This week five RPG Kickstarter creators (including two from the first article of this column) share what currently funding crowdfunding projects they’re excited about. I talk to the creators of:
- A.R.M.zine by Reign Dragon Press
- Brassman’s Adventure Club by Brassman Foundry
- Creeping Cold by Silver Bulette
- Monsterpunk by Gegenschein Games
- The Blackest of Deaths – A Dire Old School Fantasy RPG by Bloat Games
A.R.M.zine by Reign Dragon Press
END DATE: Tue, May 14 2019 9:30 AM EDT.
“A.R.M.zine is a Fanzine dedicated to teaching kids (of all ages) how to play tabletop Role-Playing Games.”
Sean Hillman (Reign Dragon Press) recommends:
“One Child’s Heart. This seems like an amazing idea. I think this might be one of the KS RPGs we are talking about in two years as a game changer. I know that is a lot of pressure to put on the creator but I feel like it has the juice.
Sundown. Always love an RPG with a great concept behind it. And the way it embraces the characters as different is refreshing. It also does not pull many punches from what I can see. I hope it does well and can gets lots of support.
Coloring Trees. This is not an RPG product per se, but I feel like it is the kind of product I would by to inspire my gaming. It looks beautiful and I am already getting ideas of a game or setting that could feature the trees? I may pitch the idea to the creator at some point.”
Brassman’s Adventure Club by Brassman Foundry
END DATE: Mon, April 22 2019 1:00 PM EDT.
“Monthy Subscription Service for DnD RPG Adventures and Accessories”
Matthew Charles (Brassman Foundry) recommends:
“There are three tabletop RPG Kickstarter campaigns that I’m currently following. Oldest to newest they are:
The Party Backstory Generator may be the most interesting conceptually. It’s always a little awkward to get a new party started. In past campaigns that I’ve run I’ve used a simple system where each player randomly draws the name of someone else’s character and chooses how they are related. That often leads to interesting role-play and factionalism within the party that can bring out a more interesting story than the text of an adventure describes. So I’m excited to see a fully-developed system where the players get some agency (and therefore emotional investment) in the world that they’ll probably have to save from… something.
For the Dungeon is a game that turns the tables on the traditional hero vs minion relationship. One of my favorite campaigns that I ran (back in the 90s) was one where the players rolled up several sets of stats, picked the worst one, and made a kobold. It was supposed to be a one-shot while I figured out what was going to happen in the main campaign. Tiamat have mercy, the adventurers are coming! Twenty years later, those sessions are more memorable than whatever the “real” campaign was about. This looks like a lot of fun and the perfect guide for other DMs to do the same.
Odyssey of the Dragonlords just launched this week, and fully funded overnight. This one looks like a great example of excellent production value. I’ll be getting the physical book to see where the bar has been set for our future projects.”
- Christine Pruett (Castles & Cats) recommended Brassman’s Adventure Club in last week’s column (here).
- Adam Meyers (Drop Dead Studios) of Ultimate Spheres of Power: The Complete System! (Pathfinder) recommended the Party Background Generator here.
Creeping Cold by Silver Bulette
END DATE: Tue, April 30 2019 10:30 PM EDT.
“A 5E adventure that promises chills and excitement!”
Jayson Gardner (Silver Bullette) recommends:
“The first RPG Kickstarter that I would like to highlight is The Grande Temple of Jing for 5E. I own the Pathfinder version, and am excited to see the new book. Megadungeons are my favorite play style, and Jing does everything in the genre well.
The next RPG I want to point out is Ultimate Bestiary: The Dread Accursed. Every game master loves monsters and this book looks to have a unique take on staple undead.
Finally, I would like to mention Old-School Essentials. This project looks to capture the nostalgia from the 1980’s boxed sets. I cut my teeth in RPGs during that era, and am excited to to see this project.
And one more, not quite RPG. Return to Ravingspire looks awesome! Cheesy 1980’s game commercial? Check. Able to play 1 player or 4 players? Check. Packaged in a box disguised as a book? Check. They even have an audible stretch goal! It looks like an RPG disguised as a board game to me.”
- Creeping Cold was recommended by Glynn Seal (The City of Great Lunden) in last week’s article (here).
- Eric Bloat (Bloat Games) recommends Old-School Essentials (below).
Monsterpunk by Gegenschein Games
END DATE: Mon, May 6 2019 4:03 PM EDT.
“A post-apocalyptic RPG of humans, monsters and humans becoming monsters.”
Juan Herrera (Gegenschein Games) recommends:
“I don’t go out of my way to look for campaigns these days, but I’m aware of two ongoing RPG kickstarters of which I’ve only heard good things:
The first is Fight! 2nd Edition. It’s a cinematic game with tactical combat about simulating the specific kind of experience of a fighting game as well as its type of storytelling. Fighting games are a very kinetic experience and it’s really hard to translate that into a tabletop format. That Fight!’s 1st edition had a positive reception and is now going for a 2nd edition says a lot to me about the creator’s design chops.
The other is Fellowship 2nd Edition. Fellowship is an adventuring-themed game without a traditional GM, instead there is a player who plays the role of the Overlord who the others must stop. As a result it gives every player a lot of control over not just the narrative but also the worldbuilding, making for an empowering and inclusive experience.”
The Blackest of Deaths – A Dire Old School Fantasy RPG by Bloat Games
END DATE: Thu, May 9 2019 9:00 PM EDT.
“The Creator of Dark Places & Demogorgons & Vigilante City brings you a tabletop roleplaying with a bleak chance of survival!”
Eric Bloat (Bloat Games) recommends:
“Old-School Essentials by Necrotic Gnome Back when this series of books was called B/X Essentials, I picked all of them up and was blown away. This is not a house-ruled retro clone. This IS the original rules, redesigned for ease of use and re-written for clarity. And now with the Kickstarter, the Necrotic Gnome has once again refined the books and design and added the missing “basic” info, like “What is a roleplaying game?” to be more welcoming to new players. I can’t wait to get this one in my hands!
5×7 Dungeon Card Set by Dan Smith If I a Kickstarter says “by Dan Smith” I back it. Period. Dan is a fantastic artistic and always approaches each project with an artist’s vision in mind.
For The Dungeon by Jordan This one is pretty neat. It’s not your standard run of the mill Dungeon Crawler. In this game, you don’t play as the hero’s, you play as the minions that populate the dungeon. The example art is fantastic, and the tone is light and fun. Perfect for a night where, one of your players can make it but everyone else still wants to game.
From the Ashes by FGFantasy. A twisted OSR project where you start the game as a ghost of a dead character! And you remember your life, you remember how you died. You want revenge! But as you try to fulfill your mission, you might “die” again, and you’ll simply respawn. However, die too many times and it’s off to Hell with your miserable dead self.
Umerican Road Atlas and Unmerican Unnatural By Reid San Filippo Born out of the DCC RPG fanzine, Crawling Under A Broken Moon, Reid and his long list of contributors, continues his commitment to bring you a crazy, over the top, fully fleshed out Post-Apocalyptic setting built on the back of the rules to Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, so you know this one is going to be gonzo and it’s going to rock!”
Announcing A.R.M.zine !
ARMzine or the Apprentice Role-playing Manual is an rpg/fanzine designed to be a fun way to teach kids (of all ages) how to play AND run role-playing games, without the need for traditional call backs or social barriers to entry. ARMzine is being design with a simple D6 + Skill, fail forward philosophy where success is team building and creativity, not necessarily how many bad guys you bulldozed. Random charts provide the Game Master and their crew (players) with tools to generate completely random adventures, including genre, setting, and the weirdness factors.
ARMzine is setting and genre neutral. This means that one does not need a particular knowledge of either history or RPG traditions to play or run ARMzine inspired games. The cool traditions will be baked in and the unneeded baggage will be left out. In addition, as many kids will be rounded up to playtest ARMzine as we can find. It won’t be adults talking down to kids; the kids will have a say in how the game is designed.
