7 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Undead, AMP, Limitless Monsters, Orbis Mundi 2, Rider of the Black Sun, Heart of Varrul, and more

In this week’s RPG Kickstarter review, not only do we have RPGs for 5e, Chill 3e, White Star, and more, but also a choose your own adventure book, and stock art options. There are a number of free quickstarts, monsters, and samples to test out these products before you invest so lets count these down by end date (after a quick list of the freebies because… free!).

Free RPG Sampler List:


Check out John McGuire’s The Gilded Age steampunk graphic novel on Kickstarter!

 

7) Limitless Monsters – 100 DnD5e monsters by Limitless Adventures
Ends on .

“A book of 100 unique DnD 5e monsters with stats, lore, treasure, and 300 adventure hooks.

Our third Kickstarter project, Limitless Monsters, contains:

  • 100 unique D&D 5e monsters
  • Dozens of illustrations by Bartolomeo Argentino
  • Custom cover by artist David Auden Nash
  • Lore Mechanics to unlock tactical insights through knowledge
  • Monster Tactics – how they fight, and what others might fight alongside
  • Harvest Mechanics to gain unique loot
  • Pre-rolled treasure to reduce DM prep time
  • 300 Further Adventure™ hooks to aid in writing follow-up quests
  • Available in Full-color PDF or as a softcover print book
  • Fantasy Grounds VTT Stretch Goal UNLOCKED!
Green Dragon Zombie
Green Dragon Zombie

Limitless Adventures  

Limitless-Adventures was created as a way for busy DMs to liven up their campaigns, and reduce the burden of game prep. We specialize in DM-friendly products that minimize your prep so you can spend more time at the table playing and less time writing. Check out our website, Limitless-Adventures.com for high-quality 5e content and free products posted monthly.”

Skeletal Guardian
Skeletal Guardian

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Try before you buy with this sampler of five 5e monsters here. Who needs more monsters for the world’s most popular RPG? Everyone. It’s that simple, more monsters = good! Try this out.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

6) Orbis Mundi 2 – Real Medieval Life by Phalanx Games Design
Ends on .

“OM2 is an expanded and updated version of the original Orbis Mundi, covering the reality of Medieval European Life for Role Players.

Orbis Mundi 2

Many Fantasy Role Playing Games are nominally based on elements of historical western Europe as it was during the Middle Ages … but the amount of actual background information they provide is minimal and, worse, mostly misleading, anachronistic or even outright wrong.

The first edition of Orbis Mundi (2006) was written specifically to deal with that issue and has been quite successful on RPGNow, currently being a 4 Star rated Silver Pick … but, at only 112 pages, it only scratched the surface of the realities of the medieval European world.

The original book surveyed the period roughly from AD 1000 to AD 1499, with the Annotated Price List mainly looking at the period 1301-1499 … OM2 covers AD 1000-1400 and the Annotated Price List will make an attempt to look at some of the key changes to prices and availability over those centuries.

The start date is one generally recognised as the earliest there is something that is starting to resemble what would eventually become the institution of Knighthood and a more formalised version of the feudal system while the terminal date was chosen as it is the point at which the importance of individual gunpowder weapons starts to have an accelerating impact on the battlefield and on individual combat.

With another decade’s worth of research under my belt I am in the process of writing a Orbis Mundi 2 – a much more comprehensive work on the period and its quirks.

The first volume, A Guide to REAL Medieval Life is complete and fully laid out and runs to ~450 pages, covering many more aspects in much greater detail of Medieval Life than the original volume and, indeed, most of the limited competition on the topic and a second volume,The Medieval Marketplace: An Annotated Price List is currently in preparation and is expected to run to a minimum of 96 pages, possibly more (the original ran to 60 pages of OM1 … and there’s a lot more material I’ve collected over the years since then, so 96 pages is likely to be exceeded … possibly by quite a lot).”

The Cover for the main Handbook
The Cover for the main Handbook

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Try before you buy with two different options here and here. Do I want a detailed account of life in medieval times? Probably for morbid curiosity and that’s reason enough!

 

You can see examples of their work at RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

5) Undead – A sourcebook for Chill 3rd Edition horror RPG by Growling Door Games, Inc.
Ends on .

“In our third sourcebook for Chill 3rd Ed, we explore the Undead, creatures that return from the grave for love, revenge, or hate.

We treat our dead with reverence. We inter their bodies in the ground in expensive caskets, or entomb them in ornate stone monuments, or burn them and keep their ashes in urns. We remind ourselves, in this way, that death comes for all of us, but that even in death we are due respect.

How horrifying, then, when the dead won’t stay contained.

