4 OSR Kickstarters You Should Back – Secrets of the Nethercity, Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania, City of Brass, and SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City

OSRs [Old School Revival/Renaissance], they’re fun and, sometimes, controversial. Playing SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies! at Origins, and my last OSR article, put me in a mood to visit some new OSR Kickstarters. What follows is old school madness.

 

Secrets of the Nethercity by Autarch
Ends on .

“An immersive dungeon sandbox designed for the Adventurer Conqueror King System and other D20 OSR RPGs.

For three thousand years, the secrets of the Nethercity have been hidden. Now the delving of man has breached the ruins, and the lore and treasures of the ancients wait in the darkness below for those bold enough to seize them. But an inhuman evil slumbers in that darkness, and the time of the Awakening is at hand….

We’re excited to announce Autarch’s eighth Kickstarter project: The Secrets of the Nethercity™, an immersive dungeon for the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ and other D20 fantasy role-playing games.

With Secrets of the Nethercity you get:

  • An epic “kilodungeon” with 240 location entries spread across 20 different dungeon sub-regions that can be explored in a nonlinear fashion over the course of your campaign
  • 12 new monsters, including the chryselephantine statue, faewyrd, hydropian, and terror of death
  • 30 new magic items, including the bag of faerie seeds, the funerary barge of the cults, horn of the eagles, scepter of sacred power, and shadowcowl robe
  • 4 new character classes, including the elven cultist, hierophant, and warlord
  • A special appendix providing step-by-step worksheets to adapt the Nethercity to your favorite campaign setting
  • A home base (the city of Cyfaraun) for use by your adventurers in between dungeon delves. The city is presented in summary format in the adventure itself, and the city and the sewers below it are presented in more detail in a supplement called Capital of the Borderlands (available at $20 and above pledge level). With every bonus goal, we’ll expand the city and sewer levels!

The Nethercity, the city, and the sewer level in between are all beautifully mapped by the incredible cartography of Dyson Logos and Simon Forster. You get maps of the city, sewers, and Nethercity, as well as zoomed-in sectional maps of each major area. With every bonus goal we hit, we’ll add more maps.

We’ve tapped artist Michael Syrigos to create rich, gorgeous full-color art for the adventure. Not every image will be full color at the base level, but all of the backer-supported art will be.

The entrance to the nethercity lies hidden in the sewers of Cyfaraun
The entrance to the nethercity lies hidden in the sewers of Cyfaraun

Full color, you ask? Yes! This will also be our first product developed for and printed in full-color. We’re working with layout artist Todd Crapper to update our house style for full-color presentation. Below is a sample full-color layout he prepared as a demo for Heroic Fantasy Handbook. (The final layout for Nethercity is, of course, still being developed – partly through this Kickstarter!)

A Sample Layout of a Full-Color Page
A Sample Layout of a Full-Color Page

What do you mean by kilodungeon?

The Nethercity is bigger than an ordinary dungeon (like Sinister Stone of Sakkara) but not as big as a megadungeon (like Dwimmmermount). Get it? Kilo instead of mega… Let’s just read on.

What levels is the adventure for?

Secrets of the Nethercity is designed for a party of experienced mid-level adventurers and is stocked with sufficient monsters and treasure to advance them by four to six levels. As such it serves as a mid-level environment in which the adventurers can acquire the wealth and power they need to advance into high-level play.

Where is the adventure set?

The adventure takes place in the Auran Empire campaign setting, the default setting for ACKS. The eponymous Nethercity lies below the city of Cyfaraun, just fifty miles northwest of Türos Tem, making it a perfect sequel to our introductory adventure The Sinister Stone of Sakkara. But if you don’t play in the Auran Empire, don’t worry – a special appendix in the book offers advice on how to adapt the adventure for use with our Kanahu setting or with your own favorite campaign world. The Nethercity can be placed under any long-inhabited urban settlement that’s changed hands between law and chaos over the centuries.

