Check out Leland Beauchamp’s, Egg Embry’s, and John McGuire’s 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Zine!
We live, we love, and sometimes we lose. All are part of life, and yet the last part is the thing that will not only knock us to the ground but put so much weight on our chest that we may never find a way to get back up again.
So I am a part of a new Kickstarter…
And for the first time, it is a sequel to something I’ve already contributed to:
We launched on Monday around 11 AM and by the time I’d gotten back from a doctor’s appointment at 2:30 PM, we had funded! It was a modest goal this time of $400, but there is definitely a huge sigh of relief when you hit your goal. It makes it so that you can actually enjoy the ride a little bit more. We’ve now begun to focus on Stretch Goals which will be a bonus X-Card for use at your table.
This year marks the 3rd annual (I’m assuming) Kickstarter Zine Quest for the month of February. What’s Zinequest you might ask? Well, if you cast your mind back to the 60s or 70s or 80s when you would go into a record shop or comic shop or gaming store and had those pamphlet looking things sitting there that were put together by hand… that’s basically what a Zine is. Yes, today we have programs that allow it to be done a bit easier, but the goal is the same. These are ideas that have been percolating since our successful Kickstarter of Love’s Labour’s Liberated during Zine Quest 1, and that Do-it-Yourself attitude has gotten to us again.
But we learned from the last Kickstarter. This time the whole thing is completely done and ready to go. So the only thing you will have to wait on is the actual printings, but the day after the campaign ends, you’ll have your pdf!
This time we are focusing on more of a darker part of the love relationships… the loss part… the obsession part…
It seems like when I’m thinking of ideas for the backstories for any characters I play, I drift toward those who might have a little bit of darkness in them. Perhaps there was an unrequited love, perhaps there was something more devious at hand. That’s what we’ve tried to provide for players in this Zine. A Broken Hearted Monk. An elemental force of nature obsessed with it’s Warlock. New spells, magic items, and much more. All options for bringing even more depth to your 5th Edition games.
Like I said on the first Zine Quest we did, you never know who is going to potentially read your work. My hope is that everyone who gets it and reads it is able to use at least one thing from it in their home games.
Are you a fan of Kickstarter? Like the concept of Patreon? Then Drip may be for you. Launched by Kickstarter in 2017, Drip takes the Kickstarter crowdfunding brand and adapts it to the subscription content model embodied in Patreon. However, after a year in existence as an invitation-only service, in 2019 Drip will morph into a new tool that will be co-owned by Kickstarter and XOXO. One of the current RPG Drippers, W.S. Quinton, has shared his experiences on Drip with me, so when I read about this change, I thought I’d ask his thoughts on Drip, crowdfunding, subscription funding, Kickstarter, and his current campaign, Whispers of Persephone ~ The bloody book of Necromancy 5E. What follows is mostly Quinton, I asked for a few sentences to quote in an article and he wrote 1,300ish words that I decided to run with. Enjoy reading about his Drip experience.
EGG EMBRY (EGG): When did you launch your Drip page?
WSQ: No, but it hasn’t been in operation for a month yet. My current subscribers are repeat backers and one person who has been a friend for years. My focus has been on promoting the Kickstarter campaign so slow growth is only natural.
WSQ: I was building a Patreon page in order to make available a monthly publication. I also wanted to take some of the material I normally offer on my blogs, concerning creating RPG books and crowdfunding, and give a more in-depth look at the process behind the scenes. I had literally advanced to the part where I was building reward tiers for the Patreon page when I received the email inviting me to Drip.
I’m a fan of Kickstarter’s public benefit structure as they give back to their community and make a huge difference in people’s lives. Being invited to join Drip was incredibly flattering as it is invite only. I’m still not certain why I was selected to be invited. There aren’t many RPG creators on Drip at this time, so being in a small demographic is exciting. There were two other creators who have been on Drip (I believe) for about a year now.
EGG: What options are available on your Drip Page?
WSQ: I have public posts which anyone can access without subscribing. I also have three subscription levels:
The $1 subscription grants access to the behind the scenes news posts where I share information on coming projects, share play test documents of coming products, premier art for upcoming projects and go over things about crowdfunding and development (how to calculate your backer reward tiers for Kickstarter was particularly well received).
The $3 subscription grants all the benefits of the $1 tier, plus the monthly publication. This monthly release details a character, companion, creature or monster, complete with original art/ stats/ a narrative/ example treasures/ story hooks. October’s release went out nicely, and the subscribers I’ve heard from so far were well pleased. This release was nine pages in all (counting the OGL and the cover/title page, with six pages devoted to content.
The $6 subscription grants all the benefits of the $3 tier, plus the subscribers receive a little magic in the mail by way of a thank you post card where the subject of the monthly release is depicted in full color on side, with a few notes concerning it on the back. This is a nice way to show the subject at the game table in an easily transportable way. I sign each of those to the specific backer.
