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

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

 

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

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

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Choose your destiny.

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

You are free.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

Disclosure: I freelance for EN World.

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

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

Terror and monsters await in the depths of space…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Disclosure: I freelance for EN World.

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

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

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Kids on Bikes, Tragedies of Middle School, Silence of Hollowind, and A Far Off Land

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

 


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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

*Craftivities are like craft activities – duh!

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

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

final printing.

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

DOWNLOAD HERE – RIGHT NOW!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Within the book you will find:

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

 

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone
Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone

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

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

Two Worlds, Rabbit Holes and Many Realms  

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

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

Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone
Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

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

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

Young Adults, Small Towns…

BIG ADVENTURE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

I’d like to thank everyone for reading! I hope to see you at Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 [here].

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

About This Project
About This Project

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

The Premise  

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

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

 

Wanna-lancer* Rewards:

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

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

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

Committed Naga also includes:

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 The writing, testing and basic layout are done.  

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

“Pledge $200 or more
5D6

PDF and PRINT copy of the MYTHIC D6 roleplaying game.

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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NPC For Hire: Heroes & Villains by Knights of Vasteel
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“The masterfully illustrated tabletop RPG aid is back to bring you majestic heroes and epic villains.

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

What is NPC For Hire?

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

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

Heroes and Villains

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

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

  • 40 Villains
  • 12 Heroes

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Praxis: Black Monk by Post World Games
Ends on .

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

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

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

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

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

Is that blood?

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

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

10 Things I Miss Most About Role-Playing

It’s no secret.

I can pretend to be a sports-loving, cave-dwelling, meat-eater.

But it wasn’t always so.

Once, long ago, I dwelled in the lands of swords & sorcery. At the tender age of eleven, my uncle passed along a set of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books, and I was hooked.

Every dorky image you’ve seen of role-players on the internet…they were me. Every nerd stereotype, I conquered.

And no, I don’t care. I loved every second of my dice-rolling origin story.

Here’s the ten things I miss most about role-playing back in the day:

* * *

The Clatter of Dice on the Table

As a little kid, I thought dice were six-sided and used only by gamblers in the seediest corners of Vegas. Who knew they came in such a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and colors? My favorite set was sparkly green. And damn, that twenty-sided die rolled more 20’s than should’ve been legal. As a game master, I crushed many players’ dreams with my dice. Just ask Egg Embry, king of role-playing wanna-lancers.

*

Role-Playing for Days Without Stopping

When we played, we played. No tiny two-hour sessions for us. My little group of four would sometimes convene on a Saturday afternoon, head down to the basement, and emerge late Sunday night. No, we didn’t have girlfriends. Yes, we had more fun than everyone else on the planet. Sometimes, if my entire crew wasn’t available, I’d run a session with two guys, then head over to the third player’s house and game until the wee hours.

Pure. RPG. Heaven.

*

Creating Art for the Game

Some D&D players show up with the simple goal of advancing their character and hoarding treasure. Not our group. We created worlds, and we lived inside them. To aid the process, some of us created art to support our fantastical visions. Hell, I bought a giant art book and populated it entirely with drawings, sketches, and hand-painted maps. Did we take it too far? Nah. Instead of watching movies, we directed our own stories inside our minds.

The Underhollows – A painted scene from our campaign.

*

Eating Pizza & Drinking Mountain Dew

If I ate today like I ate back then, I’d be 300 lbs. Fortunately, the body of a fourteen-year old is resilient. We chugged gallons of carbonated sugar water and ate boxes upon boxes of Little Caesar’s pizza.

…and we didn’t gain a damn pound.

More importantly, the caffeine we imbibed fueled our bodies better than a thousand Haste potions. If we’d have had an IV, we could’ve stayed awake for weeks at a time, rolling dice and avoiding life beyond our basement.

*

Painting Miniatures

Nowadays, my young son plays with the remnants of what was once a mighty lead-pewter army. He doesn’t know about the hundreds of hours involved in painting and perfecting thousands of his tiny miniature monsters. He doesn’t really care.

Honestly, we didn’t really need the miniatures to play our style of game. Most of the fun lived in the actual painting. It’s not like video games, in which everything is programmed for you. When you take the time to add color and life to your very own miniature character, it becomes something sacred.

And ‘effing badass.

*

Creating New Worlds

The guys (and gals) who participated in my campaign won’t ever know the work I put in behind the scenes. I didn’t just design simple treasure hauls. I invented a universe, and I loved every minute of it.

I probably should’ve been studying for school.

Nah.

In folders ancient and dusty, I have hundreds of maps, sketches, character drawings, stories, and massive overarching plot outlines. I planned our game sessions well in advance, carefully constructing multiple scenarios to accommodate whatever crazy choices the players might make.

Some of those sketches and outlines, I turned into fantasy novels later in life. Others remain in hiding, likely never to see daylight again.

Sniffle…

*

Drawing Dungeon Maps

Along with world-creation came the fun (though often tedious) job of mapping out dungeons.

Take a left turn, fall into a pit of spikes.

Go straight, fight a pack of bloodthirsty Necrophages.

Head down the stairs, prepare to meet your doom.

Armed with reams of graph paper and a knack for being cruel to my players, I designed dozens of dungeons. Some were simple. Others were bottomless. Several were never traversed, and still lie hidden, chock full of gold (and death.)

Think this is complex? You ain’t seen nuthin’, rookie.

*

Seeing the Joy on Players’ Faces

For as insidious as I tried to be, I genuinely wanted my fellow gamers to succeed. After all, I’d laid the trappings of an epic world, and if the players’ characters died, they’d never have the chance to explore it.

They’ll never know it, but I loved it when they outsmarted me.

And when they reached the end of a plotline, it felt like we finished one movie in a thrilling series.

Only…instead of having to wait a year for the next installment to arrive, we simply kept playing.

It’s like leveling up in a video game, only a million times more euphoric.

*

Creating New Characters

In our deep, dark basement (or my dad’s musty living room) I sometimes wonder how many new characters we made. For us, making a new character wasn’t just writing statistics down on a sheet of paper; it was more about inventing a new persona. If the idea behind role-playing is to escape our mundane reality for a while, then there’s no greater method than to step into the mind of someone else.

Elves. Dwarves. Cantankerous old wizards. Midget lizard-folk clerics. Whatever floats your boat.

We played ’em all. Some died. Some lived. Some went down in infamy.

But all will be remembered.

*

Storytelling

Ultimately, gaming (at least the way we did it) isn’t about rolling dice, collecting treasure, or slaughtering goblins. It’s about creating a living world, not unlike a book, into which one can wander for days on end.

For the players, it’s all about exploration. Discovery. Advancement.

For me, it’s about telling a story. And not just a lonely, beginning-to-end tale, but a flexible, ever-changing universe.

Like the butterfly effect, one motion by one player can change everything.

Sigh…

I only wish we could’ve finished the story. We stopped well before arriving at the end. It’s probably my fault for being long-winded.

Oh well.

If reincarnation exists, I’m coming back as a fourteen-year old dungeon master.

With a shitload of Mountain Dew.

*

If you like role-playing inspired stories, go here.

If you like cheesy RPG art, try this.

J Edward Neill

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Ankou by Gennifer Bone

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

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

 

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

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

 

Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Air element Fated by Gennifer Bone

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

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

 

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

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

 

Hatters Court Member by Tanyaporn Sangsnit

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

HALLOWEEN TREAT – 11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Glimpse the Beyond 2e WITH CJ Hurtt

This interview is the first in the series that strays from its core mission – interview publishers about their RPG Kickstarters. For this article, I’m interviewing a freelancer about a product that recently completed the journey from Kickstarter to DriveThruRPG. And, to top it off, it has a light holiday-theme to it! Happy Halloween!

 

EGG EMBRY – I want to thank you, CJ, for talking to me about Glimpse the Beyond 2e for my first Halloween-themed post. Give us your pitch for this RPG?

CJ HURTT – Thanks for talking to me! The setting for Glimpse the Beyond is the world we currently live in (the horror, the horror) and the many other worlds that hide within it. In Glimpse, players take on the role of Magi who use Magick to fight (or join!) the Things That Should Not Be. These supernatural beings are drawn from folklore as well the modern campfire tales of creepypasta. There will be other timelines introduced in future releases, but this game is set in the here and now.

 


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

 

EGG EMBRY – Tell us about the system this RPG uses?

CJ HURTT – The system is pretty straight forward. Actions taken by players have a difficulty rating expressed as a Target Number. The player takes a number of d6 equal to their relevant Ability and rolls. The highest result is then multiplied by the player’s level of the relevant Skill. If the product is greater than the Target Number, the action succeeds. If this is combat, the roll is resisted by the opposing NPC or player. There are some finer points such as points exceeding the TN being used for different types of attacks and modifiers provided by equipment, but that is the nuts and bolts of it. It was designed with keeping the focus on the story in mind. My personal favorite part of the system, though, is how Magick works. Magick in our game is not as simple as just casting a fireball or lightning strike. Spells are made up of components in our game. A Magus will not only need to succeed in the roll to cast the spell, but the resulting points pool is then spent on these components in order to Weave the spell being cast. Your imagination is pretty much the limit here. I am really looking forward to hearing stories of players using Magick in unconventional and surprising ways. This answer was pretty long, but the system is much less complicated than some others!

 

Second Edition Coffin art by Mary Madewell

EGG EMBRY – This is the second edition of this game. What’s been changed and refined from the first edition?

CJ HURTT – The lore has been greatly expanded and, in places, clarified. I was able to dream up a lot of factions and additional gear for this edition. The tone of the game is slightly different and the focus is placed a bit more on the difficulties Magi will face as they follow their destiny. Some existential stuff in there. Don’t worry, still lots of fun too. I tried to inject a bit of gallows humor in there. You’re not being beaten down by the bleakness so much as laughing your way through hell.

This edition has about twice as many pages as the first. Pretty much all aspects of the game got a bit of a tune up. The system has been refined a bit to allow for more player creativity and streamlining for storytelling purposes. You can definitely drill down in the math and rolls if you wish to, but the system lends itself to keeping the action moving. It skews towards being narrative based.

 

EGG – This ran on Kickstarter in August 2017 through Travis Legge’s Aegis Studios and was promised to arrive in October and November. So far, Aegis has met that commitment [the PDF is available here] and I wish I could shake your hand for that! It’s great when a Kickstarter is on time! To achieve that, how much of the project was already in the can when the Kickstarter was running?

CJ HURTT –I would say we were probably around 80-ish percent done when we started the campaign. All the chapters of the book were drafted, but we did have some re-writing to do and some system testing to look over. We didn’t want to be in a position where we felt pushed to rush, but we also didn’t want to fund and then take several months to get the game out either. Our main goal was to bring out a fully realized fun game on time. It’s so much easier said than done. I am really proud that we could stick to our timeline.

 

Cultist by Mary Madewell

EGG – For this project, you got to work with your wife, Mary Madewell, as the artist. How was the collaborative process?

CJ HURTT – It was really fun! We could sit on the couch and binge watch something while working on the book and be able to get instant feedback on what we were doing. I offered suggestions with some of the art and Mary helped proof my text.

 

EGG – What’s next for Glimpse the Beyond?

CJ HURTT – Sleep and lots of it! No. Kidding, No sleep. Ever. The immediate goal is getting the hardcover approved. We have the proofs at the printer as of this writing and we are waiting to get those back. The PDF is of the core book is done and this is the last step or the book. After that, we have a number of modules in the planning phase that will start peeking their heads out soon.

 

Magic Ring by Mary Madewell

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

CJ HURTT – I am a nerd who came of age in the 90s. There is a good chance that whatever image that creates in your head, it’s pretty close to the truth. The game that changed my life was Magic: The Gathering. Up until that point I didn’t have a ton of gaming experience be it card, tabletop, or video. I had an NES, but I wasn’t really a hardcore gamer. Magic kind of blew my mind open. Shortly after that was the Vampire card game. That, of course, lead to the Vampire core rulebook and I’ve never been the same.

  

EGG – You’re a RPG freelancer, how’d you walk through that door? How was working for Aegis Studios?

CJ HURTT – I don’t I walked through the door so much as luckily tripped through the right one. I got my start freelancing by just sending emails out to places that I thought were cool and answering ads on various comic book and game forums. There are a ton of small companies willing to take a chance on new talent. One of my very first gigs was for Aegis Studios. I worked on a module for Contagion, their flagship game. So, this book is a kind of homecoming for me.

Aegis has always been good to me. Very fair terms and a lot of freedom. They make it clear that you’re hired for your creativity. I consider Travis Legge, the man behind it all, to be a really good friend.

 

Second Edition art by Mary Madewell

EGG – What other RPG products have you worked on before Glimpse the Beyond 2e?

CJ HURTT – I worked on a browser based MMO called Project Necrosis, a module for Aegis’ Contagion, and a game called Dawn of the Tyrant that has yet to come out.

 

EGG – What new projects are you currently developing?

CJ HURTT – I am currently writing two comic books that are still pretty early in their development, I am designing a card game with Mary Madewell, I have a novel that needs to eventually be finished, and I just received an offer to work an independent production. I know that’s all pretty cryptic, but it’s a bit early to announce anything yet. I’m also looking to try my hand at White Wolf’s Storyteller Vault and there’s plenty of ground left to uncover for Glimpse.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about CJ Hurtt and Glimpse the Beyond 2e?

CJ HURTT – I’m always around doing something! I can be found on Facebook and Glimpse news is announced here https://www.facebook.com/ContagionRpg/

 

For more information on Aegis Studios, click here. For a PDF of Glimpse the Beyond 2e, click here.

 

Sigil by Mary Madewell

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

 

About On the Shoulders of Giants

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catain Galileo Furrwhisker.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers! Toma”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Tales from the Loop – RPG Review

Sometime soon as the week approaches its end, Stranger Things Season 2 will premiere taking with it many people’s weekends with it. Thinking about it makes me turn my thoughts back to Tales from the Loop. I talked about how it was my favorite game I played at Gen Con here, but I didn’t get into much in the way of gameplay details.

Tales from the Loop is about kids. It’s about nostalgia. It’s about playing in a world that King and Spielberg portray.

***

Character Creation

Possibly the best part of the game is the character creation. If you are a roleplayer (as opposed to roll-player) then it is perfect for you. Because, more than most games, this one wants you to develop your characters together. It wants you to come up with an idea, but then collaborate to figure out how your kid fits with the other kids. The discussion you end up having serves to help you determine why you guys and gals are actually friends. Each piece somehow builds neatly on what has come before. The game forces you to answer questions about who you are going to be playing, and by doing that, helps to bring to life a more fleshed out character.

You have your base stats where you take your Age and that is the number of points you can put into your primary Skills. Then the Kid types are divided into archetypes: Bookworm, Computer Geek, Hick, Jock, Popular Kid, Rocker, Troublemaker, and Weirdo (though, a little searching on the web can reveal some additional ones players have developed on their own). Each type has 3 sub-Skills they are proficient in, allowing them to devote more points in that particular ability than others (3 is the maximum in your “Key” Skills, where 1 is the maximum in your other Skills).

Next is your Iconic Item. In game terms, it is something that you can potentially use to add a bonus die to a roll, but in character building terms it is that one thing when you were growing up, that possibly identified you as “You”. Maybe it was your badass bike, or you cool jacket, or you cutting edge piece of technology, or…

You get the point.

Then there is your Problem. Problems are the things that all kids have. Think of them almost as a way to grow as a character. It doesn’t have to be solved during a particular adventure, but it is a motivating part of who your Kid is. Which really your Drive. Why are you doing this?

And what is your Relationship to the other players? Was there something in your past that forced you together? Are you siblings or cousins? Parents work together? Share detention most afternoons? All of these are valid and lend themselves to who you are.

Lastly, you have your Anchor. Where the game emphasizes that you can’t really depend on the adults for much help (they are so wrapped up in their own problems), this is the one adult who actually will help, support, and comfort you.

***

Oh, one thing I didn’t mention in the Character section is your Favorite Song. We all have/had one. Your character needs to choose one. In my mind, it’s like your walk-up music (and I could see getting a playlist with a group’s favorites and using them as potential story clues).

***

The System

Overall the system is pretty easy to figure out. While I have not played the Mutant Zero system that originated this one, it plays very streamlined and well (never seeming to get in the way of the Story you are trying to create).

You have Skills and for each level, you have a Skill you get to roll 1-six-sided dice (1d6). Every “6” you roll is a success. For most things, 1 success is enough to get by a challenge. If you do fail, you can potentially reroll by gaining a Condition (Scared, Upset, Exhausted, Injured, and Broken). Once you have a Condition, you have a minus 1 dice for your rolls until you get to a safe space (with an Anchor or potentially you Hideout).

The only time this gets tweaked a little bit are the BIG challenges (a Climax of the current story being one possibility). It is then that the Kids have to beat a particular number of successes as a team. Each one (or each subgroup) needing to accomplish a series of tasks in order to prevail.

And while Kids Can’t Die… they certainly can fail.

***

Location

While the game comes with both a Swedish Loop and an American Loop, my guess is that many campaigns will end up creating something a little more in their backyard. For a GM, those old memories of where the old tree fort in the woods actually lies should only help integrate everyone that much more within the game.

***

Mysteries

The last half of the book is for the Game Master. One is more of a sandbox style where it sets up a number of possibilities to explore with various Hooks for the players and NPCs to interact with. Past that are 4 scenarios  (“The Four Seasons of Mad Science”) that can be played as one-shots or as part of a larger campaign. From my various readings online, it seems the majority can be played in 3-4 hours each.

***

Overall, what is great about the game is that you can make it your own. Whether that means setting it up in the town you grew up in or inserting NPCs from your childhood or even dialing back a bit on the technology presented by the Loop and focusing more of the strange and unusual within the town/suburbs – you make it your own. And as the players get involved they help expand it into something that is everyone’s.

***

John McGuire

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

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

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

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

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.

 

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

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

Free RPG Sampler List:


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

 

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

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

Our third Kickstarter project, Limitless Monsters, contains:

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

Limitless Adventures  

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

Skeletal Guardian
Skeletal Guardian

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

Orbis Mundi 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

Art by Alessandro Alaia
Art by Alessandro Alaia

 

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

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

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

Undead includes:

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

 

Wanna-lancer* Reward:

Pledge $100 or more
Witness to the Unknown

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

INCLUDES:

  • Undead PDF
  • Undead softcover

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

I love creating custom stock illustrations.

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

I am now bringing it to Kickstarter.

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

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

 

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

The following apply to Stock Illustrations from this project:

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

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

Wanna-lancer Reward:

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

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

Guaranteed illustration ideas may choose to include a background.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can find examples of his work on RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

JEStockArt – Fantasy – Pugtaur with Bone Mace and Helm

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

Pledge $250 or more / $325 or  more

Create An AMP / Major Part of the Story

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, but what’s a “gamebook”?

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

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

OVERVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tathkee Station Directory
Tathkee Station Directory

 

Wanna-lancer Reward:

Pledge $50 or more

DEEP SPACE EXPLORER

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

4 Gaming & Comic Experiences You Should Try Out – RPG Design Camp 2, LexiCon, Savannah Comic Con, and AndoCon

I’m continuing to write about different RPG Kickstarter themes such as all of the campaigns originating in Georgia or all of the games use the Savage Worlds engine. For this column, I’m examining the RPG experience away from the table – conventions and camps. To continue the expansion of gaming, we need more stores, more online games, and more conventions so there’s a variety of experiences for every type of gamer and, consequently, we’ll attract more gamers. In turn, to support those games, organizations, and gamers we’ll need more product. To support that goal, these campaigns offer chances to play and create more RPG content!

 

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

4) LexiCon – April 20 to 22, 2018
Ends on Mon, October 30 2017 11:59 PM EDT

“More Boardgaming Events, More Boardgames, More RPGs, More Games in the Library, More People and More Fun! April 20 to 22, 2018.

Come Join the Fun at LexiCon 2018  April 20th noon to 22nd at 6:00pm, Lexington, KY.

It’s LexiCon’s Fifth Anniversary. Hooray! LexiCon Tabletop Boardgaming Convention is one of the best regional convention in the country because:

  •  Great Attendees Like You
  •  Our Ginormous Library, 1,500 + games and growing
  •  Learn to Play events, of which there are many
  •  100 + Play to Win Games
  •  Lots and Lots of RPGs all day and night
  •  West Sixth Brewing featured Adult Social Gaming Night Parties
  •  Great Cosplay Contest
  •  Fantastic LARPing
  •  Lots of Great Vendors.
  •  We simply take over the Clarion Hotel Convention Center for the weekend and play tons of games and have fun!

Some highlights from last year:

  • Over 1,100 turnstile attendees last year.
  • Over 160 Scheduled Events including tournaments, board games, RPGs, LARPs, Cosplay and so much more.
  • National Qualifying Tournament for Settlers of Catan.
  • The Unsurpassed Nighttime Adult Parties, sponsored by West 6th Brewing and The Barrel House.
  • Prizes, prizes, and more prizes.
  • Lexicon gives away a ton of prizes throughout the weekend, including prizes for just showing up in any kind of costume.

Find up to date information here on our Facebook page.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is a growing convention. It’s well situated geographically (the two biggest North American gaming conventions are in Indianapolis and Columbus, both just shy of 200 miles from Lexington, Kentucky). They’ve positioned LexiCon in April while Origins Game Fair is in June and Gen Con is in August. Being ahead of those shows on the calendar and close by, LexiCon is like the local opening act to the big shows. With their track record of shows funded via Kickstarter (here), this seems like a safe bet to open up gaming season.

 

Support their campaign here.

 

3) Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 4:53 AM EDT.

“We’re planning a short winter project to showcase the process of converting a D&D3.0 adventure to 5E & PFRPG while updating the design.

ARE YOU READY TO LEARN ADVENTURE DESIGN?

Maybe you are a GM who wants to create better encounters, deadlier dungeons or more creative adventures.

Or perhaps you are trying to become a Freelance RPG Designer and want to learn how to construct award-winning games.

Or you could be a gamer who just wants a cool adventure to run for your home game. No matter who you are…

RPG DESIGN CAMP is here for you!

This time we are taking an older adventure, the Silver Box, and letting you adapt, change and add to it to make it awesome!

In the Silver Box a thrilling encounter with highwaymen uncovers a missing artifact that hurls the PCs into an amazing adventure. The chase leads them on a woodland pursuit into a cave complex where the mystery only increases with the discovery of a pile of dead highwaymen. Who killed the thieves? And where is the Silver Box? From there the PCs follow clues to a nearby city and a series of thrilling urban encounters. Finally, in the conclusion, the heroes face off against the real thieves of the Silver Box in a dramatic shipboard battle in the city harbor.

Or does it? Your decisions can and probably will alter the adventure toward new directions.

  • Perhaps the whole adventure will take place in the cave complex
  • Perhaps the city will turn out to be under siege by a vampire hoard
  • Perhaps the conclusion will be atop a floating tower rather than a ship?