How much detail is offered on the city of Cyfaraun?

In the tradition of classic TSR adventure scenarios such as The Keep on the Borderlands and The Village of Hommlet, Secrets of the Nethercity gives you the information you need to use Cyfaraun as a home base for adventurers in your campaign. The level of detail in the city itself will be similar to that provided for the city of Harat in our Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu supplement. But as we unlock Bonus Goals, Cyfaraun will get even more detailed, with the sewer level below the city transformed into a whole additional play area.

Cyfaraun: The Capital of the Borderlands
Cyfaraun: The Capital of the Borderlands

What are the Bonus Goals?

If we raise more than our target, we’ll expand the amount of information we provide on the city of Cyfaraun and flesh out the extensive sewers and ruins directly beneath it.

The Cyfaraun Sewer Level - Unlocked with Bonus Goals
The Cyfaraun Sewer Level

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Are regular dungeons too small? Are megadungeons too big? Is your party looking for a size that’s just right? Well, Goldi, welcome to the kilodungeon of Nethercity! The map of the sewer level above, that’s a nice map, and its detail makes me want to try these old school challenges!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania (DCC Sourcebook) by Goodman Games
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“The legendary locations of Grimtooth’s Traps revealed! A DCC supplement that lets you confront Grimtooth himself in his own lair!

Listen up, puny humans! Grimtooth the Troll here. You sorry souls have been dying from my traps for decades. And in all that time, not one of you miniscule mortals has attacked me in my lair! Well, I’ve decided to take pity on you. For the first time ever, I’m going to show you my realm. You’ll finally get to see – Trapsylvania!

Updated June 24: We just cleared our first stretch goal! Trapsylvania will include fancy custom-printed endsheets!

This Kickstarter supports the publication of Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania, a 144-page campaign setting and sourcebook! It will be available in print (softcover or hardcover) and electronic (PDF) format. It is fully illustrated, with color cover and B/W interior art. The publisher is Goodman Games, under license from Flying Buffalo. The book is written in a systems-neutral style like all Grimtooth books, with DCC RPG stats compiled in an appendix at the back.

Grimtooth’s Lair

This Kickstarter also offers a rare collectible treasure: the “lost 8th Grimtooth book.” Flying Buffalo published a total of 7 Grimtooth books. At the Origins Game Convention in 1983, an independent publisher released their own unauthorized bootleg adventure called Grimtooth’s Lair. Today, only a single copy of this adventure is known to exist. Thanks to collector Bill Meinhardt, we have been able to scan the adventure for publication. It is being offered as an add-on for this Kickstarter (see below).

The only known copy of Grimtooth's Lair - now available as a reprint exclusively through this Kickstarter!
The only known copy of Grimtooth’s Lair – now available as a reprint exclusively through this Kickstarter!

At last – the legendary locations of Grimtooth’s Traps revealed!

For over 30 years, Grimtooth’s numerous Traps books have horrified players and inspired game masters with hundreds of dangerous devices, deadly deathtraps and hilarious hijinx! Now Grimtooth (with a little help from kid sister Grimtina) will take you on a personally guided tour of his realm and the central hub of his vast Traps empire.

Run your own Grimtooth campaign, or pick and choose locations you can use in your own adventures. Explore Grimtooth’s caverns, visit his Inner Sanctum, escape the Deathmaze Testing Center, attend Warthog’s School for Trolls, take a ride on Grimtooth’s Airship, tour Grimtina’s Petting Zoo or get lost in many more gigantic places of doom, like the Infinite Corridor of Hallways. Each of these infamous locations includes maps, descriptions, non-player character details, scenarios, and lots of art. Plus there are more traps (of course) and plenty of things with which to endanger your characters.

