Spotlight: Era The Empowered – Artemis

Today we’re taking a dive into the Era: The Empowered universe and learning about Artemis - the supposed leader of the Old Gods. This group awaken to “reclaim” Terra. Before engaging in battle with the hero team Aegis, the 'Goddess of the Hunt' makes herself known with a live broadcast over Terra, and a challenge to her foes. Introducing of the core events in the Empowered timeline, Artemis' reveal leads to An awakening of more Gods for Aegis to overcome: you can learn more about them in the Era: The Empowered RPG. Interested in hearing more? Artemis' arrival is one of our... more

How to Make Your Characters Real – Part 4: Visualisation

Hi everyone, Ed here from Shades of Vengeance again!I'm back with another entry in my "How to Make your Characters Real" series. I hope that you are finding these useful and interesting. Of course, if there's any subjects that I've not covered that you'd like me to talk about, please just ask, I'll be more than happy to speak about it. When you are creating characters, remember that humans are visual creatures. The fact that a beautiful picture of a sunset is more likely to sell a game than brilliant mechanics is something that I've struggled with for a long time as a game... more

Spotlight: Era: The Consortium Living Campaign

Hi everyone! Era: The Consortium's Living Campaign has just launched, and that means anyone can get involved with the universe! All you have to do is play a game set in 451CE, where the Consortium has decided to eliminate the Resistance, and the Resistance is not going to give up easily. Focus on an outpost or planet where the other faction has a stronghold (as shown on the map!) and play your mission. When you're done, send in the details to me on Discord, the Facebook group or via E-mail to! I'll change the map according to the various information... more

How To Make Your Characters Real – Part 1: Inspiration

Hi everyone!  Ed here, and today I'm going to kick off a multi-part set of articles that are based around ideas I have on how to make your characters real. The first thing I'm going to talk about is inspiration.  How do you arrive at your character? Also, how do you make sure that when you are working on it you create something that is along the lines of what you envision?  The first thing is something that I've said a lot of times in previous articles and Webinars about inspiration: consume media! Read books to find characters who are vaguely similar to what you're doing.... more

Building a World: What Makes It Survival Horror?

Hi everyone! When I started both Era: Survival and Era: The Chosen, I asked myself one simple question very carefully: What is the difference between Survival Horror and Horror? I thought I would write about my thoughts on this today, and try to explain my answer to that question! The Survival Horror genre is different from the action genre in terms of both the atmosphere and the events that befall the characters. While the Action genre is about overcoming impossible odds and blowing away the bad guys, Survival Horror is about the suspense, the threat of... more

On Kickstarter Now: Tales of the Empowered 2!

Hi everyone! For us, one of the most important things we do at Shades of Vengeance is enable you to bring your stories to life. We do this quite a lot of ways; through Roleplaying Games which encourage storytelling, through the card games which encourage you to build your own stories, and through small projects like "What Happened to you on Gaia?", which encourage you to build your story off what's given! Tales of the Empowered is a project we first ran 2 years ago for Make100 - a Kickstarter initiative that encourages creators to build 100 of something. In this campaign, we... more

A New Year, A Living Campaign!

As the New Year brings new opportunities for all, there are more futures to consider. One way to make your mark is to change the Consortium forever: our Living Campaign will start at the end of January 2020! A Living Campaign allows YOU to shape the future of the Consortium by sending us the results of your sessions (via E-mail to or on Discord - ). Ed will change the areas of influence for the Consortium and the Resistance according to what happens personally, and that will mean everyone is affected by your... more

What Happened To You On Gaia?

Did you ever wonder what would happen to you if modern civilisation ended? We've created something which will answer this right here: Don't forget to share it on Facebook or Twitter when you get an answer! Of course, we're all about stories! So if you want to build on the backstory you're given, check out Era: Survival here - on special offer until the end of the year: Share to our Facebook page ( more

Era: Lyres Audio Short – A Very Trout Christmas

Hi everyone! To get into the Christmas spirit, we've done a special Audio Short set in the Era: Lyres universe for you to enjoy! Produced by Heike Priwitzer, who worked with me on the original story, this is an adaptation of the piece that appeared in The Era Zone Issue 4! This is totally free, so enjoy a present from us this Christmas! You can find it on YouTube: or on Podbean: more

How to Begin Building a “Hero’s Journey” Story.