Become one of the backers for this great idea! Head on over to Kickstarter and put your support behind ARMzine!
The Dungeon – A set of 2 ModularBooks of Battle Mats for RPG launches on Kickstarter 18 April
Wipe Clean laminated pages of linked Dungeon themed Battle Maps for RPG encounters
Attention Adventurers! An Endless Dungeon awaits! Launching on Kickstarter April 18
The Dungeon, A set of 2 Modular Books of Battle Mats for RPG, is the new modular adventure map book release from Loke BattleMats. A unique product which combines easy storage and portability with up to an epic 2’x2’ playing area and a endless number of map combination options.
The Dungeon is level and flat so it plays just like one large map. Our wire bound format is the closest you can get to a traditional RPG Tabletop mat will all the advantages of a book as well. Just open & Roll!
Fully Laminated throughout and thus wipe clean, every page bar the front & back covers is a map so you get the maximum dungeon out of the books! No more hastily drawing dungeons or spending hours preparing for games. Just open & roll for initiative!
Presented as a set, The Dungeon comprises two 12”x 12” Modular Books of Battle Mats designed to either create 12”x12” or 12”x24” maps using one book, or combine two books to form 24”x24” playing areas, 12”x48”, or frankly any other combination you can think of. Designs have standard entry/exit points to allow the adventure to grow and grow.
The wire bound spine allows the books to lay completely flat or fold completely in half. It also means you can ensure the books are 100% level so your adventure can move seamlessly across the map.
The Dungeon, a Modular Book of Battle Mats set, features -
- Two Book set presented as a set.
- Each book is 30 map pages (we will be increasing the page count as stretch goals are hit).
- Portable, adaptable, expandable and modular.
- Wipe Clean laminated pages of Dungeon themed Battle Maps for RPG encounters
- Wire Bound format, 360° spine offers unrivaled flexibility and lays completely flat.
- Linked designs & standard entry/exit points throughout to allow play across multiple pages and books seamlessly.
- 1 inch grid throughout.
Launching on Kickstarter April 18
For further information or comments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tri Tac Legacy Releases Bureau 13 Savage Worlds Jumpstart
Oak Park Michigan: 04.13.2019: Tri Tac Legacy (TTL) revealed their Jumpstart for upcoming Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic Savage Worlds Edition.
A “Jumpstart”, according the Shane Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment Group (PEG), creators of the Savage Worlds Adventures Edition (SWADE) table-top role-playing game, is a “showcase the best of [Independent Licensed Publishers’] various worlds we’d share […] with our Kickstarter backers.” Each Jumpstart provides a glimpse into the Savage Worlds project being developed by the dozens of independent studios that have been licensed by PEG. There are currently over fifty “worlds” developing projects for SWADE. Per the rules, each portfolio must come with a fully-playable adventure using the SWADE core book and should represent the vision for the world.
TTL’s JumpStart includes an introduction to how to become a Bureau 13 “Agent”, stats on the 1970’s Colorado RV that Agents are given, the updated “Thing From Walnut Creek” adventure, six playable Agents, and other bits and pieces. Additionally, the Jumpstart features the full wrap-around cover created by award-winning author and artist Phil Foglio (Girl Genius).
Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic was created in 1982 by Richard Tucholka and won the 1991 Gamers Choice Award at GenCon. Before his passing, Tucholka produced several revisions to the game, but voiced a desire to take the world back to its “everyday people against the supernatural” roots. The Savage Worlds adaptation was commissioned by Tucholka’s estate and, two years ago, Longshot Productions (LSP) was contracted to oversee the project. The Bureau 13 JumpStart is the first glimpse into TTL’s new vision.
While a defunded government agency tasked with saving the world might not seem new to most, the LSP’s design team has taken the familiar and added new, modern twists to previously explored monsters, situations and weapons, demonstrated by the monstrous ManFish (Don’t call them Fishmen!) that travel in packs of “bros” and can be calmed down by appealing to their vanity, or Agent Bill Taggert, a were-chinchilla, whose turn-ons are long hops in the mountains and dust baths (Turn-offs include silver and sudden loud noises.)
The Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic Savage Worlds Edition Kickstarter begins Friday, September 13, 2019 at 13:13:13 hours MST. Follow Longshot Productions for more information about the launch, reward levels, stretch goals and more as it’s announced at https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/longshot-productions
To view the Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic Savage Worlds Edition JumpStart, go to http://tritaclegacy.com/savageworlds/jumpstart/
For more information, interview requests, or business inquiries, please contact Tri Tac Legacy at email@example.com
For PR inquiries, comments, or info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Afterlife: Wandering Souls Launches on Kickstarter 1 May 2019
strange | macabre | unique Leiden, the
Netherlands, 15 April 2019. Angry Hamster Publishing is proud to announce the launch of their newest tabletop role playing game Afterlife: Wandering Souls live on Kickstarter on the 1st of May 2019. The fourth official release by Angry Hamster Publishing, this hardcover, full colour book features a unique setting, custom mechanics, and beautifully illustrated images.
Players take on the roles of Wanderers—people who died, but didn’t end up in Heaven, Hell, or any other traditional afterlife. Devoid of any memories of their life before, Wanderers must travel an endless desert searching through different planes of existence attempting to find some semblance of self. Along the way they encounter strange inhabitants, alien cultures, and other humans who’ve lost all hope and are bent on destroying them.
Afterlife: Wandering Souls was created by Elizabeth Chaipraditkul founder of Angry Hamster Publishing. The game explores the themes of hope, self-exploration, and delves into the realm of the strange. Surreal settings mixed with macabre themes elicit a mysterious story players must interact with while dealing with familiar real-world problems.
Find more information on Angry Hamster Publishing’s website: http://angryhamsterpublishing.com/afterlife
Or download the free quickstart through DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/267900/Afterlife-Wandering-Souls-Quickstart
For this column, I reach out to crowdfunding creators to ask what projects they’re not in, but are still excited about. I ask each creator separately, so I’m surprised how often a creator recommends another creator’s work in *the same* article. This week, Fire Lizard Games recommended Castles & Cats, all in the same article, and without knowing that they’d appear together. To read their recommendation (as well as these other excellent creators), scroll on!
- Castles & Cats by Christine Pruett
- Party Backstory Generator for 5e and Other Systems by Severed Books (Justin Sirois)
- BASE: a CaRdPG by Fire Lizard Games, LLC
- The City of Great Lunden by MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing (Glynn Seal)
The City of Great Lunden by MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing (Glynn Seal)
ENDS: Sun, April 14 2019 8:00 AM EDT.
“A City Setting for Old School RPGs – The Midderlands setting compatible.”
Glynn Seal (MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing) recommends:
“I thought I’d do a bit of digging around on Kickstarter and found the following projects I like the look of:
A 5E adventure that promises chills and excitement!
“I always people running campaigns on Kickstarter for their first time. I’m into my third now, and they are a rollercoaster of emotions. Ian and Jayson of Silver Bulette are well-funded and still have 18 days left, so this is good to go.
I love adventures where the environment is an enemy. Also, it has 3D printable terrain files as stretch goals, and Fat Dragon Games are doing awesome models. Now I just need to get a 3D printer. Ha!”
Symbar – Mother of Darkness
Enter the vast forest of Davokar in the next episode of the epic Throne of Thorns campaign for the acclaimed Symbaroum RPG.
“I was blown away by the evocative artwork of Symbaroum. This is the fourth part of an epic adventure chronicle – CHRONICLE OF THE THRONE OF THORNS. I find the forest of Davokar hugely intriguing, and the setting as a whole is an example of how to sell a setting based on its artwork alone – well it’s what did it for me. If you dot have the setting or the other three parts you can pick them all up in the campaign at the ‘master bundle’ level. It’s a steal at the price for all the loot you get, and it’ll keep you gaming for years.”
Party Backstory Generator for 5e and Other Systems by Severed Books (Justin Sirois)
ENDS: Tue, April 30 2019 1:09 PM EDT.