Like all Grimtooth books, Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania is written in a systems-neutral format, and published in a way that it is fully compatible with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game (DCC RPG). A series of appendices at the back provide quick and easy stats for DCC RPG games, covering all the creatures, characters and items described in the book. It’s very easy to fill a graveyard with the corpses of your DCC player characters! (Because once you enter Trapsylvania – you won’t leave! Suckers.)  

Trapsylvania is written and illustrated by S. S. Crompton, the legendary “voice of Grimtooth” who has been working on Grimtooth products for Flying Buffalo for more than 30 years. We’ve rounded up the entire roster of historical Grimtooth contributors to illustrate the book, so you’ll find art not just by S. S. Crompton, but also by Liz Danforth, Micheal Von Glahn, Scott Jackson Phil Longmeier, and Jeff Dee – all the artists who have contributed to Grimtooth products over the years! The new traps are written by Grimtooth alumni S. S. Crompton, Ken St. Andre, Bear Peters, Rick Loomis, Paul O’Connor and Debora Kerr. The DCC stats are provided by Terry Olson, with editing by Jen Brinkman.

Trapsylvania is chock full of useful gaming material! How much is there? Well, here’s the exact count!

  • 1 whole country! (Grimtooth’s, that is!)
  • 15 large locations, all described and mapped
  • 48 scenario ideas
  • 60 traps or trapped items
  • 86 creatures (with DCC stats in the Appendix)
  • 26 NPCs (with DCC stats in the Appendix)
  • 23 items (with DCC stats in the Appendix)
  • And loads of laughs!

What is Grimtooth’s Traps?

Originally published by Flying Buffalo, Grimtooth’s Traps is one of the most popular RPG accessories ever produced, with more than 250,000 copies in print since 1981. Flying Buffalo published seven Grimtooth’s books, all of them usable with any RPG. In 2015, Goodman Games compiled all of these into a massive hardcover compilation, and also published two additional DCC-compatible Grimtooth adventures. Grimtooth remains an eternally relevant character and his popularity has only grown since then.

The hallmarks of Grimtooth-style traps are wacky humor combined with deadly danger, plus, of course, extremely useful material that can be integrated into any dungeon-crawling RPG!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I interviewed the trapmeister himself, Grimtooth, over at the Open Gaming Network. It was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done. Don’t waste your time here, go read it here!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or at the OpenGamingStore here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City Tabletop Roleplaying Game by Bloat Games
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“SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City is an RPG heavily influenced by the 90s cartoons Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, Spider-man and TMNT!

Editor's note: These guys are far more talented than they let on in their Bios. Their talent greatly exceeds my own and I'm very lucky to have them as part of my creative team! - Eric B.
Editor’s note: These guys are far more talented than they let on in their Bios. Their talent greatly exceeds my own and I’m very lucky to have them as part of my creative team! – Eric B.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

At Origins Game Fair 2018, I played SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies! with Eric Bloat. After the game, Eric shared a preview of this Kickstarter and talked about what he hopes to accomplish with it – a street level superhero game using a system that you already know. He has plans to cover every type of grim and gritty comic book superhero archetype and I can’t wait to try it out. Add to that, one of the contributors is Alan Bahr of Tiny d6 fame (among others) who I got to interview some time back, and this is a lock!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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City of Brass: Epic Adventure for 5e and Swords and Wizardry by Frog God Games
Ends on Tue, July 24 2018 6:22 PM EDT.

“City of Brass: A Legendary Adventure for 5e and Swords and Wizardry! Based on the 2006 Necromancer Games classic!

From his gleaming palace, the Sultan of Efreet turns his cruel gaze upon the Lost Lands …

The Sultan bids you welcome...
The Sultan bids you welcome…

Good folk have vanished. Those who were once disparaged and forgotten now wield power unlike anything seen before. Rulers and sages turn a blind eye to the disturbing events unfolding around them. In every corner of the Lost Lands, the Cult of the Veiled One spreads unchecked.

