5 RPG Kickstarters That Asked Me To Review… So I Did – Endless Realms RPG, World of Alessia, Is It A Plane!?, Necrotopia, and Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art

I get emails and messages and posts [Contact me here] asking if I’d be interested in covering this RPG Kickstarter or that one. Let me express my appreciation at being asked. I’ve never had anyone “tell me” to cover their work, instead it’s always a pleasant introduction and discussion around their work. Always a nice experience, and as best I can, I try to review everyone that asks. I don’t always have the time – I missed New tabletop RPG adventures from Melting Point Publishing from Ben Baker. Not because it was not good, I liked it, I just ran out of space/time –

With this week’s column, I realized that everything I planned to cover had also asked for coverage which helped to theme this article. With that said, let’s look at some tabletop RPG Kickstarters you should back!

 

Endless Realms RPG by Lunar Games
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“Welcome to Endless Realms, a new roleplaying experience with two corebooks and myriad realities with one constant: balance is fragile.

Welcome to Lumis

Welcome to the Endless Realms – a crossroads of infinite civilizations, animals, peoples, and abominations that gather in the world of Lumis. Those that live there readily manipulate the cosmic energies that the gods themselves used to forge the world, creating tools and resources that mighty spirits seek to claim for themselves. Riddled with tears in the fabric of time and space, Lumis has become a vibrant and turbulent melting pot.

Lumis is the crossroads where an endless number of realms overlap. The species that have made it their home – by fate, chance, or nefarious purpose – each have their own lore, history, and culture, providing rich soil from which to weave intricate and interesting narratives. Their complex views of morality present a scheme far greater than the simple axis of good and evil.

The Balance System

Lumis is a world of balance, from fragile diplomatic relations between races and cities, all the way down to the mechanics that make life and adventure possible. Every roll of chance, strategy, and choice is made with two ten-sided dice – one rolled by the player and the other by the Storyteller.

Bonuses are applied by skill and fiat, and even a critical failure can succeed in the hands of the right character and circumstances.

This carries over into combat. Attackers have a chance to show their mettle – and so do defenders. An attack may deal a high value of damage, a low value, or none at all; how much pain the defender feels depends on who has the stronger stats and the better roll.

The Balance System is easy to visualize, but versatile enough to allow for a variety of games and creative solutions. It encourages Storytellers to create interactive social encounters that test and reward players who put time into their backstories, fundamental vices and virtues, and skill choices in an immediate and tangible way.

It’s our mission to breathe fresh life into fantasy roleplaying, to connect with a new generation and veteran adventurers alike, and bring Endless Realms from our table to yours.

Both of the books are nearly complete – a 300+ page Core Rulebook and 280+ page Creature Compendium. Written, edited, play-tested and refined, with gorgeous illustrations liberally strewn throughout. All that’s left is last-minute adjustments, formatting, and printing; after that, it’s simply a matter of getting them to you!

It’s a start. We’re not done yet, not by a long shot – the next step is building a community of players and storytellers. We want to know what you like best so that we can tailor future content to your gaming style and keep giving you the best possible tools to run campaigns. We want to empower our players with everything from dice to expansive modules that allow storytellers to customize and build while allowing players to explore and grow.

Like the Balance System that drives Endless Realms, the more you put in, the more you get out. Once we’re into stretch goals we can start with the supplements, miniatures, dice, novels, and more. We can make that dream a reality. Come with us and let’s see how far we can go.

Please note that our delivery estimates, as outlined in the TIME FRAME section further down the page, include a generous window for any add-ons unlocked through stretch goals.  Digital versions of the Core Rulebook, Creature Compendium, adventures, and short stories will be delivered as Amazon Kindle eBooks; all other digital content is in PDF format.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

What is one of the measures of how strong your creative team is? When one of the members proactively reaches out to spread the word about your game. Andrew J. Lucas, writer and consultant on the Endless Realms RPG, did just that, and I’m grateful that he did. Endless Realms RPG looks like an exceptional piece of RPG with amazing art! The system – The Balance System – uses 2d10 with the player rolling one die and the GM rolling the other. They’ve promised a quickstart and I’m eager to sample it because I’d like to know how this system will work out at the table.

One side note, Lunar (Endless Realms RPG) Games’ CEO is Kirsty Garbe, an individual who is helping to make positive change in the fabric of the RPG industry. Great looking game from a creative team that is passionate about the project! I support her efforts as well as her team’s!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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IS IT A PLANE!?: comic book RPG that replaces dice with pens by Psychic Cactus Games
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“Use drawings on Panels in limited time to create your character actions. Features fast-paced, simultaneous play!

IIaP logo, by Debbie Jackson.
IIaP logo, by Debbie Jackson.

Is It a Plane!? is not just about playing comic book characters; you create the comic book as you play!

Protagonists must create actions to deal with Situations, from Bank Robberies to Alien Invasions!

Players must DRAW their intended actions, rather than describe them; you may have three minutes… or you may only have thirty seconds!

No artistic skill is required; rudimentary and simplistic stick-people doodles are just fine.

Play is fast and frantic, and player action is entirely simultaneous.

When complete, Panels are placed in a sequence of events across two Pages.

You might have been attempting to fireball a villain and launch them through a building… but what happens next is what the Editor (GM) thinks you were doing, based on your doodles!

Front cover for IIaP, painting by James Hayball, logos by Debbie Jackson.
Front cover for IIaP, painting by James Hayball, logos by Debbie Jackson.

If you mean that you are bad at drawing, worry not true believer! In the limited time to draw that all players will have, even artists will create hastily drawn images that may occasionally be misinterpreted. If you can draw crude stick-people and wonky squares that are supposed to be houses, then that’ll do just fine.

GM playtester and backer Mike Hammond sums this up pretty well: “The funny thing about drawing skill is that it’s actually tangential to the game! The real skill this game calls for is more like art direction – choosing a distinctive colour scheme and framing your scenes with enough simplicity to convey the action. If you can pick a consistent colour and maybe one good distinguishing feature of your character, then as long as you can draw a stick figure and write the word “POW!” then you can play as well as anyone.”

Photograph courtesy of GM playtester and backer, Mike Hammond.
Photograph courtesy of GM playtester and backer, Mike Hammond.

The more you play, the more you will find easy ways to communicate what you are doing to the Editor (Games Master). You may also get better at drawing at speed when playing a campaign. This game could also be used to learn or relearn how to draw, and there is a potential draw for young players, and for people that may benefit from physical therapy.

If you cannot physically draw, then you could be the Editor. The Editor does not have to draw at all (though they have options to do so), and this is quick and easy to pick up, and far less complicated than most RPGs.

I am also working on adding in some additional optional rules to further aid players who are not confident at drawing or physically unable to do so in the way the game requires.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Before Christopher Dean sent me a message about his game, I’d already seen it and knew I wanted to cover it. The core concept, role-play and then, for action sequences, draw your super hero character’s actions in a comic book format. It’s such a good idea! Add to it, the GM is the Editor, you’re playing the game in the medium of sequential storytelling, there’s a nice bit of meta-storytelling in this game. Are you role-playing superheroes, or playing freelance comic creators creating superhero comics?

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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World of Alessia Campaign Primer for 5e D&D & Starfinder by Storm Bunny Studios
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“The World of Alessia Campaign Primer: Discover new species, classes, spells, and items with this brand new world!

Imagined by Finish visionary and tabletop RPG enthusiast Jere Manninen, the World of Alessia is a step into a truly fantastic future. Alessia casts off the traditional fantasy assumptions and introduces players to a wider world with a host of new species, technology, powers, and places to explore – for both Starfinder and 5e.

A terran monk and his allies battle a summoned servant of the Cult of Galgaræ. ~Illustration by Septimius Ferdian
A terran monk and his allies battle a summoned servant of the Cult of Galgaræ. ~Illustration by Septimius Ferdian

The World of Alessia is a high-fantasy campaign setting that combines Wuxia, science fiction, and magic-driven technology. It is a massive world where magic and technology coexist peacefully, impacting every aspect of life, from the Healing Houses of Sillias to the Great Towers of Xin. It is a land where Fyrean Genies meet with Asrian Wardens and The Gangs of Khatu push their Drifters across the desert sands, seeking resources and victims of every kind.

Mockup image of the Campaign Primer
Mockup image of the Campaign Primer

The World of Alessia Campaign Primer is a comprehensive introduction to Alessia. The primer includes details on the world of Alessia, its threats, the factions that drive its politics, and the many people who walk Alessia’s streets.

A host of new familiars grace the pages of the primer.
A host of new familiars grace the pages of the primer.

Beautifully illustrated with full-color art, the World of Alessia Campaign Primer will inspire GMs while providing players with a host of new options to take their 5e or Starfinder game to the next level.

The World of Alessia Campaign Primer brings you:

  • 11 new races (and more with each stretch goal we achieve).
  • 4 new classes – the Marauder, the Psion, the Seer, and the Tecker.
  • A system of Stunts and Resolve (for 5e play).
  • A garage full of new gear, vehicles, armor, and weapons for your 5e and Starfinder games.
  • New rules for attaining unique familiars.
  • And lots more awesome options for your game!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I attended Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind. [FYI – I was a terrible camper.] Despite my lack of active participation in the camp, all of the instructors were awesome and everything that was shared was very instructional. As Jason Storm Bunny Studios Sonia was one of said instructors, when I saw the World of Alessia Campaign Primer for 5e D&D & Starfinder Kickstarter, I knew I’d cover it. When Jason pinged me with “Basically, I’m writing Chinese Wuxia/SciFi meets High Magic. So Eberron meets Firefly meets Star Wars meets Spelljammer“, I knew I was in (and had a quote). What is this? A great Starfinder (and 5e, but more Starfinder) setting. Add to that, the art is WOW-FUN! Very stylized, vibrant, and eager to be seen. It’s 5e and Starfinder, it looks great, and Jason Sonia is an excellent creator, I recommend this book!

 

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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Necrotopia: Handbook to the Apocalypse by Keenan Dunham
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“Necrotopia is a pen and paper role-playing game. We are making books one and two in paperback and digital. This will fund further books

Necrotopia Handbook to the Apocalypse

Necrotopia is a role playing game written and developed by Keenan Dunham.  This is an independent project of a combination of ideas and stories Keenan has created.  Our goal is to release five role playing books in the Necrotopia Universe and then develop a complete hardback omnibus of the first five books.  With the limited time-frame of the first kickstarter we will only be releasing books one and two along with some special bonuses.  Artists are being paid up front for original art used, not from promises of future money.  Some art used is public domain.

The game itself is meant to be a beginners pen and paper role-playing game that can appeal to anyone.  It is simple and highly customizable.  Here is a sample of the story from book one:

“Necrotopia’s story begins with sparks of an invasion of demonic and interdimensional forces attacking Earth, initiating a battle for survival and conquest. There is a battle between Heaven and Hell brewing and you and your friends are caught in the middle. What happens depends on you with one person taking the role of Game Maestro and the rest taking the roles of role playing characters.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

Keenan Duncan sent me an alpha, or beta, advanced copy of the first book in his RPG. I enjoyed it and was excited to read the campaign. However, after reading the campaign description page for Necrotopia: Handbook to the Apocalypse, I thought about suggesting some fixes because there were holes in the description (lack of details). I was going to, but then I read the campaign’s FAQ which answered most of my concerns. So, if you check out the campaign, I suggest you read the description page and the FAQ to get a better idea of what Necrotopia offers.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art by James Shields
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“Mix and match sci-fi stock art to create instant masterpieces for your tabletop roleplaying game.

Stock art & RPG tokens have their challenges.
This is an attempt to hurdle at least one of them.

Mix, match, and make your own masterpiece.
Mix, match, and make your own masterpiece.

This project will provide over 250 inked and colored components. Mix and match to create your own sci-fi masterpieces for RPG publishing or tabletop tokens. For this series, subjects will include: weapons, ships, portraits, characters, and scenes.

All components will be available in color as well as black and white PNG files at 300 DPI. Photoshop (.psd) files will also be made available for the Stock Art Master pledge level. These files will include vector lines and allow easy color changes and other editing options.

Files will be neatly organized by subject, color format, layer, and more.

The Just Tokens pledge level will include individual image components plus a Photoshop (.psd) file formatted for easy custom portraits and ships. Token images will be no larger than 300×300 pixels. Just toggle various layers for the image you want, then export for your personal tabletop use!

Backers will have the option of fulfillment through DriveThruRPG or a direct Dropbox link. Digital files on DriveThruRPG.com are stored virtually indefinitely.

All backers will have the ability to submit ideas to a suggestion pool for inspiration. Submitting an idea does not guarantee it will be selected or used. The Art Collector pledge level does have that guarantee though.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I covered one of James’ prior art campaigns (that one a bit of fantasy art) here. The idea for this one, sci-fi stock art that is inspired by the contributors, is a win. Add to that, you can get the art as Photoshop files so you can customize it to better fit your setting. As an example, below is a GIF of how that customization might look.

 

Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art by James Shields – Sample Customization

You can see examples of their work at RPGNow 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 orwall 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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

Kickstarter Reflections – Mailing List Blues

Copies now available for order! Click the image to see how!

I’m in the process of final fulfillment of my Kickstarter for the Gilded Age, but I’ve got all these thoughts swirling around in my head about the process over the last year or so.

So I’ve taken rants from my emails to friends and put them on here so that you can see how dumb I am sometimes and how innocent mistakes can lead to bigger things…

Anyway, this is Part 1 of who knows how many posts about Getting Ready for a Kickstarter/How to have a Successful Kickstarter/ or maybe just:

How to Fund a Kickstarter and lose your mind at the same time!

***

Mailing List Blues

 

One of the things that I continually come up against is:

How to inform people of “Your Stuff”?

This Blog was kind of part 1 of this thing.

I have 2 books, 2 novellas, a couple of comics… not Jeremy Neil yet, but working on it. So how do you get people from going – “That’s a nice blog post, now what are these cats going to do in this video?” to “Oh that’s a nice blog post, now what books has John written?”

I still don’t know. I’m sure I’ve gotten a handful of sales from the blog (or at least I hope I have), but I certainly haven’t gotten any kind of numbers to talk about. It feels like Jeremy does ok with the blog, though he has (at least) 3 things going for him:

  • A new release like monthly.
  • A million books that could each sell 1-2 copies a week and get him some nice folding money.
  • A couple of posts which have gone viral – one which literally gets like 150/day and 75/day. Even if only a very small fraction of people ever buy one of his books, he’s getting in there just based on sheer volume.

So what’s the answer?

An Email List.

The original mailing list software!

That’s what all these podcasts and blogs and grandma’s who don’t actually know what an Email List actually is, but they are also sure you need to be doing this.

Again, if you wait for them to stumble upon you, then you are going to be clearly disappointed. So I turned to giving away Gilded Age #1 in order to get emails on Instafreebie.com. I did the trial for a month and probably averaged 1-2 a day for the month. I went ahead and signed up for $20/month in order to get more. I’ve got 70ish people in roughly 2 months. So that’s a success for me.

All of this is looking toward the Gilded Age Kickstarter. I get the 1st issue into people’s hands and maybe I can actually fund this thing.

Since it had been a couple of months for the very first person who got the issue, I decided this would be the perfect time to send out the “Welcome to my email list” message. On part of a Thursday night and too much time on a Friday night, I got C working like I wanted it to, and crafted my initial message. I even got it set up where if you join the list from here on out, you’ll get an automated “Thanks for joining!” message (though I’m currently unsure this actually is working the way it should – something else to add to the list of things to do).

About 11:00 PM on Friday I kicked off the campaign.

MailChimp has all sorts of analytics going on. They know where the people are (what country) how many people have opened your email, who clicked on links within it (I actually had a link to both Tessera and the free copy of Gilded Age just in case). They tell you how many have unsubscribed…

And they tell you how many people have reported “Abuse”.

Hmmm. I didn’t see anything about that before. Why do I have 1 of those already and the campaign is like 10 minutes old.

A little research and I find that “Abuse” is whenever you click that little button in your Gmail/yahoo/whatever that says “Report as Spam”. That triggers an “Abuse report”.

No biggie. I’m sure that happens all the time.

***

Let me back up slightly. When I prepared to send out to my subscribers, I had to upload the Instafreebie’s contact list because I hadn’t automated the process yet (should have done that immediately, but I didn’t know if it was going to work all that well and…). I was surprised to see that I had about 900+ people on my MailChimp list already (by clicking on the submission form on my website). The name column was odd for a ton of them – like numbers and letters, but I thought, perhaps that either these were fake OR possibly C did that as a way to identify people. Either way, if they were fake, they’d bounce back or whatever, and if not, then yea! Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

***

So back to the reports… slowly over the next hour, I got about 2 more “Abuse”. I started worrying. Hmm, I wonder what that will end up meaning. Oh, and I really am wondering what the threshold might be?

Well, according to MailChimp, you should have only 1 in 1000…

I’d sent out 1047 and had 4 at this point… I passed the threshold. I went to bed and it was at 5.

When I woke up on Saturday, it was at 8 and MailChimp had issued me an email telling me that I had to use a “Double Opt-in” which they enacted on the website – Oh Good!

The funny thing was I had spent over an hour trying to do that very thing on Thursday night. I went through the various tutorials and videos and whatever and could NOT get it to work. Oh, and now I could not import any further contacts. On the plus side, they would allow me to send a “Reconfirmation Email” to everyone on the list (who hadn’t already unsubscribed or bounced emails) to ensure they really did want to be on the list.

So I take the time to set that up on Saturday night and sent it off, BUT I also sent support an email saying – What my initial email was about and gave a link to the Instafreebie site and that the reports were probably from a “Stale list”.

 

Here’s where my further frustrations come from. They replied:

“Downloading a free digital publication does not grant the expressed and verifiable permission for bulk emails as set by the standards of ISPs, SpamCops, and corporate filtering services.

In order for book downloads to be accepted an opt-in box would need to be added to the form allowing for contacts to make the clear choice to opt-in in.”

 

To which I responded:

If you follow the link to where the comic is exchanged for their email: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/2V0z3 you will see that it is about as explicit as it can be to let them know what it is they are signing up for. The title is “Sign up for John McGuire’s mailing list”. There is a “Claim” button and there is a notice at the bottom that says “By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from John McGuire.”

It would seem to me that anyone signing up to claim my comic book would do so with full knowledge of what they were exchanging.

I’m just a little confused by the statement above.

 

And this was their response:

While the top of the free book download does mention that this is for your mailing list the overall expectation that is given from the form is of a book download. It can be very easy to miss those top three words.

Because permission is based on something being optional–and therefore, the contact makes the choice to sign up or not–it will need for the form to be changed so that the contact can get the book download without choosing to sign up for newsletters.

***

Whaa? So I can tell them that this is for my mailing list. I can provide them with a product in exchange for their email… which they have to enter in order to CLAIM the item. And that isn’t enough? I have to say – “Hey, sign up for my list or not. And oh, here’s something just because!”

Maybe I’m misreading. Maybe I’m misguided. Maybe I’m wrong. But come on! That doesn’t make any sense.

***

Either way, those 70 people are possibly gone! Any legitimate people who signed up through the website are gone! I’m basically back to my starting point. Sigh.

The one silver lining to this is that 15 people reconfirmed. Hopefully, some more will do so in the next couple of days. And it seems the automated bit from Instafreebie directly into MailChimp actually still works (I guess because they are doing it and not me, I don’t know and I’m not going to bring any attention to it). So, in theory, any further people who get Gilded Age #1 will automatically join the list.

Just another chapter in the saga of “Things I wish I had done correctly the first time”

***

This actually marked the proper start of my Mailing List. It now has around 200 people on it, many of which actually came from the Kickstarter itself (so kind of backward from what you might think). I knew that I should have started clean… I knew it and still, I clicked that button because the number was so big, and I wanted to get started. There is no time to wait to do it the “right way”. And that’s on me.

Still learning… every day.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

6 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Lankhmar Savage Seas of Nehwon, Sovereign Stone, THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS, The Overworld and Beyond, A Delve in a Cave, and New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2e

This week let’s look at two Savage Worlds, one Call of Cthulhu, one 5e, and one 13th Age RPG Kickstarters. In each of these, there is a moment of continuity where these campaigns build on prior work from continuing Lankhmar to giving Elmore and Miskatonic Valley new homes to continuing the learning curve of a new creator to the finished version of an adventure, or just another great product from a company I covered toward the beginning of this column’s life. These continuations are worth checking out.

 

Lankhmar Savage Seas of Nehwon, a Fantasy RPG by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
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“Fritz Leiber’s best-selling tales of Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser come alive in Pinnacle’s Savage Worlds Lankhmar: City of Thieves setting!

A Kickstarter Booster for Lankhmar: City of Thieves!

In the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes, danger lurks down every dark alley. Sinister sorcerers summon terrible forces in their crumbling towers. Treacherous rogues of the Thieves’ Guild prowl the Plaza of Dark Delights. Assassins from the Slayers’ Brotherhood work the Tenderloin District. And hunched figures skitter beneath the streets, waiting for their chance to rise.

Now your party of warriors and scoundrels can expand their adventures beyond Lankhmar to the high seas of Nehwon. They might venture to the Sea of Stars to confront priests of the ancient and terrible Mokrath, or book passage to Rime Isle and fall prey to “The Thing From Below.”

The Savage Seas of Nehwon contains everything a Game Master needs to create incredible tales of high sea-based adventures for Lankhmar or ANY fantasy Savage Setting, including:

  • The Seas of Nehwon: Overviews of the Inner Sea, Outer Sea, Frozen Sea, Sea of Stars, Sea of the East, and Lankhmar’s docks and harbors.
  • Characters: New Edges, Hindrances, powers, and Setting Rules dealing with ships and the sea.
  • Ships: Statistics for the various ocean-going vessels of Nehwon, Setting Rules, naval maneuvers, and rules for savage storms!
  • Adventure Generator: A complete adventure generator for creating your own fantastic Savage Tales!
  • Savage Tales: Sea-based adventures in Fritz Leiber’s incredible style, such as “Jewel of the Deep,” “Queen of the Sunken Realm,” “Bride of the Golden Isle,” and more!
  • Denizens of the Deep: New beasts to drag your heroes from the decks of their ships to the briny depths!

 

We want to support our settings after the core releases and have been trying to figure out how for a while. So we’re trying a “Booster” as an experiment. You might think it’s easy for an established company like Pinnacle to just put new product into the retail chain, but it’s not (See  “Why Kickstarter?” below).

Right now, Kickstarter is still the best place for many of our customers who don’t have a local game store, or whose game store doesn’t carry Savage Worlds, to find out about and pick up our games. We’ll still do our big, full-on Kickstarters just like we’ve done before for our new settings and other big projects. But creating all the Stretch Goals and extra products we need to support those doesn’t make sense for a follow-on book, so we’re doing something a little different…the Booster.

If it works out, you’ll see more of these. (We’ve got books for The Last Parsec and Savage Rifts® already in the works.)

So what does all that mean for you? Pledge for Savage Seas and we’ll give you the Booster Rewards listed below (including a REALLY cool adventure written by Shane Hensley that follows on with the work he did on the original 1992 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons!)”

The 1996 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Shane Hensley!
The 1996 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Shane Hensley!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

My first introduction to Savage Worlds was the free Savage Worlds: Test Drive 2015 quickstart set in Lankhmar. The price point combined with the familiar setting let me sample, and enjoy, Savage Worlds. I’m excited about this Kickstarter boost (and the concept of “boosts”. I hope to see more of them). In this age of kickstart-and-forget products, where a project may obtain amazing levels of crowdfunding, produce the book, but never delve into a follow-up book, I salute Pinnacle Entertainment Group for expanding their Lankhmar setting/license. Demonstrating their investment in the setting keeps me interested in it (knowing there’s more material to work with) so I can’t wait to see the Savage Seas of Nehwon.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – D&D 5e Pathfinder Adventures by Dark by Dezign
Ends on .