EGG: What are your thoughts on the transition from Drip to what comes next?
There are features common to Kickstarter and other platforms that are curiously absent from Drip. By way of example, Drip doesn’t have a search feature native to its page. That means that current subscribers, if they wish to explorer other creators, have to page through all of the currently active pages. You can’t even sort by interests. This is something I assume will be addressed in the new build as it is such a common feature its absence is widely felt.
Another feature that I as a creator cherish, is a widget to create code to embed a link on another page. I make heavy use of this feature from my Kickstarter pages and its absence is felt on Drip (for me anyway). This kind of feature makes embedding your page link onto your other online resources a snap. Drip’s new build needs this.
Drip pages also don’t have a share to social media feature. Seriously, I’m not joking. Or, if they do, I’ve never been able to find it. So sharing the link isn’t hard, (you copy and paste it) but it’s not as easy as it is from Kickstarter or GoFundMe or Indiegogo or Patreon. With so many people sharing their pages, not being able to directly share your page slows your ability to point people to your page.
That said, I love the idea that the new site will also be a public benefit corporation. The fact that the creativity of so many helps to raise funds that are used to benefit other people as well as enabling them the freedom to pursue their artist endeavors is incredibly appealing.
That current Drip creators are going to be helped to migrate to the new resource is reassuring. In my first month, I’ve already released several posts, containing a lot of information. Within the coming year I imagine it piles up to quite a bit of data. I’m appreciative of any help they have to offer.
EGG: What’s your wish list of features you’re hoping XOXO will implement in the new platform?
A digital download library for subscribers. I’ve not seen this on other platforms, and frankly I’m at something of a loss as to why not. As a creator, I would gladly pay for additional cloud storage on-site if it allowed subscribers to access titles and download them directly while retaining a record that they had the title. This would allow me to offer discounted finished products exclusively to the subscribers in a much more convenient manner, and allow new subscribers to access older releases without have to work it out with me so it could be facilitated. Yes, this sounds like Amazon’s library feature. It’s still a good idea.
Subscriber chat feature/ native streaming tool. Kickstarter has Kickstarter Live. Since using it, I’ve loved it! I have a tremendous amount of fun hanging out with backers on Kickstarter, we field questions and chat about a wide range of things. I also bring guests on so it’s a fantastic way to interact with your audience.
A space for embedding links to my other resources. I write a few blogs, I’ve started a YouTube channel, etc. It would be SO handy if I could just put a link on the Drip page as a button so subscribers could go find my other free material without a fuss.
An archive: It would be wonderful to move old posts into an archive where subscribers could always go retrieve them. This would keep the page from being overly cluttered and allow people to access the latest data with ease. Add in a way to compartmentalize the archive (Play test folder/ monthly release/ game system/ comics/ children’s books/ whatever) and you’ve got a fantastic way to keep your page looking nice while putting vast amounts of information within reach of your audience.
Systemic integration with online merchandise pages like Society6 or Printful. A great many artists sell prints of their work or otherwise make them available to their subscribers. It would be amazing if a way were found to implement such integration into one seamless whole.
Egg, I know that is a lot, but as the new guy on Drip I think I’ve found a few things I would definitely like to see improved. I also had a lot to say. There are more things about UI and record keeping but that stuff is largely boring.
EGG: I want to thank W.S. Quinton for taking my questions and writing this article on his own initiative. It was a great surprise! Where can fans find your Drip page?
The thing no one realizes is that navigating the Dealer’s Room requires a commitment of time. As it turned out, we had about an hour and a half before the room closed on the day. The goal became see as much as possible while also visiting with some contacts and old friends.
While not the largest Dealers’ Room I’ve been in (New York Comic Con takes that prize), Gen Con doesn’t short change you on the options. Who knew there were so many board, roleplaying, and card games being developed and played?
We immediately ran into David Rodriguez, of Skylanders, Destiny, IDW’s First Strike comic series, and about a billion other things that I’m forgetting right now. I met David many years ago (through Egg) when we roomed together at Chicago Comic Con. It’s always nice to see the successes he’s had over the years, and it led to one of my favorite conversations ever:
Egg – So what are you working on these days?
David – Destiny.
Egg – … um, what’s Destiny?
Yes, Egg doesn’t know what Destiny is. I thought we were going to have to pull David off of him. Luckily, calmer minds prevailed.
After our examining of 5% of the Dealer’s Room, it was on to the game library inside of Lucas Oil Stadium. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be in Indianapolis for a football game, so it was cool to be on the field in an empty stadium.
The Game Library was pretty extensive. So extensive that after our failed attempt to play Arkham House (I’d suggest if you are going to play really complicated games that you get someone who has played the game previously to be around to assist). As it was we spent over an hour setting the game up, played a bit, realized we were playing wrong, still couldn’t figure out how the good guys might end up winning, and put the game away.