“For GMs and players – 5e, Pathfinder, and more. Create limitless backstory, one-shots, side quests, and more that add to your campaign.”
Justin Sirois (Severed Books) recommends:
“The Ultraviolent Grasslands by Luka Rejec is at the very top. I remember sneaking Heavy Metal Fantasy Magazine into my house when I was 13 — knowing the danger of it — feeling like this weird and sick treasure would change my life both creatively and socially. It did. That’s the feeling I get from this game. I can’t wait to crawl through it, bleeding.
I’m a sucker for a well-designed board game. Life Siphon by Lay Waste Games has the right mix of minimal illustrations and weirdness — dark creatures and a dismal vibe. Also, the stretch goals seem unique enough to justify the expense.”
- Last week, Adam Meyers (Drop Dead Studios) of Ultimate Spheres of Power: The Complete System! (Pathfinder) recommended the Party Background Generator
- The Ultraviolet Grasslands has been recommended by Christopher Robin Negelein (Alligator Alley Entertainment) of The Forbidden Libary 5e (here) and by Allen White (STEAM Hack RPGs) of STEAM Hack: RPG Zines for STEM Education (here)
BASE: a CaRdPG by Fire Lizard Games, LLC
ENDS: Tue, April 16 2019 5:02 PM EDT.
“BASE is a collaborative, setting-agnostic RPG. Roll your own adventures!”
Fire Lizard Games, LLC recommends:
“Two active RPGs we love on Kickstarter:
1. From the Ashes by FG Fantasy: From the Ashes intrigued us because of the interesting concept of starting out as an undead being. There are a lot of very cool stories to be told with that starting point. The artwork looks phenomenal, and the Kickstarter has a modest, attainable goal with affordable tiers!
2. Castles & Cats by Christine Pruett: In a big change of pace from our first recommendation, Castles & Cats is a tabletop RPG designed for Preschool and Elementary-aged children. We thought this was such a cool idea, because not only will it help introduce a whole new generation into the wonderful world of TTRPGs, but the social and emotional skills you can learn while playing tabletop games are most important for children of that age.”
Castles & Cats by Christine Pruett
ENDS: Thu, April 25 2019 8:00 AM EDT.
“Castle & Cats is a Tabletop, Role-Playing Game, for Preschool and Elementary aged children.”
Christine Pruett (Castles & Cats) recommends:
“Brassman’s Adventure Club is the monthly subscription service I have been waiting for! With the busyness of adult life looming around every corner it is hard to take the time to carefully plan out my D&D groups next campaign, I feel my campaigns are half baked the majority of the time. Brassman’s Adventure Club is a full campaign mapped out by seasoned DM’s and comes straight to your door every month. This includes all the core tools needed to run your monthly D&D session with little planning, the illustrations look amazing and they have a price options that fits every budget.
As a mom to a child with Autism, I feel Critical Core can not be praised enough. Role playing games have been shown to build social confidence, cognitive communication and critical processing in young adults on the autism spectrum but the team behind Critical Core has taken it to a whole new level. I am very excited to get my hands on this game and share it with my son.”
- Critical Core was shared by High Level Games (Snowhaven for Fifth Edition) and Brandon Dixon of Swordsfall (here) and by Allen White (STEAM Hack RPGs) of STEAM Hack: RPG Zines for STEM Education (here)
- As well as Fire Lizard Games’ (BASE) recommendation above, last week, Ed Jowett (Shades of Vengeance) recommended Castles & Cats
The City of the Steam Sun crowdfunding campaign is coming soon to IndieGoGo!
Mathematically calculated City was to become a new Utopia of the rational age, but the disaster changed everything – the City fell into Limbo, the threshold of Hell. Progress faced ancient magic. The City became a part of Limbo, with no sunlight. The familiar world doesn’t exist anymore. There are other laws and other creatures here – but the scientific method works even in the craziest conditions. People lit their steam Sun here. Every morning it rises over the City on a huge rail. The authorities lead diplomatic negotiations with demons, inventors dream of creation of a conscient automaton, researchers look for traces of ancient civilizations. Scientists and frauds, adventurers and magicians, evil geniuses and brilliant detectives… humans and demons. All of them are in the City of the Steam Sun.
Designed for Savage Worlds, The City of the Steam Sun casts players in the gloomy atmosphere of steampunk Limbo: an explosive mixture of steam technologies and ancient magic. A breathtaking detective story, Victorian mystical horror and adventures in the dim rays of the metal steam sun.
- Two books with a combined volume of about 330 pages with more than 70 full color illustrations.
- More than 40 new edges.
- Three new arcane backgrounds with unique game mechanics: Technomages, relying on their equipment, Blessed Ones, who create miracles from their own life force and Dark Mages, who make grim sacrifices to gather power.
- Flexible rules for creation of inventions, suitable for those who want to dive into creation of a new device and enjoy choosing components and their various combinations; as well as those who prefer to assemble their mechanisms quickly. Create your own fine tuned weapons, transport and even semi-intelligent automatons.
- Three adventures, one per each genre. Discover the plot behind the robbery of the officer of Expeditionary Force in the “Case of the Winged Statuette”, face horrors of the “House of Forgotten”, and reveal some ancient secrets of Limbo on the “Path of the Pilgrim”.
- Lots of secret societies.
- And a wide range of air and steam guns for all fans of steampunk.
The City of the Steam Sun is created by Steam Sun Games, a small pen-and-paper RPG studio from Yekaterinburg, Russia. Now we are finishing the English version. The translation is complete and we’ve decided to crowdfund it to complete editing and layout. Our crowdfunding will go live at April 17, 2019.
IndieGoGo pre-launch page http://igg.me/at/steamsun
The creators behind a 5e library, a Pathfinder magic system, an RPG zine, a convention, and a comic (from an RPG publisher) share what projects on Kickstarter they’re excited about. Check out the projects the creators of these Kickstarters are following:
- Ultimate Spheres of Power: The Complete System! (Pathfinder) by Drop Dead Studios
- The Forbidden Library 5E by Alligator Alley Entertainment
- The Way of Wicked Sin #ZineQuest by Advanced Fantasy Roleplaying
- CharCon 2019 – THE West Virginia Gaming Convention by CharCon Game Convention
- Fauna #1 by Shades of Vengeance Comics
Ultimate Spheres of Power: The Complete System! (Pathfinder) by Drop Dead Studios
Ends: Sun, April 14 2019 12:01 PM EDT.
“The ultimate edition of Spheres of Power, the 5-star magic system, compiled into a single volume! (For Pathfinder)”
Adam Meyers (Drop Dead Studios) recommends:
“Tabletop gamers are known for collecting way more dice, miniatures, and other materials then they’ll ever be able to use, and we show no signs of stopping. With that in mind, I’m excited for DoubleSix Dice: Generation Two; it’s a new way of rolling the classic six-sided dice, and the fact that it’s on its second generation with no signs of stopping says a lot about how popular their idea is.
Another project I’m looking forward to seeing more of is Party Backstory Generator for 5e and Other Systems. As a GM sometimes you just need a bit of inspiration. As players, sometimes you need something to keep people on track. Either way, a book entirely dedicated to answering ‘how did you meet’ is both useful and fun, and I’m excited to see it getting off to such a great start.”
The Way of Wicked Sin #ZineQuest by Advanced Fantasy Roleplaying
Ends: Thu, April 11 2019 10:04 AM EDT.
“Tired of Paladins? Peek behind the black veil! This will be 3 Zines about evil campaigns: Drow, Orcs, and Humans.”
Peter Sotos (Advanced Fantasy Roleplaying) recommends:
“Wyrmkeep Dungeons TZ2: Curse of the Desert Outpost. I really like this campaign. The guy has 4 other modules out via Kickstarter so he is a safe bet for delivery. The art looks professional and has a color cover. The whole campaign is extremely evocative of old school RPGs, but the adventure is created for D&D 5th edition. I went ahead and backed it, and in the package I selected, I am going to get all of his other modules as well.
