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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Content

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

 

Introduction, Races and Classes
Introduction, Races and Classes

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

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

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

Every Young Hero Needs Somewhere to Start

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

Hidden Halls of Hazakor

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

(Character concept art)

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

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

 

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

 

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

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

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

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

REDSHIRTS: ADVENTURES IN ABSURDITY, VOLUME 2!

What is Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity?

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

How do critics describe it?

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

What is the tone of the game?

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

What Can we expect in Volume 2?

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

THE PROJECT :

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

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

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

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

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

THE MODULE:

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

A Tale of Mixed Realities…

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

 

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

… But It’s Only a Game, Isn’t it?

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock

What is this about?

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

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

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

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

Art by Christian Martinez
Art by Christian Martinez

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

Art by Kelsy Cowan
Art by Kelsy Cowan

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

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

Art by Alexia Veldhuisen
Art by Alexia Veldhuisen

What is it about?

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

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

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

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

Art by: Kelsy Cowan
Art by: Kelsy Cowan

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

What is DestinyQuest?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

How do I play?

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

Do I need to have read the other books?

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at Amazon here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

Return to GULL, the CITY OF TERRORS

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

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

It is time we revisit this adventure.

Why? How? And why now?

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

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

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

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

No One Gets Left Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Included in the core book are:

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 The Setting

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

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

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

 

 

The Children of the Apocalypse setting book contains:

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

Sneak Peek: Taps

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

“True Horror Campaign RPG

What is the D13 RPG?

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

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

Why a D13 RPG?

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

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

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

 

Who Am I?

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

Who Is the Artist?

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

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

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

The Creatures

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

 

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

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

Conglomodog, by Kory Bing
Conglomodog, by Kory Bing

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

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

The Items

Item design by Jesse Turner
Item design by Jesse Turner

 

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

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

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

Aesthetic

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

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

 

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

[UPDATED x2 – Added Infinite Galaxies Core Rules]

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

NOTE – LINKS ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK. NSFW. 

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

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

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

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

Battle Star Trilogy – Trek Wars

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

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

 

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

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What could possibly go wrong ?

————————————————————————————————-

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

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

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

The adventure includes:

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

 

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

[UPDATED – 2018-01-16] 

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

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

Hey everyone and welcome back for:

REDSHIRTS: ADVENTURES IN ABSURDITY, VOLUME 2!

What is Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity?

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

How do critics describe it?

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

What is the tone of the game?

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

What Can we expect in Volume 2?

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

If I back at the designer level do I really get credit?

Yes, for the rest of your life you can describe yourself as a designer for a best selling RPG. It’s the second easiest way to become a best seller, the easiest being selling three books in Canada.”

 

Hardcover Proof of Volume 1, ready to ship out
Hardcover Proof of Volume 1, ready to ship out

 

New Crewmates: Ambassador Groundwalker
New Crewmates: Ambassador Groundwalker

 

New Allies: Mayor Bimbleberry, Plushian Mayor
New Allies: Mayor Bimbleberry, Plushian Mayor

 

New Enemies: Monkey Monk and the Fangy Bunch
New Enemies: Monkey Monk and the Fangy Bunch

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Three Starfinder adventures are running right now. I’m curious how they’ll raise awareness of each other. This one leans towards comedy and it’s a sequel so it’s got an established base to build from.

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

[UPDATED – 2018-01-16] 

Infinite Galaxies Core Rules by Grendel’s Vault Productions
Ends on .

“Sci-Fi Action, Powered by the Apocalypse!

Infinite Galaxies is a science-fiction role playing game of epic adventure for 3-6 players. The game is based on the Apocalypse engine with some cool tweaks to better model stuff like star ship combat, robots, aliens and other hallmarks of Sci-Fi!

You can view the current quick play packet at InfiniteGalaxies.net under the downloads section!

Have you ever wanted to see a robot with a jet pack and rocket launcher arms? Ever wanted to fly your ship to the furthest reaches of the galaxy to explore alien ruins? Ever wanted to use your psionic powers to free the people of Arachnis 9 from the evil lord Zor? Well, with Infinite Galaxies, you can! You can do all of this with as much or as little prep as you want. If you want to run a zero-prep one shot, it’s easy. If you would rather create a complex society and hundreds of planets, you can do that too! It all works seamlessly with Infinite Galaxies rules.

