[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.

 

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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.

 

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[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.

 

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[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.

 

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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

 

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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).

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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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 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).

***

I’m looking forward to even more this next year!

***

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

 

10 QUESTIONS ABOUT Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e for Savage Worlds WITH Jonathan M. Thompson (Battlefield Press International)

Battlefield Press International‘s Jonathan M. Thompson and I met face-to-face at Gen Con 50 and since then we’ve talked a fair amount about RPGs. I’ve blogged and interviewed him about projects from Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 3e for Savage WorldsRobert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War, and The Awakened III Anthology to Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook for 5E. For his latest Kickstarter campaign, Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e (Savage Worlds), we sat down to discuss what this project is and where he’s taking it.

  

EGG EMBRY – Jonathan, we’ve talked before, and I want to thank you for returning. You’ve got a Kickstarter campaign running through the holidays, don’t you. What’s it for?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We are running a KS until Jan 4, 2018 for a new Savage Worlds edition of our setting Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood. It needed to be cleaned up and revamped a little. Sherwood was our very first Savage Worlds product, and it needed to have a little work done. Now this work does not mean that those that worked on it before did a bad job, in fact it was just the opposite. We are really trying to bring it in line with the way our other Savage Worlds products look.

EGG – This is a Savage Worlds’ setting. Why is Savage Worlds ideal for Robin Hood?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON Savage Worlds is designed with “pulp adventure” in mind. I believe that the swashbuckling aspect of the Robin Hood genre just screams Fast, Furious, Fun, which is the motto of the Savage Worlds game system.

  

EGG – Why a 2e? What improvements are you planning?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Mostly like it says on the KS page. We updated some edges, added some preconstructed archetypes and edited things so that they made more sense in this version of the book. We had some people helping out during the process too, telling me what they wanted to see in the book, and when it was possible we incorporated their feedback. Those people have requested to remain anonymous.

  

EGG – This isn’t your first Robin Hood game, is it? What other Robin Hood-centric projects have you done?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We have done versions of this book for Pathfinder, D&D5e, and Swords & Wizardry. I have also recently worked on a new adventure book from Fearlight Games for their Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood RPG.

 

EGG – In your opinion, what makes Robin Hood and his world worth exploring?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – The world of Robin Hood is essentially our world in the late 12th century. There was a lot going on during the period. Turmoil in England, things happening in Europe and the Third Crusade was happening in the Middle East. These things can we weaved into the story you are trying to tell.

  

EGG – What do you feel is the quintessential Robin Hood book/comic/movie/game/whatever?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Of course as everyone knows that would have to be Errol Flynn’s Adventures of Robin Hood from 1938. I truly believe that this is the first thing people think about when they think about Robin Hood.

EGG – Last time we talked, it was about Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War RPG. What happened with that game and what are your future plans for it?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We didn’t quite make the goal on that one, we are going to relaunch the KS in June. We are going to be releasing a one sheet adventure in advance of the KS with some pregenerated characters from the novel included to play. This will give you a little bit of an idea of what will be going on in the setting in the future.

  

EGG – What other projects are you currently developing?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – I am working on a few things for different companies, but as far as Battlefield Press is concerned we are currently developing a new project called The Dinosaur Protocol.

Generations ago, in the late 21st century, the Earth was dying, and some thought it was the fault of man. In the end it did not matter, mankind could not survive on the surface any longer, and so a way was developed to save the human race. Top engineers and scientists, built arks deep underground to save mankind from its own folly.

Generations passed, and the descendants of the survivors thought it was finally time to finally emerge and return to the surface of their world. They exited the tunnels dug by their ancestors and arrived on the surface of the Earth. It was not the Earth described by their ancestors, this was a new place, lush forests, plenty of food, and something no one expected, flora and fauna that had not existed in millions of years. Even more surprising were the prehistoric animals running around, and yes, even dinosaurs.

It was clear that this was a new Earth, and one more dangerous than the one their ancestors left. Armed with the skills and technology left by the ancestors, mankind now must survive in a new world.

 

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

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON –  Go to Kickstarter and search for Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e (Savage Worlds) or you can get there by following the link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/battlefieldpress/sherwood-the-legend-of-robin-hood-2e-savage-worlds

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click 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 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).

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Creature Codex 5e, Dice Tower of Power, and Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood

Let’s start out 2018 right by finishing up a few 2017 RPG Kickstarter campaigns! One setting, one monster manual, and a reasonably priced dice tower, and all of them are worth checking out!

 

Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e (Savage Worlds) by Battlefield Press International
Ends on .

“Welcome to Sherwood Forest, home of heroes and outlaws

Cover for Shewood for Swords & Wizardry
Cover for Shewood for Swords & Wizardry

Welcome to Sherwood Forest, a place of mystery and excitement. Band together to oppose the forces of the Sheriff and Prince John in England during the Third Crusade. Create your characters to do what is best for England and King Richard by protecting his interests at home.

This setting book allows you to play in the Medieval England of the period of the Third Crusades. The book is designed to not only emulate the historical period, but also the mythical one as well. Play in any level you would like from historical to mythical, emulating various novels, stories and tv shows about Robin Hood.

This setting can be played in either historic or mythical mode. Historic is more realistic, leaving out magic, but in mythical mode, magic has been added to the setting allowing you to play in the fantastic.

This book is the second edition and is written by Jonathan M. Thompson and Wil Upchurch and will be available for the Savage Worlds Role Playing Game. The manuscript is complete, and an alpha draft will be made available to all confirmed backers at least one month after the Kickstarter has been funded.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I did an interview with my friend, Jonathan M. Thompson, about Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e (Savage Worlds) here that gives more details. It’s worth checking out.

 

Is this game going to be a winner? Like Jonathan says in our interview, he’s “done versions of this book for Pathfinder, D&D5e, and Swords & Wizardry.” I think this is going to be a solid offering.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Dice Tower of Power – Simple Cardboard Dice Rolling Solution by Eric Chan & Luke Hammons
Ends on .

“Why pay $30-$200 per dice tower when you can get THREE Dice Towers for $25? A simple cardboard dice tower solution for a simple problem

Dice Towers for a price in line with its function (rolling dice)

Like you, we play a lot of board games. Anyone who plays board games knows that rolling dice is a pain in the ass. You lose them under furniture. You ruin your board games by knocking over all your pieces.

A common solution is to get a dice tower but dice towers aren’t cheap. They can range from $30 to $200. But… if all its meant to do is roll dice why is it so expensive?

That’s why we created the Dice Tower of Power. It’s a simple solution to a very simple problem.

Why spend $200 for something that can be replaced by a piece of cardboard?
Why spend $200 for something that can be replaced by a piece of cardboard?

Why the Dice Tower of Power?

  • It’s made of recycled cardboard so its good for the environment.
  • It takes about a minute to assemble.
  • It can be disassembled for easy transport and storage.
  • It’s durable and can take a lot of punishment.
  • If you spill a drink on it or somehow destroy it – no big deal its cheap to replace.
3 Dice Towers are perfect for 4-6 players!
3 Dice Towers are perfect for 4-6 players!

3 Dice Towers for $25 (or less)

One other benefit of the Dice Tower of Power is that we sell them in packages of 3. Most games are played with 4-6 people. So with 3 dice towers you don’t have to pass the dice towers around. Just pass the dice. This saves time and is a lot more convenient. Lastly, the price. We’re selling 3 dice towers for $25. So for less than the price of one dice tower available today you get 3.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I really want a dice tower, but every time I look at other dice towers the prices make blood run out of my nose. The idea of THREE dice towers for $25 is the deal I’ve been waiting for! They come in three-packs so it’s a purchase and a gift! Buy a pack and keep one for yourself, give one to your GM and give one to the player that always shoots a die into your drink cause his aim is… owe!

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Creature Codex: 5th Edition Monsters Including Commissions by Kobold Press
Ends on .

“Demons, dragons, kobolds, & undead galore, from the creators of the Tome of Beasts–plus commissions and monsters designed by backers!

From the creators of the titanic Tome of Beasts! Kobold Press is at it again, with a lethal and highly entertaining horde of 5e-compatible monsters to challenge new players and veterans alike.

The Creature Codex will bring over 300 new monsters to 5th edition, including lotus golems, wasteland dragons, shadow goblins, and so much more. All Creature Codex Kickstarter backers can submit an original monster design for possible publication, while high level backers can commission Kobold Press to design and illustrate their monster idea. In addition to the Creature Codex, this Kickstarter will fund the creation of monster pawns, encounter maps, and more!

We Kobolds love to make bestiaries and monster books! However, it costs quite a bit to create a high-quality, art-heavy, playtest-honed, rules-crunchy volume of 5th edition monsters—and printing a product of this size calls for some financial clout. We’re Kickstarting it to make sure we have the funding necessary for a small, medium, large, huge, or even gargantuan print run, as required.

With your support, we expect to deliver a big book, a juicy and useful PDF, and plenty of extras! Thanks to our prior outing with the Tome of Beasts, we have a seasoned team of skilled 5e monster designers, so you can expect even more innovation and fresh ideas to challenge your players, no matter what level of play they are at.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Did you back the Tomb of Beasts for 5e? This is more of that, and that project was gold! Those were amazing 5e monsters and this promises to add to it. Best of all, even if you back it at $1, you get a chance to submit a monster for Kobold Press to review and *possibly* publish. As of this writing they’re going to take 30 backer submitted monsters, and they’re likely to unlock 35. That’s 35 chances that a monster you submit will be picked to appear in the book. I’d buy that for a dollar!

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

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).

Five 5e RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Hunters Mark, Masters and Minions, Sylvanhome, The Blood Plague, and 31 NPC’s Inktober 2017

With Christmas 2017 in the rearview, let’s look at what could be under the tree in 2018 (or well before then) – five 5e RPG Kickstarters that are worth shaking the box to see what’s inside!

 

Hunters Mark 5E Adventure Book: Hunt for Monstrous Dinosaurs by Game Natural
Ends on Fri, December 29 2017 12:00 PM EST.

“Hunters Mark Adventure immerses you into the world of monster hunters. New 5E options, now in Hardcover.

Hunters Mark Adventure immerses you into the world of monster hunters. New 5E options, now in Hardcover.

Beneath the waves of the Conquering Sea, a primordial island rises and with it a new threat from an old enemy. Known as Primalrites, this monstrous race of dinosaurs were long forgotten by the monster hunters of today, but ancient fossils remain. And now, the island shudders once more as they return, seeking revenge against those that drove them to an early extinction.

You are about to embark on a rousing adventure that pits mighty hunters against monstrous dinosaurs on an island not big enough for both. These wildly fantastical hunts are recreated whenever you play the Hunters Mark adventure.

THE RULES

In order to play, you must first be acquainted with the 5e rules. The first major adventure in the Hunters World, Hunters Mark is a 5e adventure for characters of level 1-10. You can start the adventure with 1st level characters of your own creation, or, pick one or more from the cast of non-player characters. Either way, the characters should reach at least 10th level by the adventure’s conclusion.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s do the checklist to decide if Hunters Mark is the one you should fund:

  • 28 Boss Monsters for 5e
  • 30 Epic Weapons and Armor for 5e
  • 10 NPC Hunters for 5e

If all of those plus epic art appeal to you, this is the project that you’ve been waiting for.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Masters and Minions: A 5th Edition Supplement by JetPack7
Ends on Fri, December 29 2017 11:00 PM EST.

“An all new 5e supplement featuring detailed NPCs and a focus on how to use their minions, with convenient, time-saving tips.

As game masters, we love 5E, but sometimes we run out of time preparing for a game. If only there was a supplement that had what we needed that would let us drag-and-drop into any campaign, potentially saving hours of game prep time. If only there were some new and exciting content we could offer, and for the proper XP level of the players. Well, fellow GMs, now there is!

What is Masters and Minions?
One thing we’ve noticed as game masters ourselves, is the challenge that most GMs face: prep time. With busy lives like ours in mind, we wanted to create a book that has NEW content to help with that!  The idea with Masters and Minions was to develop some Bosses and their followers, but with a focus on how they use their minions – and provide some tips and strategies that any GM can “drag and drop” into a new or existing game. This new content will span levels 1 – 20, so the book will continue to provide you with new content as your players level up!”

 

Illustration by Conceptopolis featuring the Ringleader and her Minions!
Illustration by Conceptopolis featuring the Ringleader and her Minions!

 

Illustration by Conceptopolis featuring the Orc Queen and her Minions!
Illustration by Conceptopolis featuring the Orc Queen and her Minions!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is a 5e NPC-focused product. Do you need major NPCs and their henchmen for all levels? If so, this is a book with art to set the mood, a solid focus, an amazing creative team including Dan Dillion and Jim Pinto, and a mission – to make game prep easier. It’s well worth checking out (just see the pages below).

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

Sample Interior Page 01 (not final layout)
Sample Interior Page 01 (not final layout)

 

Sample Interior Page 02 (not final layout)
Sample Interior Page 02 (not final layout)

 

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Dungeons & Dragons 5E Location Module: Sylvanhome by Ramen Sandwich Press
Ends on Sat, December 30 2017 1:39 AM EST.

“Places by the Way #4: Sylvanhome is a short location module for D&D 5E written by Douglas Sun and published by Ramen Sandwich Press.

Welcome to Ramen Sandwich Press’ fourth Kickstarter campaign in support of Places by the Way. This campaign offers you your only chance to copies of the Limited (Kickstarter Only) Edition of Places by the Way #4: Sylvanhome.

Places by the Way

For those of you who missed our earlier campaigns, Places by the Way is a series of short modules that I’m creating for use with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. They work fine as short stand-alone adventures, but each Places by the Way module is meant to be a kit for creating a memorable interlude in a larger campaign. Each entry in the series consists of two versions sold separately but similar in content. One version is set in the Forgotten Realms, so Ramen Sandwich Press sells it exclusively through Dungeon Masters Guild. The other version assumes a generic setting and complies with WotC’s Open Game License. It’s available through DriveThru RPG, RPGNow and Dungeon Masters Guild, and a print version is available through Amazon and other online outlets.

For purchase links and product information, check out the Ramen Sandwich website. We also post news, announcements and random musings to our Facebook page, and I have posted some designer’s notes to my personal blog, “I Think We’ve Been Playing It Wrong.”

Places by the Way has two inspirations. One is the line of mini-adventures that AEG published as part of the D&D 3rd Edition open license boom. I recall that the word count for those modules was only 5,000 words. I wrote a few of them, and they suggested to me that the short form could be made to work in adventure modules as it does in fiction. That is to say, if the typical folio-sized module is the novel, and the hardcover campaign books that WotC is publishing for 5th Edition are epics, there should be also be a place for the module equivalent of short stories.

The other inspiration is the strangely important role that side quests play in what we now recognize as standard CRPG structure. Side quests are those little tasks that you can find throughout the game world, and while they have no direct bearing on the main story, they allow you to accumulate XP, money and items, and meet memorable NPCs. If they’re done well they can add real flavor to the game experience. Fallout remains one of my very favorite CRPGs. One of the first things that jumps back into my mind is Tandi, the Shady Sands girl voiced so perfectly by Cree Summer. Her wistful musing about what lies beyond her little village convey the fallen melancholy of that world so beautifully that it made me forget all about finding that water filter. My goal for Places by the Way is that somewhere in the series, I will create an NPC encounter that has an effect like that. My disadvantage is that I won’t have a talented voice artist to help. But I’m going to try to create a moment in a campaign that you will find memorable out of proportion to its role as a diversion.

Places by the Way modules average about 15 numbered locations, each of which offers an encounter, noteworthy items, noteworthy NPCs or an opening into which you can hook your existing campaign.

We’re on to Places by the Way #4: Sylvanhome, which describes a small community of wood elves. In D&D’s conception of elves (which draws heavily on Tolkien), sylvan elves embody a particular tension between their good alignment and beneficent attitude toward other beings on the one hand and their isolation and deep suspicion of outsiders on the other. Sylvanhome works on that tension, depicting an elven settlement uncertain of how to respond to the presence of humans in a forest they are used to having for themselves. It will be up to your players how deeply they want to involve themselves in Sylvahnhome’s affairs, but entertaining situations will unveil themselves if they do.

Sylvahnhome is still being written, but we expect that it will be in layout by the end of November and the Limited Edition will be ready to ship in mid-January, as soon as Kickstarter clears payments from this campaign. Ramen Sandwich Press could use a little extra funding to make sure we can pay for stuff like layout, art and maps in a timely manner. So we’re turning to the Kickstarter community once again in the hope that you’ll help us keep this series going.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Moving away from the NPCs and monsters above, this offering is an adventure. Either a standalone or, with the prior three parts, a campaign interlude. For this 5e offering, it’s 15 locations centered around wood elves. As a DM, you can judge if this is something you could use for your world.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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31 NPC’s Inktober 2017: A Book of Fantasy Characters by Chris Nichols
Ends on Sat, December 30 2017 1:26 PM EST.

“Fill out your fantasy RPG campaign with these 31 original non-player characters! All contained in this full color 6×9” softcover book!

HI! My name is Chris Nichols, and I am an artist/illustrator based in the Twin Cities area. Recently I have been focused on writing, illustrating, and self publishing children’s books and comics filled with influences taken from skateboarding, my daughter, fantasy fiction, sci-fi, and heavy metal music.

This project started as an idea to create a new, fantasy tabletop RPG character every day for the month of October. At the end of the month I had 31 original characters. I decided to put them all together into a book, so I could share them with friends.

31 NPC’s Inktober 2017 is a 6×9 inch, 64 page, full color, soft cover book. I made it to assist Dungeon Masters, to help fill out their campaign with characters. My goal was to give each one a name, a look, some stats, and a quick description for how they would fit into the campaign.

Now I know Dungeon Masters are super creative, so I kept the information about these characters vague. On each NPC (non player character) page there is a large space for you to add in notes. Give them a backstory, a motive, how they’re connected to the PC’s or other NPC’s in the campaign. That is all for you to decide!

The last page has character tokens for you to cut out and use in your tabletop games.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Ok, this book is not precisely 5e, more any-edition-of-D&D/PF/OSR. That said, it’s 31 NPCs with simple stats, simple plot hooks, art, and tokens. If you need a variety of encounters that are broad enough for you to make up the details, this may be for you.

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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The Blood Plague: D&D5E Dark Fantasy Adventure for 3rd Level by Encounter Roleplay
Ends on Sun, December 31 2017 7:02 AM EST.

“The Blood Plague is a Dark Fantasy Adventure Module for Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition. Gritty & unforgiving. Brutal and realistic.

The Blood Plague is a Dark Fantasy Adventure Module for Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition for Levels 3-5 which focuses on a deadly plague. The Blood Plague has struck the world of Penumbra and left it’s people reeling in horror at it’s ferocity.

The Cathedral of Arckenbury. Players will be tasked with reaching this ancient fortress and entreating for asylum with the dread Murder of Crows. Art by Jovina Chagas.
The Cathedral of Arckenbury. Players will be tasked with reaching this ancient fortress and entreating for asylum with the dread Murder of Crows. Art by Jovina Chagas.

What is it?

  • A dark fantasy adventure fraught with perils – The Blood Plague, warring knights & far worse…
  • The story revolves around finding a safe refuge in the Blood Plague at Arckenbury Cathedral, but getting there won’t be easy.
  • A medieval Realm known as Penumbra with a distinctly dark and unique flavour. This includes brutal history & warring factions of Penumbra.
  • Gorgeous artwork of the Characters & World of Penumbra, as featured on the Podcast, Turncloaks.

Artwork 

Check out some of the early & finished artwork we’ve had made! Jovina Chagas & Jessica Bellamy are the lead artists on this project, and really do justice to the gritty feel of the world.”

The Emperor's Knights approach Ostwald. Roaming bands of merciless knights are just one of the dangers in Penumbra. Art by Jovina Chagas.
The Emperor’s Knights approach Ostwald. Roaming bands of merciless knights are just one of the dangers in Penumbra. Art by Jovina Chagas.

 

The Forests of Arckenbury hide unnatural dangers. On the road to Arckenbury, a place of refuge may not be as safe as it seems. Art by Jovina Chagas.
The Forests of Arckenbury hide unnatural dangers. On the road to Arckenbury, a place of refuge may not be as safe as it seems. Art by Jovina Chagas.

 

Victims of the Blood Plague. None know exactly how it started, but quarantining victims has become a necessity. Art by Jovina Chagas.
Victims of the Blood Plague. None know exactly how it started, but quarantining victims has become a necessity. Art by Jovina Chagas.

 

The Castles of Barons & Baronesses scatter the land of Penumbra, their spires looming above the peasants they rule over. Art by Jovina Chagas.
The Castles of Barons & Baronesses scatter the land of Penumbra, their spires looming above the peasants they rule over. Art by Jovina Chagas.

 

The Gothic Architecture of Penumbra. Art by Jovina Chagas.
The Gothic Architecture of Penumbra. Art by Jovina Chagas.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Another 5e product, this one an adventure, and, like so many of these books this week, the art is first rate. Jovina Chagas’ understanding of landscapes and ink is inspiring. The world looks foreboding and ready to consume weak player characters. Utilizing art this strong projects darkness for the DM to build upon. Check out the campaign to see more.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

Auri, Human Rogue. While Magic is rare in Penumbra and it’s practices taboo, some still dare. Art by Gyo.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

[UPDATED] What RPG and Comic Kickstarter Christmas Gifts Did You Get?

Happy holidays! It’s gift time 2017 and Egg found several Kickstarter rewards under his Christmas tree. I thought I’d shout out and thank a few projects that went the extra mile and got their work out before the egg nog carried them away!

 

Egg Embry, RPG KS Ph.D.
(Charles Schulz would have done this better!)

 

UPDATED – 2017-12-26 AT 12:19AM EST – This one rolled in during Christmas day.

REVOLUTIONARIES — American War of Independence RPG by Make-Believe Games sent the first installment of their RPG on Christmas day. The game is about a version of the American Revolution and the timing of this piece has a light connection to Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River in that both occurred on Christmas.

“… for your enjoyment is the first installment of the Revolutionaries game, Fires of Liberty. This exclusive PDF sampler is loaded with bonus game content. It includes the Newport, RI setting and your first taste of the secrets behind the Culper Ring.”

 

With that, I’m at four Kickstarter gifts for Christmas 2017. I also heard that the rest of the Mindjammer KS came in as well as the v0.9 Unity RPG. It’s been a good Christmas!

 

* * * * * *

 

UPDATED – 2017-12-26 AT 08:00AM EST – This one came in not two weeks before Christmas day (12/14), it still deserves a mention.

Tiny Dungeon 2e gave its backers the Player’s Guide.

  • This is a bonus product, but it’s comprise of stuff you’re gonna get in the final product. It’s basically the first half of the final book, all the rules.
  • It does look exactly like the rules section in the final product (in content and layout.)
  • This will never contain micro-settings. You’ll get a separate corebook for that (which will have rules + micro-settings.)
  • This will be going on sale soon-ish (likely after the New Year), so we wanted to give it to you first.
The cover of the book! Design by Robert Denton, Art by Michael Leavenworth
The cover of the book! Design by Robert Denton, Art by Michael Leavenworth

 

* * * * * *

 

Let’s start with the white elephant gift – Free League’s Forbidden Lands – Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG and what they sent for Christmas.

[NOTE – I removed all of the backer-only links.]

  • … download the full 186-page Swedish Alpha PDF of Forbidden Lands, under the Swedish title Rov & Ruiner.
  • … the PDF of the combat cards used for the hidden combo system in close combat, and you can download initiative cards…
  • The current (Swedish) draft of the character sheet can be downloaded…, and the big map of the game is to be found… (Swedish, same version as has been shared before, English version…).

