Lyonesse Now Available!

We're delighted to announce that Lyonesse, the roleplaying game based on Jack Vance's award-winning trilogy (Suldrun's Garden, The Green Pearl, and Madouc) is available to buy from our DrivethruRPG store in Print+PDF versions.

We're offering the game in hardcover and softcover formats. The softcover is slightly cheaper than the hardcover (and yes the prices really are meant to be that close - one of the quirks of POD publishing), and both formats are Print On Demand, largely because in these uncertain times, we do not know how long it will take our regular printer to get back to normal operations, and our distributor, Alliance, is still closed for business.

The book costs $79.99 (hard cover), $74.99 (soft), or $25 (PDF only). You also received a free download of the main interior maps at full size, regardless of the format you buy.

For UK, Europe and Australian customers, Aeon Games will also be producing Lyonesse, and you should keep an eye on their webstore for release details.

Casting the Runes Press Release 260719.pdf Casting the Runes Press Release 260719.pdf
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Casting the Runes: Occult Investigation in the World of M.R. James

The Design Mechanism & Quills Media Team Up. Casting the Runes brings classic supernatural stories to roleplaying games: RPG recreates the ghostly Edwardian world of M.R. James

Toronto and London, July 26th, 2019. 

The Design Mechanism Inc, publishers of acclaimed roleplaying game Mythras, and Quills Media Ltd. are delighted to announce that The Design Mechanism will be acting as publisher for Casting the Runes: Occult Investigation in the World of M.R. James, a roleplaying game written and developed by Quills Media, based on the classic tales of the supernatural by British scholar and author, M.R James.

Using the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system developed by Robin D. Laws and Kenneth Hite, and published by Pelgrane Press, players in Casting the Runes take on the roles of investigators at the turn of the 20th century, researching antiquarian mysteries and occult practices, and unearthing (as M.R James himself describes it): “malevolence and terror, the glare of evil faces, ‘the stony grin of unearthly malice,’ pursuing forms in darkness, and ‘long-drawn, distant screams’.”

Paul StJohn Mackintosh, the game’s author, said: “M.R. James wrote some of the most powerful, enduring, horror stories in the English language. These tales have been crying out for a game to embody them and recreate the kind of horror that M.R. James excelled at; the chill, atmospheric, measured, often quiet escalation towards something genuinely horrifying.”

“As huge fans of M.R. James’s work, the opportunity to publish a game based on these outstanding tales was one we couldn’t resist,” said Lawrence Whitaker, Director of The Design Mechanism. “Paul and the Quills Media team have done a wonderful job of representing James’s stories, both in terms of interpretation and presentation. We are thrilled to be able to help bring Casting the Runes to publication.”

Kickstarter campaign to launch Casting the Runes will be forthcoming, and will focus on funding artwork and print options for the rulebook. “All the work, including the layout, is complete,” Whitaker said. “But we want to run a crowdfunding campaign to source the kind of art that truly conveys the unique atmosphere of M.R. James's stories, and produce a print version that will look quite at home on the bookshelves of antiquarians, James aficionados, and discerning gamers alike.”

Updates on the progress of Casting the Runes: Occult Investigation in the World of M.R. James will be made via The Design Mechanism’s website, forums, newsletter, and facebook page.
A brand new release for Mythic Britain!
Enter the fenlands of eastern Britain. An extensive marshland where cultures collide and old enmities are driving sinister plans. The Great Mire holds many secrets: why, for instance, are the Seven Great Goddesses quiet? Where have the curlews gone, once ubiquitous to these wetlands? And how are Saxon spirits seizing control of lands sacred to the Old Gods of the Britons?

This mini-campaign for Mythic Britain contains a central adventure, several scenario extensions, compelling NPCs, intriguing encounter tables, and new spirits and creatures of the Great Mire.

$10.99 (print), $5.99 (PDF), 33 pages

Superhero Reolplaying for Mythras!

Welcome to Gemini City... Down in Brigadier Bay, someone has a grudge. Gang members are taking a beating; corrupt cops are taking more than a pay-off. But Gemini City has always had vigilantes - this is someone with a score to settle, and there will be no rest until everyone has been made to pay. It is down to the heroes to get to the bottom of things, and ensure that innocent people are not caught in the fall out...

This is the time of the Agony and the Ecstasy...!

Agony and Ecstasy is a self contained superhero adventure for Mythras and Mythras Imperative. Use the heroes included, or create your own, and take to Gemini City’s mean streets to investigate the brutal activities plaguing the Ossuary district, and Brigadier Bay in particular.