 

There are eight separate playbooks – or character classes – representing a lot of sci-fi character tropes. Each playbook includes three separate starting packages allowing for a great deal of flexibility in character creation. This flexibility allows for some interesting party combinations – a squadron of Aces all with their own ships, a party of robots making their way in a meatbags world or a squadron of soldiers ridding a planet of bugs!

The Ace

You are the consummate pilot of all things that move. You start the game with your own starship and you can upgrade this ship as the game continues.

The Explorer

You excel at finding people and places no one else can. You start with the ability to lead a group into unknown or hostile territory.

The Jack

You are connected and you know how to get the things you need to get the job done. You start with the ability to use your network of contacts to get important information.

The Leader

Your skills and talents reside in providing guidance and instructions to others, in planning, and in strategy. You start with the ability to provide bonuses to your allies’ rolled moves.

The Psi

You are an enigmatic master of mental powers. Depending on what package you select, you have access to many different psionic abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, and the ability to manifest a weapon from your psionic energy.

The Robot

You are a robot, an artificial creation of first-rate metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and gadgets beyond the imaginations of most. You may be designed for combat, to defend those under your protection. You may be designed to serve as a translator or guide. You may even be specialized in navigation.

The Scientist

Your talents lie in studying the natural world, repairing broken things, and creating devices of your own design. You start play with an innate ability to know things – a lot of things.

The Soldier

You are a trained warrior, skilled in the arts of combat and defense. Primarily, you excel in fight scenes. You may wield a laser rifle or perhaps heavy weapons. You might be trained in tactics and leading small teams of military units. You might even be skilled at healing others.

The Ship

The Ace’s starship gets its own playbook and acts in many ways like a character. The Ship has its own ability scores, its own damage system, and can advance much like a character does.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Powered by the Apocalypse. Starship. Annddd… GO!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Anthro-Adventures Setting, Frankenstein Faktoria, and On the Shoulders of Heroes Setting

A Pathfinder to 5e conversion, a Polish to English translation, and an original 3.5e product are all featured in this week’s review of RPG Kickstarters.

 

Anthro-Adventures RPG Setting, Now for 5E & Pathfinder by Happy Gnome Publishing
Ends on Sun, January 14 2018 10:58 PM EST.

“Anthro-Adventures is a 5E compatible world setting featuring realms ruled by animal-human hybrid races.

Book Cover, now for 5e
Book Cover, now for 5e

Anthro-Adventures, a popular RPG setting in which the Seven Realms of Layna are ruled by animal-human hybrid races, is now available for your 5E campaigns!

A unique setting, Anthro-Adventures is two designed to fill two goals:

1. To create a setting that a child can seamlessly play in, while having a natural understanding of the nuances of their character’s race.

2. To provide an Anthro-Fantasy setting where the conflicts of the animal-human hybrids are the central focus. This allows players to recreate the tone of popular stories such as Redwall, Mistmantle, and others.

Anthro-Adventures accomplishes these goals by creating a setting where each race is created as a sociological experiment in a modern day human genetics lab. As part of the hybrid’s development their education is focused around a single piece of Children’s Lit chosen to instill desired traits in their newfound species. When a horrid accident sends the hybrids hurtling through time and space the only thing they have to rely on as they continue to develop on their own is those ancient stories once read to them.

Fast forward a thousand years and those hybrid races have flourished, using the tales they were once read as a basis for society. For example the Dog-kin have a powerful medieval theocracy based around dedication to the teachings of the Big Red God (they were read Clifford), Lion-kin prowl the land looking to exterminate evil in the name of the Great Mane (Aslan), and Rat-kin take science to dangerous levels in their Steam-powered cities (They were read Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nihm).

Brightskin Shaman of Death
Brightskin Shaman of Death

The Anthro-Adventures World Guide is 142 pages long and consists of the following:

  • Detailed background on the creation of the Seven Realms, including maps.
  • Background on each of the Seven Realms, including information on their Geography, Economy, Military, and Society.
  • Background and information on 22 playable hybrid races, including stats, racial feats, spells, and equipment.
  • 75 pieces of original artwork showing the visual nuances of each hybrid culture.
  • A simple, easy to use layout for family friendly gaming.

The 5e version of Anthro-Adventures is about 90% converted and will be available for download within two weeks of the end of this campaign. Physical copies will be delivered after a proofing process, which generally takes 3-4 weeks. Delivery will be direct from DrivethruRPG.com.