The options are limitless and the deciding factor is you! Don’t just run the adventure be part of the design process and choose the adventure!

What is Design Camp?

Design Camp is a collaborative experience where game designers and interested individuals share the process of RPG content creation– sometimes that means writing a supplement, or an adventure, or setting material, or, like this project, converting a manuscript from one game system to another.

The adventure we’re planning to convert is The Silver Box, formerly placed in the Iron Kingdoms setting, and covering a number of urban and wilderness locations with a variety of NPCs. We’ll discuss it more in updates.

How does Design Camp work?

We interact with backers through a Basecamp site on the internet (basecamp.com), using that site’s infrastructure to chat, email, host files and communicate. We also post here on Kickstarter to provide redundant communication for the project.

You’ll have a chance to pitch your own design elements during the process, and vote on submitted elements. If your element wins, you can work with designers to implement it, if you want, or you can leave it to us to make those proverbial donuts.

We work hard to make sure our process is fairly transparent and responsive to backers and their questions. In the end, we want you to understand and feel comfortable with the process of RPG design.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Normally I post gaming campaigns and, more or less, let them speak for themselves. Sure, I put up some thoughts, but they’re just a quick review, but not so for RPG Design Camp 2. I missed the first one and I regret that. So, I want this one to fund, fund, fund so I can go! My shtick is wanna-lancing – I want to be a RPG freelancer – and this is not unlike getting to hear Wolfgang Baur and Dan Dillon‘s thoughts on 5e monster creation from which I learned a great deal.

I’ve shared the RPG Design Camp posts a few times and one of the questions I got was who are these RPGers? While I don’t know them enough to say hi at Gen Con, I did hunt down some biographical data from a few sources:

  • Ben McFarland – Due to its depth, I’m not going to try and summarize his resume. Instead, you can read it here.
    • A sample of Ben’s writing credits via DriveThruRPG can be seen here.
  • Jaye Sonia – From his Kickstarter bio:
    “I’m a proud Pathfinder RPG fan, a game designer, a writer, a traveler, and the proud creator of Rhune: Dawn of Twilight, as well as the co-creator of Bloodlines & Black Magic. I also own and operate Storm Bunny Studios.
    In addition to my own products, I’ve written for: Bazaar Magazine, The Shadowlands Campaign Setting, Kobold Press, Kobold Quarterly, Open Gaming Monthly, Open Design, Total Party Kill Games, and Wayfinder.
    I’m an avid gamer and proven creator; Bloodlines & Black Magic will be my third project on Kickstarter!”

    • A sample of Jaye’s writing credits via DriveThruRPG can be seen here.
  • Brian Suskind – From his Linkedin profile:
    • Game: Southlands (2014, Kobold Press, forthcoming) – Lead Designer
    • Game: Midgard Tales (2013, Kobold Press, forthcoming) – Designer
    • Game: Midgard Legends (2012, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • Game: Journeys – Bosun’s Booty (2012, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • Game: Journeys to the West (2012, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • Game: Dark Roads and Golden Hells (2011, Kobold Press) – Designer
    • A sample of Brian’s writing credits via DriveThruRPG can be seen here.

If their resumes (all of which are first rate) aren’t enough, let’s whet your appetite a bit more with two *free* (until this campaign ends) RPGs that’ll let you assess the quality of the product that they’ll produce:

I’m ready for this camp and I hope to see you there!

 

Support their campaign here.

 

2) AndoCon – March 9th-11th, 2018 
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 9:00 PM EDT

“AndoCon 2018 is an Atlanta-based gaming convention focused on gaming and the geeky lifestyle.

What is AndoCon?

AndoCon is a 3-day gaming convention in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be held Friday thru Sunday, March 9th-11th, 2018 at the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners. This is our fifth convention and we’re dedicated to making it bigger and better than the first four. And you can be part of that!

AndoCon focuses on gaming and the geeky life. We specialize in tabletop gaming of all sorts — board games, card games, roleplaying games – combining these with a variety of other events and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to create an enjoyable experience for everyone.

If you’d like to attend, simply buy a badge and come game and hang out with us in March. Badge prices will go up after the Kickstarter. Plus, there are things you can get now through the Kickstarter that won’t be available later. Finally, by pledging to the Kickstarter, you can help build the AndoCon community now, which will make for a better convention for everyone later!

Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter. We hope to see you in March.

What Can I Do at AndoCon?

There are many ways to get your Ando on at AndoCon. Here’s just some of what’s going on. As we nail down more specifics, we’ll update this page and provide continued event announcements at AndoCon.org.

  • Play board games and card games
  • Play roleplaying games, including D&D Adventurer’s League
  • Attend game shows, courtesy of Florida Whammy Entertainment
  • Meet and game with our special guests
  • Shop the dealer room with games and other great stuff for purchase
  • Participate in gaming and geek life panels
  • Special events (TBD)
  • Attend a live recording of the NerdBurger Podcast, where you can even get on the mic and share your geekiness with everyone.

Why We’re Using Kickstarter

For three years, AndoCon got a great rate at its former venue, in part because we were new to the local gaming scene. We’ve grown, and that’s a good thing. But it also means we needed to find a new venue, which we have. And now that AndoCon is bigger than ever, the cost to rent space at a great venue is higher.

Additionally, being bigger and better incurs additional behind-the-scenes, organizational costs. And it costs money to bring back to AndoCon some of the great guests and events we’ve all enjoyed in the past.

Getting funds locked into place earlier is absolutely essential to being able to set up and run everything as smoothly as possible, which in turn will give you a better experience.

Special Guests

So who are these special guests we talk about? Here’s who we have on the slate right now. More will be added as we square things away with folks.

  • Kevin Lanzing, designer of the Flashpoint: Fire Rescue board game, recently featured on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop series
  • David Lupo, designer of the Addictive Alchemy card game
  • Craig Campbell, designer of the Murders & Acquisitions RPG
  • Derek Kamal, designer of The Dig RPG and author of Homes
  • James Dawsey of Vigilance Press and creator of the Tianxia RPG
  • Jason Stone, board game designer, creator of (among others) Five Golden Rings
  • Marco Leon, designer of the Enter the Shadowside RPG
  • And more to come…

AndoCon prides itself on supporting local, indie game developers. Several of our special guests are from the Atlanta area.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

I shared my thoughts on the campaign here and I did an interview with Ando Poore of AndoCon here. The short version is, I want to go!

 

To back this campaign click here.

For more information about AndoCon, click here.

 

1) Savannah Comic Con – February 24th and 25th, 2018
Ends on Wed, November 15 2017 8:00 PM EST.

“We want to bring a ton of great Comic Book Creators to Savannah Feb 24 2018 and put on a fun show for everyone!

We’ve been working on this event for quite a while now and YOU can help us bring Savannah Comic Con on Feb 24, 2018 [and Feb 25th too] from the planning and dreaming phase into reality. We’ve set a very low goal to cover the bare bones of putting a show together while still keeping the show very affordable for fans.

Update: All Vendor booths and Artist Alley rewards are now good for both days. While they last. After Kickstarter, more spaces will be made available at their regular price.
All VIP passes are now good for both days as well  🙂

We’re proud to say that our Year One Special Guests include:

Cory Smith (X-Men, TMNT)
Ian McGinty (Adventure Time, Welcome to Showside)
Eryk Donovan (Constantine, Eugenic)
Sanford Greene (Power Man and Iron Fist)
Wilfredo Torres (Jupiter’s Circle, The Shadow, Adventures of Superman)
Chris Giarrusso (G-Man, Mini-Marvels)
Jarrett Williams (Hyper Force Neo)
Tracy Yardley (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Samantha Glow
Justin Peterson
Rian Sygh (Rick and Morty)
Katy Farina
(Steven Universe)
Aaron Conley
(Sabretooth Swordsman)
Fred Stressing
Bob Frantz
(Monty the Dinosaur)
Robert Pope
(Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo)
Michael Lee Harris
Rashad Doucet

ALL GUESTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Reason I’m interested in the show.

  • Award-winning artist [2015 Judges’ Choice Award – JordanCon Art Show and 2017 Best Space Scene – DragonCon Art Show] and Tessera Guild co-founder, Amanda Makepeace, has a table for the show.
  • Marvel artist and, more importantly, my buddy, Wilfredo Torres, is going to be there.
  • Downtown Savannah, GA is one of my favorite cities. It was established during the colonial period, yet it feels like SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) owns an absurd amount of downtown and that’s a win since so much of gaming (and comics) is driven by art and they have an eye for it.
  • As a vacation destination, I enjoy historic Savannah and putting a comic book convention and friends there screams good times!

 

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Gaming Convention AndoCon WITH Ando Poore

When I first covered AndoCon for my Georgia-centric look at gaming-related Kickstarters, the reason it sparked my interest is something my editor at EN World, Christopher Helton, wrote about here. To keep the industry growing, more local conventions are needed. In the English-speaking world, the big gaming conventions are Gen Con (Indiana), Origins (Ohio), UK Games Expo (England), and, possibly, PAX Unplugged (Pennsylvania). In terms of geography, that does not cover as much ground as it could (no major gaming-only cons in Canada or Australia or California). Without major players dominating the local convention-ing market, that leaves room for regional gaming conventions to fill the void, and AndoCon is doing that handsomely. AndoCon‘s president, Ando Poore, agreed to talk about his con and what 2018 has in-store.

 

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

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for talking to us about AndoCon. Let’s start with what is AndoCon? When did it begin? Where will it take place in 2018?

ANDO POORE AndoCon is not just any gaming convention; we call it a Gaming Convention+. That is because in addition to the large open gaming space with free access to a vast game library, we also have special guests from the gaming industry, a schedule of fun-filled events and game shows, and even a dealer room. We threw our first event in 2013, and have been going strong ever since. Our 2018 event will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners.

 

EGG – With that kind of history, why are you Kickstarting the 2018 convention? What makes Kickstarter a better choice than, say, a badge pre-sell?

ANDO POORE – We have done more traditional badge pre-sells in previous years. The reason for Kickstarter this year is that as we become more established in the community and start picking up steam, the costs to run the event start rising as well. Between the rental of the hotel’s convention space, bringing in special guests, and all of the materials needed, we wanted to ensure we had everything in line with plenty of time before the actual event. It also gives us a chance to offer some great perks to our attendees such as the fidget spinner and dice bag add-ons.

 

EGG – In terms of numbers, what kind of attendance does AndoCon generate?

ANDO POORE – In 2016, we drew the amusing number of 314 attendees. We’re still fairly small in terms of numbers, but people who come to AndoCon typically come away calling it their favorite convention because of the heart and spirit we keep at the forefront of our minds while putting on our event.

 

 

EGG – What’s the rough percentage breakdown at the con of board games, CCGs, and RPGs?

ANDO POORE – We don’t have an official CCG track or section – we tried in 2014 and it turns out our audience tend to not be that interested. Our board game room and RPG room this year will be the exact same size, so I guess that makes it a 50/50 split.

 

EGG – How many game publishers do you expect to attend? Guest creators?

ANDO POORE – We have a very loyal group of game designers that showcase their creations all weekend long. We’ve even had some of the Steve Jackson MIB stop in a few times. We maintain a list of our confirmed guests on our website, so check there for updates as we lock down more guests.

 

 

EGG – In terms of local support, what, if anything, does the local gaming shops and gamers do to help make this show a reality?

ANDO POORE – We have good friends in the local comic and game shops. Stores across the metro-Atlanta area allow us to advertise our convention in their stores, and several of them have played host to game day events. They also have sponsored content and run tournaments at the convention.

 

EGG – Can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for the AndoCon Kickstarter?

ANDO POORE – Easy – the $225 badge and hotel room package. That means you are set for the whole weekend and all you need to account for yourself is food. Plus, anyone who stays at the hotel for the weekend will receive a goodie bag at check-in that has some AndoCon swag and a few coupons to local attractions like Medieval Times and The Escapery.

 

 

EGG – I’m a RPGer at heart, what RPG games are you planning for AndoCon 2018?

ANDO POORE – I’m sure it will come as no surprise that we will host D&D Adventurer’s League, and we’re talking to the GA Pathfinder Society as well. As several of the special guests are RPG designers, they will be bringing their own games to run. The RPG Track will have other scheduled games as well, and we will announce them as they are locked in.

 

 

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

ANDO POORE – Even as a young child, I loved playing board games, and family game nights were pretty common, though we mostly played things like Clue, Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Tri-ominoes. While I was in college, I was introduced to what I call my “gateway games” of Chez Geek, Apples To Apples, and Munchkin. From there, I was always asking for game recommendations, and buying up the games I enjoyed so I could teach them to my friends.

In fact, it was over an intense few games of Blokus that I met the woman that I married. Teaching board games became one of the biggest aspects of my social life in college. Gaming is an integral part of my life.

 

EGG – Why did you create a gaming convention?

ANDO POORE – It actually wasn’t on purpose! After I graduated college, my wife (then fiancée) and I threw semi-monthly gaming parties at our apartment just for fun. But in 2009, a two-day gaming party ended up with two out-of-state guests (coworkers of mine from different offices) and we had a blast. For the next few years, we’d pick one party per year to be “AndoCon”, as a joke – almost a parody of conventions. The idea to make it a real thing came suddenly in 2012, after my wife and I staffed MomoCon for the first time and saw what it was like behind the scenes of a convention. So in 2013, we rented a small conference center in Kennesaw, GA, and packed it to overflowing. We made a big splash in the Atlanta gaming scene, and we have tried our hardest to live up to the promise of our debut year.

 

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about AndoCon 2018?

ANDO POORE – If there’s one thing I want people to know about me, it’s that looking across a room packed full of gamers having fun is one of the biggest joys in my life. It’s not always easy, but I genuinely love giving the Atlanta gaming community a place to get together and do what they love. That’s why I do this, and that’s why I’m doing everything I can to make AndoCon 2018 as special as possible. We’ll be posting the guest list and event schedules on AndoCon.org as they are locked in. And of course, our Kickstarter campaign will be open until November 2nd at 9:00 PM, so please get your badge at its cheapest price!

Egg, thank you for your thoughtful questions, and I look forward to seeing you at AndoCon in March!

 

To back this campaign click here.

For more information about AndoCon, click here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

4 Savage Worlds RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Titan Effect, Frozen Skies, The Monster Hunters Club, Seven Worlds, and more

This week I’m focusing on four Savage Worlds Kickstarters (as well as a system agnostic offering). Why pick a specific system like Savage Worlds instead of considering every system? Well, for one week I want to see if shining a spotlight on a single RPG engine helps spark some discussion about it. Savage Worlds is one of the most versatile games out there and it covers a variety of genres and I want to see if these campaigns can reach a wider audience, to get an idea of what SW’s fanbase is like. Considering that, let’s countdown the campaigns.

 

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

 

5) Frozen Skies RPG for Savage Worlds by Applied Vectors, ltd and Utherwald Press
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 12:00 PM EDT.

“Diesel-punk post-war aviators fight to survive on the frozen frontier against the elements and the savage Wulvers.

Frozen Skies is a roleplaying game written by Stephen Hughes of Utherwald Press. It is being brought to Kickstarter by Applied Vectors Ltd.

The 120 page book is written, what we need is artwork that accurately brings the setting to life, and for this to happen, we need you! The funding goal gets you a combination of colour and black and white art. if we hit the first stretch goal, it will be a full colour interior!

The setting of Frozen Skies is the continent of Alyeska, the most northern landmass of the world of Darmonica and is often referred to as either the ‘rooftop of the world’ or ‘Darmonica’s Crown’. It is an icy frontier plagued by savage beasts, cut-throat sky pirates, harsh weather and eons old dark secrets. It is a barely tamed land where the most basic of utilities are hard to come by and tend to lie on the good side of unreliable at best. But despite all this there are opportunities for a man to make a name and, more ideally, coin for himself.

Alyeska itself is dominated by savage beasts known as Wulvers, wolf like creatures that’ve plagued Alyeska since its earliest Colonial days. The Commonwealth had troops stationed in Alyeska to defend its fledging colony against the beasts, though they were steadily whittled away to satisfy the Commonwealth’s war efforts. As the defenses were weakened the Wulvers gradually overran more and more territory, in the end the Alyeskans were forced to hide behind fortified walls and increasingly rely on air travel to maintain contact with far-flung outposts.

Despite the Wulvers the other great powers of Darmonica have their own interest in Alyeska, chiefly for the ruins and artefacts of the Ancient Terrans buried beneath the ice and for a mineral by-product of the Blast known as Glimmer Rock. Until it was altered by the energies released in the explosion it was a previously unremarkable mineral, now it is the fuel for a new Industrial Revolution that the world finds itself on the cusp of….but only if the new technology can be made viable.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Lets lead this list with some diesel-punk for Savage Worlds. Frozen Skies is set on a unique continent where the great powers colonized the north pole and planes are the best way to keep the icebound colonies connected. Sky pirates, and wolves, and glaciers. The concept is interesting and I can see where it’d mesh nicely with the Savage Worlds ruleset. Do you want to try a sample of the setting? It’s a $1.50 for the Frozen Skies Setting Primer at DriveThurRPG.

 

You can see examples of the creator and publisher’s work at DriveThruRPG here (Applied Vectors, ltd) and here (Utherwald Press).

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) Titan Effect RPG for Savage Worlds by Knights Errant Media
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 10:06 AM EDT.

“An espionage and science fiction setting for Savage Worlds, somewhere between Tom Clancy and the X-Men!

Cover made by Vargasni
Cover made by Vargasni

Titan Effect RPG is a licensed campaign setting for Savage Worlds. Titan Effect is set in a contemporary world where psychic spies clash with genetically enhanced soldiers in a secret war in which the future of human evolution is at stake.

Take on the role of a trained operative gifted with psychic abilities. Perform dangerous missions all over the world for the international clandestine organization known as the SPEAR, and fight against dangerous creatures and organizations. Survive long enough, and maybe you will be able to make a difference.

Titan Effect RPG requires the Savage Worlds Core Rules and the Super Powers Companion (2nd edition).

The world of Titan Effect is like ours but darker and stranger. Psychics and augmented humans are used as spies and soldiers on behalf of criminal organizations, private military companies, and secret societies in a secret war that has been raging for decades. Some are fighting for control and power, while others seek to shape the future of human evolution.

In the middle of this conflict, stands the worldwide clandestine organization known as the Special Executive Assault and Recon or SPEAR. Its mission: to track and neutralize eugenics and psychic threats, and to prevent the world from falling into chaos. To succeed in its mission, the SPEAR hires people with unique sets of skills and possessing powerful psychic abilities. Its agents come from different nationalities and backgrounds.

Players take on the role of psychic operatives trained in black operations, and working for the international clandestine organization known as the SPEAR. They have the task to perform dangerous missions all over the world and fight against dangerous creatures and organizations. Some are there to make a difference, others for the thrill or because they have no other place to go.

Titan Effect RPG combines biopunk, spy thriller, and superhero elements. Imagine Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men. Titan Effect RPG plunges you into a world filled with conspiracies, secret organizations, dangerous biotechnologies and psychic phenomena. A world where the boundary between “good” and “evil” is blurred…”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s move from diesel-punk to biopunk. It’s a secret war for humanity’s future in which you can play a supersoldier. Based on the write-up – “Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men” – this is going to be action meets action meets action. But, hey, you gotta ask yourself if there’s enough action for you? To answer that, try their free demo kit and see (I think you’ll be happy with it).

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

3) Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (Beneath book 2) by Severed Books
Ends on Sun, November 5 2017 8:05 AM EST.
NOTES:

  • This link is NSFW 
  • System agnostic

“Beneath, the Spire and the Sound – book 2 of the Beneath series, a system-agnostic RPG module.

Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (book 2) 

Salt of the stars and salt of the earth — the critically acclaimed series is back! The armies of Seven Walls and the armies of Leaf have set their weapons aside — mid-battle — and cast off their armor and clothes. They walk hand-in-hand, naked, laughing, as friends, into the UnDungeon. Hannah has been captured. Now Baron Lennox beckons for you to return from your dark decent, rewarding you with The Perseverance [a tavern]. Beneath book 2 begins.

“Beneath challenges the conventional idea of the ‘Dungeon crawl’ in so many ways and succeeds in them all. It is radical yet well crafted, it is shocking yet thought provoking, it is familiar yet intensly Alien. If roleplaying is a Tree with all the various games and genres spreading out from it, then ‘beneath’ is one sick and twisted branch that waits for all brave travellers who dare to tread their foot upon.”  Jay of Colosseum Rex (U.K.)

“Beneath as a series is doing so much to reinvent what it means to be a prewritten adventure module. But Beneath isn’t just a few module books, it’s a living document full of unexpected messed up stuff and amazing artistic expression. You’ll feel like you’re talking to real people when you’re talking to the NPC’s. So strap in, and let’s get salty.” Zach Benge of Tabletop Radio Hour

“Beneath is a return to that thing that made gaming cool in the 80s, it’s dangerous and brutal, yet modern in it’s approach to subtext. A unique, grotesque, disturbing work that is entertaining and well crafted. A horror crawl that examines the topics of self absorption and the dangers held within. Your table deserves this experience and the sequel that follows.” Emanuel James Miller, Owner, Crit Hit Conventions

“Beneath masterfully blends narrative, adventure, combat, and character involvement. A dark tale that left our group massively satisfied.” The Inner Gamer

“I’ve never seen anything like this on an RPG level and I think it’s f*cking rad.” Full Metal RPG / Podcast

Undead Viking review here. 

Players will venture back to CragLee to claim the rewards they earned from book 1, including The Perseverance (a large tavern). Your party will even manage a “character sheet” specifically made for The Perseverance:  name a bar manager, track profits, store items, and customize the property.

Players will also meet Emily, a “Game Witch” who will share Hannah’s secret and also provide valuable support throughout the second half of the campaign. She can take an apprentice and teach them to imbue animal and human organs with powerful magic.

Horrors compound as the party returns to the UnDungeon and “The Vert” to face the more inverted abominations. Player’s decisions affect the outcomes of Hannah and many of the townspeople who have been seduced by the Inverted Cupid. Players will discover what The Invert actually is–a living, breathing cultural catalyst (a “Vert”) summoned with only the best intentions.

THE BOOK (Beneath, the Spire and the Sound)

  • 200+ pages
  • Matte cover
  • Perfectly bound
  • 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • Original illustrations by Scott Buonchristano and Justin Sirois
  • 50+ maps
  • Emily (NPC) and Suit of Salt character sheets
  • The Perseverance (tavern) management sheet

You will need Beneath book 1 to play Beneath book 2. If you need book 1 now, you can get it on Amazon (free shipping with Prime).”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s take a short Savage Worlds-pause to look at Beneath, a system agnostic adventure. Reading the pitch, this is an adventure that’s going to turn your fantasy preconceptions on their ear. It has some rarely utilized ideas – your tavern has its own character sheet – and enough twists to keep everyone guessing. If you’re looking for a unique path, this may be your cup of tea.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) The Monster Hunters’ Club RPG for Savage Worlds by CCS Games/Fabled Environments
Ends on Thu, November 16 2017 9:02 AM EST.