What makes this a white elephant gift? It’s all (mostly) in Swedish.

For the international audience – we will complete the English Alpha in the weeks ahead, and we will try to share each chapter as they are completed to get the material to you as soon as humanly possible.”

Seriously, this is by no means a bad gift because it means that we’re well on our way to getting the finished (i.e., English) product. It gives me something to look forward to in 2018!

 

* * * * * *

Up next is one that I have a short contribution in, Sensational: A Superpowered RPG where Empathy Matters.

“Twas the night before the night before Christmas…
…and just after 3am, I sent you all the rulebook!”

This is a superhero RPG where superpowers are derived from emotions. I’m still reading it but so far it’s a good product and I’m looking forward to slinging some dice using it. For my part, I created one of the criminal NPCs, N. T. Edison, aka Unsequence. If the game sounds interesting to you, I’d suggest contacting Thomas Constantine Moore on Twitter about picking up a copy.

 

* * * * * *

The only physical Kickstarter product I got for under the tree was a comic I’d been eager to check out, GROND Book Three, Oublar’s Revenge. My buddy, Michael Phillips, spread the holiday cheer with two copies of the comic, three prints, three post cards, and three metal cards. His Kickstarter update with the shipping notice had an amusing holiday moment to share:

“I am glad to let you all know that your rewards, including the international orders have been shipped on time. It was interesting standing in line at the post office for 10 mins with only 6 people ahead of me before I got to the counter to start mailing all 55 packages. Minutes later, I looked backed to see that the line had grown to more than 25 people staring angrily at me while the clerk was checking each package one at a time. My wife was with me but soon left to go sit in the car and wait, fearing for her life that someone would go “POSTAL” on me for having so many packages at once. I was determined to get your rewards mailed before Christmas like I promised, so you can get them before the holidays.”

Want to give Grond a try? Ping Mike here.

OUBLAR PRINT
OUBLAR PRINT

 

* * * * * *

This is not an exhaustive list of what Kickstarters (and RPGs/comics) dropped for Christmas, it’s just what I got. Did you get any Kickstarter products under the tree (or in your inbox)? If so, feel free to comment them below.

I hope your holiday was as full of little pieces of happiness! For my part, I want to thank everyone in my life and all of the warm wishes I received.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Changeling, Capharnaum, and Warsong

This week, I’m looking at Kickstarters for the second editions of RPGs including one set in the World of Darkness, one using the FATE Core system, and one crossing over from French to English. Let’s check’em out.

 

Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition by Onyx Path Publishing
Ends on .

“Contribute to help create, publish, and distribute the 2nd Edition of the CHANGELING: THE LOST tabletop roleplaying game.

There will be dragons and there will be sirens and there will be all the armies of the otherworld sent to bring you back. But you will slay them and you will shun them and you will stand on the battlements of your fortress as they break against your walls of thorn and iron.

You will be free.

You know the stories. The hero leaves his village on a terrifying journey, or the waif finds her way through the cold, dark woods. In the end, they kill the giant or shove the witch in an oven.

But what happens next?

In Changeling: The Lost, you take on the role of an ordinary person who has seen the extraordinary. Lured or abducted by the alien Gentry, you have passed the gates and Hedges between our world and the vast fantastic.

In Arcadia, the Gentry changed you. They forged your flesh and sewed your bones, and they gave you a role to play. You were a lover or a servant or a monster. But it was never your story.

Having run from your Keeper and climbed your way back through the Hedge (and didn’t the thorns bite more than they did going in?), you’re back in the world of pizza and Facebook and nuclear anxiety.

Your eyes are open now. You can see that magic is not the sole province of Faerie. The world is alive with wonders most people never see…and rife with horrors that count on that unwariness. It’s all part of your life now. You take the good with the bad, the magic with the monstrosity, the beauty with the madness.

It’s not always an easy story, not always a happy story. But now it’s your story.

Changeling: The Lost began in 2007, and amassed some of the most passionate fans the Chronicles of Darkness has ever known. Now, it’s reborn in its second edition, which tells new tales and builds on lessons learned in the past ten years. We’re jumping back into the brambles, and letting the scar tissue from last time protect us.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

This campaign is for the second edition of the Changeling, a part of Onyx Path’s World of Darkness. A decade into its lifecycle, everyone can gauge their interest in the setting. For my part, I’m interested in it for it’s basis in historic folklore that some feel was the superstitious explanation for autism and other challenges. I’m curious to see how this influences the project.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Warsong Second Edition for Fate Core by Higher Grounds Publishing
Ends on .

“Every choice has a consequence in this game-changing tabletop RPG where destiny is literally in your hands.

Warsong Second Edition is a game about cataclysmic war. A game that looks into the face of destiny, and decides for itself. It is a game about mythic deeds, and choosing free will over fate.

Destiny is a choice. 

The Viziers guide the flow of our world toward its inexorable doom. The armies of the world amass and gather, intent on destruction and death. Only you can choose the path of your own fate. By your actions, you choose the course of history.

The burden of free will is yours alone. The chains of destiny cannot hold you.

You are free.

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Guide your destiny.

In Warsong Second Edition, you play as one of the Viziers, ancient shape-shiftingQuicksilvers, dread undead Neverborn or one of the other primordial inheritors of the world. It is your free will that will shape the course of history and decide whether the world will fall by its own hand, or rise up from its ashes. The ancient powers are but memories, and the people fight for the right to rule.

The skeins of destiny have begun to fray and the Ancient Viziers have disappeared along with the old gods, leaving destiny in the hands of their heirs. You are one of the children of the primordial powers, born the promise of destiny, and bound to its power.

Armed with the power of magic and the ability to shape destiny itself, the Viziers, divine offspring of both god and man, stand as the world’s last defense against the forces of entropy and their own self-destruction. The gods, ancient viziers and primordial powers have disappeared, the nations refuse to stand united for a promised future and bitter rivalries burn as brightly as ever while the world’s life force dwindles down to ember. It won’t be an easy choice, but it will be yours to make.

What will you do with Free Will?

Warsong Second Edition began in 2013 as a play-test sample world built along with Pathfinder guidelines. Over time, it became a game of its own and Kickstarted on June 25 2016. Since then, it’s become a dynamic world that has gathered some of the most passionate fans Higher Grounds has ever seen. Now, a bit over a year after the game’s release, a revised and expanded second edition is nearing completion. Renewed in its second edition, Warsong Second Edition takes a year of reviews, feedback and criticism and puts those lessons to work.

Today, Warsong Second Edition is ready to jump back into the fray as a distilled and refined game using the Fate Core System rules, ready to ride the skeins of fate once more.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

This is Warsong 2e’s second campaign (I looked at the first one here). As I said with the first one, “Need a FATE game? Does the premise sound interesting and you’d like to try the first edition of the game for free? Click here.”

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Capharnaum – The Roleplaying Game by Modiphius: Mindjammer Press
Ends on .

“Fantastic Arabian Nights adventure in a world of deserts, dragons, and crusaders!

Welcome to the Capharnaum kickstarter! Help us fund the release of the English version of this fantastic roleplaying game in a beautiful 400-page hardback, and also expand into a complete line of adventures, supplements, and support material into 2018 and beyond!

With your help, our initial goal is to fund the release of the 400-page hardback core book of CAPHARNAUM – TALES OF THE DRAGON-MARKED, a complete standalone fantasy roleplaying game. Our initial release is in beautiful two-colour print, with sixteen gorgeous full colour plates; but rapidly we hope to reach the stretch goal of releasing the entire book with full-colour artwork. We already have the text ready for editing and layout, and anticipate releasing the core book in PDF format in March 2018 and in print in April 2018.

Capharnaum also has a range of supplements and adventures which we would like to produce, including a player’s guide, screen, bestiary, atlas, and epic campaign, plus many standalone adventures. We hope that we’ll exceed our initial funding total and be able to release these additional books to you as Kickstarter stretch goals.

Why not check out Capharnaum today, in THE TEARS OF AMPHAROOL, our free Quickstart Rules and Introductory Adventure!

CAPHARNAUM – THE TALES OF THE DRAGON-MARKED is a fantasy roleplaying game set in an imaginary Arabia-like world. It borrows from the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights, as well as semitic legends and the ancient and mediaeval epics. Capharnaum doesn’t aim to be a historical game, but a heroic one, a flamboyant refraction of historical, cultural, and mythical themes, filled with light and thrilling adventure!

In Capharnaum, you play the Dragon-Marked, heroic individuals with a special destiny, born with a birthmark on their backs in the shape of a dragon’s claw. The Dragon-Mark announces to the world that you are capable of astonishing feats, for good or evil. Chosen by mystical dragons in accordance with an unknown divine will, you are offered a place in the great game of the gods. You’ll be cast into colourful adventures, political, military, and magical intrigues, and much more…

Capharnaum is a simple yet profound game. We all know the tales of Sinbad, of Ali Baba, of Aladdin and Scheherezade – we grew up with them, they form part of our personal culture. The world of Capharnaum is familiar, easy to pick up and play.

And yet – scratch the surface, and a whole world opens up. Meticulously researched,Capharnaum aims to provide fantastic takes on real-world Mediterranean cultures, from ancient Greece and Rome, Egypt and Sumeria, right through to the crusader kingdoms, dark age and mediaeval Europe, the kingdoms of Africa, India, and the distant East. Uniquely,Capharnaum is centred upon a fantastic version of the Middle-East, where all these cultures meet, clash, come into conflict with the profound cultures of the peninsula of Jazirat, and where something new is being born.

As the Dragon-Marked, you transcend cultural differences. You’re united by an unknown, mystical, yet common destiny. Side by side with people who would otherwise be your foes, you adventure in this vibrant, chaotic land, where the fate of the future is at play, and where you are destined to change the world…

The Capharnaum Game System

Capharnaum uses a tried and tested custom game system which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, with a second edition of the original French roleplaying game. Our Kickstarter includes all of the updates and rules modifications of the second edition game. It’s a d6-based system, a modified dice pool with a semi-roll-and-keep mechanic. Simple yet flexible, it combines skills and attributes in rolls against difficulties, resolving into levels of success or failure in a highly cinematic style. It’s grounded in traditional concepts of hit points, armour values, wounds, and healing, but also expands into genre-specific rules tweaks such as Dragon Dice and Constellations which let you really feel the power of the Dragon-Marked course through your character.

One of the key components of the Capharnaum system is the concept of paths: mystical associations which you belong to, which represent your view of your role in the world (your “character class”, to some extent), but which also provide you with cool and increasingly awesome abilities as you play.

Advancement is built into the Capharnaum system. As one of the Dragon-Marked, you’re already an individual with great potential – but this is an age which calls for Heroes, and the rules let you rise to the occasion and change the world!

Who is “Al-Rawi”?

In Capharnaum, in the fine tradition of Middle-Eastern story-telling, we call the game master “Al-Rawi”, an Arabic word meaning “the Story Teller”. When you play Capharnaum, you’re not only playing a roleplaying game, but participating in an ancient tradition millennia old!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This translation is based on the 2nd edition of the game.

“The Tears of Ampharool are actually the 2nd edition mechanics. […] The English version of Capharnaum will use the 2nd edition mechanics, which features several streamlinings on 1st Ed, particularly with regard to initiative, the calculation of magnitude, and Babouche-Draggers.” – From the comments on the Capharnaum quickstart

[Editor’s Note: Egg’s reaching for this week’s second edition theme.]

In terms of a setting, it brings something under explored (compared to Europe) in RPG, Arabia. That’s what sets this apart, it isn’t another pseudo-Western European setting. If you want to try out how different it is, they have a free quickstart here.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

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).

Kickstart the Comic – Penumbra: Fear the Bunny Lord!

There is a term for comic books that became a slightly bad way of referring to them: Funny Books. Meaning they were good for a few laughs, but that was about it. Yet, my friend and I like to take that derisive term and embrace it when we talk about comics. Whether it is Marvel or DC or Image or anything and everything else out there – they are our funny books. They should bring smiles to your face because you are enjoying what you’re reading because that means the people creating the book must have been having “fun” as well.

***

Penumbra: Fear the Bunny Lord!

From Shades of Vengeance Comics

Writer/Letters – Jonathan Lewis

Artist – Sebastian Sala

Colorist – Slamet Mujino

Kickstarter campaign ends on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 9:34 AM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Penumbra: Fear the Bunny Lord, is the story of the Mistress of Shadows meeting her greatest foe, a lagomorph with great night vision!

The Story:

On a heist to steal a piece of alien technology, rumored to increase the abilities of any Empowered who holds it, she faces off against Wild Hare. He has an aim to test his skills against the slickest of escape artist. Together with the small army of security, Wild Hare will make sure it isn’t Penumbra’s lucky day.

John’s Thoughts:

Like I said in the preamble, this looks like a comic where the creators are just cutting loose and having fun. I mean, a master thief up against a two-legged bunny? And the thing is that comics don’t always have to be these dreary things that we force ourselves through just to have said: “hey, I read that thing – yeah, it depressed the hell out of me, but I read it!”

I gotta think that after you read this issue the response is much more likely to include lots of laughter rather than tears.

The Rewards:

The other thing about this campaign is that the overall amount being asked for is only about $467, so the rewards all lean towards the various digital rewards. However, if you want to spring for something a little different, the $66 level has a “Personal short story by the writer including Penumbra and an Original character of your choice”. If you have that one character you wish you could include in other people’s worlds, here’s your chance.

The Verdict:

Master thieves and the Rabbits that chase them. Nuff said. Go get yourself a funny book.

***

To learn more about Penumbra, check out the Shades of Vengeance 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 – Flash Gordon, Monster Hunter International, Aventuria Compendium, and Dragon Kings

Two licensed properties are coming to Savage Worlds, an Ennie-winning game is getting an expansion, and a not-quite-Dark-Sun setting by the co-creator of Dark Sun is getting a spiritual successor for the world’s most popular role-playing game. These are all worth checking out.

 

Flash Gordon™ RPG for Savage Worlds by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Ends on Mon, December 4 2017 10:00 PM EST.

“Pulp action at its finest! Use the Fast! Furious! Fun! Savage Worlds game system in the popular cinematic world of Flash Gordon™!

 

With a deafening roar, Dr. Zarkov’s rocket ship, with Flash and Dale aboard, shrieks into the heavens and heads straight toward the onrushing planet with a madman at the controls!

We announced the Savage World of Flash Gordon™ at Gen Con in 2015, and now it’s here! Drawing inspiration from Alex Raymond’s original strips, the serials, AND the 1980 movie starring Sam J. Jones and Max von Sydow, this is far more than just a game, this is a definitive resource for all Flash Gordon’s adventures!

AND NOW…it includes a foreword by none other than Sam J “Flash Gordon” Jones himself! See the link here for more details!

Foreword by actor, US Marine, and all around great guy Sam J Jones!
Foreword by actor, US Marine, and all around great guy Sam J Jones!

Author Scott Woodard dug deep into the history of this genre-defining series, bringing every corner of the setting to vibrant life. Heroes can foment rebellion in Mingo City, marvel at the tree-cities of Prince Barin’s Arboria, bake in Volcano World’s Land of the Dead, and shiver in Frigia or the cruel Ice Kingdom of Naquk.

Along the way they’ll encounter far more than just Ming’s merciless minions! Bore worms, cave dragons, sharkons, wolvrons, and over FIFTY strange and exotic creatures roam the strange world of Mongo!

Best of all, for fans of Savage Worlds, The Savage World of Flash Gordon™ features all the new powers, Edges, Hindrances, and amazing gear you’ve come to expect…but also an incredible new Setting Rule called…

At the beginning of each session, the players are given the Cliffhanger token. When the group decides to use it, they flip it over to the CLIFFHANGER side! Everyone gets a reward of some kind–such as drawing or refilling their Bennies, or gaining Conviction (more below!). But then the situation goes from the proverbial frying pan into the fire in some way!

We’ll provide a print and play Cliffhanger token online, but those of you backing the Collector’s Edition Box get this amazing, polished brass version, designed by the always amazing, spaceship lovin’, three-time Hugo Award™ winning artist, Cheyenne Wright!

This is the design for the 4" long, polished brass Cliffhanger token that comes *only* in the Collector's Box! We'll have photos as soon as we get our production samples!
This is the design for the 4″ long, polished brass Cliffhanger token that comes *only* in the Collector’s Box! We’ll have photos as soon as we get our production samples!

Once the Cliffhanger is in play, the GM either decides what happens based on the circumstances, or better yet, lets the players choose from a number of options…and we even have cards for them! They’re print and play now, but keep watching the skies and we’ll see what happens, heroes!

Three sample Cliffhanger cards...the symbols on the upper right tell the group what they get for taking on the Cliffhanger!
Three sample Cliffhanger cards…the symbols on the upper right tell the group what they get for taking on the Cliffhanger!

Example: Flash, Dale, Hans, and Thun battle Ming’s soldiers on the streets of Mingo City. Hans is out of Bennies, so another shot from the enemy’s atom pistol will spell his doom! Hans’ player calls for a Cliffhanger. The other players agree and they choose “Out of the Frying Pan!”

The GM tells everyone to take five while she sets up the new scene. She decides one of Ming’s soldiers has thrown a grenade that cracks open the city streets. The heroes plunge into the sewers below, straight into the lair of an angry gocko and the cave men who worship it!

The GM narrates: “Flash and his companions had Ming’s minions on the run! Little did they know a new terror lurked beneath their very feet!”

The group faces a new challenge, but have refilled their Bennies and are ready for action!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

What does this campaign have going for it?

  • It’s from Pinnacle, the publisher of Savage Worlds, so the setting will fit the game as well as it can because it’s an official Flash Gordon product using a system that feels ready-made for it.
  • They have added pulp mechanics for the game that will offer “cliffhangers”.
  • Sam Jones (movie Flash Gordon) is doing the foreword.
  • The art is pulled from every era of this franchise.
  • They’re offering a scale airscout miniature ship that brings the pulp to life at your table!

There is only good here! The kind of good that’ll save every one of us!

 

To see examples of Pinnacle Entertainment Group on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Monster Hunter International RPG: Savage Worlds Edition by Gallant Knight Games
Ends on Thu, December 7 2017 11:08 AM EST.

“The NYT Bestselling action fantasy series Monster Hunter International comes to Savage Worlds in an all new Kickstarter!

Mockup Cover! (Illustration and layout by Jeremy Mohler)Mockup Cover! (Illustration and layout by Jeremy Mohler)

 

Monster Hunter International,  the New York Times Bestselling action series is coming to the Savage Worlds roleplaying system!

Written by Larry Correia, Monster Hunter International is an urban fantasy series about professional monster hunters who battle against the things that go bump in the night!

As the slogan goes…”Cowboy up, and get paid.”

Larry is a big fan of Savage Worlds and when we approached him about doing an updated MHI roleplaying game, he immediately wanted to use one of his favorite rulesets, so that’s what we did!

Gallant Knight Games has experience working in Savage Worlds, and we’ve enlisted the help of the lead writer on the previous MHI roleplaying game Steve S. Long!

Using the rules in the book, you’ll be able to play a variety of teams in the MHI Universe, including the titular team: Monster Hunter International.

The book will also include:

  • Full details on MHI and it’s history, it’s organization, missions and tactics.
  • World information on PUFF, how the various governments handle monsters and more.
  • NPC stats for a variety of characters from the books, including Owen Z. Pitt, Julie Shackleford, Agent Franks, Susan Shackleford and more, written up by the creator himself!
  • Rules for playing over two dozen teams in the MHI Universe!
  • New monsters for your hunters to face down!
  • New MHI details and fictions right from Larry!
  • AND A LOT MORE!

We’re keeping this simple. What you see on the pledge levels is what you get!

Our goal is to fund a 200ish page softcover roleplaying game book for Savage Worlds. Like all Savage Worlds licensees, you’ll need Savage Worlds core rulebook to play the game.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Flash Gordon and Monster Hunter International are both licensed settings for the Savage Worlds RPG and, while not exactly one-for-one the same (sci-fi pulp versus urban fantasy), they’re still going head-to-head and I’m curious to see the market reacts to them. As with Flash above, the setup for this novel series is ideal for translation to Savage Worlds – You’re a monster hunter… GO! HUNT! MONSTERS!

Add to that, one of the stretch goals is to get the novelist behind Monster Hunter International to create a special adventure for the book and this is a winner.

Sixth Stretch Goal at $80,000 – A special adventure, written by Larry Correia himself will be added to the corebook!”

 

To see examples of Gallant Knight Games on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

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Aventuria Compendium – The Dark Eye RPG by Ulisses Spiele
Ends on Fri, December 8 2017 8:00 PM EST.

“The first rules supplement for the ENnie-Award winning RPG The Dark Eye vastly expands character options for the world of Aventuria.

Experience The Dark Eye and its ENnie-Award winning setting Aventuria in even greater depth with the Aventuria Compendium.

Whether your characters prefer weapons or words, the Compendium gives your heroes exciting new options for interacting with the world of The Dark Eye! As a player, choose the rules that you like best. Options can apply to all characters or even just to one—you decide how you want to play!

Master new fighting styles and wield new weapons on the battlefield, or put more subtle skills to use and outmaneuver your opponents in social interactions. Expand your game with new rules for Fate points, weapon breakage, hit locations, information gathering, item creation, and more!

The Aventuria Compendium and the Aventuria Armory broaden the setting of Aventuria by introducing new character professions and dozens of essential pieces of equipment. Explore new paths to heroism in Aventuria with the first major rules supplements for The Dark Eye!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

The Dark Eye won a 2017 Silver Ennie Award for best setting (Dark Eye – Aventuria Almanac) and this Kickstarter expands on the game. Want to give this game a sh0t? Click here to get the free preview of the game.

 

To see examples of Ulisses Spiele on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

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Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook for 5E by Mindscape Publishing and Battlefield Press International
Ends on Sun, December 10 2017 12:26 PM EST.

“A totally new Player Rulebook from one of the co-creators of 5E for the most brutal fantasy RPG out there.

Welcome to the Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook project.

In 2014, Tim Brown, co-creator of the Dark Sun campaing setting, released Dragon Kings through a very successful Kickstarter campaign and to much acclaim, with rulesets for Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and 13th Age.

Dragon Kings showed us a ruthless and extremely dangerous world, with exotic races of humanoids and non-humanoids that depart from more traditional roleplaying games paradigms.

Khitus, the setting where Dragon Kings is located, is a world that is slowly dying. Its forest becoming deserts due to dreadful influences on the planet that are draining its natural resources.

With magic that takes a dreadful toll on those who use it, psionics are awakening. Races of long ago mindless insects are evolving and expanding, with a thirst for conquest that threatens the entire planet.  Lizardmen become cleverer by the day.

The world is changing as it dies, and only strong heroes have a chance to slow down or halt its demise.

That would be you.

The Pachyaur
The Pachyaur

Dragon Kings is a departure from more traditional fantasy settings, and has a darker and more exotic edge to it.

Add to this the intensity of the world and the new classes that it presented, and it’s impossible not to appreciate the vast potential and richness of this game.

The gorgeous art, the amazing cartography – Dragon Kings really stood high among the best and most innovative RPGs.

You can download the free gazetteer from here to get a great overview of the world.

And now, Dragon Kings is coming to 5E

With this project, we want to create a Player’s Rulebook to bring the 5E rules to Khitus.

To achieve that, we worked with the talented Chris Sims, one of fifth edition’s developers, and someone with more years of experience in the industry than politeness allows us to mention.

The Player’s Rulebook will contain races, class information, and more. It’s a book for Dragon Kings fans and fifth-edition gamers.

We expect the Player’s Rulebook to contain more than 20,000 words of text when it funds, with more content added as we hit stretch goals.

