planet Apocalypse 2 characters as well as sneak peek with art from these new projects.



DESIGN CORNER: The Faery Folk, New 4th Circle Demons — Fachan, Scurrilet, Cobold

First is the Fachan, a Petersen family favorite — the Fachan is a horrendous entity with one eye, one arm, and one leg. Famous for its mighty strength, naturally our version rolls 4d12 for its attack. Its special power is quite alarming — because the Fachan is all about unity and singularity, while he’s in play, heroes can only roll one of the dice in their attack box. They can still get bonus dice from various sources, but their core dice are limited to one. This is of course an excellent reason to try to kill the Fachan ASAP — he makes it almost impossible to kill Cacodemons and many Lords.

Fun Fact: Petersen Games is releasing a game next year about a non-demonic Fachan. It’s called Marry the Monster, and is a strategy game in which you try to build up your towns and cities while tricking the poor Fachan into pillaging your opponent’s towns. Watch for it in January 2021.

The second “Faery” foe is the Scurrilet. This obnoxious hobgoblin hides enemies from you by transforming all minions (except 4th circle demons) back into invasion tokens when they are in areas lacking heroes or troopers. Not only does this conceal their make-up, it effectively resurrects killed demons inside the token. If you have a good ambush set-up, the Scurrilet is comparatively impotent, but without it, he can be a game-killer.

The final 4th circle for today is the Cobold. Before the Dungeons & Dragons game re-interpreted the German Kobold as a tiny goblinoid, this creature was a feared horror. The metal “Cobalt” is named after it – the idea being that the poisonous aftereffects found in some mines were a curse from underground demons. To further distinguish it from the roleplaying enemy, I’ve used an alternate spelling of the name, and in honor of its toxic heritage, its ability is to prevent First Aid. Not just in its area — NO hero can perform First Aid while the Cobold is in play. Sometimes this isn’t so bad, but usually it means the Cobold is a major target for destruction.

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Get our FREE Cthulhu Mythos Adventure

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Cthulhu Saga subscribers also receive automatic 10% discounts for our line of Cthulhu miniatures, the Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e sourcebook, and other role playing products on our website.

Cthulhu Mythos Saga II: Yig Snake Granddaddy

Cthulhu Mythos Saga II: Yig Snake Granddaddy

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If you love playing D&D 5e, this might be your next favorite fantasy horror campaign … and we want to get it into your hands!

Petersen Games is happy to announce the release of Yig Snake Granddaddy, the next campaign in our ongoing Cthulhu Mythos Sagas series with a nifty subscription service.

Dive into the campaign world with a FREE one-shot adventure* (as PDF) that takes you to Farzeen! Watch this space: we will release this sample adventure soon for some free fun for everybody!

What are the Cthulhu Mythos Sagas?

The legend began two years ago, when we released Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder, then for 5th Edition, both of which became instant classics. Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e ended up winning the Ennie for Best Bestiary in 2019.

As the original author of Call of Cthulhu, Sandy is now really excited about bringing the Cthulhu Mythos to new shores, and increasing your dread with his Cthulhu Mythos Sagas.

Last year we released Ghoul Island, our first Cthulhu Mythos campaign for 5th Edition DnD, with all four acts plotted by Sandy himself.

Our fans made Ghoul Island an instant hit so that we are now releasing Sandy’s Yig Snake Granddaddy as a subscription series. Beginning May 4 you can get fresh horror delivered to your doorstep EVERY MONTH for only USD $19.99/month.

*Might include samples of Dread.

The Weird Tale of Trying to Hire an RPG Freelancer

I had been meaning to write a long post-mortem on the Planet Apocalypse project, but haven’t had a chance to devote headspace to it, while being as continuously busy as I am. One of the things we’ve been busy with is expanding our stable of freelance developers for a vast increase in RPG publications we have in our pipeline.

Just today and in the past few days I had a rather weird experience, and perhaps as a way to therapize it for myself, I’m writing out what happened by sharing the back and forth communication – leaving out names and a few specifics of course.