The scenario is especially suited to beginning players and characters, and includes a range of super powers to get you started. The special C.O.P.S alerts provide lots of scope for side adventures, and the pre-generated heroes cover a wide range of street-level superhero styles!

$10.99 (print), $5.99 (PDF), 26 pages

The Mythras Bundle launches Monday, 16 April at 2pm Eastern Standard time (GMT -4) at the Bundle of Holding site ( The offer ends at 10pm Eastern Standard time Monday, May 7. Our nominated charity is the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
We’ve lined-up an exceptional bundle, designed to give you everything needed to immerse yourself in Mythras and and its settings. The bundle comes in a Starter Collection, which gives you the Core and Imperative rules, plus Classic Fantasy, for dunegoneering adventures; and the Bonus collection, which adds two of our Mythic Earth books, plus three Classic Fantasy adventure modules! The collections look like this:

  Starter Collection (US$14.95 - retail value $47)
  •      Mythras core rulebook ($15)
  •      Mythras Imperative (free)
  •     Classic Fantasy ($20)
  •      Three Mythras adventures
    •         A Gift From Shamash ($4)
    •         Xamoxis' Cleansing ($4)
    •         Madness & Other Colours ($4)
Bonus Collection (threshold starts at $24.95 - retail value $52)
  •      Mythic Britain ($18)
  •      Mythic Britain Companion ($5)
  •      Mythic Rome ($14)
  •      Mythic Rome Maps (PWYW)
  •      Three Classic Fantasy adventures
    •      M1 The Terror of Ettinmarsh ($5)
    •      G1 These Violent Delights ($5)
    •      N1 Tomb of the Mad Wizard ($5)

How it works is simple. The customer can pay any price (minimum $14.95) to get all the titles in the Starter Collection. If you pay more than the threshold(average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, you also get all the bonus titles.  When a title is added after launch, all customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, regardless of whether or not they paid higher than average. This is their reward for buying early.

So if you’ve never tried Mythras before, or only tried some of the books, there’s never been a better time to start. Not only do you get at least 7 terrific PDFs at an unbeatable price, for just $10, you can expand your collection to include the acclaimed Mythic Britain and Mythic Rome titles, and three excellent Classic Fantasy adventures! Plus, you’re contributing to a very worthwhile cause at the same time. So don’t delay - get your bundle early, and tell your friends!

Jack Vance’s high fantasy masterpiece, Lyonesse, is to be brought to life in a new roleplaying game by The Design Mechanism. Licensed and approved by Spatterlight Press, Lyonesse is a standalone game based on the acclaimed Mythras system.

The Lyonesse trilogy – Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, and Madouc – tells the story of the Elder Isles, and the ambitions of King Casmir of Lyonesse to bring its fractious kingdoms under his sole rule. Lyonesse is a setting of high chivalry and low cunning. Noble knights rub shoulders with self-serving tricksters, while capricious fairies and child-eating ogres haunt the dense expanse of the Forest of Tantrevalles. Itinerant magicians peddle charms and potions at the Goblin Fair, while kings hoard magical treasures such as the prophetic mirror Persilian. Great armies clash in fierce battles, while the navies of Lyonesse and Troicinet seek to outwit each other on the coastal seas. The new religion of Christianity coexists with the older gods of Hybras, such as Lug of the Sun, Matrona the Moon, Sheah the Graceful, and innumerable parochial half-gods.

Using The Design Mechanism’s Mythras mechanics, the Lyonesse roleplaying game is presented as a standalone game with all the rules necessary for play. The book will provide a detailed overview of the Elder Isles and its history, its kingdoms and politics, and, of course, its movers and shakers, from King Casmir to the arch mage Murgen; from Shimrod to his nemesis Faude Carfilhiot; from villains such as Visbhume and Torqual, to heroes like Aillas, Dhrun and Madouc.

Click on the picture to the left to download the complete press release. Keep an eye on this website for more news and insights as the game progresses, and don't forget our social media sites: Design Mechanism Forum, Facebook, G+ Community, and our new MeWe Group.

After the Vampire Wars explores the contemporary world in the wake of the terrible Vampire Wars. In this supplement to Mythras, you are the monsters of myth, folklore and nightmare: fae, werewolves, changelings and, naturally, vampires.