This Player’s Rulebook will be available both in black-and-white and color, and both soft and hard cover. That way everyone will be able to choose the edition that suits you best.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Disclosure: I did some *minor* editing on this Kickstarter before it launched.

 

It’s not Dark Sun for 5e… But, it’s like Dim Star for 5e in the best possible sense.

Dark Sun is Dark Sun, and I’m proud of it. If someone would give me the keys and let me drive Dark Sun again I would be happy to do so. I’m creating Dragon Kings to satisfy that creative ‘jones.’ Dragon Kings will share many of the same themes, but will also be its own, unique universe. Honestly, this gives me an opportunity to move in creative directions that just weren’t open to me before, and that’s pretty exciting.

The setting already exists for Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and 13th Age and, with Tim Brown involved, this offering will go a long way towards filling in for a much loved 5e setting.

 

Also, co-publisher Battlefield Press International has a campaign going for a fantasy prose anthology, The Awakened III Anthology, featuring the likes of Ed Greenwood, Darrin Drader, Darren W. Pearce, and more. Check it out here.

 

To see examples of Mindscape Publishing on DriveThruRPG, click here, and from Battlefield Press International, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click 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 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).

Era: The Consortium – Gameplay Review of The Stiletto Unit Adventure

At AetherCon VI* on November 12, 2017, I had the opportunity to play in an Era: The Consortium** adventure with Shades of Vengeance owner and Era d10*** creator, Ed Jowett. [Before we go any further, here’s the disclosure: I’m freelancing for Ed on an Era: The Consortium product here.] The adventure we played at AetherCon was an excellent opportunity to be at the same table as the game’s creator and get the rules as well as the spirit of the game right from the source. This session brought the mechanics and the intent of the game into focus and from it I want to share two scenes to discuss the gameplay but without giving away the whole plot. That said, light SPOILERS ahead for this Stiletto Unit adventure.

If this product interests you, Shades of Vengeance is running a Kickstarter right now for Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 which adds more rules and species and adventures to the Consortium universe, including one by me (if the stretch goal is reached).

 

* * * * * *

 

Before we get into the review, Era: The Consortium uses the Era d10*** system which is explained in more detail below, but the quick version of it is:

  • a d10 dice pool system generally created by adding an Attribute plus a Skill and rolling against an Action Difficulty/target number where each die could be a success or a fumble.

We opened the Google Hangouts session by picking our pre-generated characters from Stiletto Unit, a band of freedom fighters that are a part of the Resistance against the Consortium. What’s to resist? Era: The Consortium is a far flung future in which companies openly run the worlds. The “openly” part is key – companies are the government and you’re a part of a group that’s fighting that status quo. In the adventure Ximian politician and Resistance backer, Ixitixl, has Stiletto Unit investigate a Moritagas Pharmaceuticals base on Arawn looking for a superweapon that will destroy all of the Resistance. With that setup, we got into the game.

 

* * * * * *

 

How well do non-combat skills work? 

After the fight at Moritagas Pharmaceuticals’ base on Arawn. The first mission and combat of the adventure came about when we failed to covertly infiltrate Moritagas Pharmaceuticals’ base forcing <gasp!> combat. After the combat and some meaningful story clues, Stiletto Unit boards their spacecraft and we have a chance to work on some non-combat skills.

Zeelaay, our pilot, used [Attribute] Wits + [Skill] Pilot against an Action Difficulty of 7 and rolled 2 successes to launch our ship into space. Onboard, after a series of events set off an EMP that knocked out our cybernetic implants, Dr. Curay and Styxtirian [me], a Ximian engineer, combined actions to repair each cybernetic implant (Int + Medicine for 3 successes from Dr. Curay and Int (1d10) + Engineering (4d10) for 5d10 and 2 successes from Styxtirian). Another Stiletto, Takahashi, had a stealth suit (think Predator) that was burned out in the combat (first combat and your character’s “gimmick” is wiped out early, always fun!). Aboard the ship, the character repaired the suit with 4 successes.

Era d10 Non-Combat Skills Pros:

There’s enough range and options to cover every situation that we encountered without being overwhelmed with choices. Standard Action Difficulty is 7 and that made it so most dice pools (which ranged from 4 or 5 dice up to 22 in one instance) had successes. The logic of why X+X forms the dice pool worked well and led to moments where we could name what we wanted to do and the dice supported our decisions.

Era d10 Non-Combat Skills Cons:

The GM is needed for a lot of pre-roll decisions. What Attribute and what Skill produces the result you’re going for? For many of these actions there’s a set combo of Attribute and Skill but there’s enough variation that alternative combinations can be introduced and that requires GM approval. Another common question for the GM is “What’s the Action Difficulty?” While 7 is the default, the GM may set the bar higher and there are scenarios (using Luck, having a situation-specific Speciality) that alter the number, which means that every player needs to talk to the GM before rolling to be sure they’re getting the right dice pool and difficulty. It’s not a problem because the rulebook has all of these instances well-defined, but it does slow the process down a bit when you’re new to the setup.

 

* * * * * *

 

How well do combat skills work? 

Fighting a Smertios Security (DIS)ARM. Our next mini-mission within the larger mission was to board a capital ship (we did) which led to the six PCs facing off against one of the game’s superpowered battlesuits, the (DIS)ARM.

(DIS)ARM

As a group, we turned the corner and there’s the (DIS)ARM and it’s round 1! We roll initiative and in Era d10 you only roll 1d10 and add the number of levels you have in Willpower and Wits to that. In Styxtirian’s case, that’s 1d10+5 (from 3x Willpower and 2x Wits).

The (DIS)ARM went first and and off the bat it fumbles (rolling more 1s than successes in its attack dice pool) so its mini-gun falls off of the armor.

Quick note about combat. You succeed on your roll to hit, you roll a number of damage dice equal to the number of your to hit successes. The damage dice have two Action Difficulties/Thresholds, one is to damage and one is to kill (so, for example, a roll of a 6 deals damage but a 9 kills). Thus ends the lesson.

Two of the PCs shoot the (DIS)ARM doing damage to its shield though no harm to the unit or the pilot, just the shields. Zeelaay, the pilot, also loves rockets and shoots 4 into the ceiling above the (DIS)ARM because dropping debris (with 8 damage) incapacitates the armor beneath the wreckage. One of the Stilettos, Gyter, decides that his mission’s to crack open the armor, get the pilot out, and take it for himself. He gets on top of the immobilized armor and does a called shot with armor piercing rounds. A called shot halves your dice pool of Wits + Gunnery to hit but lowers the kill threshold for a called shot to the head. Gyter’s shot hit but because shields deflect armor piercing rounds and the (DIS)ARM’s shields were still up the shot goes wild. Takahashi goes into stealth mode and attempts to slip around the (DIS)ARM in the corridor. Dex + Stealth for the pool so 8 dice and she succeeds against an Action Difficulty of 10, which allows her to sneak behind the mech and attempt to interface with it in a contest to control it. For the contest, it’s a series of roll-offs as Takahashi and the AI both try to reach 10 successes and mastery of the computer first. For Takahashi, it was Intelligence + Computer (8 dice with an Action Difficulty of 7), however they both reach 10 successes on the same round so there is no winner. Styxtirian (me) is a strong Ximian and a melee combatant. He’s going to try and rip open the armor which should be easy for him with 16 dice (Str + Brawl)… I got 3 successes (I roll badly in most games) so Styx was unable to rip the armor open.

Round 2. Still immobilized, the (DIS)ARM throws Gyter off of him and across the hall leaving a spot for Steve Adams to land on. Dr. Curay injects Styxtirian with a drug that will amp his Str from 6 to 11 for 5 minutes and then after that it will be a Str of 5. Gyter shoots at the (DIS)ARM’s faceplate to no effect. Takahashi is still digitally wrestling with the unit and tries to overcome it again and Ed (the GM) rolled a fumble so, as long as Takahashi did not fumble, she could override the AI. After accessing the (DIS)ARM, her only option is to activate its self-destruct and she does. The (DIS)ARM explodes. The denotation rips a hole in the ship’s haul forcing everyone to leap into the next section before the bulkheads seal.

Unfortunately, Gyter never got his (DIS)ARM[or] and Styx had to wait until the next combat to get any advantage from the drug he was injected with. The entire party survived the combat with a minimum of wounds mostly because of the fumbled loss of the mini-gun at the start and Zeelaay’s decision and amazing roll to drop the ceiling onto the (DIS)ARM.

Era d10 Combat Rolls Pros:

I’m sure that reads like a lot of actions but in under two full rounds a very tough unit was defeated and several combat styles were utilized (melee, range, area of effect, digital) with interesting scenarios generated by each. It moved quickly and logically as we never had any disagreement about the outcome of a situation. As a *TERRIBLE* dice roller, I liked that there was an option for the damage dice to do wounds or an insta-kill. Having a chance to close out the combat is a win (no pun intended) in my opinion.

Era d10 Combat Rolls Cons:

As above with the non-combat skills, the GM is pulled into a bit of discussion as to what needs to be rolled. It was not as much as non-combat skills, but its presence slowed the game a bit.

 

* * * * * *

 

Era d10 Conclusion:

 

I’m freelancing for Ed (the GM) on Era: The Consortium so I’m not apt to dislike the setting or the GM (ha!). For this review, I wanted to focus on the Era: d10 system to share how it works and feels. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Ed has an innovative system that feels right for the sci-fi genre.

If I had to say that there’s one thing I’d do away with, it’s the fumble. This is not specific to Era: The Consortium, it’s a general distain. I believe that the fumble is the in-game mechanic that leads from serious RPG to goofing around. In the adventure, I fumbled… twice, I think? Ed fumbled three times. Dr. Curay fumbled once and so did another character. In game, fumbles are likely to have one of two effects:

  • The opponent gains a critical or deadly advantage and you roll up a new character
  • Something Monty Python happens

Which route does your table go?

Having read the rules, written scenarios, and played the Era d10 system, I can say I’m excited to do it again. The game is a lot of fun, it’s logical, and led to some fun in-game scenarios with a lot of heart and humor. The story Ed told was epic and achievable in a single sitting and I’d recommend the adventure to anyone wanting to try out Era: The Consortium. I want to thank AetherCon, Ed Jowett, and all of the players for the experience.

 

If you want to try the game yourself, there’s a Kickstarter for the Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 that ends on 

 

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*What is AetherCon?

AetherCon is a free to attend, free to partake, non-profit initiative. Throughout the weekend there will be a plethora of tabletop RPGs on offer for all to play in. All games will be run on the free, browser-based virtual table top Roll20 and/or Google Hangouts. This program will allow GMs and players alike to simply click on a link and enter the playing area as opposed to needing to download and install the software to participate.

 

**What is Era: The Consortium RPG?

Humanity has left Earth over a thousand years behind, landing on a new planet and founding a new government. The Consortium is an inspiring ideal – three star systems teaming with life and four species living and working together. As time passes, however, cracks are showing in the Humanity-led society and those less scrupulous have taken power.

Enter at any point in 500 years of playable story, following the Consortium’s growth from a small colony to a multi-system economic and political establishment. Explore new worls and encounter alien races, direct or fight in battles which span a solar system and will decide the future of the Consortium or join a Resistance movement against the government to save or destroy billions of lives!

What you decide will define the fate of the Consortium…

 

***What is the Era d10 system?

“The Era d10 ruleset is designed to allow you to experience this universe in a way that is as unobtrusive as possible without being misrepresentative. By choosing your skills carefully, your character can dominate in any of 5 forms of combat, talk their way out of any situation or protect their teammates from harm.

The rules could be described as “A Success-counting dice pool system where you roll Attribute + Skill in d10s and the difficulty of the task determines which numbers count as Successes.”

In case that was a bit too brief or jargony, here’s a bit more detail:

The system is based around multiple dice – the more skilled you are, the more dice you have – and a variable goal based on activity difficulty.

Using an Attribute and Skill system, which each define their own areas of influence, you roll your dice depending on what you’re attempting – whether Dexterity + Engineering for a precision piece of work, Intelligence + Engineering for a more theoretical problem or Luck + Engineering for a complete long shot, you’ll be able to adapt to your circumstances and focus on your strengths.

Although you roll more dice the more skilled you are, the number you are attempting to reach varies depending on the difficulty of the action – if shooting someone in clear conditions, the GM would ask for a 7. If someone was laying a mine, more likely a 6. Firing over your shoulder at someone 30 metres away, while crouching behind a low wall would definitely be a 10!

If you would like to try the rules, please see our Quickstart Pack!

 

Read my interview with Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance here.

You can check out Era: The Consortium RPG on DriveThruRPG here.

 

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Shades of Vengeance Signal Boost:

 

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

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

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!

 

* * * * * *

 

2) Penumbra: Fear the Bunny Lord! by Shades of Vengeance
Everyone’s favorite mistress of shadows is back! But can she defeat the bunny lord?
Ends on Sun, December 3 2017 9:34 AM EST.

 

 

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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 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).

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Xenomorphs, Epic Legacy, Operators, and Warsong

It’s Thanksgiving/Black Friday week in the US and that means we’re headed into the season where RPG Kickstarters will *not* get the attention that they deserve. With this article, I’m hoping to buck that trend and showcase some of the deserving RPGs that are waiting for you to back them.

 

Warsong 2nd Edition for Fate Core by Higher Grounds Publishing
Ends on Fri, November 24 2017 10:53 PM EST.

“A game of warring nations spiraling toward oblivion. Will you pull the world free from self-destruction, or guide it to its doom?

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Choose your destiny.

Warsong is a game about cataclysmic war. A game that looks into the face of destiny, and decides for itself. It is a game about mythic deeds, and choosing free will over fate.
Destiny is a choice. The Viziers guide the flow of our world toward its inexorable doom. The armies of the world amass and gather, intent on destruction and death. Only you can choose the path of your own fate. By your actions, you choose the course of history. The burden of free will is yours alone. The chains of destiny cannot hold you.

You are free.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This KS ends on Black Friday because, if nothing else, Ray Machuga knows no fear! Need a FATE game? Does the premise sound interesting and you’d like to try the first edition of the game for free? Click here. Want to get the full 1e rules for $.97? Click here.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Operators RPG by Samjoko Publishing 
Ends on Thu, November 30 2017 2:00 AM EST.

“Mission Impossible heists and Tom Clancy technothriller meets Bourne-style kinetic fight sequences in this all-new action RPG.

Operators is an RPG designed to tell cinematic action movies at the table. Whether you like challenge-based play in a Tom Clancian technothriller or the futuristic hijinks of Mission Impossible, Operators has you covered.

The core mechanic revolves around rolling four Fate Dice. Players look for pluses in order to succeed and the Game Master looks for minuses that mean the task becomes unexpectedly complicated.

Operators also uses a deck of cards to help narrate fight scenes and chase scenes. The Fight Cards all have unique illustrations and moves taken from various martial arts, but mostly those seen in the Bourne movies. These cards, along with rolling the dice to see which moves land, are turned away, or are countered, make it easy to narrate a kinetic fight scene. Chase cards work similarly, except instead of having fighting moves on them, they have the ways the person in the lead tries to get away.

You can find a free quickstart of the game and all the mechanics in depth right here. along with some additional player aides for the Game Master (called Director in Operators) and some mock-up character sheets with a loose scenario to play through if you and you group want to get it to the table to see how she runs.

Click to download the free Quickstart - still a work in progress
Click to download the free Quickstart – still a work in progress

Click here to download the free Quickstart – still a work in progress. 

The book is going to be graphic novel size, softcover, full colour, and around 200 pages.

The Cards will be a deck of 52 cards in total and will be regular playing card size (2.5 x 3.5″). 19 of them are used for Chase Scenes, 33 are used for Fight Scenes. One of the main goals of the kickstarter is going to be increasing the size of that deck. I’m hoping to add quite a bit more. In the quickstart above you can check out what the cards I already have look like.

Cards Mock-Up (Not Final)
Cards Mock-Up (Not Final)

In addition, these cards can be used with all kinds of other games, like Night’s Black Agents, Delta Green, or any other game where you want to narrate out a brutal martial arts sequence between opponents.

I also want to be able to hire a professional to do photo manipulation and photo realistic art throughout the book. It’s a big challenge since it’s not a style that is commonly seen in RPGs and I’d really like to do it right.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

From the same company that brought the cyberpunk RPG, The Veil, to the world, Operators isn’t quite a FATE RPG as best I can tell, but it uses some elements of it. I am interested in seeing how the photo manipulation artwork works out.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing Tabletop RPG by EN Publishing
Ends on Fri, December 1 2017 3:00 PM EST.

Disclosure: I freelance for EN World.

“A gritty universe of sci-fi survival horror, including the full core rules and a setting/adventure.

Dare to enter a gritty universe of sci-fi survival horror! A full standalone set containing the core rules for WOIN-powered science-fiction roleplaying games and the Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing setting/adventure sourcebook. The books are completed and ready to ship, so you’ll get them right away!

Terror and monsters await in the depths of space…

You get two books shipped as soon as the Kickstarter ends:

  • The 300-page full-colour hardcover N.E.W. The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game core rulebook, fully updated and errataed, with a special, exclusive Xeno Edition cover.
  • The 60-page full-colour softcover Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing setting/adventure sourcebook which describes the setting – including known space, the United Marine Corps, equipment, careers, a pair of iconic starships, information about the different varieties of xenomorph, plus a detailed terraforming colony called Somerset Landing, along with a survival horror adventure set in that colony. Both books are detailed below.

Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing was written by Darren Pearce (Doctor Who; Lone Wolf), Angus Abranson (Hillfolk; Cubicle 7), and Russ Morrissey (What’s OLD is NEW; To Slay A Dragon).

If you already own the N.E.W. The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game core rulebook, you have the option to simply purchase the Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing setting/adventure sourcebook on its own.

Want to see a whole load of previews? Before the Kickstarter launched, we were posting them regularly here on this thread on EN World! Feel free to check them out!

This is the Full Xeno Print Set
This is the Full Xeno Print Set

 

A full-colour 60-page softback setting book which introduces the universe of Xenomorphs, including a 15-page adventure called The Fall of Somerset Landing.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Disclosure: I freelance for EN World.

 

Want to try out the N.E.W. RPG system? This is your chance to get in on the game via a Kickstarter where the product is in the can, no stretch goals are planned, and delivery starts within a week or two of the close. I participated in their Touch of Class Kickstarter and I think the first PDFs went out the same day that the campaign closed. In this case, it could be a Christmas gift Kickstarter!

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Epic Legacy Core Rulebook – 5th Edition Beyond 20th Level by 2CGaming
Ends on Sun, December 3 2017 12:00 AM EST.

“The ultimate guide to Epic Level 5th Edition. Bring your characters and DM arsenal to new heights of power beyond 20th level!

The Epic Legacy Core Rulebook is a 5th Edition supplement which adds a powerful and tested Epic tier to the established levels of play, advancing the Character progression from levels 21 to 30. The Epic Legacy system provides all the tools Players and Dungeon Masters will need to bring your most epic games to life.

At the core of the project’s design is the smooth playability that is the hallmark of 5th Edition. Building upon our work in the Epic Legacy Player’s Guide, this book is a masterwork quality product from veteran designers at 2CGaming. More than that, it is a labor of love consisting of over two years of development, extensive testing and balancing, and a fantastic community that has helped us every step of the way. From cover to cover, this book is packed with epic features that help you take every element of your game to the next level.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Are you taking your 5e characters beyond level 20? Want to play a god? This is the solution. My sweet spot in D&D tends to be levels 5 to 8 so this may be beyond what I’d look at, but that does not mean it’s not going to look amazing and offer some innovative ideas. On the KS page, they have samples of what the epic levels will be like and those are worth checking out to see if this is for you.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

Read my interview with Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance here.

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

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!

 

* * * * * *

 

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 – Kickstart the Comic – Stoker and Wells – The Graphic Novel!

Another one made for Steampunk Fridays… I’m not sure how much more I need to say… let’s get to the comic!

***

Stoker and Wells – The Graphic Novel

Writer – Steven Peros

Artist – Barry Orkin

Colors – Chris Summers

Letters – Marshall Dillon

Editor – J.C. Vaughn

Kickstarter campaign ends on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 3:39 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

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.  

The Story:

In a nutshell, Stoker and Wells meet in London of 1894 and through extraordinary fictitious circumstances, rooted in historical accuracy (which will remain under wraps until publication!), find themselves forced at gunpoint to travel 4000 years into the future in a time machine, not of their own design.  The machine is pre-programmed to return to 1894 exactly 48 hours later, so Stoker and Wells are dealt a huge blow when… the time machine is stolen!  Now the two men must journey through the weird and dangerous Earth of 5894 to find their machine before it returns without them, aided by “Nina”, an Eloi, and “Wren”, who claims to be a “reformed” Morlock…

John’s Thoughts:

These real-world people living out the strange lives that eventually their characters will encounter is that cool kind of idea that fills my head with all sorts of ideas. Who else could you potentially use? And what crazy adventure(s) could you take them on?

Pencils & Inks: Barry Orkin / Colors: Chris Summers / Letters: Marshall Dillon

Plus, in this particular case… well, I’ve always loved the Time Machine and who doesn’t love Dracula (you’re wrong if you raised your hand!)? Definitely not a pair I would have thought to combine, but I’m interested to see how this might work out.

The Rewards:

One of the cool things is that at the $75 reward level, you can get a Billy Tucci cover (a Kickstarter exclusive). At higher values you can get a Billy Tucci Portfolio review ($300) or a Script Evaluation for your screenplay or tv pilot ($300 and not one you see all that often on the comic side).

 

Pencils: Billy Tucci / Colors: Barry Orkin

The Verdict:

They said Wells and Stoker. They said time travel. They said Morlocks. They said Castle Dracul…

Enough said.

***

To learn more about Stoker and Wells, check out the Facebook Page here.

***

John McGuire

The Gilded Age Kickstarter is still going on. Check it out on Kickstarter 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.

5 Gamebook, Prose, and Comic Kickstarters You Should Read – Malika, Neverland, The Awakened III, Penumbra, and Decision Underground

After reading the Kickstarter for the gamebook, Rider of the Black Sun, its rekindled my love for Choose Your Own Adventure-style projects. Putting my RPG review aside for a day, I look at two gamebooks, two comics, and a fantasy prose anthology as I combine all of my interests – games, comics, and writing – in one article!

 


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

 

Malika – Warrior Queen Part Two by You Neek Studios
Ends on .

“Malika – Warrior Queen is a historical fantasy that takes place in a 15th-century West Africa. Part Two concludes Malika’s epic story!

 

Set in fifteenth-century West Africa, Malika (pronounced “Ma-LIE-ka”): Warrior Queen follows the exploits of queen and military commander Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire. In Part Two of the hit graphic novel series, Malika uncovers a painful betrayal by one of the people closest to her. The treachery unnerves a usually stoic and composed Malika, allowing her enemies both known and unknown, internal as well as external, encircle her, positioning themselves for the destruction of Azzaz, the empire she spent her entire adult life building. Can Malika recompose herself and save her people once again? Or is this betrayal the beginning of the end for Malika and the people of Azzaz? Only time will tell.

Malika prepares to address the crowd at the Hall of Hassan
Malika prepares to address the crowd at the Hall of Hassan

It’s been amazing to see how well Malika has been received since it’s release in May. One of the most rewarding experiences was having chapter one of the graphic novel selected for Diamond Comic’s Free Comic Book Day event in May, where it was one of the most sought-after and best-reviewed books of the bunch!