Prophesizing a cleansing jihad of flames and the coming of the Burning One, the cult has erected its brazen spires in every land. What follows depends on the wit and courage of mighty heroes who must rise to the occasion and take the fight to the enemy in its very stronghold. Will they succeed, or will they succumb to the temptations of the Veiled One’s court and join in the conquest of their home world? A fabled city of wishes on the edge of an eternal flame. The City of Brass is a rich combination of sand-box style role playing adventure, planar exploration, and twisted dungeons designed to test even the most seasoned adventurers.

Beginning with low-level challenges in the familiar confines of the Lost Lands, the adventure leads characters on a thrilling journey through multiple planes of existence culminating in the exploration of the City of Brass itself. The gleaming towers and floating platforms of the city hold terrors and wonders such as the Great Repository and the Minaret of Screams. Characters may choose to take a turn in the Circus of Pain, raid the floating Pyramid of Set, or join the resistance to the Sultan’s oppressive rule and lead an assault on the palace itself! A phoenix rises fully formed from the ashes of the past. The City of Brass is re-imagined for the new renaissance of fantasy role playing games, brought to you in the epic style of old school fantasy campaigns of yesteryear.

From the design team that brought you Bard’s Gate and Sword of Air, the City of Brass is an adventure unlike any other. With full color art and maps, new content and new organization, the City of Brass returns bigger and better than ever! An Adventure Sourcebook for characters level 1-20. New versions for Swords & Wizardry and the Fifth Edition of the world’s most popular role-playing game.

Example of one of the over 100 maps in the City of Brass.
Example of one of the over 100 maps in the City of Brass.

City of Brass 2018

One of the original books from the City of Brass by Necromancer Games
One of the original books from the City of Brass by Necromancer Games

So what’s new in this release compared to the original Necromancer Games Boxed Set? 

This new release of The City of Brass includes all new color maps by Alyssa Faden and Robert Altbauer. Plus amazing new color art by Colin Chan, Adrian Landeros, Terry Pavlet, Michael Syrigos, C. J. Allan Marsh, and Artem Shukaev.

The original City of Brass was divided into 3 books and has been revised and reorganized throughout with 150,000 new words of adventures and material.

Section1: Cult of the Burning One – Now includes the following adventures:

  • Lornedain the Secret Flame: An introductory adventure for characters Levels 1-3.
  • Freegate: the Brazen Spire (For Levels 4-6), giving new details to the Lost Lands city of Freegate as the characters investigate the arrival of a new cult and its magical tower.
  • The Sea of Baal: (For levels 5-8). Adventures in the Titian Isles, the Elemental Plane of Air and Beyond as they travel across the Sea of Baal to the continent of Lybinos!
  • Numeda a Caliphate in Flames: (For levels 6-9). Arriving in Lybinos the characters discover that the city of Cirtius in the Caliphate of Numeda is over-run by the forces of the Sultan of Efreet. Help free the survivors or join the Sultan in his conquest of the Lost Lands!
  • The Path of the Prophet: (For Levels 8-10). Rewritten from the original with new content.

Section 2: The City of Brass is now newly organized with details on factions, new locations in the Plane of Molten Skies.

Section 3: Tales of Brass 

New Adventure Locations including:

  • Ard’s Sanctuary: An adventure location for 11-14th level characters.
  • Freeman’s Tower: An ultra-dimensional apartment complex and home base located in the lower city. Conquer the tower and live rent free under the Sultan’s nose! For 11th-14th level characters.
  • The Apartment of Ra Po Jejh!: An old enemy makes a surprise return. Find his phylactery and finish him off once and for all! For 16th-18th level characters!
  • Cathedral of the Lightbringer: The cathedral of the Lord of Infurnace’s minions serving as his consulate in the City of Brass. Steal the Sword of the Lightbringer if you Dare!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Before looking at the game, let’s mention, and link, an incident from 2017 – Bill Webb has a history that includes at least one public, and disgusting, act of harassment, and he’s the CEO of Frog God Games, the company running this campaign.