“The Monster Hunters’ Club is a setting for the Savage Worlds RPG about kids coming of age and fighting monsters in the 1980’s.

Cover by Karl Keesler
Cover by Karl Keesler

 

 The Monster Hunters’ Club is a licensed setting for the Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game set in the 1980’s and inspired by kids’ adventure and horror films, television, and novels like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Goonies, The Monster Squad, The Lost Boys, Fright Night, It, Super 8, Stranger Things, and many more. Players take on the roles of children, growing up in the 80’s, who become heroes.

 The Monster Hunters’ Club is an officially licensed Savage Worlds product, and requires the Savage Worlds Deluxe Core Rules to play.

A preview of The Monster Hunters’ Club is available on DriveThruRPG. Please click on the link in the text, or click on the Preview button above to download our FREE preview from DriveThruRPG.

Something strange is happening in the town of Gulf Haven. Horrible creatures are coming to life. The adults seem blind to the entire thing. It’s up to you to find out what is happening, and stop it before it’s too late!

Growing up in the 1980’s…

You’ve got Saturday morning cartoons, a tree fort, a boombox, a fast bike, and oh…

Monsters are real.

You heard me.

Don’t bother telling your parents. Grown-ups can’t see ‘em. When something gets smashed up, they blame us. When somebody goes missing, they blame someone from out of town, or maybe the Russians. The monsters are real though, and it’s up to us to do something about it.

That’s right, between babysitting your little sister, dodging bullies like Scotty Mangrum, and surviving middle school, you also have to figure out how to fix the monster problem.

You can’t phone home, and there’s nobody you can call. It’s up to you to save the town, and maybe even the world!

Image Credit: Mike Dukes
Image Credit: Mike Dukes

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

The kids on bikes subgenre (Stranger Things, Stephen King’s IT, Tales From the Loop) expands to Savage Worlds. This is a fast-growing niche filled with, at a guess, fans about my age that are looking for a window back to their childhood. Do you want to see if this has the feel of Amblin Entertainment before you buy? The Monster Hunters’ Club is available on DriveThruRPG for free, so grab it and then you can decide if this is the RPG for your childhood memories.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Monster Club art by Veronica V. Jones

 

1) Seven Worlds – realistic science-fiction for Savage Worlds by Intellistories
Ends on Thu, November 16 2017 9:08 AM EST.

“A unique hard Science-Fiction setting for the Savage Worlds RPG. An epic campaign, 2D/3D starmaps for most platforms, and more!

Welcome to Seven Worlds, a new Epic Science-Fiction Setting and Campaign for the Savage Worlds role-playing game!

Seven Worlds is a unique, epic hard(ish) Science-Fiction role-playing campaign and setting. In the year 2217 humanity’s greatest achievement is the colonization of the nearby star systems now known as the Seven Worlds, where humanity lives, thrives, and prepares for the next great wave of space exploration. But when the unexpected threatens humanity, only an unlikely band of heroes can unravel a deadly conspiracy and try to avert the Fall!

“This isn’t the usual Firefly-meets-Star Wars space opera, it’s more like The Expanse… Overall rating: 5 out of 5.”  – Halfway Station

What makes Seven Worlds special? Do we need yet another science-fiction setting and campaign for Savage Worlds? We believe there IS a niche for a new, unique setting, and here are some reasons why:

The Campaign is Epic: The core of Seven Worlds is its awesome, world-shattering campaign! The setting was designed around the story, rather than the story around the setting, making for a rich environment where everything fits together. Inspired by classic science fiction books likeThe Expanse series and TV series like Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5, as well as by such grand episodic RPG campaigns as the original Dragonlance saga, this is a story arc the players will never forget!

The campaign will be available as seven PDF-only modules and (after the modules have been released) as a single-volume 253-page Campaign Book. For more information on the campaign, check this Designer Diary on our blog site.”

 

Check out my interview with Luis Enrique Torres about his Kickstarter for Seven Worlds here.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

You know what I like best about Savage Worlds? There are four Kickstarters and four unique settings/genres. Diesel-punk, biopunk, kids on bikes, and, now, hard science fiction. As I’ve mentioned before, 2017 feels like the Year of the Sci-Fi RPG.

With that in mind, this is going to be a good Savage Worlds setting. As with the other Savage Worlds RPGs on this list, you can try before you buy – Seven Worlds Test Drive for free.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there!

Check out the campaign here.

 

Gilded Age: Vol 1 – A Steampunk Graphic Novel by John McGuire
Made up of magicians and actors, freaks and gunslingers, The Gilded Age reveals everyone’s desires and secrets.
Ends on Fri, November 17 2017 11:59 PM EST.

Why signal boost this? This is from the Tessera Guild’s own John McGuire and he’s hitting on all cylinders with this story! Steampunk circus touring across Victorian Europe! Carny robots! Stage wizards! Tricksh00ting cyborgs! Check out the link to the campaign for a free copy of issue one!

The Gilded Age - Volume 1 Cover - La'Vata O'Neal - Artist
The Gilded Age – Volume 1 Cover – La’Vata O’Neal – Artist

Check out the campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport WITH Venger Satanis (Kort’thalis Publishing)

EDITOR’S NOTE – This article and the links are NSFW.

Venger Satanis, high priest and bill payer for Kort’thalis Publishing, is one of RPG’s hidden helpers. He let John McGuireLeland Beauchamp, and I play in his universe a couple of times. For me, he’s been a great source of advice as I pursue an RPG freelancing career. He’s produced books, contests, and is open to original ideas. I think that, in five or ten years, a number of RPG freelancers will have cut their teeth doing gonzo jobs at Kort’thalis Publishing. Because he’s had a variety of experiences as a creator and publisher, I knew when I started this RPG interview series that I wanted to talk to him. With the Kickstarter for his latest system/setting, Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport, running, now’s the time!

 

EGG EMBRY – Before we get started, that picture I photoshopped of you and the purple noodles, that’s going to be the Venger bio pic for the article. You’re welcome.

Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport is your 13th Kickstarter and it’s running now, what it’s about?

VENGER SATANIS – It’s the usual post-apocalyptic setting/adventure done in the usual Venger Satanis style: filled with tentacles, sleaze, and eldritch gonzo awesomeness!

Specifically, there’s some kind of mysterious cult leader who’s threatening the starport in Santa Fe. There’s also a mutant uprising and various wasteland factions at each others’ throats.

 

EGG – For Kort’thalis Publishing, what are the games/settings that you support and how does Gamma Turquoise  fit into them?

VENGER SATANIS – The original three are Crimson Dragon Slayer (dark science-fantasy), The Outer Presence (investigative horror and eldritch pulp), and Alpha Blue (space opera smut). At the moment, I’m working on a vampire RPG called Blood Dark Thirst. All of these use some variation of the same basic system – VSd6. It’s OSR, but with d6 dice pools instead of the d20.

Gamma Turquoise is sort of its own thing while the setting/scenario is compatible with Crimson Dragon Slayer and Alpha Blue. Also, there will be some OSR conversion stats to make it even easier to use with standard d20 RPGs.

 

You’d buy a RPG from this man, right?

EGG – You use a house system. Can you tell us about it and why you developed it?

VENGER SATANIS – I’ve played one variation or another of D&D since 1984. I was there at the height of the d20 boom in the early 2000s. This was before the retro-clones and OSR, but everyone was doing d20 to the point of ridiculousness.

While I love, respect, and occasionally use traditional OSR (the first three waves) and games based on D&D, I don’t think that system is ideal for every RPG. I love variety and wanted to use my imagination to come up with something that felt old school but was also new and completely different than d20 – though more or less compatible with everything stemming from D&D.

My games use Armor instead of Armor Class, Health instead of Hit Points, and a dice pool instead of attack bonus or challenge rating. So, going back and forth is rather effortless. But for the sake of convenience, I’m going to add in a number for AC (both ascending and descending), etc.

 

Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario... gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.

EGG – Can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Gamma Turquoise?

VENGER SATANIS – Of all the things I’ve created, my favorite would have to be Alpha Blue. It’s a comedic, vintage, over-the-top scifi sleaze-fest. Alpha Blue feels original, even though I just combined a few things that are pretty common – and added sex, which is less widely represented in the world of RPGs.

The $23 tier is a bundle including Gamma Turquoise and every PDF I’ve put out for Alpha Blue so far. There’s a lot of stuff, supplements and adventures, and I’m excited for gamers to discover the entire line and see what all the fuss is about.

 

EGG – I wrote a RPG Kickstarter review where I mentioned I didn’t have a mentor and you read it and reached out to offer yourself as my High Priest. You gave me some great advice and help and some opportunities and I want to thank you for that. Since that time, I’ve seen you be open and always willing to help other gamers and give back to the community; can you talk about what else you’ve done to expand the Venerable Society of Venger Satanis?

VENGER SATANIS – Before you completely ruin my reputation as a badass, let me say this: those who come at me hard and fast, disrespectful and idiotic will get shanked by me in the comments section of wherever I happen to be. 90% of the time, I’m a super nice guy, very accommodating, and chummy with my fellow gamers. But a few have felt my wrath because they wronged me and I let them know about it.

Aside from all that, I wanted to give back to aspiring scenario writers with a contest inspired by my recent guidebook Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss. It’s just a short PDF but it contains the foundation for awesome adventures. Those who submit an original scenario have a chance to win the $500 + publication grand prize!

What can I say? I love to teach, I love to write, I love to experiment, and I love to roleplay and talk about roleplaying games.

 

EGG – Your work embodies gonzo-gaming and you’re pushing the envelope. What do you consider the holy grail of gonzo-games?

VENGER SATANIS – Hmm, good question… there are at least three different kinds of gonzo. For something like “retro-stupid” silly gonzo, I’d say Encounter Critical is way up there. An example of corporate gonzo would probably be something like Rifts – it fulfills the basic requirements yet the execution doesn’t really do it for me. And then there’s gonzo that sprang from the old school “fun house” dungeons that threw everything but the kitchen sink in there. A fairly recent OSR representative of that camp would be Anomalous Subsurface Environment.

Personally, I try to ride the edge between “retro-stupid” and old school “fun house” because that’s where the awesome is.

 

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

VENGER SATANIS – I started with the magenta box, so that’s how it all began.

The hobby of RPGs is so vast that one almost has to qualify what they mean in order to not be misunderstood. For instance, when I say that I’d love to run an RPG next weekend, I’m thinking of fast and loose, rules-light, player-determined old school type games. The gamer standing next to me might be thinking of D&D 4th edition, and the guy standing next to him may have a story-game in mind.

It’s the same with music. If I was on a road trip and a friend wanted to pop in a CD (I’m old – you’re lucky I didn’t say cassette tape!). I’d probably (wrongly) anticipate David Bowie or Ozzy Osbourne or Depeche Mode. There’s music coming out today that I know nothing about. A person’s age is one factor, but their taste is another.

All the games I’ve run/played in the past have contributed to my RPG education and have changed my gaming philosophy on some level. Everything from TMNT and Other Strangeness to WEG Star Wars to Paranoia and Call of Cthulhu.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Kort’thalis Publishing?

VENGER SATANIS – Because I couldn’t find a publisher for Liberation of the Demon Slayer. I got close a couple of times, but it just wasn’t a perfect fit for anyone. So, I decided to self-publish and created Kort’thalis Publishing.

Being my own boss gives me the freedom to do things my way at my own pace and up to my standards.

 

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

VENGER SATANIS – People love print! PDFs are handy and are fairly well liked, but softcovers are still in demand. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time for that like I used to. 5 kids, wife, day job, etc… but one day, I will again.

 

EGG – I just did Paizo’s customer survey so it inspired this one – If you could ask your customers just one question, what would it be?

VENGER SATANIS – I’d love to know what I can do to not just foster sales but frequent use of my RPG stuff. I want people to play weekly sessions and bring new people into the hobby and run year-long campaigns! Blogging about it would also be nice, but I’ll settle for just knowing that gamers are consistently using the things I write.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Kort’thalis Publishing?

VENGER SATANIS – You can see what I’m up to over at Venger’s Old School Gaming Blog: http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/

From there, you can get to all my products, Draconic Magazine, and find out any news that pertains to me, like conventions I’ll be attending, what I’m currently working on, bonus content, reviews, etc.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

5 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Numenera 2, CAVALIERS OF MARS, Battlelords, Baker Street and Hood, and Gamma Turquoise

Last week, I did my normal column – Forbidden Lands, Mini-Dungeon Tome, and more – and a special edition that looked at what my state has to offer in RPGs, games, and gaming conventions (AndoCon, Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse, and a few others). This week, among the RPG Kickstarters I’m counting down, they include the third of the head-to-head challenges. What’s the head-to-head challenge? It’s five 6- to 7-figure RPG projects running in October. These big projects beg the questions – Will all five of these campaigns make their goals, and will they leave enough fan budget behind for the other RPG Kickstarters?

 

5) CAVALIERS OF MARS, a tabletop roleplaying game by Onyx Path
Ends on Thu, October 19 2017 12:59 PM EDT.

“Contribute to help create, publish and distribute the CAVALIERS OF MARS tabletop roleplaying book.

Live, fight, and love on Mars, a world of red death and strange mystery, a world of savagery and romance.

Return now to dying Mars in its last age of glory. A planet of flashing swords and choking sands, of winking courtesans and lantern-lit canal cities.

Mars, where fortune and heartbreak are two sides of the same obsidian chit, where lost cities and dry oceans stretch between the last bastions of civilization. Where the First Martians, the monument-builders, are but a haunted memory. Where the Red Martians become decadent and reckless in their last days. Where the Pale Martians rule the wastes, remembering a history whose weight would crush a lesser people.

 

Mars has canals… therefore, Mars must have Venice!

Cavaliers of Mars is a swashbuckling adventure setting from Rose Bailey, longtime developer of Vampire: The Requiem and other World of Darkness titles. Cavaliers draws inspiration from pulp fantasy and historical fiction, adding a modern edge and an exotic setting.

Cavaliers of Mars is powered by the DEIMOS system, in which a hero’s motivations and approach to problems strongly influence her chance of success. In combat, heroes face off with their enemies in contests of tactics and chance.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Onyx Path is a large publisher and this game is a part of their creator-owned line. I dig that they are offering that business option and partnering with creators to produce new products.

Cavaliers of Mars is a new entry in Onyx Path’s lineup of creator-owned games, produced in partnership with Rose Bailey and written by Rose Bailey, Benjamin Baugh, Dixie Cochran, Storn Cook, Steffie de Vaan, Meghan Fitzgerald, Jordan Goldfarb, Danielle Lauzon, Ethan Skemp, Lauren Stone, Travis Stout, Audrey Whitman.”

This RPG uses the DEIMOS system – traits of varying dice sizes rolled in dice pools against a difficulty number – that attempts to recreate the John Carter of Mars/Barsoom experience as a RPG. But do the system and setting work? You can get the Jumpstart Rules for free and, if you back the campaign, they have the complete text for CoM available as a download now.

“To learn more about Cavaliers of Mars, you can check out the CAVALIERS OF MARS JUMPSTART RULES here at DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9318cdfe08

BACKERS ONLY:We’ll be providing a link to the complete text for Cavaliers of Mars (barring last minute tweaks) in Backer Update #1. Please let us know what you think!”

Onyx Path is backing this product all the way. It’s worth a look just for that.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) Battlelords, Science Fiction RPG revised edition by 23rd Century Productions
Ends on Thu, October 19 2017 11:04 PM EDT.

“Battlelords of the 23rd Century, Seventh Edition is a full color, hardcover tabletop RPG book. New & Streamlined Core Rules.

What is Battlelords?

Battlelords is a game set in a dangerous future. An Alliance of Humans and aliens is fighting for survival. The Ak-Nar-Ryn (aka “Arachnids”) have destroyed worlds and decimated populations as they advance into Alliance territory. Against the backdrop of war, players can take the fight to the Ak-Nar-Ryn, become explorers seeking new aliens species for allies and technology or participate in espionage to further the goals of their corporate backers.

Ready for battle
Ready for battle

There are many core species and each has their specialty and their own story. You can play as a Chatilian so you can read minds and use mental powers. Be the ultimate infiltration specialist as a Mazian transforming to look like a Human, or a tree, or a desk, or pretty much anything else you can think of. If you’d like to go with brute strength, pick a Pythonian and throw someone for distance. Play a cunning and ruthless Phentari and make your enemies suffer.  There are 15 different species to choose from!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Have you played Battlelords before? “The first edition was released in 1990 by Lawrence R Sims,” and this is the Kickstarter for the 7th edition, so it has a lengthy pedigree. 23rd Century Productions believes in their game enought to have a free playtest for you to sample and see if this is the game you’ve been waiting for.

“Our Open Playtest of the Battlelords, Seventh Edition system has started, and will continue into November 2017. You can download the playtest packet for free on drivethrurpg.com.”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

3) Baker Street: Strange Cases and Hood: Beyond the Forest by Fearlight Games
Ends on Fri, October 20 2017 8:30 PM EDT.

“We’re creating a new Casebook for the Baker Street RPG, and our first Adventure book for Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood!

Fearlight Games is bringing you two new collections of cases and adventures!

We have a new collection of cases for use with Baker Street: Roleplaying in the World of Sherlock Holmes. Our investigators find themselves dealing with unusual circumstances and locales out of the ordinary in Strange Cases & Distant Places. This is the third casebook for Baker Street. We also have a new release for Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood. Adventures Beyond the Forest is our first collection of adventures for Hood and it has our Merry Men setting off on a series of swashbuckling adventures!

If you aren’t familiar with either of the games, scroll on down to the appropriate About the Game section for a brief introduction to the system, or check out the original campaigns here:

Baker Street and Hood

A preliminary layout of the cover and interior pages.

A preliminary layout of the cover and interior pages.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Do you want to play Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes? Fearlight Games has you covered. In one Kickstarter, they’re offering case files and adventure for these two settings. As a GM, I’m excited for mystery-adventures that are at a high enough level for Sherlock Holmes. That’s a win!

That other win is that Bryce Whitacre, the Spectrum System, Baker Street, and Hood creator, is a nice guy and, best of all, he hired my pal, Jonathan Thompson, to do…

The Haunted Mill, by Jonathan M. Thompson

Tom, the Miller, is having some trouble with the little people. They are killing his cats, destroying his grain and otherwise making a mess of things. Sir William has offered to buy the mill, maybe the denizens of Sherwood can aid Tom before it’s too late.”

I want this to fund to see how the adventures and mysteries turn out!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport by Kort’thalis Publishing
Ends on Thu, October 26 2017 2:11 PM EDT.

***NOTICE*** – NSFW!

“Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario… gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.

For those who don’t know me, “Hi.  I’m Venger Satanis, High Priest of Kort’thalis Publishing.  What’s up?”

I believe this is my 13th Kickstarter.  Want to see what I’ve been doing the last 4 years?  Check out my old school gaming blog: http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/

I haven’t explored the post-apocalypse genre that often, so this is a big deal to me.  I want to get deep in there and do it right, coming up with weird, outlandish things in a world devastated by cataclysmic forces. PCs will be eating crock-rat and scorpion-skunk roadkill, drinking their own piss, giving hand jobs for precious gasoline, and pretending to worship the glowing faces of a malevolent and insane god that floats somewhere in the yellow smog of the forbidden zone. Not everyone will survive.  In fact, some won’t even want to.  That’s just the way things are now.

There are already a lot of cool post-apocalyptic RPGs out there.  Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport will focus on making your after-the-bomb gaming experience more awesome.  I strive to hit that sweet spot between rules-light and rules-non-existent, where flavor, story, ideas, artwork, scenario seeds, and random tables dominate.  Indeed, this book will have utility far beyond the scenario presented.  You’ll want to give this to your grand-kids when they go off adventuring in post-apocalyptic lands.

I provide you with the finest tools so that YOU can create your own irradiated landscape full of mutated skeezoid scum dogs (tentacled, of course).  But this won’t be a lame outline that you have to flesh out.  No, you’re in good hands – Venger’s warlock hands!

If you want a lot of crunchy, bloated, system nonsense that has no business being in a toolbox like this, then move along.  Nothing to see here…”

Check out my interview with Venger Satanis here

Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario... gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Gonzo gaming. Venger Satanis of Kort’thalis Publishing is the living embodiment of gonzo gaming. NSFW work gonzo gaming, but gonzo gaming all the same. Venger is also one of the most helpful, ready-to-give-back-to-gaming individuals in the industry.

Do you need a post-apocalyptic world that’s deeply rooted in grindhouse? Gamma Turquoise is going to give you twists and turns and unexpected craziness from after the world ends!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

1) Numenera 2: Discovery and Destiny by Monte Cook Games
Ends on Fri, October 27 2017 8:00 PM EDT.

“Discover the Ninth World, then fulfill your destiny to lift it from an age of darkness. Two new corebooks for Numenera.

They say there have been eight worlds before ours. Eight times the people of this Earth, over vast millennia, built their civilizations, reaching heights we cannot even fully imagine now. They spoke to the stars, reshaped the creatures of the world, and mastered form and essence. They built cities and machines that have since crumbled to dust, leaving only their barest remnants.

This is the Ninth World. The people of the prior worlds are gone—scattered, disappeared, or transcended. But their works remain, in the places and devices that still contain some germ of their original function. Some call these magic, but the wise know that these are our legacy. They are our future. They are the…

Set a billion years in our future, Numenera is a tabletop roleplaying game about exploration and discovery. The people of the Ninth World suffer through a dark age, an era of isolation and struggle in the shadow of the ancient wonders crafted by advanced civilizations now millennia gone. But discovery awaits for those brave enough to seek out the works of the prior worlds. Those who uncover and master the numenera can unlock the powers and abilities of the ancients, and bring new light to a struggling world.

The original Numenera RPG was launched via a 2012 Kickstarter campaign that shattered every record (at the time) for tabletop RPGs. The corebook has seen four printings, and Numenera is enjoyed by tens of thousands of gamers in an active global community. We have published over 60 supplements and accessories, and released a terrific starter set for new players. The Ninth World has spawned a critically-acclaimed hit computer game, board games, an excellent short film, a line of novels, and other licensed items, and Numenera has been translated into many languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, German, and Portuguese.

Numenera is a game in which player characters explore the ruins of aeons past to gather amazing treasures and help build a new future for a world struggling in darkness. Since the launch of Numenera in 2013, we have delivered well on the first part, but we’ve always wanted to do a more thorough job exploring that second part. That desire has led us to Numenera 2 and this Kickstarter campaign.

Through this Kickstarter we’re going to replace the existing corebook with two new corebooks. The first is called Numenera Discovery and the second Numenera Destiny.”