Just seeing Anthro-Adventures for the first time and hoping you can still get the Pathfinder edition? Feel free to head on over to DrivethruRPG and pick it up!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I covered another Happy Gnome Publishing game, Redshirts: A Starfinder Comedy Adventure Path (Levels 1-3)here.

Ah, in terms of art, Burning Man Chameleon for the win!

What Happy Gnome Publishing is offering is a varied setting that has the range to be family-friendly or stone serious or Burning Man Chameleon making it a good option for so many tables. Add to it, they’ve already rolled out the Pathfinder version so the heavy lifting on this is done, and you have a guide to figure out where they’re going with this one. In addition, this project speaks to me because my first stab at doing a RPG Kickstarter [coming in March] will feature anthromorphic NPCs in a mixed human/anthromorphic world, so I’m interested in this one.

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Frankenstein Faktoria Role Playing Game by Chronicle City
Ends on Tue, January 16 2018 10:33 AM EST.

“Frankenstein Faktoria is a rules-lite tabletop roleplaying game where YOU play one of the Doctors tragic creations…

Frankenstein Faktoria is a tabletop horror roleplaying game unlike any you have seen before. It might well contain the usual dead bodies, corpses, and demonical villainy, but in this case you are the corpse, or at least an amalgam thereof.

In Frankenstein Faktoria you and your friends play a Frankensteiner. One of the tortured creations of Doctor Victor Frankenstein, created out of a composite of body parts from cadavers and reanimated through science and electricity.

(Fun Fact: Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” novel was first published 200 years ago on 1st January 1818! Happy Anniversary Frankenstein!)

Frankenstein Faktoria Cover by David Allsop
Frankenstein Faktoria Cover by David Allsop

THE PLAYERS

The Doctor, Doctor Victor Von Frankenstein, has constructed a small Factory in the town of Shalleymouth. Here in his infernal facility, unnatural Creatures, denying nature’s laws, Frankenstein’s children, are produced on an assembly line, endlessly, day-by-day.

Why does he do it? Nobody knows. The Doctor appears to have gone completely insane. He has severed his ties with the world outside and has shut himself up inside his crumbling castle alone with his experiments. He does not give his “children” much attention, instead he spends his time endlessly experimenting, synthesising chemical solutions, scribbling labyrinthine formulae on blackboards, and tinkering with mysterious devices. He is manifestly uninterested in the operation of the production line. Instead a hunchbacked servant, Igor, adopted by Frankenstein many years ago, oversees the day-to-day operation of the Factory.

During a Frankenstein Faktoria game, the players take on the role of the tortured monsters created by the Doctor. His hideous Frankensteiners…”

Igor and Frankenstein by David Allsop
Igor and Frankenstein by David Allsop

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

[Full Disclosure: Angus Abranson rocks. I work with him on the Facebook RPG Kickstarter News page and EN World. He is metal.]

Bernie Wrightson-style Frankenstein art and a Polish RPG translated into The English by Angus Abranson. There’s also some wanna-lancer* options here. AND this is available on the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Yeah, just check it out for all of that and because Angus is metal.

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

 

Malicious Stare by David Allsop

 

* * * * * *

 

On the Shoulders of Heroes Campaign Setting by Windmill Slam Games
Ends on Fri, January 19 2018 10:50 AM EST.

“A fantasy campaign setting designed for the d20 System. Explore the world of Bellög, new and redesigned races, monsters and much more.

Greetings explorer, welcome to our domain!

We are Windmill Slam Games, a tiny Dutch company dedicated to writing and producing content to enrich your roleplaying experience. You have found our very first project on Kickstarter: The On the Shoulder of Heroes campaign setting. On The Shoulders of Heroes is intended for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game and systems based on it, but due to its informative nature it could easily be used with any fantasy RPG-system. It is inspired by old school roleplaying games, traditional fantasy, Germanic and Japanese mythology. It is based on the idea that the world was built by the great deeds of great people – both good and evil.