Producing this series has definitely been the most painstaking for me as a writer. The last two years have been filled with sleepless nights, months of research, moments of self-doubt and more. But I’ve loved every minute of it. Why? Because as much as this is a fictional story, it is both heavily inspired and framed by African history. I drew inspiration for some aspects of Malika’s story from one of West Africa’s most significant female rulers. Queen Amina of Zazzau. In addition to that, Malika’s empire, Azzaz, is surrounded by African kingdoms and empires that existed before colonization. Africa has a wealth of history and mythology that is yet to become mainstream knowledge for everyone to experience and be inspired by. My hope is that the Malika series slowly begins to change that.”

The Olon Jin make their first appearance
The Olon Jin make their first appearance
And its not pretty
And its not pretty

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I’m a fan of diversity in gaming – Mythic d6, A Far Off Land, AMP: Year Four, Seven Worlds – and comics – Niobe, Route 3, Sorghum & Spear – so I’m excited to see the sequel to the Free Comic Book Day Malika #1 on Kickstarter! This comic offers sword and soul and is something I am eager to read. I’d love to see this go the distance and make it over to be a RPG!

 

The first graphic novel is available through Amazon here.

You can support the Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * * 

 

NEVERLAND – Here Be Monsters! by Jonathan Green
Ends on Sat, December 2 2017 5:00 PM EST.

“J. M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’ in this brand-new, thrilling gamebook adventure!

NEVERLAND is a brand new adventure gamebook – a multi-path book, very much in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, in which you choose the course of the story – inspired by both Peter Pan and Wendy, by J. M. Barrie, and The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It’s Treasure Island meets Jurassic Park! It’s Cutthroat Island meets King Kong! It’s Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Land That Time Forgot! It’s Pirates versus Dinosaurs! And you can play as either shipwreck survivor Wendy Darling or automaton avenger Peter Pan. Anybody who has read and played The Wicked Wizard of Oz or Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland will have a very clear idea of what to expect!

My name is Jonathan Green and I am an author, editor and games designer. I am probably best known for my Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebooks, as well as YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, and my Pax Britannia steampunk novels.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Amazon UK links have been replaced with affiliate Amazon US links.]

Adventure gamebooks written by Jonathan Green
Adventure gamebooks written by Jonathan Green

                                                                           

Pax Britannia steampunk novels by Jonathan Green
Pax Britannia steampunk novels by Jonathan Green

                                                                           

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - Parts 1 & 2
YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks – Parts 1 & 2

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I’m a fan of gamebooks/Choose Your Own Adventures/Tunnels & Trolls’ solo adventures and I’m a fan of Peter Pan so this book is the concept. What would you do as Peter Pan? Jonathan Green lets you decide.

 

More books by Jonathan Green are available through Amazon here:

You can support the Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * * 

 

Penumbra: Fear the Bunny Lord! by Shades of Vengeance
Ends on Sun, December 3 2017 9:34 AM EST.

“Everyone’s favorite mistress of shadows is back! But can she defeat the bunny lord?

Penumbra: Fear the Bunny Lord, is the story of the Mistress of Shadows meeting her greatest foe, a lagomorph with great night vision!

On a heist to steal a piece of alien technology, rumored to increase the abilities of any Empowered who holds it, she faces off against Wild Hare. He has an aim to test his skills against the slickest of escape artist. Together with the small army of security, Wild Hare will make sure it isn’t Penumbra’s lucky day.

Will she succeed? Will she get paid? Did she think to bring carrots? Back the comic and you’ll find the story in your email before even Penumra could steal it!”

 

UPDATE 2017-11-15 10:15AM – Ed Jowett shared the creative team with me:

  • Written by Johnathan Lewis
  • Art by Sebastian Sala
  • Colours by Slamet Mujiono
  • Penumra created by Ed Jowett

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

[Disclosure: I am working for Shades of Vengeance on their Era: The Consortium RPG.]

 

Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance is a nice guy who does gaming and comics and employees lil’ Egg Embry. He has two Kickstarters up right now, this one and the Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2. He’s one of the hardest working folks in gaming and this comic is a product of that work-ethic. Zany heroic comedy as a thief faces a bunny-man!

 

To see more comics, and books, from Shades of Vengeance, click here.

You can support the Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * * 

 

The Awakened III Anthology by Battlefield Press International and Samurai Sheepdog
Ends on Wed, December 6 2017 9:54 PM EST.

“The Awakened III brings together several amazing authors to tell their stories of triumph, failure, fear, and acceptance.

On the world of Grimaton, turning nineteen is more than just a rite of passage into adulthood. When the two moons cross, it can also change your life forever. As awakened, the men and women of Grimaton are possessed of magic in the form of a special bond with an animal or a knack for manipulating the underlying energies of the land. They throw rainbow fire, swim beside alligators, or shape the blood of their enemies into weapons.

Join us for a third time as publishers Battlefield Press International and Samurai Sheepdog work together to bring ten amazing authors together. In our latest anthology you’ll find tales of triumph, failure, fear, and acceptance set once again in the fantasy world of Grimaton. Enjoy new stories with the heroes and villains from Book I. Meet entirely new characters as interesting and dynamic as the rest. Return to the fictional realm of the awakened and watch as its remarkable history continues to grow. When the moons cross, anything can happen.

  • Ed Greenwood
  • Darrin Drader
  • Darren W. Pearce
  • Ty Johnston
  • Doug Herring
  • Ted Fauster
  • Torah Cottrill
  • Rosemary Jones
  • Jonathan M. Thompson
  • Hal Greenberg and Ken Shannon
  • Kevin Glusing
  • Interior art by Ruth Ducko”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

When Jonathan M. Thompson of Battlefield Press International told me about this – that his company was trying out prose publishing – I was excited by the prospect and even more interested after seeing the contributor’s list! It’s sword, it’s sorcery, it’s prose, it’s a series, and it’s a win! They have two prior anthologies to sample (links below).

 

More books from this series are available through DriveThruFiction (here) or Amazon:

You can support the Kickstarter here.

Read an interview with Jonathan M. Thompson about a prior project here.

 

* * * * * * 

 

Decision Underground: A Choice-Based Criminal Adventure by Jimbo Mclaughlin
Ends on Tue, December 12 2017 7:12 PM EST.

What is Decision Underground?

Decision Underground is a choice-based novel in which you must choose your own path through a dangerous and twisted criminal underworld where making the wrong decision could lead to very serious consequences ranging anywhere from getting locked up for the rest of your life to being murdered horribly. Choosing wisely however, could lead to stacks of cash, infamy, and most importantly; your freedom and your life.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Like I mentioned with Rider of the Black Sun and NEVERLAND – Here Be Monsters!, I am a fan of solo adventures/CYOA/gamebooks and this one is, to me, unique – a Choose Your Own Crime. Instead of being set in fantasy or sci-fi or superhero worlds, it’s set in our world and you’re a nogoodnik. Grand Theft Auto the book, I like the concept and want to see how it goes… I mean, how many endings are death and how many are jail?

 

You can support the Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

Read my interview with Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance here.

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

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

Kickstart the Comic – The Last Ember #1: Teenager by Day, Fire Goddess by Night

Sometimes it is a name. Sometimes it is the art. Sometimes it is something else that I can’t always put my finger on. And sometimes it is a bit of all of that. The Last Ember #1 is a little of all those things. And more than enough to capture my attention.

***

The Last Ember #1

By Last Ember Press

Writer/ Letterer – Brant Fowler

Penciller – Giulia Lalli

Inker/ Colorist – Lisa Moore

Editor, PR Director – Jay McCarthy

Kickstarter campaign ends on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 12:59 AM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Ember Madison was an ordinary teenage girl with ordinary teenage problems. She lived a relatively average life… until that night when the fire started. Everything changed after that.

The Story:

As seen in The Last Ember #0, this is not the first time abilities like this have manifested. In fact, it keeps happening over and over again, as it is destined to be. But something has happened and now Ember is the last of her kind… the last goddess of fire!

The Last Ember is the first and lead title of Last Ember Press’ Emberverse line. The series will delve into the mythology of Ember’s world as she learns about her past and what that means for her present and her future. 

Ember will have to discover why she is the last of her kind, and what consequences that has for her life, her dreams, her aspirations. She hasn’t even figured out what college she wants to go to and now she must determine what she does with this huge responsibility thrust upon her.

John’s Thoughts:

If I’ve learned anything from my own Kickstarter, it’s that the days both fly by and seem to drag on forever. On those where no one seems to want to back your book, they last for eons. And for the ones where you are getting backers from everywhere – they never last long enough.

Coming of age stories. Figuring out who we are. Why we are here? What is our connection to the past? These are universal questions everyone struggles with. How Ember Madison figures out her place will be very interesting.

The Last Ember #1 is closing in on their funding goal with a handful of days to go ($3054/$3500), and feels like a comic that deserves to see the light of day.

The Rewards:

One thing that this Kickstarter has done is add various Milestone Bonuses as they reach different funding levels. Unlike Stretch Goals, these actually happen on the way to funding. So far it has been various additional Pinups and other digital comics, which is definitely a good way to bring some excitement to those intermediate levels (like 60% funded).

Aside from the digital and print copies of both #0 and #1 being available at the early levels, if you really want to delve into the full catalog of Last Ember Press, the $100 gets you a print copy of every comic they have currently published.

And at the top end, there is also an option to get the Last Ember Press team to work on one of your comic book projects ($300). As you can see from their work on the page, you’ll get high quality in return.

The Verdict:

I’ve thrown my money in on this one. The fact that even at the lower reward levels they are ensuring so many milestone bonuses means you’re constantly getting something new to look forward to. So check them out!

***

To learn more about Last Ember Press, check out their website here.

***

John McGuire

The Gilded Age Kickstarter is still going on. Check it out on Kickstarter 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 – Kids on Bikes, Tragedies of Middle School, Silence of Hollowind, and A Far Off Land

Recapturing my youth drives my love of RPGs and this week two games have you play the youth of today or yesteryear. One is set in junior high (though, I’m from Georgia and we never called it “junior high”… kindergarten, elementary, middle, high… “junior high” was one of those TV concepts and for years I thought kids in other states went to five levels of school before college… scary…) and the other embraces the kids on bikes subgenre like no other. Combine those with some FATE and Savage Worlds options with good twists and these are worth checking out.

 


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

 

TRAGEDIES OF MIDDLE SCHOOL by 9th Level Games
Ends on .

An anthology of tabletop role-playing games, story games, live action games, and other strangeness inspired by the greatest HORROR of all… junior high.

 

 

THE TRAGED13S OF MIDDLE SCHOOL is an anthology of tabletop role-playing, story games, LARPs, and other strangeness combining classic HORROR TROPES with game mechanics inspired by the greatest horror of all… JUNIOR HIGH!!! Return to middle school without the horror of actually being 13 years old!

Each game in The Tragedies of Middle School centers around a nostalgic junior high activity – spin the bottle, Truth or Dare, passing notes, Bloody Mary, school dances, friendship bracelets, etc. The PG-13 horror vibe running throughout represent the fear, awkwardness, and angst of being a thirteen year old. It’s the worst!

Other strangeness? In addition to the RPGs, story games, and LARPs, The Tragedies of Middle School features a card game, a Choose Your Own Adventure, a solo dungeon crawler, a sport, a dance party, some craftivities*, and more!

*Craftivities are like craft activities – duh!

The Tragedies of Middle School currently* features 20 games and activities with more to come as we hit stretch goals throughout the campaign (fingers crossed!). 20 designers and 3 artists, from a diverse mix of backgrounds, are already involved, ready to share their middle school experiences and game styles. THERE ARE EVEN A FEW CURRENT MIDDLE SCHOOLERS!

*Our expectation is that we will have 20 games, unless we run out of pages, or the Kickstarter totally goes nuts and we get to unlock some stretch goals.

final printing.

We realize that this is a pretty eclectic sounding collection of things – so we thought the best way to show you what kind (and quality) of games we’re pushing here – was with a free sample.So, if you’re not sold yet – try this playable demo of our lead off game – 7 MINUTES IN HELL – designed by Doug Levandowski, featuring amazingly cool art by James Stowe.”  

DOWNLOAD HERE – RIGHT NOW!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

That movie poster cover looks great! I feel like I saw that movie… Anyways, as with Kids on Bikes below, this RPG anthology touches on my most powerful reason to play RPGs – escaping into our never-was-youth. If you want a variety of games – 20 games – and options, this may be the collection for you. Like every RPG on today’s list, this one includes a free sample to test it out on the Kickstarter page.

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * *

 

The Silence of Hollowind – Urban Fantasy RPG by The Evil Company and GG Studios
Ends on .

“Hollowind is a metropolis rich with mysteries and contradictions, where magic is outlawed and whoever makes use of it is hunted down.

Hollowind is a vast megalopolis that fifty years ago, thanks to Merlin’s Edict, managed to overthrow the tyranny of arcane families; since that very moment it has been fighting the remaining survivors of the Purge. The Bureaus represent the first line of defense in their daily battle against enemies within and without, observing the motto: order, reveal, and persecute. Anyone attempting to break this new balance, conquered with the blood of thousands, will have to face the Bureaus. The arcanists are always plotting, and people must remain vigilant.

The Silence of Hollowind is a Urban Fantasy role playing game, adaptable to many rules systems with the addition of setting-specific mechanics to enhance gameplay (Savage Worlds conversion is the first system we will design for). It is a complex and detailed setting, aesthetically reminiscent of 1930s United States but populated by Orcs, Elves, Dwarves and countless fantasy creatures living within the oppressive Hollowind, a metropolis rich with mysteries and contradictions where magic is outlawed and whoever makes use of it is hunted down as a criminal.

 

The core book for “The Silence of Hollowind” will amount to about 130 pages, which might increase based on the stretch goals.

Within the book you will find:

  • A deeply structured setting, filled with mysteries.
  • Several play styles, from purely investigative games to action-pulp adventures.
  • Playing the role of lowly Order agents, skilled Revealers or brave Persecutors. If stretch goals allow for it, you will be able to play as Arcanists and see things from a different perspective.
  • Dozens of NPCs and ideas for investigative sessions.
  • A variety of conversions for different rule systems. The initial project includes compatibility with Savage Worlds only, but stretch goals may unlock more. Each system conversion will be released through its own free PDF.
  • Layout and art direction aiming to evoke the setting and resemble dossiers from the very Bureaus.
  • A map of the City of Hollowind!

 

You might be wondering why we didn’t simply choose a single existing system, or why we didn’t custom-make one for Hollowind. I can tell you we spent a lot of time on this decision, but in the end we realized we wanted this game to be approachable by as many people as possible, with as little effort as possible. This means relying on widespread systems, allowing every group to choose the one they are most comfortable with. Each rules conversion will provide everything you need to adapt your system to our setting in a few easy steps, keeping your focus on the game, not the conversion.

At the same time, we will develop special rules for the Savage Worlds conversion (this is the first system we will design for) such as “Interrogation Scenes”, “Arcane Plague”, “Arcane Fogs” and several Edges dedicated to playing Hollowind. All these rules will be released within a free PDF.

*UPDATE: D&D 5th Edition, and FATE, which means conversion documents for both these systems will be unlocked upon reaching the goal of 10,000€!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This RPG is set in a dieselpunk anti-magic 1930s America and you’re either a hunted mage or the government hunters. It’s for Savage Worlds, 5e, or FATE and should be interesting. Check out the Kickstarter for a quickstart version of the game.

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * *

 

A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds by Bennett-Burks Design
Ends on .

“An RPG where modern meets mythic fantasy in two imperiled worlds, where the intrigues of the Courts & Factions play out.

You, Fated one, are a beautiful lie, and so too is the world around you

A Far Off Land is a multi-world spanning fantasy RPG (roleplaying game) setting by Megan Bennett-Burks and Jacob Possin for the Fate RPG. We will include rules for Apocalypse World / PbtA in a PDF IF we hit the $7000 funding mark.

Take the role of one of the Fated; shapeshifting beings which are creatures of both worlds. The Fated are akin to the demigods of legend.

Note on add-ons: Want to get extra copies of the book, PDF, or other goodies, see the add-ons section further down.

Note on Shipping: Is your Country Not Listed on a Pledge? Contact us, we may still be able to ship to you, but will need to determine an appropriate shipping cost.

Curious About Press on the Game? Want to Learn even More?  See interviews and more as they are listed in our updates!

Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone
Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone

The world around you is not the only one, and even it is not what it seems. Embrace your twinned nature, creature both eldritch and human. You are a child born of one world and adopted by the other, and fated to save them both. Ah, but, alas, you are much like the world you were born to, also, not what you seem!

There are two worlds; one is the world you were born into, the one you’ve taken for granted as mundane and explicable. The other is the Far Off Land; where creatures of myth and magic dwell. This wondrous place was crafted by the gods long ago and has a vast array of Mythic realms which lie within it. You and your companions are Fated, shapeshifting beings who are of both worlds, and the fate of both worlds rests in your hands.

Two Worlds, Rabbit Holes and Many Realms  

One world is that which your character was born into; it is nearly identical to our own present-day earth though it has powerful magic hidden within it. The Fated call this world The Cage because it serves as a prison for slumbering dragons and primordial giants, who would imperil both worlds were they to awaken.

The other world is the realm of myth, magic, and monsters; the Far Off Land and its many realms from ancient Duat, the Mirrored Cities, and Wonderland. Your adventures will span both these worlds, and to the many rabbit holes which act as passageways from one to the next, including The Alley and its great Goblin Market. The rabbit holes were created thanks to the sacrifice of the goddess Tekmor long ago.”

Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone
Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone

 

Read my interview about A Far Off Land with Megan Bennett-Burks here.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I’m interested enough in this project to have done an interview. The idea that you’ll play in two worlds offers a lot of role-playing options and I want to see this make it. I think it has potential as a FATE Core game or as a PbtA option. Need more? You can try the free preview on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG here, A Far Off Land – Preview.

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

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Kids on Bikes RPG – Strange Adventures in Small Towns by Infectious Play/Hunter Books
Ends on .

“Choose your OWN destiny in this storytelling rules-light tabletop role-playing game where adventure is a bike ride away!

Young Adults, Small Towns…

BIG ADVENTURE!

Kids on Bikes is a Collaborative World Building RPG set in small towns with big mysteries. Written and created by celebrated game designers Jon Gilmour (Dead of Winter, Atari: Centipede/Missile Command/Asteroids) & Doug Levandowski (Gothic Doctor, Seven Minutes in Hell). Kids on Bikes is a rules-light storytelling system that gets players into the action fast.

The Adventures of Kids on Bikes take place in small towns at any point in history before:

  • Everyone had camera phone that could catch video of a Ghost
  • Use GPS to track a Homicidal Maniac roaming around town
  • Research an old creaky house in seconds using Google

Kids on Bikes takes place in a more mysterious time, where anything and everything *could* happen.

Kids on Bikes is a 60 page, rules-light, fast-paced storytelling game in the spirit of games like DREAD, Perseverant, MONSTERHEARTS, and other great indy titles. Kids on Bikes is perfect for game nights in which you want to get a game in RIGHT NOW.

Using stats like GRIT, CHARM, FIGHT, FLIGHT, BRAINS and BRAWN, you’ll jump into the action. Each skill is represented by a polyhedral die based on your character’s competence. More sides = better chance of success.

That being said, even low stats always have a chance of success, as any max result EXPLODES leading to an additional re-roll contributing to the results. Lower sided dice mean bigger chances of explosions!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Much like The Monster Hunter’s Club and Tales From the Loop, this game is tapping into the Stephen King’s IT, Stranger Things subgenre for which it took its name and the results are amazing. I read an advance copy of the game and I can fully recommend it. It’ll have an adventure from comic writer Jim Zub (who writes Wayward and a number of Marvel books) which crosses over into my love of comics. Want to try if for yourself? “There is even an early access PDF or ‘ashcan’ version of the rules available now…”

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

 

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Signal Boost:

 

Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 by Shades of Vengeance 
The critically acclaimed Sci-Fi RPG returns to Kickstarter: get expansions to the universe, as well as the Definitive Edition Rulebook!
Ends on Sun, November 26 2017 4:00 PM EST.

Read my interview with Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance here.

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

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!

 

 

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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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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 – Kickstart the Comic – The Death Defying #1

 

One of my loves has always been stage magic. I’m the guy that those tv shows about real life illusionists and every David Copperfield is for. I’ll stop what I’m doing to watch that stuff. And it wasn’t long before I discovered who Harry Houdini was. I’m not sure what it is about him – the fact that he brought a mixture of escapism to his tricks or that he was around during the height of Vaudeville or what, but I know I’ve written at least one school paper on the man.

So a comic with him (and Arthur Conan Doyle) is something that piques my interest.

***

The Death Defying #1

Christopher Sebela – Writer

Gavin Guidry – Artist

Marissa Louise – Colors

Micah Meyers – Letters

Kickstarter campaign ends on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 6:33 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

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.

The Story:

Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle used to be fast friends, visiting one another and writing letters back and forth, until their differing views on the afterlife set them against one another on stages and newspapers across the globe. Years after their breakup, the two continue to battle about spiritualism, the belief that the living can communicate with the dead. Doyle, creator of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, believes in ghosts, mediums, even photos of fairies. Houdini spends his time debunking the seances and the frauds who run them. The two are at war, two ideological armies whose battle of words is about to become a battle to the death for the very fate of humankind.

This Kickstarter is to fund production and printing of The Death Defying #1, the first in a series of four 30-page issues.

John’s Thoughts:

In real life Doyle and Houdini were friends, but this divide of ideologies proved to be too much. Doyle needed to believe, and I sometimes think Houdini wanted to find someone he couldn’t disprove (he never did). This feels like very ripe territory to construct a story. How does a skeptic deal with some coming supernatural apocalypse? How does a believer deal with the idea that he will be the downfall of his former friend?

Like I said, ripe territory for a story (the first 6 pages are previewed on the Kickstarter Page).

The Rewards:

This is the first issue, so there are the standard pdf only or print versions of the comic. But a couple of things jumped out at me. At the $12 level, you can get a print copy with the variant cover by Tyler Crook (of Petrograd, Harrow County, Bad Blood, and The Dark and Bloody).

For those script-writers who would like a little bit of help with their craft, Christopher Sebela will consult on your single issue script. For those of us who might not have an editor readily available, I can see this as being a relatively cheap way to get a non-biased second opinion on your story ($75 level).

And for the slightly deeper pockets you can appear in the comic you’re buying ($100 level), an always cool option.

The Verdict: 

Time is running low on this particular Kickstarter with less than a week to go. I’d love to see this one make its mark and provide us all with the opening chapter of a very cool story idea.

***

For more information on Christopher Sebela, find it here on his website.

***

 

John McGuire

The Gilded Age Kickstarter is still going on. Check it out on Kickstarter 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.

12 QUESTIONS ABOUT Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 WITH Ed Jowett (Shades of Vengeance)

I’ve interviewed Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance before about his Era: Balam Kickstarter. Well, he’s nearly fulfilled that one and back with a new project. For my part, I’m excited about his latest Kickstarter because I’m freelancing on one of the stretch goals, Sirona Specials Part I (Sessions 1-10). Since the project is up and running, it felt like a good time to speak with Ed again.

 


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

 

EGG EMBRY – I want to thank you for agreeing to another batch of questions, Ed. Let’s start out with the big ones, what is Era: The Consortium? And what is the Era: The Consortium expansion that you’re kickstarting?

ED JOWETT – I am always happy to answer any questions you have, Egg – it’s a pleasure to be back!

Era: The Consortium is an epic Sci-Fi RPG with 500 years of playable history. It follows the story of a group of Humans who have left Earth and travelled for over 1000 years to reach a new region of space. They encounter new alien races, explore this new region of space and continue to expand during the presented history.