At this point, we were saved from our own indecision by Ben. Ben was just looking to game and luckily had bought a copy of Hero Realms earlier that day. It was a fun game (I ended up winning our 4 player game). Pretty easy to teach the rules, and seemed like it had a fair amount of replay value. After the game, though, it was nearly 2 in the morning and time to get back to the hotel and catch some sleep.
Friday was a tale of 2 different games: Call of Cthulhu and Tales from the Loop.
Call of Cthulhu is one of those games I often read about. People love Lovecraft and to hear it spoken about in such high regard made it one of those games we had to check out. It also helped that Danny O’Neil was our GM for the session (this was just Egg, Lee, and myself). Egg had contributed to the Dread House Kickstarter, so we were interested to see how it played. Luckily the scenario wasn’t the one he wrote for.
It felt like CoC was very much a Roleplaying game vs. a Roll-playing game. Yes, there are dice rolls, but much of the beginning session was spent gathering clues, talking to NPCs, and interacting in character with each other. When the weirdness began and Sanity checks were called for, it was almost more fun when you failed a check. What did that mean for your character? How would you react to the next bit of oddness? And would you have anything left when it was finished (my character’s answer was a NO, as he failed nearly all of his checks)?
I had a great time. Danny was an excellent GM. It would definitely end up as one I’d like to play again next year.
Tales from the Loop was the second game we played. It was just Lee and I as Egg was the Ebay high bid to be the guest of Cubicle 7 at the Ennies. And from what I understand, he had a great time. But I still feel a little bad for him, because after playing Tales from the Loop we proceeded to talk about it for the rest of the weekend.
There is a reason it won Game of the Year.
I want to write more about it, so I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about the session (in a forthcoming post). What I will say is that all those 80’s kids movies where all sorts of crazy nonsense seem to happen when the parents are away: Goonies, Explorers, Monster Squad, etc., well, that’s what this game is. It takes the best of that genre and lets you play as a kid.
Do yourself a favor and check out the game.
Lesson Learned from Gen Con: don’t schedule things at 8 in the morning. That is waaaaay too early. You will skip it.
So it was that Mouse Guard was our first session. I really like the comics, so I was interested to see how the system worked. The basic setup was our group of Mouse Guard needed to find a snake’s nest and deal with the eggs we found there. Using pre-gens, each character had a few roleplaying style traits that they could appeal to during the course of play. Say that you often put other’s needs above your own – you might get a bonus dice to help with that particular skill check. In addition, if someone wanted to assist another character with a check, they could as long as they were willing to accept a condition (tired, injured, etc.) if the roll backfired.
The bigger question I had about the system was more that one of your Skills was your Mouse Nature. You could use this skill when nothing else seemed to fit (or pretty much whenever it might make sense – which could be nearly every time you checked something). As my character’s Nature was probably his best stat, I wasn’t so sure why I would ever use anything else. Perhaps it works itself out in longer campaigns?
The final Boss battle was very different. Basically, you could choose one of 4 different tactics (Defense, Feint, Attack, and Maneuver) as did the GM and then one by one you would almost play a game of Paper Rock Scissors where however the cards came up different things happened. In the end, the Guard was trying to reduce the enemy to 0 before they were reduced to 0 (this was a team determined score). A very interesting idea, but for some of the characters, there wasn’t much to decide. If you were primarily a defensive character, you should probably go with your strengths, but this would leave your combat turns more or less the same. Again, in a longer campaign, I could see a metagame forming as the DM tries to anticipate your moves based off previous battles.
The evening saw us play 7th Sea. Egg and I had supported the 2nd edition Kickstarter and now have more pdfs than I could read in a hundred lifetimes (seriously, it is the gift that keeps on giving). In regards to the session itself…
The successes (known as Raises) work well enough, but my problem is things don’t always feel balanced. The number of Raises you get basically helps to determine the number of things you can accomplish in a round (# of actions you get). Multiple times I saw people get 5 and 6 Raises to my 2 or 3, which meant that they were getting to just do more things. Over a short combat this is less of an issue, but as the rounds increase, the difference of 2 additional “things” means one of the players just isn’t able to do as much.
So while the over the top play was fun, the actual rules didn’t sit well with me.
Did I mention not to schedule things at 8 AM?
In the morning.
When you should be sleeping?
Because we didn’t make that session either.
Since this was get-away day, we tried to do the remainder of the Dealer’s Room (you know, that last 95%). I’m proud to say that I think I saw nearly everything, even if it was a drive-by. One of the stand-outs was Shadows of Esteren, a series of RPG books that I nearly bought just to look at the beautiful artwork. It’s definitely one I’m going to keep my eye on for possibly adding to my pdf collection.