Egg’s Thoughts: 

It’s Monte Cook, it’s Numenera, it’s breathtaking art, it’s (as of this writing) over 2,400 backers and over $450,000, it’s one of the five 6- or 7-figure RPG Kickstarters running in October, 2017, and it’s going to be epic in every sense of the word. At this point, in the comparison between the five big games of the month, Numenera 2 is in the lead and, I believe, likely to stay there.

Never tried Numenera? Well, Monte Cook Games believes in their game and they have 17 free Numenera previews on DriveThruRPG. If you’re unsure, Monte Cook has enough samples to knock you off the fence one way or the other.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there!

 

* * * * * *

 

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Metahumans Rising RPG Redux WITH Dave Silva (House Dok Productions)

Before I was deep into RPGs, comic books and superheroes were my first love. When I spoke with David Silva about his Kickstarter for Metahumans Rising RPG Redux, I realized we had that in common as well as a number of years living in metro Atlanta (though we never met while we lived in the same state, but RPGs eventually brought us together). He agreed to answer my questions about his Kickstarter and his company, House Dok Productions, so let’s dive in.

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Dave. Your Kickstarter for your game, Metahumans Rising RPG Redux, is running right now, let’s start with what it’s about?

DAVE SILVA – Metahumans Rising is a tabletop RPG inspired the superhero genre. Our tagline, bringing the drama, action, and creativity of the superhero genre to your game table is really our goal. From the beginning, we wanted people to feel like they are in a comic book, to feel like they are superheroes.

 

 

EGG – Will this use your Open Action System or another engine? What makes this the ideal system for the setting?

DAVE SILVA – Sort of, it’s safe to say there have been a lot of changes since Fractured Kingdom. The design goals were drastically different and that meant reevaluating everything we did previously. The Open Action System was rebuilt from the ground up. The three major aspects of this process focused on fast game play, player agency, and removing constraints on creativity.

 

Bullwark

EGG – The title of the project includes “Redux”, what is that in reference to?

DAVE SILVA – To be blunt, this is the second Kickstarter for Metahumans Rising. Our first time up things didn’t go so well. This meant a lot of looking at missteps and what we could do better. This led to additional playtesting, looking for ways to streamline game play, and finding ways to reinforce the design goals we originally laid out.

 

 

EGG – As the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Metahumans Rising RPG Redux?

 

DAVE SILVA – This really has to be the Hall of Legends. Backers can submit a unique character to be included in the core book with fully illustrated design by Jake Perez. On top of that, they receive four poster quality images with their physical copy.

 

Guardian – Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.

EGG – One of the pledge levels – Member of the Hall of Legends – allows the backer to create an original NPC for Metahumans Rising. Beyond the system rules, will there be any guidelines or limits as to what the backers can create?

DAVE SILVA – One of the main strengths of Metahumans Rising is the ability to bring characters to life without getting bogged down. Powers are built using descriptive keywords so it’s not what you might picture as a point buy. The only guidelines are focused on avoiding common Lines and Veils.

Concept wise, the gloves are off, we fully expect everything from pulp age crime fighters to beings of phenomenal cosmic power. To help avoid tonal whiplash, we plan on including a recommended Campaign Scope for these characters. This functions more like a guideline for people interested in introducing these characters into their personal games. Is your Hall of Legends character from the Silver age or Dark Age inspired? Are they intended for a gonzo style game, something deeply introspective and philosophical, or just classic high action? These are the kind of questions players and GM’s answer at the start of their campaigns. So, it feels fitting to include that with our Hall of Legends characters.

 

 

EGG – This project shows a lot of love for costumed superheroes, what’s the most memorable superhero story you’ve ever read/seen/played?

DAVE SILVA – There are so many ways to answer this question. There are some key pieces of comic book literature that I think everyone should probably read. If I were to avoid the works Alan Moore though, I think there were some amazing stories that came out of the Chris Claremont era of X-Men. It would probably be too long a conversation to discuss the repercussions of the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline, but I’ve always thought that would have been a great send-off for a lot of characters.

As far as superhero games I’ve played in, there have been quite a few. There is one game I wish I’d had a chance to play. At DragonCon, in Atlanta, there was someone running a game of Mad Lib superheroes. This was a game that always seems like a ton of fun but was always full. As a small aside, one of my friends growing up and I used to have a great time just grabbing two handfuls of 10-sided dice dropping them on the table and seeing what character for TSR’s Marvel superheroes came out. You should try it, it’s a great creative writing exercise.

 

Nox and Elf battle the lethal diva Luminescence.

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

DAVE SILVA – I was hooked right from the beginning. My first experience with a formal role playing game would be red box Dungeons & Dragons. There were three of us learning to play at the same time. Because our only experience prior to this had been board games I can’t tell you how many times over the course of a summer we played through the first dungeon they included, only to die in the second, then roll a new character and start all over. Because of D&D’s modules, it wasn’t until Cyberpunk 2020 was released that we really begin building our own worlds. From there, things really expanded into any game we could get our hands on to try.

 

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, House Dok Productions?

DAVE SILVA – Ultimately, I think the answer is because of the freedom to write the games and the stories I wanted to see. To see if I could take all the different components it requires to make a game and see if I could bring those together.

 

Ronin tests the Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu.

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

DAVE SILVA – Cultivate your supporters. Figure out who your Advocates are and make sure that you support them as best you can. When you’re ready to launch your Kickstarter be honest with yourself, figure out what the numbers really are for what you need to complete your project. If you do have a project that falls short don’t let it discourage you. Learn everything you can from the experience. Take away the positives and see if you can’t correct the things that didn’t work, so that you can come back stronger in your next Kickstarter.

 

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

DAVE SILVA – Right now all of our energy is directed at Metahumans Rising and making it as successful as possible. We have World Book 1 which expands on the setting provided in the GM’s chapter. The core book includes an introductory adventure. We’re also working on three additional adventures, the Dragon Abacus, Projekt Genesis, and the Cape Sanctions. Each Adventure focuses on a different villain group and helping to expand the world, from the criminal underworld if the Dragon Abacus, to the literal underworld carved out by Nazi holdouts, the Eisenreich in Projekt Genesis. Down the road, depending on how things go there may be another project but it’s a little bit too soon to start talking about that one.

 

Crossfire – Original concept art

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about House Dok Productions?

DAVE SILVA – Over the coming weeks expect to see additional updates. At least one more development diary along with details on other members of the Steel Aces, and details around the infamous Chimera. There may also be some additional surprises along the way.

With the fan support, we can really develop the universe of Metahumans Rising and bring an exciting new addition to all the fans of superheroes in role-playing.

 

If you want to find out more about House Dok our website is www.HouseDok.com.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

4 RPG Kickstarters From gaming Georgia You Should Back – AndoCon, Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse, Demons, and Dangerous Places

The same day that I noticed the Kickstarter for AndoCon 2018 in Atlanta, I read that the Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse RPG Kickstarter was also based out of Atlanta, and, while talking with David Silva of Metahumans Rising recently, it turned out he’d been in Georgia for 17 years (he’s in Vegas now). That got me to wondering, are there enough tabletop games/products on Kickstarter to warrant an article about my state? You’ll have to judge for yourself, but here’s a sampling of what gaming Georgia has to offer on Kickstarter.

 

4) Dangerous Places: Illustrated cards to inspire adventure by Steven and Amanda
Ends on Fri, October 27 2017 9:53 PM EDT

“A set of 30 5″x7” two-sided illustrated cards. Minimalist art and prompts help you quickly create engaging stories and RPG side quests.

Draw a card to create a story-rich adventure in an instant

Sample Front and Back of card. High res versions of all 3 prototype cards below
Sample Front and Back of card. High res versions of all 3 prototype cards below

Over 30 beautifully illustrated cards to inspire new adventures. The fastest way to get lost in a story world of your own design. We just give you a little creative spark.

  • Quickly create side-quests or ad-hoc campaigns by using the Mysteries and Conflicts on the back of each card
  • Dangerous Places cards allow you to “render” new areas so that your player characters can actually wander outside of your planned adventure.
  • Lay out the cards in a grid to rapidly create a world map
  • Or just use the art to give life to your own adventures and writing”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

“You can download free high res samples of our prototype cards here:

Those samples give you a solid idea of what is being offered. Each card has several high level ideas for adventures. They’re system agnostic and broad enough to spark a variety of quests. As a quick GM tool, they’re an interesting asset and worth exploring if those samples moved you.

 

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

3) Demons: The 9th Circle of Hell UNLEASHED!!! by Award Winning Games
Ends on Tue, October 31 2017 11:59 PM EDT (Ends on Halloween… I see what they did there…)

“A card based, role playing, kingdom building, adventure game with dice. The best of everything all under one apocalyptic roof!

Key Features:

A high fantasy in-depth adventure for gamers and non-gamers alike.1-8+ players best with 2-6. Playtime: Customizable -Standard game is 60-90 minutes otherwise.

50 unique instances to explore, all with their own story and game dynamics. A real adventure in a box! Your adventure will include, but is not limited to: Angry Yeti’s, Fire Breathing Spider Kites (see Jorogumo, the Yokai from Japanese mythology), and a whole plethora of horribly gruesome ways to die.

Takes less than 5 minutes to set up and learn.

Unlimited re-play value! The starting keeps will change your opening play style, the random instances really mix up the middle, and the demon lord changes the end goal, story, and win conditions. A high fantasy adventure that will keep you coming back for more.

Also including some of the most horribly interesting traditional demons from history!There’s even one that comes in riding a crocodile carrying a hawk! …sadly the crocodile does not have laser beams on its head.. Yet. Stay tuned for the next expansion! Agares 2.0

Semi-competitive or Cooperative. Can be played semi-competitively (Kind of like Gimli and Legolas during the Battle for Helms Deep) Or full on co-operatively.. where if your teammate is not doing well.. you should probably help them or you’re all probably going to die.

It’s customizable. You can make it harder or easier, longer or shorter, and expand it as you see fit and even change up the rules to give the game a different feel. So stay tuned for lots of great extras. I’m even currently working on a way to extend your campaign, so after you beat back the forces of hell and save the world.. you can push through the gate into the fiery underworld and bring the fight to them!”

 

 

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

This ends on Halloween, that’s how on point Aaron Antonich of Award Winning Games [the company name is prediction over track record] is with this game. Is this “card based, role playing, kingdom building, adventure game with dice” right for you? That’s a lot of ground to cover but, you can check out an early version of the game rules here and decide if they are right for your table.

 

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

2) Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse by Shoreless Skies Publishing
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 11:22 AM EDT

“An RPG of Mice and their Motorcycle Clubs

Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse (HMTM) is a tabletop roleplaying game where you and your friends make your mice, found your club, and hit the streets. These are mice with the gusto to build their own motorcycles and set off into an intimidating world where they are outsized, but never outclassed.

HMTM uses the rules of Fate to tell stories about the drama of city mice and their motorcycle clubs. It’s an RPG that works best with 2-5 players (plus the GM). It’s fit for episodic play (sessions last about 3-4 hours) and epic campaigns!

Your stories are set in Thunder City, USA, a fictitious city of the real world. For small creatures existing in a place which doesn’t belong to them, these stories will be filled with the drama of their lives, and the trouble, both inside and outside, of a biker gang. Will your gang be Robin Hood-like doers of good, springing cheese from unwatched refrigerators and delivering it to needy widows, or will you be thugs and thieves exploiting the weak? Your mouse, your bike, and your gang all belong to you and the stories you tell at your table.

Thunder City & Its Gangs

Thunder City is home to the only mice in the world who have figured out combustion engines. Since that time they’ve organized themselves into clubs and gone about their business, often bumping into one another in conflicts over cheese and territory. There are:

  • The Spanner Murine Motorcycle Club: The finest mechanics and the most arrogant gang in the city. They’re snooty little mice but they can back it up, or so they say.
  • The Asphalt Avengers: If speed had a fan club it would be these crazed rodents. Their whole club life is based around the next incredible kick, and not much else. It’s high a velocity life for them.
  • The Bardlings: Not all clubs are about territory and “business”; some simply want freedom from the usual mouse’s life of scrounging and fretting. So the Bardlings are just that, strumming their matchbox guitars and beating thimble-sized bongos late into the night.
  • Plus the Ocho Necro, The Wailing Sisters, and more!

Besides the mice, there are territorial felines, chipmunk toughs, crabby crabs, Old Jerry (the graying German Shepherd who guards the ever-important docks), and a whole city full of colorful critters ready to add drama to your stories. With these wheels in motion there is no choice but fun and adventure and gang life.

The Rules of Fate

Mechanically, HMTM uses a slightly modified version of the rules of the Fate Core system. Aspects and fudge dice are still key here, but the character sheet has been modified to look more like a playbook that you might see in a Powered By The Apocalypse game (check out the mockup here). In addition, the rules for Factions (by Mark Diaz Truman) have been adapted to fit this murine setting and applied to tiny motorcycle clubs. The result is a game that will be totally familiar to Fate players, but with a few twists that feel fresh!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

I’m a fan of the Mouse Guard comics and RPG, and I’ve reviewed Vasty Wilds because it had an art style similar to David Peterson’s work, so Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse – mice on motorcycles using a variant FATE engine – was always going to pique my interest. The concept is fun and whimsical enough that, like Craig Campbell said in the Kickstarter video, “I’m, frankly, a little upset I didn’t come up with the idea first.” I think you know that your collection will not be complete without this game on your shelf!

 

[Egg’s Note – “Was that a mouse on a motorcycle?”

Every time my father farted, that was his joke. I needed to put that one down for my history’s sake and because it’s been rattling around in my head since I saw this Kickstarter. You’re welcome.]

 

Find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

1) AndoCon 2018 by AndoCon (It’s an Atlanta gaming convention)
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 9:00 PM EDT

“AndoCon 2018 is an Atlanta-based gaming convention focused on gaming and the geeky lifestyle.

What is AndoCon?

AndoCon is a 3-day gaming convention in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be held Friday thru Sunday, March 9th-11th, 2018 at the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners. This is our fifth convention and we’re dedicated to making it bigger and better than the first four. And you can be part of that!

AndoCon focuses on gaming and the geeky life. We specialize in tabletop gaming of all sorts — board games, card games, roleplaying games – combining these with a variety of other events and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to create an enjoyable experience for everyone.

If you’d like to attend, simply buy a badge and come game and hang out with us in March. Badge prices will go up after the Kickstarter. Plus, there are things you can get now through the Kickstarter that won’t be available later. Finally, by pledging to the Kickstarter, you can help build the AndoCon community now, which will make for a better convention for everyone later!

Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter. We hope to see you in March.

What Can I Do at AndoCon?

There are many ways to get your Ando on at AndoCon. Here’s just some of what’s going on. As we nail down more specifics, we’ll update this page and provide continued event announcements at AndoCon.org.

  • Play board games and card games
  • Play roleplaying games, including D&D Adventurer’s League
  • Attend game shows, courtesy of Florida Whammy Entertainment
  • Meet and game with our special guests
  • Shop the dealer room with games and other great stuff for purchase
  • Participate in gaming and geek life panels
  • Special events (TBD)
  • Attend a live recording of the NerdBurger Podcast, where you can even get on the mic and share your geekiness with everyone.

Why We’re Using Kickstarter

For three years, AndoCon got a great rate at its former venue, in part because we were new to the local gaming scene. We’ve grown, and that’s a good thing. But it also means we needed to find a new venue, which we have. And now that AndoCon is bigger than ever, the cost to rent space at a great venue is higher.

Additionally, being bigger and better incurs additional behind-the-scenes, organizational costs. And it costs money to bring back to AndoCon some of the great guests and events we’ve all enjoyed in the past.

Getting funds locked into place earlier is absolutely essential to being able to set up and run everything as smoothly as possible, which in turn will give you a better experience.

Special Guests

So who are these special guests we talk about? Here’s who we have on the slate right now. More will be added as we square things away with folks.

  • Kevin Lanzing, designer of the Flashpoint: Fire Rescue board game, recently featured on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop series
  • David Lupo, designer of the Addictive Alchemy card game
  • Craig Campbell, designer of the Murders & Acquisitions RPG
  • Derek Kamal, designer of The Dig RPG and author of Homes
  • James Dawsey of Vigilance Press and creator of the Tianxia RPG
  • Jason Stone, board game designer, creator of (among others) Five Golden Rings
  • Marco Leon, designer of the Enter the Shadowside RPG
  • And more to come…

AndoCon prides itself on supporting local, indie game developers. Several of our special guests are from the Atlanta area.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

A part of this article is built on an idea my editor at EN World, Christopher Helton, shared here.

…a thriving local/regional gaming scene supported by thriving, growing conventions means that there are going to be more gamers in an area. More gamers is always a win. It means more people to potentially game with, as well as more customers for the industry. More customers means that the industry has more money to play with when it comes to making things for all of us. Conventions, gamers, customers, and publishers. All of this is interrelated, and more of one thing leads to more of another.

Every Kickstarter featured in this post are Georgia games or Georgia products or a Georgia gaming convention. Singularly, these are games worth checking out. Collectively, these are opportunities to grow the local gaming community, to be the answer to Christopher Helton’s call to action. My hope is that sharing space in an article will start not just the subjects of this post but the wider gaming world to think locally and work to increase the size of the gaming table! There are topics to discuss and ideas to share and, maybe, the chance that we can try some face-to-face support that will raise all ships.

 

 

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

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Signal Boost: 

My gaming preference is RPG. That said, I want to shout out some other non-RPG gaming Georgia projects.

 

The 1998 Deck : Hip Hop Playing Cards by The 1998 Deck ( Hip-Hop Playing Cards )
Ends on Sun, October 8 2017 12:57 AM EDT.

“The 1998 Deck is a deck that merges nostalgic 90s hip-hop with a deck of playing cards. Play poker with the Gods of Rap!

Hey Guys!

Thanks for taking the time to take a look at my little project! This is The 1998 Deck. It’s a deck of cards that marries nostalgic 90s Hip Hop to your favorite card game. My name is Khia Jackson, I’m a graphic designer based in Atlanta. The first leg of this project has already been completed, and I’ve been truly floored by the positive responses and the love that it has elicited from all parts of the world. The 1998 deck is a 4-part series that uses legendary Hip Hop artists as it’s imagery, but still follows the size and layout guidelines of official poker cards.

I’ve created The Biggie Deck (see the video). Now i’m trying to mass produce The Nas Deck. In each of the decks the legendary rappers shift their position and the artwork evolves. So, when the series of 4 is finally completed, Biggie Smalls will be the King of ‘Spades’, ‘Clubs’, ‘Diamonds’ and ‘Hearts’; all with different coloration and design variations. This deck was created with Spades players in mind. In this iteration of the deck, Nas leads as the power card when he becomes the King of Spades. However, because this deck follows standard guidelines, it can be used for any of your favorite card games. 

Here is where I need your help! I need money to produce the deck and to get it shipped. I have exhausted over 300 hours of design work to create the Biggie deck alone! This project is a true labor of love. I’m pushed by my passion for the project and fueled by the people who have told me they’ve used my artwork to unwind after a stressful week.

WHY 1998?: I had to figure out how to narrow down amongst the all of the legendary artists in hip hop. It was clear to me that the biggest rivalries in Hip Hop’s history had to be illustrated. After all…card games are a battle. One day I ran across an old Magazine cover. It had Foxy Brown, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill and Lil Kim on it. Perfect! I’d wanted it to be within the Biggie / Tupac era and I needed to find four powerful women for all my queens. I told myself whatever year was on the spine of that magazine would underline the deck. And so, The 1998 Deck was born.”

The Jay Z Deck - Our Stretch Goal
The Jay Z Deck – Our Stretch Goal

 

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

 

The Hobby Equipment Organizer – THEO by Impudent Mortal
Ends on Sun, October 15 2017 9:59 AM EDT.

“Impudent Mortal has redefined hobby organization with a system for all of your tools, paint, and bits that is both modular and mobile!

 

Say hello to The Hobby Equipment Organizer, or as we like to call it, THEO! 

We know that staying organized isn’t the easiest and not all of us have large enough hobbies areas. So we came up with a solution that not only keeps you organized and saves space, but is also modular so it can grow with you, and mobile allowing you to take your hobby wherever you’d like to go!”

 

Find their Kickstarter here.

 

 

Not quite Georgia but David Silva was here for nearly two decades, so…

Metahumans Rising RPG Redux by House Dok Productions
Ends on .

“Metahumans Rising is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) embodying the drama, creativity and action of the superhero genre.”

Guardian - Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.
Guardian – Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.

You can read my interview with Dave Silva here.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

6 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Forbidden Lands, Devil’s Swamp, Metahumans Rising, Warlords of Mordecai, Mini-Dungeon Tome, and Super Powered Legends

This week, before we look at some awesome RPGs on Kickstarter, let me point you toward the Gaming To The Rescue – RPG Hurricane Relief Roundup article on EN World. It’s a list of the RPG bundles that you can purchase with the proceeds going to charities that are assisting with the recoveries from the recent hurricanes. After counting down Forbidden Lands, Devil’s Swamp, Metahumans Rising, Warlords of Mordecai, Mini-Dungeon Tome, and Super Powered Legends, I recommend checking out those bundles and helping to improve the world while rewarding your gaming table with new content!

 

6) Forbidden Lands – Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG by Fria Ligan
Ends on Thu, October 12 2017 3:00 PM EDT.

“Retro open-world fantasy RPG by the grand masters of Nordic roleplaying, based on the award-winning Mutant: Year Zero game system.

Forbidden Lands is a new take on classic fantasy roleplaying. It is an open-world survival tabletop RPG with art by legendary Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson and the masterful Simon Stålenhag, lore by acclaimed fantasy author and game writer Erik Granström and game design by the Free League team that brought you Mutant: Year ZeroCoriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG.

In Forbidden Lands, the player characters are not heroes sent on missions dictated by others – instead, they are raiders and rogues bent on making their own mark on a cursed world. They will discover lost tombs, fight terrible monsters, wander the wild lands and, if they live long enough, build their own stronghold to defend.

The glorious boxed set with two books and a large full-color map will give players freedom to hexcrawl the world the way they want while still taking part in an epic campaign that will, in the end, let them decide the fate of the Forbidden Lands. Also, the unique rules for exploration, survival, basebuilding and campaign play can easily be ported to your own favorite game world.

Nils Gulliksson’s art enthralled a generation of Swedish kids in the 1980s. For many, he was – and still is – the fantasy artist. His iconic gritty inked style showed a down-to-earth yet wondrous brand of classic fantasy archetypes. Now, thirty years later, these illustrations will come to life as never before. Forbidden Lands will contain both classic art pieces and new work by Gulliksson.

So, what do we mean by a retro RPG? In Forbidden Lands, you will play raiders and rogues in an unforgiving world, but what you do is up to you. RPGs from the late ’70s and early ‘80s often had this open approach to adventuring. You were free to roam a map and discover its secrets and treasures. This is something we aim to recapture – with the support of modern game mechanics. The sandbox approach to gaming gives the players the freedom to make their mark on the game world however they want – if they can survive long enough to tell the tale.

The aestethics and art style of the game is also influenced by retro gaming and the iconic work of Nils Gulliksson. The books themselves will have a handcrafted, old look like old tomes from the Forbidden Land itself!

Still, Forbidden Lands is a modern game, based on the award winning rules and mechanics from Mutant: Year Zero and Tales from the Loop – and taking them to the next level. In this game, we aim to merge the best of the old and the new to create a fresh, exciting fantasy RPG unlike anything you have seen before.”

Wanna-lancer* Rewards:

“STRETCHGOAL 17: OPEN GAME LICENSE

If we reach this goal, we will create an Open Game Licence document for the Year Zero game rules engine used in the Forbidden Lands as well as in Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis – The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Using this, creators and fans will be able to produce their own content, fully compatible with Forbidden Lands. The OGL document will be in PDF format and available for all backers.”

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Forbidden Lands uses the Year Zero game engine as does Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis – The Third Horizon, and Tales from the Loop RPG. Is it a good system? Here’s John McGuire’s praise for Tales From the Loop and below are the awards that the engine has earned since 2015. The system is versatile and well-loved and, if the Forbidden Lands Kickstarter reaches 1,800,000 SEK (just north of $220,000) then the Fria Ligan/Free League will create an Open Gaming License and everyone will have the opportunity to create content using their mechanics. That opens up a world of possibilities for fantasy, post apocalyptic, sci-fi, and the growing kids on bikes genre. For me, their pitch, these awards, and the OGL possibilities are all I need!

Mutant: Year Zero

  • RPG of the Year [2014] by the main Swedish gaming magazine Fenix [Swedish version]
  • Best RPG at UK Games Expo 2015
  • Silver ENnie Award for Best Rules at Gen Con 2015

Coriolis – The Third Horizon

  • ENnie Judges Spotlight Award at Gen Con 2017

Tales from the Loop RPG – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was

  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Art, Interior at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Game at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Setting at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Writing at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Product of the Year at Gen Con 2017

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Forbidden Lands

 

5) Devil’s Swamp – A Call of Cthulhu RPG Adventure by New Comet Games
Ends on .

“Investigate ancient terrors in the heart of the Bridgewater Area during the 1920s. Dare you enter the Hockomock?

The Devil’s Swamp is a Call of Cthulhu adventure book for the classic 1920s era, licensed by Chaosium. The book contains a series of five or more adventures set in the Hockomock swamp in Massachusetts to be used with 7th edition Call of Cthulhu RPG.

This product is produced under license from Chaosium Inc. (www.chaosium.com). Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission.www.chaosium.com

The Devil’s Swamp includes adventures that can usually be run in one or two evenings. They can be run as independent one-off adventures or strung together as a mini-campaign using the same characters. All of the stories are set in the Hockomock which literally means ‘the place where spirits live.’

As a member of the Bridgwater Preservation Society, you and your friends investigate the stories people plague the city and area with. The stories the police won’t investigate, or quit on way too easily. Living next to the Hockomock, at the heart of what will later become known as the Bridgewater Triangle, gives you easy access to delve into any of the stories that arise.

The Hockomock Swamp, named the Devil’s Swamp by the original English settlers, is a known site for paranormal activity. Everything from Bigfoot, aliens, thunder birds, huge snakes, strange lights, Puckwudgies, Native American curses, cultists, mutilated animals and more have been reported in the area. So join me and my team as we help unravel the Mythos tied to the mysteries of the Hockomock.

The Devil’s Swamp is written by Ben Burns, features the artwork of Evgeny Maloshenkov, the cartography of Bryan McWhirter, player handouts by Elizabeth Bakowski and edited by Alex Burns. In other words the entire team that produced The Star on the Shore. We are the same company, just a change of name.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

At Gen Con 50, John McGuire, Leland Beauchamp, and I had the opportunity to play Call of Cthulhu with Danny O’Neil of Hammerdog Games. Danny brought the atmosphere and horror of that game to life (you can read John’s account of it here). After that session, I’ve been interested in playing more CoC and this Kickstarter is offering just the right product. 1920s swamp with D&D-looking monster. Sold!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) Metahumans Rising RPG Redux by House Dok Productions
Ends on .

“Metahumans Rising is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) embodying the drama, creativity and action of the superhero genre.

Chimera’s Gifts

The cars on the street quake under the pressure wave as the high flying heroine, Guardian flies past, moments before colliding with a colossal reptilian creature augmented by machines. The shock wave of her blow shatters windows setting off dozens of car alarms. As the dust settles, the draconic beast’s targeting laser locks onto Guardian. From his vantage point, Crossfire ran his hand over his mask, exhaling in anticipation.

“Don’t get cocky down there. Chimera brand piñatas aren’t packed with any treats you want.” A master archer, Crossfire finds his target unleashing a volley of warhead arrows. The targeting array over the beast’s eye explodes an instant before a stream of searing blue-white energy can lance Guardian’s chest. Reeling back, the ground trembles as the creature’s wings billow releasing egg like pods from its flanks. The pods open as blue skinned soldiers emerge ready for battle.

“No commentary Cross, just find help!”

Out numbered.

Out gunned.

The world needs heroes.

The world needs you!

Are you ready to join the fight?

What is Metahumans Rising? Remember how you felt the first time Superman lifted a car, Spider-Man battled Green Goblin above the Manhattan skyline, or the Avengers found Captain America? It’s that feeling.

It’s pushing yourself beyond your limits. It’s a game ready to put you in the driver’s seat of your own iconic superhero tales.

Metahumans Rising blends elements of classic and modern role-playing games to create a framework for collaborative storytelling. From the start, Metahumans Rising helps Game Masters and players establish the elements, tones, and themes of your personal story along with character concept and motivations.

Paul imagines the masked archer Crossfire
Paul imagines the masked archer Crossfire

Character motivations directly impact game play allowing players to influence the story and add additional challenges. The greater the personal struggle the more Willpower characters earn, becoming more capable of overcoming even the greatest threats.

If this sounds like it can shift the direction or focus of a story, it can! Don’t worry GMs, the core book includes guidelines for quickly generating threats ranging from street gangs to giant monsters to a planet killing meteor hurdling towards earth. It’s easy to integrate two fisted action with environmental threats, ramping up the danger and comic book feel.

Guardian - Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.
Guardian – Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.

Bringing it all together, Metahumans Rising not only encourages classic archetypes like the hero torn between everyday life and superhero career, it gives you the tools to help make these stories happen. Create the world you always imagined and explore tales you never thought possible.”

You can read my interview with Dave Silva here.

Wanna-lancer Rewards:

“Pledge $150 or more

Member of the Hall of Legends

One physical and PDF copy of Metahumans Rising. Exclusive Rewards: Send us your character concept, your ideas will become a full hero included in the core book and collected in out online Hall of Legends with original artwork by Jake Perez + 4 8.5 x 11 glossy images. 2 high resolution desktop background images. Plus all previous rewards.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Why am I covering this game? Because it looks awesome, because you get to play a superhero, because Dave Silva of House Dok Productions did an interview with me [it’ll be up on Thursday], and because you can create an iconic NPC for the universe as a backer reward. The game uses an original engine, features a superhero universe, and looks great, and it was an easy decision to cover it.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

3) Warlords of Mordecai by Jerod Ready
Ends on .

“Warlords of Mordecai is a simple, engaging turn-based Role Playing game that is entertaining and accessible to game lovers of all ages

Our mission here at Warlords of Mordecai is to provide a simple, yet engaging turn-based Role Playing game that is entertaining and accessible to game lovers of all ages and experience levels. As our game continues to grow and evolve, we hope to expand our reach into the hearts and homes of those who need a break from an ever consuming digital world.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is an all-ages RPG. Compared to “adult” RPGs, there has not been a ton of all-ages options on Kickstarter this year, yet those we’ve had – Gauntlets & Goblins, Tiny Dungeon 2e, and this – look fun and perfect for the target audience. These games are a good start toward creating an array of all-ages RPGs and that’s what I want to see, a variety of choices with something for everybody.

For its part, Warlords of Mordecai offers something unique, it’s a RPG/card game targeting the youth market. I’m interested in seeing how it plays since it’s not just one game type or the other.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) Mini-Dungeon Tome for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG by AAW Games
Ends on .

“Easy grab-and-go mini-adventures! These beautiful hardcovers include 120+ short adventures for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG.

Over 120 adventures for 5th Edition & Pathfinder RPG!

 

 

Mini-Dungeons are two-page adventures for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG which are setting agnostic and are easily inserted anywhere in your campaign. These grab-and-go adventures are great when you need something in a pinch! This tome contains 120+ adventures spanning over 240 pages (more with stretch goals)!

 

 

 

 

Our goal with this project is to consolidate all our published Mini-Dungeons into a complete hardcover volume published as one book for 5th Edition and one book for Pathfinder RPG.

The layout will be completely redone from the ground up and new stationary backgrounds, graphic effects, and artwork incorporated. Finally, pending stretch goals–we’ll add more content and wrap this all into a single, easy to use volume with reference tables, monster glossary, and more. With additional stretch goals we hope to add special guest authors, new artwork, and a gorgeous cover to this hardback book.

We’re starting this project with 100 adventures and 200 pages; each Mini-Dungeon Stretch Goal increases the book by 2 pages, so let’s get rolling and see just how big we can make theMini-Dungeon Tome!

Update! Thanks to our backers and unlocked stretch goals this tome will span over 250 pages with 120+ adventures!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Are you an Adventure-A-Week fan? Do you want a quick grab-and-go adventure? If so, this Kickstarter is the one stop shop for all of their published mini-dungeons and it’s worth checking out. But, if you’re not familiar with their work, they have a number of free samples on DriveThruRPG to test out here.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

1) Super Powered Legends Sourcebook for M&M by Rogue Genius Games
Ends on .

“A full-color M&M sourcebook bringing the heroes, villains, and locations of Jacob Blackmon’s “Super Powered Legends” world to you!

Welcome to the world of Super Powered Legends!

In 2015, rpg artist and writer Jacob E. Blackmon began to create a super-heroic universe featuring iconic characters for use with the 3rd Edition Mutants & Masterminds rpg by Green Ronin Publishing. Over the last two years, there have been over 100 PDFs produced featuring over 180 heroes and villains to fill this world of wonder.

And now, Rogue Genius Games is collecting these PDFs into one massive tome: The Super Powered Legends Sourcebook!

At its base funding level, the Sourcebook will feature all heroes and villains from every Super Powered Legends product — including the Disaster Day! adventure — up to date. In addition, the Sourcebook will feature information about using each character as a hero or villain respectively.

As stretch goals are reached, the Sourcebook will expand to include additional information about different locations within the Super Powered Legends universe. This includes familiar countries like the United Kingdom, Romania, and China; and how these nations have changed to accommodate the existence of super-powered beings in their borders. Other locations include hidden worlds on Earth, such as the sunken nation of Atlantis and the mysterious City of Monsters: Agartha. Beyond Earth, exists interstellar beings of cosmic power and high adventure. These alien worlds will also be expanded upon with additional stretch goal funding.

Included in all of these expanded areas will be new art by Jacob Blackmon.

Sign up today to get the Super Powered Legends Sourcebook for M&M! Because sometimes you a need characters everyone knows, even if they’re meeting them for the first time.”

Cover art by Jacob Blackmon
Cover art by Jacob Blackmon

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let me try and sale this in a different way. Rogue Genius Games is Owen “Starfinder Design Lead” Stephens’ company. What’s the hottest game of 2017? Starfinder, Owen’s game. This is an individual with a keen eye for good game design. Because I believe in him, it’s easy to believe in the product he’s pushing. In this Kickstarter, he’s sharing Jacob E. Blackmon’s The Super Powered Legends Sourcebook, a collection of heroes and villains for the 3rd Edition Mutants & Masterminds RPG by Green Ronin Publishing. This is an instance where if Owen likes it, it must be good and if you play M&M, this is a safe bet.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

Tiny Dungeon 2e – Minimalist fantasy roleplaying is back! by Gallant Knight Games
Return to the minimalist fantasy tabletop RPG Tiny Dungeon in this revised rules, now with micro-settings, additional content, & more!
Ends on Fri, October 6 2017 11:13 AM EDT.

Why signal boost this? Because Alan Bahr was nice enough to do an interview with me here, and the game is all-ages, and I have the privilege of gaming with Alan.

 

Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport by Kort’thalis Publishing
Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario… gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.
Ends on .

Why signal boost this? Because Venger Satanis is love!

Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario... gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.

 

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

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there!

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TINY DUNGEON 2e RPG WITH ALAN BAHR (GALLANT KNIGHT GAMES)

A minimalist fantasy RPG for both adults and children? If you follow my reviews on EN World, or read about my excitement when there’s an all-ages RPG Kickstarter, you know I’m looking for the perfect RPG that truly is for all-ages. Alan Bahr of Gallant Knight Games is running a Kickstarter for the second edition of Tiny Dungeon and it looks promising. To learn more, Alan agreed to answer some of my questions about his campaign and what got him into gaming.

[Disclosure: I game with Alan Bahr (Dan Davenport is our GM) so I’m biased.]

 

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for speaking to me about your Kickstarter, Tiny Dungeon 2e. What’s the game about?

ALAN BAHR – It’s my pleasure! Thank you for inviting me. Tiny Dungeon 2e is a fantasy roleplaying game in the same vein of D&D, but with a very stripped down, minimalist ruleset. It’s fantasy roleplaying at the core essence, without extra rules and bits added in.

 

EGG – What inspired you to create Tiny Dungeon 2e? Or maybe a better question is, why will TD2e be better than 1e?

ALAN BAHR – TD1e was a revelation in minimalist gaming to me. I can’t overstate how important it was to me. TD2e just improves upon the original. Streamlined text and rules, more options (while being minimalist), and a focus on addressing some of the core issues found in 1e. We’ve clarified lots of rules, and made an effort to upgrade the visual and thematic elements of the game.

[Editor’s Note – You can read a detailed discussion about the differences here.]

 

EGG – As of this writing you’ve blown past your goal and keep knocking down stretch goals, is the Kickstarter meeting your expectations or exceeding them?

ALAN BAHR – Absolutely exceeding. I’d expected to be more successful than our past TinyD6 Kickstarters, but this was a whole new level for me.

 

EGG – This may be more for me than the readers but what’s the starting age for this RPG? With a name like *Tiny* Dungeon, I have to know if children are a part of your target audience?

ALAN BAHR – They are! The game is very simple, and it’s a great learner RPG for teaching children how to play!

 

 
Art by Anthony Cournoyer and Design by Robert Denton!

EGG – With the Tiny Frontiers and Tiny Frontiers: Mecha & Monsters Kickstarters, you delivered ahead of scheduled and the delivery estimate for the Kickstarter is less than 5 months, what’s your game plan for reaching that goal?

ALAN BAHR – Simply put, do things on time, correctly, and deliver appropriately. We’ve got a lot of experience with this, and frankly, we’ve split our stretch goals into two Waves to make it manageable. Wave I is the corebook, GM screen, dice, and bags for the Deluxe Pledges. Wave II is a bunch of the later, more involved stretch goals.

 

EGG – As the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Tiny Dungeon 2e?

ALAN BAHR – Oh man, The Deluxe Adventurer. You get two copies of the book (the LE faux leather hardcover, and a softcover for table copy), a set of dice, the GM screen and a handmade bag to store it all in. It’s a fantastic pledge level.

Deluxe Adventurer

The best of the best! All the fancy pieces, and a collectors edition hardcover for your shelf!

INCLUDES:

 

Custom Dice Bag

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

ALAN BAHRPendragon. I’ve written and talked at length about how great Pendragon is. All I can do is tell everyone to go play Pendragon!

About me, well I’m Alan. I like jazz & country music, subtitled martial arts movies, heroic stories, reading fiction, and I spend a long time as a data scientist and project manager in corporate America.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Gallant Knight Games?

ALAN BAHR – I love gaming, and I see gaming as a social experience that helps us to transcend the issues that confront us as humanity. Tabletop gaming is an enlightening experience if done right and I want to bring that to everyone I can as affordably as I can.

 

 
Art by Anthony Cournoyer and Design by Robert Denton!

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what advice would you give others thinking about launching a gaming Kickstarter?

ALAN BAHR – Ask someone who has been there successfully. Do your research. And listen when they tell you. Too many people ask me for advice, then disregard the advice I give.

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

ALAN BAHR – There are a lot of TinyD6 games in the works (11ish). There’s also Candlelight (my 5e Gothic Horror setting), Shadow of the Dying Sun, Gallant, Bramblewoyld, Nevermore, and Revelator. Lots going on.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Gallant Knight Games?

ALAN BAHR – Well, there’s Into the Black (GKG fan facebook group) and I’m pretty active there with previews and spoilers. Following me on twitter (@alanbahr) or GKG (@GallantKGames) is a pretty good bet. We could do better at updating www.alanbahr.net and www.gallantknightgames.com, but we’re working on getting those websites upgraded.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Tales From the Loop – Thoughts About the Best Game I Played At GenCon

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

I’m not burying the lead on this one. Heck, I put it right there in the title. Tales from the Loop was the best game experience I had at Gen Con. To the point that I talked about the game session to my wife like I was telling her about some awesome movie I’d seen (ask her about my retelling of How to Train Your Dragon – the rated R version – now full of lots of swearing!). I told my sister, a nut for everything 80s, because the game does a great job at delivering on a premise.

So what is Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the 80s that never was?

Think about your favorite kid led movies from the 1980s. Do you have a list in your head?

Goonies?

Flight of the Navigator?

E.T.?

Stand by Me?

Monster Squad?

Explorers?

Cloak and Dagger?

Short Circuit?

D.A.R.Y.L.?

These are the movies just before you get to the John Hughes films in your mid-teens. These are the movies where the kids are the heroes. Where they aren’t treated as dummies just because they aren’t the adults. If anything, the adults are normally the clueless ones who have no idea that a bigger world exists around the next corner, but their kids know it all too well.

This is the feeling Tales from the Loop taps into the nostalgia of that time when you both couldn’t wait to grow up, but also began to understand that it was pretty cool to be a kid sometimes. When you created adventures with your friends, when you bike was your gateway to the larger world, and when the woods were a sanctuary from whatever bothered you.

Tales is a game that takes that premise and puts it into a world very much like our own (or any of the worlds from those movies) but uses the backdrop of artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings where fantastical machines are becoming more and more commonplace. From the Kickstarter page:

In 1954, the Swedish government ordered the construction of the world’s largest particle accelerator. The facility was complete in 1969, located deep below the pastoral countryside of Mälaröarna. The local population called this marvel of technology The Loop.

While it is a Swedish game, one of the stretch goals set up an American counterpart Loop in Boulder City, Colorado. Again, the thing is you could set this game in the town you grew up in. Those memories of growing up on the coast or in the mountains or playing in the creek or riding your bike through the subdivisions are what the game evokes within the players. It becomes easy to play because you’re tapping into a piece of you from Before you got old(er) and had adult responsibilities.

***

When Egg mentioned adding Tales from the Loop to our game schedule, I had no idea what he was talking about. I just smiled and said, “Yeah, whatever. I’m just glad to be going.” Later I looked up the game’s Kickstarter and thought, “Interesting. A game where you play kids in a 1980s style setting.”

Then promptly forgot about it again until the Friday night of GenCon.

Egg was unable to attend the session as he was Cubical 7’s guest at the Ennie Awards. So Lee and I made our way to the room where the game was to take place. After a few minutes our Game Master, Bill Carter, appeared, having hustled from another game. For a while, it was just the three of us. Lucky for us that Alan Precourt and David Cochran decided to swing by and see how things were going. Bill “convinced” them to join in the game, realizing that 4 would probably be better than 2. And off we went into character creation.

Many games we played during the weekend were pregenerated. They had their own stats and histories and connections to the other pregenerated characters. So it can be a bit of a crap-shoot as you’re never 100% on how they are going to work, especially if you’ve never played the system.

However, Bill had us create characters for this game, and I’m especially glad he did.

You pick out an archetype: The Loner, The Jock, The Computer Nerd, etc. in order to have a little bit of framework for your character. But the thing is, you’re a kid, you’re not going to be great at 100 different things like some games. You have 4 main attributes: Body, Tech, Heart, and Mind. You’ll divide up your character points here among those.

Oh, how many character points do you get? How old is your character? Pick a starting age between 10 and 15. Got it? That’s how many points you have to divide.

Pretty cool, right?

Art by Simon Stålenhag

Ah, but there is a catch. There is one other main stat: Luck. Much like other games, using a Luck point lets you reroll a failed roll. So how many Luck points do you get? 15 minus your age. So the younger you are, the luckier you are, but the fewer Build points you’ll have.

The thing that any roleplayer will tell you is that your stats are only part of the story for your character. The story… who you are… what are you afraid of… what do you aspire to be? These are the keys to not only your character but will potentially inform your relationships with the other kids. And that may be the biggest piece of this game. Your kids are going to be friends and it’s really up to the players to figure out why.

In our particular game, I chose the Rocker. A bit of a clumsy, still growing into himself, an 11-year-old kid whose brother had passed away maybe a year or so prior. His parents rode him – trying to have him live up to be his brother, but in his grief, he found his brother’s old guitar and something clicked.

So, I had a background, but how to tie it into the other characters. Why are you friends?

Well… what if the Computer Nerd was helping me actually record something?

What if the Skater-Jock was just big enough to protect the Computer Nerd from the school bully?

And what if the Hick and the Rocker had found friendship in the older brother’s death?

Sounds like we’ve got some friendships going.

And just like that, we were ready to play.

I don’t want to give away the details in case Bill wants to run it again (or maybe publish it at some point). Suffice to say, our four kids immediately noticed something was wrong while at school. You might say that Strange(r) Things were afoot… and it was up to us to figure out why the world seemed to blink or why the robots were acting strange or why- seriously, I probably should stop.

Our attempt at Taunting the missing Egg Embry

***

After the game, Lee and I met back up with Egg and proceeded to talk his ear off about the session, about the people we’d played with, and just the joy of the session. I’m sure he was tired of hearing about it by the time we went to bed that night. The next morning we made a b-line to the Modiphius booth where I snagged a hard copy of the game (when we swung back by later that afternoon, they were sold out).

The book comes with all the rules needed to play as well as 4 adventures to get everyone started. So far I haven’t had a chance to bust the game out and play, but I did look to see if they were running any adventures at Dragon Con a couple of weeks later (if they were, I didn’t see any). Regardless, I’m looking forward to jumping into that world!

***

For more information about Tales from the Loop, check out the Modiphius Entertainment site here.

***

John McGuire

John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novellas Theft & Therapy and There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.

His second novel, Hollow Empire, is now complete. The first episode is now FREE!

He also has a short story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, which is free on most platforms!

And has two shorts in the Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows anthology! Check it out!

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.

5 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Tiny Dungeon, Fever Swamp, Survive This!, The Folio, and Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War

There are a number of exceptional RPG Kickstarters out there. This week I’m reviewing five of them – Tiny Dungeon, Fever Swamp, Survive This!, The Folio, and Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. Let’s count’em down!