The Forbidden Library 5E. This looks like one incredible campaign. The art looks absolutely amazing and the concept of a secret library in a school for adventurers is very cool. I love the fact that the libraries books will be detailed out by various authors and grow as the Kickstarter campaign grows. Also, so many big names in the gaming industry involved in it. I had to go ahead and back it myself.”
The Forbidden Library 5E by Alligator Alley Entertainment
Ends: Fri, April 19 2019 11:00 PM EDT.
“Adventure & sourcebook for D&D 5th Edition by Gregory A. Wilson, with contributions from many speculative fiction and RPG writers”
Christopher Robin Negelein (Alligator Alley Entertainment) recommends:
“I’m excited about Arcana of the Ancients where Monte Cook Games brings science fantasy and even the Numenera setting to 5e. The Kickstarter gets the band back together with D&D veterans Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell and Sean K Reynolds which covers a lot of gaming history that goes back to even the TSR days.
Their house system, Cypher, has a few neat tricks and I’m curious how some of them will translate into 5e. And of course every GM needs a hefty library of strange items and critters to confound players at the drop of a hat. D&D has had sci-fi in it since the early days and this will let a new generation of 12-year old game masters introduce their group to laser-sword wielding paladins. (You know you did it too and it was awesome to your 12-year old brain! Admit it!)
So my love for sci-fantasy become just as evident with The Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City which puts Oregon Trail games, the Dying Earth genre, heavy metal and psychedelic art into a blender to explore a vast land for the next bit of weirdness.
And if like sandbox style games, you have to love a book that waxes on about how the humans in civilized areas are the masters of their fate within the borders of their little urbane worlds and then simply states, “This story is not their story” before diving into how vast and bonkers the unexplored places are.”
- The Forbidden Libary 5e is recommended by Peter Sotos (Advanced Fantasy Roleplaying) from The Way of Wicked Sin above.
Fauna #1 by Shades of Vengeance Comics
Ends: Sun, April 21 2019 4:00 PM EDT.
“When everyone starts mindlessly searching for Quinn’s Empowered alter-ego, it is clear someone will do whatever it takes to find him…”
Ed Jowett (Shades of Vengeance Comics) recommends:
“I deliberately scrolled down to find some campaigns that were interesting that weren’t at the top!
I have always felt that introducing younger players to roleplaying is the best way to build the community for the future. Castles and Cats aims to do this in a way that I wish I had been introduced to it when I was a child.
When I first saw this, I was excited, then I found out that the creator also plans to continue her campaign’s story, so I was completely sold on it as a campaign I wanted to back!
Why AcadeCon? Simple: It’s a games convention that mentions Tabletop RPGs as a priority. Conventions are the lifeblood of the community – it’s the only time you get to have the community together beyond a few people at a time. This is a great one, looking at the video and, although it’s not in a place I’ve ever been it’s established and needs help to continue what it’s doing!”
- AcadeCon was recommended by Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games in a prior column.
CharCon 2019 – THE West Virginia Gaming Convention by CharCon Game Convention
Ends: Tue, April 9 2019 8:59 PM EDT.
“Charleston WV – July 12-14, 2019. Our theme is Post-Apocalypse! Non-stop Role Playing Games all weekend long! Learn to play events for Board Games, RPGs & Miniatures.”
Travis Reynolds (Executive Director of CharCon) recommends:
“Neither of these are RPGs, I am more of a board game guy.
I am intrigued by the Hammer of the Scots campaign. I was always a fan of the Columbia block games and looking forward to seeing what a deluxe version made with today’s productions standards ends up being.
Also, I am excited to see the Tantrum House Kickstarter do well. I like their content a lot and rely on their regular run down of tabletop KS projects to keep me informed. Plus I love their family vibe both from a CharCon perspective and as a Queen Games rep.”
Free League Publishing
Free League Publishing – Apr 04, 2019 13:12 BST
Wind dies. Pale grass grows in spirals. Lichen forms blurred iridescent sigils on cracked stone. Black trees curl their trunks and crook their branches as if bowing. The Spire is driven through the skin of the world like a pin through curling paper. With every step toward the tower, it writhes and warps like a hallucination.
Brave adventurer, Free League Publishing announced that Forbidden Lands: The Spire of Quetzel has released worldwide today. Do you dare to enter the land beyond the mountains in search of the spire?
Rumor has it that you shall encounter a dreaming Demon-Queen, a prison of strange beasts who call themselves a family, a coven of witches who don’t get along, and the strange graveyard of the last thunder lizard to walk this land.
If it will be dangerous? Of course, the Forbidden Lands are more dangerous than ever. But what does it matter, friend? Together we laugh in the face of danger and make our mark on that cursed world. Together, we will survive.
The volume The Spire of Quetzel collects four adventure sites for the critically acclaimed retro-fantasy RPG Forbidden Lands, written by some of the best writers in the field today.
The collection contains:
- The Spire of Quetzel by Patrick Stuart (Veins of the Earth)
- The Bright Vault by Chris McDowall (Into the Odd)
- Hexenwald by Ben Milton (Maze Rats)
- Graveyard of Thunder by Karl Stjernberg (Rad-Hack)
Read more about Forbidden Lands: The Spire of Quetzel here.
Forbidden Lands RPG
Raiders & Rogues in a Cursed World
In the sandbox survival roleplaying game Forbidden Lands, you and your friends take on the roles as raiders and rogues bent on making your own mark on a cursed world. Discover lost tombs, fight horrifying monsters, wander the wilderness and build your own stronghold to defend.The tabletop RPGForbidden Lands was named one of the best RPGs of 2018 by Geek & Sundry. The crowdfunding campaign raised over a quarter of a million dollars and was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017.
“It’s like somone took hazy childhood memories of a classic D&D game and mixed them with a dash of bleak Scandinavian darkness.”
“Superbly packaged, Forbidden Lands is a pleasing combination of Old School nostalgia and fast, simple mechanics with unobtrusive narrative elements designed to bring aspects of the character into play. Its setting offers scope for the player characters to develop not just personally, but also in terms of their place in the world.”
–Reviews from R’lyeh
“This may be the most perfect role-playing game product I’ve ever seen.”
–Plot Points RPG Podcast
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NOTE: The crass advertising/ads are mine. The substance of message is Game to Grow’s. I added the links to their game as a thank for all they’re doing to raise awareness about autism, a reality that is never fair from my mind and heart.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA—Lunar Games has announced the release of the Tome of Spirits, its first major supplement to the Endless Realms tabletop roleplaying game. In Endless Realms, players take on the role of a character with fantastic abilities and tangible personality traits to play through adventures created and piloted by a Game Master. The Tome of Spirits adds an array of additional content focused on spirits and the Spirit Realm, including new magic and cursed items, class paths, religions and cults, rules for corruption, stats and lore for spirits themselves, and rules for becoming the champion of a spirit.
The religions and cults of the Tome of Spirits largely surround the spirits that are also found within the tome’s pages. These snippets of lore and information provide grounding for these religious organizations, giving Game Masters and players alike plenty of fuel for the motives and stories of characters they introduce in their campaigns.
Characters become Spirit Champions by earning the trust and respect of a spirit, through worship or service, thereby gaining new abilities in exchange for continued service. Getting involved with a spirit is no light matter, however; spirits often quarrel over territory, playing an ethereal game of chess with their corporeal pawns to force each other into exile or corruption.
Corruption is first introduced in the Endless Realms Core Rulebook, and is greatly expanded upon and given actionable mechanics in the Tome of Spirits. This sickness yields great power, but has dangerous and often fatal effects even for the otherwise immortal inhabitants of the Spirit Realm. Corruption is a major theme in the game’s overall storyline.
When asked what she was most excited for players to see in the Tome of Spirits, Kirsty Garbe, CEO of Lunar Games, said “I’m simply excited to show our fans more of our world and give them a better understanding of how to incorporate spirits in their adventures. They’re part of what makes Endless Realms unique, and there’s a lot of opportunity in the pages of the Tome of Spirits.”
