Genefunk 2090 – An Interview with James Armstrong (CRISPR Monkey Studios)

When I ran the What RPG Kickstarters Excite Creators? column, Genefunk 2090 was a regular recommendation (here, here, here, and here). As such, when Genefunk 2090, a sci-fi setting using a variation of the Dungeons & Dragons 5e ruleset, came out, I was glad to take with James Armstrong of CRISPR Monkey Studios about the project.

EGG EMBRY (EGG): What’s the pitch for your project? 

JAMES ARMSTRONG (JA): Biopunk 5e! There’s been an open niche for biopunk RPGs, especially near-future ones, and I wanted to address that, and see where I could take it. Eclipse Phase has some of the elements I wanted to capture, but it’s more far-future sci-fi. I wanted something not too far around the corner. Endogenous DNA computers, genetic enhancement, mind-hacking, transgenic beasts, and anything else I could think of!

EGG: What system are you using, and why is it the right one for this game? JA: I’m using the 5e ruleset because it is a combat and skill-check based system, which suits the playstyle of a group of biopunk mercenaries well. I also chose that system because I want the game to be accessible to a widest possible group of people: you can enter GeneFunk 2090 ready to play if you have experience with D&D.

EGG: What makes the setting for GeneFunk 2090 different than other sci-fi RPGs? JA: The heavy lean into biopunk elements, and having brain-computers as a ubiquitous feature!

I love biology, and the implications genetic engineering.  I actually have an M.Sc. in molecular biology, partially because I was interested in understanding the science behind genetic modification. It’s now apparent that a great deal of human enhancement will be at the genetic level, not necessarily grafted-on chrome arms and robot bodies. I want to show how the world might look if that genetic enhancement started before birth, and how biologically specializing humans might affect society.  An informal genetic caste system that emerges from a global market economy.

I also baked in brain-computers as a feature all characters get, not just as an option for hackers. When you look around and see complete market saturation of smart phones, it’s a fair assumption that brain-computers will be equally prolific once they become normalized. This opened the door for really digging into mind-hacking as a core feature, a sci-fi basis for psychic manipulation. You can choose to play as someone without a brain-computer, but you lose a lot of abilities to gain the benefit of being immune to mind-hacks.

EGG: Tell me about some of the MVPs on your creative team? JA: For art, William Liberto, Dean Spencer, and Enmanuel Martinez Lima did most of the heavy lifting!  The core InDesign expertise was courtesy of Simeon Cogswell, and the editing by J Boone Dryden. Each of these people really elevated the final book!

EGG: What other projects have you worked on? 

JA: This is my first one! 🙂 Unless you mean it more broadly, then sequencing and mapping the mitochondrial genome of the bed bug would count. 🙂 I may have included an Easter egg of this in the book somewhere, hahaha.

 

EGG: What’s after GeneFunk 2090? 

JA: I’ll be doing a setting book for this world, Shadows of Korea, which is set to be completed in March of 2020. It will be a sandbox book, outlining major NPCs, factions, and locations (with battle maps) in Korea, primarily centered in the city of Busan. Players can look forward to more genetic enhancements, cybernetic upgrades, genomes, class archetypes, hacks, and other mechanical goodies as well!

EGG: Where can fans learn more about you and your project? 

JA: The DriveThruRPG page, Kickstarter page, or check out this preview PDF: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZlBzDdzEZznX4AbdiDn-OEmtKgH8dH_z

 

NOTE: This article includes affiliate links to DriveThruRPG. As a DriveThruRPG Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

RPG Monsters: A to Z Kickstarter – An Interview with Jeshields

In the market for stock art for your tabletop RPG? Jeshields offers a great selection at DriveThruRPG, and, through December 20th, he’s offering RPG Monsters: A to Z on Kickstarter. On EN World, I try to cover as many RPG-related crowdfunding projects as I can, but I missed this one. So, to help shine a spotlight on Jeshields’ work, I asked him a few questions about the project.