As to purchases, I did get a copy of Tales from the Loop (I told you I really liked the game) and a card game called Brass Empire (go figure a Steampunk game MIGHT appeal to me). Still, haven’t busted either of them out to play, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
Would I go back? Absolutely.There are so many things that I would have liked to do. I’d never roleplayed at a convention before, so this was an eye-opening experience to that. There were tons of games and systems I would have liked to
There are so many things that I would have liked to do. I’d never roleplayed at a convention before, so this was an eye-opening experience to that. There were tons of games and systems I would have liked to play, so those would go to the top of the list.
So did the Convention live up to what I had in my head? Yes and then some.
For as long as I can remember, for as soon as we learned of its existence, there was talk among my gaming crew about going to Gen Con.
“More games than you can imagine.”
“Artists all over the place.”
“Play games until you can’t see anymore. Then wake up and do it again.”
Yet, it might as well have been El Dorado or some other bit of myth. When you are in Georgia, Wisconsin or Indiana or wherever the convention was being held (“somewhere in the Midwest, right?”), that might as well be on the other side of the globe. Add to the fact that none of us had any money at this point.
A pipe dream. And like most pipe dreams it lingered for a while. Random mentions of it throughout our college years, but no one was ever serious. Heck, we had Dragon Con for all of that “stuff” right in our back yard.
Then as our college days faded and with it all the extra time we seem to have in our youth… well, now we had money, but no time to go do it. And even though we still got together from time to time, many of us had moved away, got married, etc.
You know, the adult stuff.
But it was an itch for one of my friends, Lee. He had always been the one to bring it up. Sometimes out of the blue, always trying to gauge potential interest. Even as people wearied of Dragon Con embracing other “stuff”, he continued to look north.
Last year he was convinced. Sort of a now or never some 25+ years since originally bringing it up. Egg Embry joined him and off to Indiana they went.
I must admit I was jealous. I had the opportunity, but after the trip to Alaska at the beginning of summer, a trip to Indiana didn’t seem the best decision.
When they got back the talk had changed. It was no longer something they wanted to do again… at some point in the future, but they were already planning for 2017. And there was no reason for me not to crash their party this time.
Who would have thought the nerds and geeks would need to take over the football stadium. Awesome!
As a comic writer, I’ve done a few conventions over the years, but aside from Dragon Con and New York Comic Con, nothing else compares to the size of Gen Con. They took over Lucas Oil Stadium (where the Colts play) this year because the Convention Center didn’t have enough room. 4-day badges sold out. 60,000+ people.
And every one of them either want to play games, buy games, sell games, or maybe just soak it all up.
We arrived on Wednesday night, managed to get checked into our hotel room, and then headed out to see what trouble we could get into, maybe grab a bite to eat, get the lay of the land.
Indianapolis is flat.
And after a few hours of walking around, I was extremely happy with this situation.
We’d already planned out our gaming sessions back in May/June. The goal was to play about 7 different gaming systems. You see, we’ve been pretty much Dungeons and Dragons players most of our gaming lives. We’ve dabbled in the White Wolf Vampire/Werewolf games. There were at least one West End Games Star Wars campaigns. Even a bunch of one-offs with Palladium’s Rifts and Macros sessions. But this was an opportunity to play different things, branch out a little bit, maybe even figure out that the might be *gasp* a better system than D&D.
Vampire 5th edition was held at 10 AM on Thursday, which also coincides with the actual “start” of the convention (basically when the dealer room actually opens). What this really means is a mass of people – and by mass of people I mean thousands of people – are lined up in the convention center waiting to be let in. It was so packed in that area there was enough room for two people to walk past each other if you sucked in your gut and possibly leaned into the other people pressed against the wall.
So it would reason our game was at the far end of this area. If only we had Fezik to clear a path… drowning in the sea of people we somehow pushed, slipped, sidestepped, and probably pissed off a handful of people who thought we were trying to cut in line, we made it to the room and a short time after we started the game.
This was actually a playtest. Whether you’d played Vampire back in the day or not, they were making tweaks to the rules (a good thing for me because all I remembered of the system was that I rolled a lot of 10-sided dice). For the adventure, we were provided pre-generated characters. They had their various stats right there as well as a brief background and desires. Well, I say brief, but it was two pages worth of information before you even reached the stats.
The story was one of a drug deal gone sideways. Personally one of the best moments of the session was when the Game Master said to us “yeah, you’re pretty much off script at this point”. In my head, it was like we had figured out a loophole in the story – and since this was a playtest, it kind of meant we actually were contributing to making the adventure better down the road.
As to the system itself – I enjoyed that when you’re playing a vampire the Hunger is always present. Mechanically they simulated that by having one of your die a different color (red anyone?) and if you rolled a 10 on the special die then things could get… messy.