This amount of history sounds like a lot to read and understand, but the reason that this amount exists is that the intention of the game is to enable the players to explore any sub-genre of Sci-Fi that they wish. If you’re interested in exploring space and encountering new species, the history allows that fairly early in the timeline, and adapting to live with the species you encounter follows on naturally from that. From facing an alien race which is hell-bent on the destruction of the Consortium to a peaceful society with transhumanist tendencies and from cyberpunk style hi-tech dungeon crawl to standing up to an evil government and dismantling their schemes, every form of Sci-Fi which you can imagine is available within Era: The Consortium‘s timeline.

These options mean that it’s very hard to explain in just a few words what Era: The Consortium is – a significant amount of that answer is up to the player! However, I hope that people who have read this understand what I mean when describe it as an epic Sci-Fi RPG!

Just as there’s not one answer for what Era: The Consortium is about, I’m actually Kickstarting quite a number of expansions (anywhere up to 18!).

I should mention before I leap into those that if you’re new to Era: The Consortium, there is a chance to get your hands on everything that already exists in a handy reward tier as well – both the Definitive Edition Rulebook and all of the expansions exist (8 so far!) in Digital Format at the £25 tier, which will add all of the books which we unlock with the Kickstarter.

The first three new expansions are already unlocked by the Funded Campaign:

  • Free Trader gives rules for trading and piracy through the Consortium, with over 30 Trading Posts across the various planets and the prices for 40 cargo types at each one!
  • New Worlds offers the chance to explore a new solar system at the end of the timeline, 250 years after the last one was discovered and explored, providing all the needed equipment and rules to do so.
  • Predictive Genetic Algorithm allows players to create their own alien race for gameplay, with a huge variety of bonuses and penalties, including those available on the current playable alien races!

Beyond that, we’re unlocking a number more expansions, including:

  • The next part of the Time Travel Campaign (Part 4), which explores what would happen if a group of agents went back in time to the start of the Consortium to reshape it.
  • Home Base, which offers the chance to build (and defend) a base of your own. It also provides the rules for building facilities within the base, which give you various bonuses as a result of their existence!
  • Sirona Specials, which you ask me about in a later question.
  • Creatures Of The Outsystem, which offers 30 encounters with strange and amazing life forms on the edge of Consortium space.
  • And much more…

Every Stretch Goal we meet will unlock a new expansion, and every Reward Tier includes whatever we unlock in Digital Format, meaning no-one will miss out!

 

EGG EMBRY – Tell us about the Era d10 Rule Set that you use for all of the Era games and why it’s so versatile?

ED JOWETT – The Era d10 Rule Set was designed to be a system which could work with any genre from the start, which had a significant impact on its versatility. It’s also designed to be simple to learn but complex to master – I’ve been playing for 4 years with a group of mathematicians, computer scientists and physicists and none of them have cracked it yet!

The difference between games is modular, with the majority of the rules remaining the same. This means that every game has a familiar feel and most of the rules are reasonably intuitive once you’ve played for a while. Beyond that, though, it allows people to take modules from one game and transpose it into others. For example, the rules in the Revival Expansion (one of my absolute favourite books we’ve written!) are actually the rules from Era: Survival, presented in a Sci-Fi context.

This provides the versatility that you’re talking about, in my opinion: if I need to add some new rules, I make sure that they follow the same paradigm and add a new module for the game.

 

EGG EMBRY – You just finished the Era: Balam Kickstarter and have already shipped the rewards, correct? What brings you back to Era: The Consortium at this point?

ED JOWETT – Era: Balam was completed and shipped for all physical and Era d10 rewards. I, personally, have completed everything except layout work on the Fate and Savage Worlds books, so I’m finished on that project until the awesome people – who are much more expert than I in those systems – complete their review of the work I’ve done, and their own writing. As a result, I’ve got a bit of a hole in my schedule, which lets me look at another project.

All of that said, Era: The Consortium is a game that I never really leave, to be honest! Between the end of the Kickstarter almost exactly a year ago and this year, I’ve come up with 8 additional expansion ideas for the existing timeline (not including things I have thought of for the next 500 years!).

I’ll be honest, out of the games I’ve created, this is my personal favourite because of the universe it offers. I’m very proud of the other games as well, but I could happily play this game for the rest of my RPG life, personally. As a result, I never want to stop making things for it, as long as people still want to get them… and it’s clear from some of the feedback I’ve already had that the people backing the Kickstarter definitely want me to continue!

 

EGG – I’ve asked a variation of this question to several interviewees lately – SoV has a free preview of Era: The Consortium, how has it “tracked” so far and have you seen an uptick in interest since the latest Kickstarter launched?

ED JOWETT – That’s an interesting question. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but we actually offer the free preview all the time. I would say there’s been a minor uptick from the Kickstarter traffic, but a lot less than there was a year ago.

 

EGG – I mentioned that I’m assisting on the Sirona Specials Part I (Sessions 1-10) stretch goal and since it’s difficult for me as the freelancer to tease what it’s about in your interview, can you tell the audience what the setup for this campaign expansion is?

ED JOWETT – Sirona Specials is the story of a group of prisoners who are offered their freedom in exchange for using their… talents. It will follow their adventures through the Consortium as they help the company which has offered them this deal improve their standing within society.

If they do enough, they will be given new identities and set free, and as they achieve success they are given more tangible perks, such as good meals and better living quarters!

It’s said no-one escapes Sirona. Of course, if they aren’t prisoners any more, it wouldn’t really be escaping, right?

 

EGG – What inspired the idea that the Consortium would have something between a chain gang and DC’s Suicide Squad in the form of the Sirona Specials?

ED JOWETT – That’s quite simple – companies in the Consortium are all always vying for power. Crone Correction holds some of the true masters of their craft – the people who were good enough to commit crimes to the extent that a sentence on Sirona was the only way to keep them out of circulation.

I find it hard to believe that Crone Correction, even though it is mandated to exist by the Consortium Charter, is satisfied with its position. The leaders of the company want what every CEO in the Consortium wants: more power… and they wouldn’t be afraid to use the assets they have to achieve it!

To me, this was a logical step, and I was glad to run into someone else who agreed it was a fun idea for an RPG campaign!

[Editor’s Note: Egg is the someone else. Egg is proud to be the someone else. Victory = Egg!]

 

EGG – As the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2?

ED JOWETT – I’m going to highlight two, but for a good reason!

If you‘ve never heard of Era: The Consortium before, then you can get hold of everything that exists for Era: The Consortium (currently 11 books, with an additional one unlocked by each Stretch Goal!) with several of the tiers in this Kickstarter.

To those people, I’d recommend the £40 tier, Katana Unit, because I think that nothing beats holding the book in your hands when you’re playing these games. The games are available in Digital only, as well, of course.

If you’re an Era: The Consortium veteran, I’d say you can’t go wrong with the other £40 tier, Scimitar Unit, which offers all newly unlocked expansions in Digital Format, along with your choice of 3 in Paperback! This includes not only the new expansions, but also the older ones as well, so you can get hold of A New Dawn, Revival and Free Trader if you like (for example!).

 

EGG – Recently, Shades of Vengeance attended MCM Comicon, what games did you demonstrate while you were there? How was the response to them? And what upcoming conventions will you attend?

ED JOWETT – We had an absolute blast at MCM Comicon – I don’t think we’ve ever sat down so many people at our gaming tables over a weekend!

We demonstrated all of our games: Era: The Consortium, Era: Lyres, Era: The Empowered, Era: Survival, Era: Silence, Era: Hitman and Era: Balam, as well as both of our card games, Champion of Earth and Evil Overlord’s prototype!

We had an overwhelmingly positive response, which is always inspiring to see, but the best thing is always when we see people who had never heard of roleplaying or didn’t really think they would ever try it sit down and play, and instantly fall in love! I know that my team loves running these conventions as much as the players enjoy attending and trying out whatever we have new – we certainly have a lot of “repeat offenders” these days, who remember us from previous conventions and came searching for us!

We’ve got a couple more this year, AetherCon is this weekend and we will be there inside the virtual environments they are offering! We will be running three games – one of Era: The Consortium, which is full, along with one of Era: Lyres and one of Era: The Empowered.

It’s actually a fantastic time to join us for games, because it’s something that is totally virtual and we play via Google Hangout, so you can join us from the comfort of your own living room!

If you’d like to join us, you can grab a free ticket for the games here:

Era: Lyres (Friday): http://aethercon.com/ACEventMan/Tickets/viewevent.asp?EventID=137

Era: The Empowered (Saturday): http://aethercon.com/ACEventMan/Tickets/viewevent.asp?EventID=136

We’ll also be doing an entire segment on what’s coming in the future for us! If you want to know more about what we have planned for the Era universe, you can join us for here: http://aethercon.com/ACEventMan/Tickets/viewevent.asp?EventID=39

Beyond AetherCon, we have Dragonmeet in London to finish off our year! That’s at the start of December, and we’ll be there demonstrating all the games we have, as usual!

 

EGG – Since I have you here and we talked about Era: Balam last time, how would you rate the outcome of that Kickstarter in terms of fan response and what you delivered?

ED JOWETT – Interestingly, the primary response that I’ve heard to Era: Balam is how interested people are to integrate the rules into Era: The Consortium‘s gameplay!

The Era d10 version of Era: Balam has been received very well, with about 75% of people who backed the Kickstarter choosing to receive it. I think, overall, the project has been a great success, as well as proof that Era: The Consortium does still have more things that could be done, if people think there is more that could be added!

 

EGG – Era: The Consortium has received a great deal of praise, what’s the quote that gives you the warm and fuzzies as a creator?

ED JOWETT – Oh, that’s easy. There’s a review that was done very early on by RPG Knights who really inspired me to continue. In the low moments, I come back to it – I figure if one person likes the game this much, there will be others who like it just as much as well!

“It is literally the best sci-fi Role Playing Game I have ever seen and hence Era The Consortium is the game that I have been looking for.”

http://rpgknights.com/era-the-consortium-a-review/

 

EGG – What other RPG projects are you currently developing for Shades of Vengeance?

ED JOWETT – I currently have 9 active RPG projects! I can’t talk about all of them, but here’s what I can say!

The Core Rulebook for Era: The Empowered is close to completion. We expect to have all of the writing and artwork completed by the end of the year. That means we’re going to be looking closely at launching early next year on Kickstarter. This Core Rulebook will include the full character creation rules (which I finished writing on Saturday!), along with a complete history and multiple different types of superhero sub-genres to explore!

Era: The Chosen is something I’ve been working on for a while now (I recently realized I actually started artwork for it in January, although it had a bit of a break mid-year!). I also expect that to be done by the end of the year, and it is a bit of a race between Empowered and Chosen to see which one will get out first. Era: The Chosen is a Horror RPG – think Dr Who meets Turok 2: horrible creatures are snatching people from our world… will you be able to stop them? It also features some brand new rules around being terrified!

We’re also working on two high fantasy games with very different aims, which I expect to get at least one of finished this year. We’re working on a cyberpunk game, inspired by the Matrix, where you can actually modify reality as you travel through it…

And the last one I can talk about for now is one which is inspired by Final Fantasy in particular and JRPGs in general. I’m working with the talented Mr Mark Miller on the levelling up methods in order to get them nice and authentic with the correct feel.

There is one other game that I am not currently at liberty to announce… but I will be in 3 more days! Please join us at the AetherCon panel about what is to come to find out more [here].

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Ed Jowett and Shades of Vengeance?

ED JOWETT – You can find us at www.shadesofvengeance.com , where our news is always kept up to date. You can also look for us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/shadesofvengeance/) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/Shades_of_Venge). Finally, you can follow us on Kickstarter (and if you want to know what’s just become available, that’s the best place!): https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/shadesofvengeance/about

I’d like to thank everyone for reading! I hope to see you at Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 [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 on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Mythic d6, NPC for Hire, Praxis: Black Monk, and Confronting Hastur

This week there are four games that struck my fancy. One gets at something I always want to push – diversity in gaming. It’s important to expand the industry by making everyone welcome at the gaming table and that starts with settings that appeal to all walks of life. Other games on the list look at Great Old Ones in 5e, varieties of games, and collections of NPCs. Read on to see what speaks to you.

 


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

 

Dark Naga – Confronting Hastur for 5th Edition by Dark Naga Adventures (Kevin Watson)
Ends on .

“A non-linear adventure in the classic Sandbox style where the party (Level 10-11) opposes the followers of a Lovecraftian Old One

About This Project
About This Project

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

The Premise  

About a year after the events of The City of Talos, the characters return to the city of Meawold as part of their travels, and they are contacted by Cora, an agent of Talos. She wants the party members to accept a mission to investigate several leaders of the Meawold community to find the person or persons who are part of a newly risen cult of Hastur. The augers of Talos have sensed someone near Meawold is reaching out to Hastur, and appears to be preparing a vessel to hold an aspect of Hastur. Cora has a list of people she has observed behaving oddly who have the means to further a cultist plot. The party members are to investigate these people, identify the person or persons who are involved, and destroy the cult and their vessel before an aspect can be pulled across time and space.”

Potential Cover for DNH4-Confronting Hastur
Potential Cover for DNH4-Confronting Hastur

 

Wanna-lancer* Rewards:

“Pledge $100 or more / $200 or more
Involved Naga / Committed Naga

Both levels get all of the physical and digital rewards as well as:

… you will enjoy limited participation by naming and describing an NPC (subject to Head Naga final approval).

Committed Naga also includes:

This level also takes things a few steps further by having the NPC you helped develop crystallized with a B&W drawing. The art blends the description with your likeness (or a likeness of someone you want to immortalize). There are some Terms and Condition details on this item.”

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Need a 5e adventure with some Great Old Ones for your table? Is your table ready to take down a cult? Want to design an NPC for this adventure so it feels more like your own? Dark Naga has you covered with this one. On the surface, it’s what you expect but it’s also what you want at the table. This is going to be a fun adventure no matter how you look at it.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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MYTHIC D6- The Role-playing Game by Khepera Publishing
Ends on .

“MYTHIC D6 is a dice-based tabletop RPG created to play heroic action adventure in your genre of choice.

MYTHIC D6 is a dice-based tabletop role playing game created to play heroic action adventure in your genre of choice. The spiritual successor of the D6 Legends games system produced by West End Games, it, and the game worlds it supports, opens new options and opportunities for playing across a wide spectrum of genres. Incorporating 20 years of innovation into a tried and true system gives gamers ultimate flexibility when looking for a transparent and intuitive system.

The MYTHIC D6, a 250-page softcover book that includes: 

  • A complete rule set for use with any super heroic action genre.
  • Flexible character creation.
  • Rules for super human powers.
  • Gadgetry rules.
  • A complete sample game world called Project Mythic!

 The writing, testing and basic layout are done.  

The game is done, its ready to go. All I need are the resources to print it and pay for art, shipping and marketing. The game is a reality, but YOU can make it better. I want this project to be the premier flagship for the future of D6 gaming and I can do that with the generous resources you will hopefully provide.

 A Fully Realized Setting!
Superheroes vs Monsters! This is the world of Mythic, a world where super human heroes battle the forces of a shadowy dimensional incursion while dealing with infighting and betrayals that threaten to tear their lives apart. Until recently Earth’s history was pretty much as we know it today. With one exception…

With the barrier between our dimension and the Otherlands weakened, things leaked from the dark dimension into Earth’s reality; not only monsters and cryptids but also spirits and dark emotional energy.

Into the mix comes the Institute, a shadowy organization with its origins in project Warhorse, the government program that succeeded in creating metahumans during World War 2. The Institute has set itself up to fight the invasion, bringing to bear superhumans it created for just this purpose.”

Bastion
(A MYTHIC D6 fantasy game world)
$30,000
A dark Afrocentric sword and soul post-apocalyptic fantasy game set in a world on the brink of ultimate annihilation. Heroes take on the roles of the Fihankra, warriors with the mission of delivering the city of Bastion and its people from the vile machinations of the Overfiend. (Think Stephen King’s The Mist, Merv Peake’s Gormenghast mashed together with Charles R. Saunders’ Imaro)

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

“Pledge $200 or more
5D6

PDF and PRINT copy of the MYTHIC D6 roleplaying game.

Plus, all the reached Stretch Goals in PDF and Print.

Create a signature NPC or monster to be part of one of the game background in the book.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I work for EN World because I believe in their missiondiversity in gaming. That mission is why I want this campaign to reach its stretch goal and unleash Bastion on the gaming world! “A dark Afrocentric sword and soul post-apocalyptic fantasy game set in a world on the brink of ultimate annihilation.” As a setting, this would be an exciting gaming option for fantasy RPG. It’s a distant stretch goal but one I’m hoping they achieve because, combined with the 5D6 backer level that allows you to create a NPC or monster, this game and world will shine that much more!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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NPC For Hire: Heroes & Villains by Knights of Vasteel
Ends on .

“The masterfully illustrated tabletop RPG aid is back to bring you majestic heroes and epic villains.

We are the Knights of Vasteel. We are on a mission to create premium tools and accessories for tabletop RPGs that meld the physical and digital worlds into one seamless experience. NPC For Hire: Heroes & Villains is the next step on our journey.

What is NPC For Hire?

*Heroes & Villains art is still pending
*Heroes & Villains art is still pending

NPC For Hire is a deck of 52 cards with beautiful hand-drawn portraits of fantasy folk. At this point, we now have 3 editions of NPC For Hire:

Heroes and Villains

This campaign will add the 4th edition to the NPC For Hire family. We are proud to introduce Heroes & Villains. The money raised from this Kickstarter will fund the artwork, development, and shipping of these decks.

A lot of people have been asking for more heroes and villains to be included and as we’ve used NPC For Hire in our own campaigns, we found that we wholeheartedly agree! We decided to dedicate an entire edition to heroes and villains. This is what the breakdown of portraits will be on the deck:

  • 40 Villains
  • 12 Heroes

Notice that the majority of this deck will be of villainous NPCs. That’s because a great deal of our current NPC portraits can be used in a heroic role while not many can be used in a villainous role. By adding more portraits specifically tailored as villains, it will help balance things out. With that being said, we did feel that we were missing some of those more majestic heroes so we wanted to include a few in this edition as well.

If you want to see some of the artwork for previous editions, you can visit our Facebook page or our previous Kickstarters.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

With the growing ranks of the NPCs from the Knights of Vasteel projects, they’re getting close to populating a setting and that makes this a cool project. Add in the killer art and, if you need NPCs, this is an excellent set.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Praxis: Black Monk by Post World Games
Ends on .

“Five tabletop roleplaying games set in the twisted world of the immortal and unknowable black monk, who offers salvation… at a price.

The Black Monk is a series of five games set in a strange fantasy world where time means nothing anymore. Each game is set in a unique part of a desolate world, with strange characters passing the time until the Black Monk visits.

In between these visits, the character’s lives are interrupted by sometimes trivial and other times confusing events. Everything seems to fit together like an elongated jigsaw puzzle, but no one can see the starter pieces stretching across the horizon.

But they don’t complain. There is always more work. The village needs workers.

Then one evening, the sun stayed in the sky all day. When there should have been night, the sun remained. And now it feels as though it’s been years since the Black Monk came. But perhaps it was yesterday. Nothing is right…

Is that blood?

The first Black Monk game was written a year ago and is available online. For completion’s sake, it is available through this kickstarter as well.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

I backed Post World Games/Jim Pinto’s “The $1 Play What You Want Mystery Campaign RPG Project” and I have more than gotten my dollar’s worth of entertainment from it (plus PDFs and, of course, the forthcoming game). The title of my favorite update on the dollar project was “it’s 3am. do you know where your dollar is?”

How does that project relate to Jim’s current campaign? I have not gotten my $1 game yet, but I have gotten more entertainment than you can buy for a buck. If I’m tickled pink with an undelivered project, imagine how good this one could be since, you know, parts of it are already up and running here. This is going to be a winning project.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!

 

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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 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).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT A Far Off Land WITH Megan Bennett-Burks (Bennett-Burks Design)

Megan Bennett-Burks of Bennett-Burks Design agreed to answer some questions about her Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. We discuss the free preview, her company, and this RPG involving planewalking characters as they drive the destinies of two worlds.

 


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

 

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Megan. Let’s talk about your Kickstarter, A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. What is it about?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – Thank you! A Far Off Land is an RPG for Fate Core, it is about people called the Fated, which are demigod-like shapeshifters that travel between two different worlds. One world is essentially our own (deceptively mundane) reality and the other is the fantastic Far Off Land of eldritch beings. The focus is on the drama that goes on between the various organizations with an interest in The Fated and the fate of the two worlds. Ultimately the PCs can push the world towards the future their faction envisions, or rebel against that.

 

EGG – This game is for the FATE system, or it can be used as a system agnostic setting. What made FATE work for this world? Why suggest it as a non-FATE option?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – Fate is the most natural fit for this game; it is layered in such a way that it can be picked up as a very light system, and then once someone is more comfortable they can add more to it. It also is meant for new settings to be built based on the rules, and its systems for stunts and aspects make this work excellent. It also tends to work ideally for larger than life characters.

It is definitely built for Fate; there is however, a lot of setting material, and you don’t have to use the rules to use that, especially if you want to use another relatively light-to-medium system. I could see someone perhaps using it with RISUS or even something like Savage Worlds. I do think it would take rather a lot of effort to make it work with something like D&D 5e or Pathfinder though for example.

 

EGG – Let’s talk about your stretch goal to make the game available for Apocalypse World / Powered by the Apocalypse system. As above, what makes PbtA the right expansion for this setting? FATE, system agnostic, and PbtA, are there any more systems you’re considering?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – A lot of why I want to use PbtA is because I currently have a bit of, well, a crush on the system really. I’ve been home-brewing like mad with it. It’s a lot easier to make new settings and rules with than it might initially look, and it works excellent whether you want to build a game using Playbooks, straight up character classes, or just have players pick from a selection of abilities. We’ll probably use playbooks because I think there will be plenty of concepts in A Far Off Land that will fit perfectly with that. I also think the concept of Moves and how they give the games built in PbtA just so much flavor will really help emphasize certain aspects of the game that need it.

 

Ankou by Gennifer Bone

EGG – I’m fond of this question – When Russ Morrissey of EN World, the ENnie Awards, WOIN, and more asked what’s the best way to gauge how the pre-marketing for a crowdfunding was progressing, Owen KC Stephens (Design Lead for Starfinder) offered “I find downloads of free preview PDFs on DriveThru to be a pretty good predictor.” You have a free preview onRPGNow/DriveThruRPG, A Far Off Land – Preview. Was it up before your KS launched? And how has it “tracked” since the campaign got underway?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – I did place it up before I launched the campaign, but, just barely. It’s tracked very well, but to be honest, most free previews seem to do very well on DriveThruRPG, so I think I need to see more research on how different ones compare, and what that really means.

 

EGG – What’s been the reaction to A Far Off Land – Preview, and the Kickstarter in general?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – So far it’s been really good. When I first placed it up, it was on G+ and not DriveThruRPG (though I only waited maybe a few days until I placed it up there), and people liked it but found it was lacking some things it needed. The suggestions I got for what it needed were very specific so that was good.

 

Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone

EGG – In your opinion, what’s the best backer reward that you’re offering through this campaign?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – The hardcover books, they always look great, and all the ones I’ve gotten from DriveThruRPG have been hardy as well. The quality from what I’ve gathered has just continued to climb on DriveThru as well.

 

EGG – You’re offering several rewards that let you create content for your game, and I’m a big fan of vanity press/wanna-lancer* rewards. Tell us about what the backers can create?

*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.

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – There’s options to create monsters, magical artifacts, a character (which will also get you a custom character sheet for it), a Eldritch Court (which is a type of organization for the game), or finally a whole realm/location for the game. They all come with an illustration of the creation as well, and the backer gets to choose which of our artists does the illustration (dependent on artist availability, but we will try to give backer illustrations priority).