“2 Fill-in Adventure Anthology Books for D&D 5e and Pathfinder Compatible RPG adventures. Each book Print + Digital and each 200+ pages!

THE 2 BOOKS of THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS Project
THE 2 BOOKS of THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS Project

(all credits + well-deserved thank you’s are in the About Me section)

5+1 FREE PREVIEW PDF links – VERY Important. Trust me, Buddy…

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/27f8ntfofs8oklq/AADuJzcxsHP48DW2FlqxN2HQa?dl=0

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS project is composed of 2 books that are to be in digital pdf and high-quality printed softcover or hardcover formats. Both books will be 200+ pages long. Each of the 2 books is D&D 5e and Pathfinder-compatible and for PCs between levels 1-20. NOTE – There is more to each book than just adventures. Please read to find out more. Here are a few more characteristics for each book:

THE LOST TOMES - Volume 1 + DEMON BOX of RAYNETH
THE LOST TOMES – Volume 1 + DEMON BOX of RAYNETH

THE LOST TOMES – Volume 1 – 16 adventures based on a secret society known as THE LOST TOME SOCIETY. This society is made up of 16 of the very best NPCs the players might ever come across. Experts in their chosen fields, and all of them have some form of a tarnished history and back story. The 16 founding members of The Lost Tome Society are making amends for their misdeeds by hunting down the greatest and most powerful relics, artifacts, magic items and pieces of lost lore while destroying evil along the way. PCs are tasked to on adventures of 16
very diverse types, genres, as well as a different look, tone and feel
kind of variety.

The 16 LOST TOME SOCIETY founding members.
The 16 LOST TOME SOCIETY founding members.

Each of the 16 adventures is based around a founding member’s special skill set and the missions that correspond to said skill set. There is a FREE, 45-page PREVIEW BOOK that can be downloaded from Dropbox, but in a nutshell, these 16 adventures are based around the following:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/428501801/1639442857?ref=8r6u5b&token=bbf144db

01-BOUNTY HUNTING – Manzius Stone
02-ASSASSIN’S TOOLS – Manrick Crow
03-ARTIFACTS & RELICS – Odessa Roark
04-CARTOGRAPHY – Fernandius Kase
05-TAROT OF BELAGOS – Dharna Brim
06-DEMONOLOGY – Moggrett Null
07-MAGIC WEAPONS – Professor Langellan
08-SIEGE WARFARE – Darnius Rex
09-MONSTER HUNTING – Crazy Keturchkin Dyatlov
10-TRAPSMITHING – Cribner Larkett
11-LOST SPELLBOOKS – Abner Totleben
12-HERALDRY – Melody Lynn
13-MYSTERIES & ODDITIES – Rhodale Scribner
14-MAGIC ITEMS – Cynthia Bebansin
15-TREASURE CHAMBER – Benaltec Orr
16-ALCHEMICAL & ELIXIRS – Cyd Neade

• 16 Bios on each of the 16 founders of THE LOST TOME SOCIETY

• 16 short adventures based on the 16 founders’ skill sets

• Multiple pieces of ART, MAPS, DIAGRAMS and PLAYER HANDOUTS

• Map of The Lost Tome Society and where the members and scholars eat, sleep and play

• Compatibility charts that show how each of the 16 founders thinks of each other

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS - Volume 1 - The 20 Sigils of Power
THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – Volume 1 – The 20 Sigils of Power

 THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – Volume 1 – 20-26 short, fill-in adventures between 5-12+ pages each. Perfect for when the DM/GM runs out of adventure content, the session ends too early, or the campaign needs a bit of a fresh boost. 20-26 D&D 5e and Pathfinder-compatible adventures for PCs between levels 1-20.

A collection of 5 + 1 FREE PDF samples can be found below. Please note that these 5 + 1 FREE PDF samples are from previously published DBD titles and are NOT actual content that will be in either of these 2 books. ENJOY!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/27f8ntfofs8oklq/AADuJzcxsHP48DW2FlqxN2HQa?dl=0

• The 20 SECRET powers of THE AMULET OF POWER
(pictured above)

• 20-26 short adventures that are all 100% BRAND NEW, UNIQUE and diverse

• Multiple pieces of ART, MAPS, DIAGRAMS and PLAYER HANDOUTS”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Matthew A. Bogdan of Dark by Dezign is all-energy. I reached out to him for an interview on the Open Gaming Network (here) and he opened up and shared facts, hard numbers, and what he was looking for from this project. Each book offers interesting adventures for 5e and Pathfinder that have a unique feel. I believe that he is going to deliver on his campaign and, likely, over-deliver. I can’t swear they’ll be thicker books that roll out for Halloween, but I suspect it heavily. But, don’t take my word for it, read the interview I did with him or his interview on Dan Davenport’s site.

 

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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A Delve in the Cave: 5th Edition Adventure by Signal Fire Studios
Ends on .

“A curse. A cave. A crawl. 1st level scenario for the world’s most popular roleplaying game!

I’m returning to my personal and professional gaming roots with a 32-page adventure for 5th edition of the original fantasy roleplaying game—a cavern crawl built to please hack-and-slash groups and storytellers alike!

I started playing fantasy roleplaying games in 1982 at seven years old. (Yes, THAT fantasy RPG.) As an adult I accidentally stumbled into a career publishing supplements and adventures for THAT game along with designing RPG systems of my own. Check out my Goodreads page or visit my website for more info.

Last year I was in Texas for a regional game convention, and while in my booth I scribbled out two pages worth of adventure notes for 5th Edition of the world’s oldest and most popular roleplaying game (yes, THAT one) and ran a few players through it before we packed up and drove back to Atlanta.

Then I sat down and typed about ten thousand words. Very quickly this became a real thing. The adventure premiered at the Origins Game Fair in 2017 with an Early Access edition.

Interest and sales of the Early Access version surprised me, and we’ve gotten great response to from groups that have run through it.

We want to offer a high-quality product and keep the price low for tabletop game retailers and the folks who shop at them. Our initial goal will let us pay everyone who’s helped with this product a fair wage, print enough to sell through distribution channels, and keep our business going. If we blow past the initial amount we will offer stretch goals that enhance and upgrade the product for everyone!

The Early Access version is complete, which means every backer at the $5 level or higher will receive a fully-playable PDF once the backer surveys are complete. These files will be automatically upgraded to the final version once the adventure has gone to press!

The “dungeon crawl” in the cave takes up most of the Early Access edition. The final version will expand the town of Shadowhaven where the story begins, providing adventure hooks to get the heroes involved in the mystery that threatens the community—as well as a potentially dangerous journey to the tomb of the town’s founder, whose bones rest in a cavern under a hill. The encounters and ending will be rewritten slightly and adjusted based on playtest feedback.

"Coblynau" by Lindsay Archer — a new fey creature!
“Coblynau” by Lindsay Archer — a new fey creature!

The black-and-white map of the main dungeon is complete, as well as a few interior illustrations. These will be supplemented by additional artwork and a full-color poster version of the map by artist Ben Mund (Serenity Atlas of the ‘Verse) that can be printed at 36″ x 48″ that will provide an attractive set-piece for gamers who enjoy a visual and tactical experience.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I followed the early edition of this game and its IndieGoGo campaign here and here. I enjoyed the DIY version of the crawl; now, I’m looking forward to the finished product.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2ed for Call of Cthulhu by Stygian Fox Publishing
Ends on .

“‘New Tales from Miskatonic Valley’ 2nd Edition produced under license for the Call of Cthulhu RPG by Chaosium Inc.

New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley returns!

Lauded as authentically Lovecraftian and much loved for of its mood and style, New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley returns with a full-colour second edition. With its new art, varied formats (PDF, Kindle, softcover, and hardback), and an extra scenario, this Kickstarter will make its rightful return to print, uplifted to Call of Cthulhu, 7th Edition.

Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission. www.chaosium.com

Miskatonic River Press released New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley to great acclaim and it quickly became a favourite among Call of Cthulhu Keepers. Its faithful adherence to Lovecraftian themes and its location along the dark river it takes its name from, meant a return to an authentic home for many players who cut their anti-mythos teeth on earlier adventures set in the valley.

Started by Keith ‘Doc’ Herber and Tom Lynch, it quickly marked MRP as a company to watch. Tragically, Doc passed away while working on a subsequent title (Our Ladies of Sorrow with Kevin Ross) but Tom kept his dream alive and grew upon it with further books. Sadly, MRP closed its doors a couple of years ago and the titles have been out of print as Tom Lynch focused on writing fiction and his family.

Last year, Stygian Fox purchased four titles from Tom Lynch/MRP in order to bring them back to players of the world’s greatest horror game and in turn, we aim to release new and updated versions of New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, More Adventures in Arkham Country, Our Ladies of Sorrow, and Tales of the Sleepless City.

In New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, there are currently six scenarios and we aim to add a seventh set in the valley or Innsmouth (although Innsmouth isn’t in the Miskatonic Valley it is such an integral part of Lovecraft Country as to be hard to ignore). The original is black and white and 130 pages. We aim to increase that to 160 pages and to make it full colour with all new art.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This product represents a rebirth. On EN World, I touched on some of the issues that Miskatonic River Press experienced with another CoC Kickstarter – including the end of MRP. What Stygian Fox Publishing did by purchasing MRP’s contents and creating this Kickstarter represents the restoration of one of the better licensed 3PP Call of Cthulhu products. By going this route, Stygian is letting gamers enjoy books that might have faded away, and I salute them for doing this.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Overworld and Beyond (13th Age RPG Planar Adventures) by Dread Unicorn Games
Ends on .

“The Overworld and Beyond, planar adventures for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game by the legendary Ash Law.

Journey to the Planes with Ash Law!

The Overworld and Beyond presents planar-hopping adventures for the 13th Age roleplaying game. It includes a backwater setting that includes towns, wilderness, and gates to other worlds, all ready for you to incorporate into your gameworld.

Adventure for All Tiers of Play

  • The Carrow Hills a perfect sandbox for adventure-tier play. Hooks, rumors, and NPCs are all interwoven to create a setting where the locals think being close to other planes is just the way thing are.
  • Attack of the Koblins a champion-tier adventure. What are these strange creatures warped by transdimensional energies, and why are they striking out at innocent people?
  • Further Adventures in the Carrow Hills give the GM a collection of champion-tier adventure hooks that tie into what’s happened before, and foreshadow the epic-tier challenges ahead.
  • Into the Overworld presents the party with an epic-tier problem that won’t be solved without traveling to many planes

There’s a 5th-6th level adventure that has PCs up against forces from another world.

There’s a 9th-10th level adventure that has the PCs traveling to myriad other planes: the City at the Edge of Dawn, the Elemental Realms, the Fleshscape, the Green, the Lightless Realm, and the Middenlands.

The project includes pages of adventure hooks, a bestiary, 13 Weird Worlds, 13 Peculiar People, and more!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

A new planar option for 13th Age is a win, but why I think this’ll be a great product is because of their prior work, The Gods Have Spoken. I covered Dread Unicorn Games The Gods Have Spoken for 5e here (13th Age edition available here). That game is alive with quirky detail and fun art. If The Overworld and Beyond approaches that level of good, it’ll be well worth adding to your library.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Savage Worlds Sovereign Stone by Applied Vectors
Ends on Fri, June 1 2018 5:17 PM EDT.

“This project brings Larry Elmore’s Sovereign Stone to the Savage Worlds game system.

Loerem is a world of beauty and enchantment created by renowned fantasy artist Larry Elmore, with development from New York Times best-selling authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Through Elmore’s vivid visual renditions of unique personalities, clashing nations, fantastical creatures, and enchanting landscapes alongside a saga weaved by Weis & Hickman, the culmination chronicled the mortals’ struggle to master the unfathomable power of the Sovereign Stone given them from the gods — an artifact forged for peace among races but which ignited war between brothers.

Applied Vectors LTD are pleased to be bringing this wonderful world into the Savage Worlds fold. This Kickstarter is to fund the development of the game and cover writing and layout costs. This will be built from the ground up specifically for Savage Worlds (this is no mere conversion).

This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.

The game requires a copy of Savage Worlds that can be purchased from the Pinnacle Entertainment Group store.

The Sovereign Stone

The Sovereign Stone is a lustrous crystal pyramid of four triangles that form a quadrangle at the base and come together in a point at the apex. Approximately sixteen inches tall, the artifact is carved of a single piece of crystal. It was given to King Tamaros of the Vinnengalean Empire, and in order to broker peace, he separated it into four equal pieces. One quarter went to the humans, one to the elves, one to the orks, and the last to the dwarves.

Here is where the story grows murky, clouded over with rumors and tales, few of which can be believed. One thing that is known for certain is that an army led by one of the King’s sons marched on the city, and consequently the human portion of the stone was lost in a cataclysmic explosion which obliterated Old Vinnengael and left very few survivors, little accurate accounts are told of those last, terrible days. Much of what people know about King Tamaros and the Sovereign Stone is rumor and myth that has been building for the past two hundred years.

Since that day men have quested for the lost part of the Sovereign Stone to no avail. Old Vinnengael is now a cursed and abhorrent landmark. Few who venture there ever return alive, but still there are those brave or foolish enough to attempt it, drawn by the magic that pervades the city ruins and the riches said to be buried in the rubble.

There are accounts of a dark army marching across Loerem from the west, but few trust the tales. Still, some learned scholars have renewed their efforts to find the lost portion of the Sovereign Stone and reunite its parts in order to combat this or any other threat to the people of Loerem.

Do you dare trespass into Old Vinnengael or are you brave enough to face the threat from the west?

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Larry Elmore plus Savage Worlds equals gold! On Open Gaming Network, I have an interview with Ian Liddle (Applied Vectors) about Savage Worlds Sovereign Stone that gets into why I dig this project (link here).

 

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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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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Overlight, Black Void, and Shattered Tower

In this week’s list, the three RPG Kickstarters I spotlight are a tour de force of art! These three have inspiring images that key in on the feel of the worlds and their mechanics. Each Kickstarter is an original system, each one a fantasy setting, and each one as beautifully rendered as one could desire, read on to see.

 

Black Void RPG by Christoffer Sevaldsen
Ends on .

“A dark fantasy tabletop roleplaying game about the fall and resurgence of humanity.

In the days when Babylon was the greatest city on Earth, mankind lived in placid ignorance of the grandeur, vastness and horror of the cosmos. Following cataclysmic events on Earth the fragile veil between reality and the Void was shattered and the truth of existence revealed. As mankind cried for salvation they were torn from their homeworld by Void-torrents and the surviving peoples of Earth were scattered among the stars. Countless were lost and mankind seemed all but perished. Over the decades the survivors, stragglers and ragged remnants of mankind’s tribes struggled for their lives across countless uncaring worlds. However, a few managed to go beyond mere subsistence and travel the Void-currents to congregate in fabled Llyhn, epicentre of the cosmos.

BLACK VOID is a dark fantasy tabletop roleplaying game revolving around the fall and subsequent resurgence of humanity after cataclysmic events have torn them from Earth. Pursuing power, prestige and enlightenment – humanity is struggling to find a new place and purpose in a vast and unfamiliar cosmos. Players can focus on the personal struggles and stories of their characters or expand their scope putting emphasis on the fate of humanity as a species and the part they play in this.

BLACK VOID core book: A high-quality, 400+ page, full colour and hardcover book with everything you need for players and game-masters. The book is filled with original art, novel species and monsters, extensive descriptions and rich lore, detailed maps and much more bringing the BLACK VOID to life.

Game themes: The game takes place in a distant past which is both familiar and outlandish in its dark and exotic ambience. As descendants of the survivors of Earth, characters can adopt many roles such as:

  • Serving as emissaries, defending the enclaves and last remnants of human civilization.
  • Travelling the Void-currents as explorers seeking riches and glory across the cosmos.
  • Venturing to find Earth, the long lost cradle of humanity.
  • Seeking influence and claiming a new home for mankind, taking their rightful places as leaders of mankind.
  • Diving into the intrigues of Llyhn or perhaps building an empire in the dark depths of the city’s underworld.
  • Discovering the true essence of existence finding enlightenment beyond the veil of reality; in a Void filled with mindless abominations.

Game Concept: At its core the game is about the exploration, struggle for survival and will-to-power of humanity as it encounters an outlandish, bizarre cosmos. This is not a typical game of “good versus evil”. Rather, it takes a less rigid approach and probes the grey areas where morals are point-of-view. The game revolves around three main concepts:

Into the unknown – How does humanity fit into a cosmos it knows little about and where the possibilities are endless? In a cosmos where humanity’s ideals and tenets are insignificant mankind needs to adapt or succumb!

Beyond the horizon – Exploring the cosmos and faced with adversity, political intrigue and cultural tension on a scale unknown to humanity, players must cope or risk becoming collateral damage in the struggles of uncaring factions. In the end humanity must claim its place in the cosmos or perish trying!

What is humanity – Humanity is exposed to strange and oftentimes bizarre philosophies and ideals. As a result the characters must define, establish and decide what humanity is and what its place will be in the cosmos!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Dark and dangerous! A beautiful artistic contrast to Overlight (below). For the game concept, it’s a fantasy past where you’re an explorer in a deadly world. There are, perhaps, cosmetic similarities to Shattered Tower RPG (also on this list), but the theme feels darker and the world feels less safe. Should you dig in? You can get the quickstart BETA – “But don’t just take our and others’ word for it – go HERE to download the sample BETA-quickstart for free and judge for yourself. – Chris, Black Void Games”

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Shattered Tower RPG by Andrea Macchi
Ends on .

“Mythpunk RPG set in an hostile world, built on the ashes of an older and forgotten one, focused on survival and exploration.

Welcome Fearless Adventurer,

We’re extremely proud to get in the ring with Shattered Tower, our brand new project: we’re talking about a Myth Punk RPG, straightly focused on discoverysurvival and exploration.

That could sound same ole same ole, but – trust me – with this concept, this idea, this game… we wanna bring REAL ADVENTURE to the table.
Of course there is adventure in every big RPG we know, love and been playing to, but we decided to take the thrill to the next level.

HOW? well, let’s just say that, if dying while looking for artifacts can be common, here you can fall through the cold claws of death even just while taking a walk outside the city limits! 

Of course, at the very same time, your characters will be fully and colorfully equipped with every item and/or ability and/or extraordinary talent necessary to survive… if only you can figure out how to do it! ; )

[Note: All the material will be produced in 2 languages: English & Italian]

Shattered Tower will be a brand new rulebook containing a completely original background setting, the rules you need to go plug’n’play with our peculiar D6system, 3 Adventure modules and much more (following).

If funded, we will produce the Hardcover book consisting of  200+ pages (depending on the stretch goals reached) including:

  • Complete World Setting
  • Original Game System
  • 6 Playable Races
  • 60 Dangers: Inimical Environment, Special Creatures, Monsters, Flora and Fauna
  • Unique Exploration System
  • Unique Crafting System
  • 3 Complete Adventures
  • 3+ Short Stories

The spark that led us to create Shattered Tower, came straight out our personal passion for exploration and adventure (a passion we found out being pretty common between RPG players) and from the strong desire to produce not only something new and original, but something that could be a lil’ bit different from what’s out on the market today.
We really wanted to create a something where discoveryhard survival and world exploration are at the core of the whole game.

But there’s of course more than that..

The Setting:
Tyntyr is a vast and extremely hostile world that has risen from the ashes of a war between the world itself and an ancient and advanced civilization, fallen into ruin, shattered and partially forgotten.

Players will travel through an environment heavily dominated by nature, ruled by the Dra-Idjias, mystical and powerful creatures that imprisoned, and now control and govern the offspring of that ancient colonizers that survived the war centuries ago and still lives on the planet.

Players will be part of the Vanguard, a guild composed by the few people of their respective races able to bypass the tight control of the world’s sentinels and visiting the world outside, with the purpose of discovering what once was..  and what still can be… 

The player’s job is to incarnate explorers and adventurers, to get in the shoes of pioneersfinding a home in the Vanguard, willing to risk their lives, far from civilization, fighting to death just to earn the respect of the companions and to bring knowledge to mankind.

The System: 
Shattered Tower works on the peculiar D6System we created.

How does it work – we’ve got a classic but versatile list of skills (which also includes COMBAT as an ability, for example) and we put it together with the kind of mechanics that you can nowadays find in modern narrative RPGs, creating  a unique system which feels very functional to the setting.

Long story short, every character’s got his skills set with ability scores (from 1 to 6) determined by the construction of the player character (PC) build.
Those points define the number of dices the player’s gotta roll when trying an ability check. success is gained when dices give only 5 or 6.
The few basics of this system also include that the difficulty coefficient of the test that is faced – when higher than the score of the PC – determines the deprivation of X dice to pull, where X stands for each point by which the difficulty exceeds the score of the PC.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Artistically (and end-date-wise) this project falls perfectly between Black Void and Overlight. The Shattered Tower RPG has beautifully, grounded artwork that lends itself to a mixture of beauty and struggle. What’s the feel? You’re an explorer in an once great now fallen, violent world. There are things to learn (what came before) and things to decide (how will the world progress) and things to survive. As with each of these projects, if the art is any indication of the product, this is a winner.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Overlight RPG: A roleplaying game of kaleidoscopic fantasy by Renegade Game Studios
Ends on .

“Seven continents hang in the sky, stacked vertically far above an unending sparkling sea. Shining down upon it all is the Overlight.

Since the beginning of time, a race of serpentine, celestial beings have been the caretakers and observers of the cosmos. At some point in Earth’s past, probably around 1,000 B.C.E., a small contingent of these celestials argued that humanity was ready to learn the secrets behind the making of the world. That the Homo sapiens species had achieved such a level of cultural growth and spiritual awareness that they deserved to be shown all the wonders of the universe, to be given the literal Keys of Creation.

This small group of celestials was overruled by the will of the majority. Humankind was not yet ready. Defying this judgment, one individual fled to Earth with the Keys, and gifted them to humanity with one warning, “Do not use the Black Key”. Humanity did not listen.

All of reality was turned inside out. The burning heart of the world was now the bright white, unending sky, and the unknowable depths of space now a vast star-filled sea beneath. Entire continents float in the space between, without a moon or sun to guide them.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Light and brilliant! A shining visual contrast to the Black Void (above). The idea of floating lands that getting to and from is used throughout fantasy and sci-fi for good reason – it’s visually imaginative. Is this the one for you? I could offer thoughts but they have a sample you can get via email here that will answer a lot of your asks.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

Overlight – Hamanu Teacher

 

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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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

8 Questions About Art of War: Bushido/Wuxia Setting for Savage Worlds & 5e With Greg LaRose (Amora Game)

Greg LaRose (TentacleGreg on Open Gaming Network, where I write some articles) of Amora Game is running a Kickstarter for his latest creation, Art of War: Bushido/Wuxia Setting for Savage Worlds and 5e.

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to talk about your project – What is Art of War?

GREG LAROSE – Hey, thanks for having me. Art of War is a dream project I have always had in my head brewing for years. Art of War is an epic storytelling action focused campaign setting inspired by the influences of Chia-Liang Liu martial arts films (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin & Heroes of the East), Akira Kurosawa samurai films (Seven Samurai & Yojimbo), Dynasty Warriors video game series, and a various anime (Basilisk, Naruto, etc).

It is a setting where the people of the San Empire are pulling themselves out of the chaos of a civil war, an invasion of flesh eating Oni, and a return of the restoration of the original royal bloodline. One role the players can take on as heroes is trying to restore hope back to the population. There are plenty of opportunities to play the hometown hero, indulge in a political landscape of deception, or to stand on the Wall and slay some monsters.

It is my love affair with Chinese and Japanese cultures, histories, and mythology.

 

EGG – This project is for two different systems, Savage Worlds and 5e. How are you interpreting the setting to get the most out of each of those systems?

GREG LAROSE – As a whole, the setting is a rich tapestry that easily be played with any system out there. It has access points for any type of story a group would want to play.