I did see something in this game that would come up again and again in other games we ended up playing over the weekend. Playing non-combat focused characters works really well in a campaign as there will be plenty of places to really roleplay your abilities, but in a four-hour session where you’ll never play that particular character again… well, it makes things a bit more awkward once combat actually breaks out. It’s not so much that I mind other players being able to do cool things in battle, but more that I wasn’t sure how I might contribute with sub par physical stats.
Lil’ Egg Embry Reporting…
After the game, we rushed out to meet Dan Davenport and his wife, Lisa, for lunch (both extremely nice people who made the wait for our food all the more bearable) (check out Dan’s Blog here). Egg had connected with him online, so this became a great opportunity to put a face to each other. Of course, I’m not sure they knew what they signed up for as Egg peppered the two of them for a complete history of their gaming days. I kept waiting for him to say”Egg Embry, press corps, follow up question on my previous question about the
“Egg Embry, press corps, follow up question on my previous question about the aforementioned item…”
When lunch was finished, we made our way back to the convention center and dove into the Dealer’s room…
Hope you enjoyed Part 1, Part 2 will be up next week.
A lot of good RPG Kickstarters get overshadowed by better known publishers or titles. Others, like third-party 5e or Pathfinder products, have to compete against a sea of competition. This week, I’m counting down eight [Good gravy!!!] RPG campaigns that deserve a look. Some of these offer wanna-lancer* rewards that are worth considering into if you want to build your RPG resume.
*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.
“A modern day Roleplaying game where players create various types of magic users. Urban fantasy magic meets gritty crime drama.
Wicked Pacts – Grunt Archetype
Unknown to the general public, there are chaotic societies filled with magic, supernatural creatures, and other beings trying to establish themselves in the enchanted world and to promote their self interests regardless of the conflict that ensues. Meanwhile, many of the responsible magic practitioners do their best to shield the Ungifted from the reality of their existence to avoid a modern day witch hunt. It is in everyone’s best interest not to draw attention to their mystical world.
In Wicked Pacts players create magic users from various types of blood lines, from Pure blooded, half-blooded, Angel blooded, or Demon Blooded. Furthermore, there are a wide variety of magic training thus forging them into an archetype they can pick from in the game. Wicked Pacts features Talents, Complications, and a ton of Spells.
The game mechanics are designed to be fast and easy to learn, but not too easy it waters down the play and detail of the action. Wicked Pacts uses the regular polyhedral dice set and also what we call our Tarot Card element. Each character is linked to an Arcana card in a Tarot Deck. This card and many other cards can be used as fuel for the GM or the Player to affect various elements in the storytelling.”
“Pledge $100 or more
For your pledge, you will be able to work with the creator to help design either a supernatural monster, organization or ultimate bad guy or adventure with full credit to your contribution.”
This is a new dice and Tarot Card combo gaming system that you can help fund. Or, if you want to create content for this setting/system, you can pledge to create a substantial element for it. You can write up an organization or adventure which could have an impact on the direction of this game. Their wanna-lancer reward gives you the chance to influence Wicked Pacts from the start.
You can see examples of The Polyhedral Knights work at DriveThruRPG here.
“The Lion’s Vault – Part 3 of the Fate of the Forebears adventure path for 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder RPG.
Lion’s Vault is the third chapter of the Fate of the Forebears Adventure Path, beginning immediately after the close of City of Sands module. The players must now venture out into the desert wastes of the Mirrored Steppes to uncover the secrets of an ancient city in ruins. Characters must withstand an ever-present corruption that feasts on their will, while they race treasure hunters and bandits through trapped-filled ruins to find the corruption’s source, an unspeakable horror protected by an ageless guardian.
The 80+ page adventure is setting agnostic, but with original locations and written for both Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition as well as the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The module will take characters from level 9 to level 11 and brings them through three narrative acts of a story arc, yielding 10-12 sessions of play. It is the continuation of the second module of Fate of the Forebears AP, City of Sands, which, in turn, picks up after the first module, Domes of Ishaq-Zahur.
In addition to the module, there will be an opportunity to pledge for digital assets in addition to PDF and print versions, which will allow you to easily run it online through virtual tabletop as well as at your table.
The destruction and terror the Nartheneen scepter caused on the metropolis of Archensheen will mark the city for decades. But even as the warring factions of the city fell to its power, it was clear that its evil source came from somewhere. Following a trail of disreputable treasure hunters, it is learned that a long-ruined Nartheneen city in the wastes of the Mirrored Steppes was the source of not only that scepter but all manner of evil and corrupted artifacts.
A dark corruption lies beneath the Nartheneen ruins, tainting everything around it—and this corruption is protected by ancient guardians who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets. What extremes must the adventurers reach to reveal the Nartheneen secrets and what horrors will awaken when they do?”
This is the first of five RPGs that are for either 5e or Pathfinder or both (six if you count Starfinder since it’s akin to Pathfinder/3.5e). With that in mind, each of these 5e/PF adventures deserves a look because they all have something to offer.