 

Air element Fated by Gennifer Bone

EGG – Tell us a little about you and what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – Rifts, that was the first RPG I ever played. My memories of my first Rifts games are fuzzy to say the least, but, I picked it back up again years later. I LOVE multiverse settings, which should show here, and that my favorite setting is Planescape.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Bennett-Burks Design?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – I freelance as a programmer and web-designer, and wanted to make sure I was doing that legitimately so formed a sole proprietorship. Honestly, I didn’t even think about making a separate company for my RPG books, so I’ve just put everything under one umbrella.

 

Hatters Court Member by Tanyaporn Sangsnit

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – Beyond this one, I have Oneiros: Five Dragons on the back burner. I placed the early access on DriveThruRPG, and plan to return to it, but, it’s a free supplement that I’m really doing for fun. I also have some other projects planned for the future, one of which will be for PbtA and preliminary I’m calling Fennel Witches. It is about the Benandanti and will deal with a lot of Italian folklore, small town weirdness, and coven oriented game-play. Right now I’m just doing research for it, and that will be the case likely for some time.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Bennett-Burks Design?

MEGAN BENNETT-BURKS – My G+ page right now is the best place, I’m very active on there.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MeganBennettBurks

And DriveThruRPG:
http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8639/BennettBurks-Design

I will eventually overhaul my company website. But, I spend a lot more time working on other people’s sites, so much I have no time for my own!

For A Far Off Land there’s also this: http://farofflandrpg.com/

 

Try the free preview of A Far Off Land – Preview here.

You can support the Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds here.

Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone

 

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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 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).

HALLOWEEN TREAT – 11 QUESTIONS ABOUT AMP Year Four WITH Eloy Lasanta (Third Eye Games)

Winner of multiple RPG awards, including a 2017 ENnie, Eloy Lasanta is one of the busiest individuals in gaming. Running Third Eye Games, he has projects in the works and Kickstarter and has just joined John Wick Presents as their financial manager. I reviewed his Pip System RPG on EN World (here) and his current Kickstarter for AMP: Year Four (here) and, for the Halloween holiday, he agreed to answer a few of my questions about his Kickstarter, his company, and his free AMP: Year One Quickstart!

 


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

 

EGG EMBRY – Eloy, I know you have a lot going on so thanks for doing this interview. You’re working on your Kickstarter for AMP: Year Four – The Year of the Invasion – Tabletop RPG. Tell us about this story?

ELOY LASANTA – It all began with AMP: Year One, where I decided to start my own supers mythos and create a new world that is reminiscent of tropes and ideas we’re used to out of our darker hero/villain stories, but adding in my own flair of the dramatic. There are a few key players in the world, but it’s set up for the players and their characters to steal the show in the end.

The story of AMP breaks down what happens when people start developing powers, basically, today! The timeline starts in 2015, which each new book we’ve released advancing the story. You find out what caused AMPs to occur in the world, and why they are a phenomenon right now.

Several groups, we call them Affiliations, pop up as well, all tackling the issue in their own way. Characters like Doctor Luminous and Critter form the Seekers of Enlightenment, trying to figure out what’s going on from a scientific perspective. Typhoon learns out to leverage superpowers to cause chaos and usurp power. The Changelings run and hide from the problem, but help their fellow AMPs escape persecution. Other groups, like the United Human Front, are built up as villains in the setting, but are presented as playable options too, just in case you want to tell stories of hunting down AMPs instead of being AMPs yourself.

There are a lot of layers to the game. I could go on forever.

 

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

EGG – This Kickstarter is for the fourth year of this series, what made you decide on a multi-part game like this?

ELOY LASANTA – Insanity! But no seriously, I wanted to do a game in a way I hadn’t seen before. Breaking the books into years, and presenting the next installment each time with expanded stories, escalating dilemmas, and dynamic characters, has been a lot of fun. It’s been an exercise in keeping track of characters and storylines, not unlike what the comic industry has to deal with, I assume.

 

EGG – In your wildest dreams, where does AMP go in terms of longevity? AMP Year Ten? Year Fifty? And if it goes that far, will a player need to start with Year One and play up to the current timeline?

ELOY LASANTA – I have a 5 year plan for the AMP gameline too, which means we’re almost done with the official story. Then we’ll be working on expanding the world and player options out even more. I have a ton of ideas, from “what if” books to alternate timelines, to adding more groups and characters into the mix. There are a lot of possibilities to explore within the AMP setting.

 

EGG – This game uses an original system, can you give us a quick rundown of it?

ELOY LASANTA – Sure! It uses the DGS-Combo system, utilizing a single d20 for all checks. There are no Attributes; instead, you have a list of 22 Skills and you combine them to get your bonuses. For instance, if you wanted to fix a computer, your take your values for Crafts (for knowing how to fix) and your Technology (for what you’re fixing) and add them to your d20 roll against a target number (10, 20, 30, 40, respectively). Your chosen powers actually become a part of this sequence many times, adding Earth + Fighting or Awareness + Perception at times.

Unlike a lot of other supers games out there, AMP isn’t a toolkit, build-your-own power sets, kind of game. Instead, we supply you with over 50 different powers in the corebook, and even more from the other books that have come out. You can pick up to 3 and explore their combos and abilities within them. If you have Air Control, for instance, you can create electric fists, gusts of wind, and fly. You don’t need to take the flight power, unless you want to be a really amazing flier.

 

EGG – I’ve started asking this – When Russ Morrissey of EN World, the ENnie Awards, WOIN, and more asked what’s the best way to gauge how the pre-marketing for a crowdfunding was progressing, Owen KC Stephens (Design Lead for Starfinder) offered “I find downloads of free preview PDFs on DriveThru to be a pretty good predictor.” You have a free preview on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, AMP: Year One Quickstart. That’s been up since the first Kickstarter, correct? How has it done for you over the years in promotional terms?

ELOY LASANTA – It’s been up actually just since the beginning of 2017. I only just now got on the QuickStart train that everyone else has been riding for years. So far, though, around 500 downloads. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad number, but there it is. 🙂

 

EGG – In your opinion, what’s the best backer reward that you’re offering through this campaign?

ELOY LASANTA – Well, that’s an easy one… the $325 tier that not only lets you make a character, but we’ll also write up a part of the book where they make a contribution to the world. There is a tier to just make a character and just be a part of the story, but this one combines them both. They are always really fast to go, and we only have a limited number.

If you’re not into those types of backer rewards, we do offer the Story So Far tiers (in either PDF or Print) for you to get all the books up to Year 4. This gives you the complete story and all the player options in those books (there are a lot more). But it’s a great place to start!

 

EGG – You’re offering to let some backers create content for your RPG. That speaks to my love of vanity press/wanna-lancer* rewards. Tell us about what the backers can create?

*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.

ELOY LASANTA – We have major characters in the story that backers made up. For instance, Shell was a backer character from Year One that has evolved into a major player all the way through Year 3 and the catalyst for Year 4. Backers get to make a character using the corebook and the new rules from whatever book we’re working on; in this case, that’s AMP: Year Four, which means they’ll be able to take advantage of the new magic rules and powers available.

 

EGG – Tell us a little about you and what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

ELOY LASANTA – More about me? I’m pretty boring. I’m married with 3 kids in Florida. I’m a huge fan of superhero movies and supernatural TV shows (though, oddly enough, not Supernatural). Most of my time is spent either playing or designing RPGs, though. It’s kind of my passion, and I usually have like 5 projects ongoing at any given time, because I’m a masochist.

I got into the hobby with RIFTS and eventually moved on to White Wolf games and then became quite the polygamerous player, bouncing from system to system and setting to setting. I’ve never settled on one perfect game, not even my own. I’m a fan of trying everything the hobby has to offer.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Third Eye Games?

ELOY LASANTA – 2008… Wow! it’s been such a long time!

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

ELOY LASANTA – I’m currently working on three secret projects called Project Moon, Project Needle, and Project Door (and I just added another, but it doesn’t have a designation at the moment), but the ones in the open are AMP: Year Four and A Kid’s Guide to Monster Hunting, both of which I’m very much excited for.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Third Eye Games?

ELOY LASANTA – You can always visit http://thirdeyegames.net for more info, and from there you an get to our G+ communities, FB pages, and the like. We’re always creating new things, so come and see if any of it strikes your fancy.

Thanks for having me!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here. the campaign ends on Friday, November 3 2017 2:00 PM EDT.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

5 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – 7th Sea: Khitai, Symbaroum, Outbreak: Undead, CATaclysm, and more

Answer – “7th Sea, another Swedish RPG, undead, and cats!”

Alex, the question is – What are fun RPG Kickstarters to review?

It’s Halloween, let’s countdown a number of RPG treats!

 


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

 

5) SYMBAROUM – Monster Codex by Järnringen
Ends on Wed, November 8 2017 11:00 AM EST.

“Support our effort to breath life (and darkness) into the Symbaroum Monster Codex, made simultaneously in English and Swedish.

Ever since we started thinking and talking about what eventually became Symbaroum, we knew that we wanted to make a bestiary. We still consider the one we did back in 2003, for our first RPG Mutant: Undergångens arvtagare (Heirs of Doom), to be one of the best products we ever made. Obviously, we aim for this one to be even better, in all respects – more artistic, more inspiring and more useful at the gaming table.

At the moment we have a rough draft of the entire text and the work of producing illustrations and graphical elements has begun. During the winter we will put our new baby monsters to the test, in order to tweak the stats and fine-tune their new monstrous traits. Simultaneously, the drafts will turn into print-ready texts and the sketches will mature into polished illustrations. Our aim is to release the Swedish version in April 2018, and the English one no more than two months later (the extra time to be used for text polish and proofreading).

Will the iconic Colossi be thoroughly described in the Monster Codex? Well, of course, and here is the (work-in-progress) illustration to prove it!

Will the iconic Colossi be thoroughly described in the Monster Codex? Well, of course, and here is the (work-in-progress) illustration to prove it!

We have taken this project to Kickstarter for three main reasons, namely in the hope of:

  • Funding the time needed to turn our drafts into print-ready texts and images
  • Funding the postproduction and printing of the Symbaroum Monster Codex
  • Making even more gamers aware of Symbaroum and giving newcomers a chance to join in the adventure

Regarding #3, the campaign features two pledge levels that make it possible to pledge for a printed copy of the Core Rulebook and get it delivered long before the Monster Codex (that is, the shipping amount includes two deliveries – one shortly after the campaign has ended, and one when the Monster Codex is done (see the FAQ section for details).

So, for those who have not heard about the game, what is Symbaroum? This ENnie and Origins nominated game was first launched in Swedish, in July 2014. About one year later, in November 2015, the English edition of the Core Rulebook was introduced – first as an eBook, later available in print from Järnringen and Modiphius, and finally it reached retailers all around the world in April 2016. Licensing deals are already in place and before New Year’s Symbaroum will also be available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

The game’s originally from Sweden like  Tales From the Loop, Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis, and more. The core rulebook for Symbaroum snagged Origins and ENnie nominations. This campaign is to create a book of monsters. Look at the art and game, this is going to destroy at the gaming table.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) 7th Sea: Khitai by John Wick Presents
Ends on

“John Wick expands the award-winning world of 7th Sea into the Pacific Rim with a brand new 300-page, full color core rulebook!

A new STANDALONE RPG in the world of 7th Sea that expands the setting to new shores! Same game, but all-new Nations, Backgrounds, Advantages and Heroes!

Two years ago, 7th Sea: Second Edition broke every RPG record on Kickstarter. Now, 7th Sea: Khitai expands the world of Théah to the East, including new Nations like Fuso, Han and Shenzhou.

Khitai is full of fantastic surprises: monster-filled mountains and seas, where gods walk the earth and spirits communicate with healers and mystics through ancient relics and visions.

Twenty years ago, I helped tell the story of Rokugan’s Clan War in Legend of the Five Rings. It’s been a long time since I’ve explored that territory, and this time, we’re not just limited to Japan. We’ve been talking about how to approach the the Pacific Rim for a long time. Now, we’re ready to show you what we’ve been planning.

And if you want to look at 7th Sea: Khitai, you can download the Quickstart TODAY! It’s got all you need to try out the game, including characters, mechanics, and a starter adventure!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

7th Sea is the most-funded RPG on Kickstarter in history with 11,483 backers. The core rules won too many ENnie Awards to list. Now they’re expanding the universe to include their version of the Pacific Rim nations. Do you want to pirate in the East? Want to try before you plunder? Get the free 7th Sea: Khitai Quickstart here.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

3) Outbreak: Undead 2E – The Survival Horror Simulation RPG by Hunter Books
Ends on Mon, November 13 2017 9:00 AM EST.

“The 2nd edition to the cult Survival Horror RPG – Outbreak: Undead is here. Play Yourself as a Character and test your Survival Plan!

The Survivor's Guide and Gamemaster's Guide.
The Survivor’s Guide and Gamemaster’s Guide.

THE NEXT CHAPTER to the AWARD WINNING Zombie Survival Simulation RPG!

Outbreak: Undead.. is the ENnie award-winning RPG that first premiered at GenCon 2010 as the very first Zombie Survival Simulation RPG. The game debuted to a wide audience gaining popularity with both Role Players as well as the Zombie/Survivalist community, obtaining a ‘PLATINUM SELLER’ status on DTRPG.

Over 7 years ago we told people YOUR ZOMBIE SURVIVAL PLAN WILL FAIL, and asked you to PROVE US WRONG. Many of you did, but CAN YOU SURVIVE the next stage?

The stuttering of the generator shakes the machine violently, its last bit of gas rings in the background, while the lights flicker as you enter the sub-basement of the hospital. You came here looking for antibiotics, but there is something else here...
The stuttering of the generator shakes the machine violently, its last bit of gas rings in the background, while the lights flicker as you enter the sub-basement of the hospital. You came here looking for antibiotics, but there is something else here…

Back in 2015, we took our first step into bringing 2nd Edition to life with the Starter Kit on Kickstarter, now we want YOU to be part of the journey to bring the 2nd Edition CORE RULES to print.

Help bring 2nd Edition to (Un)Life with Kickstarter!  

OU2E will feature TWO 350 page full-color hardback books – one focused towards Survivors, aptly tilted the SURVIVORS GUIDE. While the second is geared more towards the Gamemaster, also aptly titled the GAME MASTERS GUIDE. 

Want to learn more? Grab a FREE COPY of our Quick Start Rules and learn more about Outbreak: Undead!
Want to learn more? Grab a FREE COPY of our Quick Start Rules and learn more about Outbreak: Undead!

 

These two books layout three levels of realism (rules) that in the end cover EVERYTHING to play the most realistic, survival horror game of your own design (while still in the safety of your own home).

Want to see a preview of what to expect? Download our QSG (Quick Start Guide) to see the art/layout/presentation of the rules.

Outbreak: Undead.. is Survival Horror simulation-based RPG, focusing on practical experience – and scarcity of resources rather than sensationalist hero fulfillment. The game asks you not ‘IF’ you are going to die, but ‘WHEN’.

St. Louis in Ruins...
St. Louis in Ruins…

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

It’s the right time of year for this (this article debuted on Halloween day, 2017). The subject matter for the game is good and the game’s won an ENnie Award. Want to perfect your zombie survival plan? This lets you give it a dry run. Try the Outbreak: Undead 2nd Ed – Quick Start Guide for free here.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) On the Shoulders of Giants: An OSR RPG Setting by Lernaean Studio
Ends on Mon, November 13 2017 11:16 AM EST.

“A weird fantasy third party setting written for both Lamentations of the Flame Princess and The Black Hack, as well as most OSR RPGs.

In the beginning, there were twelve gods: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysus. Each of the gods was one hundred times a man in every way, in wisdom, intellect, and strength. But their bloodlust, rage, and pride were also one hundred times that of a man, and the gods began to recognize faults in every other, perceiving themselves to be the only perfect god. And each, to cleanse the universe of such faults, waged war against the other gods. After this deific combat, only Apollo was left standing, and, confronted with one hundred times the melancholy of a regular mortal, he plunged a dagger through his own heart, killing the last of the gods. Yet their godly corpses still floated through the ether and, from the maggots infesting them, the twelve peoples were born, with different aptitudes and tenets based on the corpse they once fed upon. In this way were the peoples and their homes created.

The transition isn't always painless...
The transition isn’t always painless…

 

About On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants is a setting source book for James Raggi’s Lamentations of the Flame Princess and for David Black’s The Black Hack. It contains four new classes: the Conspirator, the Corpse Worker, the Prize Fighter, and the Witchdoctor, for both systems. The Conspirator is a leader, the person behind the throne, they devise insane plans that somehow succeed. The Corpse Worker is a hardy miner, extracting the humors and metals from the divine Bodies. The Prize Fighter is a gladiator or a mercenary, just fighting to get paid at the end of the day. The Witchdoctor is a healer or surgeon, using the divine humors in mystical ways through experiments. All four of the classes are provided for both the Black Hack and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Besides the classes, monsters from the Twelve Bodies, random tables to aid the Referee, equipment for the players, and other materials are contained in this booklet.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Want to run an OSR adventure (specifically for Lamentations of the Flame Princess or The Black Hack)? This adventure has you covered. What’s it about? The maggots of the gods!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

1) CATaclysm: the RPG of Feline Proportions by Akinji Entertainment Inc.
Ends on Mon, November 13 2017 11:16 AM EST.

“This is an RPG for both cat lovers and roleplaying enthusiasts alike. CATaclysm is purrfect for players of all levels and ages!

This is an RPG for both cat lovers and roleplaying enthusiasts alike. CATaclysm is purrfect for players of all levels and ages!

Our goal with CATaclysm is to create an easy-to-learn action-packed tabletop role-playing game that places the fate of the world in the capable claws of furious feline fighters. In CATaclysm you play a Cat, not a Cat person. You think like a Cat. You act like a Cat. Because you are a Cat! The only difference between the Cats you play and your Cat at home is that the Cats of CATaclysm stand on two feet, wear clothes and armour, and swing axes into Rats, Toads, and Frogs. The Cats are aided by Meowgic, a mystic force that they have learned to harness and use to defend Cat civilization.

CATaclysm is a game created by Brent Logan and Shiraz Sheikh, and beautifully illustrated by Toma Feizo-Gas. Together they form Akinji Entertainment, and this is their very first RPG.

Da humanz iz ded. No moar fud for us. No moar scratchez for us. No moar protecshun frum teh outsides for us. We haz taken teh earth…

Catain Galileo Furrwhisker.

No Cat knows exactly how long it has been since the humans left, but one thing’s for sure, they left in a real hurry. The Cats can still see the majestic Human cities of glass and steel on the horizon on a clear day, but they dare not approach, not without protection. These places have become forbidden zones because they are filled with a mysterious and sinister evil: Miasma.

Miasma is a horrible, evil substance that eventually corrupts and destroys everything it touches… well almost everything. The despicable Rats, Toads, and Frogs feed off of Miasma, and it is even rumored that they can control it for their own nefarious ends. The Cats believe that Miasma is what chased the humans away in the first place, and now it is their responsibility to defend the world, and Mommy Nurtur, against it.

Although most animals have evolved into sophisticated, intelligent beings, Cats have been given a very special gift from Mommy Nurtur that singles them out from all the other creatures: Meowgic. This mystical force is where the Cats draw their power – the source of their nine lives. As their birthright, all Cats can use Meowgic, however some breeds are more attuned to its power than others.

Feline society is quite complex. Cats are tribal, living in large societies known as clowders which are based on their breed. As a player you choose to play a breed, of which 9 are the most common, each having their own special talents and gifts. The Maine Coons are a large warrior and seafaring breed who are at home both on land and in water; The slippery and sneaky Egyptian Mau have the fastest of cat-like reflexes, making them effective rogues and assassins; the bookish Persians have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge which sends them to the furthest corners of world in search for lore, and; the mysterious Manx are powerful Meowgicians that can manipulate Meowgic better than any other breed.

In recent years, Cats have become extremely curious of their origins and the fate of their ancient masters: the humans. The Cats do not worship humans (did they ever?) and were in fact quite indifferent to things human, however they now know that the key to understanding their place in the world is to uncover what happened to them. Cats now scour the world searching for ancient human lore and artifacts, going to great lengths to acquire them. The ancient Catains (the founders of the original 9 breeds) have left clues for later generations throughout the land of Cats and it is up to you, the Cat Hero, to find them!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

It’s a fantasy RPG named CATaclysm where the cat characters use MEOWgic or feats named:

  • CAT Burglar
  • CAT Got Your Tongue
  • CAT’s MEOW
  • CAT Out of the Bag
  • CAT Walk
  • CATerwauling
  • Cool CAT
  • CopyCAT
  • Curiosity Killed the CAT
  • HellCAT

If that and the art don’t decide your level of devotion to this project, try their free 52-page CATaclysm Preview Release here.

Want to know more about where this came from? Below is a note the art director sent me about the game:

“My name is Toma Feizo Gas, and I’m the Art Director for CATaclysm!, working with the two co-creators, Brent Logan and Shiraz Sheikh, and this is our debut RPG. We’ve spent the last two years developing and testing the game, and previewed the game to great enthusiasm at Gen Con for the last two shows. Our Kickstarter campaign funded in just under a week, and we are already moving into stretch goals. CATaclysm! is a post-human fantasy setting rpg, where cats have risen to become the dominant species on earth, establishing a grand civilisation. In our game you play feline heroes, band together to adventure while protecting mother, seek out ancient human relics and rare meowgic, and defeat the evil hoard of rats and toads that threaten feline peace everywhere. The game is designed to be an enticing entry into tabletop roleplaying games for first time players, while providing a full experience for long time rpg enthusiasts. There are two core elements to CATaclysm! that make it stand out from other rpgs: 1- Playing a cat isn’t just embodying anthro cats. Cat behaviour, philosophy and civilisation has evolved around innate cat behaviours and antics. Your cat hero is as much defined by their new found level of sentience, as those views and tropes that come from human perception and myths about cats. From laser pointers to dangly tassel play, from unlucky black cats to landing on your feet at all times – you feel a strong link to your ancient beginnings and the human guardians of past times. This encourages players who have and love cats to experience their beloved companions in a new way, while also creating a interesting new “race” experience for lovers of the fantasy genre. 2- The game uses a unique dial based mechanic as part of the Ph4se light system. The dial not only replaces tracking of life or “hit points,” but also provides a mechanic to link stress to gaming outcomes. Each time you are hit or stressed, you go up by one phase, until you finally hit death. The more stressed you are the more likely a strike could decimate you. Additionally, as you are cats and have 9 lives, every time you die, the mythic forces of meowgic resurrect you to venture forth once again. The dials and added lives have proven to be a big hit with our Gen Con play testers, who often shared that it heightened their experience, adding more drama and tension, as well as a relief from constantly watching numbers in an attempt to gauge negative outcomes from actions. It’s tactile nature and ease of use has definitely allowed players to focus on their roleplaying experience.

Cheers! Toma”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Seven Worlds WITH Luis Enrique Torres (Intellistories)

Hard science fiction in Savage Worlds by a Savage Worlds freelancer? I had a chance to talk with Luis Enrique Torres about his Kickstarter for Seven Worlds. Luis talks about why this Savage Worlds setting from an official Savage Worlds Licensee is doing so well and why you’ll want to check it out!

 


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

 

EGG EMBRY – Luis, thanks for offering to answer my questions. You have a Kickstarter up for your game, Seven Worlds – realistic science-fiction for Savage Worlds, can you share what is the setting about?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Egg, thanks for inviting me to chat at your blog! Seven Worlds is a science-fiction campaign and setting for the Savage Worlds roleplaying game. It’s for players who want to play an epic galaxy-shattering story reminiscent of TV shows like The Expanse, Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, with a healthy dose of gritty scientific realism.