 

5) Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War by Battlefield Press International
Ends on Thu, October 5 2017 11:00 AM EDT.

“A role playing game setting, for the Savage Worlds and Cepheus System, based on Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War.

Image courtesy of Wayne Barlow
Image courtesy of Wayne Barlow

THE CORPORATE WARS ARE ON!

International conglomerates plot a complete domination of the free world, facing off against world governments, who want only freedom, in a calculated and vicious battle of wits and blood. Come see multi-national corporations have launched a lethal campaign against the world.

For the first time ever, a role playing game setting based on the original works of Robert Asprin and Bill Fawcett. This setting book incorporates the novel Cold Cash War and the Combat Command book Cold Cash Warrior.

Image courtesy of Bill Fawcett
Image courtesy of Bill Fawcett

Have you ever wondered how corporations fight each other? The answer is simple, they employ mercenaries in remote locations to wipe out each other. This is no easy task, but luckily the wars are conducted with advanced electronics known as killsuits. These suits simulate the damage taken by a soldier from nonoperational limbs to death, without actually hurting or killing the individual soldier. You can be a member of any of the corporations, such as Oil, Energy, Communications or Aerospace. You can be part of the Japanese Conglomerate. Battling for supremacy in the market without actually hurting your rivals employees. However, what happens when someone takes this one step further and starts employing mercenaries to take out your rivals, permanently? In this setting you play a a government agent, mercenary hired by a corporation, an information broker or a corporate executive. Get involved in corporate espionage, assassination or even stomping the enemy. If you do not want to be a corporate drone, then side up with one of the world governments. Its your choice, and the world depends on what you do. Try to stay alive and find out who wants you dead. You can find this out in this 250-page book for the Savage Worlds and Cepheus Engine (2d6 OGL Sci Fi gaming) game systems. Written by Stephen J. Miller and Jonathan M. Thompson (the team that brought you Gaslight Victorian Fantasy) and illustrated by the talented Eric Lofgren.”

You can read my interview with Jonathan M. Thompson here.

Egg’s Thoughts:

I’ve spoken to Jonathan at length about the Cold Cash War, attended a Q&A, and completed an interview with him. He’s a nice guy whose passionate about his products are infectious. When he’s done, I know that the Cold Cash War is going to feel exactly like Robert Asprin’s setting in both Savage Worlds and the Cepheus Engine.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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4) Tiny Dungeon 2e – Minimalist fantasy roleplaying is back! by Gallant Knight Games
Ends on Fri, October 6 2017 11:13 AM EDT.

“Return to the minimalist fantasy tabletop RPG Tiny Dungeon in this revised rules, now with micro-settings, additional content, & more!

Tiny Dungeon returns in a newly revised and revamped edition!

The TinyD6 ruleset returns to fantasy in this revised ruleset, now with micro-settings and more!

Cover Art by Michael Leavenworth
Cover Art by Michael Leavenworth

Using the rules in this book, you’ll be able to play heroic adventurers, daring treasure hunters, imperious magic-users, and more! Explore numerous worlds and discover legends, adventure and fantastical beasts.

Character creation is simple, fast, and exciting. You pick your character type based on the exciting stories your Game Master is going to tell, you pick a few Traits that each grant a single benefit, and you’re done!

Sometimes as the GM, you don’t have time to plot lengthy, detailed worlds, but you want that experience. Well, we’ve got your back, and that support comes in the form of micro-settings! Micro-settings are short settings filled with adventure hooks, and designed to put your adventures and campaigns into high action-adventure.

Our goal is to fund a softcover edition, a limited number of hardcover collector’s editions, and the Tiny Dungeon 2e dice. We’ve planned several stretch goals which will increase page count, add more art, add more special rules but all of our goals will provide you with more fun and engaging fantasy content!

 

Tiny Dungeon uses a simple, fast, and dynamic ruleset to handle actions. The game uses up to three six-sided dice as part of action resolution.

If you roll a “5” or “6” on a die, your check succeeds. Most checks are made with two dice. However, if you are deemed to have “advantage” on a roll, you gain a third die to roll. If you have disadvantage, you lose a dice (rolling only a single die).

Characters are made quickly and easily. You will select a fantasy race (such as dwarf, salimar, goblin, human or more), three traits, and write down some basic information and you are ready to play!”

Look for my interview with Alan Bahr about Tiny Dungeon this Thursday on the Tessera Guild.

Egg’s Thoughts:

Disclosure: I game with Alan Bahr (Dan Davenport is our GM) so I’m biased.

Based on the volume of backers, there’s a lot of confidence this is a game being done right. Tiny Dungeons is a game designed for adults but is minimalist enough to make it ideal for all-ages. The game is focused on the rules and mini-settings instead of a massive world and overarching story. The fact that it’s a fantasy RPG for everyone makes this a game I’m ready to play! To sweeten the pot for RPG freelancers, they’ve already decided to offer this:

Gallant Knight Games will open submission for a line of PDF releases detailing new rules, micro-setttings, adventures and more!

This will be open to the wide world, and we’ll release one PDF each month in a subscription service via DriveThruRPG. At the end of the year, we will collate them into a year omnibus we will offer in print and PDF!

This will be paid work (we pay $0.10 per word to our writers), and you’ll work alongside Alan Bahr to prep these products for release (we’ll pay for art, layout, graphic design, editing, and more)!”

Play the game and submit to create content for it. I dig it!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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3) Fever Swamp: an OSR swamp-crawl adventure by Melsonian Arts Council
Ends on Mon, October 9 2017 6:59 PM EDT.

“We plan to enter the Fever Swamp, plunder its treasures, unearth its secrets, and escape with more than an obscure disease.

Fever Swamp

The Melsonian Arts Council is a micro press publishing house which specialises in short works that startle and entertain us. Its output is by turns erudite, lucid and beautiful, or dumb, obtuse and ugly. We have previously and are still releasing peculiar zines, games and adventures.

Master Gearing is a local boy with dreams of big lights and tall cities. His works have appeared in Britain’s favourite RPG periodical, The Undercroft, and as stand alone moments of inspiration in the form of his collaborative Broken System #000.

Andrew Walter is an illustrator whose work has been featured in The Undercroft, Wormskin, and various other OSR products, as well as on underground metal and punk releases. He likes schlock horror and loud noises.

 

Fever Swamp is an adventure, compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and most other Dungeons & Dragons clones.

The result of this fundraising effort will be an A5, saddle stitched, 30-something page book containing a geographically linked series of vignettes that explore the particular palette chosen by the author. Flavours of nihilism, questions of inherent evil, and the abject failure of civilisation. And dampness, so damp.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Artistically, this has the most modern Adult Swim art style I can think of. It’s LotFP compatible so that decides some individual’s level of interest. Between the art and the setting, I’m curious how the full product will look from end to end.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

2) SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons RPG Core Rulebook by Bloat Games
Ends on Tue, October 10 2017 9:00 PM EDT.

“SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons RPG Core Rulebook is an OSR roleplaying game set in the 1980s from Bloat Games.

“In the 1980s strange things happened everywhere!”

Bloat Games proudly presents our latest tabletop roleplaying game: SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons. Dark Places & Demogorgons is an OSR RPG set in the 1980s where you play as teenagers from a small town where strange occurrences began popping up all around. The adults seem lost as what to do, the police are as clueless as ever and aren’t helping. It’s up to you and your friends to figure out what’s going on and stop it from happening again!

Dark Places & Demogorgons (Blue Cover) Art by Tommy Stamper
Dark Places & Demogorgons (Blue Cover) Art by Tommy Stamper

Taking advantage of the Open Gaming License, Dark Places & Demogorgons use the familiar ruleset of 1970s Original Fantasy Roleplaying Game with some added modern mechanics and concepts to make a uniquely fun and entertaining game experience.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Excited about the arrival of Stranger Things season two on Netflix? Need a game to get you into the headspace of the first season’s D&D? Bloat Games is offering the RPG you’re looking for, Survive This! The game looks like the best parts of retro fun! Much like Swamp Fever above, I’m curious how the final product will be presented. Will it have a uniquely awesome old school feel? (I’m betting the answer is yes!)

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

1) The Folio: Storyteller’s Arcana 1E & 5E gaming supplement by Art of the Genre
Ends on Wed, October 11 2017 2:50 PM EDT.

“1E & 5E Gaming Supplement for DMs and Players in the tradition of the old orange spine Arcana

So you are probably asking, what exactly is The Storyteller’s Arcana?  Well, when I was 14 I managed to get my hands on a newly printed copy of TSR‘s Unearthed Arcana and AD&D was forever changed for me.  That book introduced me to so many great wrinkles in the system, and over the past thirty-five years I’ve tried to translate my own gaming knowledge into a series of notes and rules that I think can resonate with all gamers, be they OSR die-hards or newly minted 5E campaigners.  By compiling and expanding on everything I’ve addressed during my time around a table, it is my hope that this new ‘Arcana’ will hold a special place on the shelves of gamers just as those old Orange Spine hardcovers do.

Is that a Larry Elmore cover? YES! Now I know that all the previous Orange Spine covers were done by Jeff Easley (as were the 2 Folio orange spines), but knowing how much Elmore has meant to the OSR community I thought it was high time to get him onto a classic hardcover.

Build on your Orange Spine Collection with a Larry Elmore classic cover!
Build on your Orange Spine Collection with a Larry Elmore classic cover!

What exactly comes in this book?  Well, obviously I can’t lay out all the details here, but I’ve broken this 128 page book down into three distinct parts and below you’ll be able to get a glimpse of some of the topics I’ll be covering.”

Wanna-lancer* Rewards:

“Pledge $750 or more

Ultimate Folio Fan

Backer receives all PDF and physical copies of the three hardcovers (signed), and an original piece of art from the project, and can help design a Trope NPC class that will go into the book (with writing credit). LIMIT 5”

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

Egg’s Thoughts:

If I could, I’d post every cover for The Folio. Jeff Easley, Brom, Larry Elmore, and more… the cover art for this series is comprised of new work from my favorite childhood artists and they all show that they still have it! This art is everything I want in a 1e and 5e D&D-compatible RPG. Add to that, you can design a Trope NPC class for the book… there’s not a lot of instances where your work can appear under a cover by Larry Elmore, so this is a rare chance!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

Long List Anthology Volume 3 by David Steffen 
Ends on Fri, October 6 2017 8:00 PM EDT.

“The third in anthology series of stories loved by Hugo voters, stories by Seanan McGuire, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cat Rambo, and others

Every year the Hugo Award administrators release a longer list of stories that received the most nominations by the fans who vote for the Hugo Awards.  The purpose of the Long List Anthology is to get more of the works loved by Hugo Award voters to readers in one convenient package. This is the third annual volume of the anthology.  There are some familiar author names in the book, as well as some authors who are new to the series.

Volume One and Volume Two were both funded on Kickstarters–including works by writers including Eugie Foster, Elizabeth Bear, Amal El-Mohtar, Aliette de Bodard, Scott Lynch, Rachel Swirsky, Kai Ashante Wilson, Ken Liu, David D. Levine, Alyssa Wong, Ann Leckie, and Catherynne M. Valente–and they both succeeded and have gone on to sell steadily on ebook vendors after the Kickstarter as well, selling more than 10,000 copies.

The base goal of the campaign will include only the short stories.  There will be stretch goals to add novelettes and novellas.  The goals listed here include only stories that I’ve heard agreement back from the authors–some queries to authors are still pending, there may be another story or two added as an additional stretch goal.  If these stretch goals are reached, I may add on other goals as well.

This project is not endorsed by nor affiliated with the Hugo awards, WSFS, WorldCon, or any associated entities. The Hugo name is used with permission. Please note that the anthology is NOT called “The Hugo Long List Anthology”. It is called “The Long List Anthology”, or the full wordy title: “The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List”.  (I’m noting this because it’s pretty commonly referred to by the wrong name)

COVER ART

"The Alchemist" © Amanda Makepeace
“The Alchemist” © Amanda Makepeace

The cover art is “The Alchemist” by Amanda Makepeace.  You can find more information about her work on her website.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Tessera Guild co-founder, Amanda Makepeace, has a beautiful piece of art gracing the cover of this book. Just as I gushed about the artwork for The Folio above, this is a chance to own a book with an amazing cover. Just as they recommend on the Kickstarter, check out Amanda’s website for more.

 

You can check out the first anthology on Amazon here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

10 QUESTIONS ABOUT Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War RPG WITH Jonathan M. Thompson (Battlefield Press International)

At Gen Con 50, Jonathan M. Thompson said we should meet and I agreed with him in that airy way that is closer to if-it-happens-it-happens than it is to a firm commitment. I wasn’t trying to avoid him, just Gen Con is so much that it’s not about what you want to do, it’s about what you’re willing to miss because there were easily twenty things I wanted to do that I did not make it to. But, Jonathan asked and we finally connected as I was heading out the door for the trip back to Atlanta. Last minute yet it was one of the most important connections I made at the con. He bent my ear about something I’d never heard of before, Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. Despite my ignorance, Jonathan’s passion for this property sold me and led to conversations and support and this interview.

 

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for speaking to us. You’re running a Kickstarter, Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War, can you tell us what the setting and game are about?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSONCold Cash War is based on Robert Asprin’s first novel, The Cold Cash War. It is about corporations fighting each other the way that countries would do. They hire mercenary armies and pick a spot, usually in a third world country, and hash it out with weapons and troops. They use a thing called a killsuit that register kills and turns off the injured part of the body. This is the default setting for the game. A character doesn’t have to worry about being killed normally, but can be taken out of action. The other method of play has to deal with the time when corporations started taking out their rivals for real, via assassination. This level of play means characters can be killed and will get a little more than a slap on the wrist or jail time if caught by the rival corporation. Basically, you can treat the corporations like countries and you get the same kind of feel. The corporations are all megacorp conglomerates, and they all want the upper hand. The eventual goal is for only one corporation to exist, creating a worldwide monopoly.

Asprin is better known for his M.Y.T.H. series, and also his series of military comedy starting with Phule’s Company.

 

 

EGG – You are producing this for both the Savage Worlds system and the Cepheus Engine, what makes these the ideal systems for setting?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSONCepheus Engine is derived from open content released from Mongoose Publishing for their first edition of Traveller. It is an old school game, with an old school feel, which makes it perfect for Cold Cash War. I also believe that Savage Worlds, with its innate flexibility makes it an ideal choice for the setting.

 

 

EGG – As a fan, what would be the Cold Cash War adventure that you’d be the most excited to play?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – I would love to play in a series of adventures dealing with espionage, corporate espionage in CCW is similar to what you would think about countries going to war with each other.

 


EGG
– This book came out 40 years ago and looked at the near future; what did it accurately predict about today? Will the setting reflect the 1970s vision of today and the future?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – It accurately predicted the rise of the corporation as a power, we are getting pretty close to that today…some would say we have reached that. The corporations in the book turn out to be more powerful than the governments, for the most part. The setting will be the “near now” as seen through the lens of 1977. Mostly the novel reflects the world as Asprin saw it in that time, and we are planning on keeping that as the way the reader sees it through the RPG. We have done this with other games, using a term I like to call “alternate future.” This way you get the idea of what they were thinking, the best we can without asking Robert Asprin himself.

 

 

EGG – You’ve worked with the Asprin estate to bring about this project, are there plans to expand this setting and story beyond what Mr. Asprin originally wrote?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – There are. With a successful KS we will start working on source material, the big things we are looking at now is a series of books detailing each of the corporations and the governments…. including the illusive C-Bloc.

 

 

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

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Like most people in my age group, that would have to be Dungeons and Dragons. I told this story recently, but when I was in elementary school, I lived in Singapore because my dad was assigned there and he worked for an oil company. So, I have always been a voracious reader, and I had pretty much read everything in the schools library. Every day after lunch I went to the library, in those days I read about a book a day (sometimes more) and I had just finished the Mystery section, having finished the Sci-fi/Fantasy section first. I had turned the corner (as the library was built in an L shape) and sitting at the conference table in the library were these guys playing this game. I sat down to watch, fascinated by what they were doing. The next day they invited me to play, giving me a character to play. A druid. None of us really knew what we were doing, but we had a blast doing it.

 

Battlefield Press’ Victorian Gaslight Fantasy 3e for Savage Worlds

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Battlefield Press International?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – I wanted to get those good designers, that may not get a chance with the big guys, a chance to be heard. My friend wanted to get his game published, and no one would take him. So I formed Battlefield Press and his was the first we did, but instead of using his original system we converted the entire thing to d20 (at the beginning of the d20 era). It did well, so BPI went on to other things, some doing great, some not, but all of that gave me confidence, strength and improved my ability as a designer.

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what advice would you give others thinking about launching a gaming Kickstarter?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Just do it. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance. If you make it then the public agrees with your vision, if you don’t then you are still okay because you know that was not a project to invest your own time and energy into.

 

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – There are many things, expanding our Gaslight Victorian Fantasy line, developing a Starfinder version of our Eldritch Skies setting. We also have the license for Atlas Games’ Northern Crown which is developed for Pathfinder, with some additional material coming. We have Sherwood the Legend of Robin Hood for Pathfinder, 5e, and the Swords & Wizardry system. Warren C. Norwood’s Double Spiral War for Savage Worlds is getting a new book next year. In additional to all our RPG material, we also publish Fiction. Our next fiction release is called Sisterhood of the Blade, which is about a trio of women in France during the time of the French Revolution (think 3 Musketeers, but women protecting the Queen), and we have also partnered up with Samurai Sheepdog (and Hall Greenberg) to publish their upcoming fiction in their Awakened line. That KS will launch in November.

 

 

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

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We can be found on DTRPG and RPGNow, as well as the Paizo store. In addition we can be ordered through your FLGS. We have a website (www.battlefieldpress.com), but its out of date and needs a face lift.

 

 

To see other games from Battlefield Press International, check out their products on DriveThruRPG here.

For the Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War Kickstarter, click here.

 

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

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

* * * * * *

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

9 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PATHFINDER MODERN ADVENTURES RPG WITH RAY MACHUGA (HIGHER GROUNDS PUBLISHING)

Before launching his Kickstarter, Ray Machuga reached out to me about the RPG campaign for Pathfinder Modern Adventures. His pitch was perfectly timed as the debut of Starfinder was still fresh on my mind and I saw a surefire idea in his product. With that said, let’s dive into the interview…

 

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Ray. We’re going to talk about your KickstarterPathfinder Modern Adventures – Tell us about the game.

RAY MACHUGA – Thanks for having me, Egg. Modern Adventures is a tabletop role-playing game designed and developed by myself and published through Higher Grounds Publishing. It’s a gritty, modern fantasy game set in a mirror-image of our own world. It’s a game about normal people who do fantastic things. Leaving the drudgery of everyday life behind to delve into the inner truths of the world. Further, it is a game about storytelling and character development.

 

EGG – What inspired you to create Pathfinder Modern Adventures? Did you conceive of this project before Starfinder was announced?

RAY MACHUGA – Inspiration for Modern Adventures has come from a vast array of different places. Of course, games like Shadowrun, World of Darkness and of course Dungeons & Dragons and the obvious Pathfinder RPG have definitely been inspirational to the development process. I have a distinct love for realistic games. Moreover, games that are set in the real world really appeal to me as well, so I wanted to create something that reflected my passion for such games.

I only recently cracked open my copy of Starfinder at the beginning of this month. If I’m not mistaken, I think Starfinder was originally announced sometime in 2016, so that would mean that the original framework for Modern Adventures was laid down shortly before that. Their release date was a very happy coincidence.

 

 

EGG – Before this interview, we talked about the half-races and thin-bloods. What are thin-bloods and what are your plans for them in Pathfinder Modern Adventures?

RAY MACHUGA – Thin-Bloods are characters that have a relative of another race somewhere in their distant genealogy. Mechanically speaking, it opens up a few options to play a character that looks and feels like one race, but has the option of purchasing a few traits from another. The Half-Bloods book is going to be awesome, and I’m very excited to release it. In it, I take the advancements in modern fertility science and apply it to a world in which races like elves, dwarves, trolls and the like actually exist. To boil it down, the Half-Bloods book gives players the option of answering the question, “What happens if an elf and an orc were to have a baby?” I’ve actually presented one of the half-bloods in the core book, the Half-Gnomes. They’ve become a play tester favorite.

Half-Blooded are a relatively new occurrence in modern cultures within the setting, so it opens a whole new realm of potential role-play hooks involving mistrust and prejudice. Not to reveal too many spoilers, some of the older cultures look upon the emergence of half-bloods as an ill omen, and will lead into adventure paths and meta-plots that span an entire game line.

 

EGG – As the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Pathfinder Modern Adventures?

RAY MACHUGA – I would have to say that the stand-out pledge would probably be Level Fifteen, which not only gives you first access physical copies of the core book as well as the physical Half-Bloods book. It also opens up backers of that level to play test documents and updates, the ability to give feedback as development progresses which will give you a chance to have a say in the final form of the game itself. To top it off, you get access to the backer-only character sheet of that pledge level. For me, this is the pledge level that really stands out and gives backers the chance to really watch the game develop and have a say in its contents.

 

 

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

RAY MACHUGA – That’s hard to say, since I began playing tabletop RPGs at a very young age. Still, I remember being very young, perhaps 10 years old, and picking up my first small stack of RPG guides and pouring over them. My mother would have killed me if she knew I had walked from our apartment about three blocks away to go to that store, but I did it anyway. I picked up a White Dwarf Magazine and was amazed at the artwork I found there. I had also picked up a first edition of Vampire The Masquerade. I can still recall sitting down on the couch and cracking open that book, and the feeling I got as I poured over the contents. I believe that was the very moment, sitting on that couch in Fraser Michigan, in which I truly became a gamer.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC?

RAY MACHUGA – In the end, it boils down to a love for gaming. From my unique vantage as a writer, gamer and human being, I wanted to present my vision of tabletop gaming to the world, and Higher Grounds has really made that a reality.

 

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what advice would you give others thinking about launching a gaming Kickstarter?

RAY MACHUGA – Be ready to work. A Kickstarter campaign is not something that you can just, as those famous infomercials suggest, “Set it and forget it.” You need to work on the project you want to launch the Kickstarter for first and have it just as close to ready as you can. Then you need to make sure that people know you plan to launch a Kickstarter. While the Kickstarter going, you need to tell people. Your first Kickstarter funding is probably going to come from friends and family. It takes work. Be ready for that.

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

RAY MACHUGA – In addition to the Modern Adventures core book and Half-Bloods, We have N. Jolly working on the Player’s Option book for Modern Adventures, J. Gray working on Conspiracies. On the horizon for Modern Adventures is our Horrors line which will detail player character options, setting information and history for werewolves, vampires, ghosts and revenants. I’m also working on the Dhovaine RPG.

 

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC?