You can see examples of 2CGaming work at DriveThruRPG here.
“The Mysterious Happenings at Furlong Down is an adventure landscape (mini campaign) for 5th edition D&D. It is for 4-6 2nd level PCs.
The Restless Dead
The Mysterious Happenings at Furlong Down is an adventure landscape (mini campaign) for use with 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. It pays homage to early 1st edition modules such as Bone Hill, Sinister Secret of the Saltmarsh and Against the Cult of the Reptile God. It also draws specific inspiration from the following 1980s small press publications: Starstone by Paul Vernon & the Adventures in Tortured Souls Magazine.
There are at least 20 quests / plots / mysteries to resolve. There is plenty for the PC’s to do.
This Kickstarter is to raise funds to pay for editing and to add as much art, from the most excellent Jonny Gray, as possible. Some draft illustrations are shown.
This publication will contain:
A rural village to investigate, and save?
20 wilderness encounters to overcome.
10 site based adventure areas (with 11 maps), containing about a 100 dungeon ‘rooms’.
A random encounter table for the various terrains.
A table of rumour, worry and gossip.
A map for Hexploration outlining the ranges of the many foul, and fair, creatures that roam the land.
Total 32-36 page count PDF in two column format. Size 11 font. Approximately 20,000 words.
Access to an at cost Print On Demand.
A call for help from a PC’s relative takes the party to the area around the village of Furlong Down. All is not well. A strange pallor has afflicted the village teenagers; farmers report sightings of dangerous beasts. The county was once plagued by a now destroyed vampire, but it still casts a shadow the village cannot escape from.
The PCs should be 5th level by the time they have made the land safe once more. The adventure is suitable for a whole range of classes, and races.”
Too many to list. They start at £7 (about $9) and let you create undead, sprites, warriors, and more.
Jared, Volunteer for the Village Patrol, is no match for the challenges ahead
Egg’s Thoughts on The Cruellest Mistress Of All:
I backed John R. Davis’ The Cruellest Mistress Of All Kickstarter and pledged for a vanity press reward. My pledge allowed me to get the adventure and the prequel as well as create and write a setting and NPCs. The reward let me write a location but John let me sneak in a pair of NPCs to enhance the flavoring. John was easy to work with, very open to my ideas, and offered a lot of praise (and may use the setting/NPCs in a future volume of his adventure path. That was a validating conversation). CMoA was a nice addition to my RPG resume and pleasant work experience.
For John’s campaign, I gave £15 (about $24 at the time). If I hadn’t pledged for that, I would have gone with the Forgotten Souls level (£14 or about $21) that included the prequel adventure, the adventure for CMoA and the gazetteer. My wanna-lancer cost was a pound or about $3 (all January, 2016 conversions and poor rounding). The adventure is fun, the art is solid, and my writing appears in the product. I count this as a win!
[UPDATE – 2017-08-29 at 13:23 – After I messaged John R Davis about this post, he emailed me about my CMoA submission –
“Hi Egg Thanks for the support One of your merfolk is pencilled in to become sea-dragon food in Part 4 of Keranow! Might feel a bit guilty about that now! regards John“
John cracks me up! Support his newest campaign here.]
Egg’s Thoughts on The Mysterious Happenings at Furlong Down. 5th ed Adventure:
Based on my experience with John R. Davis, this is an easy recommendation. I expect a great adventure, great art, probably some extras, and John is very open to including your ideas. The base cost is £5/$7 or you can create content for £7/$9. The extra cost is negligible and a great resume builder. I cannot recommend it enough!
You can see examples of John R. Davis’ work at DriveThruRPG here.
“Sometimes the greatest adventure in space is simply surviving the orders of your captain. Redshirts brings laughs to your gaming table.
Chief of Security, Mitzy Stuffington
Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity (Vol. 1) is a Starfinder compatible Adventure Path, guaranteed to have your PCs laughing hysterically from one end of the galaxy to the other.
Critics have called it “The Office meets Survivor…in space.”
Unlike most RPGs which set up the PCs to achieve great heroic victories over threats to the very existence of the world, Redshirts is more a game of survival, as in can the PCs survive the ridiculous orders of the command crew. Redshirts is perfect for players wishing to emulate the tone of comedic Space-Opera settings such as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Futurama, or Spaceballs. It parodies and builds upon popular Sci-fi settings and tropes, while building its own niche.
The final product will be between 100-120 pages, and will include 5 pre-gen characters for those that just want to pick up and play. It is available in PDF, softback, and hardcover (all in full color).
Redshirts plays like a combination of a Role-playing game and an improv comedy routine (always say “yes”), as the PCs run the crew’s most dangerous errands. Vol. 1 encompasses the first three “missions” and takes the PCs from level 1 to level 3.
Mission 1: The Terrible Tacos: When Captain Ginny wakes up after a weekend bender with an intense craving for tacos, she decides to send her newly arrived recruits on their first mission. Unfortunately for the recruits, the local Taco Galaxy is under deadly new management.
Mission 2: The Cheaper Cleaner: Stuck in a surveillance mission around a dying star, first officer Laisse Faire decides to save a few credits and send the PCs to pick up his dry cleaning instead of paying for delivery. He’s sure the quarantine around the planet won’t be a problem.
Mission 3: The Pirate Bonanza: When several important pieces of the ship’s engine go missing, the PCs are sent shopping at the local space pirate flea market with a budget of $0 and the Captain expecting change back. Can the PCs get the ship back in working order or will they end up swabbing the decks of a pirate ship for the rest of their days?
Redshirts: Adventure in Absurdity (Vol. 1) will include the following new things that can be used in any Starfinder game:
3 new specific settings (2 space stations and a planet) which will include statistics and maps.
6 new playable races including: Door-tu-Dorans, Plushians, Aggressians, Mongrels, Pointers, and Beardies.
15 new monsters/NPCs to challenge your PCs, each with full stat blocks and artwork.
Detailed backstory for the Confederation of United Nebuls, Terrestials, and Sidereals (The people who pay the PCs tiny salary). The name of this huge bureaucracy refers to the three types of creatures eligible for citizenship in the Confederation:
Nebuls (creatures born on non-human worlds or races without significant amounts of human DNA)
Terrestials (Creatures born on human worlds with a significant amount of human DNA)
Sidereals (creatures naturally born in space or difficult to categorize)”
“Pledge $200 or more
Design an NPC
Backers at this level will work with the design team to create an NPC crew member that will appear throughout the Redshirts adventure path. This character can be of any race that exists or we can design a new one to fit it. The character will receive a prominent role in the overall storyline, and will have original artwork designed for it. This backer level will also receive front cover credit as a designer…
Pledge $500 or more
Design a mission
A backer at this level can work with us to design an entire 25-35 page mission including creating new NPCS, races, monsters, and a planetary (or space based) setting. Includes up to 5 pieces of original artwork based on your creation. Backers at this level will be credited in the front cover as a designer.”
Paizo’s Starfinder was crazy popular at Gen Con 50 and sold out in seven hours on the first day of the show. Rumor at the con was Paizo brought 150% of the largest inventory they’d ever brought to a show. 7 hours ate that. Demos for Starfinder had hour-long lines even on Sunday. There is an appetite for Starfinder that Paizo and third party publishers are working to meet. That brings us to Redshirts: A Starfinder Comedy Adventure Path (Levels 1-3) by Happy Gnome Publishing. Launched with a 60-day funding period, this Kickstarter used its longer-than-normal length to ride the growing wave of interest in Starfinder and reach a wider audience. They’re developing a setting that lampoons Star Trek within the Starfinder setting. Interested in designing a NPC or an adventure early in the lifecycle of Starfinder? This campaign offers an opportunity to do just that. You can show off your chops with one of the hottest games in 2017.
You can see examples of Happy Gnome Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.
“A role playing game adventure module for the 5th edition game mechanic. If you like Dungeons and Dragons this is for you. RPG DND 5e
Sample image from play test draft
Pieron was just another commoner until an encounter with a mysterious woman and a magical deck of cards changed his destiny. Now Pieron is seeking out stout companions to aid him in claiming his birthright, the Keep at Glenfallow.
Overrun by monsters a century ago, the keep at Glenfallow now lies in ruin.
Will you help Pieron face unknown peril? Would you dare to stand beside the future lord of Glenfallow as he struggles to retake what it is rightfully his? Can you forge the destiny of a newly minted lord?
A host of monsters stand between Pieron and his destiny. The malicious goblin chief lords over his subjects, and dark creatures stir in the catacombs beneath the keep.
Will you gamble your future on The Draw of Glenfallow?”
This is the third of five RPGs that are for either 5e or Pathfinder or both in this post. The Draw of Glenfallow is the first in a series from Sinopa Publishing LLC. This adventure is currently 48 pages and should grow a bit with maps and art. At $5 for “a PDF copy of the module, … [and] the Encounter Scale System printable encounter map pack”, the price is hard to argue with.
You can see examples of Sinopa Publishing LLC work at DriveThruRPG here.
“An epic adventure that explores themes of madness and obsession, of betrayal and consequence, and the hope of redemption.
The Mad God’s legacy continues to plague the Eternal City!
The Echo of Faith, a twisted spirit obsessed with atoning for her crime of deicide, plunges Anduria deeper into the darkness of the void. Her plans bring the unsuspecting citizens that much closer to the brink of annihilation.
Only a handful of souls are even aware of the coming darkness, and most of those cannot be trusted. The characters are all that stand between the city and utter ruin.
Having survived the mind bending energies of corrupt artifacts, the hungry predation of nightmarish creatures and the plans of sorcerers and devil worshipers, the characters stand on the cusp of understanding just how deep the crisis goes…
The continuing adventures begin to peel away the final layers to allow the players to see the bigger picture at play. All the hints and clues they have gathered so far begin to fit together.
“Sanitarium” (Adventure 4) details the fall from grace of the Healing Hands, an altruistic organisation that has been secretly harboring the divine corpse of the Mad God Aether. The acolytes are about to learn that the aphorism “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” holds truth, as their attempts to siphon off divine energies only accelerate the city’s woes, and that deals with infernal organisations never end well – for anyone. The city will never be the same.
As the dust settles, the characters, armed with knowledge of an arcane ritual that might arrest the slide into madness, must uncover why the city has been bled dry of much needed silver. “Seeking Silver” (Adventure 5) sees the characters uncover the oppression of a nearby mining community at the hands of evil forces and amoral merchants, and the seemingly unconnected events that are actually derived from the same source as the city’s troubles. They must confront a fallen ally and offer them one last chance at redemption…”
“Pledge AU$ 70 (About $55) Pyromaniac
…the naming and description rights (and statistical input) on an NPC Hero or Villain that will appear in the “Seeking Silver” adventure (submission guidelines apply). Your creation will have bust artwork in the book based on your specifications.”
Another option for the world’s most popular role-playing games, What Lies Beyond Reason offers an epic adventure. What’s the quality like? You can try the What Lies Beyond Reason Player’s Guide for free here. If you like it, they offer a chance for you to submit a NPC to the adventure and get the character drawn.
Also, let’s quote about…
“All of the products from the first kickstarter have received strongly positive reader reviews, but they have also been critiqued by Endzeitgeist a respected and impartial critic who is widely held to be the most prolific reviewer of 3rd party Pathfinder and OSR material to date, with a continually expanding catalogue. He has more recently added 5th edition material to his reviews. He has no compunctions about disassembling material and spotlighting its flaws.
All five products (6 if you count the Player’s Guide) were rated 4.5 stars or better (on a 5 star scale), with two – the Campaign Guide for pathfinder and From the Ashes (adventure 3) for both pathfinder/5th ed – receiving his personal recommendation.
This is a passion project for me – you will only ever get my best work. You don’t have to simply take my word for it, you can read the reviews here.”
You can see examples of Pyromaniac Press work at DriveThruRPG here and their free What Lies Beyond Reason Player’s Guide here.
“6 5th edition adventures within 2 story arcs & 2 supplements: Blood Hunter CR0-20 & 1st level Adventuring Days
Welcome to the 20th volume of Dimgaard’s 5th edition adventures. Thanks for the consideration. If you want to see what a Dimgaard adventure module looks like, here is a sample (the first episode of this volume’s Tyranny in Purple). Also, here is the first episode of the Fey Secrets series.
In this volume we continue with Fey Secrets. We present episodes 16 through 18. We also continue with episodes 5 through 7 of Tyranny in Purple. As bonuses we have the supplement GLD21 Blood Hunter CR0-20 and DGS30 Adventuring Days I (for 1st level PCs).”
“Pledge $100 or more
…Have a favorite PC that you would like to see become a permanent NPC — cool. If you have a reasonable idea, we’ll probably be receptive.”
The Dimgaard adventure path series is huge. Want to try the campaign guide for free, DriveThruRPG has it available here. Want to be a part of one of the longest-running (if not the longest) Kickstarted 5e adventure paths? Here’s your chance to be a part of volume 20. Have a NPC or another cool idea that you want to use to help build this world? Dan Hass Endeavors is open to your ideas.
You can see examples of Dan Hass Endeavors work at DriveThruRPG here and the campaign guide for free here.
“A tabletop roleplaying game with dice. Quick to learn for gamers of all experiences, Raids lets players tell the stories they want to.
What is Raids?
Raids is an immersive storytelling role playing game. I use that description because the focus should be on the stories that the players are creating, with the rules acting as a framework and a guide, rather than constricting them. That’s not to say that Raids won’t offer a challenge for veteran gamers- the base setting is a dark fantasy world, where you’ll need to think carefully about your actions or else you’ll find it very challenging.”
“Pledge £70 or (About $91) Guest designer bundle
…PLUS- You will get to help design and name a creature OR a location that will be included in the rulebook with you listed as designer on the page, and receive an exclusive print of your creation’s artwork.
(Please note that we reserve the rights to make any necessary changes to the created creature or location, to ensure copyright laws are not breached and that it does not contain any offensive material.”
If storytelling RPGs are what you’re looking for, Raids offers a new system to consider. On top of that, you can create a creature or, exercising more of the creative-chops, you can create a location. The location could let you spread your wings a bit wider and add more to the world.
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: