6 D&D 5e Kickstarters – Spectacular Settlements, The Curse of Roslof Keep, The Runewild, The Steel Road, The Bespoken Bestiary, and Carcosa

I’m on the road to Origins 2018. In other news, there are six 5e Kickstarters worth looking at. I don’t say much (on the road), but these games are worth a look. 😉

 

The Curse of Roslof Keep high level 1E & 5E gaming adventure by Art of the Genre
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“Return to high adventure with this upper level (10+) module that features a living dungeon, adversarial NPC companies, and much more!

Join the adventure as Art of the Genre revisits the various curses of Roslof Keep!  This first part of a six part mega-campaign is based around experienced characters levels 10+, and I’ve specially designed the dungeon to breath life into those adventuring levels without relying on old standards like giants, dragons, and constructs.

The Curse of Roslof Keep revolves around an adventuring company moving to the city of Tiefon, capital of the great eastern power of Thalonia, where they will match wits against other great adventuring companies as well as the intelligent dungeon known as The Infernal Machine.

Folio #20 will introduce characters to the setting, the mysterious and ancient Kasbah of Tiefon, as well as the other companies hired by the great houses to clear the magical dungeon that has suddenly appeared beneath their streets.  Dungeon details include 2D standard ‘blue’ hex maps as well as fully 3D renderings of Level 1.  A gazetteer will give background on the Infernal Machine and the city, as well as the stakes that weigh on the characters, and includes a new monster designed specifically for this campaign.  It also features a fully removable stand-alone cover, and two booklets (gazetteer & adventure).

The adventures of Folio #20 await!
The adventures of Folio #20 await!

As with all previous Folio adventures, this is written in classic AD&D mechanics, while also having D&D 5E stat blocks and adaptations as well.

What is Roslof Keep? Roslof Keep is a six part mega-dungeon produced in 2015, and comprises Folios #1-#6.  It is based around an intelligent dungeon known as ‘The Infernal Machine’ that has now spread to other cities with greater threats, thus bringing about the events of The Curse of Roslof Keep adventure series.

Folios 1-6 in the original Roslof Keep Campaign
Folios 1-6 in the original Roslof Keep Campaign

What do Folio dungeons look like? Below you will see a internal Folio removable cover dungeon, rendered in full 3D for easy use by the DM, and well as defined in hex style 2D for mappers.  Rooms are well described, and stats are provided for both AD&D and 5th Edition D&D formats.

Sample of 3D maps on the removable interior module cover!
Sample of 3D maps on the removable interior module cover!
Sample 3D mapping from the original Roslof Keep Campaign!
Sample 3D mapping from the original Roslof Keep Campaign!

What is The Complete Roslof Keep Campaign Hardcover? Produced in 2016, this 128 page compilation book includes all six Folios in the Roslof Keep Campaign as well as 6 bonus mini-adventures that tie in with the set and a Nameless Realms Races gazetteer, as well as the stats for the 7 Iconic characters seen in the series.  It has an original cover by Jeff Easley, and a classic ‘orange spine’ to go along with the TSR AD&D hardcovers of the 1980s.

The Complete Roslof Keep hardcover edition
The Complete Roslof Keep hardcover edition

What are ‘Bridge’ Mini-Adventures? These three ‘throwback’ style mini-adventures bridge the timeline between the close of The Roslof Keep Campaign, and the events of The Curse of Roslof Keep, allowing players to build on the adventure before it has even truly begun.”

'Bridge' mini-adventures included in the 'Full' backer levels
‘Bridge’ mini-adventures included in the ‘Full’ backer levels

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Love the art as always with The Folio.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Runewild – A Fey-Themed 5e Sandbox Campaign by Sneak Attack Press
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“A 5e sandbox campaign. In the Runewild, witches walk, goblins cavort, and the borders between the realms of mortal and fey grow thin.

Beyond the kingdom of Aruanda, there is an untamed land. It is a place where witches walk, where goblins cavort, where the borders between the realms of mortal and fey grow thin. For some, it is a place of unspeakable wonder; for others, only madness and death lie within its trackless depths.

It is the Runewild, and it is both beautiful and cruel.