That said, let’s look at the game. The book itself will be of a spin-busting size (hence it’ll be put together using “library binding“) with tons of amazing art and interesting ideas. The fact that you can get it for 5e or FGG’s OSR, Swords and Wizardry, makes this a versatile project that offers some options for your gaming table. The book will be nice without a doubt.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or the Open Gaming Store here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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 – City of Seven Seraphs, Quests of Doom 4, and Gauntlets & Goblins

This week, I look at three amazing RPG Kickstarters. One for kids, one for 5e, and one with vibrant art that fits the angelic theme. Let’s count them down.

 

3) Gauntlets & Goblins by Ian Gibson
Ends on Saturday, September 9 2017 8:18 AM EDT.

“A Role-playing game for adults to play with kids. Simple and engaging.

Gauntlets & Goblins is the result of my nephew’s desire to play the kind of games that mommy, daddy, and his uncle played. I took the concepts of conventional RPGs and boiled them down to the absolute simplest form. As a result, G&G has all the essence of a full fledged experience in a package that a six year old can understand.

Gameplay: We use cards and symbols to make the game as manageable as possible for young players. Dice mechanics are simple, roll a set amount and count your successes. Spellcasting is a breeze with easy to grasp, conceptual spells like fly, enlarge, or disguise. Combat is engaging and exciting, but not overly threatening. If you run out of heart cards, you just fall down until it’s over.

Game will contain:

  • Four character classes, warrior, thief, mage, and cleric. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Equipment cards of three quality levels. Swords, spell books, holy symbols and more.
  • Magic item cards to enhance your adventuring experience.
  • Spell cards that grant you magic that can be used as much as you like.

Try the playtest now! www.gauntletsandgoblins.com

Wanna-lancer™ Reward:

“Pledge $200 or more

Glittering Gold

You will work with us to create a magic item card for inclusion with the game. See the FAQ for guidelines.

You also get the physical edition of the game.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Gauntlets and Goblins is an all-ages RPG on Kickstarter with an option to create content for the game. Why am I sold? Because I write all-ages game reviews at EN World and I review RPG Kickstarters with wanna-lancer* rewards right here. This is the crossroads of “journalist” Egg and wanna-lancer Egg. Getting to design for an all-ages game would be awesome! Need more details? Try Dan Davenport’s Q&A with Ian Gibson of G&G here. You can find the playtest for G&G here. This is worth checking out!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

 

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2) Quests of Doom 4 by Frog God Games
Ends on Sun, September 10 2017 12:33 AM EDT.

“Adventures worth winning for Fifth Edition, Swords and Wizardry, and Pathfinder.

Frog God Games wants your help in bringing to life 16 exciting and challenging adventure modules in the Quests of Doom series. Each adventure is already written and converted, and the maps and art are paid for – they only need to go through layout. After layout, they need to be printed, which is where you all come in!

Art from Quests of Doom 4

Each individual adventure was designed by a veteran author to offer a fun, exciting challenge to your players, and to easily integrate into your game world. If you prefer the Lost Lands Campaign Setting, each module includes specific location details and lore that fit seamlessly into the Lost Lands.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Fifth edition rules, first edition feel; FGG lives that ethos. It’s Frog God Games, you can’t go wrong. Their work and track record speaks for itself. If you have not experienced it, instead of reading my thoughts, try some of their work like the Sword and Wizardry Complete Rulebook at a suggested PWYW of $0.00 here. After you read that, it will make backing this 5e, Pathfinder, or Swords and Wizardry Kickstarter campaign an easy choice.

 

You can see examples of Frog God Games work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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1) City of Seven Seraphs – A Planar Campaign Capstone for PFRPG by Lost Spheres Publishing
Ends on Sunday, September 10 2017 1:59 AM EDT.

“The City of Seven Seraphs is a fully developed Planar Metropolis for the Pathfinder RPG available in full-color Hardcover and PDF.