Lunar Games successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for the Endless Realms Core Rulebook and Creature Compendium in April 2018, raising just over $40,000 CAD in 35 days. The funding goal for the Tome of Spirits is to raise $8,400 CAD. Its campaign will go live on April 23d and will run for 30 days.
Check out Endless Realms on:
Kickstarter Preview: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lunargames/35150466?ref=543165&token=dc043e36
From Gen Con’s March 29th, 2019 newsletter (Gen Con at Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019):
Gamers in the WA State Senate
The work session was designed to inform Senate members abouttabletop gaming’s impact on the Washington state economy and included representatives from Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Loan Shark Games, and Green Ronin Publishing. The committee, which included Washington Senators Mark Mullet and Steve Hobbs, heard about each company’s experience in starting and developing their business during a series of panels Tuesday morning on the Capitol’s campus.
The information and experience shared were invaluable in educating the state legislature on the tabletop gaming industry and communityin Washington.
What I enjoy about this series is seeing what projects creators recommend over and over again. Through this article, Swordsfall has five recommendations while Critical Core has three. This week, The Seas of Vodari (read their press release here) joins the list of multiple recommendations. I’ve found that those projects with multiple referrals are among the best offered. This week, I asked the creators of these RPG Kickstarters what projects are they most interested in:
- Mysthea: Legends From the Borderlands by UFO Press
- Veil of the Void: A Sci-Fantasy TTRPG by SDG Interactive Publishers
- Humblewood Campaign Setting for 5e DND by Hit Point Press
- STEAM Hack: RPG Zines for STEM Education by STEAM Hack RPGs
Mysthea: Legends From the Borderlands by UFO Press
Ends:Thu, April 11 2019 1:00 PM EDT.
“Rebuild a war-torn city and win fame for your guild in this geomantic fantasy tabletop RPG.”
Jay Iles (UFO Press) recommends:
“One Kickstarter I’m particularly interested in is Dangerous Times. It’s a game of investigative reporters dealing with magic and corruption in 1920s New York, and is a complete package in 48 pages of zine.
Swordsfall is extremely exciting, and I love that we have the diversity of systems these days that a system-less setting book like this can do well.
Finally, I’ve been interested in The Veil for a while thanks to Friends at the Table’s campaign of it, and Inheritance looks like it’ll be great at hitting that far-future space opera feel.”
- Swordsfall was recommended in the article from two weeks ago by Rachelle Dube of Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest and Waypoint Game Designs of Manifest the RPG, and in last week’s article, it was shared by High Level Games (Snowhaven for Fifth Edition).
- Read Fraser Simons (of The Veil: Inheritance) recommendations here.
Veil of the Void: A Sci-Fantasy TTRPG by SDG Interactive Publishers
Ends: Thu, April 4 2019 12:00 PM EDT.
“A custom built D6 system designed with a focus on narrative play, storytelling, and home-brew!”
Trever Archuleta (SDG Interactive Publishers) recommends:
“I’m currently backing two at the moment:
- The Seas of Vodari – which is a pirate themed 5e manual.
- Welcome to Tikor (Swordsfall)– an afropunk sci-fantasy lore book + future rulebook!
I love supporting new creators, those that I believe will do something with the money I give them. Being an Indie creator myself I know how hard it can be and that we all need to support each other if we believe in their project or their creator. I am personally a huge fan of the idea of a fully pirate themed 5e game as I love pirates, so I will definitely be playing that one. I also find the idea of a new afropunk game to be quite original and something I think definitely deserves attention and as much funding as they have received.”
Humblewood Campaign Setting for 5e DND by Hit Point Press
Ends: Thu, April 11 2019 10:00 AM EDT.
“Humblewood is a campaign setting for 5e DND that includes new birdfolk player races, new monsters, compelling adventure and more!”
Jordan Richer (Hit Point Press) recommends:
“The Seas of Vodari. Ask any RPG group and you’ll find most of them are pretty pumped to get on a ship and sail the 7 seas, but when it comes to 5e, there is not a lot of support for these kinds of adventures. Seas of Vodari seems to be the kind of sandbox that will help pad out our seafaring stories. We are particularly interested in the social combat so we can engage in some battles of wits!
Witch+Craft. Another area of 5e that has really needed a closer look is rules for crafting items, food and more – and Witch+Craft nails it in a super wholesome way. Your characters get to choose a “Trade Class” that levels up your characters crafting skills as your adventuring skills improve and makes making items, foods, etc a collaborative thing, encouraging a negotiation between players and DM about what materials would be needed, what kind of equipment might be required and so on. It pulls crafting out of the background and puts it right into your character and the story. Can’t wait for the full book to come out!
Additionally both creators, like us, are Canadian, so it’s great to see all this amazing content coming from up here!”
STEAM Hack: RPG Zines for STEM Education by STEAM Hack RPGs
Ends: Sat, April 27 2019 5:00 PM EDT.
“A zine with role-playing games (RPGs) to teach engineering and science using actual engineering scenarios.”
Allen White (STEAM Hack RPGs) recommends:
“As a gamer who is trying to use the power of RPGs in education, I have been looking forward to Critical Core by Game to Grow and I’m excited to see it doing well! Roleplaying has been used to help those on the autism spectrum and this looks like a great way to help more parents and educators. The art is engaging and the design looks like it will make the fiddly bits of roleplaying more accessible to a wider audience, which is great for our hobby. I am looking forward to using my copy in classes.
Speaking of engaging art, I am intrigued by The Ultraviolet Grasslands by Exalted Funeral – how can you not love an RPG inspired by “psychedelic heavy metal, the Dying Earth genre, and classic Oregon Trail games.” Luka Rejec’s art is powerful and it looks like his game design for UVG will bring his art to life for the players. I enjoyed the setting and (especially) the premise of Witchburner and I think UVG will show us his imagination on fire.”
Forbidden Library Kickstarter brings in all-star collaborators for new adventure series
Legendary and professional game designers, writers and artists fill a forbidden library with magic and wonder.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., March 21, 2019 – Alligator Alley Entertainment teams up with Gregory A. Wilson to kickstart Tales and Tomes from the Forbidden Library, which will feature game designers such as Ed Greenwood, Ken Hite, Will Hindmarch, Shawn Merwin, and many others along with great contributing fiction authors like Cat Rambo to make an evocative adventure series and sourcebook filled with poems, art and danger!
Tales and Tomes is a 5E compatible adventure designed to lead heroes up to level 3 into the Eastern Wing of Hearthglow Academy’s Library, a forbidden place to students and teachers alike. Prominent SFF authors and tabletop gaming professionals bring the library alive with spell grimoires, weaponry manuals, atlases and bestiaries. Among the clues, the heroes will find scraps of lore, stories, paintings – and everything in between.
Even better, as the Kickstarter grows, additional collaborators will be brought in to create even more of the library’s fantastical catalogue. Still early in the first week of the Kickstarter, the project is almost halfway funded with stretch goals already planned.
Brian Dalrymple, co-founder of Alligator Alley Entertainment, says, “We are thrilled to be working with Gregory and all of the great talent that are ready to fill Hearthglow Academy’s Library with great content a GM can use in both the adventure and their own home campaigns. We want players to be both excited and a little nervous when they see their own GM pull out the Tales and Tomes.”
“I’ve been running this adventure as a live audience event for a couple of years now at the GenCon Writer’s Symposium and my players love it,” says Gregory A Wilson, genre writer and author of theForbidden Library adventure. “This year, we’ll finish the trilogy, and our Kickstarter supporters will be able to follow along and even run the adventure at home. After running Alligator Alley’s Esper Genesis content on my Twitch stream, I can’t wait to see what they come up with to supplement this volume.”