And if you want to learn some fun and interesting scientific facts while you play, Seven Worlds is also for you!

 

EGG – You created this using the Savage Worlds ruleset, what makes this system right for your setting?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – I always knew I wanted the game to be based on a mature and reliable RPG system. It’s so easy to fall into the “I can create my own RPG system” trap and forget how difficult it is to get the balance and probabilities right… and to keep the game fun! Savage Worlds (and other open systems, such as FATE) has already been play tested for years by a huge community of fans, and has proven to be robust and fun. So designing Seven Worlds on top of such a ruleset gives players and GMs the peace of mind that the system will work beautifully.

Also, before creating Seven Worlds I have been a Savage Worlds freelancer for several years, working on modules for Sundered Skies, Daring Tales of the Space Lanes, as well as conversions for Achtung! Cthulhu and others, so I felt using that expertise for this game would give players and GMs confidence in the quality of the final product.

 

EGG – Let’s talk about 3D maps of the stars. Your campaign offers 3D star maps, how do you use them at the gaming table to enhance the experience?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – You know, space is three-dimensional and has no “up” or “down”, but a gamer surrounded by printed star maps of the kind provided by most space RPGs would be forgiven for forgetting that. As part of the goal of making Seven Worlds a unique, realistic experience for people who like their science, I thought it’d be cool to allow players and GMs to navigate space in 3D. So after modeling the universe of Seven Worlds (which, by the way, is using real official star maps, star names, star types and coordinates) I created a model that allows you to use a computer or tablet to “travel” in space.

The Seven Worlds 3-D star map uses a standard 3-D representation format called VRML, for which there are plug-ins and applications for many operating systems. The downloads page in the Seven Worlds web site contains not only the star map but also links to several popular VRML viewer applications.

One more thing about the star map: I have been careful to keep the 3-D star map a cool but optional part of the game. A perfectly-functional 2-D starmap is included in the main book and will very likely still be the most commonly used map for players and GMs.

 

EGG – Of the several Savage Worlds RPGs currently up on Kickstarter [some listed here], yours has drawn a number of backers and a healthy amount pledged so far. Do you have any thoughts on what makes Seven Worlds stand out?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – First of all, I think the success of Seven Worlds is due to a group of amazing and dedicated backers, of course, and I am immensely grateful to them. Per my calculations, as of today the Seven Worlds Kickstarter is in the top-five most successful Savage Worlds Kickstarters of the last five years that have not been run by Pinnacle (who are the creators of Savage Worlds, after all)… and we’ve still got 21 days to go!

The launch of the Seven Worlds Kickstarter was preceded by several months of announcements and community-building, sharing details of the setting, tools, character sheets, and of course the Seven Worlds Test Drive. Plus, we quickly got some amazing reviews from specialized outlets and gamers, and a well-regarded recognition award for scientific accuracy. My hope is that backers felt that we were trying to do good by them and cramming as much value as possible into the final product.

 

EGG – When Russ Morrissey of EN World, the ENnie Awards, WOIN, and more asked what’s the best way to gauge how the pre-marketing for a crowdfunding was progressing, Owen KC Stephens (Design Lead for Starfinder) offered “I find downloads of free preview PDFs on DriveThru to be a pretty good predictor.” You have a single, free RPG product on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, the Seven Worlds Test Drive. How did your test drive “track” for you before you launched your Kickstarter? How has it done since launching?

[EDITOR’S NOTE – Facebook conversations are wonderful for quotes.]

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – To be Frank, this is my first Kickstarter, so when I asked for feedback and advice, “get a test PDF onto DTRPG” was one of the first things I was told. And I agree with Russ, Owen and everyone else: Getting a taster of the product for free into people’s hands has been a great idea. In the first 24 hours we got more than 300 downloads, and currently we stand at just above 1,000 downloads so far. I find it humbling that so many people have shown interest in the game.

 

EGG – What’s been the reaction to the Seven Worlds Test Drive so far?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – The reaction has been awesome! The Test Drive has been reviewed, just like a fully release product. I have fielded rules questions and deep explanations, some playtest comments, and even now you can find virtual tabletop games being run using Fantasy Grounds and the Test Drive.

 

EGG – In your opinion, what’s the best backer reward that you’re offering through this campaign?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Not to sound cliché, but “the best backer reward” is not the one I think is best, but the one that YOU think that’s best for you. I tried to keep things focused on my backers and reasoned that backers can either be players or GMs; and they can either like their books in digital (PDF) or printed book format. By that reasoning four very clear, backer-centric levels surface: Digital Player, Print Player, Digital GM and Print GM. So those are the backer rewards I created. Since there’s two books in the game I created a special tier for GMs who want to save costs by having the core book physical and the GM book digital. And that’s it! Judging from backer response I guess we made the right choice.

Regarding stretch goals, I hope the 1”-grid-scale battle maps are useful to as many people as possible. I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed a battle-map for a game, so I hope giving battle-maps helps players and GMs even if they don’t want to use them with Seven Worlds.

 

EGG – Tell us a little about you and what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Sure! Like most of us I got started with one of the old D&D boxes in the 1980’s, and played until I finished high-school. After college I wanted to get back into gaming but found that the then-current D&D 3.5 required too much time investment, and as a new father I did not have the time. So I guess in that sense Savage Worlds made me a gamer again, by offering me a rules system I could quickly grasp and use, and that I could re-use no matter what type of game I’d like to play.

My day job is as a computer software architect. I guess being around technology and hearing about machine learning and artificial intelligence all day long played a part in creating the vision of future technology that is in Seven Worlds.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Intellistories?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – As the name implies, the push behind Intellistories was to create games that allowed you to live a deep, engaging, thought-provoking story. I believe that roleplaying games are the best medium for that, and thus plan to continue exploring it with other products via Intellistories.

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Right now I’m fully focused on Seven Worlds, making sure it launches successfully and then giving all backers the best product possible. After that, I have several ideas in the backburner. There have been requests for a translation of the game to other languages; I also deliberately left a couple of loose ends in the campaign, and I might try to explore them with new products for the line; finally, I am in the beginning stages of planning a set of novels based on the Seven Worlds setting. So stay tuned!

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Intellistories?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – You can find more about Intellistories at http://www.intellistories.com and http://www.SevenWorldsRPG.com. Again, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to share all of this with you and your readers. And I’d like to invite your readers to support the Seven Worlds Kickstarter at http://Kickstarter.SevenWorldsRPG.com. There are still many stretch goals to be unlocked on the way to our main target: A full print run of Seven Worlds, which will allow hundreds or thousands of fans to get the game at their favorite store! Thanks to you and to your readers for supporting Seven Worlds!

 

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or try the Seven Worlds Test Drive for free.

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

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

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

Free RPG Sampler List:


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

 

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

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

Our third Kickstarter project, Limitless Monsters, contains:

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

Limitless Adventures  

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

Skeletal Guardian
Skeletal Guardian

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

Orbis Mundi 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

Art by Alessandro Alaia
Art by Alessandro Alaia

 

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

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

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

Undead includes:

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

 

Wanna-lancer* Reward:

Pledge $100 or more
Witness to the Unknown

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

INCLUDES:

  • Undead PDF
  • Undead softcover

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

I love creating custom stock illustrations.

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

I am now bringing it to Kickstarter.

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

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

 

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

The following apply to Stock Illustrations from this project:

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

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

Wanna-lancer Reward:

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

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

Guaranteed illustration ideas may choose to include a background.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can find examples of his work on RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

JEStockArt – Fantasy – Pugtaur with Bone Mace and Helm

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

Pledge $250 or more / $325 or  more

Create An AMP / Major Part of the Story

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, but what’s a “gamebook”?

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

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

OVERVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tathkee Station Directory
Tathkee Station Directory

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

Pledge $50 or more

DEEP SPACE EXPLORER

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

4 Gaming & Comic Experiences You Should Try Out – RPG Design Camp 2, LexiCon, Savannah Comic Con, and AndoCon

I’m continuing to write about different RPG Kickstarter themes such as all of the campaigns originating in Georgia or all of the games use the Savage Worlds engine. For this column, I’m examining the RPG experience away from the table – conventions and camps. To continue the expansion of gaming, we need more stores, more online games, and more conventions so there’s a variety of experiences for every type of gamer and, consequently, we’ll attract more gamers. In turn, to support those games, organizations, and gamers we’ll need more product. To support that goal, these campaigns offer chances to play and create more RPG content!

 

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

4) LexiCon – April 20 to 22, 2018
Ends on Mon, October 30 2017 11:59 PM EDT

“More Boardgaming Events, More Boardgames, More RPGs, More Games in the Library, More People and More Fun! April 20 to 22, 2018.

Come Join the Fun at LexiCon 2018  April 20th noon to 22nd at 6:00pm, Lexington, KY.

It’s LexiCon’s Fifth Anniversary. Hooray! LexiCon Tabletop Boardgaming Convention is one of the best regional convention in the country because:

  •  Great Attendees Like You
  •  Our Ginormous Library, 1,500 + games and growing
  •  Learn to Play events, of which there are many
  •  100 + Play to Win Games
  •  Lots and Lots of RPGs all day and night
  •  West Sixth Brewing featured Adult Social Gaming Night Parties
  •  Great Cosplay Contest
  •  Fantastic LARPing
  •  Lots of Great Vendors.
  •  We simply take over the Clarion Hotel Convention Center for the weekend and play tons of games and have fun!

Some highlights from last year:

  • Over 1,100 turnstile attendees last year.
  • Over 160 Scheduled Events including tournaments, board games, RPGs, LARPs, Cosplay and so much more.
  • National Qualifying Tournament for Settlers of Catan.
  • The Unsurpassed Nighttime Adult Parties, sponsored by West 6th Brewing and The Barrel House.
  • Prizes, prizes, and more prizes.
  • Lexicon gives away a ton of prizes throughout the weekend, including prizes for just showing up in any kind of costume.

Find up to date information here on our Facebook page.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is a growing convention. It’s well situated geographically (the two biggest North American gaming conventions are in Indianapolis and Columbus, both just shy of 200 miles from Lexington, Kentucky). They’ve positioned LexiCon in April while Origins Game Fair is in June and Gen Con is in August. Being ahead of those shows on the calendar and close by, LexiCon is like the local opening act to the big shows. With their track record of shows funded via Kickstarter (here), this seems like a safe bet to open up gaming season.

 

Support their campaign here.

 

3) Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 4:53 AM EDT.

“We’re planning a short winter project to showcase the process of converting a D&D3.0 adventure to 5E & PFRPG while updating the design.

ARE YOU READY TO LEARN ADVENTURE DESIGN?

Maybe you are a GM who wants to create better encounters, deadlier dungeons or more creative adventures.

Or perhaps you are trying to become a Freelance RPG Designer and want to learn how to construct award-winning games.

Or you could be a gamer who just wants a cool adventure to run for your home game. No matter who you are…

RPG DESIGN CAMP is here for you!

This time we are taking an older adventure, the Silver Box, and letting you adapt, change and add to it to make it awesome!

In the Silver Box a thrilling encounter with highwaymen uncovers a missing artifact that hurls the PCs into an amazing adventure. The chase leads them on a woodland pursuit into a cave complex where the mystery only increases with the discovery of a pile of dead highwaymen. Who killed the thieves? And where is the Silver Box? From there the PCs follow clues to a nearby city and a series of thrilling urban encounters. Finally, in the conclusion, the heroes face off against the real thieves of the Silver Box in a dramatic shipboard battle in the city harbor.

Or does it? Your decisions can and probably will alter the adventure toward new directions.

  • Perhaps the whole adventure will take place in the cave complex
  • Perhaps the city will turn out to be under siege by a vampire hoard
  • Perhaps the conclusion will be atop a floating tower rather than a ship?

The options are limitless and the deciding factor is you! Don’t just run the adventure be part of the design process and choose the adventure!

What is Design Camp?

Design Camp is a collaborative experience where game designers and interested individuals share the process of RPG content creation– sometimes that means writing a supplement, or an adventure, or setting material, or, like this project, converting a manuscript from one game system to another.

The adventure we’re planning to convert is The Silver Box, formerly placed in the Iron Kingdoms setting, and covering a number of urban and wilderness locations with a variety of NPCs. We’ll discuss it more in updates.

How does Design Camp work?

We interact with backers through a Basecamp site on the internet (basecamp.com), using that site’s infrastructure to chat, email, host files and communicate. We also post here on Kickstarter to provide redundant communication for the project.

You’ll have a chance to pitch your own design elements during the process, and vote on submitted elements. If your element wins, you can work with designers to implement it, if you want, or you can leave it to us to make those proverbial donuts.

We work hard to make sure our process is fairly transparent and responsive to backers and their questions. In the end, we want you to understand and feel comfortable with the process of RPG design.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Normally I post gaming campaigns and, more or less, let them speak for themselves. Sure, I put up some thoughts, but they’re just a quick review, but not so for RPG Design Camp 2. I missed the first one and I regret that. So, I want this one to fund, fund, fund so I can go! My shtick is wanna-lancing – I want to be a RPG freelancer – and this is not unlike getting to hear Wolfgang Baur and Dan Dillon‘s thoughts on 5e monster creation from which I learned a great deal.

I’ve shared the RPG Design Camp posts a few times and one of the questions I got was who are these RPGers? While I don’t know them enough to say hi at Gen Con, I did hunt down some biographical data from a few sources:

  • Ben McFarland – Due to its depth, I’m not going to try and summarize his resume. Instead, you can read it here.
    • A sample of Ben’s writing credits via DriveThruRPG can be seen here.
  • Jaye Sonia – From his Kickstarter bio:
    “I’m a proud Pathfinder RPG fan, a game designer, a writer, a traveler, and the proud creator of Rhune: Dawn of Twilight, as well as the co-creator of Bloodlines & Black Magic. I also own and operate Storm Bunny Studios.
    In addition to my own products, I’ve written for: Bazaar Magazine, The Shadowlands Campaign Setting, Kobold Press, Kobold Quarterly, Open Gaming Monthly, Open Design, Total Party Kill Games, and Wayfinder.
    I’m an avid gamer and proven creator; Bloodlines & Black Magic will be my third project on Kickstarter!”

    • A sample of Jaye’s writing credits via DriveThruRPG can be seen here.
  • Brian Suskind – From his Linkedin profile:
    • Game: Southlands (2014, Kobold Press, forthcoming) – Lead Designer
    • Game: Midgard Tales (2013, Kobold Press, forthcoming) – Designer
    • Game: Midgard Legends (2012, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • Game: Journeys – Bosun’s Booty (2012, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • Game: Journeys to the West (2012, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • Game: Dark Roads and Golden Hells (2011, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • A sample of Brian’s writing credits via DriveThruRPG can be seen here.

If their resumes (all of which are first rate) aren’t enough, let’s whet your appetite a bit more with two *free* (until this campaign ends) RPGs that’ll let you assess the quality of the product that they’ll produce:

I’m ready for this camp and I hope to see you there!

 

Support their campaign here.

 

2) AndoCon – March 9th-11th, 2018 
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 9:00 PM EDT

“AndoCon 2018 is an Atlanta-based gaming convention focused on gaming and the geeky lifestyle.

What is AndoCon?

AndoCon is a 3-day gaming convention in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be held Friday thru Sunday, March 9th-11th, 2018 at the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners. This is our fifth convention and we’re dedicated to making it bigger and better than the first four. And you can be part of that!

AndoCon focuses on gaming and the geeky life. We specialize in tabletop gaming of all sorts — board games, card games, roleplaying games – combining these with a variety of other events and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to create an enjoyable experience for everyone.

If you’d like to attend, simply buy a badge and come game and hang out with us in March. Badge prices will go up after the Kickstarter. Plus, there are things you can get now through the Kickstarter that won’t be available later. Finally, by pledging to the Kickstarter, you can help build the AndoCon community now, which will make for a better convention for everyone later!

Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter. We hope to see you in March.

What Can I Do at AndoCon?

There are many ways to get your Ando on at AndoCon. Here’s just some of what’s going on. As we nail down more specifics, we’ll update this page and provide continued event announcements at AndoCon.org.

  • Play board games and card games
  • Play roleplaying games, including D&D Adventurer’s League
  • Attend game shows, courtesy of Florida Whammy Entertainment
  • Meet and game with our special guests
  • Shop the dealer room with games and other great stuff for purchase
  • Participate in gaming and geek life panels
  • Special events (TBD)
  • Attend a live recording of the NerdBurger Podcast, where you can even get on the mic and share your geekiness with everyone.

Why We’re Using Kickstarter

For three years, AndoCon got a great rate at its former venue, in part because we were new to the local gaming scene. We’ve grown, and that’s a good thing. But it also means we needed to find a new venue, which we have. And now that AndoCon is bigger than ever, the cost to rent space at a great venue is higher.

Additionally, being bigger and better incurs additional behind-the-scenes, organizational costs. And it costs money to bring back to AndoCon some of the great guests and events we’ve all enjoyed in the past.

Getting funds locked into place earlier is absolutely essential to being able to set up and run everything as smoothly as possible, which in turn will give you a better experience.

Special Guests

So who are these special guests we talk about? Here’s who we have on the slate right now. More will be added as we square things away with folks.

  • Kevin Lanzing, designer of the Flashpoint: Fire Rescue board game, recently featured on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop series
  • David Lupo, designer of the Addictive Alchemy card game
  • Craig Campbell, designer of the Murders & Acquisitions RPG
  • Derek Kamal, designer of The Dig RPG and author of Homes
  • James Dawsey of Vigilance Press and creator of the Tianxia RPG
  • Jason Stone, board game designer, creator of (among others) Five Golden Rings
  • Marco Leon, designer of the Enter the Shadowside RPG
  • And more to come…

AndoCon prides itself on supporting local, indie game developers. Several of our special guests are from the Atlanta area.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

I shared my thoughts on the campaign here and I did an interview with Ando Poore of AndoCon here. The short version is, I want to go!

 

To back this campaign click here.

For more information about AndoCon, click here.

 

1) Savannah Comic Con – February 24th and 25th, 2018
Ends on Wed, November 15 2017 8:00 PM EST.

“We want to bring a ton of great Comic Book Creators to Savannah Feb 24 2018 and put on a fun show for everyone!

We’ve been working on this event for quite a while now and YOU can help us bring Savannah Comic Con on Feb 24, 2018 [and Feb 25th too] from the planning and dreaming phase into reality. We’ve set a very low goal to cover the bare bones of putting a show together while still keeping the show very affordable for fans.

Update: All Vendor booths and Artist Alley rewards are now good for both days. While they last. After Kickstarter, more spaces will be made available at their regular price.
All VIP passes are now good for both days as well  🙂

We’re proud to say that our Year One Special Guests include:

Cory Smith (X-Men, TMNT)
Ian McGinty (Adventure Time, Welcome to Showside)
Eryk Donovan (Constantine, Eugenic)
Sanford Greene (Power Man and Iron Fist)
Wilfredo Torres (Jupiter’s Circle, The Shadow, Adventures of Superman)
Chris Giarrusso (G-Man, Mini-Marvels)
Jarrett Williams (Hyper Force Neo)
Tracy Yardley (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Samantha Glow
Justin Peterson
Rian Sygh (Rick and Morty)
Katy Farina
(Steven Universe)
Aaron Conley
(Sabretooth Swordsman)
Fred Stressing
Bob Frantz
(Monty the Dinosaur)
Robert Pope
(Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo)
Michael Lee Harris
Rashad Doucet

ALL GUESTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Reason I’m interested in the show.

  • Award-winning artist [2015 Judges’ Choice Award – JordanCon Art Show and 2017 Best Space Scene – DragonCon Art Show] and Tessera Guild co-founder, Amanda Makepeace, has a table for the show.
  • Marvel artist and, more importantly, my buddy, Wilfredo Torres, is going to be there.
  • Downtown Savannah, GA is one of my favorite cities. It was established during the colonial period, yet it feels like SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) owns an absurd amount of downtown and that’s a win since so much of gaming (and comics) is driven by art and they have an eye for it.
  • As a vacation destination, I enjoy historic Savannah and putting a comic book convention and friends there screams good times!

 

Find their Kickstarter 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 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 – The Gilded Age Interviews

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

I knew around this time last year that at some point during 2017 I would need to run a Kickstarter for The Gilded Age. There was too much printing needing to be done. Too much trying to figure out how to spread the word on the book.

I’ve said over and over comics are the most collaborative thing I am involved with. Which meant that I had any number of people who I could interview who I directly worked with. Maybe take a minute or two to showcase them a little bit (and let me get to know them as more than maybe a Facebook page or an email address!).

Here are the people who brought The Gilded Age to life:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Artist – Interview with La’Vata O’Neal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Artist – Interview with Nimesh Morarji Part 1

Behind the Artist – Interview with Nimesh Morarji Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Artist – Interview with Sean Hill Part 1

Behind the Artist – Interview with Sean Hill Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Artist – Interview with Antonio Brandao

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

I’m still trying to get the rest to answer the long list of questions I had for them. I’ll update this post as I get them.

***

John McGuire

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.

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Gaming Convention AndoCon WITH Ando Poore

When I first covered AndoCon for my Georgia-centric look at gaming-related Kickstarters, the reason it sparked my interest is something my editor at EN World, Christopher Helton, wrote about here. To keep the industry growing, more local conventions are needed. In the English-speaking world, the big gaming conventions are Gen Con (Indiana), Origins (Ohio), UK Games Expo (England), and, possibly, PAX Unplugged (Pennsylvania). In terms of geography, that does not cover as much ground as it could (no major gaming-only cons in Canada or Australia or California). Without major players dominating the local convention-ing market, that leaves room for regional gaming conventions to fill the void, and AndoCon is doing that handsomely. AndoCon‘s president, Ando Poore, agreed to talk about his con and what 2018 has in-store.

 

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

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for talking to us about AndoCon. Let’s start with what is AndoCon? When did it begin? Where will it take place in 2018?

ANDO POORE AndoCon is not just any gaming convention; we call it a Gaming Convention+. That is because in addition to the large open gaming space with free access to a vast game library, we also have special guests from the gaming industry, a schedule of fun-filled events and game shows, and even a dealer room. We threw our first event in 2013, and have been going strong ever since. Our 2018 event will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners.

 

EGG – With that kind of history, why are you Kickstarting the 2018 convention? What makes Kickstarter a better choice than, say, a badge pre-sell?

ANDO POORE – We have done more traditional badge pre-sells in previous years. The reason for Kickstarter this year is that as we become more established in the community and start picking up steam, the costs to run the event start rising as well. Between the rental of the hotel’s convention space, bringing in special guests, and all of the materials needed, we wanted to ensure we had everything in line with plenty of time before the actual event. It also gives us a chance to offer some great perks to our attendees such as the fidget spinner and dice bag add-ons.

 

EGG – In terms of numbers, what kind of attendance does AndoCon generate?

ANDO POORE – In 2016, we drew the amusing number of 314 attendees. We’re still fairly small in terms of numbers, but people who come to AndoCon typically come away calling it their favorite convention because of the heart and spirit we keep at the forefront of our minds while putting on our event.

 

 

EGG – What’s the rough percentage breakdown at the con of board games, CCGs, and RPGs?

ANDO POORE – We don’t have an official CCG track or section – we tried in 2014 and it turns out our audience tend to not be that interested. Our board game room and RPG room this year will be the exact same size, so I guess that makes it a 50/50 split.

 

EGG – How many game publishers do you expect to attend? Guest creators?

ANDO POORE – We have a very loyal group of game designers that showcase their creations all weekend long. We’ve even had some of the Steve Jackson MIB stop in a few times. We maintain a list of our confirmed guests on our website, so check there for updates as we lock down more guests.