Nexus Base Class - Michael Sayre/Design, Liz Courts/Layout & Graphics, Vincent Coviello/Artist for Iconic
Nexus Base Class – Michael Sayre/Design, Liz Courts/Layout & Graphics, Vincent Coviello/Artist for Iconic

The City of Seven Seraphs is a Campaign Capstone sourcebook for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game©. Inspired by epic adventures in the Planes of the 2nd Edtion of the World’s Oldest Fantasy RPG, The City of Seven Seraphs will bring a home to planar adventure for the Pathfinder gaming community and infuse existing campaigns with a new level of otherworldly reality.

Amethyst Angel of the Eternal Dawning
Amethyst Angel of the Eternal Dawning

A fully-realized Planar Metropolis, the City of Seven Seraphs will be a 300+ page full-color, hardcover gaming manual with exclusive content for the Pathfinder RPG system including: 

  • Rich NPCs and Organizations: 14 Planar Organizations, the Parities, which focus on the core Dualities of the Multiverse. Each Parity will have its own story themes and mechanical support such as Archetypes, Prestige Classes, feats and more.
  • 8 Distinct City Districts: Each section of the City of Seven Seraphs will be fully expanded with its own section in the book with plots, locations and mechanical elements to create a vivid tapestry of planar possibility.
  • Planar Mechanics: Dozens of Feats, Spells, and Archetypes to support the Parities and allow your characters to take on the powers of the planes both in the City and in the worlds Beyond.
  • Bestiary & NPC Codex: Dozens of foes and allies statistics for easy use in your planar games. Varied CRs from 1-20+.
  • Expanded Compatibility: Full Support for both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures system AND the Ultimate Psionics system from Dreamscarred Press. Optional support for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Mythic Adventures and Ultimate series expanded rules (including vehicles, social combat and intrigue).
  • New Base Classes: The book contains new base classes, the Nexus, a veilweaving class which gains the ability to take on the mantles of various outsiders to allow PCs to gain the powers of the Planes, and the Shadewalker a traveler of the dark roads between. Could there be more? We seem awfully fond of 7s.
  • New Races and fresh takes OGL Classic Races: New races like the judow, and inevitable-spawn people influenced by kyton or the a fresh-look at the ceptu (from Epidemic Books Oathbound: Seven) a races of telekinetic invertibrates!
  • Campaign Toolkit: Rules for planar adventure, intrigue and advice on how the City connects to your existing campaigns and links them to each other!”
New Nexus Base Class
New Nexus Base Class

Contributor:

N. Jolly (Racial Design and Planar Mechanics): “N. Jolly is widely regarded as a hero by most, having been involved in numerous successful kickstarter projects including the Forest Kingdom Campaign Compendium and Spheres of Might. Known for his skill with mechanics as well as flavor, he’s a well seasoned writer who brings his own unique flair to this project in order to make sure it turns out ehncredible.” Patreon link.

Egg’s Thoughts:

This art! It’s Pathfinder, it’s an interesting concept, but it’s Vincent Coviello’s art that pushes it over the top! Follow the link and check it out, it’s worth taking a peak just to see Vincent’s artistic skills.

Also, N. Jolly is contributing to this project. I’m shouting him out for no reasons other than he’s a nice dude and his work on this product is going to help knock it out of the park and it leads to my signal boost below.

 

You can see examples of Lost Spheres Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Art from the City of Seven Seraphs… I mean, come on! This is soooooo nice looking!

 

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Signal Boost:

Let’s bridge to this first signal boost by mentioning that N. Jolly (from City of Seven Seraphs above) is working on Modern Adventures.

Modern Adventures Tabletop RPG – Take up sword and gun to seek fame and fortune in this gritty fantasy game set in modern-day Earth. For the Pathfinder RPG system. From Higher Grounds Publishing.

Read more about N. Jolly on this project here.