This image is an example “of art quality. All art created for this project will be new illustrations.”

EGG EMBRY (EGG): What’s the pitch for your project? 
JESHIELDS (JES): I’m creating a stock art library of 26 creatures and monsters, one for each letter of the alphabet. This library will be a mix of recreating classic creatures, makeovers of ‘failed’ monster ideas, and designing brand new creations.

 

EGG: What system are you using, and why is it the right one for this game? 
JES: None. These images are for game products that use any system.

This image is an example “of art quality. All art created for this project will be new illustrations.”

EGG: What is the reward that is the best value? 
JES: “$75 – Monsters in Digital”. You get .PSD files and vector illustrations so you can edit, resize, and recolor all the monsters. It includes line art .PNG files, color .PNG files, and .PSD files of all the monsters, plus a license to use them in commercial products.

 

EGG: Assuming there are stretch goals, which one are you most excited about? 
JES: Although I am entertaining a few ideas, there are no current stretch goals for this project.

This image is an example “of art quality. All art created for this project will be new illustrations.”

EGG: What other projects have you worked on? 
JES: I have been commissioned for freelance work with independent companies such as Barrel Rider Games, Blackfall Press, Dread Unicorn Games, EN World, Rogue Comet, Steve Jackson Games, among many others. Other Kickstarter projects include a Fantasy Stock Art & RPG Minis plus a Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art project. I also run Patreon.com/Jeshields where I create bundles of various stock illustrations each month.

 

EGG: Where can fans learn more about you and your project? 
JES: Fans can connect with me on Facebook, MeWe, or Twitter where I share my work on a regular basis.

This image is an example “of art quality. All art created for this project will be new illustrations.”

RPG Monsters: A to Z by Jeshields

END DATE: Fri, December 20 2019 3:00 PM EST.

“A library of monster stock art for fantasy, sci-fi and stranger things.”

 

NOTE: This article includes affiliate links to DriveThruRPG. As a DriveThruRPG Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Gods and Masters Kickstarter – Interview with JC Thompson of Twitchy Butcher Studios LLC

JC Thompson of Twitchy Butcher Studios has a crowdfunding campaign going for Gods and Masters for Savage Worlds. We did a quick interview discussing it.

EGG EMBRY (EGG): What’s the pitch for your project?

JC THOMPSON (JC): Gods and Masters is a guerrilla fantasy setting that takes place in a single city. Player groups choose one of three factions, and gain a host of faction-specific Edges, Hindrances, gear, and Arcane Backgrounds, which they use to wage covert war on the other powers in the city.

 

EGG: What system are you using, and why is it the right one for this game?

JC: I’m using Savage Worlds, because it is generic and balanced enough to offer a large number of approaches for PCs to solve problems, but still crunchy enough to allow for tactical play, and quick, bloody combat.

 

EGG: Any examples of the game to share?

JC: Gods and Masters: Jumpstart at DriveThruRPG. That’s my free JumpStart with pregens, for anyone who wants a playable preview.

 

EGG: What is the reward that is the best value?

JC: If you want a print-on-demand hard copy, get the Hero level for $25. If you want a PDF only, get the Warrior level for $20.

 

EGG: Where can fans learn more about you and your project?

JC: Twitchy Butcher Studios LLC’s website and Facebook

 

Gods and Masters by Twitchy Butcher Studios LLC

END DATE: Thu, October 24 2019 8:01 AM EDT.

“An urban guerrilla fantasy RPG for the Savage Worlds rule system.”

Find it on Kickstarter here.

 

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ABOUT BOILERPLATE INTERVIEWS.

Sometimes schedules keep me from performing in-depth interviews with RPG Kickstarter creators. When I can’t do a proper interview, I still like to give space for creators to share their projects. To that end, I conduct boilerplate interviews, short and generic but still an outlet for creators. If you have an upcoming or active RPG crowdfunding campaign and would be interested in participating in a boilerplate interview, reach out here.