The Runewild is a dark fairy-tale sandbox setting for use with the 5th Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Designed for character levels 1 through 10, it provides locations, encounters, and NPCs to support a campaign lasting months or years, or to be adapted into other campaigns. The 160+ page book includes:

  • A history of the Runewild and its surrounding settlements.
  • 100 detailed encounter areas for player characters to explore.
  • New optional rules for exploring and resting
  • Advice for running a sandbox campaign
  • A new feat: Fey-Touched
  •  13 unique magic items (like witch embers and the staff of clarity and confusion)
  • 32 new monsters (including clockwork dwarves, fey lions, giant forest sloths, and the terrifyingly beautiful Golden Bodach).
  •  Detailed descriptions of the histories, motivations, and weaknesses of the witches of the Runewild, including the Whitebone Sisters; Missus Switch, the swine hag; Korthsuva, the Witch of Hours; and the hag-queen Griselda, Mother of Ogres.
  • Dozens of random tables designed to help GMs make the Runewild campaign their own.

To learn more about the Runewild, you can check out our free previews:

Preview 1: Missus Switch, Swine Witch – The history and statistics of the Swine Witch and a detailed description of the school house where she teaches her porcine pupils.

Preview 2: Highvale Blade and Twisted Tome – The Runewild is a place steeped in powerful fey magic, and these items show how some harness it safely, while others let it get out of control.

Preview 3: Beasts that Lurk in the Runewild – This preview features four new beasts that live in the Runwood: the helpful fey lion, the thought-stealing fiddlehead, the enigmatic Seven-Tails, and the terrifyingly beautiful Golden Bodach.

COMING SOON! Preview 4: The Goblin Market – A magical, moving marketplace that sells everything from a baby’s wail to a portable mouse hole to the secret you’ve searched for your whole life.

If you want to see even more, you can back the project and see the current draft of the complete book by going to this backer-only post. We’ve written the whole book and gone through several rounds of revision, but we plan to do at least one more revision using your feedback.

We love the ways crowdfunding can involve our backers. Everybody who backs at any level can read the current draft of the book and provide feedback. For those who want to play an even bigger roll, we offer two backer reward options:

Denizen of the Runewild

The final book will contain a table featuring one hundred random fey denizens of the Runewild. We want to give you a chance to be part of that chart. If you select either the PDF and Runewild Denizen, or Print and Runewild Denizen reward level, you can create one entry on the chart that includes your fey creature’s name, the type of fey, a brief description, and the creature’s goals. (All descriptions may be modified for length, tone, and established setting cannon.)

Part of the Art

If you want to be even more involved with the creation, you can pledge at the Part of the Art level. At this level, we will also include an illustration based on either a photo or description you provide. We will add the NPC to the book, and you can provide as much or as little guidance as you would like.”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Steel Road: Exotic Weapons for 5th Edition by Sinopa Publishing LLC
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“Role playing game source book ~ 50 exotic weapons and 50 Enchanted Weapons in one beautiful book for 5th Edition D&D RPG DnD Fantasy

50 Exotic and 50 Enchanted weapons, in one beautiful book!

That’s what this campaign is about.  Your support will fund art, production, and print costs for backer rewards.  This book is being produced and released for the fifth edition game mechanic.

Each weapon is fully illustrated in the style of sketchbook in keeping with the narrative throughout the journey. Yes, this means there are 100 pages of illustrated weapons in the book!

Image capture from first draft formatting of the book
Image capture from first draft formatting of the book

Narrative text is in 12 point font for ease of reading and to best simulate natural handwriting while maintaining legibility.

Our introduction begins the narrative found throughout the book
Our introduction begins the narrative found throughout the book

The Steel Road

  • The Steel Road, is created to resemble the sketch book of a traveling weapons merchant.  This book details exotic weapons from Africa, East Asia, Eastern Europe, India, China, Japan, and the lands of the Pacific.
  •  Each weapon is illustrated, making this book a fantastic resource for game masters and players alike.
  •  Each weapon is described from the point of view of the narrator (our fictional weapons merchant) and the descriptions include statistics for game play use.
  •  An enchanted example of each weapon is also described within as the legendary version.
  •  Each legendary weapon is of Unique rarity.  There is only one!

Game mechanic data for these enchanted weapons is provided for easy use.

The book is printed in 8.5 by 11 inch size, in dtrpg.com’s premium color option. The print copy of the book is released in soft cover but check out the stretch goals below!

Experience the world on the edge of a blade, travelling The Steel Road.

Featuring Weapons from ~

Africa

Art Layer: Each weapon has a mundane version and a legendary version
Art Layer: Each weapon has a mundane version and a legendary version

Eastern Europe

Art Layer: The Dacian Falx
Art Layer: The Dacian Falx

India

All of the weapon stats are original content
All of the weapon stats are original content

China

Exotic weapons from China and the surrounding areas of Asia
Exotic weapons from China and the surrounding areas of Asia

Japan

Great attention to detail is seen in the sketches of these exotic weapons
Great attention to detail is seen in the sketches of these exotic weapons

Lands of the Pacific

Cultural elements were honored within page space capabilities
Cultural elements were honored within page space capabilities

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

Sam Quinton of Sinopa Publishing LLC is working hard to make some unique 5e offerings. This is another example.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Spectacular Settlements for 5th Edition! by Nord Games
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“The ultimate guide to creating amazing trading posts, villages, towns, cities, and capitals populated with versatile & detailed NPCs!