 

Jump in your Starfighter for Era: Balam – A Project Of Earth – Explore a solar system and defend Humanity from an alien fleet! Era: Balam runs on your choice of Era d10, FATE or Savage Worlds! From Shades of Vengeance.

 

Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War – A role playing game setting, for the Savage Worlds and Cepheus System, based on Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. From Battlefield Press, Inc.

 

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

13th Doctor Who: Roleplaying Game

“Jodie Whittaker is a woman and the 13th Doctor.” The most controversial event of July 16th, 2017. It split the inter-webs into two opposed camps:

  1. Greatest actor of her generation
  2. The “D” in “Doctor” stands for “Dicks”

Jodie Whitaker composed as Doctor Who from Metro.co.uk

I chose the Greatest Actress camp before turning my mind to what possibilities a female Doctor will create for Doctor Who: RPG? Will this be doom or opportunity for Cubicle 7‘s game series? Before I get into the peaks and valleys of my speculations, let me offer some background.

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BACKGROUND

Example Page from Sword & Wizardry

Tabletop role-playing games are synonymous with sword and sorcery. With so many fantasy systems to choose from, companies look for ways to make theirs stand out. Frog God Games came up with an elegant way to ensure that the 3rd printing of their retro-clone, Swords and Wizardry, had the broadest appeal possible. They hired Stacy Dellorfano (of ConTessa fame) to lead an all-female design staff for the newest printing of their ENnie Awardwinning game. What inspired this? Frog God Games shared this on their Kickstarter:

…we were talking with designer Stacy Dellorfano about the fact that many OSR games have a physical appearance and presentation that really targets the 40 year old guys who’ve been gaming since forever, and doesn’t have nearly as much appeal to younger or female gamers of the generations following that first wave of players from the 1980s. In point of fact, old-school games, with their light-rules aspect and emphasis on a game master’s “common sense” interpretation of situations, are actually a really good tool for anyone who feels like rules-lawyers may be spoiling the game by trying to be over-authoritative or even overbearing with a GM. But if the appearance and presentation make the game look like it’s purely a throwback and not a modern tool for good gaming, then there’s a real obstacle to the game’s push into the mainstream gaming community.

As a result of this analysis, we engaged Stacy as a designer to produce an edition that’s no less appealing to older male gamers, while being MORE appealing to younger and to female gamers. Stacy put together a team, all women, to address this dual objective. We think her team has done an awesome job, and when you see the design results, we think you’ll agree.

This project came out of a discussion largely about how to get more women interested in OSR games, and evolved into a request to create a product that would appeal to all genders and challenge the idea of what an OSR game should look like. For many of the women who illustrated the book, this is their first foray into freelancing in the tabletop RPG industry. By participating in this project, we’re raising their visibility and adding more female voices to the industry.

What this is not is an “RPG for women”. This is Swords & Wizardry the same as it’s been for the last two printings, just with new artwork and layout for the new printing.

Yet the naysayers say to me – “But Egg, can women – WOMEN?! – design the look of a REAL retro-clone?”

Absolutely, Mr. Naysayer! Stacy and crew produced an iconic S&W 3e! Every page looks phenomenal and the book flows! This printing is beautiful. 1,213 backers on Kickstarter agree.

“But Egg, that’s the drawings! What about the… the writings? What about the WRITINGS, Egg?!”

Since S&W kept the existing writing with upgraded art, let’s look at a different project, Atlas Animalia by Metal Weave Games. This book covers the biology, game hooks, and more for monsters designed for 5e, Pathfinder, FATE, and more, including OSRs. This is a book of terrifying beasts to slaughter, or be slaughtered by, for your RPG of choice and there are no men listed as writers or editors. The project looks first rate (as the image below shows). I was excited about this campaign (I covered it here) and I was not alone, 798 backers pledged their money on Kickstarter.

Atlas Animalia example page – LAND SHARK!