Art by Alessandro Alaia
Art by Alessandro Alaia

 

In Undead, we examine the creatures of the Unknown that animate the bodies of the dead. These creatures aren’t the mindless, hungry, infectious zombies of cinema. They are the spurned and jilted lovers who come back from the grave seeking a mouldering kiss. They are the wronged dead, the unhallowed dead, murdered and shoved into shallow graves or buried without ceremony and longing for the respect they are due. They are the innocent dead, killed before their time and wanting only to taste the life they never really knew.

Pity them if you wish, but put them down quick and hard. They are vicious and violent, and all them want to take company back to the grave with them.

Undead is a 120-page, full-color antagonist sourcebook for Chill 3rd Edition. Like Monsters, our preceding release, it is partially written “in character” by a SAVE researcher attempting to categorize and understand the living dead, and partially written for players and Chill Masters to allow them make full use of this horrifying class of creatures.

Undead includes:

  • Further insight into the history and workings of SAVE (the Eternal Society of the Silver way, dedicated to investigating and combatting the Unknown)
  • 10 (or more!) new undead creatures, including the grotesque penangallen and the fearsome lich
  • An in-depth look at how different undead creatures come to be, including discussion of the role these beings occupy in different cultures
  • New pregenerated characters to be use as support or as PCs
  • A new campaign-length case written by Morgan A. McLaughlin McFarland, one of the contributors to all of the Chill 3rd Ed line
  • A brand-new comic by Leonard O’Grady
  • New Edges & Drawbacks”
Art from SAVE: The Eternal Society by Alessandro Alaia
Art from SAVE: The Eternal Society by Alessandro Alaia

 

Wanna-lancer* Reward:

Pledge $100 or more
Witness to the Unknown

You will provide the short witness statement before one of the monster write-ups in the Undead book. You will also received a softcover copy and PDF of Undead. You will work with Matthew McFarland, the developer and author of Monsters, to create this witness statement.

INCLUDES:

  • Undead PDF
  • Undead softcover

*Wanna-lancer™ – A gamer that’s pursuing freelance RPG work. Some back RPG Kickstarters that offer rewards to create NPCs, spells, items, adventures, etc. in order to build up their resume, make contact with publishers, and learn what’s expected on assignments.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Try before you buy with the Chill 3e quickstart and character sheets/pregens. It’s Halloween season and this RPG tickles that bone. You get to play a zombie, but you also can help develop the atmosphere of the game with a write up about a monster or a NPC or create a monster. This is the treat for this holiday.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) Fantasy Stock Art & RPG Minis by James Shields
Ends on .

“50+ Printable Minis and RPG Stock Illustrations created from backer ideas and submissions. Get your favorite character illustrated!

I love creating custom stock illustrations.

I’ve been doing it for years as a way for independent game designers to bridge the difference between stock illustrations and commissioned artwork.

I am now bringing it to Kickstarter.

This project will be creating a minimum of 50 fantasy characters and creatures to be used in roleplaying game products and printable miniatures.

Ideas for what will be illustrated will be provided by YOU. I will first illustrate any guaranteed ideas and then alternate between randomly selecting ideas and choosing those that inspire me.

 

Miniature Mockup. (Backers will help determine template design.)
Miniature Mockup. (Backers will help determine template design.)

The following apply to Stock Illustrations from this project:

  • May be cropped, flipped, or colored.
  • Signature must remain in its original orientation.
  • Must credit ‘Jeshields‘ for any use.
  • May be used indefinitely.
  • May not be used in products sold primarily for artistic value.
    (Stock art, tokens, posters, etc)
  • May not be used in works deemed racist, sexist, or sexually explicit.

Printable Miniatures may be used for personal use only. The only exception to this is for business owners who wish to use the miniatures to demonstrate games.”

Wanna-lancer Reward:

For this project, all submitted ideas must be a single fantasy character or creature. Descriptions should be limited to a single sentence or two at most.

Example: Male orc with elephant bone armor and long braided hair. He’s wielding a spear covered in runes.

Guaranteed illustration ideas may choose to include a background.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

With this you get fantasy art and have the potential to have your idea illustrated by James Shields. Starting at $10, you get the art and to “submit one character or creature idea to be considered for illustration.” If yours gets picked, it could be a nice bonus to this Kickstarter.

 

You can find examples of his work on RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

JEStockArt – Fantasy – Pugtaur with Bone Mace and Helm

 

3) AMP: Year Four – The Year of the Invasion – Tabletop RPG by Third Eye Games
Ends on .

“Continuing the AMP Game Line into Year Four: The Year of the Invasion!