Complete with detailed character creation, new powers, revised rules for sorcery, plus rules for contemporary urban settings, After the Vampire Wars offers new dimensions - quite literally - for Mythras campaigns.!/After-the-Vampire-Wars/p/100910112/category=27615050

The latest in the Mythic Earth series for Mythras is now available. Mythic Constantinople transports you to 1450, where the shining city of Constantine dominates Europe, still at the height of its power. But forces within and without threaten this greatest of all cities: the Christian Orthodoxy vies with Catholicism, and the Ottoman Empire begins its preparations for conquest. Within the city's streets, political factions struggle for power while criminal gangs and mercantile guilds battle for the true wealth of Christendom. Elsewhere Pagan cults skulk in the shadows, waiting for their own moment. 


Mythic Constantinople is a complete sourcebook for a Constantinople that never quite was. Meticulously researched and presented, it merges historical fact with myth and legend. Among the real personalities that shaped history are the non-human species such as the AstomatoiBlemmyaiSkiapodesMinotauroi and the Immortals. Magic is real, and so too are the threats to Byzantium. With this supplement the characters can be part of history and shape it, creating adventurers from dozens of cultures with hundreds of reasons for being in the greatest city in the world. 


And as well as the sourcebook, we have an adventure set in Constantinople: Life's Long Consequences sees the characters on the trail of the elusive Kales Pegonites, the man everyone seems to be looking for and wants – either dead or alive. Why is he so important? Who wants to kill? Who wants to keep him alive? 



Or for DrivethruRPG... 


Finally, we also present the Mythic Constantinople Map Pack, featuring large size versions of the City maps, European Empires and the Great Palace. 



Come and join us in the streets of Mythic Constantinople – you may never want to leave. 



But this isn't the only release before Christmas! Classic Fantasy module G2 is also released this month. Strange things are afoot in the Blue River Valley... Disappearances, Smugglers, rumours of ghosts, Goblin raiders led by an ambitious and ferocious young leader. The villagers need help. Help only you can provide... 


This introductory adventure for Classic Fantasy is designed for three to four characters covering the standard class range. This module provides many hours of adventure and is complete with maps, NPCs, and a sheet of paper figures for use in encounters. 

Mythras Monthly Scenario - October 2017
TDM123: White Death

A Soviet drift station in the Arctic ocean, seemingly abandoned. The Agency wants to know what the Russians were doing there and why it was so abruptly vacated. It has assembled a team to investigate; to uncover whatever it was the Soviet Union was using the station for. 
But what the agents find might not be what they were expecting. And what's more, the Russians are coming back...

White Death is a complete scenario for Mythras Imperative and Mythras. Compatible with supplements such as Luther Arkwright, the adventure is a Science Fiction and Espionage thriller in the B movie style. White Death also includes 6 pregenerated Agency personnel for immediate play, and rules for handling insanity in Mythras games.

Mythras Monthly Scenario - August 2017
Thennla - TDM305: The Arakuline Tribute

The Arakuline Tribute is a Mythras fantasy scenario for Thennla (but easily usable in any fantasy world) involving the characters in the hunt for the fabled tribute of the Arakuline tribe, stolen by outlaws many years before. The tribute included the prized King Boar Shield, war totem of the Arakuline, and still sought after by many. The Boromog tribe believe the shield and tribute have been found in the Tumbrian Forest, and a party is sent to investigate. But the Tumbrian Forest belongs to three powerful supernatural entities and the robber god Landano. Can the characters negotiate these hazards and recover the shield and rest of the treasure?

$4.99 PDF, $9.99 Lulu POD

Mythras Monthly Scenario - July 2017     
Classic Fantasy - N1: Tomb of the Mad Wizard
Even to this day, the bards sing of the rise and fall of the wizard Darksong. Said to have fallen in love with a dark elf in youth, he scoured the world for the secrets of immortality, refusing to leave her side. His quest led him into darkness, and his spirit withered while his power grew. He became a tyrant, and his tower became a den of evil and hedonism. Far and wide was Darksong feared, and his armies ravaged the land in their hunt for his artefacts of power.
Trapped in a mountain vale as the winter snows bite deep, Intuosa the Elven scholar talks of Guenever, her bloodline, and how he intends to trace her lineage through the village of Rovsgood. And he whispers the name Darksong, a wizard in search of immortality who became a tyrant and paid a dreadful price. Will the adventurers aid Intuosa? What of the legends of the Mad Wizard? The bitter snows are, perhaps, the least of their worries.
Tomb of the Mad Wizard is for Ranks 2-3 and provides a complete environment for adventure, offering many hours of exploration in the Mad Wizard’s Vale and beyond.
$4.99 PDF, $9.99 Lulu POD, and available from the following fine sites: Design Mechanism, DrivethruRPG, Aeon Games Publishing, Lulu