RAY MACHUGA – First I’d like to thank Egg for taking the time to talk with me about the projects! There is a lot in store from Higher Grounds, so I hope you’ll keep an eye on our blog ( https://highergroundsgamingblog.wordpress.com/ ), or talk with us on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/HigherGroundGamingLLC/ ) or catch us on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/HGGamingStudio ). The Modern Adventures Kickstarter runs until September 25th!

 

To see other games from Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC, check out their products on DriveThruRPG here.

For the Pathfinder Modern Adventures Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

9 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Alien Bestiary, Artifices of Quartztoil Tower, IDENTECO, SideQuests II, and more

For this post, I’m reviewing nine RPG Kickstarters that are powered by the D&D 5e, Era d10, FATE, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Starfinder, and more systems. Nine RPGs that are running campaigns and hoping you’ll back them. Let’s count’em down!

 

9) Era: Balam by Shades of Vengeance
Ends on Sun, September 24 2017 6:59 PM EDT.

“Explore a solar system and defend Humanity from an alien fleet! Era: Balam runs on your choice of Era d10, FATE or Savage Worlds!

In this game, you are a pilot, with your own “Paladin” one-man ship, sent out to explore space and defend Humanity! Together with other pilots, you’ll form a squadron and head out into the black…

This game offers rules for space combat, salvaging materials and upgrading your fighter, a list of bases you can visit (both friendly and not-so-friendly), space-based dogfights and a variety of weapons from bullet-based to plasma cannons!

If you like games such as Homeworld, Freelancer or Elite: Dangerous, this is the RPG for you!

In Era: Balam, your ship is a part of your character, as much as the pilot.

It defines most of your physical statistics, providing a duality to this game which I’ve never explored before: while a pilot may technically survive without their ship, it will feel like they have lost a part of themselves.

A Paladin and its Pilot are a single character in this game, working together!
A Paladin and its Pilot are a single character in this game, working together!

The Paladin ships which appear in this game are fully upgradable, and provide various options as the players progress, including painlessly changing “Class” by replacing the Main Module!”

Want to learn more? Here’s the link to my interview with Ed Jowett about Era: Balam.

Egg’s Thoughts:

I’ve covered several Shades of Vengeance games in this column, I’ve interviewed Ed Jowett of SoV, and I’m freelancing on an Era d10 project for SoV, clearly I’m all for Vengeance. But among SoV’s games, what makes Era: Balam stand out? In a word, expansion. In this game you’re both your character and your ship, which explains this game’s setup concisely while offering a lot of cool options. Both the person and the tool have a role to play and together they elevate this RPG to be something akin to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron or Battlestar: Galactica. Add to that, this RPG is available for Savage Worlds, FATE, or Shades of Vengeance’s house system, Era d10, and you have a winner.

 

You can see examples of Shades of Vengeance’s work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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8) Pathfinder Modern Adventures by Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC
Ends on Mon, September 25 2017 2:00 PM EDT.

“Take up sword and gun to seek fame and fortune in this gritty fantasy game set in modern-day Earth.

“I know what you’re thinkin’, kid. With all the stuff out there, all the cash, treasure, monsters and adventure waiting to be had.. what the hell is anyone doing in a nine-to-five, waste-of-time job?”, the old dwarf grunted with a voice like rolling gravel. “Well, I’ll tell ya, it sure as shit doesn’t have anything to do with really livin’, that’s for sure.” The dwarf was eye level with the kid, even though the human boy was probably only a small fraction of his own age. Stubby fingers curled around his massive, braided beard and stroked downward, flattening out a few stray red-and-gray hairs that had gone astray. “It’s all about security. See, cities like this one got all kinds of that stuff. Vancouver. Atlanta. Hell, even the most dangerous hood in Detroit ain’t got nothin’ on the shit you’ll find taking up gun and sword and heading off into the tombs. Most folks’ll tell you that, and most folks are right. I done seen more death and carnage than any CEO could ever dream about in an entire lifetime. I’m the sole survivor of a group of seven of us.” the dwarf said with a half-psychotic grimace that may have been mistaken for a smile, showing off those yellowed teeth interspersed with gold ones that replaced the teeth that had been knocked out by god-knows-what. “It’s a shit life, being an adventurer. You’re going to go hungry. You’re going to get hurt. Shit, you will probably even die.” he said with a chuckle. “So why do I do it?” the dwarf peered at the kid with his one good eye and got close enough that the boy could smell the leather of his armor and the whiskey on his breath, “Kid. If you gotta ask, you ain’t ever gonna know.”

Pathfinder: Modern Adventures is a game of fantasy based in the real-world. It’s Earth, with a twist. Humans are not alone. There are elves, gnomes, dwarves and all manner of other strange creatures, hybrids and half-bloods earning a living and trying to get by. Nearly everyone just wants a comfortable, safe life where they are free to exist in peace, earn a liveable wage and die with a few grandchildren under foot.

Then, there are the adventurers. 

The adventurers make their living by scouring the lands trying to find old tombs, abandoned catecombs and places lost to time. They battle monsters, brave dangerous traps and explore the unknown. Some do it in the hopes of getting rich. Others do it to earn a name. Some simply want to test their own mettle. Adventurer’s leave the relative safety of the lives they know, working jobs, tending their home or living on the streets in order to explore parts of the world that no sane person would ever enter.

From the veil of the city, you might never see the truth of the world beyond. All the magic and monsters that only rarely creep into the cities themselves are waiting for a brave soul to come and face them, and earn vast richest and fame in so doing.”

 

Here’s my Q&A with Ray Machuga about Pathfinder Modern Adventures.

To read Dan Davenport’s Q&A with Ray, click here.

Egg’s Thoughts:

Ray Machuga of Higher Ground Publishing messaged me about this project before it came out (the press release is here) and the concept hooked me. The timing for a Pathfinder product that sits, more or less, squarely in the middle of the timeline between Pathfinder and Starfinder could not have been better timed. Starfinder is a hit and Ray’s product is the logical outgrowth of that – Modern Adventures. How would elves and trolls and mortgages and gazebos live together today? This is the game to answer that and offer new levels of adventures.

 

You can see examples of Higher Ground Publishing’s work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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7) Henchmen – A Fate RPG campaign world by Canterbury Games Studio 
Ends on Thu, September 28 2017 12:00 AM EDT.

“A Fate Core campaign setting of villainous henchmen in a hero thwarts Doomsday device world.

Your money will bring our Henchmen to life.

The Premise

Henchmen is a game in which characters get to explore the trials and tribulations of being little cogs in the grand machine of an evil organisation.  While many games focus on gaining power and overcoming foes, this game takes a slightly different approach.

You can play the game any way you want to, but we envisage Henchmen being played in two ways, the ‘day in the life’ tribulations of an expendable goon squad, or as a long ‘Villains Journey’ campaign. For the latter, we have outlined a ‘development arc’ of significant milestones, linked to each character’s personal journey from nobody to nightmare.

Unlike more ‘heroic’ games, Henchmen is not predicated on PCs succeeding on their various errands and missions.  Success might be achieved of course, but often failure, disaster and doom must be coped with, blame must be deflected and whatever credit is left must be seized.

The Evil Organisation is a unique Fate Fractal for Henchmen, with its own aspects, skills, Fate points and perks.  You might even think of the PCs as its stress boxes, since it will expend them to protect itself from consequences.”

Wanna-lancer Reward Levels:

“Recruited to Evil / Master of Evil / Master of Good
Pledge £100 ($129) or £150 ($193) depending on reward level 

Work with our team to design a Henchman/an evil organisation/an opponent for the Henchmen to join our existing examples. Cast yourself, a friend or a favoured character as…

Includes:

  • Credit as a Contributing Designer”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Want to be the villain? This setting is founded to be the stage for that idea as you play the no-goodniks! Canterbury Games Studio is offering several options to create NPCs or an evil organization for their FATE-based setting; so, if creating enemies using FATE is your idea of fun, Canterbury Games has you covered.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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6) IDENTECO Core Rule Book by Humanoid Games
Ends on Thu, September 28 2017 1:00 PM EDT.

“A new cyberpunk-themed tabletop roleplaying game where your identity has become the most valuable commodity on the planet.

IDENTECO

IDENTECO is a game about the struggle to define humanity and retain identity in the highly digital era known as “The Static Age.” Corporations hold more power over the people in the world. They have created ways to monetize and commoditize a person’s identity using massive data farms and social engineering hacks to influence everyday life. Through carefully crafted marketing and slick branding, the Corps don’t force their will onto people, as much as they enforce their worth in people’s minds.

You play a character trying to survive in the Static Age, starting at the bottom and working your way up the social or corporate ladder by any means necessary.

IDENTECO is built on an new, modern D20-based system that emphasizes fast gameplay and rewards social interaction and role playing. Every interaction builds onto the story and the legacy of the characters. The more you play the game, the more you construct your character’s identity, or possibly identities. As the game progresses the thin line between famous and infamous depends solely on who’s watching.

 

​The year is 2099. The world is a much different place.

After a series of devastating terrorist attacks on America’s heartland by an unseen enemy the government was in disarray. The corporations were the only thing left to protect the populace and rebuild society. So they did. Like technocratic gods they rebuilt America™ in their image, and then used new economies of scale and political financial systems to reshape the globe. As a reaction to the attacks, the U.N. created the Centralized Human Identity Program (C.H.I.P.), a sort of universal I.D. program for the world. The C.H.I.P. is implanted in your arm when you are born and is encrypted using your unique DNA sequence. It standardized passports, medical records, employment histories, education records, and much more. It’s a sort of living history, if you will. And Corps have figured out ways to use this information for dubious means.

Now neon-speckled city-states called megaplexes have sprung up around the world. These enormous urban areas have reshaped the landscape, blending tech and corporate culture into shiny playgrounds for consumers and industries alike. There is a steep divide between the haves and the have-nots; those in the city, and those on the fringe.

Outside the cities, non-CHIPed folk live off what is left in the wasteland areas in between cities. Small settlements and simple cities act as rest stops for weary travelers and nomadic tribes. Out in the wastes, you battle beast and man to live a “free” life away from corporate influence. It’s a simpler, but no less deadly, place.”

Wanna-lancer Reward Levels:

“Pledge $150 OR $250
Entrepreneur OR Greaser

You get to work with the designers to create a custom Corporation OR a custom R.O.V. [Remotely Operated Vehicle] that will appear in the Core Rule Book, plus all the rewards at the Operative level.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

To help establish the feel of this RPG, Humanoid Games produced a prose anthology set in their world (you can check it out on Amazon here). This will give you a better idea of whether this game is for you. For me, post-apocalyptic cyberpunk presented in a variant d20 system with great art and wanna-lancer* options where I get to create a corporation and then fight it in the game has my interest piqued! Bring it on!

 

*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.

 

You can see examples of Humanoid Games’ work at Amazon here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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5) Westbound: Revolvers and Rituals by Island of Bees 

Because John McGuire has an in-depth review of this campaign on the Tessera Guild, I’m going to link it here and let you absorb his thoughts on it. Steampunk Fridays – Kickstart the Game – Westbound: Revolvers and Rituals

 

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4) Alien Bestiary for 5E, Starfinder, and Pathfinder RPG by Legendary Games 
Ends on Sun, October 1 2017 12:59 AM EDT.

“A massive tome of nearly 300 out-of-this-world creatures for 5E, Starfinder, and Pathfinder sci-fi and space adventures!

In space, maybe no one else can hear you scream, but those cries of terror are music to the GM’s ears. While there are monster books aplenty for fantasy games, there has never been a truly encyclopedic tome of terrors from beyond the stars… until now!

Cover image is a placeholder. The final cover piece is out of this world!
Cover image is a placeholder. The final cover piece is out of this world!

The Alien Bestiary brings you hundreds of monsters for your space and sci-fi game, whether you play with the brand-new Starfinder Roleplaying Game or the 5th Edition of the world’s most famous RPG!

In addition, by popular demand we have added the Alien Bestiary Companion for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, which is now available to bring all of our awesome new monsters and your favorites from our More Monsters polls together, with an appendix guiding you to other awesome extraterrestrials already published in official Pathfinder sources.

The Alien Bestiary is a full-sized, full-color bestiary features at least incredible aliens of every description, from tiny robot walking eyes to Lovecraftian Great Old Ones, from humanoid races both friendly and foul to inhuman abominations from the darkest nebulas. Of course, fans of the star-spanning Legendary Planet saga will recognize the fiendish foes like the savage klaven footsoldiers, sinister jagladine genetic engineers, warmongering bil’djooli shock troopers, and many, many more!

Bil'djooli Shock Trooper, by Lance Red
Bil’djooli Shock Trooper, by Lance Red

In addition, as part of our continued partnership with Robert Brookes and the gang at Encounter Table Publishing, fans of the awe-inspiring Aethera Campaign Setting will also find more exciting additions to their spacefaring saga, from the invading taur and aether-touched infused to the organic symbionts, living machine phalanx, and, of course, the magnificently malevolent kytons!

That promise of 200 pages of marvelous monsters is just the starting point. As our Kickstarter goes along, we’ll be adding tons of terrific space-dwelling monsters from across the fantasy/sci-fi legendarium, from insidious intellect devourers and aboleth to parasitic viper vines, brain-eating neh-thalggu, space-warping hounds of Tindalos, murderous gugs, lethal lunarmas, a regiment of robots, and spectacular star-soaring solar dragons! Best of all, when you back this project YOU get to help decide which monsters make the cut! Vote early and often for your favorite featured creatures as we keep adding more and more to this beautiful book!”

Solar Dragon by Tanyaporn Sangsnit
Solar Dragon by Tanyaporn Sangsnit

Wanna-lancer Reward Add-ons:

Xenobiologist: Add $150 to select an existing monster from any published source; your monster automatically gets added to the Alien Bestiary and converted for Starfinder and 5th Edition rules. We can’t duplicate creatures from non-OGL sources, like 2nd Edition space-fantasy games involving a Jammer of Spells, but we’ll work with you to create something awesome and evocative of the original! Your pledge includes a beautiful illustration to accompany whatever you create, and you’ll be listed in that compendium’s credits as a Xenobiologist and you’ll receive a high-res PDF (and high-quality print along with a print order) of your sponsored creature!

Join the Space Program: Add $200 to submit a Starfinder or 5th Edition character for one of the races in the Alien Codex (or any of the standard Starfinder RPG races)! Your character will be included as one of the standard NPCs for your chosen race, and your character will be beautifully illustrated. You’ll be listed in the credits as a Astronaut Adventurer and you’ll receive a high-res PDF (and high-quality print along with a print order) of your sponsored illustration!

It Came from Outer Space! Add $300 to help design a new monster for inclusion in the Alien Bestiary! Your name will be listed in the final compilation as a Space Spawner and you’ll receive a high-res PDF (and high-quality print along with a print order) of the monster you create!”

Ysoki Rogue by Arrahman Rendi

Egg’s Thoughts:

Monsters for 5e, Pathfinder, or Starfinder, and you can create a monster for it, and they have art like the Solar Dragon… I know my level of interest is through the roof! I believe that this does not need any more selling, you know if you need this in your library or not so here’s the link.

 

You can see examples of Legendary Games work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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3) SideQuests II: More Easy Adventure Modules for 5E DnD by Dominic M.
Ends on Sun, October 1 2017 5:02 PM EDT.

“Another collection of one-shot 5E Dungeons & Dragons adventures, designed to easily implement into your campaign setting.

SideQuests are back!

SideQuests are a collection of short adventures designed for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. These one-shot style campaigns are designed to be compelling standalone stories that can be implemented, played through, and completed in just a few sessions. Whether you’re using them as a filler adventure between your own major story arcs, as one-offs to play with people unfamiliar to D&D, or just because you forgot to plan your next session, the second edition of SideQuests aims to be even more invaluable tools for your DM toolbox.

SideQuests II: The Covers
SideQuests II: The Covers

Each campaign comes with a variety of customization features: Adventure Hooks and Epilogues — so you can naturally ease your players in and out of each and every quest. SideQuests are designed to work in tandem with your own campaigns, so you can easily substitute anything within the modules for your own original content. Each volume also comes with a variety of role-playing, puzzle, looting, and combat scenarios, so players will enjoy them no matter what they personally value in a roleplaying adventure.

Every adventure module comes as a full-colour, beautifully designed PDF, as well as a more minimal print version: So you can either print the modules off, or run them digitally straight off of your laptop or tablet. Every module features stunning design, original artwork, and gorgeous photography.”

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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2) Dungeons & Dragons 5E Module: Secrets of Oyster Cove by Ramen Sandwich Press
Ends on Sun, October 1 2017 8:34 PM EDT.

“Places by the Way #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove is a short location module for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

Welcome to Ramen Sandwich Press’ third Kickstarter campaign in support of Places by the Way. This campaign offers one last chance to pre-order copies of the Limited Edition of Places by the Way #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove.

Secrets of Oyster Cove

Places by the Way

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

 

You can see examples of Ramen Sandwich Press work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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1) Artifices of Quartztoil Tower – 5E Adventure – Only $10! by Nord Games 
Ends on Wed, October 4 2017 12:00 AM EDT.

“An exciting 3-5 session adventure playable at any level for use as a side quest or part of a main storyline!

A town is beset by incursions from strange creatures; constructs of metal, magic, and old bones. All signs point to the mysterious Quartztoil Tower, standing tall over the mountains to the north, and thought long abandoned. Rumors of the magical secrets contained within have not gone unnoticed, however, and others are drawn to the tower by dark dreams, and darker voices…

Book Specs

Page Count: 50-60
Color: Full Color
Binding: Perfect Bound Softcover
Paper: Glossy”

 

You can see examples of Nord Games work at DMsGuild  here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Egg’s Thoughts for SideQuests II, Secrets of Oyster Cove, and Artifices of Quartztoil Tower:

SideQuests and Secrets of Oyster Cove and Artifices of Quartztoil Tower are one-shot modules for 5e. They’re meant to be insert adventures between a larger campaign. They all have a great deal to offer and could fill a hole in your campaign or, collectively, be your campaign.

I want to draw attention to Artifices of Quartztoil Tower because the art is amazing and Nord Games has produced some outstanding products. Top that off with a $10 price tag and it’s a winner!

 

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Signal Boost:

Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War – A role playing game setting, for the Savage Worlds and Cepheus System, based on Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. From Battlefield Press International

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Steampunk Fridays – Kickstart the Game – Westbound: Revolvers and Rituals

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

Magic and technology colliding… that’s what we’re talking about here. An untamed wild where anything can be done and the only person stopping you from living your dreams is you. Take that smoke wagon from its holster and fire again and again on your orcish enemies. Dodge dragon fire while riding on horseback.

I mean, that’s what being in the Weird West is all about!

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Westbound: Revolvers and Rituals

From Island of Bees

Kickstarter campaign ends on Friday, September 29, 2017, at 1:59 AM EDT.

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The Pitch

Westbound is a game of adventure on the frontier. You’ll explore the magical wild west, encounter other frontiersmen, fight strange new creatures, and strike gold or die trying. Robbing trains, shooting up saloons, and rescuing damsels is all apart of a days work for a Westbounder.

When the soil’s turned sour,

And the well all dried up.

When men in suits put a gun in your hand

And send you to war.

When there’s nothing left of your home,

But ash and regret.

It’s time to turn Westbound.

The Game

This Kickstarter is for the full version of the game, but they did put a free Basic version and a Quickstart adventure to “try before you back”. In addition, there are also a handful of videos to help walk through some of the basics.

Reading through those Quickstart Rules, the big idea here is that there aren’t any dice, but instead it uses a deck of 52 cards to help define your character. But more than that, it appears to combine some aspects of collectible card games in that “The Deck is Your Stamina”. As such, it appears that as you make your way through the day there is a tangible and very visual way to determine not only your health but the potential strength of a character through simple current deck sizing.

The free adventure, Triumph at Saint Kiaro is worth checking out as well. Not only does it provide some visuals as far as how the decks are laid out, but there are premade characters to let you jump right into things.

Final Verdict

Westbound is definitely a game that falls more within the Weird West genre than all the way in the Steampunk one, but, as with many things, I believe those aspects play off of each other fairly well. I love the fact that not only is there a Quickstart Guide available, but there is also a scenario to play through so you can really take the game out for a test spin.

One interesting idea with using a deck of cards as both your stamina and how you do checks is that as you proceed through the day, it might make sense not to take a rest if you have a bunch of higher value cards left in the deck (you wouldn’t want those lower tier cards suddenly showing back up in the deck). While there is some level of randomization even with what can get shuffled back into the deck, this creates a different sort of strain on your character – something not really available in dice games.

This is one of those games I’d like to play in person. The decks of cards make good reminders, plus I can see where if you were to do a campaign, you might have a specific “special” deck for each one (character accessories are always fun). Some of the stretch goals seem to lend themselves to this very idea.

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For more information on Westbound: Revolvers and Rituals check them out here.

***

John McGuire

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

Click here to join John’s mailing list to learn about the upcoming The Gilded Age Kickstarter.

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

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ERA: BALAM RPG WITH ED JOWETT (SHADES OF VENGEANCE)

I first discovered Shades of Vengeance when I covered their Era: Hitman Kickstarter for my blog. The idea behind the game – “Be a super-powered assassin” – spoke to me because it’s charmingly action movie and engaging. Who doesn’t want to be the bad guy and mind blast someone? Discussing the article with Ed Jowett, owner of SoV, led to working on an adventure for him and we’ve stayed in touch since. When he launched Era: Balam, I knew I wanted him to lead my new RPG Kickstarter interview column. So, let’s talk Ed, SoV, Era: Balam and more!

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for joining us, Ed. If you don’t mind, let’s dive in – Tell us about your current Kickstarter campaign, Era: Balam? What is it about? Why should fans back it?

ED JOWETT – Era: Balam is the latest in our series of Era games, the seventh entry in the group. It’s a game which focuses on the theme of a pilot and their ship being an entity together. It provides exploration, and alien threat to fight against and the chance to save Humanity from invasion!

This game is also offering something new for us – a version in Era d10, but also one in FATE and one in Savage Worlds! You can choose which you prefer from the Kickstarter.

 

 

EGG – Why did you make Era: Balam a part of Kickstarter’s Project of Earth initiative?

ED JOWETT – When Kickstarter launched their Project of Earth initiative for the anniversaries of the Voyager probes, I was inspired not by what Earth is today, or what kind of message I might send into space, but by what might happen to a probe when it arrived on an alien world. What reaction would aliens have to it? How would they respond to this thing appearing? I took that one step further – what would happen if it accidentally did damage to their society?

On the surface, that seems bleak, but while I wanted to make an interesting story, bear in mind everything that this implies – our probes reached other solar systems, travelling across the vastness of space and no matter what happened afterwards, it contacted an alien race for Humanity. Is that not what we all dream of when we send probes like Voyager into interstellar space?

 

Landing on Balam, the main Human colony…

EGG – How does Era: Balam relate to your other sci-fi setting, Era: The Consortium?

ED JOWETT – It relates in the sense that both originate with colony ships from Earth – the colonies in the system where Era: Balam is based are an offshoot of a main colony ship that was nearby.