Most art (including the cover) by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan
Most art (including the cover) by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan

The complete book is close to 230 pages. It features 12 new and redesigned races, class descriptions, new feats and language rules, a whole continent with 8 countries in great detail, 19 new and redesigned deities, trade rules, new items and weapons, 23 new magic items and artifacts, new and redesigned monsters, 9 specially crafted NPC heroes and suggestions on how they might fit into your campaign. It is beautifully illustrated in gray-scale by 4 talented artists and is bound in a sturdy hard cover. We’ve uploaded some previews for you here: http://bit.ly/2Bd4b78

The book is designed to teach you everything you need to know to about the continent of Bellög and its inhabitants, its history and state of affairs. Everything is designed to be intuitive, to make you feel right at home, but with small twists and redesigns that keep you wondering. It pays homage to the rich history of fantasy and D&D.

Your support will help us to cover printing and production costs and to get started on future projects (that will further expand on the setting). We want to publish materials on a regular basis and for multiple gaming systems. If worlds are being explored we want ours to be among them! By supporting us you are making an investment in a company for gamers by gamers.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This product is for D&D 3.5e, which is an interesting choice. Obviously, they could have suggested the project is for Pathfinder and, maybe, found a simpler path to victory [no pun intended], but they’re on a mission for 3.5e. Because of that, I want to see if they can reach their nearly $6k goal and see if there is still life in the 3.5 market. If there is still interest in 3.5, does it suggest there is a market for the earlier D&D systems (beyond Basic and 1e)?

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

  

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

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

  

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

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

 

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

  

EGG – What other projects are you currently developing?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Welcome to Sherwood Forest, home of heroes and outlaws

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the Dice Tower of Power?

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

3 Dice Towers for $25 (or less)

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

THE RULES

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

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

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

 

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

Places by the Way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

What is it?

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

Artwork 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

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

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

Want to give Grond a try? Ping Mike here.

OUBLAR PRINT
OUBLAR PRINT

 

* * * * * *

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

You will be free.

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

But what happens next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

Destiny is a choice. 

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

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

You are free.

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Guide your destiny.

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

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

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

What will you do with Free Will?

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Capharnaum Game System

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

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

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

Who is “Al-Rawi”?

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Flash Gordon, Monster Hunter International, Aventuria Compendium, and Dragon Kings

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

What does this campaign have going for it?

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

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

 

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

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book will also include:

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

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

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

 

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

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

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

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

Welcome to the Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook project.

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

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

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

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

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

That would be you.

The Pachyaur
The Pachyaur

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

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

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

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

And now, Dragon Kings is coming to 5E

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

How well do non-combat skills work? 

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

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

Era d10 Non-Combat Skills Pros:

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

Era d10 Non-Combat Skills Cons:

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

 

* * * * * *

 

How well do combat skills work? 

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

(DIS)ARM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Era d10 Combat Rolls Pros:

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

Era d10 Combat Rolls Cons:

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Era d10 Conclusion:

 

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

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

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

Which route does your table go?

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

 

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

 

* * * * * *

 

*What is AetherCon?

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

 

**What is Era: The Consortium RPG?

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

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

What you decide will define the fate of the Consortium…

 

***What is the Era d10 system?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Shades of Vengeance Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Choose your destiny.

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

You are free.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

*Craftivities are like craft activities – duh!

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

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

final printing.

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

DOWNLOAD HERE – RIGHT NOW!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Within the book you will find:

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

 

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone
Switching worlds by Gennifer Bone

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

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

Two Worlds, Rabbit Holes and Many Realms  

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

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

Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone
Wonderland Fated by Gennifer Bone

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can find their games on DriveThruRPG here.

Support their Kickstarter here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

 

* * * * * *

 

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)!

 

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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].

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – 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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

What is NPC For Hire?

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

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

Heroes and Villains

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

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

  • 40 Villains
  • 12 Heroes

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

HALLOWEEN TREAT – 11 QUESTIONS ABOUT 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

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

Cover made by Vargasni
Cover made by Vargasni

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

  • This link is NSFW 
  • System agnostic

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

Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (book 2) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Undead Viking review here. 

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

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

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

THE BOOK (Beneath, the Spire and the Sound)

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

Cover by Karl Keesler
Cover by Karl Keesler

 

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

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

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

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

Growing up in the 1980’s…

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

Monsters are real.

You heard me.

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

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

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

Image Credit: Mike Dukes
Image Credit: Mike Dukes

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Monster Club art by Veronica V. Jones

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Signal Boost:

 

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

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

Check out the campaign here.

 

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

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

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

Check out the campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).