We were connected with this person by another developer we are working with for a future project as someone who may be interested in helping out on the same project. He was someone a few of us were familiar with – I had at least one RPG book with his name in the credits, for example, and read his RPG blog, as did some others on our team. So we were keen on working with him. Unfortunately, it’s very much not going to happen now. Here’s the emails:

[Developer]: [After plenty of positive emails culminating in an agreement to hire him to work on this project, absent the detail of his pay rate.] “That’s great Arthur, were we going to discuss money at any point?”


Arthur: “Wait, aren’t you doing all this for free?  ha.  I apologize – I had thought this was arranged already with Christine [our business manager], and I apologize.  Since the full scope of the work is very TBD, I’d prefer a rate per final word, over a flat fee.  We can offer [$X] per word of the final manuscript as approved and submitted for editing.  How does that sound?”


[Developer]: “Hmm, I need to think about this Arthur, I assume its ok if i take a night to sleep on it?”


Arthur: “absolutely.”


[Developer]: “Hello Arthur, I’m sorry to tell you this but for a variety of reasons I don’t think I will be able to go ahead with Petersen Games. I have my Kickstarter which needs a lot of Admin for fulfilment, contracts with other companies and my self-owned projects, and a per-word rate really doesn’t work well with how I do things; I usually put a lot of thought into stuff and try hard to get the word-count _down_.

I think the process of escalation on the project has gotten away from me a little. At first I was really interested in working with [Other Developer], then that lead to [Project], then that lead to Petersen Games and the nature of things has changed quite a bit over that process.
I do wish you all at Petersen Games the best with the project and I hope it works out. My apologies for the wasted time, I think we can put this one down to experience.
Please feel free to use any of the ideas in the pitch documents.”
Arthur: “I’m sorry to hear that. If a per word rate does not work for you, can you tell me a counter proposal for what you have in mind?  We would still love for you to Contribute to this project.”
[Developer]: “I have no counter proposal.  I very much dislike negotiation and my previous email was not the start of one. I consider the matter closed as of now.”
Arthur: “I feel as if we’ve done something to offend you? I am having a difficult time understanding the extreme change of tone and the situation.  I’m not sure what you mean that the “nature of things has changed” and that the process has “escalated” – please enlighten me!”
[Developer]: “Arthur, When I tell you I’m not doing something in very final words. And then you email me back asking to negotiate. And then I directly and explicitly tell you that I very much dislike negotiation. An that I consider the matter closed. That is me telling you in the most explicit and bordering-on-rude terms that I consider the matter close and do not want to talk to you about it. I am telling you, simply, directly and in the most absolute terms – your repeated attempts to contact me and to extend a conversation which I only desire to leave are unpleasant and upsetting for me. This conversation is over. Do not contact me again.”

Yikes!  So, when I forwarded this to Christine, she opined he seems a little unstable, and better to discover this now, then in the midst of working on the project.

Consider how discombobulating this was for me. He begins with a clear invitation for a discussion (“were we going to discuss money”), but then refuses to negotiate, also without having told me any baseline or standard rates he might have. What?

The first thing I can think of is that the proposed price I offered was below what he thought he deserved. But how could I have known that in advance? I’m not a mind reader, and he never proposed any price whatsoever. A reasonable person, having not communicated an expected price, would have to be prepared for some level of negotiation – there’s no other way around it. We’ve hired several dozen – possibly close to a hundred – different freelancers over the years at Petersen Games. Artists, sculptors, graphic designers, editors, proofreaders, game designers, writers, programmers, website developers, and more. And not once has the conversation been even remotely like this one. Some freelancers have standard rates. And we also offer standard rates. But there is often deviation (on both sides) from those, because that’s the nature of hiring freelancers.

It’s also possible he already thought he couldn’t take the project on with everything else going on in his work or life, and used this as an opportunity to say so. But he chose a rather odd way of communicating this – by claiming he refuses to negotiate and telling me to never contact him? Bizarre.

And just his word choices were stunning – like actually stunning to me, in that I didn’t know how to react at first, and kind of sat there in a brief stupor. I thought I was having a rather normal back and forth between a publisher and potential freelancer, and then suddenly “I consider the matter closed as of now” and “That is me telling you in the most explicit and bordering-on-rude terms that I consider the matter close and do not want to talk to you about it.” What?? It wasn’t “out of the blue.” I’d describe it as “out of the red.”

So now it becomes a tale for me, and now for you.

– Arthur