Spectacular Settlements, the latest addition to the Game Master’s Toolbox, is the ultimate guide to creating compelling locations for your adventures and campaigns.

Contained inside are chapters devoted to various settlement types, from the smallest trading posts, to massive capital cities. Within these chapters are all the steps needed to craft a settlement with both depth and originality.

Creation takes just a few easy steps, each of which has multiple options to detail your settlement. These options are presented as tables from which you can select the outcome yourself, or roll for a random result.

Step one covers basic information, such as its age, size, environment and recent history. Step two details aspects of the community, such as resident and visitor populations, disposition, politics and crime. Step three establishes points of interest, including shops and services that can then be populated with proprietors and patrons taken from the ‘Interesting NPCs’ chapter.

The resulting settlement is both dynamic and detailed. The book has great utility, designed to also be an engine of inspiration for storytellers and world builders, sparking creativity and prompting GMs to delve deep into what their settlement is, how it came to be, and how aspects that might be at odds with one another may just give clues about its most compelling elements.

The book is available in full-color PDF and hardcover formats for 5th Edition. We have multiple pledge levels to best suit your gaming budget, so please check out the project, share it with your friends, and help us hit our goal.

1. Creating Great Settlements. An overview on settlements, when to use them, how to use them, and how to keep things both dynamic and interesting.

2. Trading Posts. One of the most important settlement types, trading posts are often hot spots for information, quests, intrigue, and excitement!

3. Villages. Often the home of simple folk with simple lives, villages dot the landscape. They can however, be the jumping-off point of many a fun adventure!

4. Towns. The beginnings of urban development, towns can be lawless communities ripe for powerful influence, or the birthplace of the next world superpower.

5. Cities. More people, more problems. Cities are teeming with all manner of folk. Some good, some bad, some just trying to mind their own business. No visit to a city is ever without potential dangers, or potential rewards.

6. Capitals. Seats of concentrated power, home to mighty bastions and the focal point of both politics and war alike.

7. Keeps. Keeps are single large fortified buildings such as towers. The nature of these structures dictates that villages and towns usually spring up around them, due to the protection they offer. They are modest when compared to full castles, but are much more attainable for smaller communities in terms of costs and resources.

8. Castles. A large, imposing group of buildings, castles are fortified against attack with thick walls, battlements, and towers. They typically have a town or even city surrounding them, with homes and shops perhaps directly outside its walls.

9. Strongholds. Like a castle, but larger still, strongholds have greater fortifications. Built to be as impenetrable as possible, these bastions are the pinnacle of what one could expect from a physical structure.

10. Shops & Proprietors. What is a settlement without shops? In this chapter you’ll find all the shops you’ll ever need, as well the folk who operate them.

11. Interesting NPCs. Over 100 pages of NPCs who can be dropped right into a shop, service establishment, or encountered on the streets of your settlement.”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Dark Naga – Carcosa for 5th Edition by Dark Naga Adventures
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“A non-linear adventure in the classic Sandbox style where the party (Level 11-12) fights to escape the lair of an Old One–Hastur

About This Project
About This Project

Carcosa is an adventure for three to seven characters about level twelve. It is designed for use with the Fifth Edition version of Gary and Dave’s RPG. It can be adapted to any fantasy RPG.

Special Note

The Physical Catchup Naga reward description at the right is missing some critical text. The description below is accurate; however, the one at the right reads “DNH4-Carcosa” when it should read DNH4-Confronting Hastur, and DNH5-Carcosa” The “Includes” list is correct. I apologize for any confusion this typographical error might have caused. Thx to a backer for catching it early in the campaign. Sadly, I cannot edit that section for KS integrity reasons.

The Premise  

Immediately following the events of Confronting Hastur, the characters wake up in Carcosa and are greeted by a broken man who tells them they only have a day to escape the plane before becoming permanent residents. The way home appears to require them to confront a demon lady and the three demon brothers who constantly vie for her attention and their domains within Carcosa. A land teeming with minor demons, humans, and three powerful Abrar, dreadful demon lords. Pressed for time, the party members find themselves pawns in the petty games of the brothers as they claw their way to worship before the lovely Grushka, the Abrar who runs Carcosa while Hastur slumbers. Their search for a way home reveals rumors of a way to trap Hastur in a longer, deeper slumber, giving their world peace from his attempts to invade for hundreds of millennia to come. Will they work to go home, or will they chance eternal damnation to save their world?

Who We Are
Who We Are
Cover for DNH5 - Carcosa (with thanks to Randy Price's keen eye for typos)
Cover for DNH5 – Carcosa (with thanks to Randy Price’s keen eye for typos)

Who is Dark Naga Adventures? Why should you trust me?

I am Kevin Watson, and Dark Naga Adventures is my company. It exists to create and publish adventures that are a combination of the classic sandbox adventures of the early days of the hobby combined with modern features. I have probably written 30 adventures and designed about a dozen fantasy worlds in my life as a Game Master.

This project is the fifth adventure for commercial release and my fifth Kickstarter Project. This concludes the Haunting of Hastur series. As a young company, I am motivated to produce quality products and intend to leverage the experience gained from several Kickstarter campaigns to mitigate potential complications in production.

Previous Kickstarter Projects from Dark Naga:

The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil  

The Buried Zikurat  

The City of Talos  

Confronting Hastur  

As a one-person shop, the buck stops with me. Art, cartography, and editing are all being done by top-notch freelancers. Expect regular updates and as much transparency as we all can handle.

Freelance Artists

Catia Fantini, Cover Art

Justin Andrew Mason, Cartography

Brian McCranie, Interior Art

Front Cover - Full Image
Front Cover – Full Image
Back Cover - Full Image
Back Cover – Full Image
  • Saddle-Stitched 24+ page adventure
  • Detached Color cover with color maps on the interior. These maps are far too elaborate and gorgeous to produce in monochrome.
  • 5 full-color maps
  • 3+ pages of black and white art, more when we unlock stretch goals.”

 

Read my interview with Kevin Watson on the Open Gaming Network.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or at the OpenGamingStore here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Bespoke Bestiary – A Custom 5e Monster Book by Mithrilpunk Press
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“Following our successful Legacy’s Wake Kickstarter, we are bringing our style to a book of monsters for 5E designed by our backers!

Final Cover
Final Cover

When it comes to your table top game, there is always room for another monster, but so often you find yourself throwing the same tried and true creatures at your players. Orcs, Goblins, Dragons; the classics are classics for a reason but sometimes you really want something fresh and new. That’s just what the Bespoke Bestiary aims to provide.

Think back to your earliest experiences with the game, before you knew what resistances that ooze had or what spell to NOT EVER cast at that golem. Remember those breathless sessions, not knowing if your party would determine the right tactics and techniques to bring down the terrifying new beast your game master threw at you?

We want to bring that back! We present to you, the Bespoke Bestiary, a monster tome done up in true Mithrilpunk style. Inside you will find dozens of new creatures complete with all the background you need to run them and the mechanics needed to scare your players with fresh terrors unlike any they have seen before.

Final Art to be in Color
Final Art to be in Color

TL;DR: At least 24 new monsters (probably a TON more than that), a new take on existing classic monsters, and awesome new player options, all with the MithrilPunk look and feel!

All art will be in full color, though we’ve intentionally kept all art in greyscale at this stage in order to allow our backers to have influence even on the art direction!

Final Art to be in Color
Final Art to be in Color

At the base level, our goal for this bestiary is to start with at least 100 pages and go from there. Based on stretch goals and sponsored monsters, that count will only go up! We are going to start with 24 custom monsters with new art, 6 of our favorite Skyfall monsters updated and improved, and then we’ll go into some classic monsters and put a great new spin on them! Every single new monster, including sponsored monsters, will be at least two pages each (with “Legendary” monster spreads covering four full pages).

Each monster will have either a 2-page or 4-page spread. That means every standard monster entry will increase the length of the book by 2 pages for every backer, while legendary monster entries will increase the page length by 4 pages! Note that when we say legendary, it doesn’t mean the monster has to have legendary actions or anything, just that it’s got enough content to take up four pages (through multiple variants, multiple player options, bigger monster stat blocks, lairs, etc). Then, we’ll also have a more free form section where we will take classic monsters (orcs, kobolds, ogres, etc.) and give them a fresh coat of paint in the coolest ways we can come up with! You’ll have an opportunity to influence many of the core and classic monsters, though some will be finished prior to the kickstarter to give you all an idea of what we’ll be making, like the Sidereal Stalker below!