AMP: Year Four is the newest book for the Bampfsies Award Winning AMP: Year One Gameline. If you’d like to check out the AMP: Year One Quickstart, which gives you a rundown of mechanics and setting, check that out HERE.

AMP: Year One is Third Eye Games’ modern supers RPG that drills down into possible timelines when regular people develop superpowers in the year 2015! The AMPs, or people with accelerated mutant potential, discovered their power and struggled with what to do with their newfound abilities. The corebook covered over 54 different powers and laid out a brand new way to look at superhero RPGs. In AMP: Year One, there are no heroes… there are no villains… there are only hard choices!

Each year continues the ongoing storyline with several different characters and groups all attempting to make sense of a senseless world created by the emergence of superpowers. For a year-by-year breakdown, look below:

 

 

 

Now comes AMP: Year Four, the next book in the AMP gameline! It will include the following:

  • Continued Timeline: A complete breakdown of what is going on in 2018, the Year of Invasion for AMPs. Last year was pretty dark, but left a lot of room for positivity near the end. Finally, central characters will be crossing paths and forging new alliances/rivalries in the face of the Orphan threat.
  • Worldwide Material: This book will contain information on how the Orphans are affecting the entire world and tactics may differ between nations.
  • New Affiliations and Player Options: We have four new affiliations, including the Faceless, an offshoot of the UHF bent on even more sinister plots. In addition, we are introducing renegade Orphans as a playable option, those who have broken off from the war to fight beside humans and AMPs alike.
  • New Powers: AMP: Year Four will include new magical inspired power that span the Strains, including the new Sin power and Mother Nature power. These reflect the magical nature seeping into each AMPs mutations without them having to learn actual magic.
  • Magic and Aliens!!!!: The biggest mechanical additions to AMP: Year Four is the inclusion of new rules for playing as Orphans, who have unlocked magical abilities on Earth… for everyone! We’ll have more details on these new beings and how magic will work in the world of AMP soon!”

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

Pledge $250 or more / $325 or  more

Create An AMP / Major Part of the Story

Part of the Story: You receive the GM Starter Pack. In addition, your name will be used for an important NPC in the game world. You could be the leader of the Mystics or even the inventor of the Resistor Suits. There are plenty of others.

Major Part of the Story: You receive the GM Starter Pack tier, as well as the ability to create your own AMP character and it will be made part of ongoing story as whole (combining the Create an AMP and Part of the Story tiers).

Add $10 (per title) for the hardcover version of any of these books.

INCLUDES:
AMP GM Screen
AMP: Year Four (PDF)
AMP: Year Four (Print)
AMP: Year One (PDF)
AMP: Year One (Print)
Pregen Pack
Create an AMP / Create an AMP & Part of the Story

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Try before you buy with these PWYW options AMP: Year One Quickstart and AMP: Year One Cheat Sheet. I just reviewed Eloy Lasanta’s Pip System Corebook on EN World and I loved it, so I have full faith that AMP will be well done. Add to that, AMP is Eloy’s magnum opus with a new part of the story added every year for you to play through and I dig the scope of what he’s generating!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) Rider of the Black Sun: A Fantasy Gamebook by Swen Harder
Ends on .

“Support one of the most ambitious gamebooks ever created! Become a dragon master in the dark fantasy adventure: Rider of the Black Sun!

You are an Ugarith, a master of the night, with no recollection of your origin or past life, waking up after committing a disastrous bloody deed… Being a hunted outcast, you now have to fight for your way to freedom. Meanwhile you discover your superhuman powers and eventually fulfill your sacred duty – bringing back the world from the edge of oblivion.

Whether the Ugarith is destined for a happy, neutral or bleak end depends solely on the decisions you make, for this is no ordinary novel, this is a fantasy gamebook!

With more than 1,350 sections, Rider of the Black Sun is one of most extensive gamebooks ever published. It sets new standards with a completely unique approach to section reference and replayability.

Special features include: Finding hidden bonus sections, epic boss fights taking place in their own unique chapters, detailed combats, and complex puzzles!

Sorry, but what’s a “gamebook”?

A gamebook is an interactive novel that allows the reader to participate in the story by making effective choices. The narrative branches along various paths through the use of numbered paragraphs, called sections. Find out more.”

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Choose your own adventure! I love those going so far as to buy graphic novel recently that advertised itself as the first choose your own adventure comic. Rider of the Black Sun reads as the next evolution of those books with more art and choices and consequences. It’s worth taking a look at.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

1) Heart of Varrul by Small Niche Games
Ends on .