Gregory A Wilson:
Premier game master, Twitch TV channel host (ArvanEleron), speculative fiction author, podcaster, and college professor, Wilson has been bringing the world’s favorite RPG to over 5,000 people week after week on Twitch. He also runs popular live RPG events at GenCon’s Writer’s Symposium, all of which serve as the inspiration for the world of Tales and Tomes from the Forbidden Library. In the world of fantasy fiction, Greg’s first fantasy novel, The Third Sign, came out in 2009, followed by the graphic novel, Icarus, in 2016; his third novel, Grayshade (Book One of The Gray Assassin Trilogy), also arrived in 2016 from The Ed Greenwood Group.
About Alligator Alley Entertainment (AAE):
Founded by hobby industry veterans Rich Lescouflair, Eric Wiener and Brian Dalrymple, AAE brings a world of imagination to go along with their RPG products. The team’s skill set covers years of game design, retail expertise and print production. The ENnie-nominated company has created hits like Esper Genesis: Heroic Sci-Fi Role-playingTM with 5E rules, Witch Hunter: The Invisible World of swashbuckling adventure and horror, and The Demonbane Chronicles, a 5E adventure series set on the shattered continent of Sereth.
Free League Publishing – Mar 22, 2019 15:07 GMT
The forests grow darker, as does the streams and the soil. Neither the Queen’s subjects, nor the clanfolk has ever taken the warnings seriously. The desire to pillage the treasures of the forest has always been stronger than the fear and caution, and no desire has ever flamed hotter than the longing to find the place which is called the Mother of all Darkness. Now the time has come to go on the hunt for Symbar, the blackened heart of the empire of Symbaroum.
Explorers, treasure-hunters, adventurers and loyal subjects, listen up – trustworthy directions to the legendary city of Symbar has been uncovered! Pack your bags immediately, sharpen your swords and resupply your stock of healing herbs, for the expedition leaves as soon as the warmth of spring breaths life into the forest of Davokar!
Following the merger of award-winning roleplaying game publishers Free League Publishing (Tales from the Loop, Mutant Year Zero, Forbidden Lands) and Järnringen, it is time for the first major joint venture: Symbar – Mother of Darkness, the next episode in the epic Throne of Thorns campaign for Järnringen’s acclaimed dark fantasy RPG Symbaroum, was launced on Kickstarter today.
About Free League Publishing
Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published several award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds.
After so many nice things were said about Welcome to Tikor last week, I reached out to Brandon Dixon to find out what RPG Kickstarters he’s looking forward to. As well as his reviews, there are a number of nice things said about a personal favorite of mine, Critical Core, plus we hear about a convention. Let’s see what RPG Kickstarters these creators are looking forward to:
- Welcome to Tikor | The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book by Brandon Dixon
- Snowhaven for Fifth Edition by High Level Games
- Justice Velocity: An Action Movie Inspired Tabletop RPG by Polyhedra Games
- CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games
Snowhaven for Fifth Edition by High Level Games
Ends: Sun, March 31 2019 11:56 AM EDT.
“Snowhaven is a Snowpunk Fantasy setting for the 5th Edition of the world’s oldest and most popular roleplaying game system.”
High Level Games recommends:
“Swordsfall is amazing, it’s a project creating an afro-futurist world and the depth of the worldbuilding on display is staggering, in a good way. The project has gone through the roof and I’d love to see this go even higher. The more diverse and deep projects we have out there the better.
Which brings me to my second suggestion, which is Critical Core by Game to Grow. This project presents a game system for autistic youth. As I’m a huge fan of working with kids interested in gaming and helping use games as therapeutic devices this just checks all the boxes for me.”
- Swordsfall was recommended in last week’s article by Rachelle Dube of Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest and Waypoint Game Designs of Manifest the RPG.
Welcome to Tikor | The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book by Brandon Dixon
Ends: Wed, April 10 2019 11:01 AM EDT.
“An Afropunk Sci-Fantasy world brimming with ancient magic and future tech.”
Brandon Dixon recommends:
“Critical Core looks fantastic. I’m a big fan of products that seek to involve marginalized groups and make them apart of the experience. It has a such a cool story behind it as well. It was created by a father who wanted to help his autistic son get into gaming.
Veil of the Void is doing great work with their game. I have nothing but love for a sci-fi project by another person of color. I really want to see them get funded, they’re a bit over 50% with two weeks to go. I really want to see them win. The art is great and the book direction is amazing.”
Justice Velocity: An Action Movie Inspired Tabletop RPG by Polyhedra Games
Ends: Thu, April 4 2019 12:24 PM EDT.
“A D6-based tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the action movie universe”
Clipper Arnold of Polyhedra Games recommends:
“Manifest RPG‘s space western setting looks really unique and interesting. The style of the cover art, especially, looks great. There are major Firefly vibes for sure–and rolling a fist of D20s sounds like a lot of fun.
Prowlers and Paragons Ultimate Edition also looks really great. The art looks really top notch, and I’m a fan of D6 systems. I’ve never played P&P or Champions, but have had a lot of fun with stuff like Mutants & Masterminds. I have high hopes from the team working on this as they all appear to be game design veterans.”
- Manifest the RPG was recommended by Fraser Simons (The Veil: Inheritance, a biopunk tabletop roleplaying game) in a prior column.
CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games
Ends: Thu, April 11 2019 9:00 PM EDT.
“An RPG of Criminals, Cops, Mystery, and Monsters…with Super-Powers!”
Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games recommends:
“I’ve been a guest at AcadeCon the past two years and will be again this year.
AcadeCon is my favorite convention. It’s small and intimate, maybe 500-600 attendees. It’s RPG heavy. It has bunches of great guests from both the RPG design world and the podcast world. The RPG Academy has built a great community around their podcasts and that community shows up for AcadeCon. It’s inviting, friendly, inclusive, and fun. I have never regretted going.”
The project selections and opinions expressed by the contributors are solely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Egg Embry or the Tessera Guild.
RUN TO THE SUN IN THE NEW STARFINDER
DAWN OF FLAME ADVENTURE PATH FROM PAIZO
An alien starship, a psychic disturbance, and a bubble-city in the sun’s atmosphere await heroic players in the first volume, Fire Starters.
REDMOND, WASHINGTON (March 15, 2019): Paizo Inc. has released Fire Starters, the first volume in the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path for the smash hit Starfinder Roleplaying Game. The 64-page volume, written by James L. Sutter, is the first of six adventures in a science fantasy campaign set in the Pact World’s sun. It is available for purchase at paizo.com and retailers worldwide at an MSRP of $22.99 for softcover.
“Dawn of Flame sees the heroes peeling back the layers of a story about a mysterious force operating within the Pact Worlds’ sun while diving through the layers of the star itself. The narrative starts outside the sun, moves into events in a city in the star’s upper atmosphere, and leads to the heroes traveling into the sun’s depths. If flying a starship deep into stellar plasma to explore places few mortals have seen isn’t science fantasy, I don’t know what is,” said Chris Sims, lead developer for the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path.
Sutter shared his thoughts on the adventure: “I also think the adventure has some really fun roleplaying opportunities! My philosophy about writing adventures is that even in the tensest, most serious game, you still need moments of humor to throw the grimmer elements into contrast and get that emotional punch. So, things like dealing with an eccentric chaos-snake, a self-appointed skittermander cop, and an insectile con artist—or even just making the two key NPCs each other’s ex-wives—those character moments are every bit as important as the monsters and combat!”
Fire Starters contains a Starfinder adventure for 1st-level characters. Additional material includes an alien enclave within the star, a look at the sun goddess and her worshippers, an archive of extraplanar threats, deck plans and statistics for a vessel that patrols near the sun, and a look at a beautiful resort planet with ties to the Plane of Water.
The adventures continue with a new volume every month for six months. Soldiers of Brass (Dawn of Flame 2 of 6) will be released in late March. Explore the Starfinder Roleplaying Game at paizo.com/starfinder.