System mechanics wise, we adapted the setting to several systems over the past two years with Savage Worlds and 5e acting as solid frameworks to use. Moreover, what I mean is that both are flexible and “rules light” so that you can shape them. This gives us the ability to interject a power point-like system that can added to each rule set. You can scale it up or down to help determine how grounded or fantastical you want the game and characters to be. We call it the Chi System.

These power points fuel different additional rules that give the action movie feel we wanted to achieve. The system also supports Chi Techniques that give the character a specialization of power. Think of the youxia that can run up a bamboo tree and balance on a tiny branch without falling off or having it give to heavy weight. Or the samurai standing on bridge by himself against a squad of archers and he gives a deafening yell. Chi Techniques are those types of powers translated to simple and easy game mechanics.

Besides those being in common with these systems, the Savage Worlds version introduces Tropes that act as frameworks for the creation of heroes. For those familiar with Savage Worlds, think of them as beefed up archetypes or concepts. We also include new Edges and Hindrances. We adapted the classic nosebleed scenario found in anime as a Hindrance to add some comedic relief. I’m also excited to introduce two new Skills to the Savage Worlds ruleset, Acrobatics and Meditation.

Tropes in the 5th edition version, act as character paths for various classes. The Shinobi trope is a path for the rogue class. The fighter receives the Path of the Samurai as a viable option. The Youxia trope is available to both rogues, rangers and fighters, each one taking on a variation of the concept. We are also supporting numerous new Backgrounds, Inspirations, Feats, and equipment.

 

EGG – A number of Amora Game‘s products are for Pathfinder, why not offer a PF version of Art of War?

GREG LAROSE – Great question. We started to use Pathfinder as one of the systems to publish in and the project was called “Hands-Over-Fisticuffs”, but it quickly became overwhelming. There is a lot of amazing source material to pull from to get the mechanics right. But that was also the problem; we needed to pull rules for the revised action economy from this book, convert rules from that book, use OGL from this company. Develop a new class or archetype to handle this, spend more time playtesting to check the math on that. It became heavy, bulky, clunky and imbalanced.

We wanted something that wasn’t cumbersome for new players to jump in and play without multiple rules and errata. Light and flexible is what we wanted to focus on.

In addition, timing played a major factor. With the announcement of Pathfinder 2.0, we would rather see how the new system plays out then produce for an old system where support might fall to the wayside. While we have 200 pages worth material for a Pathfinder edition, it just doesn’t hold the feel we wanted for the setting.

 

EGG – You did not skimp on the previews. How have they been received, and which system is getting more interest from Art of War fans, Savage Worlds or 5e?

GREG LAROSE – Surprisingly they have almost equal numbers. Art of War teaser for Savage Worlds is racing ahead of Kemonomimi Race preview for 5th Edition. But I have been shocked that the 5th edition of South of the Wall has pulled down a few more numbers than the Savage Worlds version. In contrast, we have more backers on the Kickstarter buying in for the Savage Worlds. Ahead of that, is the backer level where you get both versions of Art of War. I’ve been happy with the turnout.

 

EGG – When I first approached you about doing an interview, I didn’t connect you were TentacleGreg on Open Gaming Network. For those who don’t know, what types of articles do you do on Open Gaming Network?

GREG LAROSE – So far I have focused on Starfinder articles. Showing off future archetypes and playing with Faction idea write-ups. Open Gaming Articles are a fun sandbox to play in at the moment. In one of the first articles, I rant about what I feel a Third Party Publisher Organized play society would allow and not allow. After the Kickstarter, I have a few 5e articles for character paths, more factions for Starfinder, and my lost notes for Pathfinder articles.

 

EGG – What was the game that made you into a gamer?

GREG LAROSE – Techno Wizard in the Rifts setting for the Palladium system was the first character I ever created. My Tremere for Vampire: The Masquerade was the first character I ever played in a game. West End Games d6 Star Wars was the first system I ever fell in love with. Shadowrun was my introduction into the world of cyberpunk and magic. Big Eyes, Small Mouth Third Edition was the birth of Art of War. I have fond memories of L5R and Magic the Gathering card games. But the game that made me a gamer? Well there are two of them: Mage the Ascension & Eberron campaign setting for 3.5 D&D rules.

My love for these two settings and rulesets are unparalleled to anything else. Mage being the handful of d10 Storyteller System and the other using the precursor to Pathfinder. I still have my original books on the shelves and go back to read through them. You can see an early inspiration for the Pathfinder Society concept in Eberron, when it was called the Wayfinder Foundation. Interesting name isn’t it?

You can see that is the name of a compass in Pathfinder. Coincidence? Maybe. Conspiracy theory of that being a key source of influence for a certain big company? Probably, yes.

EGG – Why did you start Amora Game?

GREG LAROSE – I started Amora Game in 2012 as an actual TTRPG publishing company, but we were a playtest company well before then. My gaming group was always home-brewing rules, classes, and all sorts of things. We liked using fan created material and pushing the limits see if they were broken or if we could break them. Over time we reached out to a few publishers and game designers looking for playtesters. One thing led to another and then we were holding playtesting sessions once or twice a month for several hours a session. Word got around and people started seeking us out to playtest, and paying us.

After a year or so after of messing around and playing with other people’s toys, I decided I would do my own. At the time I was playing Pathfinder after a gaming group converted over from 3.5 and just sort of went with it. I started publishing, hiring freelancers and artist. Here we are today.

EGG – For those interested in learning more about you, your upcoming projects, and Amora Game, where can they go?

GREG LAROSE – Currently we are focusing on two product lines. One is our monthly/bimonthly science fiction e-mag called Xeno Files. This is laying the foundation for our Xeno’Verse campaign setting. It focuses on Starjammer, Starfinder, and Savage Worlds rulesets. Exotic space places and exotic space races. Our second, of course is the Art of War line, which we are going to continue to push for a release date, even if the Kickstarter is unsuccessful. It will just take a little more time.

Where can you find us? Our facebook page is the most active spot. You can get there by typing in our website: AmoreGame.com, and it will direct you to it. After the kickstarter, I’m going try and put an article up twice a month in the Open Gaming Network site. You will also be able to catch those articles and anime ramblings on my blog under the same pen name: TentacleGreg.com

 

Amora Game has products available on DriveThruRPG and Open Gaming Store.

 

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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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Kickstart the Comic – Stealth

No matter what, I love reading newly created superhero stories. I’ve grown up on them, and they have a special place in my heart.

Plus, it never hurts that our good friend Robert Jeffrey II was involved!

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Stealth Comic Book Series Launch!

Writer – Sean Mack

Creator/Writer – William Satterwhite

Artist -Schereiner

Colors -Woods

 

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 5:00 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Allen White must learn to balance educating the youth of Terminus City while educating criminals as the vigilante hero Stealth!

The Story:

Stealth follows the story of Allen White as he navigates Terminus City as a school teacher by day attempting to educate the youth on real-life issues and why those real-life issues should matter to them. However, by night, Allen provides an entirely different education to the underworld and evildoers of Terminus City as the vigilante hero known to the public as Stealth.

 

John’s Thoughts:

One of the things that many comic book Kickstarters don’t always factor in, is what happens if you aren’t actually finished with the comic. It always takes double or triple the time you think it is going to take. So for every little extra day here or week there, that is another gap in time to get the books out to your backers. So it is always nice to see that the comic in question is already completed and ready to go off to the printer. That means the day the funds are released they can send the files off… which really means you get your comic that much quicker (something we all want, right?).

That bit of preamble out of the way, I also like the ideas they put forth as to having a good mix of action, character interaction, and “Real Human Stories”. Too often we can get caught up in making sure to have it be over the top with the action that you never get a real chance to understand the character and his experiences.

The Rewards:

At the low end, you can get PDFs of the comic and the issue #0 ($5). Or for $10 you can get a sampler pack of Red Band’s other comics (in pdf). As you move up the list, they start adding alternate cover art (by Sean Hill! – who I interviewed here and here!) ($25), t-shirts ($35), or a Custom Stealth Action Figure ($100). And if you are feeling really creative, maybe you can make your own action figure ($135).

 

The Verdict:

For these creators, yes, they want to tell a great story, but they are also looking to give back to the area. They donated copies of the comic to multiple charitable organizations. We feel that this project can have a greater amount of reach to fans that will appreciate new and diverse superhero stories using a direct market approach as opposed to going through costly distributors.

Support good comics made by good people!

Stealth #1 Variant Cover B by Sean Hill

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To find out more about Short Fuse Media Group, check them out here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

4 Gaming Kickstarters and MomoCon – TORG Eternity, Battlecruiser Alamo, Citadel Dice Tower, and LFG Stickers

This week is a news roundup as I look at some of the Kickstarters and events that are going on right now. RPGs, a dice tower, and Momocon!

 

Torg Eternity – The Living Land by Ulisses Spiele
Ends on .

Why Am I Covering This?

Ulisses Spiele sent a press release about this Kickstarter to us (always makes me feel special when I get one in the inbox – read it here) and they provided some PDFs for a game review (coming soon). This Kickstarter is for the first book focusing on the COSM, The Living Lands. This will be a great addition to the TORG Eternity universe.

 

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Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) by Shades of Vengeance
Ends on .

Why Am I Covering This?

I covered this Kickstarter last week. I’m revisiting it to mention that I did an interview with Ed Jowett about the game on Open Gaming Network that offers more details for this licensed property. Read it here.

 

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The Citadel Dice Tower by Card Caddy
Ends on .

Why Am I Covering This?

$12 shipped in the US dice tower and dice box. This one is the right price point to try out a dice tower.

 

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LFG Stickers (and Pins!) for Tabletop Gamers by Alyssa Raabe
Ends on .

Why Am I Covering This?

This is the relaunch of this project by Alyssa with a more obtainable financial goal. On Open Gaming Network, I interviewed her about the first iteration of this project, why it is important to her, and why it’s important to the gaming community. Read it here.

 

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MomoCon in Atlanta, GA – May 24th to 27th, 2018

Why Am I Covering This?

I’m planning to attend the convention and cover some of the gaming that happens there. What RPGs are you thinking about playing at the show?

 

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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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

3 Sci-fi RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Psionics Guide for Starfinder, FROM BEYOND:DESCENT, and Battlecruiser Alamo

Sci-fi space opera RPGs on Kickstarter is what I look at this week. Two for the Starfinder system and one for the Era d10 rule set. All are amazing looking additions to any gaming table.

 

Psionics Guide for Starfinder RPG from Dreamscarred Press
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“A psionics ruleset for the Starfinder RPG from Paizo by Dreamscarred Press, giving you new races, classes, feats and items!

Unlock your mental abilities in the Starfinder RPG from Paizo with the Psionics Guide! This new book from Dreamscarred Press will provide everything you need to use psionic powers in your Starfinder RPG campaign.

What’s In It

The Psionics Guide will include the following material to expand your options in a Science Fantasy campaign:

  • New Races – 11 psionic races to choose from the curious astreidi, the insectoid dromites, the immortal elans, the serpentine ophiduan, to the powerful half-giants
  • Four New Classes – the iconic Psion, the Aegis who shapes energy into armor and weapons, the Specialist who uses her psionic power to overcome obstacles, and the Integrator who joins minds together into vast neural networks
  • New Feats – new feats for the different psionic classes
  • New Archetypes – including a Wilder archetype and the Soulknife archetype, which use the Starfinder RPG archetype design
  • Psionic Powers – with powers from 1st level to 6th level
  • Psionic Equipment to outfit your character or augment their abilities
  • New Psionic Themes”
Sample mock-up cover, not intended to be final cover
Sample mock-up cover, not intended to be final cover

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

When Starfinder launched, space ships (obviously), magical cybernetics, and psionics were the aspects I felt would distinguish this franchise from its progenitor. To me, psionics feel so sci-fi that it’s almost a prerequisite… In this case, it’ll be a great addition to Starfinder. That said, the lack of psionics in SF is an oversight that Dreamscarred Press is correcting here. Really delving into psionics is the right call and I expect it to be a good 3PP product.

In case you recognize their sample cover mock up, it’s because it uses the same image as Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition. That is not to say anything is wrong with that (the reasons for the same cover are myriad and they announce “Sample mock-up cover, not intended to be final cover” so I don’t believe both products will have the same final cover), it’s just a beautiful image and, I hope, it speaks to the excellence of the finalized cover.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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FROM BEYOND:DESCENT Sci-fi RPG Starfinder Roleplay Adventure by Davide Tramma
Ends on .

“The second of six Starfinder RPG compatible adventures, a mystery to add to your game or create a new one.”

If the goal is reached the funds will go towards paying for artwork and editing as well. The module is made of 76 pages, around 25,000 words and five chapters.

The subroutine has made its second move. The second episode of this adventure path will see the PCs fighting to save the station from destruction, taking them to the surface of one of the planet that form the star system. They have to travel unnoticed and manually land. Will their ship, the Sawshark, endure the harsh planet atmosphere ? Will the PCs survive to what they’ll find out there ? They won’t be alone in this mission. If successful or not, will be up to you.

The PDF is ready to go and will be delivered when the project concludes. This adventure is the second episode of the FROM BEYOND adventure path. The adventure itself can be a scene in any existing game or be ran as a one shot without the setting detail making it versatile for improv GMs as well! A campaign setting will follow, with this adventure path being an introduction.

The adventure includes:

– 6 new creatures

– the Expert NPC class, which introduce the concept of NPC as permanent crewmember together with the possibility of level advancement and XP award.

– 2 Pathfinder Legacy races converted fro Starfinder. The hobgoblin and the duergar. Both races have been revised adding some specific racial traits.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I looked at Davide Tramma’s prior Starfinder Kickstarter, From Beyond: Distress Call, here. This Kickstarter is for part two in the series, proving he’s moving right along with the larger narrative. It’s well worth checking this out as he grows this sci-fi journey.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) by Shades of Vengeance
Ends on .

“For the first time, play in Richard Tongue’s expansive and exciting Sci-Fi universe – explore space for the Triplanetary Confederation!

“For a century, man has had the keys to unlock the universe. Our generation is privileged to be the one that opens the door. To finally realise the greatest dream of all, to touch the face of eternity itself. To reach the frontiers of our knowledge and to see what lies beyond.” 
– Commencement Address, Triplanetary Fleet Academy, 2169

Battlecruiser Alamo is a brand new roleplaying game based on the expansive and exciting universe described in the Triplanetary Confederation novels, particularly those of the Battlecruiser Alamo.

We are running this Kickstarter to help fund more of the amazing artwork that the readers of the book are used to. The Core Rulebook is a high quality, 220-page, full colour guide to the universe.

Written by Richard Tongue himself, and Ed Jowett (the creator of the Era d10 Rule Set) with artwork by Keith Draws (the cover artist for the series of books), this authentic and evocative book features not only everything you need to learn about the universe for the first time, but also some amazing new revelations which haven’t yet been included in the novels…

Powered by the critically-acclaimed Era d10 Rule Set, also seen in Era: The Consortium, Era: Lyres and Era: The Empowered, this game runs smoothly on a system originally designed to cater to science fiction!

Board your ship and secure for hendecaspace… you have some exploring to do!

Escaping a shattered Earth, millions of desperate refugees fled to the depths of the Solar System: to Mars, to Callisto, to distant Titan.

They built new homes, new worlds, but were unable to break the shackles of their increasingly tyrannical homeworld.

Finally, after decades of fighting, the colonies seceded, and the Triplanetary Confederation was born. It was an alliance forged in fire and tempered in the cold astropolitical reality of the post-war universe. The three worlds now work together, though sometimes uncomfortably, tied by their common goals for survival and self-determination.

There are many both within and without the alliance that would see it torn asunder, but more who will fight to the last to see it work, to keep the last flames of freedom alive…

Want to know more? Check out the Battlecruiser Alamo website!

Richard’s first three books are available on Amazon now:
Book 1: The Price of Admiralty
Book 2: Fermi’s War
Book 3: Victory or Death

The Core Rulebook for Battlecruiser Alamo RPG is a 220-page full-colour book containing everything you’ll need to adventure in the universe of Richard Tongue’s characters and vessels, including the Battlecruiser Alamo herself.

It is based entirely on the events within the novel series, and features details on factions, locations and individuals who you might encounter. It is intended to provide a framework to allow you to go off in your own direction, exploring your own part of space, while still very much existing in the same universe as the events in the novels.

The book also includes a complete guide to character creation, the game’s rules, a selection of equipment to choose from and a large number of suggested adventures and campaigns!

This book has been developed by the author of the novels himself, along with the creator of the Era d10 rule set, to provide a uniquely authentic experience within this universe.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I’ve done three interviews with Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance and one Era: The Consortium gameplay review, so let’s categorize me as a fan. This Kickstarter is Shades of Vengeance‘s first licensed product for their Era d10 rule set. It stays in the sci-fi RPG realm that Era: The Consortium and Era: Balam pioneered, but this game adds a new dimension using Richard Tongue’s novel trilogy as its backdrop. With that, Ed, Richard, and company are really trying to pull every potential fan into their respective universes and, I believe, Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) is going to be the proper gateway.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10)

 

 

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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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

PRESS RELEASE – Torg Eternity – The Living Land Kickstarter

TORG Eternity is back on Kickstarter!

It launched on Tuesday, March 27 becoming funded in 21 minutes, hitting over $50,000 in less than three hours, and to date has so far broken 37 Stretch Goals. This Kickstarter ends on Tuesday, April 24. Last year the release of TORG Eternity on Kickstarter was a rocketing record setting event. By the end of the campaign it logged in at over $355,000 pledged. This made it the number one, largest Kickstarter of an RPG launch in 2017. In addition to that TORG Eternity also received a nomination for 2017 Golden Geek Award for Best RPG of the Year and already is a Top 100 Product on DriveThruRPG. Now TORG is available again on Kickstarter. This time with The Living Land supplements AND with another opportunity for backers to get the wildly popular monstrous Cargo Box, with all the stretch goals from the original Kickstarter included. “There was such a huge outcry from people who missed the first TORG Kickstarter that it became sort of a moral imperative to offer again the Delphi Council Cargo Box with all its Kickstarter rewards”, explained Darrell Hayhurst, TORG line manager for Ulisses. Here’s some tips and recommendations for getting the biggest bang for your buck on this Kickstarter: TORG Eternity Cargo Box Flashback Missed it the first time around? Get the monstrous TORG Eternity Cargo Box from the original Kickstarter (contains the bonus stretch goals for original Kickstarter pledge, as well). The original Cargo Box isn’t available through normal channels, so this is your chance to get it. Don’t miss out! Have the TORG Eternity Core rulebook? Then get the Living Land Survival Box. It includes all the Living Land goodness that you’ll want for this COSM (campaign setting), plus a host of unlockable physical stretch goals. Want it all? Get TORG Eternity and Living Land: All In. Perfect for those who missed the original TORG Eternity Kickstarter and want to make the most of this one. Contains the Living Land Survival Box and the TORG Eternity Cargo Box.

MORE ABOUT TORG ETERNITY LIVING LAND

The Living Land is a realm of primitive peril, savage sensuality, dangerous dinosaurs, and the invading Edeinos hordes (humanoid reptiles, with long tails and snouts). The Living Land supplements offered in this Kickstarter help you continue and expand your table-top role-playing game experience in the evolving world of TORG Eternity. There are amazing opportunities scattered among the Living Land’s perils. The Law of Wonders insures that lost treasures appear in the misty and unexplored jungles. These treasures might have disappeared from Earth long ago or they may be relics from COSM destroyed by the High Lords. Whatever their different origins, they are resurfacing here and now, for any adventurers bold enough to discover them! The Living Land is an amazing, in-depth addition for immersive play in TORG Eternity.

MORE ABOUT TORG

ETERNITY TORG is a classic that’s returned with the great setting that made it famous, but with new modern style runs that make it more fun to play than ever. It’s now called TORG Eternity. There is absolutely no game setting like multi-genre setting of TORG Eternity. There is amazing choices for players to control and create their characters. Thanks to the many celebrated game designers that created the game mechanics, it has extremely fun game play. It is truly unique. Check out the current Kickstarter for more details and videos about TORG Eternity.

For more on the Torg Eternity – The Living Land Kickstarter click here.

www.UlissesNorthAmerica.com

Survival Box as of 2018-04-05. More items may be added as stretch goals are unlocked.

3 Savage Worlds RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Freedom Squadron, Savage Tokusatsu, and The Dinosaur Protocol

Kickstarter has several Savage Worlds settings funding at the moment. Want to do your own 1980s-style GI Joe vs COBRA? Thinking you’d like to see giant robots versus monsters? What about post-apocalyptic dinosaurs? Right now on Kickstarter, Savage Worlds await you!

Freedom Squadron – A Savage Worlds Setting by SpyGlass Games
Ends on .

“Freedom Squadron is a high-octane “Love Letter to 80’s Cartoon Action Heroes,” featuring new rules and new options for Savage Worlds.

It is the year 2051. After the startling discovery of VENOM—a paramilitary organization and global conspiracy that’s been interfering in world events since the end of the 19th century—the United Nations and leaders of the free world have been shaken to their core. In the aftermath of World War III, which they started, VENOM’s clear goal is world domination, and they will stop at nothing to achieve it.

The world’s response? Choose the greatest hero of the war, General Abraham Steel, and charge him to recruit an elite fighting force to oppose VENOM and protect liberty for all. That force, comprised of the best-of-the-best from all over the globe, is Freedom Squadron!

Players take on the role of those who’ve heeded the call to action. They are new Recruits who must first earn their stripes to become Commandos. Eventually, if they live up to the expectations of trainers like Sandbar, Corporal Carnage, Preedatore, and Blindsight, they may earn their Code Names and carry the fight to VENOM anywhere in the world… and beyond!

“Savage Worlds was created to handle the kinds of games I often like to play and run, where you can be a badass fighter or wizard or whatever, but you can also be a leader. A planner. I’m proud of how the game accommodates that, and my friend Sean Patrick Fannon has added even more to it in Freedom Squadron.

I had a blast in the Plans & Operations phase riffing off the other players, figuring out how best to use our individual characters’ skills, and then watching it all come together in the adventures that followed. Sean isn’t afraid of big games and big ideas, and this may be his best yet. I can’t wait to back, buy, and run it myself!”

Shane Lacy Hensley (Code Name: BUBBLES), veteran author and game designer, creator of Savage Worlds®, CEO Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Freedom Squadron has many new features for Savage Worlds® fans. Written and designed by Sean Patrick Fannon (ShaintarSavage Rifts®), these are special rules both inspired by his previous work and brand new for this setting. These include:

    • Plans & Operations: A unique combination of core Savage Worlds® game play elements that allows players to engage in multiple missions and actions in an “action cinema montage” style. Intelligence gathering, tactical positioning, investigations, covert insertions, computer hacking—anything and everything special ops Commandos might do between their epic battles with VENOM and other enemies. Fast-paced, inclusive, and designed to feature all of a hero’s skills, the Plans & Operations rules are sure to enhance any Savage Worlds® game.

 

  • Vocation Frameworks and Specializations: Inspired and adapted from the character creation rules of Savage Rifts®, these allow the player to choose a starting package of skills and abilities that reflect their primary role in the team, while also gaining cool extra abilities rolled randomly from various interesting charts. This is all on top of the usual core Savage Worlds® character building process.
  • New Edges: like Fighting Style, Operational Planning, Qi Focus, Strange DNA, and the innovative Zone Specialist (allowing heroes to truly shine in various environments like Arctic, Mountain, or Sea Zones).
  • Skill Focuses, Gear Points, and much, much more!
Psi War Big Epic Game at Ghengis Con
Psi War Big Epic Game at Ghengis Con

Freedom Squadron for Savage Worlds®, is based on VENOM Assault®, the board game created by SpyGlass Games. Evil Beagle Games has worked with World Designer Michael Knight to not only bring the world to life, but to expand on it as well.

Supplemental gaming accessories not included. Final design subject to change.
Supplemental gaming accessories not included. Final design subject to change.