“A sci-fi sourcebook and megadventure for White Star: Science Fiction Roleplaying

Heart of Varrul is a White Star: Science Fiction Roleplaying™ campaign setting book that details the aliens, factions, and conflicts of the Rul System, Tathkee Station, and the Planet Varrul. The Rul System is on the brink of an interstellar gold rush and the PCs are poised to get involved on the ground floor. How they get involved is up to them!

Written by Peter C. Spahn and James M. Spahn, Heart of Varrul expands on the foundation laid by the critically acclaimed White Star: Science Fiction Roleplaying™. With illustrations by longtime White Star™ artist James Shields and maps by Just Insert Imagination’s Morne Schaap, Heart of Varrul is specifically designed to give Referees a readymade location to run hours of adventures.

OVERVIEW

“They call it varrulium. A lightweight ore that, when refined, shows a remarkable ability to deflect energy. It can be used to protect everything from circuit boards to dreadnaught hulls. Some say that certain alloys can even resist the cutting properties of the mystical Star Swords.

The ore is found only on the remote gas giant Varrul, which lies deep in the Galactic Beyond, but that’s not stopping anyone. There are too many free credits to be made. Millions. Maybe billions, all just there for the taking.

The big corporations are sending contractors to locate and strip mine the islands floating through the gas giant’s skies. They are hiring mercenaries to protect their workers from the local fauna. A lot of independent miners have also traveled to Varrul hoping to strike it rich.

There’s a catch of course. Varrul’s turbulent red skies are filled with clouds of toxic gases, ion pockets, and storms of superheated plasma that can burn through even the thickest bulkheads, so every trip into the planet’s atmosphere could be your last.

Then there’s the wildlife. Flocks of power suckers descend on anything with an energy signature. Giant flying worms prowl the airways, attacking and consuming survey and mining vessels. And deadly swarms of insectile beasts have already slaughtered more miners than the Trampallan Plague.

I can see you’re not deterred. Safe travels on your trip. When you get there, Tathkee Station is the place to start. It’s an old SkyMall 5000 series that has been converted to a rough and tumble suborbital spaceport. It’s owner, Ingan Tathkee, is an old friend of mine. Mention my name and he’ll set you on the right path to making your own fortune, but watch your back. There are plenty of lawless types at the station ready to prey on newcomers.

You’d best hurry, though. It’s only a matter of time before the Interstellar Upheaval reaches Varrul—if it hasn’t already. Varrulium ore would be worth a fortune to the war chests of the Galactic Consortium or the Restoration. And some say there’s even more to the planet than meets the eye. Talk among mystics and scholars suggests that Varrul’s swirling gases hide a cosmic secret deep in the planet’s core, in the very heart of Varrul.

Of course, these could all just be rumors. There’s only one way to find out for sure. . . ”

Tathkee Station Directory
Tathkee Station Directory

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

Pledge $50 or more

DEEP SPACE EXPLORER

You have come to Varrul in search of riches and adventure.

At this level, you get all of the perks from the previous levels as well as a PDF copy and link to purchase “at-cost” the Rul System Adventure Pack. This adventure pack will contain three (3) new adventures specific to Tathkee Station and the gas giant Varrul.

In addition, Small Niche Games will work with you to create an NPC to be included in “Heart of Varrul”. This can be an entirely new NPC or a former character whose name you’d like to see in print. All NPCs will possess motivations and plot hooks relevant to Varrul. Select NPCs will even be illustrated by a professional artist (likely as part of a scene) and included in the pages of “Heart of Varrul”.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

If you need the White Star RPG system, it’s available as PWYW here. This is the second James Shields-related Kickstarter on this list. If your into sci-fi (and I contend that 2017 is the Year of the Sci-fi RPG), then this may appeal to you for the system and getting to create a NPC and see it illustrated.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind
We’re planning a short winter project to showcase the process of converting a D&D3.0 adventure to 5E & PFRPG while updating the design.
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 4:53 AM EDT.

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there! I have some more thoughts about this camp here.

Want to sample the quality of their products for free? Try here, here, and here.

 

Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 by Shades of Vengeance 
The critically acclaimed Sci-Fi RPG returns to Kickstarter: get expansions to the universe, as well as the Definitive Edition Rulebook!
Ends on .

Want to know more about the game? You can get the (free) Quickstart pack right here and try it out!

Why signal boost this? Because one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10) – speaks to me. 😉

UPDATE 2017-10-24 at 12:50 EST: I was holding this announcement as a “surprise” but Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance made the gentlest point about integrity, and he’s right, so… Full disclosure, I’m excited about the Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10) stretch goal because I’m writing it. I’ll do an announcement article in the near-future (and push, push, push this product), but let me speak to why I’m signal boosting this – I want it to reach £6,500 so my project goes to print!

 

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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:

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).

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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