Paizo Inc. is one of the world’s leading hobby game publishers. Since 2002, millions of players have joined the goblin army by playing the Pathfinder® and Starfinder® Roleplaying Games in homes, at conventions, at their favorite local game stores, and digitally on virtual tabletops. Paizo.com is an online retail hobby destination for millions of gamers that carries the latest products from top hobby game publishers. Players can also find the newest releases, as well as accessories like dice and maps, miniatures, T-shirts, and goblin plush toys, to quickly replenish their adventuring supplies for the next dungeon run.
Justice Velocity: The Action Movie Inspired Tabletop RPG is now Live on Kickstarter
March 6th, 2019– Justice Velocity, the action movie inspired tabletop roleplaying game is officially live on Kickstarter. Inspired by pulpy action films like the Fast & Furious franchise, Bad Boys, and more, Justice Velocity puts you in the driver’s seat.
The campaign launched on Tuesday, March 5th, and generated 32% of its $1500 funding goal in its first day. With a goofy and over-the-top promotional video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMAzwkwVZsQ , Justice Velocity promises to deliver on all the action movie tropes–espionage, heists, hijinks, and fast cars are all essential to the blood-pumping action.
The title is independent game designer Clipper Arnold and Polyhedra Games’ first official title, though they have the help of Nathon Paoletta (of World Wide Wrestling and more) doing the final layout design, and punchy visuals from Swedish artist Anders Karlsson.
The game boasts quick character creation, making it ideal for one-shots and short campaigns, octane chips for kicking it into high gear for climactic action sequences, and dynamic vehicle rules for different styles of races and car combat.
In their launch day update, Polyhedra Games announced an upcoming liveplay video from The Grizzled Geek, (as well as the possibility of some stretch goals on the horizon. You can view the campaign here – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/polyhedragames/justice-velocity-an-action-movie-inspired-tabletop?ref=557316&token=b3808dec
- Website – polyhedragames.com
- Facebook – facebook.com/polyhedragames
- Instagram – instagram.com/polyhedragames
- Twitter – twitter.com/polyhedragames
- Email – email@example.com
Introducing Justice Velocity
An Action Movie Inspired Tabletop Roleplaying Game
What is the velocity of justice? Many say it’s difficult to quantify– that it even evades common metrics of measurement or full understanding by the rule of law. One thing’s for sure, however: you should be able to gauge it as it comes hurtling towards you. Hands grip steering wheels as rubber grips concrete. Seedy underbellies trade bullets with the law and set moral shades of gray ablaze. Napalm and nitrous are as indispensable as your ability to hack or maneuver cold machinery.
Inspired by action movies like the Fast & Furious franchise, Rush Hour, or Bad Boys, and anime like Initial D– Justice Velocity puts you in the driver’s seat. It’s an exercise in collaborative storytelling that puts the stakes of a race or the fate of deadly computer viruses up to your players’ skills, abilities, and the roll of the dice.
There’s something exhilarating about sending Hot Wheels™ down a track into their doom. There’s something thrilling about unnecessary explosions. There’s something amazing about seeing whether or not a car can jump over the opening of a live volcano. Justice Velocity is an unapologetic, adrenaline-fueled romp which delves into the nature of exergy and machine fetishism. It pushes physics, bodies, and systems to their limits. When justice calls, sometimes it’s the gruff, meat-headed, cargo-pants-donning voice of utilitarianism that picks up the phone. This is a foray into that universe… one in which steel, muscle, and ingenuity can prevail and save the world from certain peril.
Justice Velocity is made by Polyhedra Games. It comes to Kickstarter Tuesday, March 5th. You can pre-screen the promo video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMAzwkwVZsQ , and see a preview of the Kickstarter campaign here – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/polyhedragames/justice-velocity-an-action-movie-inspired-tabletop?ref=557316&token=b3808dec . Interviews, beta rules, and other materials are available upon request.
I backed into this column in which I ask RPG Kickstarter creators what games they’re excited about on Kickstarter/Indiegogo, but I’ve grown to really enjoy getting other creator’s feedback. It lets creators share what they are looking at and helps shine the spotlight on quality games. Some of the RPGs listed below are collecting multiple recommendations, all genuine votes for their quality. This week there are recommendations from:
- CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games
- Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest by Rachelle Dube
- Manifest the RPG by Waypoint Game Designs
- Absconding: Indie RPG zine for 5E by Joshua Rivera
CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games
Ends: Thu, April 11 2019 9:00 PM EDT.
“An RPG of Criminals, Cops, Mystery, and Monsters…with Super-Powers!”
Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games recommends:
“I’m digging Hair Metal Horror: Glam Metal Horror RPG Zines. Being a child of the 80s and a huge horror movie fan, this one really speaks to me. Plenty of 80s horror movies had rocking soundtracks, and the mash up of glam metal and horror is just too good to pass up. Mash ups like these just go to prove, if you can think of an RPG idea, there’s a game for it. The description makes it look incredibly fun with plenty of horrific elements, but dotted through with glam rock and humor.Also on my radar is Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest. A family RPG, it’s about wrangling dinosaurs but with a thoughtfulness that can be missing from some games. Specifically, the characters are “tending to the safety and wellbeing of the creatures in their charge.” The game uses a token system that younger players will easily grasp. It’s designed by a parent who found they were having a hard time enjoying playing RPGs with their kids. So they made a game that would do what those other games didn’t. And that’s very much in the spirit of indie game design.”
Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest by Rachelle Dube
Ends: Thu, March 28 2019 11:08 AM EDT.
“A pick-up-and-play narrative RPG for families about overcoming obstacles as a dinosaur wrangler.”
Rachelle Dube recommends:
“With Kickstarter’s Zine Quest and several game designer friends putting out bigger projects, 2019 has been absolutely brutal. My wallet only goes so far! I’ll limit myself to three I pulled out of a virtual hat.
First: Escape from Dino Island by the Sams—Sam Roberts and Sam Tung. We’re all about dinosaurs in our house! The fact that it is designed for one- or two-shots makes it perfect for those random nights friends pop by or plague hits our usual gaming groups. If Sam Tung wasn’t doing, you know, his own Kickstarter, I would have loved to have his art in Dino Wranglers! This game checks a lot of boxes for me, and I can’t wait to get it!
Second: Mythsea: Legends of the Borderlands by Jay Iles. She describes it as emulating, “Final Fantasy 12 crossed with Steven Universe. You’re crystal-powered heroes sent to a conquered territory to make it useful for your masters, but as you play (and grow invested in the territory) you’ll develop new loyalties and see your homeland in a whole new light.” I’m probably one of two people that haven’t ever played any Final Fantasy games, but it’s beautiful and engaging, so I’m interested anyway!
Third: Swordsfall: An Afropunk Sci Fantasy Setting by Brandon Dixon, AKA Tikal. I’ve been following him for a while on Twitter, and I’ve been following this project for a while now. I love everything about the setting and art, I can’t wait to get it on my table. Full disclosure, Tikal will write a scenario for my game, Dino Wranglers, if it hits the $2100 stretch goal.“
- Dino Wranglers was recommended by Craig Campbell (CAPERS Noir RPG above) as well as Justin Ryan Isaac (Cade’s Big Book o’ Booze) and Riley Rethal (synthesis.) in a prior column.
- Expect another Swordsfall recommendation from Waypoint Game Designs (Manifest the RPG).
Manifest the RPG by Waypoint Game Designs
Ends: Mon, April 1 2019 3:00 PM EDT.
“An exciting and immersive Sci-Fi Western tabletop roleplaying game”
Waypoint Game Designs recommends:
“Here at Waypoint Game Designs we’re really intrigued by Grey Cells. We’re big fans of the crime genre. And the exclusion of an charisma stat is an interesting way to equalize the player’s opportunity to “break the case.”
The other live Kickstarter we’re fans of is Justice Velocity by Polyhedra Games. Their fast and loose, adrenaline filled RP experience seems like it will be a lot of fun to play at any table.
We are totally in love with Swordsfall: An Afropunk Sci Fantasy Setting. We missed it on our first pass because it looks like a setting guide, not a complete game. But on closer inspection it looks like there’s so much to love, we’ve already backed it and the people who make it are kind of amazing. And we can’t wait to get our hands on it!!”