I think most writers have heard of the concept of a hero's journey. For those that haven't, the idea is that the hero begins in a negative, or non optimal situation, and progresses through adversity to become the hero that the universe needed, whether it knew it or not.  The hero's journey is one of the oldest forms of stories and, although I've heard it said that there are seven coins of story, I personally don't subscribe to that. I don't think there are really more than one: every story involves the hero's journey in some way. That's why I think that being able to build a... more

Spotlight: Champion of Earth

Good afternoon! With Christmas around the corner, we thought we'd offer you a great party game that's bound to raise the energy in your house - one perfect for a Pre-Christmas Dinner warm-up! Champion of Earth is a game where 1-6 players fight off an alien invasion... But the aliens are not alone! When they start raising the Undead and bringing forth Creatures from the shadows, only the six champions have the know how (and the arsenal) to save us all! This number-matching card game is a great co-operative fight against the deck, although you can give it a competitive edge if... more

5 Sci-Fi Sub-Genres Handled by Era: The Consortium

Hi everyone! Today, I'm going to be talking about 5 Sci-Fi sub-genres, why I think they're interesting, and what ways are used within Era: The Consortium to handle them well! There are obviously many more than seven sub-genres of Sci-Fi, and I have said many times that Era: The Consortium handles every sub-genre of Sci-Fi I could think of as a lifetime fan of science fiction. I wanted to make sure that the various obvious things were covered in the game - both mechanically and story-wise - when I created it. So here we go: here are five things that Era: The Consortium is built to handle as... more

Did you know you can give a Shades of Vengeance Gift Card for Christmas?

The perfect gift for any RPG enthusiast - a gift card for our store, with a variety of values available. These can be redeemed on anything in the store, including card games, roleplaying games and comics! You can get one for your friends or family right here: more

3 Reasons I Use a Timeline to Plan when I Create a Universe

Hi everyone! Ed here, and today I'm going to talk to you about three ways that a planned timeline of events can make your work seem especially awesome. 1: It helps you figure out how the story will progress This is a really important part of writing; knowing where your story is going to go allows you to ensure that it follows a direction that you intend right from the start. I've written previously about character-driven stories, but I also mentioned that sometimes you need an event to push that character forwards. If you're planning out a... more

7 “Dos and Don’ts” for running Era Games!

by Fred Harvey Learning a new system can always be difficult. Whether it’s gripping the mechanics, the lore or just running the session in general, challenges can spring from many places. I have been lucky enough to play quite a lot of Era D10 Games and hone my skills as a GM with them, so here are my top 7 "Dos and Don’ts" of running Era Games: #1 – Don’t be afraid to mix and match Attribute/Skill combinations. The core mechanic of Era d10 is its “Attribute plus Skill” method for solving Skill Checks. The Core Rulebooks provide a host of example checks, but of... more

How To Build a Hero

Hi everyone! Ed here and today I'm going to talk to you about how to build a hero. There are a few things that I think you ought to realise when you're trying to build a protagonist for your story. I'm primarily going to focus on heroes as opposed to anti-heroes in this particular article. A hero is someone who is going to fix the problem with your world. If you've read some of my previous articles or attended my webinar, you will know that the central conflict of the world is the driving factor for your story. The hero is going to go out and they're going to fix that central... more

Why Your Personal Limits Don’t Have to be a Barrier to Creativity

Hi, everyone, Ed here! Today I'm going to talk about what you're what you need to do if you're going to reach the limit of what you're capable of. Every creator will run into a blocker from time to time - you will find something that you're not able to do. Personally, I'm not much of an artist! So when I reach! the limit of my capabilities, I have two choices. There's a saying that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. I have found this to be broadly true. Interestingly, if you multiply as up to 40 hours a week, every week, you come to roughly five years of time. So you need to ask... more

We’re At Dragonmeet Today!

You can join us there at Stand 82, just opposite the Main Entrance. We've brought all our games with us, and it's your first chance to pick up Era: Forbidden if you missed the Kickstarter, so don't forget to check in with me or Leo if you're there! Next Saturday, we're going to have some awesome advice from Fred Harvey about running Era Games, so don't miss it - you'll find it right here! -... more

5 Reasons that Writing The Book You Always Wanted To is Worth Your Time!

Hi everyone, Ed here! Today, I'm going to talk about five reasons why writing the book you always wanted to is definitely worth your time.1. You don't have to write it all at once...There are methods by which you can prompt yourself to write a book all at the same time. NaNoWriMo is an excellent example of that, where people are given encouragement to write 2000 words per day for the month of November, so you end up with a 60,000 word novel at the end of that month. However, if you're aiming for a 60,000 word novel, and you don't feel like you can commit an hour or two every day to... more

Three Quick Tips to Make Sure YOUR Story is the Best You Can Write!

Hi everyone, Ed here from Shades of Vengeance! Today, I'm going to be giving you my three best quick tips for writing your story. 1. Start with Feelings Begin what you are trying to create with the feelings that you want to evoke within the universe (not necessarily within the reader!). How does it feel? Is it positive, is it negative? Are people optimistic, or are people angry and at each other's throats. What is it that people feel like when they live within this setting? That may include details on the size of the setting, because depending on the size,... more

Join us at Dragonmeet 2019!

Hi everyone! With Dragonmeet only a week away, we're finally able to confirm our location, which is Stand 82. Now, maps aren't always the easiest things, so here are a few helpful ways to find us:- If you saw us last year, we're in the stand next to it, so look in that location!- We're directly opposite the entrance as you walk in, the last stand before the corner if you turn very slightly right!- You can look for Leo or me (Ed)! We'll be saying hello to everyone as they walk in the door! We'll obviously be giving you the chance to look through all of our games, but if you want to... more

What has Shades of Vengeance been up to?

Hi everyone! Ed here. 2019's been a really busy year for us, and now that we're nearing the end of it, I thought I'd bring you up to speed on what we've done over here! We kicked off the year with a Kickstarter for Era: Lyres ( ), producing a Definitive Edition Rulebook which offers new mechanics, gameplay options, reward options and tonnes of extra creature features for our low fantasy storytelling game. This has been received very well, and is up for an award next year, so we're looking forward to seeing how that goes! Not... more

Five Ways to Make Sure that YOUR Universe is “Complete” and “Immersive”.

Hi everyone! Today, I am talking creativity and universe building. Here are 5 simple things you can do to make sure your universe is as complete and immersive as possible:  1. Understand How it Feels to Live in the UniverseStart with the feelings that people within the universe experience. This is an absolutely vital part of building a universe, because it is the feelings that people will connect to when they experience something. Whether it's a fantasy universe with wonder and magic or a cyberpunk future where the corporations suppress everyone who just wants to live their... more

Three Things YOU can do Today to Break your Creative Silence.

Hi there! Everyone has spare energy at some point during the day. And it's often very difficult to know the way in which you can change this into actual productivity and break that silence in your creative life. Here are three thing that I do in order to ensure that I remain creative and use that energy in the best way possible.1. Identify your "Spare Time" and Use It! Most of us spend a lot of time travelling on public transport or driving, or even washing up. While we are doing these things which are relatively mindless, we're often able to use that time to actually create... more

A Busy 2019 already!

Hi everyone! You might have noticed that we've been particularly busy this year, and there's a good reason for it. With The Bug War #3: Mobilisation, Era: Lyres Definitive Edition, The Era Zone and Blue-Shift #2 all within the last 2 months, you might think we've gone crazy! Knowing that we're also delivering rewards from multiple Kickstarters (Era: Survival - Colony, Battlecruiser Alamo, Era: Lyres Definitive Edition, The Era Zone and Bug War #3: Mobilisation) during these two months as well will probably reinforce that. We haven't. (Well, no more than we already were!) We're... more

Stiletto Unit 447CE – Episode 33

Ka’tal has found a heavily fortified building and Reluflissy is walking towards an unknown location after buying a “thought-detecting tracking device”. Neither seem to have made much progress towards saving Nara (although we did answer whether they want to!). Find out what happens next in this week's episode... Audio-only (Podbean): -... more

Blue-Shifting our way back onto your shelves!

A year ago, Blue-Shift launched on Kickstarter, speeding onto our shelves and into our hearts. Her adventure with Shira, Daniel, Cosh and the Necromancer has received critical acclaim from many and it has become one of the most sought-after comics we have ever written. Well, it's happening again! We couldn't let this day go unmarked without giving Blue-Shift the chance to resolve the leftover threads from her last issue. Blue-Shift #2 is therefore on Kickstarter now! "Blue-Shift #2: Mindgames" is the... more

Stiletto Unit 447CE – Episode 32

Oh no! Nara has been captured by Slicer! What will the team be able to do? Can they save her in time, before he exacts his revenge? More importantly, will they want to? It is Nara, after all! Find out in the latest episode of Stiletto Unit 447CE: Audio-only (Podbean): -... more

The Era Zone – a Zine celebrating all our games!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that "The Era Zone" - our contribution to Zine Quest and a celebration of all of our games to date - is on Kickstarter now: I wanted to let you all know that there's a special deal available for those who back early, because as we pass Stretch Goals, the current tiers will be closed and new ones opened, adjusted to allow for the extra cost of producing more issues! So if you back now, you will get 3 (and possibly 4) for the price of 2... but if... more

Stileto Unit 447CE – Episode 31

Hi everyone! What did you all think of our brand new opening and closing sequences? To celebrate our 30th Episode, we dropped it in there to see whether anyone would notice! Well, I have another episode for you (and a chance to check if you missed it!) today... Audio-only (Podbean): With Reluflissy losing her temper at the level of crime, she and... more