 

 

EGG – In terms of local support, what, if anything, does the local gaming shops and gamers do to help make this show a reality?

ANDO POORE – We have good friends in the local comic and game shops. Stores across the metro-Atlanta area allow us to advertise our convention in their stores, and several of them have played host to game day events. They also have sponsored content and run tournaments at the convention.

 

EGG – Can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for the AndoCon Kickstarter?

ANDO POORE – Easy – the $225 badge and hotel room package. That means you are set for the whole weekend and all you need to account for yourself is food. Plus, anyone who stays at the hotel for the weekend will receive a goodie bag at check-in that has some AndoCon swag and a few coupons to local attractions like Medieval Times and The Escapery.

 

 

EGG – I’m a RPGer at heart, what RPG games are you planning for AndoCon 2018?

ANDO POORE – I’m sure it will come as no surprise that we will host D&D Adventurer’s League, and we’re talking to the GA Pathfinder Society as well. As several of the special guests are RPG designers, they will be bringing their own games to run. The RPG Track will have other scheduled games as well, and we will announce them as they are locked in.

 

 

EGG – Tell us a little about you and what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

ANDO POORE – Even as a young child, I loved playing board games, and family game nights were pretty common, though we mostly played things like Clue, Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Tri-ominoes. While I was in college, I was introduced to what I call my “gateway games” of Chez Geek, Apples To Apples, and Munchkin. From there, I was always asking for game recommendations, and buying up the games I enjoyed so I could teach them to my friends.

In fact, it was over an intense few games of Blokus that I met the woman that I married. Teaching board games became one of the biggest aspects of my social life in college. Gaming is an integral part of my life.

 

EGG – Why did you create a gaming convention?

ANDO POORE – It actually wasn’t on purpose! After I graduated college, my wife (then fiancée) and I threw semi-monthly gaming parties at our apartment just for fun. But in 2009, a two-day gaming party ended up with two out-of-state guests (coworkers of mine from different offices) and we had a blast. For the next few years, we’d pick one party per year to be “AndoCon”, as a joke – almost a parody of conventions. The idea to make it a real thing came suddenly in 2012, after my wife and I staffed MomoCon for the first time and saw what it was like behind the scenes of a convention. So in 2013, we rented a small conference center in Kennesaw, GA, and packed it to overflowing. We made a big splash in the Atlanta gaming scene, and we have tried our hardest to live up to the promise of our debut year.

 

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about AndoCon 2018?

ANDO POORE – If there’s one thing I want people to know about me, it’s that looking across a room packed full of gamers having fun is one of the biggest joys in my life. It’s not always easy, but I genuinely love giving the Atlanta gaming community a place to get together and do what they love. That’s why I do this, and that’s why I’m doing everything I can to make AndoCon 2018 as special as possible. We’ll be posting the guest list and event schedules on AndoCon.org as they are locked in. And of course, our Kickstarter campaign will be open until November 2nd at 9:00 PM, so please get your badge at its cheapest price!

Egg, thank you for your thoughtful questions, and I look forward to seeing you at AndoCon in March!

 

To back this campaign click here.

For more information about AndoCon, click 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 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).

 

4 Savage Worlds RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Titan Effect, Frozen Skies, The Monster Hunters Club, Seven Worlds, and more

This week I’m focusing on four Savage Worlds Kickstarters (as well as a system agnostic offering). Why pick a specific system like Savage Worlds instead of considering every system? Well, for one week I want to see if shining a spotlight on a single RPG engine helps spark some discussion about it. Savage Worlds is one of the most versatile games out there and it covers a variety of genres and I want to see if these campaigns can reach a wider audience, to get an idea of what SW’s fanbase is like. Considering that, let’s countdown the campaigns.

 

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

 

5) Frozen Skies RPG for Savage Worlds by Applied Vectors, ltd and Utherwald Press
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 12:00 PM EDT.

“Diesel-punk post-war aviators fight to survive on the frozen frontier against the elements and the savage Wulvers.

Frozen Skies is a roleplaying game written by Stephen Hughes of Utherwald Press. It is being brought to Kickstarter by Applied Vectors Ltd.

The 120 page book is written, what we need is artwork that accurately brings the setting to life, and for this to happen, we need you! The funding goal gets you a combination of colour and black and white art. if we hit the first stretch goal, it will be a full colour interior!

The setting of Frozen Skies is the continent of Alyeska, the most northern landmass of the world of Darmonica and is often referred to as either the ‘rooftop of the world’ or ‘Darmonica’s Crown’. It is an icy frontier plagued by savage beasts, cut-throat sky pirates, harsh weather and eons old dark secrets. It is a barely tamed land where the most basic of utilities are hard to come by and tend to lie on the good side of unreliable at best. But despite all this there are opportunities for a man to make a name and, more ideally, coin for himself.

Alyeska itself is dominated by savage beasts known as Wulvers, wolf like creatures that’ve plagued Alyeska since its earliest Colonial days. The Commonwealth had troops stationed in Alyeska to defend its fledging colony against the beasts, though they were steadily whittled away to satisfy the Commonwealth’s war efforts. As the defenses were weakened the Wulvers gradually overran more and more territory, in the end the Alyeskans were forced to hide behind fortified walls and increasingly rely on air travel to maintain contact with far-flung outposts.

Despite the Wulvers the other great powers of Darmonica have their own interest in Alyeska, chiefly for the ruins and artefacts of the Ancient Terrans buried beneath the ice and for a mineral by-product of the Blast known as Glimmer Rock. Until it was altered by the energies released in the explosion it was a previously unremarkable mineral, now it is the fuel for a new Industrial Revolution that the world finds itself on the cusp of….but only if the new technology can be made viable.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Lets lead this list with some diesel-punk for Savage Worlds. Frozen Skies is set on a unique continent where the great powers colonized the north pole and planes are the best way to keep the icebound colonies connected. Sky pirates, and wolves, and glaciers. The concept is interesting and I can see where it’d mesh nicely with the Savage Worlds ruleset. Do you want to try a sample of the setting? It’s a $1.50 for the Frozen Skies Setting Primer at DriveThurRPG.

 

You can see examples of the creator and publisher’s work at DriveThruRPG here (Applied Vectors, ltd) and here (Utherwald Press).

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) Titan Effect RPG for Savage Worlds by Knights Errant Media
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 10:06 AM EDT.

“An espionage and science fiction setting for Savage Worlds, somewhere between Tom Clancy and the X-Men!

Cover made by Vargasni
Cover made by Vargasni

Titan Effect RPG is a licensed campaign setting for Savage Worlds. Titan Effect is set in a contemporary world where psychic spies clash with genetically enhanced soldiers in a secret war in which the future of human evolution is at stake.

Take on the role of a trained operative gifted with psychic abilities. Perform dangerous missions all over the world for the international clandestine organization known as the SPEAR, and fight against dangerous creatures and organizations. Survive long enough, and maybe you will be able to make a difference.

Titan Effect RPG requires the Savage Worlds Core Rules and the Super Powers Companion (2nd edition).

The world of Titan Effect is like ours but darker and stranger. Psychics and augmented humans are used as spies and soldiers on behalf of criminal organizations, private military companies, and secret societies in a secret war that has been raging for decades. Some are fighting for control and power, while others seek to shape the future of human evolution.

In the middle of this conflict, stands the worldwide clandestine organization known as the Special Executive Assault and Recon or SPEAR. Its mission: to track and neutralize eugenics and psychic threats, and to prevent the world from falling into chaos. To succeed in its mission, the SPEAR hires people with unique sets of skills and possessing powerful psychic abilities. Its agents come from different nationalities and backgrounds.

Players take on the role of psychic operatives trained in black operations, and working for the international clandestine organization known as the SPEAR. They have the task to perform dangerous missions all over the world and fight against dangerous creatures and organizations. Some are there to make a difference, others for the thrill or because they have no other place to go.

Titan Effect RPG combines biopunk, spy thriller, and superhero elements. Imagine Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men. Titan Effect RPG plunges you into a world filled with conspiracies, secret organizations, dangerous biotechnologies and psychic phenomena. A world where the boundary between “good” and “evil” is blurred…”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s move from diesel-punk to biopunk. It’s a secret war for humanity’s future in which you can play a supersoldier. Based on the write-up – “Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men” – this is going to be action meets action meets action. But, hey, you gotta ask yourself if there’s enough action for you? To answer that, try their free demo kit and see (I think you’ll be happy with it).

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

3) Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (Beneath book 2) by Severed Books
Ends on Sun, November 5 2017 8:05 AM EST.
NOTES:

  • This link is NSFW 
  • System agnostic

“Beneath, the Spire and the Sound – book 2 of the Beneath series, a system-agnostic RPG module.

Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (book 2) 

Salt of the stars and salt of the earth — the critically acclaimed series is back! The armies of Seven Walls and the armies of Leaf have set their weapons aside — mid-battle — and cast off their armor and clothes. They walk hand-in-hand, naked, laughing, as friends, into the UnDungeon. Hannah has been captured. Now Baron Lennox beckons for you to return from your dark decent, rewarding you with The Perseverance [a tavern]. Beneath book 2 begins.

“Beneath challenges the conventional idea of the ‘Dungeon crawl’ in so many ways and succeeds in them all. It is radical yet well crafted, it is shocking yet thought provoking, it is familiar yet intensly Alien. If roleplaying is a Tree with all the various games and genres spreading out from it, then ‘beneath’ is one sick and twisted branch that waits for all brave travellers who dare to tread their foot upon.”  Jay of Colosseum Rex (U.K.)

“Beneath as a series is doing so much to reinvent what it means to be a prewritten adventure module. But Beneath isn’t just a few module books, it’s a living document full of unexpected messed up stuff and amazing artistic expression. You’ll feel like you’re talking to real people when you’re talking to the NPC’s. So strap in, and let’s get salty.” Zach Benge of Tabletop Radio Hour

“Beneath is a return to that thing that made gaming cool in the 80s, it’s dangerous and brutal, yet modern in it’s approach to subtext. A unique, grotesque, disturbing work that is entertaining and well crafted. A horror crawl that examines the topics of self absorption and the dangers held within. Your table deserves this experience and the sequel that follows.” Emanuel James Miller, Owner, Crit Hit Conventions

“Beneath masterfully blends narrative, adventure, combat, and character involvement. A dark tale that left our group massively satisfied.” The Inner Gamer

“I’ve never seen anything like this on an RPG level and I think it’s f*cking rad.” Full Metal RPG / Podcast

Undead Viking review here. 

Players will venture back to CragLee to claim the rewards they earned from book 1, including The Perseverance (a large tavern). Your party will even manage a “character sheet” specifically made for The Perseverance:  name a bar manager, track profits, store items, and customize the property.

Players will also meet Emily, a “Game Witch” who will share Hannah’s secret and also provide valuable support throughout the second half of the campaign. She can take an apprentice and teach them to imbue animal and human organs with powerful magic.

Horrors compound as the party returns to the UnDungeon and “The Vert” to face the more inverted abominations. Player’s decisions affect the outcomes of Hannah and many of the townspeople who have been seduced by the Inverted Cupid. Players will discover what The Invert actually is–a living, breathing cultural catalyst (a “Vert”) summoned with only the best intentions.

THE BOOK (Beneath, the Spire and the Sound)

  • 200+ pages
  • Matte cover
  • Perfectly bound
  • 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • Original illustrations by Scott Buonchristano and Justin Sirois
  • 50+ maps
  • Emily (NPC) and Suit of Salt character sheets
  • The Perseverance (tavern) management sheet

You will need Beneath book 1 to play Beneath book 2. If you need book 1 now, you can get it on Amazon (free shipping with Prime).”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s take a short Savage Worlds-pause to look at Beneath, a system agnostic adventure. Reading the pitch, this is an adventure that’s going to turn your fantasy preconceptions on their ear. It has some rarely utilized ideas – your tavern has its own character sheet – and enough twists to keep everyone guessing. If you’re looking for a unique path, this may be your cup of tea.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) The Monster Hunters’ Club RPG for Savage Worlds by CCS Games/Fabled Environments
Ends on Thu, November 16 2017 9:02 AM EST.

“The Monster Hunters’ Club is a setting for the Savage Worlds RPG about kids coming of age and fighting monsters in the 1980’s.

Cover by Karl Keesler
Cover by Karl Keesler

 

 The Monster Hunters’ Club is a licensed setting for the Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game set in the 1980’s and inspired by kids’ adventure and horror films, television, and novels like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Goonies, The Monster Squad, The Lost Boys, Fright Night, It, Super 8, Stranger Things, and many more. Players take on the roles of children, growing up in the 80’s, who become heroes.

 The Monster Hunters’ Club is an officially licensed Savage Worlds product, and requires the Savage Worlds Deluxe Core Rules to play.

A preview of The Monster Hunters’ Club is available on DriveThruRPG. Please click on the link in the text, or click on the Preview button above to download our FREE preview from DriveThruRPG.

Something strange is happening in the town of Gulf Haven. Horrible creatures are coming to life. The adults seem blind to the entire thing. It’s up to you to find out what is happening, and stop it before it’s too late!

Growing up in the 1980’s…

You’ve got Saturday morning cartoons, a tree fort, a boombox, a fast bike, and oh…

Monsters are real.

You heard me.

Don’t bother telling your parents. Grown-ups can’t see ‘em. When something gets smashed up, they blame us. When somebody goes missing, they blame someone from out of town, or maybe the Russians. The monsters are real though, and it’s up to us to do something about it.

That’s right, between babysitting your little sister, dodging bullies like Scotty Mangrum, and surviving middle school, you also have to figure out how to fix the monster problem.

You can’t phone home, and there’s nobody you can call. It’s up to you to save the town, and maybe even the world!

Image Credit: Mike Dukes
Image Credit: Mike Dukes

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

The kids on bikes subgenre (Stranger Things, Stephen King’s IT, Tales From the Loop) expands to Savage Worlds. This is a fast-growing niche filled with, at a guess, fans about my age that are looking for a window back to their childhood. Do you want to see if this has the feel of Amblin Entertainment before you buy? The Monster Hunters’ Club is available on DriveThruRPG for free, so grab it and then you can decide if this is the RPG for your childhood memories.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Monster Club art by Veronica V. Jones

 

1) Seven Worlds – realistic science-fiction for Savage Worlds by Intellistories
Ends on Thu, November 16 2017 9:08 AM EST.

“A unique hard Science-Fiction setting for the Savage Worlds RPG. An epic campaign, 2D/3D starmaps for most platforms, and more!

Welcome to Seven Worlds, a new Epic Science-Fiction Setting and Campaign for the Savage Worlds role-playing game!

Seven Worlds is a unique, epic hard(ish) Science-Fiction role-playing campaign and setting. In the year 2217 humanity’s greatest achievement is the colonization of the nearby star systems now known as the Seven Worlds, where humanity lives, thrives, and prepares for the next great wave of space exploration. But when the unexpected threatens humanity, only an unlikely band of heroes can unravel a deadly conspiracy and try to avert the Fall!

“This isn’t the usual Firefly-meets-Star Wars space opera, it’s more like The Expanse… Overall rating: 5 out of 5.”  – Halfway Station

What makes Seven Worlds special? Do we need yet another science-fiction setting and campaign for Savage Worlds? We believe there IS a niche for a new, unique setting, and here are some reasons why:

The Campaign is Epic: The core of Seven Worlds is its awesome, world-shattering campaign! The setting was designed around the story, rather than the story around the setting, making for a rich environment where everything fits together. Inspired by classic science fiction books likeThe Expanse series and TV series like Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5, as well as by such grand episodic RPG campaigns as the original Dragonlance saga, this is a story arc the players will never forget!

The campaign will be available as seven PDF-only modules and (after the modules have been released) as a single-volume 253-page Campaign Book. For more information on the campaign, check this Designer Diary on our blog site.”

 

Check out my interview with Luis Enrique Torres about his Kickstarter for Seven Worlds here.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

You know what I like best about Savage Worlds? There are four Kickstarters and four unique settings/genres. Diesel-punk, biopunk, kids on bikes, and, now, hard science fiction. As I’ve mentioned before, 2017 feels like the Year of the Sci-Fi RPG.

With that in mind, this is going to be a good Savage Worlds setting. As with the other Savage Worlds RPGs on this list, you can try before you buy – Seven Worlds Test Drive for free.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there!

Check out the campaign here.

 

Gilded Age: Vol 1 – A Steampunk Graphic Novel by John McGuire
Made up of magicians and actors, freaks and gunslingers, The Gilded Age reveals everyone’s desires and secrets.
Ends on Fri, November 17 2017 11:59 PM EST.

Why signal boost this? This is from the Tessera Guild’s own John McGuire and he’s hitting on all cylinders with this story! Steampunk circus touring across Victorian Europe! Carny robots! Stage wizards! Tricksh00ting cyborgs! Check out the link to the campaign for a free copy of issue one!

The Gilded Age - Volume 1 Cover - La'Vata O'Neal - Artist
The Gilded Age – Volume 1 Cover – La’Vata O’Neal – Artist

Check out the 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 on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Kickstart the Comic – Gilded Age: Vol 1 – A Steampunk Graphic Novel

As I wrote last week, this Kickstarter has been a long time coming for me. There have been many late nights struggling over scripts or waiting for edits or all those moments receiving a new piece of artwork – it has built to this.I’m hopeful this is the next step in being able to tell stories within the comic book medium.

I love writing about these characters. I’m hopeful this is the next step in being able to tell more stories about them. And I’m looking forward to meeting the other members of The Gilded Age who have not appeared yet.

***

The Gilded Age

From Terminus Media

John McGuire – Writer

Sheldon Mitchell – Artist

António Brandão – Artist

Sean Hill – Artist

Rich Perotta – Inker

Tom Chu – Colors

Nimesh Morarji – Colors

Lavata O’Neal – Graphic Novel Cover Artist

Khari Sampson – Letterer/Copy Editor

Kickstarter campaign ends on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT.

 

The Pitch:

We are raising funds primarily to get the Graphic Novel, The Gilded Age Vol. 1, printed. 100 pages collecting the first four issues of the comic book.

The Story:

The Gilded Age is about a group of performers, the Branning Troupe. Half actors and half carnival folk, the group travels throughout the countries of Victorian Era Europe. For some it offers a direction to their lives, others get the adoration of the crowds, and the rest find simple refuge from a world which has cast them out.

Each story would be done-in-one. They would tell stories that could be enjoyed by anyone picking up a random issue. The issues would have overlapping characters, but by and large, each issue would focus on one or a pair of characters.

The key would be that I was slowly building up my world. And making the readers care about various characters by giving each the screen time they deserved. And by doing this I allowed for different types of stories within the same world. Whether that is Western or Horror or a Heist or something Fantastical, the hope has always been to build the world from the character’s eyes rather than try and hit you with one thousand years of history.

The Gilded Age – Issue #2 – Page 12 – Pencils – Sheldon Mitchell – Inks -Rich Perotta – Colors – Thomas Chu

 

John’s Thoughts:

Comics have always been this way to connect with stories. Even before I was a “book reader”, I devoured comics. As the years went by, that never changed. I’m sure many of you have that same thing where you just can’t get something out of your system. Whether it is the collaborations or the characters or the universes or the ability to tell a story with a limitless visual budget or a way to connect to a younger version of myself…

I think it is all those things and a thousand others. I think it is about someone holding something your brain thought up and thinking – “Hey, that was pretty cool.”

However, the path of the indy comic creator is full of potholes. Money runs out, print runs don’t happen, and you’re constantly torn between this odd thing of people devaluing your work (“It costs how much!?!”). This Kickstarter will help push the comic to a place where it can start funding itself… hopefully into an issue 5 and 6 and 7 and…

The Gilded Age – Issue #3 – Page 5- Art – Antonio Brandao – Colors – Nimesh Morarji

The Rewards:

The Kickstarter is for the first trade of the series which collects issues 1 through 4. There are the options to get either a pdf or the print version sent to you. At the $40 level there is a chance to get the anthologies Terminus put out in the past. At the $60 level there is an opportunity to not only get Gilded Age but also Route 3 (if you missed that Kickstarter).

If being drawn as one of the Gilded Age Carnival Folk is more your style, there is an opportunity to do just that at the $300 level.

The Verdict:

Obviously, you should give this one a try, but I might be biased about such things (*might*).

Seriously though – so many comic book Kickstarters are looking for funds to even come into being. That is a different kind of crapshoot as you can never be 100% sure the book is going to be completed. This is a FINISHED trade. All this money is going to print costs just so that I can get this out there and into people’s hands.

The Gilded Age – Issue #4 – Page 4 – Art – Sean Hill – Colors – Nimesh Morarji

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I’d like to thank you in advance for checking the project out! For more information on The Gilded Age, check out the Facebook here. If you’d like to know more about the rest of Terminus Media’s comics, check out their Facebook here.

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John McGuire

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age which is currently LIVE on Kickstarter!

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 to keep up with all things Gilded Age.

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.

 

Behind the Comic – Why Kickstarter?

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

 

I’m worried.

Only a few days from the beginning of The Gilded Age Kickstarter, and I can’t help but be worried. Have I done everything I could have done? Will people show up and pledge? Will I make my goal? What happens if I don’t make the goal?

What happens if I do?

Over this last month, I feel like I’ve been living Kickstarter. Trying to listen to podcasts or check websites or just view as many comic book Kickstarter pages as I can to glean ideas on how they laid out their pages. Or how they did their reward levels. Or a thousand other pieces. Why did this one project fail while this other succeeded? Is there any reasoning and logic behind what I need to do?

For those who might not know, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. It’s a place where creative people seek an amount of funding from a large amount of people to help turn their ideas into reality. Basically, if you have an idea for a product you can take it directly to the public to see if they might want to invest in your idea.

If you check out the site you can find anything from coolers to headphones to apps to novels to movies and everything else you might be able to think of. If you have an idea, then maybe you don’t need to go onto Shark Tank and pitch your idea to a bunch of millionaires. No, maybe you go to the people who might use or consume the product.

It’s funny. All these sites end up saying the same generic stuff over and over:

Have great rewards!

Have a great video!

Show lots of artwork!

Spam your email and Facebook and Twitter and…

DON”T spam your email and Facebook and Twitter and…

Make sure you launch at midnight!

Launch at Lunch!

Make sure you DON’T launch on a Wednesday!

Always launch on a Wednesday.

So you can see why my head might be spinning.

With the campaign I’m launching on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, I’m doing something that feels like it has been YEARS in the making. I’m actually afraid to look and see when the very first “Gilded Age” email shows up in my gmail (April 2009 is the answer). That’s when my very first conversations began when I first saw that Steampunk Cowboy image from artist Larry Watts.

Independent comics are a lot like herding cats who are being chased by dogs who are being examined by aliens who are from a long-lost civilization no one’s ever heard of before.

By that, I mean there are different personalities to interact with. I’ve long said the best thing about comics is the collaborative aspect of the medium. As a writer, you need each and every one of the people to put in a piece of themselves or it just won’t work. It means sometimes waiting for people. It means sometimes people waiting on you.

And it means producing the comics and then selling them.

The problem is that our model was to do digital versions of the comics but have a short print runs for conventions. And sometimes that meant we’d sell out of a particular issue waiting to reorder the books.

Kickstarter is a potential answer for those problems. Since The Gilded Age is done, this is about covering the printing costs. Really it’s like your preordering the graphic novel… with some potential bonuses.

Funding this is about everyone who had a hand in the creation of this comic. Too many times have I seen projects get started only to die before anyone ever gets to see them. I want to continue this journey and tell more stories and collaborate with these creators who have impacted the better portion of a decade of my life.

Hopefully, you can help me do just that!

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

John McGuire

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 to learn about the upcoming The Gilded Age Kickstarter.

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.