- Manifest the RPG was recommended by Fraser Simons (The Veil: Inheritance, a biopunk tabletop roleplaying game) in last week’s column.
- Swordsfall appears above (recommended by Rachelle Dube of Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest).
- W.M. Akers (Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG) recommended Grey Cells in the same column.
Absconding: Indie RPG zine for 5E by Joshua Rivera
Ends: Thu, March 28 2019 8:45 AM EDT.
“Absconding is one part literary/fantasy/sci-fi journal, one part ephemeral art magazine, and one part fifth edition game material.”
Joshua Rivera recommends:
“I backed these projects, and I want to give them a highlight.
CHTHONIC CORNBELT by Lee Barber is a weird little zine that’s pulpy and resembles advertising print design from the 1980s. It’s implied world reminds me of what an 80s baby would dream up in their notebook margins between boring math lectures and a substitute teacher day. The little pieces of ephemera on display will surely be a springboard for some fantastic ideas.
Be Witching is an RPG from Anna Anthropy, whose work in indie games I’ve followed for over a decade now. This is an adorably designed, inclusive game where players are even encouraged to draw their characters, which should be a very nice twist the first time I’ll run this. Also, this ostensibly being a game simulating prom night interviews, this is likely to get very passionate.
Yugika appears to be a zine full of RPG miscellany from Joesph Reid and friends. Each copy will also be painstakingly hand-bound with string, which is just fascinating to me. Yugika seems to be having trouble making it’s goal, so I really hope people decide to check this out and help bring it to fruition.“
Emerge as a Warrior of Legend in Dragon and Warrior – A Tabletop Roleplaying Game
Game Launch Now Underway as a Part of Kickstarter’s RPG-Inspired Zine Quest
March 13, 2019 – Olympia, WA—The Warrior stands before the king who tells them that they are the next in a long line of warriors of legend tasked with fighting off an evil tyrant. That is how every game begins, but from then on the players shape the setting, scenery, and the story itself through gameplay.
Four roles craft the narrative: the Warrior, the Villain, the Ally, and Treasure. The Warrior controls the actions of the story’s protagonist. The Villain invents conflicts, monsters, and characters who stand in the Warrior’s way. The Ally steers the townsfolk, shopkeepers, and the Warrior’s friends—all whom aid the Warrior’s journey and send them on quests. Lastly, Treasure describes the world itself, breathing life into setting and scenery, as well as whatever items the Warrior finds on their journey. Players are encouraged to ask provocative questions about the parts of the story the other players’ roles control, allowing everyone to push the story towards what piques their curiosity. Players frequently switch roles during the game, giving everyone a chance to say what the Warrior does next. Questions serve a double purpose of useful prompts to jumpstart one another’s imaginations.
Drawing is a meaningful part of the gameplay as well. Depending on their role, players might draw maps of towns and dungeons they explore, or sketch the monsters and challenges that lie in wait for the Warrior. When the players switch roles, so do the drawings they were working on, allowing other players to fill in details, or introduce characters and settings based on someone else’s art.
There are just enough stats and strategy to give Dragon and Warrior the feel of a turn-based RPG video game battle without having so many rules that they hinder player creativity. Conflict is quick and exciting—a back and forth card game of attacking, blocking, and maneuvering for the right opening. Characters can be built to focus on powerful strikes, quick agility, or magic spells, and they will slowly grow in power throughout the campaign—as will their enemies.
Dragon and Warrior is available for purchase through Kickstarter in two formats (a $5 PDF file or an $8 zine in single-color ink). The hand-drawn art and beautiful layout were designed by Michael Wight in the style of Akira Toriyama of Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball fame. The Kickstarter ends on Sat, March 30th.
Created by game designer Orion Canning, Dragon and Warrior is based on old school JRPG video games, combining strategic turn-based battles with the play-to-find-out style of indie RPGs. Though Dragon and Warrior is Canning’s first game release, his work can be enjoyed in Fall of Magic, Legend of the Elements, and Monsterhearts Second Skins. Fully funded within nine days of its release, Dragon and Warrior looks to be Canning’s first successful launch.
Number of Players: 2-6
Time Required: 2-4 hours for a single session, many sessions for a full campaign
Kickstarter Page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/890157708/dragon-and-warrior
NerdBurger Games Presents CAPERS Noir!
The Seas of Vodari – Swashbuckling & Sorcery for 5E
The Seas of Vodari Kickstarter campaign will be launching on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 2pm EDT and will run for 30 days.
The Seas of Vodari is a full color book that we are offering in hardcover and PDF. This book provides 200+ pages of material for gamemasters to run exciting seafaring campaigns for 5th Edition. Your players will get tons of options for creating characters and you’ll get support to run a world full of swashbuckling action and magical adventure.
The World of Vodari
Long ago, a vast continent was annihilated and all but the outer edge of the continent sank to the bottom of the sea. The devastation left only a scattered few to start rebuilding their civilization on a ring of islands…
The Seas of Vodari campaign setting contains all of the iconic things you’d expect in a fantasy setting, but in a world with more water than land, much of the familiar becomes surprising and new.
- Dungeons can be found deep below the surface of the sea in the form of shipwrecks and lost cities.
- The most dangerous monsters are found below the waves, such as sea dragons, megalodons and krakens.
- Nature becomes as deadly as the most powerful monsters with furious hurricanes, catastrophic tsunamis, and fiery volcanoes.
Islands are modular by nature and the book was designed for you to use as a detailed setting or to pick and choose what you like for your own game world.
The Seas of Vodari campaign setting was created to support seafaring adventures that focus on the crew of a ship hunting sea monsters, exploring mysterious uncharted islands, visiting bustling port cities, following maps to find buried treasure, and battling cutthroat pirates. The setting is also well suited to running campaigns in its large port cities, with swashbuckling heroes getting mixed up with fierce rivals, notorious crime syndicates, feuding nobles, and scheming politicians.
What’s In the Book?
The Seas of Vodari will provide you with tons of material to run an entire seafaring campaign or just a single adventure…
New races and subraces, classes and subclasses, backgrounds, and feats for your players to create seafaring adventurers.
Gunslinger class with three subclasses (Arcane Gunmaster, Pistolero, and Musketeer)
Swashbuckling and sorcery inspired options for all 12 classes to fit a seafaring world
A full pantheon for clerics and paladins
Weapons, Armor & Equipment
New weapon, armor and equipment options to offer your players. You’ll find flintlock pistols and rifles, cutlasses and sabres, compasses, spyglasses, and more.
Magical Relics & Spells
New spells, magic items, and powerful ancient relics with a focus on sailing, naval combat, and underwater exploration.
A World of Islands to Explore
Explore countless islands, with details for over thirty islands, a dozen cities, wilderness encounters, ruins, and more.
Rules for Swashbuckling Adventures
Run swashbuckling adventures with advice and rules for duels, social combat, naval chases, plunder tables, and the code of the sea.
Adventures to Run
‘Island with No Name’ starter adventure for levels 1 to 3. Quick run scenarios including a haunted ship, sunken shipwreck, treasure hunt, and more.
Ships to Sail
Sloops, brigatines, galleons, gnomish submersibles, dwarven ironsides, elven swan ships, ships of the damned, and more. Plus, we didn’t forget to add lots of cannons.
Allies & Adversaries
NPCs for your players to befriend or face as adversaries. Stats, motivations, illustrations, and more will be provided for each.
Monsters to Fight
Monsters to challenge, amuse, and terrify your players including sea dragons, windsurfing goblins, sirens, technofish, megalodons, and sea titans.
The learn more about The Seas of Vodari or to back this Kickstarter visit http://www.seasofvodari.com.
Tribality Publishing already has numerous best-selling PDFs under its belt. We self-funded those PDFs, but we wanted go big with for Seas of Vodari. We have secured a solid team of professionals on both the writing and production side. We are now moving into the final development stage of filling out the world with more player options, locations, magic, and monsters.