The rules are extremely compatible, though, and Era: Balam offers one of the few things that can expand the Sci-Fi experience of Era: The Consortium – while the latter game offers space combat, it’s primarily focused around larger ships with crews. You can fly a fighter, but it’s not usually an even match and most of the larger ships have great point defence. In Era: Balam, you get the chance to conduct dog fights on a relatively equal footing with the aliens – huge fleets of fighters exist on both sides and it gives the chance to face a different sort of threat to what you’re likely to face in the Consortium’s region of space.

 

 

EGG – As the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Era: Balam?

ED JOWETT – I’d have to highlight the £55 or more pledge, “SPECIAL REQUEST – All the Sci-Fi Eras!”

I’ve had a lot of questions about Era: Balam and how it relates to Era: The Consortium. There’s a lot of possibility there for cross-play. It gets better – you get not only the physical of Era d10 Balam and Era: The Consortium, but you get the Definitive Edition Rulebook of Era: The Consortium, with loads of extra content, along with your choice of rule set for Digital Era: Balam!

It’s giving you loads of amazing stuff for just £55, along with the discount on retail prices on that entire bundle.

 

 

EGG – What inspired you to create the Era d10 gaming system? What makes it stand out from other RPG systems?

ED JOWETTEra d10 was the answer to what my group and I wanted out of rules: I roll terribly, so I hate single dice systems. With Era d10 providing multiple dice, along with flexibility of matching any Attribute with any Skill built into the system itself, you both combat the “I roll badly” factor and min-maxing at the same time – a min-maxed character with no Intelligence could well struggle in certain situations!

It also provided a combat system, particularly around Brawling, that was playable to a greater degree than other things out there: any Brawl action can be described in a single-page flow chart.

I think it stands out because it’s easy to learn, extremely flexible and intuitive – everything works in the same way and once you know the core of the rules, it’s not hard to guess. I’ve had a lot of people comment that they could not find a rule so they guessed and when they found it later on a read-through, they were completely correct.

 

From Era: The Consortium

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

ED JOWETT – A combination of things, but I’d probably have to say somewhere between Paranoia and World of Darkness.

Paranoia was the first game I played and then GM’d 2 weeks later. We used a non-standard rule set – not that any of the players knew that, of course (because, for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s against the rules for the players to know the rules in Paranoia…).

That got me into gaming, but what secured my attention – because the Paranoia rules we used was a one dice system! – was a World of Darkness homebrew we made which will be very familiar to anyone who knows Era: The Consortium. It was very much the predecessor of the game you’re playing today, created by those of us who were running a local 24-hour game!

 

 

EGG – Tell us why you jumped from gamer to publisher and created your company, Shades of Vengeance?

ED JOWETT – It was a friend of mine, actually, who convinced me to publish! I’d finished my first campaign and my brother wanted to try running one, so I was writing down the rules. Dru, my friend, was chatting and I showed him what I was working on. He said I should publish it, and things just spiraled from there!

 

Their reaction was fairly… extreme!

EGG EMBRYShades of Vengeance has completed Kickstarters for both RPGs and card games; are there any difference in how you run a RPG Kickstarter versus a card game Kickstarter?

ED JOWETT – Good question! The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that I don’t know entirely what that difference is and don’t yet consider myself as much of an expert on card game Kickstarters as I do on RPG ones…

I have a lot more card games in the works, so I expect to continue learning!

 

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what advice would you give others thinking about launching a gaming Kickstarter?

ED JOWETT – Know your domain on Kickstarter. Know what the bottom end of projects get before you start, because that is where you will sit with your first Kickstarter. Don’t look at Seventh Sea for RPGs and expect to get that, look at the new people. That means scrolling all the way to the bottom of the Tabletop Games list and looking at those. Set a realistic goal for where you are at.

And, if you don’t know what you’re doing, get some help! One of the things Shades of Vengeance does is assist people with getting their games on Kickstarter.

 

Kurmaja Park remains the centre of the Consortium

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

ED JOWETT – When I counted just recently, I realised I had 9 projects on the go, so I have quite a bit going on.

The next one people will see is the Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 Kickstarter. The last one we did funded 8 expansions to Era: The Consortium, but I had 26 ideas at the time. I’d like to get more of those out there, and I’m looking forward to the chance to do it!

After that, you’ll start seeing Era: The Empowered, our superheroes game, Era: The Chosen, our brand new horror game and Era: Legends, a Fantasy game, popping up. We’ve also got more card games, including a “sequel” to Champion of Earth, called “Evil Overlord”, Era: Survival Colony and one based in the Era: The Consortium universe!

We’ve got loads more on the way, including a matrix-inspired cyberpunk game, a JRPG-style game and a High Fantasy game. We’re definitely hard at work here, with an ambitious 2-year plan and a desire to see it fulfilled!

 

 

 

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

ED JOWETT – I’d like to thank Egg for his time and the chance to talk about the thing I enjoy most – gaming! There’s a lot more to come from Shades of Vengeance and I hope you’ll consider keeping an eye on us, because we’re doing great things.

If you want to know more about Shades of Vengeance, you should glance at our Kickstarters, or at our website blog (http://www.shadesofvengeance.com/blog/) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/shadesofvengeance)!

 

To see more games by Shades of Vengeance, check them out on DriveThruRPG here.

To back their Kickstarter campaign for Era: Balam, click here.

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Sins, Vanagard, Pythos, and Vasty Wilds

This week I look at RPG Kickstarters for two narrative/storytelling games, two games featuring anthropomorphic animals, one high fantasy game, and one game called SINS and in my mind, those numbers total four games. Let’s count’em down!

 

4) Vanagard by Pendelhaven
Ends on Thu, September 14 2017 6:16 AM EDT.

“Vanagard is a collaborative table-top story telling game.

 

When the world was young, the Vanir gods explored the world tree and established their home in Vanagard. Freya, goddess of life and death gave birth to her Vanfolk- anthropomorphic animals with amazing talents and unbridled curiosity.

The Vanfolk come in many forms: wolves, bears, ravens, rabbits, among many other shapes and sizes. Their home is known as Phantom-Wood and many memorable stories can be forged within this mystical glade.

More often then not, Vanfolk curiosity and wanderlust lure them beyond the boundaries of their home. As they explore the world tree Yggdrasil, adventure is sure to find them.

When faced with challenges, the Vanfolk collaborate in order to persevere. Their teamwork forges their legacy as one of the most amazing creatures to inhabit this brave new world.

To get more of an idea of the possible stories, you can visit: Vanagard Stories

Vanagard is a collaborative story telling game that utilizes some role-playing and board-game elements. At its core, it’s a game of exploration, teamwork and adventure.

2-6 players will take turns revealing story cards and weaving a continuous story that will take their Vanfolk on an unforgettable adventure. While one player weaves a tale inspired by the story card, the others will play their Vanfolk, overcoming the challenges presented. Each player at the table will get a chance to reveal a story card and will get to spin their portion of the story. If you like the stories of Narnia and Red Wall, this game is for you.

The simple core mechanics ensure that Vanagard is playable by a wide range of player, from age 7 to 77. There are 6 talents in the game, and they appear on both Nature cards and Talent cards. These talents are used to overcome the challenges presented in the scene. Runes are drawn to set type and difficulty of the challenge.

Players may create their Vanfolk characters as they play, ensuring that you can jump right into the action from the moment you open up the box.

EXTEND the game with new card decks. As the Vanfolk increase their level, add-on decks present a natural evolution to the rules. These add-on decks include magic items (relics), spells, profession cards and other goodies that evolve the Vanfolk as they embark on a series of adventures.

Add-on decks will also include new tools for the story-teller, in the form of challenge decks, story plots and many more interesting features. All of these are optional add-ons allowing you to tailor the game experience to your personal taste.

You can check out an example of BETA play on our youtube channel: Example Play and Kids at Play

We will be uploading more videos during the kickstarter, so stay tuned!”

Egg’s Thoughts:

The art is fully human-anthropomorphic Watership Down featuring beasts facing the end times; their mission would be called a forlorn hope, but there is no hope – That’s the art. The game’s synopsis is not that dark, but these creatures rendered with thousand-yard stares evoke a world that has seen too much and is hurling toward its conclusion. There is pain and a tone that screams keep it serious and meaningful at the table and tell stories with gravity and that’s what Vanagard is, a collaborative storytelling game with elements of RPG and board games. As a system, it’s the gaming smorgasbord. As a setting, I’d love to tell tales that compliment the art.

 

You can see examples of Pendelhaven work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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3) Pythos Tabletop RPG by Star Lit Games
Ends on Fri, September 15 2017 10:00 PM EDT.

“Simultaneous action combat in a world of mythological fantasy, inspired by ancient myths and cultures from around the world.

Playtester Praise:

“I loved the ease of the system. Simple to pick up and use.”

“Straight forward and nicely balanced in complexity.”

“Really fun and unique.”

“Very simple and adaptable.”

“Great for a beginner to acclimate to a gaming system.”

“Having combat phases execute simultaneously lends itself to significantly more cerebral, methodical pace-making decisions; and larger, long-term plans are rewarded over spontaneous decisions.”

“Removes the ‘What is the optimal move?’ discussion from the table”

(On the topic of running combat) “It is very simple and straightforward to run. I was thinking ‘There’s got to be more to this.’ It is surprisingly easy.”

Pythòs is a high-magic fantasy campaign setting, but one shrouded in a mysterious veil of powers beyond mortal control. Gods are most certainly real, but their powers are limited and their ways unknown. Very few mortals can grasp their intentions, but everyone has their own beliefs. The practice of every form of worship (or lack thereof) can likely be found somewhere.

Even more terrifying than the gods, titans of colossal size and enormous power have existed since before the first dawn on Pythòs, longer even than the gods themselves. Many believe them to be physical embodiments of the forces of nature; their immense presence is only ever felt when they awaken from slumber for short periods of seemingly mindless destruction.

The people of Pythòs, referred to as mortals, are as diverse as the people of Earth. Mortals vary in size, features, skin color, temperament, and ideals; even more so with the existence of magic and mysterious heritages. There also exists vast cultural and technological diversity, with only a couple civilizations having discovered the strength of steel, while others having not yet realized the utility of iron or even bronze.

Much of this world was inspired by mythologies and ancient cultures on Earth. Some names of locations, peoples, monsters, gods, and titans can be easily recognized by those with an eye for history and culture, while other influences are more subtle. The result of this melting pot of ideas is a unique world where many mythologies come together to bring out fantastic stories of heroes and legends, war and magic, terrible devastations and glorious triumphs.”

Pythos Worldmap by Cornelia Yoder, http://www.corneliayoder.com
Pythos Worldmap by Cornelia Yoder, http://www.corneliayoder.com

Wanna-lancer™ Reward:

“Pledge $500 or more

Legendary Hero

Contribute a legendary character to the Pythòs core book (see the full description in the “Rewards” section of the story for details), and everything included at the “Virtual Pythos with the Creator” level.

Includes:

  • Contribute a Legendary Character to the Core Book
  • Play Pythos with the Creator Online
  • Pythos Core Book
  • Set of Action Cards
  • Set of Maneuver Cards
  • Everything in the “PDF Package”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Pythos is a high fantasy setting and a new system that features simultaneous action combat. If you’re curious about the mechanics, they have a video on the Kickstarter that explains how they address action. If their system interests you, they have a wanna-lancer* pledge level that allows you to leave an impression on the game by creating a legendary character for the core rulebook.

 

*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.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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2) Vasty Wilds: The Card-Based Board Game by Chuck Stover 
Ends on Mon, September 18 2017 12:06 AM EDT.

“A card-based board game for 2-4 players aged 12+. Expand the forest to gain progress and to bring misfortune for your opponent.

“One day, the Humans had tormented the Earth until it could take no more, and the Humans ended. Then the Voles created their civilization and disturbed the smaller things of the Earth until the Voles ended as well. Now the tiny creatures of the forest compete to find the artifacts and knowledge left by the fallen empires so that they too can mess it all up in their turn.”

In Vasty Wilds, players take on the role of a small forest creature chasing after objectives in an ever-expanding forest. The player who collects all her goals first wins! The variable setup of each game means the shape of the forest (the board) will be different with each playthrough.”

Clockwise: An arboreal squid, a confused messenger, and a brush quagga
Clockwise: An arboreal squid, a confused messenger, and a brush quagga

Egg’s Thoughts:

Not a role-playing game or a wanna-lancer opportunity, instead I am reviewing Vasty Wilds because the art made me stop and stare. It has shades of Mouse Guard in its subject matter and palette. I’m a fan that owns the Mouse Guard comics and RPG so when I say that Chuck Stover’s art reminds me of the work by his fellow Michigander, David Peterson, I mean it as a compliment.

The art is enough to make me curious about this card/board game and I may buy it just to look at the check out the pretty pictures. If you love anthropomorphic animals and great art, click the link to the campaign.

Oh… and this art…

Flying squirrel with a fork. Victory!!!!!

 

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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1) SINS – The Roleplaying Game by Paul Moore
Ends on Tue, September 19 2017 7:40 AM EDT.

SINS

“A narrative-driven tabletop Roleplaying game focused on telling the stories of powerful beings known as Nemissaries in a dying world.

At its heart, SINS is a narrative role-playing game, specifically focused on telling the stories of powerful entities known as Nemissaries – reborn individuals back from the dead with a wealth of mysterious powers, who have risen once more to fight an eldritch hive-mind of the undying, known as the Brood, in the post-apocalyptic ruins of a 22nd Century Earth.

For all its high-octane combat and supernatural forces, SINS is a cinematic game about choice, morality and the consequences which come from wielding great and terrible power in a world desperate for heroes and leaders. It’s also about embarking on life-changing adventures, battling supernatural horrors, and often, simply surviving life in an unforgiving world fraught with danger, where even the Nemissaries’ great powers won’t necessarily protect them.”

SINS

Wanna-lancer™ Reward:

“Pledge £150 or more
About $193

SINS – Shardwalker

– The opportunity to liaison and work directly with our writers to have an appropriated character of your own design put into our next book and first supplement – SINS: Manifest Destiny – as a Major NPC. This character will be worked into the lore of the SINS world, and fully illustrated in the book by our artist Will Kirkby. You will also receive a print of the original artwork.
– The opportunity to have one of our writers GM a session of SINS for you. We will liason directly with you to make travel and hosting arrangements for the game. Subject to travel costs and location.
– And more.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

SINS is a narrative game set in the post-apocalypse that features great art – that skull art is tattoo-tastic – and a wanna-lancer opportunity. Your character can appear in the book as drawn by Will Kirkby. If I backed this one, I’d have to tell the story of that skull.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

Modern Adventures Tabletop RPG – Take up sword and gun to seek fame and fortune in this gritty fantasy game set in modern-day Earth. For the Pathfinder RPG system. From Higher Grounds Publishing.

 

Jump in your Starfighter for Era: Balam – A Project Of Earth – Explore a solar system and defend Humanity from an alien fleet! Era: Balam runs on your choice of Era d10, FATE or Savage Worlds! From Shades of Vengeance.

 

Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War – A role playing game setting, for the Savage Worlds and Cepheus System, based on Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. From Battlefield Press, Inc.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

 

 

 

 

Gen Con 2017 Recap – Part Two

You can read Part One Here.

Day 1 Continued

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.

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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.

Day 4

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.

Wrap Up

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.

***

John McGuire

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

Click here to join John’s mailing list to learn about the upcoming The Gilded Age Kickstarter.

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

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.

 

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – City of Seven Seraphs, Quests of Doom 4, and Gauntlets & Goblins

This week, I look at three amazing RPG Kickstarters. One for kids, one for 5e, and one with vibrant art that fits the angelic theme. Let’s count them down.

 

3) Gauntlets & Goblins by Ian Gibson
Ends on Saturday, September 9 2017 8:18 AM EDT.

“A Role-playing game for adults to play with kids. Simple and engaging.

Gauntlets & Goblins is the result of my nephew’s desire to play the kind of games that mommy, daddy, and his uncle played. I took the concepts of conventional RPGs and boiled them down to the absolute simplest form. As a result, G&G has all the essence of a full fledged experience in a package that a six year old can understand.

Gameplay: We use cards and symbols to make the game as manageable as possible for young players. Dice mechanics are simple, roll a set amount and count your successes. Spellcasting is a breeze with easy to grasp, conceptual spells like fly, enlarge, or disguise. Combat is engaging and exciting, but not overly threatening. If you run out of heart cards, you just fall down until it’s over.

Game will contain:

  • Four character classes, warrior, thief, mage, and cleric. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Equipment cards of three quality levels. Swords, spell books, holy symbols and more.
  • Magic item cards to enhance your adventuring experience.
  • Spell cards that grant you magic that can be used as much as you like.

Try the playtest now! www.gauntletsandgoblins.com

Wanna-lancer™ Reward:

“Pledge $200 or more

Glittering Gold

You will work with us to create a magic item card for inclusion with the game. See the FAQ for guidelines.

You also get the physical edition of the game.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Gauntlets and Goblins is an all-ages RPG on Kickstarter with an option to create content for the game. Why am I sold? Because I write all-ages game reviews at EN World and I review RPG Kickstarters with wanna-lancer* rewards right here. This is the crossroads of “journalist” Egg and wanna-lancer Egg. Getting to design for an all-ages game would be awesome! Need more details? Try Dan Davenport’s Q&A with Ian Gibson of G&G here. You can find the playtest for G&G here. This is worth checking out!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

 

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2) Quests of Doom 4 by Frog God Games
Ends on Sun, September 10 2017 12:33 AM EDT.

“Adventures worth winning for Fifth Edition, Swords and Wizardry, and Pathfinder.

Frog God Games wants your help in bringing to life 16 exciting and challenging adventure modules in the Quests of Doom series. Each adventure is already written and converted, and the maps and art are paid for – they only need to go through layout. After layout, they need to be printed, which is where you all come in!

Art from Quests of Doom 4

Each individual adventure was designed by a veteran author to offer a fun, exciting challenge to your players, and to easily integrate into your game world. If you prefer the Lost Lands Campaign Setting, each module includes specific location details and lore that fit seamlessly into the Lost Lands.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Fifth edition rules, first edition feel; FGG lives that ethos. It’s Frog God Games, you can’t go wrong. Their work and track record speaks for itself. If you have not experienced it, instead of reading my thoughts, try some of their work like the Sword and Wizardry Complete Rulebook at a suggested PWYW of $0.00 here. After you read that, it will make backing this 5e, Pathfinder, or Swords and Wizardry Kickstarter campaign an easy choice.

 

You can see examples of Frog God Games work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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1) City of Seven Seraphs – A Planar Campaign Capstone for PFRPG by Lost Spheres Publishing
Ends on Sunday, September 10 2017 1:59 AM EDT.

“The City of Seven Seraphs is a fully developed Planar Metropolis for the Pathfinder RPG available in full-color Hardcover and PDF.

Nexus Base Class - Michael Sayre/Design, Liz Courts/Layout & Graphics, Vincent Coviello/Artist for Iconic
Nexus Base Class – Michael Sayre/Design, Liz Courts/Layout & Graphics, Vincent Coviello/Artist for Iconic

The City of Seven Seraphs is a Campaign Capstone sourcebook for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game©. Inspired by epic adventures in the Planes of the 2nd Edtion of the World’s Oldest Fantasy RPG, The City of Seven Seraphs will bring a home to planar adventure for the Pathfinder gaming community and infuse existing campaigns with a new level of otherworldly reality.

Amethyst Angel of the Eternal Dawning
Amethyst Angel of the Eternal Dawning

A fully-realized Planar Metropolis, the City of Seven Seraphs will be a 300+ page full-color, hardcover gaming manual with exclusive content for the Pathfinder RPG system including: 

  • Rich NPCs and Organizations: 14 Planar Organizations, the Parities, which focus on the core Dualities of the Multiverse. Each Parity will have its own story themes and mechanical support such as Archetypes, Prestige Classes, feats and more.
  • 8 Distinct City Districts: Each section of the City of Seven Seraphs will be fully expanded with its own section in the book with plots, locations and mechanical elements to create a vivid tapestry of planar possibility.
  • Planar Mechanics: Dozens of Feats, Spells, and Archetypes to support the Parities and allow your characters to take on the powers of the planes both in the City and in the worlds Beyond.
  • Bestiary & NPC Codex: Dozens of foes and allies statistics for easy use in your planar games. Varied CRs from 1-20+.
  • Expanded Compatibility: Full Support for both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures system AND the Ultimate Psionics system from Dreamscarred Press. Optional support for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Mythic Adventures and Ultimate series expanded rules (including vehicles, social combat and intrigue).
  • New Base Classes: The book contains new base classes, the Nexus, a veilweaving class which gains the ability to take on the mantles of various outsiders to allow PCs to gain the powers of the Planes, and the Shadewalker a traveler of the dark roads between. Could there be more? We seem awfully fond of 7s.
  • New Races and fresh takes OGL Classic Races: New races like the judow, and inevitable-spawn people influenced by kyton or the a fresh-look at the ceptu (from Epidemic Books Oathbound: Seven) a races of telekinetic invertibrates!
  • Campaign Toolkit: Rules for planar adventure, intrigue and advice on how the City connects to your existing campaigns and links them to each other!”
New Nexus Base Class
New Nexus Base Class

Contributor:

N. Jolly (Racial Design and Planar Mechanics): “N. Jolly is widely regarded as a hero by most, having been involved in numerous successful kickstarter projects including the Forest Kingdom Campaign Compendium and Spheres of Might. Known for his skill with mechanics as well as flavor, he’s a well seasoned writer who brings his own unique flair to this project in order to make sure it turns out ehncredible.” Patreon link.

Egg’s Thoughts:

This art! It’s Pathfinder, it’s an interesting concept, but it’s Vincent Coviello’s art that pushes it over the top! Follow the link and check it out, it’s worth taking a peak just to see Vincent’s artistic skills.

Also, N. Jolly is contributing to this project. I’m shouting him out for no reasons other than he’s a nice dude and his work on this product is going to help knock it out of the park and it leads to my signal boost below.

 

You can see examples of Lost Spheres Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Art from the City of Seven Seraphs… I mean, come on! This is soooooo nice looking!

 

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Signal Boost:

Let’s bridge to this first signal boost by mentioning that N. Jolly (from City of Seven Seraphs above) is working on Modern Adventures.

Modern Adventures Tabletop RPG – Take up sword and gun to seek fame and fortune in this gritty fantasy game set in modern-day Earth. For the Pathfinder RPG system. From Higher Grounds Publishing.

Read more about N. Jolly on this project here.

 

Jump in your Starfighter for Era: Balam – A Project Of Earth – Explore a solar system and defend Humanity from an alien fleet! Era: Balam runs on your choice of Era d10, FATE or Savage Worlds! From Shades of Vengeance.

 

Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War – A role playing game setting, for the Savage Worlds and Cepheus System, based on Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. From Battlefield Press, Inc.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).