“Um, well… but Egg, how do those numbers compare to games designed by mixed gender or ALL-MALE creative teams? Egg, I bet if we whip’em out and compare, the number of S&W 3e or Atlas Animalia backers on Kickstarter will be WAY smaller!”

Ok, let’s compare the number of backers for some retro-clones, monster manuals, and remakes on Kickstarter. I’ve picked out a few games that are close in nature to S&W 3e:

Based on this limited sampling (it’s not even close to exhaustive), S&W 3e had two to six times as many backers as the other OSRs in this list. S&W 3e had more backers than some new editions of older games/settings (Alternity and Scarred Lands) while not as many as others (Torg: Eternity and Scion).

While looking for RPG products that are, more or less, apples-to-apples comparisons with Atlas Animalia was more difficult. Still, there were a few:

Atlas Animalia fell into the middle of the range for these campaigns. If these lists (OSRs and monster manuals) were blended, Atlas would be on the upper half of the combined listing.

While this is a drop in the ocean of market research, I’d still hypothesize that RPGs created and written by women do well in the gaming market.

Do you think Frog God Games and Metal Weave Games made the right choice for their respective products?

END BACKGROUND

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Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor and Cubicle 7 makes Doctor Who: Roleplaying Game. When it comes time to produce the Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space: The Thirteenth Doctor Sourcebook (2017-20??), should Cubicle 7 put a female lead designer/female writing staff in place to handle this project?

Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space:
The Thirteenth Doctor Sourcebook (2017-20??)
The first female doctor by [INSERT ROCKING FEMALE RPG CREATOR]

Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who from DoctorWhoTV.co.uk

This is the opportunity to hire a heavily female (or completely female) staff to deliver this sourcebook. Frog God Games and Metal Weave Games had successes with female crews developing their products. There’s no reason to believe that a female Cubicle 7 team would not produce yet another AAA Doctor Who product. The serendipity-by-design of this would be the way to market it.

That said, while they’ll likely update the core rulebook to include the 13th Doctor in the near-term, Cubicle 7 releases their Doctor Who sourcebooks after the current Doctor passes the torch. We’re years away from the release of their 13th Doctor sourcebook. This debate has time for nuance.

This article is not a condemnation of Cubicle 7. It’s the opposite. I’m a fan of C7. For Gen Con 50, I won the dream “date” to attend the ENnie Awards with them. I’m excited about meeting them at the show (and I hope they win some ENnies – Don’t forget to vote!)

As a company, they’re doing a rocking job with the Doctor Who RPG. As such, when I composed this article I hated to suggest that they mess with a winning formula. If they keep with their current creative teams, I know they will deliver an excellent product.

C7 has not announced their plans related to the 13th Doctor sourcebook and they should not until Jodie is ready to pass on the role. With the lead time that Cubicle 7 has on this, a company as competent as they are will gather together the perfect team to knock this out of the park! With their track record, I am confident they’ll make the best decision for their fans.

 

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SWORDS & WIZARDRY 3RD EDITION CHALLENGE!

Am I telling the truth about Swords & Wizardry 3rd Edition? Does it really look amazing? Can women design the look of a retro-clone? Why, yes they can, but you say you need proof, naysayer? The proof is in the product and the product is a single dollar in PDF format. Over at Frog God Games’ website, you can pick up the PDF for a buck and find out for yourself.

NOTE – When you’re doing the dropdown, it’ll say “-$33.99”. It’s confusing but you’ll see it’s one dollar at check out.

Frog God Games’ Swords and Wizardry 3rd Edition PDF

 

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Does S&W 3e and Atlas Animalia sound good to you but you wish there were a female-created board game? How about SPARKED: The hilarious and inspiring board game for women? A board game created entirely by women. 758 backers on Kickstarter.

 

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I’d like to thank every woman that ever gamed or created games or created art for games or thought kindly toward a gamer. You have made this world a better place. Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I cannot say that loud enough.

Sincerely,

Egg Embry

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

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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: