Free Role Playing Game Supplement Review: Storm & Shield 8: Doomsday Devices

Storm & Shield 8: Doomsday Devices is a free role playing game supplement published by Phil Nicholls. This is one in a series of competitions, the Warlock’s Journal, that are hosted by different blogs. This particular one is the July 2017 competition, which was the eighth to be hosted by Tales of a GM.

This is a twenty four page bookmarked PDF which is available for free from RPGNow. One page is the front cover, one page is the front matter, one page the Table of Contents and three pages are essentially ads.

The one page Preface gives a brief overview of the Warlock’s Journal and the various contests held at Tales of a GM. This is followed by a single page About the Editor.

Storm & Shield 8: Doomsday DevicesNext is the four page Introduction. The various contests hosted by Tales of a GM link together, being about a cross planar organisation called Storm & Shield. Each contest further develops this organisation and its enemies, and a summary of events until now is given, as well as a details on the prize and the results. This particular contest has an agent having to foil a doomsday device from their nemesis organisation. This contest covers that.

The main section is the Doomsday Devices themselves. Five entries were provided by four entrants, with a further four being written by the editor. Each device is given a name, a description, what happens if it activates and any weaknesses.

The winner, Worldwave, consists of seven globes buried on different planets in inhospitable regions. When activated, nearby dimensions crash into each other. This gives the impression of being a universe-devastating doomsday device.

Next are the runners-up. The Crystal Chalice creates gemstones that then subvert the person who wears them, following which they change the world around them and can eventually destroy it by tampering with dark matter.

Doomsday Children are genetically engineered children, bred to be weapons, who as adults would infiltrate a society to create a war of annihilation.

Notional Reality Engine broadcasts an ever-expanding globe of fear, focusing on whatever is prevalent. Eventually, society essentially gives up and shuts up shop, degenerating into rioting, looting, violence and worse, as the fear is believed to have actually happened – despite a lack of evidence.

Thou Shalt Covet is a gemstone that initially recruits one owner who defends it against everyone who is believed to want it – which is everyone. Violence is pre-emptive. More people are recruited and the violence increases, even as those who defend it try to kill each other. This continues and grows until only one person is left alive.

The Bonus Devices are the four created by the editor. A Last Kiss has an incendiary device that will destroy a temple and help the individual whose temple it is become a god by causing a wave of belief.

No Moon is a hollowed out moon that is planned to be shattered, raining pieces down on the planet.

Water of Love is a mind altering drug that makes those who consume it become more vulnerable to suggestion.

Zombie Classic is actually a flesh-eating virus that will be used as a bioweapon.

The next page gives the blog where the next contest will be held and the single page Afterword thanks everyone involved.

The PDF is well bookmarked with each major section and each minor one linked, making navigation well above average. The text maintains a single column format and no errors were noticed. There are a few illustrations and, overall, the layout is clean and nice. Presentation is very good for a free supplement.

This is a generic supplement so no actual game stats for any devices are given. As such, they can be used with any setting. Some of the devices are purely magical, others technological, which may constrain their use. However, most could be tweaked so that they could be the other.

The devices vary in potency, meaning that they could be used as adventures for different levels, from simple, fairly short adventures to epic campaigns. Of course, quite a lot of work would need to go into covering the latter.

Storm & Shield 8: Doomsday Devices is a nicely put together collection of interesting ideas and it can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

 

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