Sample Spread - Final Version may change
Sample Spread – Final Version may change

Every single new monster entry will include a player option as well, themed around that monster. You’ll find new spells, magic items, feats, and more. You could even see a new playable race entry or a new subclass, if it fits the theme of the monster! Again, all our backers will have a say in tons of these new player options. with the player options increasing in complexity based on what makes the most sense for the monster. You won’t see a random item or spell slapped onto the page. Instead, you’ll find spells that use parts of the monster as components, feats based around how the monster lives or fights, and items tied to the monster’s history or physiology.

At its core, your ideas, votes, and pledges will define this book as much as possible! Our goal with this bestiary is to create a tome full of your favorite monsters, pulled directly from your imagination and the imaginations of the backers who pledged with you, and we see three main ways to do that: getting your ideas, letting the community vote on those ideas, and having special add-on levels to sponsor a monster to ensure that your creation makes it to the pages of the bestiary. We will engage with our backers through regular feedback and communication, as well as surveys allowing you to help flesh out everything that goes into the book, and backers who purchase the sponsored monster options described in the Addons section will have a more direct impact on the book!

You supply the ideas, the group votes, and we put in the work!

As we commission art from our artists, we’re going to give our backers an opportunity to submit high level concepts for those monsters. Once we have a handful of ideas, we’ll create polls and allow all of our backers to vote on the concepts they like best! The more input we get, the more we will let the voting drive the process. That way, if a monster’s art really sparks an interest, our backers will have the most say in that monster. In the same way, if the art doesn’t get that spark from the backers, we can and will guide the monster’s design and flavor to make sure that every monster in the book meets our standards.

I want to make my own monster!

Great! We will give you that option, by allowing you to “sponsor” a monster. You can check out the Add-ons section for more info, but at the base level, your add-on will go toward commissioning a custom art piece for your monster in full color, and then adding that monster to every single print copy of The Bespoke Bestiary. That way, every monster that you sponsor will make the book bigger and better for every other backer, and every monster sponsored by other backers will make the book bigger and better for you! When you sponsor a monster, we will work directly with you to create every aspect of the monster, including the flavor, the monster design, the art direction, and the player option that will go with your monstrosity. You can be as involved or not as you want, we’ll always pick up the slack to make sure every sponsored monster is as awesome as possible!

I don’t know anything about making monsters for 5th Edition!

That’s okay too! We’ve got a ton of experience making interesting monsters and compelling player options. No matter how much input you want to give, we’re ready to step up and make sure the writing is great, the monster is well-designed, the player option is balanced, and anything else we need to do. Of course we’ll always work with the artists, handle the layout, and take care of any of the “business” parts of the process. If you’ve got a cool idea, we will help you bring it to life, and we’ll do all the work needed to make sure it’s something really awesome when we’re done!

“Don’t listen to these guys! They wouldn’t know the difference between a carsnuffler and a kilgorean ragebeast if the ‘snuffler sat on their heads! I don’t know how these two idiots got top billing on this kick-whatever, but forget their monster book. It’ll be full of prissy little monsters that wouldn’t scare a burp from a baby goblin. And player options? Who cares? My monster book is 1000 times better than theirs. Some TRULY terrifying wonders, with INCREDIBLE LIFELIKE depictions, and instead of player options, I’ll give you my BEST AWARD-WINNING* recipes using ingredients directly from that monster! Oh you want to vote on stuff? Uh, sure, you guys can send me recipes and I’ll think about putting those in there I guess…”

Well, when you’re making a monster book, you end up with a TON of extra art from various sources. Sometimes the monster you thought would look awesome ended up being a little too silly. Sometimes the art’s style just didn’t fit with the rest of the book. Regardless of the reason, we decided to put all that extra art to use! Sleg is a “popular” goblin wizard-chef in our Skyfall setting, known for his extravagant cooking spells (most of which end up finding better use in pitched combat than in the kitchen; Sleg is subtle like a sledgehammer). Since we have this great NPC, and a bunch of extra art, we thought “Why not make a bestiary that’s also a cook book?”

In addition to the Bespoke Bestiary, you can also pick up Sleg’s Scrumptious Safari Spectacular in PDF or print! This 6″x9″ black and white softcover will contain at least 24 monsters in two-page spreads, and every single monster will include recipes submitted by our friends, family, and backers! Of course, Sleg’s recipes will call for rare ingredients from the monsters on his pages, but we’ll make sure you know what to substitute if you can’t find ground carsnuffler. Check out the example spread below for an idea of just what we have in mind:

Sample Spread - Final version subject to change
Sample Spread – Final version subject to change

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to DriveThruRPG.com and Amazon.com.

Savage Worlds: Fast, Furious, and Fun! - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

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Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by a variety of companies:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

About Egg Embry

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press.
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