While VENOM Assault® is not required at all in order to immerse yourself in the world of Freedom Squadron, you can check out SpyGlass Games’ website to view many character bios and even purchase the game!

Pinnacle Entertainment Group has created one of the most popular game systems in the world with Savage Worlds®, specifically oriented towards pulp and cinema action experiences. Sean Patrick Fannon of Evil Beagle Games has worked with them for years, and is the mastermind behind Savage Rifts®. Creating Freedom Squadron for Savage Worlds® was never a question.

With Pinnacle’s new release of Flash Gordon™ the Roleplaying Game, featuring many new rules updates, Freedom Squadron® is completely up-to-date and represents the state-of-the-art for Savage Worlds® fans.

New To Savage Worlds?

If you’re new to the Savage Worlds® rules system, Freedom Squadron® does require the core rulebook to play. You can get it in print and PDF from Pinnacle’s website. Pinnacle Entertainment Group publishes and manufactures the Savage Worlds® rules book, and maintains this website.

“Freedom Squadron offers an RPG experience like no other. This game is bursting with nostalgic tropes and themes, added to the rock-solid gameplay of the Savage Worlds system. The Plans & Operations rules are an innovative mechanic that focuses the action right where it belongs: on your characters facing down VENOM. Freedom Squadron is the perfect way to take on the roles of an elite, highly-trained special mission force and go on exciting adventures in this fully-realized setting!” – Ross Watson (Code Name: SKIPPER), Product Line Manager Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Wrath & Glory; Lead Developer, Savage Rifts; Lead Writer/Designer, Accursed

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s call this what it is – 1980s GI Joe! The setup, the execution, the names, the file card feel of the bios, the art that’s reminiscent of Tim Seeley’s GI Joe comic work from a decade ago, it’s the feel of my youth and one of my favorite toy lines/cartoons. But, there’s one difference, this is going to be the best version of that era of GI Joe, it’s going to be your version and your stories. This is not to say this is an officially licensed GI Joe product, it’s not; instead, this RPG is based on the board game, VENOM Assault. Regardless of that, the concept will put you back in your childhood and wondering if you should crack open eBay and buy some figures.

But will it be a good Savage Worlds setting? Well, I think the answer to that question is Sean Patrick Fannon. I had the pleasure of roleplaying with Sean at AndoCon 2018 (read about it here). He’s excellent at his craft and he’s the lead designer and brand manager for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage Rifts and I’d say he’s the perfect project lead for Freedom Squadron, an individual who loves the craft and the content. His presence as lead designer gives this a big stamp of approval. [By the by, Sean’ll be on this list twice.]

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Dinosaur Protocol (for Savage Worlds) by Battlefield Press International
Ends on .

[Disclosure: One of this project’s stretch goals is “$3850 – Stretch Goal #2 – One Sheet Adventure by Egg Embry“.]

“A post-apocalyptic table top role playing game of adventure and discovery in the jungles and plains of a world grown wild and strange.

65 million years have separated the ages of man and dinosaur. Until now.

“Some time in the 21st Century, something broke the world. No one knows for sure what happened. Solar flares, war, global warming, pollution and environmental collapse, or perhaps a combination of all of them. Perhaps it was something much stranger. All we know is that mankind fled the surface, retreating into vast underground shelters where they could wait out the centuries until the earth was habitable once more. But when we emerged from the darkness and prepared to retake our world, it was not as we remembered it. Something had happened to the world that once was. In the centuries without man, nature wound back the clock, returning the planet to an earlier, cleaner, more primal age. An age of dinosaurs.

Now humanity must choose – do we fight to reclaim our past, or do we make peace with the present and embrace a simpler future? Armed with the skills and technologies of our ancestors, do we struggle to recreate former glories, or will we use the second chance we have been given to avoid the mistakes of the past? Will human nature even give us the choice? Will we exterminate the reborn dinosaurs, enslave them, or something else? What will be our Dinosaur Protocol?” – From the journals of Archivist Roebuck

Written for the award-winning Savage Worlds game engine by Chris Halliday and Jonathan M. Thompson, The Dinosaur Protocol is a game of mystery, exploration, discovery and adventure. Players take the role of explorers, scientists, scavengers, hunters and traders, trying to survive a world whose first masters have returned. Will they stay at home and build their settlement, or blaze new trails through the saurian jungles of a World Reborn? Will they extend the hand of friendship to other settlements, or war for valuable resources? Will they hunt the dinosaurs, or study them? Where did the dinosaurs come from, and what other mysteries lie hidden in the ruined cities, dense jungles and empty deserts? Just who – or what – else is out there?

The Dinosaur Protocol presents a bestiary of prehistoric life, rules for encountering, battling and wrangling dinosaurs, details on how to carve your own settlement from the primeval jungle, rules for scavenging ruined cities and ancient installations, and a guide to the World Reborn… everything you need to create your own Dinosaur Protocol campaign.

A post-apocalyptic table top role playing game of adventure and discovery in the jungles and plains of a world grown wild and strange for the Savage Worlds Game Engine.

Alternate campaign frameworks will include:

Blast to the Past: Something went wrong the day they tested the weapon, and the sky tore open. Now your hometown is millions of years in the past, and you and your neighbours must survive a world you never thought you’d encounter.

The Broken World: Time has shattered. Imperial Rome has mingled with modern Europe. Blood runs down the step pyramids of Mexico, and at the bottom of your street is a jungle that wasn’t there yesterday. A jungle from which thunderous footsteps and distant roaring can be heard…

On Safari: Time travel has allowed humanity to retrieve extinct species from the past, and correct some of our worst mistakes, but it’s expensive. Chronos Corp allows universities and research institutes access to their Deep Time stations, while paying customers and their guides hunt the most savage and successful creatures in history. But something has gone wrong at the station. They’ve lost contact with home, the power is failing, and there’s a horde of hungry raptors gathering beyond the security fence…

Inside the Triangle: It was supposed to be a holiday, time off in the sun to recover from the stresses and strains of modern life. Only something hit the plane and now you’ve come down near an island that doesn’t show up on any map, populated by creatures that should have been dead for millions of years. Can you survive, let alone find a way home?

The New World: When scientists discover a crack in time leading to the distant past of a nearby timeline, it seemed like a gift from the gods, a means to escape an overcrowded world strangling to death on pollution. Now you and your family are pilgrims exploring a frontier like no other, building a new life in a primal land. But the factions and pressures of the old world may just have followed you here, and you no longer know who you can trust.

Cover Image is “Laelaps” by Charles Knight”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

[Disclosure: One of this project’s stretch goals is “$3850 – Stretch Goal #2 – One Sheet Adventure by Egg Embry“. You have been warned twice now. 😉 ]

Per the disclaimer, this project inspires me. For this action RPG, let’s strip out the need for superpowers, mutants, supernatural monsters, aliens, gods, magic, and made-up weapons, and get back to the reason we build homes in communities – Humanity vs Nature [in this scenario, Dinosaurs]. The idea of co-existing with the Earth’s apex predators is going to be the fuel for great battles at the gaming table! With the focus on the thunder lizards, expect all of the tools you’ll need to make your table Jurassic role-play as you tell stories of living in a world where humanity is an appetizer!

Oh, and Jonathan M. Thompson, co-creator on this project, loves him some dinosaurs and Savage Worlds! This is your chance to partake in his dinosaur love and see how well it will fit with the Savage Worlds rule set!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Savage Tokusatsu: Kaiju, Mechs, and Heroes for Savage Worlds by BPB Games
Ends on Fri, April 13 2018 11:59 AM EDT.

“Transforming heroes, kaiju running amok, giant robots versus the monster of the week, and more built for the Savage Worlds rule set.

Tokusatsu is the Japanese word for any live action movie or television show that makes heavy use of special effects. The word’s literal translation is “Special Filming.”

Even if you aren’t familiar with the word itself, you are familiar with the works that fall under its umbrella. Giant, lizard-like kaiju that breathe atomic energy, quirky teens that transform into superheroes to fight against aliens from the moon, and giant robots going blow for blow with one another are all fundamental works within the genre of tokusatsu.

Savage Tokusatsu is a game built from the ground up specifically for the Savage Worldsroleplaying game. Within the pages of this softcover book are new rules and character options to help you capture the feel of any tokusatsu story in the collaborative storytelling experience that is tabletop roleplaying.

You can be the transforming team of heroes working together to control a giant mech simultaneously. You can play the desperate humans trying to halt the advance of an unstoppable monster that towers above skyscrapers. All this and more is possible with Savage Tokusatsu.

Savage Tokusatsu is a Savage Worlds supplement with approximately 100 pages of new content to help you take your game from mundane to kaiju-sized.

It contains:

  • Frameworks to represent the diversity of the many transforming heroes genres of tokusatsu.
  • New Edges that encourage an even greater degree of cooperation and teamwork amongst teammates.
  • New Hindrances that capture the feel of youthful characters trying to find their way in the world.
  • Multiple new Optional Rules to help you capture the specific feel of whatever genre of tokusatsu you seek to emulate. Lighthearted action and grim, pessimistic horror are all just as welcome as the next.
  • An in-depth but highly intuitive system for designing iconic weaponry and suits of armorfor transforming heroes and special agents alike.
  • An in-depth but not intrusive system for designing challenging monsters for our more mechanically-inclined friends.
  • A simple Hero Tier system to help groups wishing to avoid Toughness Bloat work giant robots, kaiju, and normal-sized people into the same sessions.
  • A streamlined way to approach high Toughness creatures for groups looking to capture the durability and desperation of facing down skyscraper-sized beasts with a column of tanks.
  • Over 40 new statblocks including heroes, kaiju, monsters of the week, and big bads that give detailed examples for each type of playstyle.
  • full Plot Point Campaign for a light-hearted, transforming hero themed tokusatsu adventure with several Savage Tales.
  • High quality printing fulfilled with DriveThruRPG. The book will fit right in with your other 6.625″ x 10.25″ Savage Worlds books on the bookshelf!
  •  A collaborative system for creating and controlling a shared pilot mech.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Giant robots vs giant monsters using Savage Worlds! This is going to be big, dumb, action fun and I can’t wait for it! Want to test it out? They have a free test drive here. Add to that Sean Patrick Fannon’s second appearance on this list, this time as a guest writer for the project… which makes sense since he’s the lead designer for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage Rifts and he will bring the giant personalities this game needs to compete with its mechs and leviathans!

 

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 onFacebook (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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

9 QUESTIONS ABOUT ANKUR “Land of the first people” Africa setting expansion WITH Christopher M. Miller (Chris Miller Games)

I met Christopher M. Miller at The Atlanta Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo 2018 where he shared his ANKUR RPG system and setting. He took the time to share not only the mechanics of the system but also why he built it and how he went about publishing it. Now he’s working a Kickstarter for its first expansion and he agreed to talk about that project.

EGG EMBRY – Chris, thanks for talking with us. Tell us about ANKUR: Kingdom of the Gods.

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER ANKUR is a sci-fi tabletop role-playing game based on Sumerian mythology and the ancient astronaut theory. It was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and has been nominated for a GAMA award for best TTRPG of 2017.

 

EGG – You’re running a Kickstarter for ANKUR “Land of the first people”. What will this expansion offer?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – ANKUR “Land of the first people” is a game setting supplement for the tabletop role-playing game ANKUR. The book details the city-states of Kumat, Meluha, and Zimbabwe (among others); located in the continent of Mundwazi (Africa). The book introduces new professions, skills, and weapons to help make characters from this setting more unique. Inside you’ll also find a host of new creatures, places of interest, NPCs, organizations and adventure hooks that will help GMs immerse their players in this expanded world.

 

EGG – You didn’t go with a standard RPG publisher for ANKUR. Who published this and how did that come about?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – The game is currently being published by Ingram, and through them is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Drivethru-rpg. ANKUR is a “game”, but it’s not a board game or a card game, it’s a “book”. So, I went to the largest traditional book publisher in the world: “Ingram”. I have a Barnes & Noble store near my home, and in fact, I wrote most of the game while sipping expensive coffees in their café. I wanted to be able to walk in a B&N store and see my game on their shelves. I have succeeded in this dream, but the truth is, most gamers buy their games from game stores not book stores. All my merchandise is currently print on demand, which is very convenient for direct online sales to customers, but frowned upon by many game distribution companies, who prefer a very specific supply chain. Breaking into this exclusive supply chain can require both popularity and huge investments. I’ve currently got some very promising leads with several game distributors here in the South-Et. We’ll see what happens.

 

EGG – What’s the core mechanic for ANKUR?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – 1D12. All you need for this game is one twelve-sided die. Any time you want to attack or make a skill check, just add the appropriate Aptitude score to your skill circle number; the result is your “APN” or “Action Potential Number”. In order to make a successful attack or skill roll, the object is to roll your D12 and score equal to or lower than your APN. A roll of a 1 is always a success (but not a crit) and a roll of 12 is always a “critical failure”. In order to score a “critical success”, you must roll your exact APN. Virtually all forms of conflict resolution involve an APN or Action Potential Number.

EGG – What do you see as the secret sauce for the system? What’s the mechanic or setting that makes this a gamer’s go to system/setting?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – Well, there are two aspects to game play in ANKUR that have become fairly popular: Karma points & the fact that if you die, you can continue playing as a ghost.

Every character starts each game session with 3 “good” karma points. During play, they may spend 1 good karma point to re-roll failed rolls; spend 2 good karma points to forego rolling and automatically succeed at an action or spend 3 karma points to automatically create a critically successful action. The caveat to that however, is that for every good karma point spent by the player, the GM gets an equal amount of “bad Karma” points that can be used to make the player re-roll successes etc. Karma points can get you out of a scrape, but beware relying too heavily on them.

One thing that has always annoyed me about TTRPGs is unfortunate/untimely character death. Often in such instances the player is forced to sit out the rest of the game twiddling their thumbs. This is compounded by the generally lengthy process of character creation. I really began to contemplate this when a play-tester suffered a deadly wound during the first round of combat. It is no fun to have a character die, and while it may sometimes serve the story, sometimes it also makes a better story to have the slain character complete their mission. I’ve always been interested in the paranormal and thought it might make an interesting addition to the game. Characters who choose to become ghosts gain the ability to fly, walk through walls, possess the living etc. But they must also feed vampirically on the living in order to exist between worlds. It is also technically illegal to feed on humans, and there is a special class of psionic ghost hunters who protect the living. It can make for some very cool game play.

 

EGG – What was the game that got you into gaming?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – 1st edition D&D in 1981. Other favorites: WEG Star Wars D6, Rifts, TMNT, Beyond Supernatural, Warhammer fantasy, Conan.

EGG – When you’re not working on ANKUR, you’re active in the wider genre community, what else do you enjoy working on?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – Well, my wife and I have been doing the Rocky Horror Picture Show live on stage every Friday night at the Plaza theater in Atlanta for the past 16 years. I was an avid LARPer for over twenty years, and I was a guest liaison at Dragon-Con for over ten years. Nowadays, I mostly write at home with my pug.

 

EGG – What other projects are you currently developing?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – I’m working on a new card game called: Role-play Roulette. Basically, it will be a fast, easy card game that I hope will become a gateway for card-gamers to get into TTRPGs.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about ANKUR and this Kickstarter?

CHRISTOPHER M. MILLER – You can find all of my products (core rules, maps, adventures, short stories, GM screen etc.) at Drivethrurpg.com. The core rules book can be ordered through Barnes & Noble or Amazon. The Kickstarter for the African setting expansion: ANKUR “Land of the first people” is currently live but ends April 1st. I’ll be appearing at Momo-Con, Outlanta-Con, Origins Game Fair, Atlanta Comic-Con and Dragon-Con. Thank you.

 

You can find the Kickstarter here.

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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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

10 Questions about the Capers RPG with Craig Campbell (NerdBurger Games)

During AndoCon 2018 in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of playing Craig Campbell’s GM-less RPG, Die Laughing. Craig supervised (and Tweeted) some of the best moments from this horror-comedy-movie romp in which the point is to die onscreen hilariously and come back as… a movie producer! It’s a fun party game on the lighter side of RPG. During the con he also discussed another RPG gem (for which he’s running a Kickstarter), CAPERS.

EGG EMBRY – Craig, thanks for talking CAPERS RPG here. What’s it about?

CRAIG CAMPBELLCAPERS is a superpowered game of gangsters in the Roaring Twenties. You play gangsters and bootleggers looking to make your fortunes. Alternatively, you can portray members of law enforcement looking to bring these criminals to justice. Either way, you have superpowers!

 

EGG – What inspired the idea of superpowered gangsters?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – It started as wanting to make a supers game but not one set in the modern day. There are plenty of RPGs that do that. So I want looking into history. After trying a few ideas on, I settled into the 1920s, a period I find fascinating. As I worked on the game, it became apparent to me that I wasn’t designing a supers game, not really. And it certainly wasn’t a superHEROES game. I was designing a gangster game where the gangsters happen to have powers. That realization informed every design decision I made moving forward.

EGG – I talked about your GM-less, comedy RPG, Die Laughing, in the opening of this article. How different will CAPERS RPG be from that experience?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Well, they’re both RPGs. Beyond that, they’re pretty different. CAPERS is a more traditional RPG. A bunch of players portraying characters with a GM guiding everything. You can play one shots or a campaign. There’s character advancement and rewards. Recurring antagonists and exploration of themes and tropes over a period of time. Die Laughing is a GM-less, short-play story game that’s designed to be run as a one-shot. It’s also much funnier and laced through with exaggeration, hyperbole, and a self-awareness of horror movie tropes.

 

EGG – Do you think The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults would have been better with booby-traps?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – For sure. That said, it would have been better if there had been ANYTHING in the vault. Anything at all.

EGG – Ha! True, true, true!

Moving on, as the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward from that campaign that you think is the standout for CAPERS RPG?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – I love all my babies equally. That said, the Jacks and Jills level is the “super-fan” level. All the PDFs. A book and CAPERS themed deck of playing cards shipped to you. You get to create an NPC who fills an important role in the game. And the illustration for this NPC is your likeness, appearing both in the book and on one of the jacks in the playing card deck.

 

EGG – I love getting to participate in the game with a NPC. Very cool reward!

Tell us a little about you, what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – D&D was my first RPG experience, specifically a Ravenloft game (which is poetic since I’m a horror movie fan). I played a bunch of RPGs throughout college, not just D&D. I think it was that experience as a whole that transformed me into a gamer, knowing that there were so many different games and getting a chance to play a bunch of them.

EGG – What prompted you to create NerdBurger Games?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – I had been freelancing for D&D (along with a little Pathfinder, Gamma World, and Iron Kingdoms) for several years. As Wizards of the Coast ramped down D&D 4E and started playtesting 5E, my freelancing started to dry up. So like a sucker, I decided to try to make my own RPG. That became Murders & Acquisitions and the beginning of NerdBurger Games.

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what have you learned from your prior gaming Kickstarters?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Kickstarters are a lot of work. People told me that before the first one. I said, “yeah, yeah, mine is a little game and I probably won’t even get that many backers.” Eight months later, after the Kickstarter and the publishing/fulfillment stages took up a significant amount of my free time, I understand. Now I understand.

EGG – What other projects are you currently developing?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Die Laughing is the big one. It’s likely to be the next RPG from NerdBurger Games. I’m also tinkering with a very simple RPG that parents and kids can play together. And I have an idea for a sort of, kind of science fiction-ish game that takes place during an apocalypse that features an interesting twist.

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about CAPERS RPG and NerdBurger Games?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Thanks so much for having me do this interview. And thanks to all the people who have backed CAPERS so far. I hope to be able to say that to many more people in the coming days. You can learn more about my game stuff at NerdBurgerGames.com. On Twitter, I’m @NerdBurgerCraig. You can buy stuff at DriveThruRPG.com, but check the CAPERS Kickstarter first. M&A is an add-on there. So if you like both games, you can get a sweet deal.

 

You can find out more about the campaign here – CAPERS.

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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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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).

9 Questions about Era: The Empowered with Ed Jowett (Shades of Vengeance)

Superhero. RPG. Kickstarter. I’m talking to Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance about his superpowered RPG, Era: The Empowered campaign.

EGG EMBRY – Ed, thanks for joining me, as always. What’s Era: The Empowered about?

ED JOWETT – Thanks very much, it’s a pleasure to be back!

Era: The Empowered is an epic RPG which tells the story of the emergence of superheroes – Empowered – on a world called Terra.

Rather than offering only one scenario within the setting, the game’s timeline follows through 10 years, providing access to every sub-genre of superhero story you could want. For example, at the start, the first telltale signs of Empowered appear and vigilantes emerge to fight the supervillains who rise up. Following that, Atlantis’s forces rise from the ocean to attack the surface. Next, the supervillains and superheroes form groups to fight the larger threats to their goals. When the Old Gods of legend return and claim part of the planet as their domain, Empowered have to choose whether to try to fight them back or join them. When that threat is destroyed, the Assassins’ Guild begins to target Empowered individuals, attempting to eliminate them all, one by one. Before long, the UN supports the formation of the “Empowered Department”, a superhero police force which reports to them and operates in every country of the world. And, finally, the planet is attacked by a huge, extra-terrestrial force named “The Hunger”, which seeks to wipe out all Empowered on Terra.

That is Era: The Empowered – it’s a game designed to let you play any type of superhero game you like, just by choosing where in the timeline the characters exist!

 

EGG – This isn’t your first foray into the world of The Empowered. How did your “Tales of the Empowered” anthology influencing this RPG?

ED JOWETT – Actually, it’s my third foray into the world of The Empowered!

A little over two years ago, I created the Rulebook Primer for the game, which ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign. In fact, if you search Kickstarter for “Era: The Empowered”, you’ll find that project, which is long since closed. That book had an older style of artwork and didn’t include character creation rules or any of the history. I always intended to do more, and it’s taken me 3 years to get everything together for that book alongside the other projects I’ve been doing.

The Tales of the Empowered Anthology was devised thanks to the Kickstarter “Make100” initiative. They ask you to make 100 of something, as a limited reward on the Kickstarter.

I chose to offer 100 people the chance to add their own superhero to the Era: The Empowered universe. I took submissions from various backers, and we formed the “Tales of the Empowered” anthology from the stories we wrote for those people, plus the stories which had been written during the three years of development but weren’t going to make it into the Core Rulebook.

It’s come out very nicely, and makes a rather nice anthology. I’ve already sent it to backers and the physical version is about to go to print, well ahead of schedule.

So, the answer is that Tales of the Empowered isn’t influencing this RPG, it’s effectively filling in extra Empowered and describing what they were doing during the various events that take place throughout the timeline. There are many more Empowered than could possibly be featured in the main storyline I described above, and this was my way to include a few of them!

EGG – You’ve written a variety of comics. Which ones co-exist with Era: The Empowered and what inspired them?

ED JOWETT – The comics are either related to Era: The Consortium or Era: The Empowered. They tell a few extra stories which, again, we didn’t want or need to put in the Core Rulebook.

We wanted to expand the universe further – we really love these characters and the universe – and this was a fantastic opportunity to do so!

So far, there’s Lacuna, Blue-Shift and Penumbra #1 and #2 in the Empowered universe.

In fact, Blue-Shift is just running its own Kickstarter [ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/blue-shift-frenemies?ref=ewlorb ], and has passed multiple Stretch Goals!

Each of these comics is linked to the others and also to the timeline we use in the Core Rulebook. They feature one of the major characters from the game, exploring an aspect of their origin. In the case of Lacuna and Blue-Shift, the comics look at the first time they fought supervillains, while Penumbra focuses on the stories of her various heists (she’s an Empowered thief, which one of your colleagues here wrote an article about previously: http://tesseraguild.com/kickstart-the-comic-penumbra-fear-the-bunny-lord/

While Penumbra is more light-hearted and the others are more “serious”, they all exist in the same universe.

 

EGG Era: The Empowered has a 5-year timeline. What are some of the other defining moments for the in-game history?

ED JOWETT – Well, I covered most of the main points above, although there are a few others.

The first time that heroes work together is when the main supervillain, “Harbinger”, traps them within a bubble universe. Lacuna, Penumbra and several others are forced to work together in order to escape this prison. Most of these individuals have never worked with anyone else before (although Lacuna and Penumbra have met during the events of the Lacuna #1 comic!) and the revelation that that is possible leads to some very interesting consequences…

The second one that springs to mind is the destruction of the robot supervillain, Hack. He’s not, in fact destroyed and, in the best traditions of Ultron, sits at the bottom of the ocean and self-repairs. While people on the surface consider his threat resolved – his creator even moves on to building a cyborg, which he hopes will be more stable! – he enters Atlantis and begins to destroy it. That’s the cause of the war between Atlantis and the surface world!

And one final event out of the timeline (although there are many, many more, of course!) is the realization of a character called Cecropia that when she kills another Empowered, she increases her own sound-based powers. When she finds out about the Hunger and the speed with which it is approaching, she takes over the Assassin’s Guild with one purpose: to eliminate all Empowered. That includes herself. She is going to save the world.

There are so many interesting events in this timeline, many of which have been contributed to by a 15-year veteran of comic writing, that I couldn’t possibly go into them all… but that’s a taster of just a few! If you want to know more, get hold of the book and immerse yourself in this rich, detailed story.

EGG – From a certain point of view, RPG was born of D&D, which could be seen as the celebration of fantasy England/Europe. From that same point of view, superhero comics tend to be the celebration of fantasy New York City/United States of America. Do you see Era: The Empowered through that prism or does it have its own niche within the superhero genre?

ED JOWETT – Honestly, I’ve never really thought about it in that light.

That said, the influences on the universe are going to be pretty clear: it’s a universe which has certain parallels to those of Marvel and DC – quite deliberately – with our own twists and turns within the story and the way it plays out.

We set out to create a superhero universe that was evocative of those, but told its own story and went its own way, both through the roleplaying game and the comics and stories which accompany it.

I’d like to believe that anyone can enjoy playing this, no matter their background, because whether fantasy, Sci-Fi or superheroes.

 

EGG – That brings up, who is your favorite superhero? And better yet, who is your favorite supervillain?

ED JOWETT – My favourite superhero is split between two, so I’m going to cheat!

Martian Manhunter is a fundamentally kind and good individual in most incarnations. You have to respect that from a person who is the last of their kind because their race was wiped out in a war. I also happen to love the possibilities involved with both telepathy and density shifting!

Iron Man is… well, we all know what he is. But, as is pointed out in the Avengers movie, what he is without the armour is *the guy who made the armour*. I respect intellect, and I always prefer someone who made themselves into what they are than someone who randomly had a mutation appear and their struggle is just about coming to terms with their nature. I like to imagine that people can change who and what they are, which I guess is the appeal there.

As for supervillains, it’s fairly clear, and follows the same sorts of lines for one of the classics: Dr Doom. “For those of superior intellect, words *are* weapons.” This guy is hated by everyone in the world, except for the population of the country he actually rules. He’s loved there, they have amazing living conditions and are, generally, extremely happy. There’s a duality in that which I find interesting – someone who will fight everyone else in the world, usually for very little obvious purpose (although Doom does always have a plan!), and yet is loved by his own people.

 

EGG – With Era: The Empowered, are their specifics for how to play a villain or a league of supervillains?

ED JOWETT – Absolutely, just as there are specifics for how to play heroes. Because, like most RPGs, it’s essentially a team game, you’ll often find yourself working with others, even if you aren’t officially a league.

In fact, one of our playtests involved two groups, where one played as the heroes and another played as the villains. After a couple of sessions, we all came together and had a big battle royale to see who was really superior! Great fun.

(The villains won. Obviously!)

 

EGG – How many Era settings have you developed? Do you have an idea of how many settings are yet to be born?

ED JOWETT – I have developed and released seven Era settings so far – Era: The Consortium, Era: Lyres, Era: The Empowered, Era: Survival, Era: Silence, Era: Hitman and Era: Balam.

I am currently working on a number more!

Era: The Chosen is a horror game, where creatures from another universe are invading ours and only a chosen few are able to see them. The game spans over 100 years of this war with the Anonassi, and sees development of technology from a renaissance level to a modern level, offering a few things we’ve not ever done before. Mechanically, of course, it also includes rules around terror and a descent into madness from the horrors you will experience in the Lost Lands!

Era: Atlantis is a game based around an underwater civilization, which is set upon by Humans from one side and great sea creatures from another. You’ll play as half-Human sea-life with various abilities, and a big part of the game will be appeasing your gods!

We’re working on several other games as well, which don’t yet have full titles, but there’s a High Fantasy game, which I ran a session of at a recent convention and was very well-received, a cyberpunk game where you’ll get the ability to do matrix-like reality manipulation, a JRPG-inspired game along the lines of Final Fantasy, and quite a few more.

In total, I currently have seven more Era games in development, not including expansions for Era: The Consortium or the game based on Richard Tongue’s Sci-Fi novels, Battlecruiser Alamo.

There’s a lot more to come from Shades of Vengeance, I think!

 

EGG – To that end, where can fans find out more about your Kickstarter and projects?

ED JOWETT – The best place is always our website, http://www.shadesofvengeance.com. Another good place is our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/shadesofvengeance/. For Era: The Empowered, we actually have a Facebook group, where daily posts are giving sneak peeks of stories, images and info about the book. If you’re not sure whether you want it, there’s no better place to learn more about Era: The Empowered! https://www.facebook.com/groups/eratheempowered/

Thanks very much for inviting me back, Egg, and I hope to speak with you again soon, about one of the other exciting projects we have coming up!

For more on Ed’s superpowered RPG Kickstarter, click here – Era: The Empowered.

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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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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).

Steampunk Friday – Kickstart the Comic – Boston Metaphysical – The Scourge of the Mechanical Men

Inventors, investigators, intellectuals…

Madmen (and women)…

And a virus which threatens to turn people into machines…

***

Boston Metaphysical – The Scourge of the Mechanical Men

Creator/Writer – Madeleine Holly-Rosing

Artist/Colorist – Gwynn Tavares

Letters – Troy Peteri

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 3:01 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Granville Woods and Tesla are in a race for time to save Boston from a mysterious disease that turns human beings into machines.

The Story:

Granville returns home to Liberty Row only to find an almost insane Tesla hiding there. But his efforts to get rid of Tesla hit a snag when they discover that a virus is turning humans into soulless mechanical men. Realizing that Emily and Travis Morgan of Morgan Medicinals are behind the outbreak, they fear that the twins are after more than just control of Boston – They want to take over the Great States of America.

John’s Thoughts:

I interviewed Madeleine Holly-Rosing last year (which you can read here) where she mentioned that one of the next stories would focus on Granville and Tesla… and here you go! From her section on the page “The Story behind the Story”, it sounds like this started with a premise of getting two characters in the same place for an extended time and see how that worked out (and what might the writer learn about both characters in the process). It’s an amazing moment when that happens as a writer. When a character speaks to you and lets you know exactly where they would prefer you to go and how they would prefer to act. It makes writing them all the easier because it really does feel like they write themselves (and maybe they do).

It has been and always will be important to me to write characters who, though they come from diverse backgrounds and have different points of view, are able to work together for the common good.

The Rewards:

As this is a standalone story, you can pick it up on its own ($6 for the PDF and $10 for the print), but given the nature of Kickstarter you have that opportunity to play catch-up ($22 for the digital and $35 for print). At the higher levels, you have the opportunity to get drawn into the Granville and Tesla pinup in full period garb ($145). And if you are considering running a Kickstarter of your own you could opt for one of the Consultation packages which include reviews of your Kickstarter Homepage, phone conversation (plus all the goodies from the Kickstarter) ($225 for Economy Consultation and #350 for Premium Consultation).

 

The Verdict:

Obviously, if you have been there for a while, this becomes a no-brainer, but if you are just thinking about dipping your toes into the Boston Metaphysical Universe, this might be a good place to jump in and check it out.

***

To find out more about Boston Metaphysical Society, check them out here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Steampunk Friday – Kickstart the Comic – Milford Green – A one-shot Victorian Alien Adventure Comic

I had to read War of the Worlds for school… that was the radio drama and the original book, and the ending struck me as pure genius at the time in both its simplicity and for how brave an idea that even was. I always wondered if you tried something like that today, would it work? Would people accept that ending or would they claim the author just didn’t know how to end the story.

Luckily, H.G. Wells doesn’t have to worry about such things.

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Milford Green

Writer – Samuel George London

Artist – Mikael Hankonen

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 6:59 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

In the summer of 1897, a socially awkward inventor investigates the crash-site of a flying vehicle to find out that we are not alone.

The Story:

Apart from winning “Prettiest Village in the British Empire, 1897” Milford Green is a normal village in the rolling hills of Southern England. That is until on one summer’s evening, Alfie Fairfield, a socially awkward inventor, sees some kind of flying vehicle shoot across the sky and crash land into a field. Being a curious fellow who is interested in any type of machinery, Alfie investigates to find out that we are not alone in this universe.

John’s Thoughts:

Even without the idea of aliens coming to Earth at the turn of the century appealing to me, the artwork by Mikael Hankonen is amazing. It reminds me of some of the old style animations that would pop up here and there in maybe a movie or random tv show. Not the best description from me, but it makes me “feel” what the story is going to be about as much as anything else… which is half the battle.

The Rewards:

For 48 pages worth of comic, paying only about $4 for the PDF is beyond a great deal. The print version goes for about $14. In addition, there is a Poster level which has about $3 difference if you can get in on the early bird. Finally, at the top end is a way to appear within the comic and get a 14.8 x 21.0 cm (you’ll need to do the conversion on that one!) art print of your character as well ($98).

The Verdict:

Even though a large part of the whole Steampunk genre owes its existence to H.G. Wells, the idea of aliens in that turn of the century world is not one I see very often. This makes Milford Green a welcomed addition. Check out the Kickstarter here!

***

To find out more about Milford Green, check them out here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

 

 

 

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – The Hidden Halls of Hazakor, Redshirt, Vol. 2, and On the Shoulders of Heroes

This week is a callback to RPG Kickstarters that I’ve done articles for elsewhere, for sequels to products I’ve already covered, and for relaunches.

 

On the Shoulders of Heroes – Reborn by Windmill Slam Games
Ends on .

“A ‘Vikingesque’ campaign setting designed for use with the 5th edition and version 3.5 of the world’s most popular RPG.

Greetings explorer, welcome to our domain! The On the Shoulder of Heroes campaign setting is designed for use with world’s most popular roleplaying game. It is inspired by old school roleplaying games, traditional fantasy, Germanic and Japanese mythology. It is based on the idea that the world was built by the deeds of great people – both good and evil.

Most of the artwork (including the cover) is done by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan
Most of the artwork (including the cover) is done by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan

Content

The book is close to 230 pages divided in 9 chapters. It is beautifully illustrated in grey-scale by 4 talented artists and is bound in a sturdy hard cover.  We’ve uploaded some previews for you here.”

 

Introduction, Races and Classes
Introduction, Races and Classes

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

I covered the first version of it here and those thoughts still apply. This one’s major addition is that it will also be for 5e as well as 3.5e which answers my question in the first article.

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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The Hidden Halls of Hazakor by Insane Angel Studios
Ends on .

“An RPG adventure for beginning Dungeon Masters and 1st-level characters — Written for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons

Every Young Hero Needs Somewhere to Start

The Hidden Halls of Hazakor is a fully illustrated, 64+ page starter adventure for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — and written with a special focus on young, beginning Dungeon Masters.

Hidden Halls of Hazakor

Created by designer and editor Scott Fitzgerald Gray, The Hidden Halls of Hazakor is a perfect introduction to classic dungeon-crawl adventuring for young DMs of ages 12 and up. In a friendly and straightforward fashion, it demonstrates some of the ways a good fantasy RPG adventure can be put together, and talks about some of the tricks and knowledge that all good DMs learn through the experience of running games — but which aren’t always instinctive for a young player sitting in the DM’s chair for the first time.

(Character concept art)

This adventure builds on the rules and information presented in the D&D core rulebooks and the D&D Starter Set, and on the first-time DM’s experience of having previously been a player in the game. A beginning DM running the adventure will learn to think about the ways in which the story can go in different directions based on what the characters do — and how to not be scared when it does. They’ll practice bringing NPCs to life by way of interesting quirks, to help the players engage with and remember them. They’ll get tips on running fun combat sessions, building from an initial slate of simple, single-foe encounters to more complex fights. And they’ll learn to use humor as a tool to make the game interesting and memorable, especially for other younger players.

The adventure’s approach to humor fits perfectly with the work of artist and comic creator Jackie Musto, whose full-color illustrations will bring The Hidden Halls of Hazakor to life. (And if you’d like the young gamer in your life immortalized as their very own RPG hero, Jackie will be doing a limited number of original illustrations as part of the Kickstarter campaign’s “Eternal Hero!” reward tier.)

 

In the vein of many classic starter scenarios, the adventure features a fully detailed local keep, where the characters meet and learn of the legendary lost ruins in the nearby wilderness. Those ruins then present a classic dungeon crawl in nine parts, featuring fifty different areas to explore, fun physical puzzles and daunting traps, a host of classic monstrous foes — including not one but two dragons — and other challenges that will bring the characters to 5th level… assuming they survive the threats of Hazakor’s lost halls.

 

This isn’t a stripped down or simplified adventure scenario, and there’s no reason why experienced players and veteran DMs won’t also have a good time running it. But The Hidden Halls of Hazakor has been designed and written with young DMs firmly in mind — helping them break down the processes of running an effective RPG session, creating a fun and dynamic world in the dungeon, and sharing that world and its stories as only roleplaying games can.”

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

It’s an all-ages 5e DM’s toolkit and adventure. For more details on it, I interviewed the creator, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, on Open Gaming Network here.

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Redshirts, Vol. 2: A Starfinder Comedy A.P. for levels 4-6 by Happy Gnome Publishing
Ends on .

“Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity Vol. 2 is a Starfinder adventure path guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you’ll pee your spacesuit

REDSHIRTS: ADVENTURES IN ABSURDITY, VOLUME 2!

What is Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity?

 Glad you asked! It is a Sci-fi/Comedy Adventure Path that is 100% Starfinder compatible. We launched the first volume on Kickstarter in August, and opened the PDF to the public in December. Within 6 days it was the number 1  hottest Starfinder product on DrivethruRPG, and earned their “Best-Seller” status. The entire Adventure Path, which revolves around surviving a deep space exploration mission with a dysfunctional command crew, will be 4 books and take Players from Level 1-12.

How do critics describe it?

It’s been called “The Office Meets Survivor…in space.”

What is the tone of the game?

Absurdist humor mixed with low-brow puns. It’s great for fans of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Futurama, or The Orville.

What Can we expect in Volume 2?

  • Chapter 4: When a ship of undead creatures kidnaps a Confederation Ambassador, the Redshirts must find a way to rescue her and destroy the vessal, before joining them in undeath, forever.
  • Chapter 5: When a routine visit to Plushy Prime, the happiest place in the Universe, goes wrong the Redshirts must unravel a mystery hidden away for thousands of years.
  • Chapter 6: When the Captain accidentally gets married again (to the Slurmolian Emperor) only the Redshirts can be trusted to find the one creature in the Universe that can perform the annulment before anyone finds out.
  • 20+ new monsters
  • New Equipment to kill your enemies with
  • 5+ new playable races:
Slurmolians: A race of underground dwelling slimy creatures. While normally friendly, their appearance and backwards cultural beliefs can be a turn off.
Slurmolians: A race of underground dwelling slimy creatures. While normally friendly, their appearance and backwards cultural beliefs can be a turn off.

 

Soulcage: Robots who go against there programming to do something so selfless and heroic, that they gain a soul from the universe itself.
Soulcage: Robots who go against there programming to do something so selfless and heroic, that they gain a soul from the universe itself.
  •  
Za’Rootyn: These tentacle-clad people worship their Sun, and follow the rule of the individual that the Sun chooses. They are powerful warriors, loyal friends, and vengeful enemies.
Za’Rootyn: These tentacle-clad people worship their Sun, and follow the rule of the individual that the Sun chooses. They are powerful warriors, loyal friends, and vengeful enemies.
  • Fungoids: The Fungus based people see the world in a unique way with a paranoia unbeknownst anywhere else in the universe. 
  • Val’hooligans: Ancient undead Viking warriors who were worshippers of Loki. Their incessant, never ending pranks and parties got them sent back to the world of the living, stuck between life and death, but still ready to party!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I covered the first volume here. This Starfinder project is expanding on the ideas and jokes of the first volume and, if that’s perfect for your gaming table, it’s worth checking out.

 

You can see examples of Happy Gnome Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Kickstart the Comic: 5 Seconds Volume 2

When is a power a gift and when is it a curse?

And could it be both?

What happens when the person you save has an extraordinary ability of her own.

***

5 Seconds – Volume 2

Writer – Stephen Kok

Artist – P.R. Dedelis

Colors – Peyton Freeman

 

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 6:02 AM EST.

***

The Pitch:

What would you do if you could see 5 seconds into the future? How will Jake use this gift when meets a girl who can hear your thoughts?

The Story:

5 Seconds Volume 2 is a YOUNG ADULT – 70 page – PERFECT BOUND – Graphic Novel which picks up directly after the first 5 Seconds finishes. Jake finds himself dealing with a new situation, a girl who can read minds. What deep dark secret is the girl hiding and can Jake (with his best friend Ellie) find out before the past catches up with them?

John’s Thoughts:

I’m in that boat, having not read the first volume, but I’m willing to take their word for it with this self-contained story.

I sometimes (all the time) wonder about how it would feel to be able to see into the future. How could you not these days when every new discovery, every new piece of handheld technology, and every advancement in knowledge makes you feel as if the old school science fiction writers had been left to guide us into the future. Going back to HG Wells, we all want to know what might lurk for us around the next corner. What happens if we choose this path over another path.

Where are we going?

Add to that the idea of peering into other people’s heads… all at once it is both enticing and utterly frightening. I think that if we knew what was going on in our friend’s heads at any time we all would seal ourselves away from the rest of the world (and it wouldn’t even be close).

Put those two things together…

The Rewards:

On the higher end, you can get the original cover artwork ($235) or get drawn into the comic ($102). If you are looking to play a bit of catch-up you have the PDFs available ($6) or print copies of both volumes ($39). One thing I really like is that you can also get pdfs of his non-5 Seconds comics (Tabby, Blue, and Word Smith) and really play catch-up on everything Stephen Kok has put out into the world thus far ($12).

The Verdict:

While I haven’t read Volume 1, I have checked out Word Smith by Stephen and really enjoyed it. If you like fun comics with a cool gimick at the core (whether that is words are magic or a glimpse into the future), you may want to check out the Kickstarter.

***

To find out more about 5 Seconds or other works by Stephen Kok, check them out here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

 

 

Steampunk Fridays – Kickstart the Comic – Make/100: Pneumatic Cases #2: Sleuthing Steampunk Spouses

The modern day Holmes and Watson are man and woman (or at least one version of them is)… but why not have that dynamic against the backdrop of a Steampunk world? And instead of the will they/won’t they – let’s just have them say I Do before the story even begins!

A love story, a murder mystery, and the happy couple who is at the center of it all.

***

Pneumatic Cases #2: Sleuthing Steampunk Spouses

Published by Last Ember Press

Creator/Writer – John Wilson

Artist/Cover – Rowel Roque

Colors – Lisa Moore

Letters/Book & Logo Design – Brant Fowler

Edits – Lisa Moore & Brant Fowler

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 12:59 AM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Lord and Lady Ravenscroft are two brilliant scientists and inventors whose Bohemian lifestyle and inventive ways are in direct contrast to the staid and proper ways of Victorian Era London.

Served faithfully by their steam-driven metallic Majordomo, Pneuman, and armed with a variety of elaborate self-created inventions, the Ravenscrofts pursue the one vocation that brings excitement into their world… solving murders!

The Story:

Brought in to consult on a mysterious murder, the Ravenscrofts began hunting down clues that might lead them to the devious culprit. Making waves and alerting the wrong people to their efforts nearly cost them their lives.

Now, the case takes them to Austria to seek out the next piece to this chaotic puzzle of murder and mayhem they’ve found themselves wrapped up in.

Issue 2, Page 1 Art – Rowel Roque Colors – Lisa Moore

John’s Thoughts:

I think I must have missed the first issue of this comic at some point, because I recognize the title, but obviously have not read it. Lucky for me, there are options to go ahead and catch up on the series. Regardless, this takes its nod from the mystery style stories of the time with a married couple at the center of it. I dig the idea of both of them being inventors as that way they both will have a chance to show off as the story progresses.

The sample pages/ opening to the story makes this feel like it might almost be a stand alone adventure for the two of them, and makes me very curious about whether the first issue was done in the same fashion. Given that my own Gilded Age comic is told in “done in ones”, it is a format that is near and dear to my heart.

Plus, kudos for the alliteration of their title…

The Rewards:

As part of Kickstarter’s “Make 100 campaign”, it’s a interesting idea to piggyback the Acrylic Charm ($39 level) with the comic campaign itself. I’ve seen many people do the small pin designs throughout the month, but couldn’t figure out a way to tie it into a potential comic campaign. Leave it to the Last Ember Press guys and gals to figure that piece out. In addition, at the $17 level they have basically a preorder for issues #3 and #4 as well which again is not only thinking towards the future, but really making it so that this project will get to its issue 3 and 4. At the highest level ($250) you can get Drawn In to issue #3… always a cool option.

The Verdict:

If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing that you have at least a passing interest in all things Steampunk. This is definitely that… so what are you waiting for? Go to the Kickstarter page here!

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To find out more about Last Ember Press and their other comics, check them out here.

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John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Kickstart the Comic – The North Star: The Emancipation of Frederick Douglass

Reading a list of Frederick Douglass’s accomplishments is not only a place of awe but also a sort of slap in the face to the modern person. Here’s a person who had to teach himself how to read and write, in secret! Someone who was at the forefront of a movement for societal change in a way that had never been seen before.

It makes me think that if someone tells you that you can’t or shouldn’t do something that you are passionate about – don’t let them deter you. Look within, find the strength that is there, and put it on display for everyone to see.

Cover Layout

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The North Star: The Emancipation of Frederick Douglass

Published by Terminus Media

Creator/Writer – Baron Bell

Editor – Robert Jeffrey II

Artist –Koi Turnbull

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 2:57 PM EDT.

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The Pitch:

The North Star graphic novel is an adaptation of Frederick Douglass’ memoir “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”.

The Story:

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. Through the course of his life, his force of will, tenacity and ferocious sense of justice not only helped him escape his enslavement but self-educate pushing him onto the national and international stage as a statesman. His life intersected with many pivotal events that helped shape our young nation’s history. He was a man of faith, a businessman, a politician and a prophet of the 19th Century. Frederick Douglass forced a country to reevaluate its moral core. This graphic novel will bring these events to life with exciting and dramatic imagery and help to reintroduce one of history’s greatest abolitionists at a time when such heroes are few and far between.

John’s Thoughts:

One of the interesting ideas with doing a book about someone so influential from history is the opportunity to use it as a teaching aid for students. One of the first exposure to anything comic related was the old Illustrated Classics. It was there that a small seed of wanting to learn was planted. A book like this has the same potential for new readers, for new exposure, and for helping to simply expose more people to Frederick Douglass.

While the team will be marketing directly to schools, libraries, and community organizations, the hope is that people buy extra copies for the next generation.

The Rewards:

You’ll get the PDF at the $15 level and the print trade at $25. At higher levels, you have the opportunity to go ahead and get extra copies of the book as well as get a high-resolution poster signed by artists Koi Turnbull. At the highest end, you can have your likeness drawn into the book along with a co-producer credit ($1000).

The Verdict:

If you are a fan of historical comics. If you are a fan of Frederick Douglass. If you are a fan of teaching the next generation… you might want to give this one a shot.

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To find out more about Terminus Media, check them out on Facebook here.

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John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Ultimate NPCs, Vital Hearts, and Tower of the Black Sorcerers

This week, I look at an AD&D adventure, a 5e book of NPCs, and a trapped-in-a-RPG role-playing game. All of these offer something fun for the gaming table.

 

Dungeon Delve #1: Tower of the Black Sorcerers by Dungeoneers Guild Games
Ends on .

“Fantasy role-playing module for 1st or 2nd Ed AD&D, BECMI D&D, OSRIC, DCC, Pathfinder, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, or other OSR.

THE PROJECT :

Tower of the Black Sorcerers” is the first project of Dungeoneers Guild Games’ DUNGEON DELVES adventure modules. This game adventure is designed specifically for the first edition of the original and everyone’s favorite fantasy role-playing game. It can easily be adapted to most fantasy role-playing games including the advanced 2nd edition game, the original game, the BECMI (“Basic”) game, and most old-school renaissance (OSR) role-playing systems or other game systems.

The module consists of 24 pages of high adventure, sorcery, and mystery with minimal plot that allows it to fit easily into any campaign world. It is designed to have the look and feel of the classic Dungeons & Dragons modules of the early and mid-1980s. The module’s origins come from an adventure I wrote for my current AD&D campaign that has been running for the last 15 years. The evil wizards and their minions proved to be quite a challenge for my players.

Tower of the Black Sorcerers” will be available in print and PDF versions. The print version has a classic module format with stapled booklet and cardstock cover. Maps are printed in dungeon blue on the inside the cover for that genuine old school gaming feel. Creating a module that consists of quality production, artwork, and printing that is also great to play is the ultimate goal of this project. If the first proof from the printer is any indication, that goal has been achieved.

As of this moment, all editing, layout, and artwork for the “Tower of the Black Sorcerers” are fully completed. All that is left is to have the physical copies printed. I have a professional, quality printer selected and ready to go.

"Tower of the Black Sorcerers" front cover with art by Bradley K. McDevitt. The sorcerer, Basharn, defends his tower from invading adventurers.
“Tower of the Black Sorcerers” front cover with art by Bradley K. McDevitt. The sorcerer, Basharn, defends his tower from invading adventurers.

THE MODULE:

The black sorcerers have dwelled within their baleful tower for hundreds of years. Now something evil stirs in the town of Bal-Curz — strange happenings of malefic magics and persons disappearing in the night. The fearful townsfolk whisper that its source stems from the Black Tower. Possibly a few bold heroes could Investigate the tower to uncover its secrets and put an end to this unseen terror? 

Tower of the Black Sorcerers” is an adventure for 5 to 7 characters of intermediate levels 5 to 8. In this module, the adventurers will explore a tower inhabited by a cabal of sorcerers. Set in a town, the DM can easily place this tower in an urban location in any fantasy role-playing game world they prefer.”

Russ Nicholson's depiction of the adventurers discovering the shrine of the loathsome god, Morraith.
Russ Nicholson’s depiction of the adventurers discovering the shrine of the loathsome god, Morraith.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Old school adventure for, really, AD&D, though it can be used for other systems, but based on the write-up, it’s calibrated for 1e. There are a number of OSR adventures that come out and the demand is always there for them. In a way, I’m always amazed that the system I cut my teeth on still has this level of demand. Then I think back to how fun the quirks of 1e are and I see the appeal. This one is well worth checking out.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Ultimate NPCs: Warfare for 5th Edition by Nord Games
Ends on .

“200+ pages of excellent NPCs and pre-built characters at level 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. Statblocks, roleplaying cues, stories and more!

Following on from 2016’s Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery, Ultimate NPCs: Warfare presents a collection of 30 fully fleshed-out characters to populate your game world. From high command to the cook’s tent, you’ll find a variety of soldiers, auxiliaries, and noncombatants within, each with the backstory and statistics necessary to run as an NPC or player character.

How many times have you been put on the spot in the middle of a game and needed to generate one or more highly detailed and well thought-out NPCs? How many times have you spent valuable time pre-game building a fantastic NPC from scratch, only to have the players pass by the tavern they were located in? How many times have you been a player wanting to join a party but didn’t have any good ideas for a character build? How many times have you been running a game and had a player want to join but just didn’t know how to create a character and level them up to be comparable with the rest of the party?!

Ultimate NPCs solves all of these issues as well as a great deal more! The book is packed with exciting, versatile and dynamic character builds that can be used in a myriad of different ways in 5th Edition format.

The book has 30 uniquely designed characters at levels 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. This gives maximum versatility for minimal cost and shelf space. Some of the characters are ones that we, the designers, have run in our campaigns for years, some are NPCs we’ve used to challenge or aid our players, and others are brand new builds.

Why did we choose levels 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20? Well, it seemed to us that these specific levels allow for the most options for the Game Master or player, with the least amount of pages. This allows for maximum value and versatility at a minimum price! w00t!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This isn’t Nord Games first Ultimate NPCs book as they’ve also done Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for 5e, Pathfinder and S&W!. However, this one has a narrower focus in terms of gaming systems. I like the utility of having a variety of NPCs at various stages of their existence (levels 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20) on tap. This allows on-the-fly NPCs that can grow with the campaign and show up when needed. These types of books – collections of realized background characters – are a great DM resource.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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VITAL HEARTS: Tabletop Role-Play of Isekai+Reality by Sanguine Productions LLC
Ends on .

“From the makers of FARFLUNG and MYRIAD SONG comes a game of mixed emotions, virtual mystery, and danger that is all too real.

Embrace the isekai spirit of Sword Art Online, Persona, Accel World, Log Horizon, Ready Player One, Dream Park, and other stories where there’s one world that offers far too little .. and another that’s all too much.

Vital Hearts is a tabletop game where you have not one but two characters: your personal user in a modern-day Japan… and an avatar in the next generation in multiplayer gaming. It’s fun at first, as you balance your work-a-day life with your hack-and-slash gaming. And sure, you might dismiss those fake screenshots and Internet hoaxes at first… but there’s definitely something mixed up around here.

A Tale of Mixed Realities…

You’ll be playing not one, but two characters: your persona in Real Life, who has to go to work, to school, and to do other chores… with your avatar in Virtual Reality, who uses fantastic techs of sword and spell to defeat monsters and win the day.  For the game of Vital Hearts, you must strike a balance between RL and VR. If your character spends too much time in the game, they’ll fall behind on their daily life. But if you can’t keep up the pace in the game, you may miss out on great rewards.

 

As you make your own stories, the line between the two gets thinner. Logic, math, and academic skills will help you solve puzzles in the game. Reflexes, wits, and bravery earned in the game can give you new confidence to deal with the ordinary. Whatever path you choose, let your past glories build your future success… because you’ll need to be ready for what’s to come.

… But It’s Only a Game, Isn’t it?

The Internet is full of viral hoaxes. And all kinds of people play these games, so it’s not that weird when one or two make the news. And you just want to play games, not get caught up in politics of anti-gaming organizations, patent disputes, and other things. But the longer you play the Vital Hearts game, the more things happen that are just … odd. Are you and your friends the targets of identity thieves trying to hack your accounts? What kind of publicity stunt goes so badly that the police get involved? Did those accounts go dark because those people just quit… or because of something else? Just what is going on?

You’ll have to work together with your friends, using both your VR champion and your RL self, if you don’t want to be just another victim. And it might not just be you and your friends who are in danger. WIth Vital Hearts getting ready to launch in all regions, the fate of the entire world could be at stake!

Vital Hearts planning committee is a joint effort between three veterans of tabletop gaming, Sanguine Productions, Gunship Revolution, and DriveThruRPG.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

As they note, this is shades of “Sword Art Online, Persona, Accel World, Log Horizon, Ready Player One, Dream Park” or, further afield, the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon brought to the tabletop. In Vital Hearts, you’re playing a player in the “real” world AND their character inside the game. You make two characters so it’s the opportunity to indulge in a different set of skills – you playing the player playing the character. This offers the rare opportunity to really delve into your acting and lampoon your table habits like a good actor playing a bad actor trying to play a dice-driven character. Add to this, the creators of the game are clearly going for a meta experience where you could work in moments of real life and you have something worth checking out.

 

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!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Steampunk Friday – Kickstart the Comic – Grimwood Crossing Vol. 1 & 2 – A Stylish Supernatural Western

The stranger comes to town…

The Sheriff must defend everyone against bandits…

The corrupt cattle owners do their best to hunt down the ragtag band…

Zombies…

Werewolves…

Vampires…

Just another western? I think not.

***

Grimwood Crossing Vol. 1 & 2

Writer/Letterer – Conner Bartel

Illustrator – Atagun Ilhan

Logo & Book Designer – Marc Bartel

Cover Art & Design – James Liswed

Editor – James Davenport

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 7:59 AM EST.

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The Pitch:

Read the complete story of the supernatural western comic series about a monster hunter and his young apprentice.

The Story:

Grimwood Crossing is the biggest town in the grim old west. Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies are part of the everyday struggle for the townsfolk. That’s why Grimwood’s Sheriff also has the added job title of monster hunter. It’s a dangerous job so a replacement must always be arranged. With the help of his young, scat-talking apprentice, the Sheriff must fend off a vengeful outlaw with demonic powers.

In Vol. 2 the demonic outlaw confronts the duo face to face. The entire town must come together to keep the outlaw from destroying everything. Alliances are made, differences are put aside, and the community is put to the test.

John’s Thoughts:

Weird West stories hold a special place in my heart. One of the first real scripts I ever wrote was for a 8 page western comic with a werewolf appeared in it. So when you mention all the things which go bump in the night against the desperation and opportunity of the wild west… I’m going to at least take a look and see what it is all about.

From what I can tell of the characters, I like the idea of a former bandit suddenly helping a town against the monsters. And maybe they’re not entirely sure they can even begin to trust him. But they know that someone has got to protect them…

The Rewards:

At the $30 level there is an opportunity to have the book with a signed bookplate featuring the signatures of the writer and artist. Considering they live on two different continents, this would be pretty much the only way to get such an item.

For those of us who missed the Volume 1 Kickstarter, there is an opportunity to play catch-up at $20 for the print or $8 for the digital, both which are a great bang for the buck.

The Verdict:

Color me interested. The artwork gives the right feel for such a book and having it in black and white should only help that.  Around 200 pages of comics potentially… seems like a good deal to me.

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To find out more about Grimwood Crossing, check them out here.

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John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

 

 

 

4 Gaming Kickstarters You Should Back – John Carter of Mars, Elven Lords Revisited, Destiny Quest IV, and Comet over Echo Rock

Two RPGs and two gamebooks to look at this week. One a Tunnels & Trolls solo adventure, one for 5e, one using Modiphius’ 2d20 system, Momentum, and an original choose your own adventure gaming system gamebook.

 

Comet over Echo Rock, a 5th edition adventure level 2-4 by Sinopa Publishing
Ends on .

“A gritty adventure, old school dungeon crawl, published under OGL/SRD 5.1. Original art, print, pdf, and more! DnD 5e rpg OGL Fun!

Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock

What is this about?

Comet over Echo Rock is a gritty adventure and also contains setting information for Glenfallow, as it stands after the liberation of Glenfallow Keep by Pieron and his friends. This book details new non-player characters, changes to the area, and adds information of use for extended game play. With this book you get a piece of setting you can drop into any world for your use, along with a tough adventure.

Art by Alexia Veldhuisen - A real ogre is nothing to sneeze at
Art by Alexia Veldhuisen – A real ogre is nothing to sneeze at
Art by Christian Martinez
Art by Christian Martinez

This adventure is setting neutral, meaning it doesn’t rely upon setting specific information and is suitable for use in most fantasy settings.

This book includes art created specifically for the adventure. The art done for this project consists of black and white, as well as some color images, and consists of an array of styles with each illustration done specifically for the scenes they enhance.

Art by Christian Martinez
Art by Christian Martinez

Available in PDF and print formats (soft cover premium color, and hard cover premium color collector’s edition).  All backers receiving a copy of this adventure will also receive copy of the Encounter Scale System ™ map pack created for Comet over Echo Rock.  The ESS map pack, is a black and white printable PDF file that allows you to print and assemble maps that are scaled for miniature use.

Art by Kelsy Cowan
Art by Kelsy Cowan

Designed to be a difficult to deadly challenge for characters of second through fourth level of ability, this adventure requires courage, cunning, and strength to overcome.  This is a gritty adventure, designed to challenge your group.

Written as a follow up story to The Draw of Glenfallow, this adventure builds upon the relationship characters develop with Pieron, the newly installed lord of Glenfallow Keep. Characters who have not played through The Draw of Glenfallow have an opportunity to build a relationship with this newly minted lord. Characters who survived and helped elevate Pieron to his new station can further enhance their standing in his eyes and may firmly establish themselves as trusted heroes.

Art by Alexia Veldhuisen
Art by Alexia Veldhuisen

What is it about?

In this book, the characters are once again asked by Pieron to come to his aid.  While Pieron is busy rebuilding Glenfallow Keep and overseeing the settlement of his lands, dark forces are making themselves known in the mountains to the north. Dwarves seeking to reopen the Echo Rock silver mine have been killed, and their fellows are calling for the blood of the monsters who struck them down. Pieron wants the monsters in the mine destroyed and the player characters are just the people for the job.

There is treasure to be had, innocents to avenge, and political clout to be earned.  All that need be done is to triumph where all others have failed. Climb the mountains to face deadly peril. Wield steel and magic to put down the monsters of the north.

What secrets will you uncover in the stygian depths of the mine?

Victory over the monstrous creatures in the mountains brings glory and wealth for those characters brave enough to undertake the challenge, and skilled enough to survive.”

Art by: Kelsy Cowan
Art by: Kelsy Cowan

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

W.S. Quinton is a nice guy, and I’ve offered him feedback on this Kickstarter. As such, I’ll hit the highpoints and let the rest speak for itself:

  • 5e
  • A gritty adventure
  • This Kickstarter is for book two, so you can get both of them and have a longer run

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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DestinyQuest IV: The Raiders of Dune Sea by Megara Entertainment SARL
Ends on .

“A new DestinyQuest gamebook by Michael Ward, published by Megara Entertainment.

What is DestinyQuest?

DestinyQuest is a new style of gamebook that draws on modern fantasy action games such as World of Warcraft and Diablo, and fuses them with the old-style ‘choose your own adventure’ books of the 80s.

In DestinyQuest, readers use an innovative map system to experience exciting quests, battle fearsome monsters and discover valuable rewards.

Map system (example from a previous DestinyQuest book)
Map system (example from a previous DestinyQuest book)

 

Throughout their adventure, the reader can customize their hero from hundreds of collectable items and special abilities, allowing them to take on ever-greater challenges as they seek to build their hero from a starting newbie to a legendary champion.

More information about DestinyQuest on the official website
http://www.destiny-quest.com/

January 2018 interview with Stuart Lloyd:
http://www.lloydofgamebooks.com/2018/01/destiny-quest-iv-raiders-of-dune-sea.html

YouTube review of the series:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy0I9ioLfZU&t=31s

DestinyQuest author and designer Michael Ward (here at Dragonmeet convention)
DestinyQuest author and designer Michael Ward (here at Dragonmeet convention)

 

The previous Destiny Quest titles (1,2,3)
The previous Destiny Quest titles (1,2,3)

How do I play?

All you need to play DestinyQuest is a copy of the book, a handful of six-sided dice, a pencil and some paper – then you are ready to embark on an epic narrative adventure where you are the hero. You get to make the decisions for your hero, deciding where they will go, what they will do, and how they will react to the myriad of challenging dilemmas that will be set before them. Book Four of DestinyQuest pushes these choices even further, ensuring that no two adventures will ever be the same.

Do I need to have read the other books?

No. Every DestinyQuest book is written as a standalone adventure, but together they create an ongoing narrative that tells a larger story. While readers will always benefit from having experienced the other adventures in the series, it is not essential that you have any prior knowledge of the characters and game world. If you want to take your first plunge into DestinyQuest with Book Four, then there’s nothing to hold you back. Grab your sword and backpack, and get ready for an exciting ride!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This is the first of two gamebooks/choose your own adventures/solo adventures on this list. This is the fourth novel in the series and if you’re looking for an expanded series where you make all of the choices, DestinyQuest is a great option.

 

You can see examples of their work at Amazon here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Elven Lords Revisited: a Make 100 Solo Adventure by Flying Buffalo Inc
Ends on .

“Decades ago, Danforth and Stackpole created a unique solitaire adventure for Tunnels & Trolls. We’re back to make a great new version.

Return to GULL, the CITY OF TERRORS

Back in 1990, writer Michael Stackpole and artist Liz Danforth put together a solo adventure book for the Tunnels & Trolls™ fantasy role-playing game, published by Flying Buffalo Inc. Called Elven Lords, the book brought players back to the city of Gull, popularly known as “the City of Terrors.” Facing cutthroat thieves, barbarians, smugglers and pirates, or the horrors infesting the elven tombs to the north, the solitary hero found all the adventure they could handle!

The solitaire game booklet came out as a signed limited edition of 1000 copies, never to be republished. That version of Elven Lords has been out of print for many years now, a prized and difficult-to-obtain item sought by collectors.

It is time we revisit this adventure.

Why? How? And why now?

We could not reprint the old edition, even though fans asked repeatedly. We said we wouldn’t, and we won’t. But Kickstarter’s Make/100 project made for a real opportunity: we could create a new, enlarged prestige edition. Players would get the old content—everything they had missed out on before—with fresh new writing and art in a first-class edition.

As the original writer, Mike has agreed to write more adventures in the setting, looping them into the existing storyline. Liz brings fresh art to the project, with brand new images, little-known paintings, and her famous line work drawings colorized by collaborator-artist Steve Crompton and others. By making this book part of Kickstarter’s Make/100 projects, an expanded Elven Lords solitaire adventure with full-color interior art becomes possible.

A sample spread in the color edition (Pledge: Paragraph E)
A sample spread in the color edition (Pledge: Paragraph E)

This exceptional version of Elven Lords will be offered in a signed, limited edition of just 100 copies, never to be republished. In years to come, it too will become a prized and difficult-to-obtain collectors item.

No One Gets Left Out

Having a fun game to play is the core reason for wanting an adventure like this. A quality game is our top priority, and we intend to deliver that. (We hope to exceed your expectations, in fact.) So we understand that not everyone wants a collectors edition of “something for fun” just to put on a shelf.

Choose a format that suits your wallet and the way you want to play. In addition to the color edition, we will produce a matching print edition with no color, showcasing Danforth’s iconic black and white art. The paintings will be redrawn into line art, as necessary, and every image in the color version will have its counterpart in the black and white edition. This unlimited version will not be signed or numbered, and it will be in print as long as demand exists.

A sample page of B&W edition (Pledge: Paragraph D)
A sample page of B&W edition (Pledge: Paragraph D)

For those who want the color illustrations but not as a physical, collectible book, we will make the full color edition available as a downloadable PDF for your computer, phone, tablet, or other electronic device. Playing electronically is seamless, with each Go To choice taking you straight to the paragraph that you should read next.

And when we say “no one gets left out?” We really mean it, even if you have never played Tunnels & Trolls before. You get everything you need to play right inside the book.

Tunnels & Trolls uses simple rules and mechanics, but we pared that down to the essential “mini-rules” so you can play immediately. Take yourself into the City of Terrors with the main T&T rulebook if you have it! But if you are new to the game, get your feet wet with this adventure and the mini-rules before you jump into the deep end. We even offer a couple of pre-created characters, so nothing slows you down.

Just add dice. (Regular six-siders are all you need.)”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This is the second of two gamebooks/choose your own adventures/solo adventures on this list. This is a reprint of a classic Tunnels & Trolls solo adventure. Revised and expanded, this is a chance to recapture the original feel of crawling through the City of Terrors.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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John Carter of Mars – The Roleplaying Game by Modiphius
Ends on .

“Adventures on The Dying World of Barsoom. A planetary romance tabletop roleplaying game from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs

With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars, lifted my hands toward his lurid rays, and waited…” – John Carter, Gods of Mars

John Carter of Mars – Adventures on The Dying World of Barsoom is a planetary romance tabletop role-playing game. We’ve created it under license and with the cooperation of the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the original Barsoom novels. We’ve also had guidance of Scott Tracy Griffin one of the leading scholars of his works to ensure utmost authenticity. Using a pulp-action inspired narrative variant of Modiphius’ 2d20 system,Momentum, John Carter of Mars allows players to take the role of various adventurers and heroes as they travel, battle, and romance their way across the wondrous and dangerous world known to its natives as Barsoom. Play as John Carter, the princess Dejah Thoris or the fearsome Thark warrior Tars Tarkas – or create your own new heroes from a wide variety of options.

You can download our free Quickstart from DriveThruRPG or Modiphius.net

 

We’ve spent the last two years working on the John Carter of Mars roleplaying game as a labor of love, everything you see in the project is of utmost quality, from the beautiful landscape book to the stunning resin 32mm multi-part miniatures. We hope to unlock additional art budget to fill our core book with stunning works, to unleash the Swords of Mars campaign book which will include the battle rules for miniatures but also a full RPG campaign. We also want to bring you dozens of gorgeous miniatures to let you see our beloved heroes in action and lots of great geomorphic adventure locations such as airships and ruins.

The core book is being laid out in stunning US Letter size landscape format which allows us to create extra long landscape artworks bringing Barsoom to life in vivid detail. Produced in our European print house which is renowned for its excellent hardback binding quality we can assure you of a truly beautiful book to last the ages. The Collectors slipcase is designed in portrait format so you can store your book upright if desired and will also house the Swords of Mars Campaign book once unlocked.

This will be just the beginning of an all encompassing John Carter of Mars tabletop games line with a planned boardgame coming next.

The core book is fully written, and now in layout, depending on what other books are unlocked in the line, we will be aiming for one shipment in the summer prior to a retail release in the fall. As soon as the Kickstarter closes and payments have been processed you will be given access to the complete documents for the core book as well as the full PDF before we go to print, to provide last minute proofreading.  

“As I gazed upon it I felt a spell of overpowering fascination – it was Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting man, it had always held the power of irresistible enchantment.” – John Carter, Princess of Mars

Included in the core book are:

  • An overview of Burroughs’ Barsoom and its peoples, perfect to introduce new players to the wondrous world of John Carter of Mars.
  • Detailed chapters on technology, creatures, and various cultures.
  • A new skill-less Talent focused narrative variation of the 2d20 system called Momentum, including a step-by-step character generation system designed to create heroes from a variety of backgrounds and concepts.
  • Choose a wide variety of characters such as a dashing Red Martian duelist, a brilliant First Born scientist, a savage Beastmaster, a courageous airship officer, a disciplined assassin, or even Earthborn characters, so players can follow in the bounding footsteps of John Carter himself!
  • A detailed Narrator’s section with information on how to run genre-and-setting appropriate games and campaigns, including information about the great secrets of Barsoom.
  • Three eras of play based on the adventures of John Carter himself. Play during the early days of Dotar Sojat, adventure during the time when Carter was a Prince of Helium and in the years after when he was believed dead, or fight alongside Carter and his allies during the later Jeddak of Jeddaks era.
  • An introductory adventure, the Mind Merchants of Mars, to get players and Narrators started on their adventures.
  • Click below to read our sample chapter of the Red Kingdoms”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

We’re in a pulp era. Flash Gordon just hit for Savage Worlds. Onyx Path Kickstarted Cavaliers of Mars. Now, Modiphius brings us John Carter of Mars using their 2d20 system. If you have any love for pulp sci-fi, the options are waiting for you.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Steampunk Fridays – Kickstart the Comic – Transylvanian Knights Issue 1

Gothic Horror, Weird West, Steampunk… in my mind they are separate and yet they fit together in very satisfying ways within my mind. Because what is Steampunk about, if not the horror of the past and the future fighting without any idea of exactly what will be left behind.

Plus, I’m a sucker for these other stories of Dracula…

***

Transylvanian Knights Issue 1

Published by Comichaus

Writer/Co-Creator – James McCulloch

Artist/Co-Creator – Jonny Cannon

Letterer – Robin Jones

Design – Gavin Boyle

Editor – Pete Genepool

Cover by Jonny Cannon and Gavin Boyle

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

The 40-page first issue featuring classic characters from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker in an all-new horror adventure.

The Story:

10 years after the vampire war, Transylvania is yet again under threat from Count Dracula, but as General Van Helsing hunts down the Count, two weary circus performers stumble onto a secret that could change everything.

Coming from a love of old monster movies, James McCulloch and Jonny Cannon come together to take the classic characters Count Dracula, Van Helsing, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Wolfman on a new adventure.

John’s Thoughts:

From the preview pages… it just feels like something right out of the old Marvel Monster books. I actually have a couple of them on my shelf (the black and white phone book sized ones) and what I see makes me think this could slide right alongside of those and feel right at home.

These pages begin to paint a picture of the history of this world. Of an ever-vigilant Van Helsing who cannot rest until he finds Dracula. And so while everyone sleeps, he becomes the soldier on the wall… waiting for his nemesis to return.

And now it seems he might have.

The Rewards:

40 pages of adventure horror for the low digital price of $1.39… that seems like a deal in and of itself. You can also get the print version for only $7. Moving to some of the higher values (which end at the $69 level) are original pieces of art from the comic itself (limited to 20 total backers at this level).

The Verdict:

It is a very modest goal needing only about $20 at the time of this writing. Mostly it has the feel of something that if you are into Dracula and how those characters could/would have continued onward from their last stories, then this might be the answer you are looking for.

***

To find out more about Transylvanian Knights, check them out here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

Kickstart the Comic – The Espresso Detective Comic No. 1 Print Campaign

Sometimes you need something with a little kick.

Sometimes you need someone who will go the distance for you.

And sometimes you just need… a Dick.

***

The Espresso Detective Comic No. 1 Print Campaign

Creator/Writer/Artist/Colorist/Letterer – Eric Erdek

Kickstarter campaign ends on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 6:29 AM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Slavers in your town. Your neighbors are their clients. Restaurants. Massage – stolen people. Only one man gives damn, and he’s a Dick.

The Story:

His name is Caetano Sanchez, he’s named after Saint Cajetan, co-founder of the Theatines.

Famous for not owning property or asking for alms. Caetano mirrors his namesake since he seems to own nothing and yet is always seen in the coolest cars and pads. All borrowed… mostly from fallen enemies.

That’s where his saintliness ends. Soul-wrenching loss and heartbreak have made him a man that goes through women and friendships like a Saudi goes through bullets at a wedding (it’s called happy fire. Really, look it up).

Caetano seems to stumble victorious and unscathed from case to case saving the day like a trench-coated Jar Jar Binks. No skills or strategy other than planning how to get his next gorgeous client into bed. However, tearing at the edges of his happy-go-lucky facade is a much darker source to his powers.

Sanchez is addicted to Espresso mainly for self-medicating his MDD (Major Depression Disorder). He has also refined it to an art and a culture. His Nagula (Shaman Teacher) has made it so Sanchez has what appear as superpowers when he is buzzed on Espresso.

He’s a ladies man, a P.I., a Shaman’s apprentice and a savior of the weak and lost.

Literature has a new great Latin lover… and he’s a dick.

John’s Thoughts:

The whole Noir detective story is one that is either in your wheelhouse or not. The solo (mostly) guy who has to use his wits and maybe a bit of luck to not only arrive at the answer to whatever his current mystery might be but also juggle that with living the lifestyle of a P.I.

It’s both glamorous and utterly miserable at the same time… and in that juxtaposition is where you can get a great story. Whether it is about redemption or burying the past or whatever… we come for the tropes and trappings, but we stay for the stories.

The Rewards:

$5 is all it takes to get yourself a print version of the book (26 pages). At the higher ends you can get various wall art ($75) or drawn into the book ($600), but one thing that really caught my eye was the $45 level with a very cool T-shirt.

 

The Verdict:

Normally the answer might be found at the bottom of a bottle of some darkish liquid. Something that will really knock you down and make you wonder who is in control of who. For this guy, it just happens to be Espresso that does the job…

And who are we to judge. So pick up the book and have a morning read with your coffee!

***

To find out more about The Espresso Detective, go to the website here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Children of the Apocalypse, D13 RPG, A Night in Seyvoth Manor, and Faerie Fire

Savage Worlds. Two for 5e. D13. Horror, the end of the world, monsters, and stunning art. It’s another week and there are four RPGs that need your support. Go!

 

Children of the Apocalypse for Savage Worlds RPG by Happy Monster Press
Ends on .

“Children of the Apocalypse is a post-apocalyptic epic fantasy setting for Savage Worlds, including a full Plot Point campaign.

Children of the Apocalypse is a post-apocalyptic epic fantasy setting for Savage Worlds. In Children of the Apocalypse, bold adventurers explore the ruins of our world, seeking lost technologies to empower the creations of Tinker Mages.

“…a very well thought out setting. There is enough of the history and world information to whet your appetite!” Patrick “Shadowdad” Greenlaw, Role Player’s Imaginarium

 The Setting

In the world of Children of the Apocalypse, the Nine Gods exert a daily influence on societies, scheming for the advantage of their followers and the downfall of their enemies. The setting book includes a complete Plot Point campaign in which the players contend with the Gods themselves to determine the future of all humanity.

Children of the Apocalypse requires the Savage Worlds core book and the Fantasy Companion.

Players take on the roles of newly-minted adventurers of the city-state of Peterborough, in the service of the Lord Protector. Some might follow the path of the psion, learning the arts of mental power; others might master musketry or fencing; still others could study alchemy or wizardry.

 

 

The Children of the Apocalypse setting book contains:

  • Descriptions of the Nine Gods, their followers, and their motives
  • Eight new races created by the Nine Gods
  • A complete description of post-apocalyptic Boston and the surrounding communities
  • Setting rules to represent a high-magic, high-theology world
  • A complete Plot Point campaign leading to a confrontation with the Gods themselves
  • Guidelines for converting your own hometown into a campaign setting

Sneak Peek: Taps

Taps bills itself as an “Adventurer’s Town” – in reality it is at least as much a safe harbor for brigands as a base of operations for adventurers seeking treasure in Boston. Taps is a fort consisting of a large inn, stables, tavern, and general store, all run by a pair of retired sherzi wizards. The town welcomes anyone solvent and doesn’t ask many questions about how they got that way- the wizards ruthlessly enforce their rule of no bloodshed within the walls. Travelers taking the Greatroad south from Haverhill will see placards advertising Taps’ services, including the implied eponymous beer. Just about any sort of adventurer may be found in Taps, and it is a common meeting place for parties of adventurers braving either nearby Salem or more distant Boston in search of artifacts.

Curious about the setting? See more in the free Children of the Apocalypse demo kit on DriveThruRPG.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

The [savage] world ended. New gods and new races sprang up. Not sure if it’s for you? Sample it here for free Children of the Apocalypse demo kit on DriveThruRPG.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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D13 RPG – Personalized Premium Ltd Ed by Popcorn Press
Ends on .

“True Horror Campaign RPG

What is the D13 RPG?

Conceptually it’s a game for running truly horrific adventures in campaigns across time and space. Characters face the real threat of death or madness in individual adventures—unaware that they are also threads of existence for supernatural beings battling a greater darkness.

Mechanically it’s an easy attribute-and-skill based system—4 attributes, any sort of skill. Actions use 1d4+1d10 (read 0-9) for a number range of 1-13, with beneficial doubles at the low end. For adventures involving psychic abilities, a tarot deck (or a poker deck) depicts the uncertainty and danger of those powers. For combat actions and turn sequence, a Ouija* board can be used.

Why a D13 RPG?

When I designed the Dark Conspiracy RPG in 1991, I envisioned a world into which any sort of horror tale could be adapted. But that setting’s framework also constrained the time, place, and even themes of those adventures. I’ve long wanted to do something more far-reaching.

Also, most horror RPGs either dial back the danger to let PCs survive from one adventure to the next, or make them part of a secret society, or abandon altogether the idea of campaigning so as to convey true horror.

The D13 RPG is a solution to all those problems. It lets GMs run truly horrific adventures that may maim, madden, or kill PCs—without killing the campaign.

 

Who Am I?

I’m an Origins-award-winning game designer with 30+ years of publishing history, best known for the Dark Conspiracy RPG, the Dragon Dice game, Mechwarrior 2nd Ed., the Planes of Chaos boxed set (with Wolfgang Baur), and the core mechanics for the Sovereign Stone and Serenity RPGs. I’ve been on staff at GDW and TSR, worked with Gary Gygax, and freelanced for many other game publishers. Nowadays I’m retired in rural Nebraska where I self-publish games for the joy of it. You can learn more about me at www.lestersmith.com, or search for “Popcorn Press” on DriveThruRPG.com and DriveThruCards.com.

Who Is the Artist?

Lenka Šimečková is an amazing young illustrator of the dark and bizarre, from the Czech Republic. I first became aware of her work while designing the D6xD6 RPG in 2014. She provided two character illos for that book, and I’ve wanted her illustrations for the D13 RPG ever since. I’ve already purchased rights for several pieces (the game cover and illos on this page); this Kickstarter will help to fund more.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This is the first of two art RPGs on this week’s list. “Lenka Šimečková is an amazing young illustrator of the dark and bizarre, from the Czech Republic. I first became aware of her work while designing the D6xD6 RPG in 2014. She provided two character illos for that book, and I’ve wanted her illustrations for the D13 RPG ever since. I’ve already purchased rights for several pieces (the game cover and illos on this page); this Kickstarter will help to fund more.”

Lenka Šimečková‘s work is going to drive this RPG’s success. Just the few glimpses of art we have are enough to make me believe that D13 RPG is going to be worth checking out.

Oh, and Lester “Dark Conspiracy RPG, Dragon Dice game, Mechwarrior 2nd Ed., Planes of Chaos, Sovereign Stone, Serenity RPGs” Smith is a contributing factor. [Big wink @ “contributing factor” since, you know, Lester’s driving this ship with decades of experience and a proven track record.]

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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“A Night in Seyvoth Manor” for D&D 5th Edition by Darklight Interactive
Ends on .

“A conversion of the 2013 ENnie-nominated adventure “A Night in Seyvoth Manor” for D&D 5th Edition, published under the 5E OGL

A conversion of the 2013 ENnie-nominated adventure "A Night in Seyvoth Manor" for D&D 5th Edition, published under the 5E OGL

A Night in Seyvoth Manor is a Halloween-themed “challenge” adventure that was originally designed for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition (published under the 4th Edition Game System License) and published for free in 2013. It was subsequently nominated for a 2013 ENnie award in the “Best Free Product” category.

This project is to do a complete conversion of A Night in Seyvoth Manor to the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition system and publish it through the 5th Edition Open Gaming License(OGL for short), while giving it the attention it deserves in terms of a proper editing pass and additional artwork.

Few people in the village of Ravenshire spoke of the manor atop the hill to the north, and even fewer dared approach it. After the horrific events that happened there so many years ago many believe the mansion and the estate grounds to be cursed, haunted by the restless dead, and some of the village residents could swear they have seen movement and lights coming from the seemingly abandoned mansion.  

Throughout the years the village has had its share of disappearances; most of them had been blamed on the harsh environment of the surrounding forest and the natural dangers of the world we live in, but recent evidence leads to the doorstep of the Seyvoth estate. And when two young women – Jessi and Lyssa Hawthorne, daughters of a village elder – go missing, the village immediately sent out search parties in to the surrounding area. Two separate groups of scouts passed through the iron gate at the entrance to the estate… and have never returned.  

Now a local mystic warns of the danger looming in Seyvoth manor, how the daughters will soon be led towards the darkness and turn against the village they once called home. Are you brave enough to step through the gates and seek out the missing scouts and rescue the two women in distress? Are you willing to unravel the mysteries of the Seyvoth estate, even if it means risking your own life?

The adventure is a “challenge” adventure in that it is not intended to be part of a larger campaign; it is designed as a one shot adventure, using throwaway characters that are highly optimized, and for that reason the adventure is designed to be pretty brutal. Expect characters to die, possibly more than once, but if they do they can simply walk right back in to the adventure and try again… there are only two limiting factors: time (it’s designed to be between 4 and 6 hours… we’ll get to that shortly) and an optional scoring system at the end of the adventure. It is also designed to be replayable: players can take what they have learned in one run through and carry it over to the next one.

I do have to point out something… when I say it is “desgined to be between 4 and 6 hours”, that’s really depends on the party and how you go about it. But it *can* be done… technically… and was almost done by the guys at The Incomparable Podcast who have done a single run through of Seyvoth Manor, continuing it every Halloween, that has run for the last four years. Granted, they were doing it for fun and not for the challenge, but you get the idea.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

It was a 4e ENnie Award nominated product. To be nominated for an ENnie means they made 4e work. Again, they made 4e work. That means they can’t fail in 5e!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Faerie Fire, a 5e supplemental by Astrolago Press
Ends on .

“A stylish, glamorous fey bestiary and setting inspired by the 80s and 90s, for use with 5e tabletop campaigns.

Faerie Fire is a bestiary and supplemental expansion intended for the fifth edition of the world’s most popular tabletop RPG. We wanted to explore the world of the fairy wilds in more depth–so we’ve made a court full of 10 wild, dangerous, and chaotic fey, and 20 new and unique monsters to add to your campaign bestiary–and an additional 20 magical items to fill your players with wonder (and avarice).

The base edition of Faerie Fire will be full-colour, hardcover, and feature approximately 104 pages of content; it will match the same dimensions as your other 5e books, so that they all line up nicely on your bookshelf.

The Creatures

Bosca, Lord of Wildfire by Nina Matsumoto
Bosca, Lord of Wildfire by Nina Matsumoto

 

The book is divided into two sections: the Fey Court, and the Wilds. In the Fey Court you’ll meet a cast of ten strange and complicated beings: from the childlike Monarch to the mischievous Pox & Pilfer–and the mysterious, isolated Sepal, warden of the fairy prisons.

Members of the court are just as likely to turn on one another as they are to uphold any kind of order, and a player who finds themselves in the court’s capricious graces could make a lot of trouble–or wind up dead.

Conglomodog, by Kory Bing
Conglomodog, by Kory Bing

In the Wilds, you’ll encounter an even stranger collection of beings–some sentient, some not–who all operate by the fairy realm’s arbitrary and downright chaotic rules. While not every creature in the book is immediately deadly (some would simply like to ask you a fewquestions), not one of them should be underestimated. An adventurer navigating the wilds may find themselves ensnared by the deadly Chondrofeyr–only to be rescued by their new, strange fairy familiar.

All 30 entries will come complete with beautiful, bold illustrations provided by an incredible line-up of talented artists–not to mention balanced stats, inventive mechanics, and vibrant lore for ideas on how to insert them into your own campaign.

The Items

Item design by Jesse Turner
Item design by Jesse Turner

 

We’ll also be including a library of magical items in the book, perfect for any explorer with sticky fingers and time to sort out a curse or two. Five new weapons, five new armours, and ten new magical items–including a potions table filled with various tricks, grenades, and concoctions. In our own tabletop campaigns, we like to encourage players to think outside the box and use their magic items for roleplay as much as combat, so we’ve created items that we hope will give you lots of opportunities to be inventive.

Previews of some of our creature and item stats will be revealed throughout the campaign on our Tumblr or you can follow us in Twitter for details about upcoming playtesting livestreams

Cover art by Yuko Ota (design not final)
Cover art by Yuko Ota (design not final)

Aesthetic

Faerie Fire is inspired by the neon noir aesthetic of the late 80s, with a touch of Trapper Keeper, and a spot of 90s Lisa Frank thrown in for good measure–we’re calling it fairypunk. Adventurers making their way to the fairy wilds will meet creatures strange and new: some beautiful, some curious–but all of them dangerous in their own way. We also introduce the Plane of Living Light, a mysterious realm that can be skillfully manipulated by warlocks imbued with the Living Light. With magic reminiscent of neon lights and holograms, and a fey court full of glamour, the fairy wilds are filled with creatures dazzling and deadly in equal measure.

Keighton, the Haunt of Auldermere by Dylan Meconis
Keighton, the Haunt of Auldermere by Dylan Meconis

 

Part artbook, part bestiary, Faerie Fire is guaranteed to be a stunning addition to your bookshelf. But stay tuned: when the campaign funds, stretch goals will unlock even more monsters, new player races and subclasses, more illustrations and aesthetic upgrades, and even a module.

Faerie Fire is designed by Shannon Campbell, Dillon MacPherson, and Malcolm Wilson–professional game designers and passionate GMs from Vancouver, BC. Shannon previously served as an editor on The Underground RPG and Bones of the Coast.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Not that this needs pointing out, but this is the other art RPG this week. Fey and other D&D monsters in an 80s/90s art style that they’re calling fairypunk. The artwork is everything with this project and will decide most customer’s interest. If you are looking for a campaign of unique flair, this is going to be your calling.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Steampunk Friday – Kickstart the Book – Make 100: SteamBear Books

I’m always on the lookout for gateway items to get the next generation into the stuff that I’m into. Wondering if anything might make a nephew or neice interested in something comic or fantasy or science fiction related. So a children’s book is definitely right in that wheelhouse.

***

Make 100: SteamBear Books

Creator/Writer/Colorist – Andres Salazar

Chief Financial Officer – Nicole Salazar

Chairman of the Board – Santiago Salazar

Kickstarter campaign ends on Monday, January 29, 2018 at 11:51 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

SteamBear is an interactive children’s picture book and comic. It’s book two of  THE ADVENTURE BEAR SQUAD.  A Sci-Fi adventure story designed for the geek-parent and their children. It is built to stimulate creativity and learning. It is a team of bears across genres like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets the Care Bears.

The Story:

The exciting second installment of the Adventure Bear Squad book series is upon us!  Faced with the disappearance of dreams by every man, woman and child the world is thrown in turmoil and it’s up to SteamBear and his compatriots to save the world from curmudgeonry.  They travel through time and space in SteamBear’s Travel-train and find out why the dreams have gone missing and how to bring them back!

John’s Thoughts:

Bears fighting pirates.

Bears in hot air balloons.

Bears wearing top hats and hopefully monocles.

This seems like one of those fun books where you can read with the kid in your life and discover new little pieces while also learning about different points and places in history (judging from the images on the Kickstarter page). I can definitely imagine laughing at the site of a bear flying past Big Ben over in London.

The Rewards:

Given that this is a limited edition of the book, as part of the Make 100 campaigns Kickstarter is encouraging for the month of January, the overall product is limited to… 100 copies. So each category has a limited number next to it for the hard copies (this has digital versions as well). At $25 you get the Hardcover along with an original drawing inside. The intriguing one is the $99 level where you not only get the book and the original drawing, but you also will get an original 11×15 watercolor painting. I could see that as being something to hang up in the kid’s room for a long time.

The Verdict:

Let’s see – Steampunk, kid’s book, bears, and various spots in time… educational and something you and the kids will enjoy as part of your reading rituals… yeah, this seems like a nice additon to your library!

***

To learn more about SteamBear, check out DecadeBrothers here.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

[UPDATEDx2] 3 Sci-fi RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Widow’s Tear, Battle Star Trilogy, and FROM BEYOND: DISTRESS CALL

2017 felt like the Year of the Sci-fi RPG with Starfinder sold out at Gen Con 50, Star Trek Adventures debuted, Alternity returnedTraveller’s expansion did well on KickstarterThe Stars Without Number: Revised Edition Kickstarter blew away my expectations, and more. To see 2018 lead off with several smaller sci-fi offerings makes me wonder if 2018 can exceed the Year of Sci-fi? Starting out the year we have two Starfinder RPGs and an O5[STA]R offering (See what I did there? Venger’s stuff is “O5R” and I did “O5-staR”! … Genius, right?… anyone?… Oy, I’ll be here all week…).

[UPDATED – Added Redshirts, Vol. 2: A Starfinder Comedy A.P. for levels 4-6]

[UPDATED x2 – Added Infinite Galaxies Core Rules]

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The Widow’s Tear: Cosmic Horror For Starfinder (Revised) by Gun Metal Games
Ends on .

“The Widow’s Tear is a “Plug and Play” setting for the Starfinder RPG inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

The galaxy in which the Starfinder game is set is a vast, largely unexplored region of space, just waiting for intrepid adventurers to discover it’s secrets.

Gun Metal Games brings Starfinder fans new, exotic locations for their characters to visit during a campaign in a new line of Starfinder-compatible products: Descent Engine: The Spacefarers Guide to the Cosmos!

Each product in this game line will reveal new regions filled with a multitude of star systems, strange phenomena, new creatures and much more! The flagship book in this line is The Widow’s Tear!

A 160 page, full color, hard cover book, The Widow’s Tear will explore some of the inhabited star systems in the nebula and introduce you to the beings who live there. You’ll learn about their unique histories, their goals for the future and the challenges they face. You’ll read about new technologies, including special weapons and armor, new psionic abilities, magic items, spacecraft, and more!

Many of the creatures you’ll find in The Widow’s Tear are inspired by the works of H.P Lovecraft, whose Great Old Ones and their spawn are  found not only in this book, but are also in the Starfinder pantheon. This book will also provide new, horrific grafts you can easily apply to any creature or race, new hazards for planets and space travel, and rules for insanity. We also have a limited pledge that allows some of you to create your own creatures and hazards!

We’ll introduce new races available for play, including Angarri, the Defiled, Jendova, the Tieflings of the Hellfire Syndicate, and more! Each star system will come with its own map. We even have a limited pledge that will allow some of you to create your own unique star system for inclusion in the nebula! Here’s a sample map of the Urus Star System, which will be written by Hal Maclean!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

“H.P. Starfindercraft.” Not diminishing Gun Metal Games work, what they have looks great, no, what I’m saying is “H.P. Starfindercraft” is all the pitch needed to shake out most fan’s interest. Do you want H.P. in your Starfinder or not? If so, Gun Metal Games has got you covered.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars by Kort’thalis Publishing
Ends on .

NOTE – LINKS ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK. NSFW. 

“Three sleazy scenarios for the Alpha Blue RPG. Plus, a huge, color map of the Ta’andor Galaxy with die-drop event/encounter tables.

I love all my RPGs, but Alpha Blue is closest to my heart.  There’s really nothing quite like it.  It’s part 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s sci-fi ripoff and part space opera porn parody.  Alpha Blueborrows from everything, and yet it’s probably the most “VS” of all my writing.

So, what am I proposing?  Three separate scenarios for the Alpha Blue roleplaying game!  Here are the titles… I Wear My Heart on My Sleaze (you’re attending a space party and looking to score), Emergency Escape Sequence Delta Cream (your ship runs into trouble and you’ve got to get the fuck out of there), and Outer Rim Jobs of Ta’andor (your crew of spacers are looking for employment and crazy shit happens along the way).

I know these synopses are vague, but it’s how I work.  I come up with the bare bones just to get the ball rolling; as I write, new and surprising things organically evolve.  So, I don’t have a lot of details right now.  Everything is in a primordial state.  That’s my own personal creative process, and it’s treated me well all these years.

Battle Star Trilogy – Trek Wars

Each scenario will be between 7 – 10 pages (I usually always go over) and the print version will combine all three.  This trilogy of awesome adventures (complete with various random tables, tech, NPCs, monsters, etc.) will contain fantastic artwork by various artists and shall be laid out by none other than Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design.

He’s also going to create a gigantic galaxy hex-map for Ta’andor, accompanied by random tables of things going on in each sector.  Simply roll dice on top of the map and consult the encounter sheet to see what’s happening.  So, it’s basically a die-drop table and galactic map all in one.  It’ll be made for printing out and will be the centerpiece of your gaming table when you’re playing Alpha Blue.

The image directly below is the 44″ x 34″ printed-out and laminated hex-map of the Ta’andor galaxy.  It’s huge, awesome, and created by Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design… so you know it’s good.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

I like Venger. He’s published my work, he’s given me advice, he’s pissed folks off in such a way that I think, “I’m never doing that!” (other’s life lessons are good to learn from). The short version is I dig el Venger. And this Kickstarter, his 14th, is a return to his biggest game – Alpha Blue. You can get the new scenarios and the original system and space maps and the undying sacrifice of Venger Satanis and keep his brood children in diapers (cause Venger has a strike force worth of young’uns) all through this Kickstarter. Save the universe… or sleaze it up more than it already is, your choice!

 

NOTE the Sequel – LINKS ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK. NSFW. 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

FROM BEYOND: DISTRESS CALL Sci-fi RPG Adventure by Davide Tramma
Ends on .

“A Starfinder Roleplaying game compatible sci-fi adventure set in a newly discovered star system. The first of a six episode saga.

Imagine you are on an outpost two months far from the closest civilized area in a newly discovered star system. Far from supplies, far from home, relying only on your mates and skills to solve the many problems an isolated outpost has to face. Four alien planets are orbiting around a dim dwarf brown star.

Everything was going fine, and all you had to do was waiting the next shipment with the fresh provisions, until one day you receive an automatic distress call coming from the Sawshark, a hi-tech mining vessel operating in the star system asteroid belt that is supposed to be under your protection.

After the call the ship goes silent and any attempt to hail back the Sawshark fails.

You jump on your rescue shuttle to save the crew with a clear goal in mind fix the problem and be back as soon as possible with the ship and its crewmembers.

What could possibly go wrong ?

————————————————————————————————-

(The pdf contains 33 pages and something like 10,600 words.)

The adventure is ready to be delivered in pdf, so you will receive it the same day the backing time is over.

Publishing and having this adventure backed will allow me to better make the following five episodes and planning subsequently the setting which will describe in detail the star system where this adventure and the following ones will take place.

The adventure includes:

  • – 3 new creatures
  • – 2 new ships
  • – 3 new trade goods
  • – 7 new equipments
  • – the B&W printable maps”

 

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

It’s a mystery in space with a spaceship/dungeon crawl! Davide sent me an advance PDF of the module. The writing, art, and layouts are completed save for minor edits. I’ve seen the finished product so I believe Davide can meet his February delivery commitment so you can get next month’s Starfinder session in the queue.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

[UPDATED – 2018-01-16] 

Redshirts, Vol. 2: A Starfinder Comedy A.P. for levels 4-6 by Happy Gnome Publishing
Ends on .

“Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity Vol. 2 is a Starfinder adventure path guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you’ll pee your spacesuit

Hey everyone and welcome back for:

REDSHIRTS: ADVENTURES IN ABSURDITY, VOLUME 2!

What is Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity?

 Glad you asked! It is a Sci-fi/Comedy Adventure Path that is 100% Starfinder compatible. We launched the first volume on Kickstarter in August, and opened the PDF to the public in December. Within 6 days it was the number 1  hottest Starfinder product on DrivethruRPG, and earned their “Best-Seller” status. The entire Adventure Path, which revolves around surviving a deep space exploration mission with a dysfunctional command crew, will be 4 books and take Players from Level 1-12.

How do critics describe it?

It’s been called “The Office Meets Survivor…in space.”

What is the tone of the game?

Absurdist humor mixed with low-brow puns. It’s great for fans of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Futurama, or The Orville.

What Can we expect in Volume 2?

  • Chapter 4: When a ship of undead creatures kidnaps a Confederation Ambassador, the Redshirts must find a way to rescue her and destroy the vessal, before joining them in undeath, forever.
  • Chapter 5: When a routine visit to Plushy Prime, the happiest place in the Universe, goes wrong the Redshirts must unravel a mystery hidden away for thousands of years.
  • Chapter 6: When the Captain accidentally gets married again (to the Slurmolian Emperor) only the Redshirts can be trusted to find the one creature in the Universe that can perform the annulment before anyone finds out.
  • 20+ new monsters
  • 5+ new playable races (including an undead race)
  • New Equipment to kill your enemies with

If I back at the designer level do I really get credit?

Yes, for the rest of your life you can describe yourself as a designer for a best selling RPG. It’s the second easiest way to become a best seller, the easiest being selling three books in Canada.”

 

Hardcover Proof of Volume 1, ready to ship out
Hardcover Proof of Volume 1, ready to ship out

 

New Crewmates: Ambassador Groundwalker
New Crewmates: Ambassador Groundwalker

 

New Allies: Mayor Bimbleberry, Plushian Mayor
New Allies: Mayor Bimbleberry, Plushian Mayor

 

New Enemies: Monkey Monk and the Fangy Bunch
New Enemies: Monkey Monk and the Fangy Bunch

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Three Starfinder adventures are running right now. I’m curious how they’ll raise awareness of each other. This one leans towards comedy and it’s a sequel so it’s got an established base to build from.

 

You can see examples of Happy Gnome Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

[UPDATED – 2018-01-16] 

Infinite Galaxies Core Rules by Grendel’s Vault Productions
Ends on .

“Sci-Fi Action, Powered by the Apocalypse!

Infinite Galaxies is a science-fiction role playing game of epic adventure for 3-6 players. The game is based on the Apocalypse engine with some cool tweaks to better model stuff like star ship combat, robots, aliens and other hallmarks of Sci-Fi!

You can view the current quick play packet at InfiniteGalaxies.net under the downloads section!

Have you ever wanted to see a robot with a jet pack and rocket launcher arms? Ever wanted to fly your ship to the furthest reaches of the galaxy to explore alien ruins? Ever wanted to use your psionic powers to free the people of Arachnis 9 from the evil lord Zor? Well, with Infinite Galaxies, you can! You can do all of this with as much or as little prep as you want. If you want to run a zero-prep one shot, it’s easy. If you would rather create a complex society and hundreds of planets, you can do that too! It all works seamlessly with Infinite Galaxies rules.

 

There are eight separate playbooks – or character classes – representing a lot of sci-fi character tropes. Each playbook includes three separate starting packages allowing for a great deal of flexibility in character creation. This flexibility allows for some interesting party combinations – a squadron of Aces all with their own ships, a party of robots making their way in a meatbags world or a squadron of soldiers ridding a planet of bugs!

The Ace

You are the consummate pilot of all things that move. You start the game with your own starship and you can upgrade this ship as the game continues.

The Explorer

You excel at finding people and places no one else can. You start with the ability to lead a group into unknown or hostile territory.

The Jack

You are connected and you know how to get the things you need to get the job done. You start with the ability to use your network of contacts to get important information.

The Leader

Your skills and talents reside in providing guidance and instructions to others, in planning, and in strategy. You start with the ability to provide bonuses to your allies’ rolled moves.

The Psi

You are an enigmatic master of mental powers. Depending on what package you select, you have access to many different psionic abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, and the ability to manifest a weapon from your psionic energy.

The Robot

You are a robot, an artificial creation of first-rate metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and gadgets beyond the imaginations of most. You may be designed for combat, to defend those under your protection. You may be designed to serve as a translator or guide. You may even be specialized in navigation.

The Scientist

Your talents lie in studying the natural world, repairing broken things, and creating devices of your own design. You start play with an innate ability to know things – a lot of things.

The Soldier

You are a trained warrior, skilled in the arts of combat and defense. Primarily, you excel in fight scenes. You may wield a laser rifle or perhaps heavy weapons. You might be trained in tactics and leading small teams of military units. You might even be skilled at healing others.

The Ship

The Ace’s starship gets its own playbook and acts in many ways like a character. The Ship has its own ability scores, its own damage system, and can advance much like a character does.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Powered by the Apocalypse. Starship. Annddd… GO!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Anthro-Adventures Setting, Frankenstein Faktoria, and On the Shoulders of Heroes Setting

A Pathfinder to 5e conversion, a Polish to English translation, and an original 3.5e product are all featured in this week’s review of RPG Kickstarters.

 

Anthro-Adventures RPG Setting, Now for 5E & Pathfinder by Happy Gnome Publishing
Ends on Sun, January 14 2018 10:58 PM EST.

“Anthro-Adventures is a 5E compatible world setting featuring realms ruled by animal-human hybrid races.

Book Cover, now for 5e
Book Cover, now for 5e

Anthro-Adventures, a popular RPG setting in which the Seven Realms of Layna are ruled by animal-human hybrid races, is now available for your 5E campaigns!

A unique setting, Anthro-Adventures is two designed to fill two goals:

1. To create a setting that a child can seamlessly play in, while having a natural understanding of the nuances of their character’s race.

2. To provide an Anthro-Fantasy setting where the conflicts of the animal-human hybrids are the central focus. This allows players to recreate the tone of popular stories such as Redwall, Mistmantle, and others.

Anthro-Adventures accomplishes these goals by creating a setting where each race is created as a sociological experiment in a modern day human genetics lab. As part of the hybrid’s development their education is focused around a single piece of Children’s Lit chosen to instill desired traits in their newfound species. When a horrid accident sends the hybrids hurtling through time and space the only thing they have to rely on as they continue to develop on their own is those ancient stories once read to them.

Fast forward a thousand years and those hybrid races have flourished, using the tales they were once read as a basis for society. For example the Dog-kin have a powerful medieval theocracy based around dedication to the teachings of the Big Red God (they were read Clifford), Lion-kin prowl the land looking to exterminate evil in the name of the Great Mane (Aslan), and Rat-kin take science to dangerous levels in their Steam-powered cities (They were read Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nihm).

Brightskin Shaman of Death
Brightskin Shaman of Death

The Anthro-Adventures World Guide is 142 pages long and consists of the following:

  • Detailed background on the creation of the Seven Realms, including maps.
  • Background on each of the Seven Realms, including information on their Geography, Economy, Military, and Society.
  • Background and information on 22 playable hybrid races, including stats, racial feats, spells, and equipment.
  • 75 pieces of original artwork showing the visual nuances of each hybrid culture.
  • A simple, easy to use layout for family friendly gaming.

The 5e version of Anthro-Adventures is about 90% converted and will be available for download within two weeks of the end of this campaign. Physical copies will be delivered after a proofing process, which generally takes 3-4 weeks. Delivery will be direct from DrivethruRPG.com.

Just seeing Anthro-Adventures for the first time and hoping you can still get the Pathfinder edition? Feel free to head on over to DrivethruRPG and pick it up!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I covered another Happy Gnome Publishing game, Redshirts: A Starfinder Comedy Adventure Path (Levels 1-3)here.

Ah, in terms of art, Burning Man Chameleon for the win!

What Happy Gnome Publishing is offering is a varied setting that has the range to be family-friendly or stone serious or Burning Man Chameleon making it a good option for so many tables. Add to it, they’ve already rolled out the Pathfinder version so the heavy lifting on this is done, and you have a guide to figure out where they’re going with this one. In addition, this project speaks to me because my first stab at doing a RPG Kickstarter [coming in March] will feature anthromorphic NPCs in a mixed human/anthromorphic world, so I’m interested in this one.

 

You can see examples of Happy Gnome Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Frankenstein Faktoria Role Playing Game by Chronicle City
Ends on Tue, January 16 2018 10:33 AM EST.

“Frankenstein Faktoria is a rules-lite tabletop roleplaying game where YOU play one of the Doctors tragic creations…

Frankenstein Faktoria is a tabletop horror roleplaying game unlike any you have seen before. It might well contain the usual dead bodies, corpses, and demonical villainy, but in this case you are the corpse, or at least an amalgam thereof.

In Frankenstein Faktoria you and your friends play a Frankensteiner. One of the tortured creations of Doctor Victor Frankenstein, created out of a composite of body parts from cadavers and reanimated through science and electricity.

(Fun Fact: Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” novel was first published 200 years ago on 1st January 1818! Happy Anniversary Frankenstein!)

Frankenstein Faktoria Cover by David Allsop
Frankenstein Faktoria Cover by David Allsop

THE PLAYERS

The Doctor, Doctor Victor Von Frankenstein, has constructed a small Factory in the town of Shalleymouth. Here in his infernal facility, unnatural Creatures, denying nature’s laws, Frankenstein’s children, are produced on an assembly line, endlessly, day-by-day.

Why does he do it? Nobody knows. The Doctor appears to have gone completely insane. He has severed his ties with the world outside and has shut himself up inside his crumbling castle alone with his experiments. He does not give his “children” much attention, instead he spends his time endlessly experimenting, synthesising chemical solutions, scribbling labyrinthine formulae on blackboards, and tinkering with mysterious devices. He is manifestly uninterested in the operation of the production line. Instead a hunchbacked servant, Igor, adopted by Frankenstein many years ago, oversees the day-to-day operation of the Factory.

During a Frankenstein Faktoria game, the players take on the role of the tortured monsters created by the Doctor. His hideous Frankensteiners…”

Igor and Frankenstein by David Allsop
Igor and Frankenstein by David Allsop

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

[Full Disclosure: Angus Abranson rocks. I work with him on the Facebook RPG Kickstarter News page and EN World. He is metal.]

Bernie Wrightson-style Frankenstein art and a Polish RPG translated into The English by Angus Abranson. There’s also some wanna-lancer* options here. AND this is available on the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Yeah, just check it out for all of that and because Angus is metal.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

*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.

 

Malicious Stare by David Allsop

 

* * * * * *

 

On the Shoulders of Heroes Campaign Setting by Windmill Slam Games
Ends on Fri, January 19 2018 10:50 AM EST.

“A fantasy campaign setting designed for the d20 System. Explore the world of Bellög, new and redesigned races, monsters and much more.

Greetings explorer, welcome to our domain!

We are Windmill Slam Games, a tiny Dutch company dedicated to writing and producing content to enrich your roleplaying experience. You have found our very first project on Kickstarter: The On the Shoulder of Heroes campaign setting. On The Shoulders of Heroes is intended for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game and systems based on it, but due to its informative nature it could easily be used with any fantasy RPG-system. It is inspired by old school roleplaying games, traditional fantasy, Germanic and Japanese mythology. It is based on the idea that the world was built by the great deeds of great people – both good and evil.

Most art (including the cover) by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan
Most art (including the cover) by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan

The complete book is close to 230 pages. It features 12 new and redesigned races, class descriptions, new feats and language rules, a whole continent with 8 countries in great detail, 19 new and redesigned deities, trade rules, new items and weapons, 23 new magic items and artifacts, new and redesigned monsters, 9 specially crafted NPC heroes and suggestions on how they might fit into your campaign. It is beautifully illustrated in gray-scale by 4 talented artists and is bound in a sturdy hard cover. We’ve uploaded some previews for you here: http://bit.ly/2Bd4b78

The book is designed to teach you everything you need to know to about the continent of Bellög and its inhabitants, its history and state of affairs. Everything is designed to be intuitive, to make you feel right at home, but with small twists and redesigns that keep you wondering. It pays homage to the rich history of fantasy and D&D.

Your support will help us to cover printing and production costs and to get started on future projects (that will further expand on the setting). We want to publish materials on a regular basis and for multiple gaming systems. If worlds are being explored we want ours to be among them! By supporting us you are making an investment in a company for gamers by gamers.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This product is for D&D 3.5e, which is an interesting choice. Obviously, they could have suggested the project is for Pathfinder and, maybe, found a simpler path to victory [no pun intended], but they’re on a mission for 3.5e. Because of that, I want to see if they can reach their nearly $6k goal and see if there is still life in the 3.5 market. If there is still interest in 3.5, does it suggest there is a market for the earlier D&D systems (beyond Basic and 1e)?

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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!

* * * * * *

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).

Steampunk Fridays – Looking Forward Back

 

I started doing this series of blog posts at the beginning of July. My thinking was two-fold:

1 – Check out who might be producing Steampunk comics.

Obviously, I write a Steampunk comic (The Gilded Age), so I’m already interested in the genre. However, aside from the DC covers they did that one month or something else random to come out which might mimic the ascetics, I really didn’t know what other indy creators might be doing within the genre.

2 – Help potentially spread the word for those creators.

Comics should be this thing where we are always helping each other up. And if I like something why wouldn’t I try to get another person to like it?

3 – Content for the blog.

Some weeks are easier than others to figure out a topic. This really gave me a direction that the Wednesday blog sometimes doesn’t have (which I like the free-form, but this is focused – or as focused as I’m going to get).

4 – See what was successful for other Kickstarters (especially those in the Steampunk realm).

As I was pretty sure I’d be kicking off a Kickstarter sometime in the Fall, this was an excuse to start to drill down and see what might be working and what wasn’t. Looking at the pages for how they were laid out, the various Reward levels, and just the level of artwork on the page. I took notes of what I liked and what I didn’t like.

So if you missed any of the weeks, here’s a handy recap of 2017!

Interviews

Interview with Ken Reynolds

Ken Reynolds is the creator of the comic Cognition: a comic where the lead characters are a clockwork and an evil rat who stop supernatural entities.

And if your brain didn’t begin dripping from your ears, you need to check this out.

Seriously, the comic is all sorts of cool.

Interview with the Creators of Arcane Sally & Mr Steam

The team over at the Arcane Sally & Mr. Steam comic are clearly doing something with their Steampunk… Ghost Story… Victorian supernatural action-adventure… Love Story?

Interview with the Creator of Hinges

What I wrote in the introduction still holds true:

There are moments when you start reading a comic and you just know there is something about it which speaks to you. And maybe you don’t understand every little thing which has been set out in front of you… maybe those are the things you’ll figure out on a reread. But when you lock in, that’s all it takes.

When I sat down to check out some Steampunkish comics a couple of weeks ago and came across Hinges by Meredith McClaren, I thought I’d read a few pages and move on with my life.Bauble and Orio had other plans for me.

Bauble and Orio had other plans for me.

Interview with the Creator of The Legend of Everett Forge

Everett Forge is in the mold of many of those same Westerns. He’s clearly a man on a mission to destroy Omega’s entire livelihood. He’s a myth, a ghost story the Robots tell each other at night – make sure you lube all your joints of Everett Forge will get you.

Interview with the Creator of Boston Metaphysical Society

Take the X-Files, set it in an alternate history of Boston, and force the characters to have to deal with a different set of social mores and expectation than we deal with today. BMS has run a handful of successful Kickstarters (and have 6 issues collected in their trade), so you are going to get your full story.

The Gilded Age Interviews

As part of my month-long Gilded Age Kickstarter campaign, I collected the various interviews I’d conducted with much of the team over the previous year. There are still a couple of people left to talk to… it’s on the to do list.

Interview with the Creator of Monstrous

Monstrous stems from a lifelong fascination with monster movies and their misunderstood heroes.  Even when they’re completing evil, monsters are always the most compelling thing about the stories they occupy.  I’ve always loved the Universal Studios monsters and Ghostbusters and the Hammer Studios movies.  I threw all of those influences together with plots from John Wayne westerns in this strange steampunk hybrid. Monstrous is like all of these things I’ve loved for years having a party together.

Interview with one of the Creators of The Jekyll Island Chronicles

The Jekyll Island Chronicles is a graphic novel adventure series blending historical fact with heavy doses of alternate history and adventure. Book One, The Machine Age War, opens the story in the days following The Great War – a time when a brief glimmer of peace and hope quickly fades as a cryptic organization moves to threaten fragile governments and their people with a campaign of chaos and terror. 

 

 

Kickstart the Comic

Word Smith

This was the first of the series, focusing on Victoria who crafts words. Through the use of this magic, she is able to affect the world around her. This Kickstarter ended up funding, and I have my digital copy!

Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poer #1 KS Exclusive

Edgar Allan Poe has lost everyone he ever loved and now he is losing his mind. Haunted by his wife’s ghost and his many literary failures, the poet tumbles into a fantastical world created by his genius…and his madness. This world called Terra Somnium is a nightmare region that merges his macabre literary creations and mythological gods and monsters of old, all hell-bent on stopping him from escaping the land of dreams.

This Kickstarter funded and I believe the second issue was funded as well, so if you missed them, keep an eye out for issue 3.

The Invention of EJ. Whitaker

This was a case where the Kickstarter was long over, but I still wanted to shine a little light on the project. In fact, I need to reach out to the creators about an interview I’ve been promised!

When Ada Turner, a young Inventor’s apprentice, creates a flying machine in 1901, she’s introduced to the dangerous side of the Industrial Age.

Blood & Dust Volume 2

The Old West is really that last bastion before the industrial revolution kicks into high gear. But there is plenty of bleed between the two areas, the same as Steampunk and Weird West style stories. That Gothic Horror feel of monsters being in a place where, by all rights, they should not be. And whether it is a Steampowered invention needing to put the darkness back in its place or the sidearm of a cowboy – it feels all connected even if it isn’t a 100% match of genres all the time.

The Death Defying #1

Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini.

The writer and the magician.

They were once the best of Friends.

When their friendship went to hell, 

The world wasn’t very far behind.

Stoker and Wells – The Graphic Novel

In 1894 London, a 20-something H.G. Wells and a 40-something Bram Stoker meet and have a very unexpected 48-hour adventure that leads to the creative inspiration for both writer’s first great success – THE TIME MACHINE for Wells and DRACULA for Stoker.  It is not only a thrilling, scary, fun, and beautifully drawn adventure tale, but also a story about putting aside fear and insecurity and stepping into your true identity.

Kickstart the Game

1879 London Adventure and Sourcebook

1879 is FASA’s steamweird roleplaying game, that takes the place of Shadowrun in our cosmology. Due to a weird science experiment that opens a stable wormhole, Earth’s magic cycle gets jumpstarted in the late Victorian era, leading to a Gilded Age with elves, dwarves, snarks, and trolls. As the world adjusts to its new races, technological progress races forward, as the Age of Steam begins to give way to the Age of Electricity. Clockwork computers exchange data over telegraph wires, steam-powered airships chug through the sky, and industrial applications of magic churn out new wonders daily.

Westbound: Revolvers and Rituals

Westbound is a game of adventure on the frontier. You’ll explore the magical wild west, encounter other frontiersmen, fight strange new creatures, and strike gold or die trying. Robbing trains, shooting up saloons, and rescuing damsels is all apart of a days work for a Westbounder.

When the soil’s turned sour,

And the well all dried up.

When men in suits put a gun in your hand

And send you to war.

When there’s nothing left of your home,

But ash and regret.

It’s time to turn Westbound.

Game Reviews

Space: 1889

As I said in the breakdown of the RPG Quickstart rules: Take the best parts of John Carter, Warlord of Mars, a mix of the crazy-fun science fiction of Jules Verne and HG Wells, and top it off with some of the pulp stories from the 30’s and 40’s about adventures on other planets (before pesky real science ruined it for everyone). The Imperial nations of Europe decided to look to the stars to appease their appetites for materials for Queen and Country (or Kaiser and Country as the case may be).

Other

5 Steampunk Movies You Should Watch

As I was coming up with this list of 5 Steampunk movies, I had to admit that there aren’t as many as you might think there are considering the number of costumes I see posted all over the web (or at conventions like Dragon Con). The following aren’t necessarily the best, but these are ones who contribute in their own way to the genre.

Short Film – Eye of the Storm

This is a music video. This is a short film. This is amazing looking.

The story centers around a sky captain making his way across the sky, making peace with what came before and steadying himself on what may come next. Accompanied by a large dog-sized dragon, he sees the green glow just past an oncoming storm and must make his decision on how to deal with it. Whether he should avoid it or push through to the other side.

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

With the trailer for the animated movie debuting, I thought it was more than time to give a little focus on a Batman related Steampunk story… that I have not read as of yet. Share in the story of my failure…

Gears and Cogs

A few of the things that had caught my eye over that week: Draw with Jazza, They are Billions (video game), and Brass Empire (card game).

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I’m looking forward to even more this next year!

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John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com